This week is a wee bit more schizo that last week's offering of reviews. A few styles are represented in its midst. A few surprises as well; at least one band did not live up to expectations of this critic and another just about pulled it off.
First off we have a couple of reviews of live gigs in recent days. Not as many as the last week thankfully; but equally interesting more or less.
LIVE reviews: Opeth
Opeth have produced arguably some of the best metal CDs, like their recent Ghost Reveries, in the past decade, but does that mean they are any good live? Well from last week's showing in London that would be a giant no. It was one of the most boring gigs I or my companion Birger (a metal veteran) have ever attended in our years of gig-going. Musically it was perfect, almost too perfect, but aesthetically it was pants.
It was so bad that some were heard to be yelling for the lead singer to shut the hell up and get on with it; and at least one "bring back Akerkocke" was heard as well. Quite a bit was wrong with last night. The venue was unsuitable for such a band as it did not allow v. good viewing anywhere up front and the sound was nothing special either. Ditto the stage show (none) and the light show...which was far better suited to a Mostly Autumn prog/folk gig than a death metal band.
The line-up was a joke as well. What numbskull put Akerkocke with a freaking symphonic metal band? Totally different crowds and genre. Opeth may think they are still "just a death metal band" but they aren't. There music is far more suited to a power-prog show ala (PowerProgUK) than a death metal gig at a dive in Kentish town. The band played songs from their various different guises but it was still far more prog like than death metal. I saw many people yawning a few numbers into the gig. I think Opeth is one of the best heavy metal bands around at the moment but to pay so much money to see such a lousy gig was a travesty. Lots of people left early and that was no surprise. It is a shame to see such a musically stunning band disappoint their fans so much.
Melodic Rock Xmas Bash
Organised by Paul Stead of Sacred Heart, this was meant to be the melodic rock gig of the winter. It was held at the (in)famous Ruskin Arms in East Ham, a venue famous for seeing some of Iron Maiden's early gigs. And it now claims to be the "home of heavy metal".