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Concerts I've seen


3.5/5 Tarja Turunen The Electric Ballroom
???/5 Pythia 20th December 2007
Tarja Turunen ticket Tarja Turunen photo Tarja Turunen photo Tarja Turunen photo Tarja Turunen photo Tarja Turunen photo

I wasn't able to get to the venue in time to catch Pythia, and only just made it in time for Tarja's set. Other than a single track, I hadn't heard her solo album, and wasn't entirely sure what sort of show this would be. There was a high chance it would be full of ballads, but having read that she'd be playing some Nightwish material, I decided risk it. Somewhat to my surprise, the set was generally much more rock oriented that I'd expected. As expected, there were still more that enough mostly dull ballads as well. But not so many that it significantly detracted from the show. Perhaps in an attempt to give her some credibility as a solo artists, she'd surrounded herself with a fairly stellar range of musicians, such as Max Lilja, formerly of Apocalyptica, and Mike Terrana, formerly of, well, pretty much every German power metal band in existance! Needless to say, the Nightwish tracks were by far the most popular with the audience. She played "Phantom of the opera", but although her brother Tony has a good voice, he's just not Marco Hietala. Also seen tonight were an excellent version of "The snowman", and a somewhat out of place cover of Alice Cooper's "Poison". But the biggest cheer of the night was reserved for "Nemo", the only original Nightwish composition that we saw tonight. A better show than I was expecting, then, but not an outstanding one.


4.5/5 Therion The Fridge
3.5/5 The Vision Bleak 16th December 2007
Therion ticket The Vision Bleak photo The Vision Bleak photo The Vision Bleak photo Therion photo Therion photo Therion photo Therion photo Therion photo Therion photo Therion photo Therion photo Therion photo Therion photo Therion photo Therion photo Therion photo Photos

I hadn't heard of The Vision Bleak before this show, so I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. A good performance all round. They were hard to categorise, but I'd say they played dark melodic metal, that reminded me of the sound track to a horror film. Indeed, on the strength of their performance, I bought a couple of their CDs, and in the liner notes, they describe their own music as "horror metal". Definitely a band to watch out for in the future.

One of the reasons I was particularly looking forward to this show was Sirenia as the main support. However, they parted company with their new vocalist a month or so beforehand, and so had pulled out of the tour. To compensate, Therion said they'd be playing a 3 hour set, including the whole of the "Theli" album. Much as I like Therion, I wasn't entirely sure they'd be able to sustain my interest for a full 3 hours. As it turned out, I needn't have worried. They put on an outstanding performance from start to finish. "The rise of Sodom and Gomorrah" was an inspired opener, and as promised, we were treated to the full European stage show. That included girls in horned headdresses chained to posts at the side of the stage, Snowy Shaw being put in headstocks, a belly dancer, and keyboard player Ferdy Doernberg being given a full church organ mockup. We also saw a guest appearance by Messiah Marcolin from Candlemass on a couple of tracks.

The night really got going part way through the first set, with an acoustic Lemuria, featuring not only the two regular guitarists, but also Shaw and Doernberg. They followed that up with "Via nocturna", "An arrow from the sun", "Typhon" and "Ginnungagap", all of which were superlative. After a short break, they returned to play the "Theli" album, which was perhaps the weakest part of the set, but still worth watching. I'd thought they'd struggle a bit without Mats Levén on vocals, but Thomas Vikström makes an admirable replacement, particularly in partnership with Snowy Shaw.

For the encore, we were treated to all 13 minutes of "Adulruna rediviva" from their latest album "Gothic kabbalah", and then a second encore saw Messiah Marcolin return for a cover of King Diamond's "Black funeral", and then a set closing cover of ABBA's "Summernight city". An absolutely amazing show, that made me rethink my ranking of Heaven And Hell as the best show I've seen this year. After this performance, there's no way on earth you could keep me away from Therion's next UK show.


