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That night was indeed something special, Kotipelto presented his new solo album “Serenity”, Chris Caffery his latest work “Pins And Needles”, Elis their new female singer, only Trios-Phere were new for me. I felt sorry for those Norwegians, because there were hardly any people at the venue. But a real musician will still play in front of 10 people and give the best show of his life. This is how Marcus Silver (Guitar), Ida Haukland (Singer / Bassist), Örjan Aare Jörgensen (Drums) und Tor Ole Byberg (Guitar), who was only there as tour support, might have seen it. Their Heavy Metal was an interesting mix of progressive, melodic and aggressive. The slender singer Ida suggested that her voice might be thin and high, yet it turned out to be real Heavy Metal, sung perfectly with a lot of power. The music is absolutely great, too, therefore I can just recommend their album “Onwards”.
Basically the only concern of this Swiss band was their new singer Sandra Schleret from Innsbruck, Austria, and their vocal abilities, e. g. for Dreams of Sanity, Siegfried, Soulslide, Eyes of Eden and several guestvocals, e.g. for Samael. The guys had already started playing, then Sandra walked in like a model, in a quite revealing dress, she starts singing, but there wasn´t really anything special about her voice. A quite high thin fine female voice, just like all those other Gothic Girls. The special kick is missing, facets, expression of emotions, feeling so that her voice doesn´t sound boring after a few minutes. And also her dance moves did not really look convincing. You were not sure if she showed so much skin to distract from her nervousness or from her singing. And also her statements in between would need some work-over.
A living guitar legend and one of the world´s best guitarists: The US-American surprised with a rough sound, rather focusing on Heavy Metal than on his well-known Hard Rock. I personally enjoyed the more aggressive version that made his voice more forceful and dynamic, and also the keyboard sounded more intense supported by double bass drumming. The fans really enjoyed it and banged their heads, just like bass player Nick Douglas who also plays for Doro. Naturally they also played a song of his ex-band Savatage, and the fans were grateful for that.
The climax of this evening, though, was this blond Finnish angel with this god-like voice. Kotipelto, also known as Stratovarius front man, has just released his third solo album “Serenity”. It is remarkable how many excellent musicians and singers come from Finland. Timo Kotipelto studied at Helsinki´s Pop/Jazz conservatory, and he and his band showed us again, how Melodic Metal should be – simply great. You could feel their pleasure and their harmony they had on stage. Kotipelto is like sunshine, super-sympathetic and a very powerful singer. The band of this evening and the only one that really lifted the spirits.
Sandy Mahrer, transl. K. Weber
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