Tristania, Kells, Sarah Jezebel Deva & Soundstorm – Camden Underworld, 17/09/2012

Very soon after the doors opened, the first band took to the stage – “Sound storm” from Italy.  Despite having a male singer and a female singer, it quickly became clear that the female singer was going to play little part in the performance.  To be honest apart from some Soprano backing vocals for around 10% of the time she had nothing to do at all.  They were fairly heavy and sounded pretty good – metal with some gothic influences – definitely a band I’d like to hear more from.

Next up was French band Kells.  Much heavier than SOund Storm, they quickly make an big impression on the fans with their powerful sound and highly energetic performance.  Singer Virginie is constantly moving around the stage and headbanging furiously while putting in a great vocal performance, while the guys are also headbanging away.
Tonght is the first UK performance in three years from Kells – far too long for us to miss out on a band this good.  Kells are quite unusual because although they have a mixture of clean vocals and growls or screams, all the vocals are done by Virginie herself rather than the more common approach of having the female singer do the clean vocals while a male band member adds the growls.  This shows the power and versatility of Virginie’s voice.  She is also a great front-person for the band doing a great job of getting the crowd involved – fists in the air, clapping in time etc

Next up was British singer Sarah Jezebel Deva and her band.  Sarah is best known for her time with Cradle of Filth and Therion, but has also released several other albums including two with her current band.  Unfortunately as she explains, she is ill with a throat infection (an occupational hazard that singers often suffer from on tour when any bugs are soon spread and the schedules give little time off for a voice to recover). Despite not being 100% her voice still sounds very good – I suspect she was far more aware of any vocal shortcomings than the fans were.
The setlist included a couple of songs from her current album (The corruption of mercy) – “No paragon of virtue” and “silence please” along with some older material.  Despite her throat problems this was still a very enjoyable set and I look forward to seeing her perform at the Metal Female Voices Fest in Belgium in a few weeks time (hopefull as that isnt part of a tour she’ll be firing on all cylinders then).

Due to some technical problems Tristania started late so rushed through their set to finish before the strict curfew. This really shows the problem with having four bands on the bill – there isnt enough time to deal with the almost inevitable technical problems – I’d much rather have three bands on the bill and either give the bands a bit more time or allow a bit of spare time to allow for problems.
Tristania were last here as part of the “Out of the dark” tour, and much of the setlist was similar, but this time we got two new songs from the album that the band are currently writing and recording ready for release next year.  Both the new songs sounded great – “cathedral” in particular which gave mariangela a chance to really let rip with her powerful voice, and “Requiem” also sounded great – judging by what we heard tonight then the next album sounds like its going to be a fantastic release.

A great night with some really good bands

Sound storm: 7/10
Kells: 8.5/10
Sarah Jezebel Deva: 7.5/10
Tristania: 9/10

Sarah Jezebel Deva setlist:

When It Catches Up With You
God Has A Plan For Us All
This Is My Curse
Lies Define Us
Silence Please
I’m Calling
No Paragon Of Virtue

Tristania setlist:

The Passing
Requiem -(track from upcoming 2013 album)
The Wretched
Cathedral (Preview of track from upcoming 2013 album)
Tender Trip on Earth
Beyond the Veil
Year of the Rat

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.