It’s yet another one of life’s pleasures that descends upon London this evening, the magnificent tour package that constitutes the metal heavyweights of Sirenia and Tyr, and the addition of starlets Unleash The Archers. A diverse palette of metal that somehow appeases everyone, it’s one of those shows you simply can’t miss.
27th November 2016
o2 Academy Islington
It really does seem like an eternity since Sirenia and Tyr last played London. It might have even been about 6 or 7 years…the fact is if we can’t even remember, that it’s been too long. I myself feel that Morten Veland’s Sirenia epitomises gothic metal into it’s finest form, and Tyr embody the true spirit of Viking metal, just one of many reasons that made this particular event a must see, and of course heavy metal superpower in the making Unleash The Archer’s debut show in London.
Unleash the Archers
While this is not the first time I have seen this band, it is of great interest to myself to see how this band fair outside their home territory of North America and perform to the fans of Europe where I believe this band would succeed the greatest. Their breakout album ‘Time Stand Still‘ is magnificent – it’s that classic European metal sound amplified with a tad of North American local flavours, and their performance on the live stage certainly lives up to the hype.
Clearly the band are up for the job of conquering Europe as the Archers kick off their set with ‘Northern Passage‘, and fans are well-receiving for what is generally uncharted territory for the Canadian starlets. The band showcase their capabilities and adaptability to the world of European metal thrashing out their heavy-hitters such as ‘Tonight We Ride‘ and ‘Dreamcrusher‘. It really is time for Unleash The Archers to reach their potential. Fans are really looking forward to a new album now.
And now for the first of the co-headliners tonight. It’s been a bloody long-time since I’ve seen Tyr. 8 years if I’m being precise, and I’m not even sure they have been back to the UK since they played the one and only Paganfest in that same time frame. It really is about time we got some more folk tales from the Faroe Islands, and their live absence has clearly been missed by the London fans. The hype before they even hit the stage is immense.
The last time I saw Tyr most of their back catalogue was filled with slower tempo, progressive tracks. It’s a bit different this time around – since then the band have sped up and really embraced the warrior culture in their music as the band strike the stage with ‘Sinklars Visa‘ heads are banging, and pits are spurring. Fans were in such a battle-hardened trance, I actually have not been in such a wild pit in quite the while.
It all continued throughout the set. Huge responses to tracks like ‘Hold The Heathen Hammer High‘ and ‘Hall of Freedom‘ would make the hair on your arms rise, and the even greater to reception to those unpronounceable Faroese song titles could boil blood. It’s very clear that Tyr have been missed, and very much so. If fans have indicated anything tonight, we need these Faroese folksters to get back on top of the scene.
It’s also been quite the while since I’ve seen Sirenia as well, but there is a very general reason for that. While arguably reigning the gothic metal scene, the band has not ventured out a whole lot into the live arena – at least by my knowledge. But that appears to be changing with mainman Morten Veland releasing a brilliant new album in ‘Dim Days of Dolor‘, and a brand new vocalist with quite the magnificent career behind her. It’s every reason to hit the live trail again, and that they have with a headline role throughout Europe.
New singer Emanuelle Zoldan has embraced the role of Sirenia’s frontwoman almost immediately as she makes the opener of ‘Serpent’ her own. Perhaps it’s the years of work she has done with Sirenia as a backing vocalist, but as a classical singer, she shows no fear in pleasing this hardened metal audience this evening.
Sirenia seem to be wanting to make an impression that they are going to become a full performing band now, but their chosen discography combined with the powerful new vocal styles don’t make it particularly hard for a fan to be impressed. The band fill up their setlist with the more memorable tracks in their career including ‘Lost in Life‘, ‘Path to Decay‘ and of course ‘My Mind’s Eye‘.
Sirenia have indeed made a powerful statement that they show no signs of throwing in the towel after a 15 year career of reigning Gothic metal, despite the numerous vocal dramas the band have gone through. The current incarnation of the band is clearly ready to take on the world with their live performance and challenge the high-players of Gothic metal for title of overlords. Music speaks volumes for this kind of live show, but it’s something as a Gothic metal fan you wouldn’t want to miss.