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MOHO Live, Manchester 14 September 2012
It is a
shame that two great bands still have to play such a low ceiling dive as
Moho Live, but economics prevail. And whilst the tour bus is well
upholstered it must be quite a contrast for Firewind's mainman Gus G
fresh from his more first-class travel excursions with Ozzy.
bands tonight are realistic and - on paper at any rate - it was a
In view of
the UK's current love affair with all things Scandinavian, perhaps
Leaves' Eyes time has come. Fronted by the ice maiden charm of
Kristine, the band have sometimes been termed Nightwish-lite but their
brand of symphonic metal with a folk twist is less bloated than her
Finnish neighbours. And all the better for it.
generous hour long support set, the band obviously majored on the more
immediate songs in their near-10 year repertoire. Opening with the
stirring 'Spirit's Masquerade' it was like they'd just moored their longship at
Salford Quays and had stormed up the A56, not least when Liv's other
half Alex joined her on stage for the characteristic 'beauty and the
beast' vocal duet on 'Ocean's Way' and 'Melusine'.
leave the uninitiated listener wanting to investigate more and this
should happen with greater regularity during this European tour, and
songs like 'My Destiny', 'Elegy' and 'Take The Devil In Me' instantly
engage an unknowing audience.
Spirits' Masquerade 2. Velvet Heart 3. Ocean's Way 4. My Destiny 5.
Melusine 6. Empty Horizon
7. Take the Devil In Me 8. Elegy 9. To France 10. Froyas Theme11.Mot
I last saw
Firewind on a three way bill with Stratovarious and Eden's Curse,
at a similar low-ceiling Manchester venue. Since then, of course, Gus G
has been rubbing shoulders with Ozzy on tour and album - a signal that
many took to mean the early demise of the band he had nurtured for a
decade. But - as if to stall the doubters - this year the Greek power
metallers released the excellent 'Few Against Many' which even bowled
over our normally blues-orientated Features Editor Pete Feenstra.
Whether as a
result of Gus G's Ozzy experience and recent exposure to a more
riff-based set-list, the latest album is more guitar and
riff-orientated, perhaps more accessible than previous offerings as a
selection were aired here in the shape of 'Losing My Mind', 'Wall Of
Sound' and, for me, the standout 'Glorious' which has a simply
wonderful, gargantuan, riff.
the band paid their dues to earlier albums including 2008's 'The
Premonition' ('Into The Fire'') and even the debut 'Between Heaven And
Hell' ('Destination Forever').
commercial-sounding 'Mercenary Man' reminded us that there is still -
overall -a paucity of truly killer songs and the power-metal niche can
put off the casual listener.
But if that
also explains the lack of wider acclaim all that might be corrected on
the back of the new album which is more mainstream-sounding and with of
course the Ozzy connection.
Wall of Sound 2. Head Up High 3. Destination Forever 4. Few Against Many
5. Insanity 6. World on Fire 7. The Fire and the Fury 8. Losing My Mind
9. Mercenary Man 10.Angels Forgive Me 11.Glorious 12.Till the End of
Time 13.I Am The Anger 14.Tyranny Encore: 15. Into the Fire 16. Breaking
The Silence 17. Falling