Joined: 22 Oct 2009
|Posted: 22/10/2009, 05:46 pm Post subject: MFVF7 - A Review
I wrote a little review of the festival and though some people here might like to check it out.
Metal Female Voice Fest VII
Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th of October 2009
Saturday: Delain, Krypteria, Midnattsol, Autumn, Amberian Dawn, Flowing Tears, Manic Movement, Pinky Doodle Poodle, Unsun, Whyzdom, Kivimetsan Druidi and Epica
Sunday: Tarja, Doro, Trail of Tears, Deadlock, Van Canto, Stream of Passion, Darzamat, Coronatus, To-Mera, Lahannya and Leaves’ Eyes
Hi! Welcome to this quick, personal and by no account profitable review of this great festival by myself, Ellen Metalhead, to be found on MySpace, Facebook or wherever the hell I like to post it at the time. Feel free to read it, copy it, quote it, love it or hate it (if you do, either way, let me know at email@example.com). This was written during the week after the festival and I must admit that I probably forgot a lot of what I have experienced already (Yes, I do suffer from short-term memory loss. And yes, it does run in the family ). But I am using my own photographs (which can also be found on my profiles soon!) and lots of YouTube footage. Yet, I really need to learn to bring a notebook or something ... But anyway, let us begin.
Part I: Saturday
I didn’t really plan on seeing the first band play, as I am normally not a morning person. But, having gotten an unusually very early start, I arrived at the festival around 10AM and quickly got into line for a wristband and entrance to the hall. The first band was already lining up to play and I joined the few people already in front of the stage, but I didn’t expect much from a band called Pinky Doodle Poodle. But boy was I wrong! This band came from the far Japan and sung nearly completely in Japanese. I never heard anyone sing in Japanese before (if you don’t include the crap they toss into an intro of a Bleach episode) and it must take some getting used to for most people. But I watch WAY to many original Japanese anime, so I’m used to the language. They play up-tempo metal, with a very ‘happy’ feeling. No other way to describe it. Their singer (Yuria) has a nice voice and the fun she had on stage was truly infectious. I don’t think this band has ever played on such a big festival and they were loving it! A great opener to what promises to be a great festival. Really worth checking out!
Next was Whyzdom, a dark melodic band that doesn’t think one singer is enough so they bring an entire choir (Dark Whispers Choir). They where good, but I must admit that I don’t remember much else. I have the same problem with the Polish Unsun. Again, they where very good. Good voice (the song ‘Whispers’ is awesome).
Our own Belgian Manic Movement was up next and I was very exited to finally see them live. I was not disappointed. Good music, good show. At one moment they threw 3 big rubber balloons into the audience that where constantly being bounced around. I best remember their Sting cover of Russians. It can be found on youtube, check it out, it’s great!
I had heard of Kivimetsan Druidi before and didn’t really like it, thinking Eluivietie is much better. It’s folk metal with a female singer an a male grunter. It’s the grunters I usually don’t like. But I was very surprised that I did like it. The grunting parts were few and mostly in combo with the girl. Lots of folk elements (though done with keyboard, unfortunately). I’m really staring to get into folk metal!
Amberian Dawn then, is hard to judge right now. I suffered a bit from a ‘symphonic metal over dose’ and went outside to get some air. But now, listening back, I must say that the singer is great! Worth getting a second opinion.
Epica was starting a signing session by now and, having just bought the new CD, I decided to give it a go. I rarely go to signing sessions, having very few patience and hating to wait in line. But I pulled through and, after 1 hour, got my prize. That also meant I missed Autumn’s set. Well, I heard it and saw parts of it on the big screen (which is new at this edition of MFVF). Autumn is a band I knew before they switched singers. Never really stayed with them. To me, the new singer sounds just like the old one. I really hear no difference. But that’s probably because I don’t know them enough. A decent, symphonic metal band with a strong voice.
