Tonight gig was a 5 band bill at Ivory Blacks with local band Dana O’Hara kicking off the night with a tight, powerful set unfortunately by the time we arrived we only caught their last 2 songs. Their distinctive blend of melodic death/power metal starts the night off in fine style.
Next up is another local band Bekon, their lead singer Gary takes control from on onset and leads us through, as always, a fantastic set. No nonsense brutal metal delivered in their unique style, no two songs are the same so you get a great set that always sounds fresh.
Viking Galaxy took to the stage in costumes to a chorus of cheers and whistles, which gave us all good giggle, especially when vocalist Liam switched on his light up horns on his cape towards the end of the set! Think of the Darkness in Viking costumes playing loud folk and keyboard metal and that sums them up well.
With Viking Galaxy’s set over the numbers unfortunately decreased slightly within the venue but nonetheless the show must continue and next up on stage was Greenock based Komatoze who were ready to grace the crowds ears with some old school heavy metal.
As the lads took stage Vocalist/Guitarist Paul Harrison got the crowd going with his some humour so we knew right from the beginning it was going to be a great set. First on the list was “Nightmare City” with its speedy riff instantly grabbing the attention of the crowd with “Trial By Fist” right behind it due to the slot times running slightly behind. The sound was great apart from one little issue with a buzzing amp but the lads were not affected by this, nor was the sound in any way.
Up next was a brand new song “Rest in Paradise” which started off with lead guitarist Connor Williamson playing on a clean setting for his guitar with Paul playing the harmony to go along with it which sounded incredible, before bursting into the main riff and also continuing to thrill the crowd with melodic solo’s. The lads were certainly making great use of the stage for their highly energetic set with Bassist Matthew Ward chasing Paul off stage at one point whilst Connor made great use of the monitors on stage using them to get closer to the crowd.
Paul and Connor also came into the crowd to head bang with the crowd while playing which added to the excitement for everyone. The song finished back on the clean sound to which the crowd cheered. “Rock Knights” was next on the list followed by a request from a member in the crowd which Komatoze decided to change the last song on their set to fulfil the request which meant that the last song was now “Sucker For Love” which displayed the vocal talent of Paul reaching higher notes than in any other song, Connor’s talent on guitar was also on show as we seen a likeness to Van Halen with him playing a guitar solo with a power drill which was a spectacular end to the set.
Komatoze Set list
Trial By Fist
Rest In Paradise
Sucker For Love
With more of the crowd leaving to catch last trains and buses it was a disappointing turn out for the main act of the night, Norwegian power metal band, Gaia Epicus. Formed in 1992, the band has seen many changes in the line up but this has not held them back in any way what so ever with this tour promoting their long awaited 5th album “Dark Secrets” which is their 3rd album being produced on Front man Thomas Christian Hansen’s own record label Epicus Records.
With Gaia Epicus in place it was time to dive into a set list packed full of power metal goodness with melodic harmonies and outstanding solo’s. “Time and Space” was first up with guitarist Lasse Jensen and Thomas gracing the crowds ears with both guitars being played in harmony for the solo’s which were played with perfection.
Time was not wasted as the guys sped straight into “Revenge Is Sweet” which had a Megadeth vibe to it, this received a great cheer from the crowd at the end of the song, “Awaken The Monster” was close behind which brought the tempo down a bit with its simple and heavy riff which then picked up at the solo which was technical yet melodic which got the guys at the barrier head banging once again with all their might.
Once “Awaken The Monster” came to an end Thomas spoke a little about their new “Dark Secrets” album that is due out next month before getting straight back to business with “Beyond the Universe” and then “Hand of Fate” which seen more harmony guitar parts to go along with its rocking beat, the song also showed the talent of bass player Ollie Barron as parts of the song such as the verses were focused mainly on the bass without the guitars playing which was complimented nicely by Thomas’ vocals.
Next on the list was “Cyborg from Hell” with a technical yet melodic solo on the intro the crowd could only watch in amazement as it was played perfectly. As it was mid way in the set list it was time to show off the talent of drummer Baard Kolstad which had already been on display the whole time so we were wondering how could he get any better, but he impressed the crowd even more with an unbelievable drum solo which lasted for about 5 minutes, after which the crowd was left stunned by his skill but soon erupted with cheers, whistles and clapping.
After the stunning drum solo, Thomas spoke to the crowd saying “When I sing the line Keepers of Time, I want you guys to sing back to me The Guardians of Life, can you do that for me?” to which the crowd replied with a mighty “Hell Yeah!” so Gaia Epicus burst into their song “Keepers of Time” the song pleased the crowd with the crowd singing at the top of their lungs with fists thrusting into the air. To continue with their already epic set list the lads played “Fortress of Solitude” which had a definite Iron Maiden feel to it.
“Wings of Freedom” was coming right up, this song had a very technical solo that was executed to perfection by Lasse followed by another one from Thomas, the crowd by this time was certainly thrilled with the set but unfortunately it had reached the point that all set lists eventually come to no matter how long, the last song on the list was “Fire and Ice” when Thomas announced the name of the song the crowd once again burst into an almighty cheer, the song certainly showed the crowd how versatile Thomas’ voice was with him hitting slightly softer tones throughout parts of the song, it also had a memorable chorus that sounded unbelievable with a simple yet effective rhythm to go along with the pounding beat.
After the final song on the set list the crowd were extremely pleased with what they had heard, it had truly been an epic night despite the numbers in the crowd dwindling away slowly. But the remaining crowd walked away with a huge smile on their faces.
Gaia Epicus setlist
Time and Space
Revenge is Sweet
Awaken The Monster
Beyond The Universe
Hand Of Fate
Cyborg from Hell
Keepers of Time
Fortress of Solitude
Wings of Freedom
Fire and Ice