Europe has such a great metal scene. It seems like every time I turn around there is a new, at least to me, band from across the Atlantic that is turning out incredible music. It doesn't seem to matter what style you are looking for, there it is.
Take Andromeda, for example, prior to my viewing of this DVD, I had never heard them. I slipped the disk in, no idea what to expect, pressed play, and prayed that it is good. In this case, it is better than good. Andromeda's brand of melodic prog-metal is beyond compare, these guys possess an incredible amount of talent, and this DVD clearly shows off what they can do.
When you first hear them, the obvious comparison is going to be with Dream Theater. I think it is almost inevitable if you play melodic prog-metal, at some point you are going to be compared to the band that could arguably be called the leader of the genre. It doesn't hurt that they are one of my favorite bands. Anyway, Andromeda's music is highly technical, very melodic, and filled with hooks, a certain level of catchiness, and some insane soloing. It is definitely comparable to Dream Theater, but this band does stand a bit apart, I cannot quite put my finger on it, but they have a distinctly different flavor that is a little more consistently heavy, perhaps it has to do with their developing their sound in their Swedish homeland. Whatever it is, they do stand as their own band, and the music is incredible.
The show was filmed at the Slaski Theater, in Poland, on a cold October night. The setting is perfect for this music, it is an actual sitdown theater that provides an intimate setting, and just looks like a great concert hall. The only downside would have to be that it is a sitdown theater, so, despite the great setting, the fans can only get so rowdy, and this night they seemed to be rather sedate, as there is very little crowd noise creeping into the mix.
At this stage of their career, they have three albums, plus a re-release of their debut album, re-recorded with their new lead singer. The 12 song setlist is equally balanced between all of them. I could not tell you which song came from which album, but they are all pretty impressive. The centerpiece being the instrumental "Chameleon Carneval," which is also the most Dream Theater-esque sounding track. This marks the mid-point of the set, and features some lightning fast solos, some fantastic unison between guitar and keyboards, and some catchy prog grooves.