Epica: European Tour. Bergara, 16th November 2008

Event: Epica: European Tour
Written by: Mariamne
Published: 02.12.2008

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Epica: European Tour 2008, Bergara by Mariamne (37)
This is the sixth time I have seen Epica live and I must confess I never get tired of them! I remember the first time I saw them in this same venue presenting their striking debut album 'The Phantom Agony'. It was a pretty young band who hang around the venue taking some drinks and talking with the people. Now, four years later, they have become a band who tours all around the globe, leaving 'SOLD OUT' venues in their passing.
This was not the case on a cold Sunday evening in a small northern town, but still the amount of people gathered on the entrance was quite big.

As usual, the schedule was slightly delayed, but the finnish Amberian Dawn didn't let us wait too much. For the ones that don't know them yet (as I did a couple of weeks ago) this band plays a kind of symphonic metal in the vein of Edembridge, lead by the soprano Heidi Parviainen. Despite being a quite young band who hasn't toured much, they offered an acceptable performance on stage. They stripped their album 'River Of Tuoni', that I'm afraid just three of us have heard before. Good metal riffs and melodies performed by a beatiful female voice, but nothing special to highlight that would make them stand out in the scene. Time will tell.



The headliner band, Epica, took the stage around an hour later. Under the veil of 'Indigo' and increasing expectation the show started with 'Obsessive Devotion', theme extracted from their latest album, 'The Divine Conspiracy'. The dutch were presenting their third album for the first time in these lands, as their previous dates (February) had been cancelled due to Simone's illness. For me, it was the third time attending this tour so I had no surprises while listening to the chosen setlist. Under the leading light of Mark and Simone they presented compositions such as 'Fools of Damnation (The Embrace That Smothers - Part IX)', 'Chasing the Dragon', 'Menace of Vanity' or 'Sancta Terra', leaving in the shadows the other members who still performed a good execution of all themes. Among them we founded the new member in the line up, Ariën Van Weesenbeek (God Dethroned), who was presented to the audience with a drum solo of 5-10 minutes. Good for the boy to show us his skills but enough for the audience to start getting bored.



They went over their three albums without forgetting old songs from their debut album like 'Sensorium' or 'The Cry of Silence'. We had to wait until the encore to listen a very special version of 'Phantom Agony', much more lively that the recorded one. As always, the band offered an intense show but due to the characteristics of the venue they were not allowed to use the pyrothecnics used on other gigs. Nevertheless, they enjoyed a good sound. Especially, the amazing evolution we have witness in Simone's voice in the last years must be hightlighted.

Not only could we enjoy symphonic compositions with loads of (unfortunately sampled) orchestral arrengements, the darker side of the lead guitarrist delighted us with a version of 'Crystal Mountain', a smashing tribute to Death. After almost 1h45 the time for a respite came under the sweetest voice of the mezzo-soprano accompanied only by Coens keys. It was 'Solitary Ground', where Simone seemed to have some kind of problem and had to start the song again backed by the ovation of the audience.

When I left the venue after their epic 'Consign to Oblivion' (some people works Monday morning) I left a thousand of young fans too who were willing to take a pic with whom apparently has become one of the new goddesses of metal. Not the best gig I have seen from Epica, but as I have said before, I can asure there will still be a seventh time.




Thanks to Scarynoise for the accreditation.


 
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