Metal Female Voices Fest – clash of the titans on Sunday
photo: Monica Duffels
The second day of Metal Female Voices Fest is the clash of the titans, dramatically said. It’s the day of bombastic voices and dazzling high tones. It isn’t a battle, but that doesn’t mean that people are curious about the outcome of the evening: who can surprise the crowd the most?
It is not often happening that a festival is being too fast, meaning forestall on their own time schedule. It’s nice for a change, but what happens when a fan is walking in and discovers that his favourite band entered the stage fifteen minutes earlier.
It is a matter of choices and the MFVF organisation wants to avoid delay in the end of the evening.
Plenty on time for the evening program, after 17 hours and before that it is quite a heavy list of bands; all of them are non-traditional gothic metal bands. It is all about heavy guitars and screams or grunts in case of Crimfall.
Folk elements are added, something different in compare with the previous band Cadaveria that describes their music as extreme metal. The Italian musicians are hard to describe, because they even use black metal influences; interesting mixture. Frontlady Cadaveria is growling and grunting a lot. That doesn’t mean it is charming or something new.
Finnish band Crimfall is more unique, although I can’t see that grunts from singer Mikko Hakkinen are very original or outstanding either. Maybe it is too early for grunts then.
Helena Haaparanta is a strong woman, giving a powerful and high contrast in their duets. The performance in traditional costumes and make-up are entertaining and the musicians are giving a lot of energy, even when the venue is half-full.
Many international fans are waiting for Stream Of Passion, the Dutch progressive band that recently decided to finance their new album by fond-raising it among fans.
More than the necessary 35.000 euros was collected. During the sound check the clear voice of Marcela Bovio is already practising chromatic scales. Strongly the band opens their set, although the keyboards and bass are pretty loud to sieve the melody lines. Luckily that is solved pretty fast and the balance returns on ‘Collide.’
Many fans are singing along during ‘In The End’ and again it is remarkable how easy Marcela and her men wins the crowd and above all delivering a high quality each time they perform live. Its like a hidden energy source, it feels like they are giving more and developing towards a cosmic explosion.
Marcela Bovio’s voice is unique, that is proven today again because you can’t compare it with someone else; clear high tones, wide range and showing emotions easily. During the set she improvises a bit like on ‘My Leader.’
There is much to discover in that song; catchy guitars, perfect drum flow and it makes the next song ‘Street Spirit’ more convincing, building on that energy level perfectly. New song ‘The Curse’ is darker and more focussed on Eric Hazebroek melody lines. Hard to overlook this band, that is for sure.
Anneke van Giersbergen makes her solo debut this year. Dressed in black perfectly fitting to the atmosphere, also playing her heavier songs. Although her new album ‘Drive’ is more easy listening and singer-songwriter than a gothic album.
‘You Will Never Change’ is catchy, dynamic and performed in a vivid way by Anneke. She is moving a lot on stage, totally creating her own universe. Sometimes she is dreamy, then suddenly smiling at the crowd and talking a lot.
A different sound on MFVF, that is challenging but the packed venue proves that the charismatic singer still has a lot of fans. Many are expecting old material from The Gathering, although it is never played on regular shows. Last year the group had to cancel, so perhaps fans are luckily.
Patience, at the very end of the show there is a big surprise; the intro of the biggest hit is set in. It immediately brings back memories as a teenager, because I never heard the song live. It is a once in a lifetime moment to sing along with ‘Strange Machine.’
Also Amanda Sommerville confirms later that evening that the song wasn’t on the regular set. It is a little present from Anneke to the fans and it is much appreciated.
The contrast with Revamp couldn’t be bigger; suddenly there is a band on stage showing massive power. Their new album ‘Wild Card’ is even more progressive and not easy to follow sometimes. They really challenge the fans, by presenting such a heavy set.
There is a lot attention, especially since the confirmation of Floor Jansen being the new frontlady of Nightwish; one of the most famous bands in the gothic metal scene. No doubt that Floor Jansen is an impressive singer, she is capable of unbelievable high melodies as well as low, almost grunting parts. It is about finding a balance between all the elements and that is something what I miss during the Revamp show.
It seems like there are some egos in the band, competing and not giving space to the other. Guitars are rising higher and higher, while drums are accelerating. On top of that a bombastic melodies what makes it complex for the fans.
Reminding me of After Forever; the musicians were also talented, but all together it was sometimes a bit too much as well. It is all about knowing when less is more.The packed venue is shaking, the show unforgettable.
Then the other headliner of the evening is presenting her new album as well. Tarja is back on MFVF and the expectations are high. Tarja Turunen is the diva of the gothic scene with her classical background.
For the first time I see a woman standing strong, independent and having all the freedom to follow her own dreams. Finally there is no association with Nightwish anymore; Tarja is an own sound. Maybe it took a while but the new songs are showing such a different side of her.
The long set is grabbing the attention; especially Tarja is performing natural and without any hesitation winning the audience in a few seconds. She is warm, sweet and grateful.
It doesn’t matter what she sings, her charisma and band are enough to keep it going. Dynamic drums are mixed with catchy guitars (even old school rock). Cello parts are adding a deeper dimension (there is even a teddybeer sitting on his stand).
I was forgotten what a personality Tarja Turunen is, and it moves me seeing her again and having such a good time on stage. The best is kept for the last songs, when Floor Jansen is announced. Tarja calls her ‘my long term friend.’
It results in a beautiful version of ‘Over The Hills And Far Away.’ It’s one of those songs that made me interested in gothic metal in the first place, and really something special. A perfect ending of such a dynamic festival day, sadly it goes by too fast this time.
There are still many surprises on MFVF; again the duets made it unforgettable.
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- The Dagger – The Dagger
- Saille – Eldritch
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- Liv Kristine – Vervain
- Moonspell – spring tour in Europe
- Grote Prijs van Nederland – hslve finalisten gaat met Wouter Hamel mee op tour
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- Kissin’Dynamite – Megalomania
- The Pineapple Thief – Magnolia
- Evergrey – Hyms For The Broken
- Stillwave en Ode To The Quiet op dreef in Ekko
- Paul Simon en Sting naar Amsterdam met de ‘On Stage Together’ tour
- The Sirens – pioneers female metal singers join force son tour
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