Sirenia are a delectable gothic metal band, hailing all the way from Norway. Started by the talented Morten Veland, famous for his time in Tristania. I luckily caught them on their first leg of their tour, since releasing their ninth album “Arcane Astral Aeons” in late October 2018. They are joined on this tour by the fantastic Triosphere, Paratra and Mind Whispers. Sirenia combine powerful drums and bass, with rhythm and symphonic guitars. Which bring to life the deep and dark lyrical themes of love and hate, life and death, emotions and mental states.
With three supporting acts, the small room was pretty packed before Sirenia hit the stage, with cheers ringing out at their first step onto the stage. Since the delectable Emmanuelle joined the band in 2016, they have developed the depth of their songs. Adding in layers of new elements and sounds, whilst bringing back components and their mind-set from their earlier days with Nightwish. Which struck a chord with me personally, as Nightwish were the first band that got me hooked on symphonic power metal.
They played one of the songs from the new album “Queen of Lies”. It started with deep, heavy drums and Emmanuelle’s high falsetto scream. The contrast between the high, lyrical female vocals and the deep, death-metal male vocals. Creating an impressive vocal range and combination of sounds. In response to the raucous applause, Emmanuelle says “Thank you very much, we love you guys”! Which was answer by a fan in the audience shouting out “we love you too”!
Nils gets the crowd clapping along to a song from their new album. The drums and guitars create a slow, deep and ominous backdrop to Emmanuelle’s gentle and mystical lyrical solo. Then the drums crash in, signifying a change in tone, as everything deepens and darkens, increasing in pace and heaviness. Creating a dark magic concoction of sounds. “Come on London, let me f***ing hear you”! “My Mind’s Eye” starts with a beautiful and mystical opening few bars, then in crash the drums marking the split change in genre. And lastly, ending on one of their classics, “The Other Side”. Then all too soon it was over.
With the crowd screaming and chanting “one more song, one more song”… they couldn’t disappoint their fans, and returned for a killer encore. Starting with probably their most famous song “The Path to Decay”. Which starts with this psychedelic sci-fi meld of sounds, then slowly builds up, and crashes into a heavy metal storm. Finally, they went back to their roots in the final song, and playing one of their classics from their first album, “Sister Nightfall”. “Thank you so very much, it’s been a pleasure as always”…
Triosphere, the Norwegian heavy metal band, were the final support act. Their songs were filled with fast pounding drums, electric guitar riffs and high, screaming vocals. With Tor and Marius joining Ida as backup vocalists, adding an extra dimension of depth with the combination of male and female vocals. They made a formidable line up, with the two guitarists and bassist owning the stage, with wide stance power poses. And impressively head-banging their long hair in unison.
They treated us with a few songs from their new album, such as “Steal Away the Night”, which started with a fast pounding drum beat, with the audience clapping along. Then the guitars crash in. Lastly, joined by the soft vocals that grew in speed and heaviness, as did the instruments, as the song progressed. “Time to get those fists up in the air”! “Hey, hey, hey”! The crowd chants and pumps their fists into the air. Then in smash the drums and guitars with a fast, heavy beat. Only out down by the triple vocals harmonising. Afterwards Ida sips from a water bottle and holding it up, she adds a little humour an says: “I really wish this was a beer, but there would be a lot of mess on stage”!
Another fantastic song from the new album was “Breathless”, starting with a beautiful, gentle vocals, with a light drum background, created a mystical beginning. Building into a hard rocker, as the guitars and heavy drums crash in. But interchanging between the soft and heavy tones throughout. Creating a varied and different sound to the previous songs. They ended on two last songs from their new album, “Relentless” and “The Hearts Dominion”. They had wonderfully heavy, deep and dark vocals and drums. Finishing with the gracious; “Thank you so endlessly much”!
Paratra are a novel Electronic Rock band hailing all the way from Mumbai! And confessed to being a little nervous, as it was their first time playing in the UK! Their unique sound comes from their mix of old and new instruments and genres, which contrast yet also complement each other. This comes from the combination of the enchanting Sitar, modern Synth and the amazing high falsetto screams. They started with some killer songs, such as “Inferno”, “Waves of Time’ and “Willpower”. “Duality” started with a strong beat, getting the audience to clap along. Continuing the audience interaction they got them chanting along with the “oi oi oi!”… ending on the fantastic song “Stairway”.
The first supporting act was Mind Whispers, a Melodic Death Metal band from France. They had a powerful aesthetic with the band in matching black military uniforms, and the lead singer in contrasting white. All the more surprising when he came out with brilliant deep, raw and throaty screams and growls. “Again” was my favourite song they played, it had a slow ominous start. With a gradual crash on the keys, the guitars and drums slowly joined the mix, building in pace and intensity. It would be the perfect soundtrack to a gothic horror!
Sirenia are a mystical Viking metal storm! With the amazing contrast between Emmanuelle’s high, lyrical vocals and falsetto screams next to Morten and Nils deep death metal vocals. Although Emmanuelle and Nils joined not that long ago, they seem to fit in perfectly and altogether make the best line-up for the band yet. Starting the next chapter for the band, and ensuring they are all set to take the symphonic power metal genre to the next level!