Artists / Bands, Concert Reviews, Events, Kissin' Dynamite, Music Events, Music Reviews, Powerwolf

Read the full article at grande-rock.com

 

PowerWolf Live Concert Review

Supported by Amaranthe and Kissin’ Dynamite

 

Powerwolf are a dark and mysterious German heavy metal band. Exploring mythological tales of vampires and werewolves. Combined with their gothic clothing, corpse face paint and their use of fantasy pseudonyms and back stories, they create a dark and mystical atmosphere. They are embarking on their Wolfsnächte Tour 2018, after releasing their latest album “The Sacrament of Sin”., which contains plenty of their classic power and heavy metal anthems, with the added depth and variety from their first ever ballad and some of their darkest and heaviest songs yet! Powerwolf are joined by their very special guests Amaranthe and Kissin’ Dynamite. Amaranthe is a Swedish heavy metal band, rising to fame through the unique sound created by the varied female and male vocals. Kissin’ Dynamite are another example of a fantastic German hard & heavy band. I was lucky enough to get to interview lead vocalist Hannes, before the show.

The energy and excitement was at fever point before Powerwolf even reached the stage. Kissin’ Dynamite and Amaranthe had already drawn everyone to the stage, singing and dancing along. The lights go down and cheers ring out, with people chanting “Powerwolf, Powerwolf, Powerwolf!” and the cheers become deafening as they finally hit the stage. After the first couple of songs, someone dressed as a monks brings out a thurible, the catholic incense holder, handing it to Attila Dorn. Who steps forward and shouts out to crowd; “To power our army, we need iron! And incense!”… Crashing into one of the songs from their new album “Incense and Iron”. Which you definitely imagine being in the back drop of a Viking battle scene.

Attila has fun joking around with the crowd and getting them involved. He tells us to raise our fists into the air and cross our arms, to mirror his own, and asks us to sing along with him.
“We’re not just here for the heavy metal mass; we’re also here to sing! Will you sing with me?”…. The whole room joins in with the catchy “Demons are a Girl’s Best Friends”. Another song from their latest album, the fact people can already sing along to the songs released just months ago, is a testament to them.

There were continuous crowd surfers and then before you knew it half the room was engulfed in a mosh pit. People stomp and pound their feet, sending reverberations through the floor. The whole audience is awash with cheering, chanting and clapping. Attila lifts his hands into the air, basking in the applause from his adoring fans. Falk, organist, brings out a flag with their symbol on it, the material billowing about as he flies it across the stage. A couple of monks then roll out a piano! And he asks everyone to hold up the lights from their phones, as Falk begins his solo. Then Attila’s vocals call out clearly, forming a soulful but empowering ballad. Building in intensity and heaviness. The people in the mosh pit slow and form a circle, linking arms and head banging into the centre. Greywolf takes to the second raised stage and strikes a killer power pose. Then the lights go down, and then a single beam hits him as he begins to play. Finishing the song on an epic guitar solo as snow like bubble fell from above.

“A big thank you my friends! It’s so good to be back in London. Always get such applause and feels like home! Now we have your blood… Now we drink your blood!”, he shouts out as he raised a golden chalice. And they launch into “We Drink Your Blood” from their earlier album “Blood of the Saints”. Another powerful Viking ballad, calling all warriors to war. Blood red lights flood the room as the audience joins in chanting “we drink your blood!”… “We are altogether here to celebrate the heavy metal mass, and altogether here to sin! London, you’re f@cking amazing”!!!

After interviewing the lovely vocalist Hannes just couple of hours before, I was really excited to see Kissin’ Dynamite play. And they didn’t disappoint! The stage even had massive red glowing sticks of dynamite!

“We’re here to bring back rock ‘n’ roll!”… Hannes brought a full power hit of the 80’s glam metal scene, with skin tight leather trouser, half undone shirt and the obligatory big hair! Hannes has great stage presence; dancing, gyrating and joking about. You can tell they love performing! Hannes gets everyone’s fists in the air, punching the sky and singing along. He exits the stage, and we think it’s all over, but they hit back in with an epic guitar solo. And out comes Hannes, complete with fur trimmed red cloak flowing about him, and sceptre! For the catchy “I will be King”.

