Beyond The Black - Rebellion, Manchester, Wednesday 30th October, 2019
Electric Set 1: Taped Intro (Paint It Black)/Hysteria/When Angels Fall/Songs Of Love And Death/Beyond The Mirror/Written In Blood/Unbroken/Spiderweb Of Eyes/Running To The Edge/Million Lightyears/Dear Death.
Acoustic Set : Through The Mirror/Song For The Godless/Salve Regina.
Electric Set 2: Drum Solo/Misery/Heart Of A Hurricane/Lost In Forever/Shine And Shade/Hallelujah.
Encore: In The Shadows/Taped Outro (Our Little Time).
The first UK tour (well 3 dates) for the German Symphonic metal outfit, led by the beautiful vocalist Jennifer Haben. After successful European tours and rapturous Wacken performances, it’s their third-and most recent album 'Heart Of The Hurricane' that brings them to UK shores. Featuring a whole new set of musicians in the band alongside Haben, it’s time to climb that final rung for worldwide success
Kicking off things with 'Hysteria' from their latest album, the show is heavily weighted towards it. What you notice through the very good sound mix is Haben’s voice is crystal clear note perfect almost indistinguishable from the studio version.
'Songs Of Love And Death' from the debut album of same name rocks along, the guitars razor sharp through the PA system, courtesy of Chris Hermsdörfer and Tobi Lodes also supplying backing
vocals. Special Mention to the thunder section of the band: drummer, Kai Tschierschky and bassist, Stefan Herkenhoff.
The band have drawn a sizeable crowd for tonight. It's great to have a hot and sweaty intimate gig!
'Through The Mirror' is another anthem from new album with passionate please from Haben in the lyrics.
A 'guitar-off' ending enables Haben to escape the main stage to a little one toward rear of venue where she and Hermsdorfer perform acoustic with guitar and keyboards, the lucky ones at the back for main stage now were eyeball to eyeball. It’s on the slow songs such as 'Song For The Godless' that Jennifer Haben shines, dreamy and melancholy vocals up there with likes of Amy Lee etc.
Back to full electric ,after a tedious drum solo ,they romp through title track, 'Heart Of The Hurricane', 'Lost In Forever' and encore 'In the Shadows' with its marching beat. All as catchy as a cold. They are strong commercial rock songs that demand you sing a long. The band need to ditch outside song writers (currently make up 60% of songs in their catalogue) as it all feels a bit of a cheat right now.
Hopefully this is a night when in years to come we can say, “I was there”.
By John Mather