Delain, Tramshed Cardiff 17 November 2016
A cold rainy night in Cardiff but a reasonably sized crowd inside the Tramshed was already enjoying Canadian outfit Kobra And The Lotus (6) when I arrived. Their generic wail does little for me but they were enjoyable enough. Full credit to vocalist Kobra Paige who gives it everything and a decent reception from the crowd. Plus points for Kobra’s tolerance of a rather drunk fan at the mercy stand later in the evening.
The band many had clearly come to see arrived with an impressive intro before blasting into opener Passing Through from the rather good The Storm Within. Evergrey (9) rarely come to the U.K. and as Tom. S. Englund, frontman and guitarist of the band later noted, this was the first time they had ever been in Wales. With their dark, misery ridden themes this was never going to be a party knees up but Englund’s dry Swedish humour hit the spot exactly. Live the band are crushingly heavy in parts, the twin guitar attack of Englund and Henrike Danhage pleasantly soothed at times by Rikard Zander’s keyboards. A shortish set focused on songs from the most recent albums including three from 2014’s Hymns For The Broken. Polished, technically superb and with a crystal clear sound, Evergrey were quite fantastic.
Disappointingly the crowd thinned substantially for headliners Delain (9) but the Dutch outfit didn't care spite the gaping holes in the crowd. Front woman Charlotte Wessels has improved over the years, her stage persona full of confidence and her voice quite beautiful. With a set that focused largely on this year’s fine Moonbathers release, seven tracks in total, the band cranked it up to 11 and hit Cardiff hard. The last night on a energy sapping tour of 28 dates across Europe, band found their adrenaline and were excellent.
Guitarists Timo Somers and the latest recruit Merel Becktold swapped sides at random, drummer Ruben Israel held the beat and the finest named bassist in rock, Otto Schimmelpennicick Van Der Ojie laid the rampaging bass lines and occasional death vocals (which in my opinion do nothing to enhance the songs). At the back of the stage, proud Martijn Westerholt stood over his keyboards. As the original member and creator of the band, he must be proud. As they got into their stride, the crowd engaged more and more and although it got progressively smaller, the noise levels increased and by the time We are the Others hit it was rocking.
A rare opportunity to see some of the lesser known bands in metal in our backyard. An excellent evening and just a shame that there weren't more there to enjoy it.