Tag Archives: Corporation

Few Against Many

 

Gus G, casually rocking atop a picturesque Greek cliffside, in the video for Firewind‘s “Edge of a Dream”

It’s that time of year again – and I’m dragging my ageing carcass to see a band or two at Corporation in Sheffield.  Tonight, Greek Power Metal virtuosi Firewind and Norwegian/German symphonic metallists Leaves’ Eyes have my attention and I’m prepared for the evening ahead.

My ticket is on my person, my earplugs (and spare earplugs) are in my pocket and my new, iPod-replacing Sansa Clip MP3 player is ready to do podcast duty between bands (“Hollywood Babble-On”, in case you’re wondering).  Rock and/or Roll?  Oh yes, I know how to get down (carefully and with due recourse to health & safety regulations/my ever-encroaching infirmity).

Expect a report, replete with the quality music criticism you’ve come to expect (“And then they rocked a bit more – and it was ace!”) from the blog that nobody at all is describing as the spiritual heir to Lester Bangs‘ seminal body of rock writing.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Geekery, Music

Epica – Symphonic Christmas

More proof, compadres, that Google is your buddy.

Image

Epica are only playing Corporation in Sheffield just before Christmassymphonic metal festive season frenzy ahoy!

They released their latest record, “Requiem For The Indifferent”, earlier this spring and I fully intend to get around to listening to it in due course – with the prospect of seeing their live show now acting as a strong motivator for me to dig back into the Epica catalogue and test the structural integrity of my already bowing CD shelves by acquiring their stuff (downloading from iTunes isn’t quite the same, to be honest – there’s not the same romance to browsing a PDF of the liner notes that you get from even a cursory glance at the CD booklet).

Think big riffs, soaring female vocals, gruff male singing and a sound composed of equal parts prog noodling, very melodic metal and even some approachable classical influence chucked in for the music students.  Yes, they’re very much a part of the ‘corset metal’ movement recently decried by the Metal Hammer podcast (somebody play them some Machine Head to distract them – stat!), but that’s my favourite style of rock, so I don’t see a problem with the designation.

Wednesday December 12th can’t get here quickly enough…

 

4 Comments

Filed under Music

Lacuna Coil/Straight Line Stitch, Corporation, Sheffield, 04/11/2011

Alexis from Straight Line Stitch rocking an appreciative crowd...

So, I went to a gig last week, which in my world is a thing.  And on my own, too. Somehow, that doesn’t seem like quite the badge of sadness that it might once have been – when your other half doesn’t get into the same music that you do (but is wholly supportive of your enthusiasm for it), and you would quite like to see a band, then it makes sense to go along and see that band whilst rolling solo – because who knows when you’ll get a chance to see a band again.  Not that I had tickets to see Refused or At The Drive-In back in the day or anything quite so dramatic, but I think you get the picture.

The band in question that so spurred me into action is Italy’s finest purveyors of glacially cool metallic melancholia, Lacuna Coil, who I am quite a fan of – they’ve got heaviness but don’t stint on melody, do the male/female co-vocals thing and rock the odd song sung in their native language, which is a fine change of pace in this Anglophone world in which we live.  They are a band with style and can certainly boast an evolution in their sound, which is ongoing even if it doesn’t always connect with critics.  I had never seen them before but they’re got a very decent reputation live and I was more than keen to see whether it was justified.

Added to that was the fact that they were playing the Corporation in Sheffield, which is possibly my favourite place to see bands in Sheffield – it’s not very big, the crowd’s friendly and diverse and on a Friday night, whenever I’ve been, the gig’s usually done by 10:00pm to allow the Club Night to start – a fact remarked upon with some bemusement and ethereal comic disdain by Melissa Auf Der Maur when I saw her last year.

Supporting Lacuna Coil this time around were Straight Line Stitch, who I had heard a few songs by prior to the show and embodied that most welcome of live music cliches – a band who is much heavier live than they are on record.

They came, they rocked, they smashed up the joint - in a metaphorical way...

Alexis the singer was quite the live wire, as you might expect for a front person, and operated on the principle that the crowd wasn’t necessarily expecting a support band with quite as heavy a sound as SLS has.  She worked the audience with aplomb, bigging-up Lacuna Coil, thanking the fans between songs, inviting us to go and hang out in the merch room after their set and generally did her best to introduce the band to a new set of fans, leaping up and down and head-banging herself into a right old state. I felt very bloody old watching her, but utterly entertained at the same time.

The Straight Line Stitch sound is somewhere betwixt the Metalcore style of a band like Avenged Sevenfold or Killswitch Engage, with a hint of the impassioned, raging vocals of Bring Me The Horizon or Parkway Drive. We’re talking grinding beat-downs, vocals so harsh and startling that they could easily peel paint from the walls at fifty paces and drums so satisfyingly meaty that you could feel them in your chest – which isn’t to say that SLS were unlistenably harsh but more that they attacked from the outset and made it their task to win people over – I’m pretty sure that they did, as people were going absolutely nuts for them from where I was standing.

The best song that they played was “Conversion”, which is brutal metalcore at it’s best – grunted verses, soaring melodic chorus and a pummeling riff which went to interesting time-signature-based places.  Plus, pounding double-bass runs from the drummer.

If they were the surprise of the night, Lacuna Coil were equally satisfying and so completely worth going to see that I really hope to see them if they make it to the UK next year after the release of “Dark Adrenaline”.

Lacuna Coil, rocking it last Friday night in Sheffield

The band played stuff from all over their career – with a couple of new songs from “…Adrenaline” thrown in to test out the crowd’s reaction, to good effect.

Highlights for me were “Heaven’s a Lie” – I apologise to those around me who were regaled with a caterwauling, out-of-key rendition of the chorus not once but twice – and “I Won’t Tell You” (ditto), with “Swamped” also standing out alongside new tune, “Kill The Light”.

The band was a few shows into the tour and very polished – I get the sense that this was very much the same kind of show that they might play outside at a festival in Europe or in a larger hall.  Though this was a smaller house than they might regularly play, I didn’t get the sense that they were going through well-rehearsed motions or phoning a performance in – not at all.  They’ve been around a fairly long time now and know how to play to a crowd – if Andrea’s singing lead, Cristina Scabbia supports and doesn’t have to grab attention – similarly, Andrea backs up his co-lead singer on her lead lines.

Lights! Phone Camera! Lacuna Coil rocks!

If you get a chance to see them on this tour – or the next – be sure to grab it.  They’re melodic, dark, heavy and quintessentially European Metal with a touch of melancholic class which is very particular to them.

Loved it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Geekery