4/5 Apocalyptica The Astoria
3/5 Lacrimas Profundere 11th December 2007
2.5/5 Stone Gods
Apocalyptica ticket Stone Gods photo Stone Gods photo Lacrimas Profundere photo Lacrimas Profundere photo Apocalyptica photo Apocalyptica photo Apocalyptica photo Apocalyptica photo Apocalyptica photo Photos

Review to follow


2.5/5 Fates Warning The Underworld
3.5/5 To-Mera 21st November 2007
Fates Warning ticket To-Mera photo To-Mera photo To-Mera photo To-Mera photo Fates Warning photo Fates Warning photo Fates Warning photo Fates Warning photo Photos

Review to follow


4/5 Skid Row Astoria 2
4/5 Sign 13th November 2007
1.5/5 G.U. Medicine
Skid Row ticket G.U. Medicine photo G.U. Medicine photo Sign photo Sign photo Sign photo Sign photo Sign photo Skid Row photo Skid Row photo Skid Row photo Skid Row photo Photos

Review to follow


4.5/5 Sonata Arctica The Electric Ballroom
4/5 Epica 12th November 2007
2/5 Ride The Sky
Sonata Arctica ticket Ride The Sky photo Ride The Sky photo Ride The Sky photo Epica photo Epica photo Epica photo Epica photo Epica photo Sonata Arctica photo Sonata Arctica photo Sonata Arctica photo Sonata Arctica photo Photos

Review to follow


4.5/5 Heaven And Hell Wembley Arena
2/5 Lamb Of God 10th November 2007
4/5 Iced Earth
Heaven And Hell advert Heaven And Hell advert Heaven And Hell ticket Iced Earth photo Iced Earth photo Lamb Of God photo Lamb Of God photo Lamb Of God photo Heaven And Hell photo Heaven And Hell photo Heaven And Hell photo Photos

Review to follow


4.5/5 W.A.S.P. The Astoria
2.5/5 House Of Games 2nd November 2007
W.A.S.P. advert W.A.S.P. ticket W.A.S.P. pick W.A.S.P. pick

Review to follow


3.5/5 Korpiklaani The Underworld
4/5 Kivimetsän Druidi 30th October 2007
Korpiklaani advert Korpiklaani ticket Kivimetsän Druidi photo Kivimetsän Druidi photo Kivimetsän Druidi photo Kivimetsän Druidi photo Korpiklaani photo Korpiklaani photo Korpiklaani photo Korpiklaani photo Photos

Review to follow


2/5 Warrior Soul The Purple Turtle
4/5 Rise To Addiction 22th October 2007
2.5/5 Jack Viper
3/5 Disarm
Warrior Soul advert Warrior Soul ticket Disarm photo Disarm photo Jack Viper photo Jack Viper photo Jack Viper photo Rise To Addiction photo Rise To Addiction photo Rise To Addiction photo Rise To Addiction photo Warrior Soul photo Warrior Soul photo Warrior Soul photo Photos

Disarm kicked off the evening with a pretty decent set of sleazy glam rock, with a punky feel. Not what I'd been expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised. Besides, anyone that introduces a song with the words "this ones about when your girlfriend turns into a zombie and cutting her head off" can't be all bad! I'd heard of Jack Viper before, so I had some idea of what to expect. Sure enough, they played late '80s glam rock, as if the '90s had never happened (which is no bad thing in my book). But somehow they just lacked the energy of the previous band, and while I thought they were OK, they suffered in comparison. Rise To Addiction where the primary reason I was at this show. I've seen them several times before, and they've yet to let me down. Tonight was no exception. Once again, the songs were delivered with a level of professionalism that is rare to see these days. Following what's become their now familiar set opener "Cold season", I was pleased to see "The hive" enter the set list. After an all too brief set, they ended with the equally traditional "Falling as one". I hadn't heard anything by Warrior Soul for probably 15 years before this show. They'd never really interested me much back in the day, but I thought they might have improved since then. Sadly not. They opened with "We are the government", one of the few of their songs that I recognised. But even that familiarity didn't help. It wasn't as if they did anything particularly wrong. But the songwriting seemed bland, and the performance was pedestrian, and lacking in anything to excite or captivate. The rest of the audience seemed to like it, but they just weren't doing anything for me.