“I’m f@cking speechless! Serious f@cking goose-bumps, and that’s from you lot! We have bee to a lot of places, but this was my favourite to play, as it’s our first time in London town! Can you feel how strong a metal community you are?”! He stands at the front and looks out at the adoring audience, and he grins. You can see his raw love and passion for music and his fans.

The stage lights went down and a recorded voice started playing, a dystopian political speech about the state of society, seemingly fitting for right now! Then Amaranthe hit the stage, to raucous applause. Last to hit the stage is Elize. She takes off her leather coat to reveal a stunning red latex body suit and knee high boots. “Get those horns up in the air, and get ready to jump”! The layers of instruments and vocals add depth and a unique sound. The mix of Elize’s beautiful, lyrical female vocals combined with the death metal male vocals and proper emo screams. They create a formidable line-up with all three singers full on head-banging their long hair.

“Get your phones out and light them up, and sing with us”! Chiming in with the more soulful ballad “Amaranthine” with a beautiful solo by Elize and Morten on drums. Then hit straight back in to the heavy metal. Johan, bass, take centre stage at the end, “You kiss your mother with that mouth?! Now it’s time for the offending guy”! Laughter ripples through the room. He then proceeds to go through all the swear words and insults a few members of the audience, to everyone’s amusement. They really do have great fun and gets the audience involved.

In full corpse paint and gothic style, smashing their powerful heavy metal songs, they create an intimidating line up. Mixing up some of their old classics with the highlights from their latest album. Of course they played their famous heavy metal anthem “Blessed and Possessed”. They give the show an added dimension with theatrics and audience participation, their energy and passion was infectious. The whole room was chanting and singing along throughout, forming mosh pits or crowd surfing to the front. The obvious love their fans have for them is a true testament to their skills as musicians and their characters.

Artists / Bands, Concert Reviews, Events, LORDI, Music Events, Music Reviews

Read the full article at grande-rock.com

 

LORDI – Live Concert Review

Lordi are the infamous Finnish hard rock band, with influences from shock rock, melodic and 80s heavy metal. I was lucky enough to see them play on their tour, after releasing their new album earlier this year. Lordi rose to fame during the 2006 Eurovision, after becoming not only the first Finnish act to win, but also the first and only Hard Rock band to win. They’re also now equally famous for their incredible horror mask, costumes and stage effects. All hand made by the seemingly endlessly talent Mr. Lordi. As a cosplayer, I am in awe of his amazing masks and costumes. Lordi were joined by Egokills and Silver Dust. Egokills are another hard rock and metal band from Finland, who skillfully find a balance between hypnotic yet gentle melodies, fast thrashy drums and electric riffs. Silver Dust are a delectable dark rock and gothic metal band from Switzerland. They lead the audience through romantic yet eerie tales, using magical visual effects. This is not the first time they have toured with Lordi, so it seems to be a reunion of the 2016 European tour!

Lordi and me! Amazing to meet them after the show

On stage throughout the support acts there were large objects covered in cloth, before Lordi began, they uncovered an epic drum kit. And a demonic archway to hell, even lit with fire to guide lost souls. The lighting melded perfectly, with fiery reds and yellow, on top of a cool contrasting blue.

After a fantastic job of warming up the crowd, by Ego Kills and Silver Dust, the excitement was at fever point. Even the drummer’s test solo before the start got cheers and applause. The monsters hit the stage, to deafening cheers and screams.

Mr. Lordi took centre stage and addressed his adoring fans: “I know it’s a Sunday, and some of you may have work or school tomorrow. But I have spoken to your bosses and teachers and have agreed that you don’t have to go to work or school tomorrow, so you can rock and party hard tonight”!