Next up was Flowing Tears, in my opinion a very underestimated band. I just love Helen’s voice. It’s low and descends into grunting once in a while. People who know me, know I have a thing for low voices. If you don’t know this band, check it out.
I had never heard of Krypteria, but it seemed like I was a minority. This German band with an Asian singer brought lots of fans and I soon found out why. This singer, this Ji-In Cho ... I wonder where she has been hiding! That voice, clear as day, not a hitch in sight. Probably just like on the album. Just amazing, I nearly had to pick my jaw up from the ground (don’t just believe me, check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVbR1XOACH4 ) Why haven’t I heard of this band before?
Midnattsol finally made it to the festival, after being stuck in a traffic-jam last year. Now I would finally find out if the great voices run through in the Espenaes family (for the noobies: Carmen Espenaes is the sister of Liv Christine, the singer of the popular band Leaves’ Eyes). I fear Carmen will always stand in her sister’s shadow, but I don’t think she has to. Carmen sings beautifully and very different than her sister (I think). Her voice seems to be a lot lower and the style of Midnattsol is significantly different that Leaves’ Eyes. She does sings mostly in Norwegian, so the comparison is not easy. But I find Midnattsol to be a good, enjoyable band that can do well on it’s own.
Another band I was looking forward to was Delain. I knew every song and so did nearly the entire crowd. Pretty awesome for a band only formed in 2006! Charlotte’s has improved a lot, but she still isn’t a Simone or a Sharon. But you know, I really don’t care! The music is great, the songs are easy on the ears, what more can you want? And Charlotte still is very young, younger than me in fact. Give this band a couple of more years and they will be up there with Epica and Within Temptation. I was a bit disappointed they didn’t play April Rain though.
Then it was the turn for the main act for the evening and, shame on me, I left. Can you blame me? I love Epica, but they play at nearly every festival there is … I’ve seen them like 4 times already! Plus, I was getting a serious headache, my feet, knees and back hurt AND I had to drive my bike back home for 40 minutes while it was slowly getting to freezing temperatures outside. I was already a popsicle when I got home!
Part II: Sunday
Sunday was a very cold day, but a very promising one! The day started with the British formation To-Mera. I know them from MySpace and found their music to be very good (and their singer has a really cute accent!). They didn’t disappoint. Really good band and again, a great opener!
Coronatus was announced as a folk metal band. I didn’t find much folk in it though. This band has two singers who both sing very well and fit good together. It’s another discovery for me!
Next was something completely different. Lahannya. This band I remember well. It’s gothic metal with a bit of an industrial hint. They immediately reminded me of Asrai. The singer (with blue coloured dreadlocks) has a low, monotonous, nearly hypnotic voice. Different, but I liked it a lot. Again, a new band to add to my growing list of like-it-a-lot!
Deadlock was up next and was said to ‘wake us up a bit.’ From the first note it seemed that this would be the loudest, heaviest band on stage tonight. The crowd loved it! This band has a female and a male singer. The latter one being a growler. The music was good, but not something I would put up at home. A bit to loud for me. But really good live. I was very glad to have my earplugs in though, I think my ears would have really started bleeding! I was a bit disappointed by the female singer though, who sounded a bit like Amy Lee with a headcold. She had a nice voice when doing a solo part, but had a hard time getting over the loud music. The man was quit the headbanger though. I’ve never seen anyone band his/her head so hard. I’m surprised he doesn’t get brain damage!
Next was Stream of Passion. They to bought a lot of fans and appeared to be a well known and liked band. I’d never heard of them though. They were ok. The violin especially was very nice. But they didn’t impress me that much.