3/5 Dimmu Borgir The Forum
1.5/5 Amon Amarth 28th September 2007
2.5/5 Engel
Engel photo Engel photo Engel photo Amon Amarth photo Amon Amarth photo Amon Amarth photo Dimmu Borgir photo Dimmu Borgir photo Dimmu Borgir photo Photos

3.5/5 Xandria The Underworld
3.5/5 Adastreia 22nd September 2007
3/5 Into The Woods
Xandria advert Xandria ticket Into The Woods photo Into The Woods photo Into The Woods photo Adastreia photo Adastreia photo Adastreia photo Xandria photo Xandria photo Xandria photo Xandria photo Photos

4/5 Turisas Islington Academy
2.5/5 Abgott 19th September 2007
Turisas advert Turisas ticket Abgott photo Abgott photo Abgott photo Turisas photo Turisas photo Turisas photo Turisas photo Photos

2.5/5 Kip Winger The CC Club
4/5 Blaze Bayley 18th September 2007
2/5 James Henderson
Kip Winger ticket

3.5/5 After Forever The Underworld
1.5/5 Terminal 14th September 2007
After Forever ticket Terminal photo Terminal photo After Forever photo After Forever photo After Forever photo After Forever photo Photos

Bloodstock Open Air 2007 Catton Hall
2.5/5 In Flames 18th August 2007
3/5 Rollin' Thunder
3/5 Terrathorn
2/5 Arch Enemy
1.5/5 Axis Of Evil
3.5/5 Headrush
3.5/5 Exit Ten
2.5/5 Sabbat
1/5 Trigger 9
4/5 Honey For Christ
4/5 Dream Evil
2.5/5 Nemhain
3.5/5 Finntroll
2.5/5 Speed Theory
2.9/5 Nephwrack
2/5 Legion Of The Damned
4/5 Sinnergod
2/5 Benediction
3.5/5 The Hollow Earth Theory
3/5 The Apostacy
4.5/5 Freedom Call
2/5 Kobrakai
??/5 Hanging Doll
4/5 Rise To Addiction
4/5 Beyond All Reason
Beyond All Reason photo Rise To Addiction photo Rise To Addiction photo Kobrakai photo Freedom Call photo Freedom Call photo The Apostacy photo The Hollow Earth Theory photo Benediction photo Sinnergod photo Legion Of The Damned photo Nephwrack photo Speed Theory photo Finntroll photo Nemhain photo Dream Evil photo Dream Evil photo Honey For Christ photo Trigger 9 photo Sabbat photo Exit Ten photo Headrush photo Axis Of Evil photo Arch Enemy photo Terrathorn photo Rollin' Thunder photo In Flames photo Photos

Review to follow


Bloodstock Open Air 2007 Catton Hall
4/5 Lacuna Coil 17th August 2007
2.5/5 Zenith
??/5 Hexagram
3.5/5 Dark Tranquillity
2.5/5 Idiom
1.5/5 Blindsight
3.5/5 King Lizard
2.5/5 Nevermore
2.5/5 Sinocence
3/5 Forever Never
4/5 Epica
??/5 Cerebral Fix
3.5/5 Korpiklaani
3.5/5 Timefall
1/5 Enemo J
2/5 Memfis
3/5 The Aftermath
4/5 Wolf
1/5 Life Denied
2/5 Omen
1.5/5 Scar Symmetry
??/5 Mindflow
3.5/5 Voodoo Six
4/5 Exploder
Exploder photo Voodoo Six photo Scar Symmetry photo Omen photo Life Denied photo Wolf photo Wolf photo The Aftermath photo Memfis photo Enemo J photo Timefall photo Korpiklaani photo Epica photo Epica photo Forever Never photo Sinosence photo Nevermore photo King Lizard photo Blindsight photo Idiom photo Dark Tranquillity photo Zenith photo Lacuna Coil photo Lacuna Coil photo Photos

Review to follow


Bloodstock Open Air 2007 Catton Hall
****- Beholder 16th August 2007
****- Testament
****/ Firewind
***/- Head On
***/- Kiuas
? ? ? Sight Of Emptiness
? ? ? Chris Slade / Dirty Von Donovan
Kiuas photo Head On photo Firewind photo Testament photo Beholder photo Photos

