Bands: Sirenia, Wyzdom, Weeping Silence, Bad Pollyanna, Apparition & Rainover
Venue: The Robin 2, Bilston, WolverhamptonDate: 9 May 2015 (Day One)
of Darkness festival is in its 5th year and with
a stellar line-up, notably headliners Sirenia and Leaves
Eyes, this years festival was well worth the three and a
half hour drive down to the Black Country for two days of
the finest female fronted under one roof.
Robin 2 is the perfect venue for this type of festival the
700 capacity must have been close each day as we arrived
just in time to catch one of the highlights of not just day
one but the two days.
talking about Spanish Gothic Metallers Rainover, led by the
slight figure of Andrea Casanova who wowed the audience with
her sparkling stage presence and powerful vocals.
up it was Apparition, a band no strangers to the Dames of
Darkness fest as they have performed at it at least twice
that I know of in addition to today.
time round we saw the return of Fiona Creaby to the vocals,
after a five year hiatus, which incidentally is about the
last time we saw the band, only back then it was the Dames
of Darkness at the Asylum, Birmingham and it was just a one
band carried on where Rainover left off, with a set of pure
Symphonic Gothic Metal.
dressed in red was a striking picture centre stage, as the
band opened up proceedings with ‘The World of Our
Creation’ and instantly the band hit the ground running as
they carried on the set with ‘Beyond the Wrath of Ra' and
the wonderfully haunting ‘Betrayed’.
Their impressive set continued by rolling back the years with ‘Elysium’, another round of haunting gothic infused metal before the set was rounded off in fine style with the impressive ‘Frozen Roses’. I must say the return of Creaby to the band was a no brainer, her voice is more suited to the Gothic Metal sound I knew as Apparition.
up were Bad Pollyanna, a band who you would definitely not
class as Gothic Metal, more Punk Metal led by the angsty
vocals of Olivia Hyde, who was aided by Nikki Kontinen on
bass, Stephen Kilpatrick on guitars and Valerian Adore on
drums, and together they set about blowing the roof off the
opened their set to the raucous vibe of ‘Awake Now’ and
that was their philosophy for the rest of the set, as they
blew away any cobwebs the crowd had.
band kept the angsty vibe going with the excellent
‘Monstrous Child’, with Hyde parading the stage like a
woman on a mission, as they continued rock the stage with
new track ‘Create Me’, as the Hyde continued the vamp
vibe, coming across between Wendy James and Looby Loo well
into ‘Define Me’.
band really brought their a-game today as they showed their
mellower side with the wonderfully dark ‘Hollow’, before
rounding one of the sets of the weekend off in style with
the majestic futuristic tones of ‘My Incubi'. My
friend John had told me earlier in the day to watch out for these
guys and he wasn't wrong. Definitely a band to watch
was back to the Gothic Metal with Malta’s Weeping Silence,
this time the mix of Dark Gothic and Doom Metal filled the
venue as the band got things underway with ‘Love Lies
Bleeding’ from their 'For The Unsung' album, with Diane
Camenzuli traditional symphonic tones mixed with the gruff
cookie monster tones of Dario Pace Taliana.
dark doom continued with the aptly titled ‘Gothic
Epitaph’, a real heavy piece that required Taliana to
reach down to the dark place inside and deliver one of the
darkest vocals of the day.
be honest Weeping Silence weren’t my usual fodder, but
they did have moments where I thought, yes I like this one
and 'The Search Within’ was one of those, as was the set
closer ‘Innocent Cries’. But the fans of the band
surely went wild for this Dark Doom and they certainly
seemed to enjoy it, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.
next band were definitely my bag, French Metallers Whyzdom
who hit the stage running from the off with Marie Rouyer
bringing her vocal might, as they set about bringing their
Symphonic ambiance to the masses with opener ‘While the
Witches Burn’ from their new album Symphony for a Hopeless
continued to impress with the massive ‘Tears of a Hopeless
God’, again from the new album. The towering
Cinematic Metal filled the venue, as the sheer wall of sound
the band produced enveloped the near capacity crowd.
It was to the band 2009 opus 'From the Brink of Infinity' for the massive ‘Atlantis’, where again a tsunami of sound came out from the stage and washed over the masses, before returning to the new album for the rampaging symphonia of ‘Let’s Play With Fire’. A real barnstormer of a track. This was the band at they heaviest of the set and what a metal monster! They rocked out in style as they went to their 2012 album ‘Blind’ for the show stopping set finale ‘On The Road To Babylon’, featuring more of that massive Cinematic Metal, making them another band that really stood out band over the weekend.
up it was Day 1 headliners Sirenia, who were not only making
their Dames of Darkness debut, but also their UK debut.
Norwegian based Symphonic Metallers really deserved their
headline slot as Ailyn, Morten Veland, Jonathan A Perez and
Jan Erik Softvedt brought Day 1 to a close in superb style.
opened their account with ‘Serpent’ from their excellent
new album ‘The Seventh Life Path’ and right from the
off, the crowd were well and truly behind them, as metal
horns were raised aloft in salute, not only to the stunning
musicianship, but also to the towering vocals of Ailyn, who
might be small in frame, but boy can this young Spaniard
continued to impress as they rolled back the years to 'The
13th Floor’ album with wonderful ‘Lost in
Life’. Ailyn’s vocals just filled the air, before
the band brought the big guns with the heavier ‘My Destiny
Coming To Pass’ from 'Perils Of The Deep Blue'.
was back to the new album for one of my favourite tracks off
'The Seventh Life Path’, the massive ‘Sons of the
North’, a real metal monster so much so that you can
almost taste the fiords and hear the oars of the longboats
as they slice through the water.
band continued the epic metal with another massive opus this
time returning to 'Perils' for the bass driven ‘Seven
Widows Weep’, with Veland and Ailyn dueting on this one.
Keeping with Perils the band kept the emphasis on the epic metal vibe with another great slab of Symphonia ‘Cold Caress’, before bringing down the tempo just a touch with ‘The Seventh Summer’.
band were in full swing and we were only half way through
the set, it was time to pick the pace back up and the band
did this in spades with ‘Earendel’ from the band new
album with Veland and Ailyn once more sharing vocals duties
on this one.
band showed its darker side with the massive ‘The Funeral
March’, before rolling back the years to 2007 for ‘My
Minds Eye’, even though Ailyn wasn’t in the band when
this was first released, she sure made it her own tonight.
new album featured heavily in the set and rightly so, it’s
a great album and in my opinion the bands best to date, so
why not publicize how good it is by playing it live.
So the band continued with the excellent ‘Once My Light’
off ‘The Seventh Life Path’, featuring one of Ailyn’s
finest vocals off the album and live she just nailed it.
This impressive set was almost at a close but the band still kept the high class Symphonic tones going with the stunning ‘Fading Star’ and ‘The Other Side’, before rounding off the set with the excellent ‘The Path to Decay’. This may have been the bands first UK show and on today’s performance I hope it isn’t their last. Top quality Symphonic Metal doesn’t come any better than this and what a way to closed Day 1. We couldn’t wait to see what Day 2 had in store.
Review by: Barry McMinn
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