They played songs from across their repertoire, including their classic hard hitters like”She’s a Demon”, as well as a slower ballad piece, combined with the lights carried through the smoke, gave a mystical yet eerie vibe. Suddenly the large skull of the archway lights up with neon ‘day of the dead’ style design. Amen takes centre stage, dancing and spinning about. Then Mr. Lordi hits the stage complete with truncheon and police hat on top of the monster costume! And shouts “We are the Rock Police!” – sing it London!”… the audience respond chanting “We are the Rock Police”! Mr. Lordi gets the crowd riled up as Amen steps up for a blistering guitar solo. As each of the band members performs a solo, a single beam of light hits them. He builds the suspense and excitement, shouting “Get yo’ asses ready”! To my surprise they suddenly transition into an almost dance track style. Ox, on bass switches it up, as the strobe lights hit in with almost pop-art effects. Followed up by a “shake yo’ ass”! As Mr. Lordi re-enter the stage through the archway, injecting an extra shot of energy, spirit and fight into the room. Getting the audience chanting and stomping along.

Halfway they asked for song requests, but so many people shouted out in excitement, you couldn’t distinguish any words! So, Mr. Lordi replied “we couldn’t hear any of that, so we’re going to play one off the “To Beast of not to Beast” album, “The Riff”. Then there’s a sudden big scream and crash of the drums and bass. Mr. Lordi crouched down and let the fog consume him. Then Amen crashes in with a fiery guitar solo, as a pillar of smoke rose up around him, under-lit by fiery coloured lights. Amen stands centre stage with his arms crossed, holding his horns out, and the crowd raise their horns in return. Then they hit straight back in with a proper hard rocker. Mr. Lordi then enters with mischievous, evil laugh, and the songs turns to the thrash metal side.

If the costumes weren’t already amazing enough, Mr. Lordi stood with his arms out stretched as amazing wings rose from his back! The keyboardist gestures to hear the crowd chant that they want more! A slow ominous organ tune plays out, then there’s a sudden switch, as they launch into their most famous song “Hard Rock Hallelujah”. Mr. Lordi brandishes his double headed axe mic, raised above his head in triumph.

The green lights flooded the room, mirroring the greed of their namesake ego. A sudden crash of the drums announced the start: “Hello London, we are Egokills! Are you ready to kill your ego?”! Their passion and commitment clearly shows, as one band member had broken is arm but still played. And the slight give-away of Janne shouting out – “we’re so f@cking happy to be here”! In stark comparison to the majority of their grungy hard rock or metal songs, they threw a slower ballad style song into the mix, with a soft lyrical start. Joined by a slow and deep, yet heavy drum beat. Slowly building in speed, heaviness and intensity. Janne combines raspy yet sultry vocals with lots of energy, movement and crowd interaction. Getting the whole audience clapping and dancing along. In his excitement and dancing about stage he even accidentally sent the mic stand flying offstage at one point! Now that’s rock and roll!

All the lights went down, then a Victorian-esque apocalyptic video started playing on a large screen on the stage. Mirrored in their gorgeous Victorian clothes, including Top-hats. Which I absolutely adored, as part of me will always be a Victorian Goth. Watching a Victorian Goth playing electric guitar creates great juxtaposition-imagery.

Silver Dust have a unique and interactive performance style, using video clips in-between songs that told a story. It’s always important for bands, especially as a support act, to interact, captivate and entertain the audience. Silver Dust provide a refreshing yet compelling new way to branch media that attracts and retains a new crowd. With amazing theatrics and stage presence.

The righteous Lord Campbell has an impressive vocal range, hitting the softer, higher lyrical songs as well as the deep heavy metal and emo screams. They exit as the stage darkens. The video plays out and when it stops, all is silent. We think it’s all over and start to turn away. Then there’s a heavy crash on the organ, the video leaps into action and a blue light shines out. The plague doctor on the organ is joined by a blistering guitar solo, and lastly the drums crash in as an alchemy video starts. There’s a sudden increase in pace and energy, as they get the crowd to clap and sing along. As the rest of the band hit the stage once more. The alchemy scene ends with him making a necklace, which now hangs around the lead mic stand.

