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Matrix, Bochum, Germany
7th November 2010
Tarot, The Man-Eating Tree, The Claymore

Contrary to the past days it’s gotten awfully cold when I started travelling over to Bochum. I know it could be worse; it’s November after all, but a little more warmth couldn’t hurt anyway, could it? Well, sooner than later there would be plenty of warmth with an evening of three Metal bands ahead...

The Claymore

THE CLAYMORE formed in 2000 and two years later made #2 at the Emergenza contest. Their first demo tape, called ‘II’ sold over 500 copies. The debut album ‘Monument’ then saw its release at the end of 2003 with two further albums following until 2010. The band’s stage credits include playing with PRIMAL FEAR, RAGE, or TESTAMENT just to name a few. The latest album is called ‘Damnation Reigns’ and released at the end of October. THE CLAYMORE is Andreas Grundmann (vocals), Kai Schwittek (guitar), Sebastian Busacker (guitar), Christian Köhle (bass) and Hardy Kölzer (drums). /

Music & Performance
THE CLAYMORE from Castrop-Rauxel were responsible for opening the evening, took positions and began with the galloping of ‘Angels Assassination’, complemented by a sweat-driven performance from the first minute, not counting in singer Andreas Grundmann most of the time. He put on a rather focused performance, mostly doing the vocals or hyping up the crowd. His vocal range couldn’t be called special at all; moreover typical as some guy of a Power Metal band, who tend to have pretty similar sounding vocals. Whatever, with the next song ‘Slain The Almighty’ the band turned towards a straighter approach with occasional blasting. With the third song ‘Oblivion’ arising, the crowd’s reactions still would be cautious, which was to gradually change in the further course of the show with songs such as ‘Silent Scorn’ or the new album’s title track ‘Damnation Reigns’.

For the last song of the set they called some guy named Timo of the band SANITY’S ECLIPSE on stage for a little guitar assistance. All in all, they did a pretty good show, though I wasn’t too impressed by it musically.

01. Intro
02. Angels Assassination
03. Slain The Almighty
04. Oblivion
05. Silent Scorn
06. Damnation Reigns
07. Sygn
08. Behind Enemy Lines
09. Soulseeker
10. Outro

Music: 6
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 8
Total: 6.8 / 10

The Man-Eating Tree

Former SENTENCED drummer Vesa Ranta started the band after having taken some time off the music business after the former band disbanded in 2005. The band name derives from Ranta’s fascination for the legend of man-eating trees. In this year’s May, the first single ‘Out Of The Wind’ was released and entered Finnish charts on #3. The debut album ‘Vine’ followed in autumn. THE MAN-EATING TREE is Tuomas Tuominen (vocals), Janne Markus (guitars), Mikko Uusimaa (bass), Heidi Määttä (keyboards) and Vesa Ranta (drums). /

Music & Performance
The Finnish band got praised for their debut ‘Vine’ in the media. Doesn’t always mean such hype is justified, even if members of quite a prominent, now-defunct, band are involved. But sometimes it is as in the case of this band that started it slow with a piano lead-in to ‘Lathing A New Man’, a song dominated by calm vocal parts and crowned with a stirring chorus line. ‘King Of July’ broke through with tearing powers of noisy metal attacks like a storm that had just now started raging. With the third track of the set coming up, Tuomas showed his German skills in announcing the song ‘Out Of The Wind’ that way and would do so for the rest of the show which caused one of the guys to say “I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about” when approaching him. One of the song’s best features was its cunning drum parts. ‘Of Birth For Passing’ calmed things down quite a bit to a ballad-like song with a still very earthly instrumentation incorporated.

‘Instead Of Sand And Storm’ brought to us even some doomy parts which suited the track very well. Afterwards, Tuomas asked if the name SENTENCED would ring any bell with anyone and it went from initially two hands to a couple more. ‘Nights In White Satin’ was what’s been played in the end and the song sent one shower of goose bumps after the other over your body. With ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Amended’ the band closed up one, for my terms, too short set. But what can you do if there’s just one album out. So best is the guys head into the studio right away and get another one done to play longer gigs. Anyone who seconds that? So I thought.

01. Lathing A New Man
02. King Of July
03. Out Of The Wind
04. Of Birth For Passing
05. Instead Of Sand And Stone
06. Nights In White Satin
07. Oblivion
08. Amended

Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 8.3 / 10


The Finnish band TAROT came into being in the mid 1980s, formed by the two Hietala, one of which you might know as being a member of NIGHTWISH since 2001. The band's first album would be seeing the light of day already in 1986 with 'Spell Of Iron'. After their second album 'Follow Me Into Madness' was released, the band ceased from the spotlights until 1993 when their third album 'To Live Forever' was released, especially receiving very good recognition in Japan. Until the present day, the band has released a total of eight full-length albums with 'Gravity Of Light' being the latest one. /

Music & Performance
The main act’s appearance drew closer and the fans closed the rows, welcomed their heroes warmly and were all hooked for the first TAROT song which was ‘Sleep In The Dark’, pacing at high speed right away and having lots of people shaking their heads like a carousel. If just not doing music, it was Marco’s main pleasure to spread humorous anecdotes about them being basically evil, or their keyboarder growing a cock and that he has seen pictures of it. It was with slight regret in his voice when he said that he hasn’t seen it himself yet ;) We were talking about music before right? Ok, then let us move on with ‘Satan Is Dead’ that again featured increased speed and additionally came up with alternating vocals. Following ‘Crows Fly Back’ was more than just familiar to one or the other in the room it seemed, judging their reactions. It was a kind of lengthy composition showing the instrumental capabilities of the participating musicians best.

‘Tides’ got introduced slowly with piano and mellow vocals, more calmness for a change. ‘Hell Knows’ was preceded by another of Marco’s hilarious stories until the slow, grinding tune sent out its gravitations. Actually, it didn’t really matter which song got played during the show. The people celebrated everything enthusiastically and so it was no wonder a two track encore was granted at the end. It’s been three years since I’ve first seen TAROT live and I admit I can barely recall the show - I know I should feel terribly cheap in your eyes right now but I don’t - but I’m sure I won’t forget this one so soon.

01. Sleep In The Dark
02. I Walk Forever
03. Satan Is Dead
04. Crows Fly Back
05. Tides
06. Calling Down The Rain
07. Hell Knows
08. Veteran Of The Psychic Wars
09. Pyre Of Gods
10. Rider Of The Last Day
11. Crawlspace
12. Warhead
13. Traitor

Music: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8 / 10

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

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