Review to follow


****- Emilie Autumn The Underworld
***-- Lahannya 20th July 2007
***/- Dyonisis
Emilie Autumn ticket Dyonisis photo Dyonisis photo Lahannya photo Lahannya photo Emilie Autumn photo Emilie Autumn photo Emilie Autumn photo Emilie Autumn photo Emilie Autumn photo Photos

The evening kicked off with the curious spelling that is Dyonisis. Two ethereal vocalists over atmospheric ambient goth. A subdued start to the evening, but one I found myself rather enjoying. There's nothing there to stand out from the crowd, but it's pleasant enough nonetheless. I knew nothing of Lahannya before the show, but spotted Belle on drums and Chris Milden on guitar, so there's certainly some pedigree there. She has a fine voice, although it was drowned out somewhat by Belle's drums, but I think was probably let down a bit in the songwriting department. Each new track kept threatening to do something interesting, but never quite managed to break through. Perhaps it's just not my thing, but it was all a bit uninspiring. Emilie Autumn, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. I'd only found out about her through a chance clicking on a random link on the net a few weeks earlier, but was intrigued enough by what I found to come to the show. I'm glad I did. She had 3 assistants on stage to add theatrical presence and occasional backing vocals. She played some violin only material from her "Laced unlaced" album, but the highlights for me were "Dead is the new alive" and "Liar", both of which were significantly heavier live than on CD. A great chance discovery, then, and I'll see her again next time she plays in London.


****/ Mötley Crüe Hammersmith Apollo
***/- Papa Roach 11th June 2007
Mötley Crüe ticket

I was very unimpressed when I read that the support for tonight's show would be Papa Roach. They seemed completely out of place for a Mötley Crüe show. But as it turned out, they were really quite respectable, with the singer saying that the rapping on their earlier output was because it was necessary at the time, but all he'd really ever wanted to do was play rock 'n' roll. That was reflected in their set this evening, with only a tiny hint of rapping. A definite improvement over what I was expecting. The last time I'd seen Mötley Crüe, they'd put on one of the best shows I've ever seen by any band. No small feat, and I was wondering if they'd be able to repeat it tonight. Something wasn't quite right for the opener "Dr. Feelgood", though. We were pretty far back, but still, it didn't look like Tommy Lee behind the drumkit. It turned out he'd hurt his shoulder, and so Will Hunt from Tommy's solo band was standing in for him, and doing a fine job of it, too. Tommy was still there, and able to play the piano during "Home sweet home", and he occasionally came out and chatted to the audience. There were pyrotechnics aplenty, as the band rattled through a set list of classics. Vince's voice was worse than ever, but even his painful slurring of the lyrics wasn't enough to detract from another stong showing. The set was cut short, presumably due to Will not having enough time to learn all the songs, having been drafted in at the last minute, but it was a bit disappointing not to get an encore, nor even for the band to come out and say goodbye. None of the audience, nor even the stage crew were sure if the night was over or if the band was coming back out again. It turned out they weren't. But either way, another strong performance from the Crüe.


**/-- Trouble The Scala
****- Rise To Addiction 30th May 2007
Trouble advert Trouble ticket Rise To Addiction photo Rise To Addiction photo Rise To Addiction photo Trouble photo Trouble photo Trouble photo Photos

Review to follow.


****- Sabaton The Purple Turtle
???/5 Thunderbolt 22nd May 2007
???/5 Kachana
Kachana photo Thunderbolt photo Sabaton photo

Review to follow.


****- Saxon The Astoria
***/- Masterplan 15th May 2007
**--- Chokehold
Saxon advert Saxon ticket

Review to follow.


***-- Trivium Hammersmith Apollo
***-- Annihilator 25th April 2007
**--- Gojira
**/-- Sanctity
Trivium ticket

Review to follow.


****- Firewind The Underworld
**/-- Grand Magus 24th April 2007
****- Crowning Glory
? ? ? Civilian
Firewind ticket

Review to follow.