Just one example of how their whole performance and aesthetics was beautifully crafted, co-ordinated and interlinked. Their whole performance is incredibly well designed and produced. Not only do they play great music, they throw a mini movie and show in too. The video splits the show into distinct acts, yet also merges with the performance as they time their music to fit the video. Their final song had a shot of energy and a faster beat, in a more dance track style. They got the whole audience crouching down then jumping up, shouting and screaming. They even took a photo with the audience behind them to take back to Switzerland.

An incredible show, and so much fun to watch! They brought the theatrics to a new level, with ghostly dolls flying out at the audience, and guest performers joining them on stage to perform skits with them to the songs. The red lights in the eye sockets of the skulls adorning the archway gave an extra demonic hit.

Lordi are still going strong, even after over a decade has passed since they took the world by storm at Eurovision. Touring after the release of their new album “Sexorcism” earlier this year. With many die-hard fans trekking in from about the country to see them play. The love was returned, even after a full heavy show they came out to meet and take photos with their die-hard fans, before setting off to Sheffield for the next leg of the tour. Showing their true dedication.

 

Artists / Bands, Concert Reviews, Events, Music Events, Music Reviews

Read the full article at grande-rock.com

 

Incendia Music offers band management, as well as help with publicity. Specializing in bands and artists across the heavy metal, rock and progressive genres. And it is headed by the talented Lulu Davis, who put on this fantastic Christmas Party, which showcased some of their top bands, such as Brutai. On the run up to Christmas there’s always lots of events on, but I’m glad I made it out to the Incendia Music Christmas Party. At club 229 Great Portland Street, it was a new venue for me and I’m not gonna lie, I got a bit lost! Then I saw a set of stairs leading down off the street, and discovered a whole music venue hidden underneath the street.

Brutai are a killer progressive rock and metal band, based in our very own city of London. Taking the genre by storm, and were nominated for the Metal Hammer Golden Gods “Best New Band” award in 2017. After the release of their popular album “Born” in 2016, winning many hearts over. Their new songs delve into an honest look into modern life and society. They have an interesting mix of aesthetics, the bassist dreads and Viking style beard, teamed with a bright red bass. They were joined by a new drummer, who hasn’t played live with them before. Not that you would know it! He fitted in well and smashed the drums.

“It’s good to be back! It’s been at least 10 months or so”! They played some of their popular classics, such as “Deep”, which was met with much excitement from their fans. But we were also lucky enough to be there for the first time they played their new single “Upside Down”, live. So it was a gig with lots of firsts! “Upside Down” started off with Alex performing a keyboard solo with soulful vocals. Then the others crash in with a heavy metal storm of drums, bass and guitars. Picking up the pace and intensity. Definitely one of my favourite pieces they played. It was great to see them master the slower, lighter tunes, as well as the heavy metal songs. “Better see you head-banging!”, he calls out!

They finished with one of their older songs “Sleepers” from their debut self-titled EP, back in 2013. With a light start, mixing layers of differing paces, they draw you in. Slowly building it up, adding more layers and sounds to develop it. The drums beat out, setting a battle worthy beat; you can imagine the pounding of horse’s hooves as they charge into battle.

When The Five Hundred steps on stage, the singer gives out a deep, throaty scream. Giving the classic emo scream of the 2000s, a face lift and plunged it into the heavier side of metal. Rough and raw roars bellowed out, backed up by the booming drums and heavy bass. They performed with great stage presence, a wide stance and head-banging in unison.
“Next we’re going to play a song from our new album, called ‘Bleed Well’ and this one goes out to Lulu”!

In stark comparison to the heavy shredding metal, they also played light and mystical tunes, leading into a psychedelic symphony of lights and sounds. Then they suddenly crash back into their classic heavy metal style.

As Everything Unfolds, this female fronted heavy rock band, giving The Five Hundred a run for their money. Charlie packs a good set of lungs, switching between the lyrical vocals and emo screams. Giving an almost BabyMetal vibe, with high yet heavy female vocals, backed by heavy metal drums and bass. Charlie jumps, kicks and dances across the stage, with infectious energy.

