Two bands I really like were in town last night and I was very excited heading to the venue. This was my third show in six nights of absolutely spectacular metal. We have two bands that are considered Symphonic metal, but they are very different in the way they go about performing. I need to mention that Valinor Excelsior and Threat Signal both performed as well. Due to interviews I had scheduled I did not get to photography their sets, but from what I heard both bands put on very good shows. Valinor Excelsior are a power metal band from Columbia. Their music was well done, and the vocals were very solid. I hope to catch them on another tour. Threat Signal is form Hamilton, Ontario and brought a little harsher thrash type metal sound. It had a heavy edge and a really raw all-around sound. I caught the last song and a half and was left impressed. Another band I will check out next time they come through Seattle.
The first band up was Graveshadow from Sacramento, CA. I reviewed their recently released new album Ambition’s Price here: https://overdrive-mag.com/2018/03/21/review-graveshadow-ambitions-price/. You must check out this band! Go to YouTube and check out some of their videos. This album will definitely be in my top 10 at the end of the year and could climb much higher. They are symphonic, power, thrash music with great vocals that are melodic, straight forward metal and growling vocals that rip your face off. The amazing thing is, the vocal all come from Heather Michelle. Her ability to sing in about every way imaginable is incredible. Add songs about vampires, werewolves, dragons and other mythical subjects, and you get some great lyrics as well. They also have songs of a personal nature about what they had to give up to bring Graveshadow to life.
They opened with Doorway to Heaven, the first song of their new album Ambition’s Price. The song starts melodic and we are treater to some nice vocals from Heather Michelle. Then out of nowhere she turns in some of the best growl vocals you will find. She even commented to me after the show, that a lot of fans what to know which male in the band does the growling vocals and are surprised to find out it is her. The song keeps a bit of that melodic feel. Live it comes across a bit rawer than on the album, but it was a great opener.
Ambition’s Price and Warchief from the new album also featured. Ambition’s Price the title track and is one of my favorite songs. I love the musical opening of this song, and it has a dark feel to it. I also love the guitar solo in this song. Musically this band is rock solid, with the dual guitar attack, the just keeps coming at you. We have Will Walker on Rhythm Guitars,
Aaron Robitsch on Lead Guitars, Roman Anderson on Drums and Ben Armstrong on Bass. Warchief is another song that has a brand new video out for it. This songs just tears you apart with the guitars. The vocals in this song really show off how good Heather’s voice is overall. Another great song.
The headliner of the night was Sirenia. I saw them in Seattle about a year ago and their newish vocalist at the time was Emmanuelle Zoldan. She put on a good show, but seemed a little reserved. That is gone now and she was fantastic on this night. Her vocal range and the color in her voice was quite spectacular. She also had a presence and a confidence I did not see a year ago. She was fun to watch and really appeared to be having a lot of fun. Sirenia are veterans of symphonic metal with eight albums under their belt including their last album Dim Days of Dolor from 2016. Morten Veland started the band in 2001 and provide the male harsh vocals to go with Zoldan’s.
Sirenia brought us fourteen songs from seven different albums. They really covered a lot of their career and that was cool to see. Most of their biggest hits were covered this night with songs My Mind’s Eye, The Path to Decay, The End of it All, Once My Light, Dim Days of Dolor and The Other Side. Zoldan was a real highlight of the evening. She is trained as an opera singer, but can do it all on stage. I know Sirenia have had a lot of singers over the year, but if you have not listened to them recently, you are really missing out. Make sure you grab Dim Days of Dolor and check it out. Even though considered symphonic metal by a lot of people, they really tow the line with power and gothic metal as well. Dim Days of Dolor has a great chorus and the song is great to hear live. They encore of My Mind’s Eye and The Other Side were a great ending to the set and sounded perfect.
It was a great night of music. Both bands with female singers of very different style, but incredibly talented. Everyone had a great time and it was a fun show to be at. I can’t wait to see both bands again in the near future.
All Photos by ERIC PEFLEY: