Cellar Darling, Blanket & Appearance Of Nothing, The Globe, Cardiff
Before this last week I had never heard Cellar Darling but upon being offered a chance to review this gig I gave their material a listen and was instantly furious at myself that I hadn’t checked this band out before as musically they are right up my street. So it’s safe to say I was very much looking forward to this gig plus with the added bonus of it being a Saturday night there was no pesky work to worry about getting up for the following day.
Starting the night off were Swiss progressive metallers Appearance Of Nothing (7) who impressed with their rhythmically and riff driven style of progressive metal. Throughout their short set I heard definite influences from bands such as Opeth and Amorphis and frontman Omar Cuna employed a mixed use of harsh and clean vocals. Cellar Darling frontwoman Anna Murphy also joined the band on stage for an enjoyable duet during the song Storm. By the time the band finished with the fantastic song The Huntress I was suitably impressed.
In the main support slot were Blackpool post-rock band Blanket (6). Post-rock is a very hit or miss genre with me in that I enjoy it initially but soon find my attention and interest wavering after a short period. Though they had a cool cinematic take on the post-rock sound with a big shoegaze influence my interest has started to wane by the end of the third song and I think the same had happened with a good portion of the audience. They were an unusual choice for support act sandwiched in between two progressive metal bands and I don’t think it was the right audience for them.
Being a fairly unknown band I was concerned that the turn out for Cellar Darling (9) would be very low so it was very reassuring that there were a healthy amount of people in attendance at the gig and witnessing the utterly fantastic set that Cellar Darling played. Opening with Black Moon the band played a good chunk of material from debut album This Is The Sound including Hullabaloo and the utterly mesmerizing Avalanche. The band were on fantastic form with a good sound enabling you to hear all the instruments clearly. The vocals by Anna Murphy were utterly stunning and it’s nice to hear her full vocal potential after being so underused in Eluveitie. As well as beautiful vocals she also switched between playing the hurdy gurdy and flute with both instruments being an integral part of the bands evocative sound.
Having released new conceptual album The Spell the previous day the crowd were treated to a good chunk of the album with utterly magnificent renditions of new material such as Pain, Death, Love, The Spell, Insomnia and Freeze sending jaws agape and arm hairs standing on end. The new material is just as magical and potent live as it is on record. After a short break the band returned for an encore and performed an utterly spellbinding rendition of the Queen epic The Prophet’s Song. I’ve been a massive fan of this song for many years so I had a massive grin on my face for the entire duration. The evening was then brought to a close by the brilliant Redemption off the debut album. I hope that Cellar Darling get a lot of good coverage and recognition off the back of this tour and the new album as they sure as hell deserve it.