From Poland came Darzamat, again with male/female vocals. They had a nice stage setting, with cool golden microphone stands. But apart from that, I can’t remember them
Next was something I was looking forward to the most. Even more than Doro and that’s saying something. Van Canto. Many months ago, when their name was added to the playlist, I wondered: Who the hell is Van Canto? They had a really cool band name, so I decided to look them up on MySpace. Hmm … a capella metal? WTF? Hmm … let’s hear that. Saying that my jaw dropped is an understatement. On record, this was un-fucking-believable! BUT … I had doubts they could do it live. Well, I can tell you now that they CAN! That set, those 50 minutes … I still don’t believe they really happened. It was AMAZING! The best thing I have EVER seen on stage (closely following the first time I’ve seen Doro)!! And everyone loved them. The way they played with the audience, getting them to sing with them. Even I couldn’t help myself and joined in with ‘The Bards Song’ (Blind Guardian cover). The crowd went even wilder with ‘Wishmaster’ (Nightwish cover). I can’t find the right words to describe how great they were. I am turning into a HUGE Van Canto fan! And I wasn’t the only one, judging how quickly the merchandise stand was being raided. I just managed to get a patch (rakataka motherfucker *lol* Love it) but the CD’s were long gone. Well, if anyone from Van Canto ever reads this … I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyway, Trail of Tears came on and I left to join the line for a Van Canto autograph …. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!! … uhum … focus …
Trail of Tears then. I’ve seen them last year and didn’t like them much. I’m afraid I have to say that I still didn’t like them much. They weren’t too bad … just not my cup of tea. Yet I can’t really explain why.
Next up was something completely different. A short, 20min, acoustic set by Leaves’ Eyes. It was only four songs ( Scarbourough Fair, Leaves’ Eyes, Legend Land and I can’t remember the first one). Very nice, soothing. I already knew Liv could sing, but I didn’t know she could sing like that! It was great and slowed the festival down a bit (getting ready for the big finale).
And then, it was time for the Queen herself, the Metal Queen. I had a bad spot in the audience and unfortunately didn’t see much, but I heard everything and shouted along just the same. Doro played old sings, new songs, she sang Celebrate with Floor Jansen and Liv Christine AND Tarja joined her on stage for Walking with an Angel. She also sang the song she did for the 20th anniversary of Wacken. “We Are The Metalheads”. How I want that print on a T-shirt! Doro had some change in the band. Joe left and he is replaced by Bas Maas (Ex-After Forever) The other band members where the same (Nick, Johnny, Olli and Luca).
Doro was great, the show was great .. Just like always
Right after the set, I hurried to the signing area cause I decided to give it a go and get my Doro DVD and CD signed. It was HELL! Hell I tell you!!!! A long line of metalheads (I was luckily near the beginning) waited calmly in line. But when Doro appeared … well, it wasn’t pretty! People started banging, pushing and shoving. The stewards had their hands full to get that human meatball in line. Of course, those with a VIP pass got to go first and that made the rest of the mob even crazier. I was being squashed to death! But then the relieving hand on my shoulder from a steward pushing me through the fence came and I stood five feet from Doro. I gave my stuff and Doro quickly signed them (I’ll cherish them!) Unfortunately, Doro was in a hurry and things needed to move on so I was pushed back out. A few minutes later it was clear how lucky I was, as Doro had already left, leaving a lot of disappointed fans behind.
Tarja had already started her set, as last artist of the festival. It soon became clear why Doro left so quickly as she reappeared on stage to sing The Seer with Tarja. Tarja, well, is Tarja. I really can’t say much more. She sings great, the show is big, the songs are good. I still love Tarja.
The last song came and went and I was very sad. It meant that the festival was over and we had to wait another year for the next one. So, both exhilarated and slightly sad, I got on my bike to ride home. Another festival gone by.
As a recap, I can say that this was a very high quality festival. All bands (23 in total) ranked from ok to holy-fucking-awesome! Everything was very well organised. The food was good (though expensive, especially the drinks). The shop stands offered a lot of variety. Lots of band merchandise at decent prizes. What more can a metalhead want?
So by this I want to thank all the bands, the crew, the organisation of MFVF (You guys ROCK) for bringing us this wonderful festival year after year.
See you the 16th and 17th of October 2010!!
Cheers and thanks for reading,
Ellen Metalhead (firstname.lastname@example.org)