The Incendia Christmas Party was a great combination of heavy metal, hard rock and a bit of classic Christmas spirit. Brutai’s music is a catchy combination of modern progressive rock with a hit of heavy metal thrown in for good measure, just the way I like it! They draw on other styles from across rock and metal genres. Their music is packed full of technical drum patterns and emotive electric riffs. Brutai have cultivated their own unique sound, by incorporating panoramic synths and keyboard into their heavy metal.

Artwork, Craft, Cosplays and Costumes, Cosplay and Costumes, Cosplays, MCM Comicon, Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman emerged from the DC Comics Universe, first appearing in 1941, in All Star Comics #8

I wanted to create a Wonder Woman cosplay to celebrate to release of the new movie in 2017

She is one of the most famous female heroines, depicted across many comics, motion pictures and action figures

Background: Before becoming Wonder Woman, she was known as Diana, princess of the Amazons. She was trained to be an unbeatable warrior and became a Goddess and Ambassador

She is also well known for being a founding member of the Justice League

Close-up compilation
Mixed compilation
Full costume photographs

Kit list:

  • Gold, red and blue dress
  • Red long boots and gold leg guards
  • Gold head band, arm band and choker
  • Silver arm guards
  • Gold lasso of truth
  • Golden sword
  • Shield
Wonder Woman Sword
Finished shield and sword

For my costume I took inspiration from all the best Wonder Woman versions. Including the 2017 movie, Diana of Paradise Island TV Series, ad Justice Leagues Wonder Woman animated universe. As well as other comic books she has starred in.

Wonder Woman Design Board
Cosplay and Costumes, Events, LARP costumes, LARP events, Miscellaneous Costumes

My friend and I recently attended a new spy themed LARP game called; Aces and Operatives!

I was a body guard for the CIA, turned into an Assassin Operative working undercover for the enemy

It was a great excuse to dress up fancy, although I was already sold at the canapes and Poker!

Compilation of full length photographs
Close up from behind, showing backless dress and hair accessories
Close up from the front
Full length from behind
Full length from the front
Full length from the side

 

Alternative, Skeletons and Body-parts, Valentines

And now, for real Valentines Day as I’m not a complete cynic, I have prepared a collection of artwork based on anatomical drawings of the heart, but with my own twisted take

My Twisted Valentine Compilation
I Give My Heart to You
You Have the Key to My Heart
My love for you springs new life
Two Hearts, Woven into One

 

Alternative, Skeletons and Body-parts, Valentines

As the dreaded Valentines Day looms, many people are collectively sighing at PDA couples and hearts literally everywhere. So I have decided to celebrate Anti-Valentines Day today for everyone who is sick of Valentines!

Anti-Valentines Day Compilation
You Rip Apart My Heart
Heart-Braking
Your touch is like barb-wire wrapping around my heart
My Heart Bleeds for You
Seeing You Sends Spikes Through My Heart
Cosplay and Costumes, Events, LARP costumes, LARP events, Miscellaneous Costumes, Steampunk and Victorian costumes

Floor-length Victorian costume with fan and top hat

Scarlet Mortimer

Vampyre LARP game set in Victorian Bath

Kit list:

  • Floor length black and gold dress
  • Black corset
  • Long lace gloves
  • Necklace and ear-rings
  • Fan
  • Feather hair accessories
  • Top hat

 

 

 

Floor-length Victorian costume with fan
Floor-length Victorian costume selfie
Victorian lady with her Dire-wolf

Cosplay and Costumes, Cosplays, Events, Hyper Japan, Sasha (Attack on Titan)

Sasha at Hyper Japan, swords crossed

Sasha

Attack on Titan

(AKA Potato girl!)

At Hyper Japan

Nov 2017

 

Really good fun making the swords and box weapons for this cosplay as I developed prop-making skills

 

 

Sasha at Hyper Japan, swords down

 Kit List:

  • Beige shirt
  • Beige trousers
  • Brown jacket with emblem
  • Brown belts and straps
  • Brown wrap skirt
  • Brown boots
  • Swords
  • Box weapons
  • Potato!
Sasha Design Board
Costume and weapons
Jacket and weapons