*/--- River Freshney 12 Bar Club
? ? ? Sanzen 14th April 2007
? ? ? Thirteen 66
River Freshney flyer

After the Within Temptation gig at The Astoria, we headed off to The Intrepid Fox for a few drinks, and then on to the 12 Bar Club, where Chris from NFD was DJing. Somewhat surprisingly, the headlining band for the evening, River Freshney, were still playing. Sadly, they were nothing to write home about. Barking vocals on top of average sounding music. Apparently, one of the earlier bands on the bill, Thirteen 66, were much better, but they'd already been and gone by the time we arrived.


***/- Within Temptation The Astoria
**/-- Lauren Harris 14th April 2007
Within Temptation advert Within Temptation ticket

Review to follow.


***/- Marty Friedman The Underworld
***/- Area 54 2nd April 2007
Marty Friedman ticket Area 54 photo Area 54 photo Marty Friedman photo Marty Friedman photo Marty Friedman photo Marty Friedman photo


ProgPower UK II The Centaur, Cheltenham
***/- Jon Oliva's Pain 31st March 2007
****- Kamelot
***/- Leaves' Eyes
***-- Haggard
****/ Communic
**--- Dreamscape
**/-- Cloudscape
***-- Heed
PPUK ticket Heed photo Heed photo Cloudscape photo Cloudscape photo Dreamscape photo Dreamscape photo Communic photo Communic photo Haggard photo Haggard photo Leaves' Eyes photo Leaves' Eyes photo Kamelot photo Kamelot photo Jon Oliva's Pain photo Jon Oliva's Pain photo Photos


****- To-Mera The Monarch
***/- Interlock 29th March 2007
*/--- Linear Sphere
To-Mera ticket Linear Sphere photo Interlock photo Interlock photo Interlock photo Interlock photo To-Mera photo To-Mera photo To-Mera photo To-Mera photo Photos


****- Love/Hate The Mean Fiddler
***/- Bang Tango 28th March 2007
***/- Kristy Majors
***/- Gypsy Pistoleros
Love/Hate ticket


***/- Buckcherry The Mean Fiddler
**/-- Backyard Babies 20th March 2007
**--- Damone
Buckcherry ticket

Damone opened procedings, with a fairly mundane set. Their lead vocalist needs to learn how to sing into the microphone. She hasn't got a particularly strong voice to start with, so when she sings off to the side of the mic, her voice rapidly fades until it's essentially inaudible. Combine that with poor mixing, which left her being drowned out by the lead guitar, and it didn't make for a great experience. Musically, there was little wrong with them. But it just didn't work tonight. The last time I'd seen Backyard Babies, they had come across as utterly wild eyed crazy. Tonight, though, they were much more subdued, and although they were very professional and came across as accomplished musicians, I think that they were missing some of their previous insanity, and it all seemed a bit tame in comparison. I still enjoyed their set. But they were certainly better last time. Similarly, Buckcherry seemed a bit too tame. Joshua Todd is a very good frontman, and ideal for the band. But it all just seemed a bit too polished for me, None of the three bands were bad, or even put on a bad set. But nor did any of them live up to my pre-show expectations.


***/- Kreator Koko
**--- Celtic Frost 18th March 2007
*/--- Legion Of The Damned
**/-- Watain
Kreator ticket

Review to follow.


***/- Deathstars Hammersmith Palais
**--- Breed 77 7th March 2007
****/ Turisas
***-- The Zico Chain
Get In The Ring ticket

Review to follow.


****- Hammerfall The Electric Ballroom
***/- Krokus 20th February 2007
***-- The Poodles
Hammerfall ticket The Poodles photo The Poodles photo Krokus photo Krokus photo Hammerfall photo Hammerfall photo Hammerfall photo Photos

Review to follow.


****- Therion The Mean Fiddler
****- Grave Digger 21st January 2007
****/ Sabaton
Therion advert Therion ticket Sabaton photo Sabaton photo Grave Digger photo Grave Digger photo Grave Digger photo Therion photo Therion photo Therion photo Therion photo Photos

Review to follow.


**/-- XES_1 The Purple Turtle
****/ Rise To Addiction 9th January 2007
*/--- Distracted
Distracted photo Rise To Addiction photo Rise To Addiction photo Rise To Addiction photo XES_1 photo XES_1 photo Photos

Review to follow.


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