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ennlfrdeitrues
American Pool Bar, Dendermonde, Belgium
October 21st 2005
Trisomy, Valkyre, The Legion of Hetheria

A small venue which normally, as the name suggests, serves as a pool bar has been transformed into this place for the local metal fans to hang out tonight. Opposite to the train station situated on a small square, the venue is locked in between small disco look-a-likes. A Dutch, a Belgian and a Mexican gothic metal band were to hit the make-shift stage tonight to balance out the poppy disco tunes that come from the other buildings.


The Legion of Hetheria

This is the offcial Metal Female Voice Fest  pre-party and there is a chance to have a look at one of the bands that's playing the small stage the next day. Not without a reason did the organiser ask this band to play tonight, they are after all from Mexico. The 5 men and their front lady are however no strangers to the scene, they have toured through Mexico with quite a few bands and singer Marivi Péréz even replaced Simone Simons (Epica) when she fell ill during her Mexican tour in 2004.

Music
The venue has just a few speakers which have no real quality, this means all channels are (close to) overstearing which doesn't really give the audience a good chance to hear what the band is like. Bombastic en powerful the band sets in and plays a few songs from both their albums. Male singer and guitarist Rick proves he has a great voice, nice clean vocals and some mean screams and grunts all in one 17 year old guy: impressive. The rest of the band is most certainly well practised, the rhythm section is solid which allows the rest of the band to do a good finishing touch to go with the great vocals. Great vocals indeed because not only do they have a good male vocalist, their female vocalist proves herself in full force during the band's tribute to Mozart 'Der Hölle Rache'. Marivi manages to sing the entire aria with aparent ease, so impressive that the rather temid audience of the night decides to massively clap their hands after she's finished. Her non-opera soprano voice clearing resambles Simone Simons', showing that replacing Simone in Mexico should have been no problem.



Performance
This is a small stage, all band members are cramped up between the backline and gear. Still there are two band members who really try and make a show out of it. On keys Harif makes a sport out of hiding behind his keyboard and then launching himself all the way over it, his hair free flowing through the air. Compared to this Marivi's moves are much more gracious and much less metal-like, but this is the way things she be for an opera diva. carefully dancing to the music while the rest of the band plays and sings, she and the rest of the band show they don't care about the small stage, the bad sound quality or the limited response from the timid audience. They are just happy to be on stage promoting their new album 'Choices', they made the right choice playing here tonight. The lights were static and did not change in any way, this is the way the venue was. Nothing the bands could do about it, at least the audience could clearly see the bands doing their shows.



Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 7
Sound: -
Light: -
Total: 8




Valkyre

Next up is the quite new belgian gothic metal band Valkyre. Started in February 2005 they have been working hard to get a decent amount of songs ready for their shows and even to get a cd done. The band consists of many members and today not all of them are present. Let's see how they do anyway.

Music
Valkyre is trying something different, not too bombastic and loud but they focus more on the soft side. On vocals today their singer Mieke who has a soft and gentle voice, maybe a bit too soft because the input to the microphone is too small and the monitors speakers cause feedback many times. The rest of the vocals are done by the band's horn player and understudy singer Marcel. The quality of the band is not yet up to the right level. Today it seems like the rhythm section surely had an off-day. This togetehr with the feedback on the monitors and the pretty bad speakers in the venue gave the entire gig a messy appearance. Apart from their own songs, which could use an extra bit of power and momentum, they also played two cover songs. Or better they tried; Lacuna Coil's Daydream Dancer missed the intensity and power which Lacuna Coil makes a good band, and the male vocals were timid, too clean, too sweet, nothing like the aggression it should have. The second cover was Enter Sandman (Metallica) but we should actually forget it was ever on the setlist. Because the band was incomplete nobody seemed to know the lyrics and the instrumental version lacked power.



Performance
Lots of people on stage and they didn't seem to feel like happy bunnies. This might have been caused by the delays due to the monitor feedback, or the crampy stage or any other reason but unfortunately they showed it to their audience. This meant the audience lost interest in time and after the semi-instrumental version of Enter Sandman the audience didn't seem to care anymore. The two eye catchers of the band could win the audience in next shows, singer Mieke just needs to make sure technical problems won't annoy her too much and keyboard babe Gaelle should be more in the front, why hide a very pretty lady way in the back?



Setlist
01. Heresy
02. Save Me
03. Daylight Dancer (Lacuna Coil cover)
04. Acceptance
05. Beziers
06. Enter Sandman (Metallica cover)
07. Procession
08. A Good Day To Die



Rating

Music: 6
Performance: 5
Sound: -
Light: -
Total: 6




Trisomy

After having been under the wings of Epica some time back slowly but surely Trisomy is starting to headline their own shows. Still small venues but that is mainly due to the sheer amount of gothic metal bands around these days. The Netherlands just seems to have too many of them for all of them to play at bigger venues. Too bad because you can't really judge the quality of a band like this. This year at the Metal Female Voice Fest Pre-Party, next year at the real festival?

Music
This band has been around for a while and they had their share of critisism like any band but it seems they worked hard to improve themselves in the technical department. The vocals are clean and rock-like, but singer Martine still manages to give a good interpretation of the old Trisomy songs, written for a different voice. Both guitarists manage to produce a very heavy sound which is complementary to the powerful bass and drums. The keys are sometimes a bit lost but this is however not Trisomy's fault but merely a result of the venues bad equipment. Even at the small venue and it's gear Trisomy manages to produce a decent sound, not really disturbed by the technical problems with the bass amplifier. With the help of others bass player Pieter always manages to be back alive just before his bass needs to fullfil an important role. Overcoming technical hick-ups with their experience the band shows they are ready for bigger venues.



Performance
Finally we do get a chance to have a look at Frank Kraak, drummer of the band. Drummers who are normaly so far in the back you just assume they are there. Not this time, he actually is visually part of the show as much as the others. Michiel however is somewhat stuck in just about the only darker region of the stage, totally focussed on his guitar he seems to be less part of the show than normally. Eric Hazebroek decided a small stage means limited space and took his short guitar. It does look a bit weird, or strange to see such a big guy play such a seemingly miniature instrument. But the result is that Martine gets plenty of room to move on stage, which gives the show this vibrant edge. The balance between the moves of Martine and the rest of the band's relative immobility is well chosen, it focusses the attention on who is important instead of making it one big mess of people doing too much at the same time. When it is time for others to do a solo or give some extra effort Martine steps aside and let's for example Pieter step forward, in the full light, and allow him his few seconds of fame as well. Experienced, enthusiastic, solid and in touch with the audience, Trisomy is the name.



Setlist
00. Intro
01. Lost
02. Cold Feet
03. Promised Land
04. Despair
05. Brainteasers
06. Freaked Mind
07. All Alone
08. Imprisoned



Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: -
Light: -
Total: 8


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