Norwegian Symphonic Metal brutes bring pleasure with pain in front of a busy London congregation on the opening night of the Arcane Ancestral Aeons Tour; with plenty of fire, force and determination fierce enough to call upon a battle cry from the plains of devastation. It’s been a short while since Sirenia have visited the deeper chasms of London, however they return in slick form and style in Tuffnell Park; guested by fellow Norwegian progressive-power outfit Triosphere, Indian electronic rockers Paratra and French melodic-death metallers Mind Whispers.
Sirenia known for their intelligent take on symphonic metal; layered with soulfully immersed gothic elements and dramatic darkened black metal passages, have just recently released their ambitious ninth outing Arcane Ancestral Aeons and are ready to unleash another triumphant and stellar monument right from their the earth of their darkest roots; majestically delivering theatrical foundations around all corners of the globe.
The night kicks off with a quiet and dismal atmosphere with Bergerac’s own Mind Whispers (6); taking the stage with urgency to contribute to the night’s heavy schedule ahead of respected and established heavy metal bands. Transposing their eerie melodic wavelengths and heavy-laden grooves, the French quintet subtly gather the crowd in minority and to keep some onlookers pleased with a wide age range of spectators appearing present. One thing to gracefully point out is the band’s odd choice of costumes with singer Eraziel Breizh all dressed in white compared to his other band allies appearing in blackened outfits, which seems strangely out of place and does not quite fit in well with the blend of the aggressive melodic death metal genre. Mind Whispers have the songs on board their melodic-death metal vessel but need to do some extra solid mileage to be able to steer their brutalised cargo into the right direction to eventually capture a better live performance for future shows.
An Indian stylised guitar compiled with some Soulfly-style riffage and a dosage of electronica is enough to solemnly question why Paratra (6) were planted on the bill of heavy metal bands on this tour. Eccentrically it works well together; nevertheless, the band look edgily nervous but yet the resonation on display captures a breath of diversity in the midst of the room and through pure honesty it seizes the upmost attention of tonight’s early entry capacity. A bit more confidence and relaxation will admiringly see these guys emerge to become an effective elite and an exceptionally known force; grabbing more spots on bills with established bands and claiming victory of the ears of listeners neighbouring them.
As the swarm is gathered for the metal mass, next up are progressive power metal maestros Triosphere (9). Triosphere, fronted by bassist Ida Haukland, combine the fire’s frenzy with the grinding fury to generate a majestic wave of influential heavy metal to leave the listeners in a sentimental awe. This late afternoon assembly abundantly bid a warm welcome to the breath-taking Nordic cavalry between blustering cheers alongside enthusiastic audience participation; singing to each and every song from the band's sublime setlist. The set is cleverly combined by tracks from the band’s three flamboyantly gifted studio efforts, including entries like the stellar ‘Steal Away the Light’, the mind-crushing ‘Driven’ and eventually closing with the symphonic-esque ‘The Heart’s Dominion’ leaving spectators breathless and gasping for air. Triosphere are astonishingly remarkable and should sincerely be a grander outfit than they already appear to be, so for that reason do not miss out on these guys when they come over the seas of the British Channel again; sincerely too good to miss.
From the pits of eagerness, the long-awaited headliners embrace the stage with dramatically paced outbursts and a theatrical introduction combining supreme gothic elements with electrifying symphonic regiments admiringly igniting the flames throughout the entire venue. Sirenia (7) suffer early on after opener ‘In Styx Embrace’ from sound difficulties, however this is managed by dashing female vocalist Emmanuelle Zoldan in the most impeccable and professional manner; who appears exceedingly to be on top form tonight. Despite that, succeeding the unbalanced start and the frustrating technical difficulties, the band glitters like gold in the immaculate form distributing beloved fan favourites ‘Winter Land’, ‘My Mind’s Eye’ and ‘The Path to Decay’, accompanying and being outmatched by new entries ‘Into the Night’, ‘Queen of Lies’ and ‘Asphyxia’. The contemporary tracks sit warmly alongside older entries and magnificently append the band’s back catalogue in exemplary vogue to keep the crowd enthralled for the duration. Sirenia could be easily acknowledged as colossal heavyweights in the symphonic metal world but tonight the pristine and radiant ensemble were met with some minor obstructions on stage, which arguably and unfortunately did cause some impact and complications not to Sirenia’s advantages tonight; knocking the achievement of a better live performance substantially overall.
An expedition from the heights of the dim days of dolour extends to the arcane ancestral aeons in a pleasurable formulaic splendour, elegantly winning over the energetic and vivacious crowd this evening; who bore witness to an extremely endorsed magic love affair from a concoction of different sub-genres of heavy metal eventually reaching a beautiful peaked climax. Whether it was electronic rock, melodic death metal or even progressive power metal, the musically-packed evening ran smoothly with a episode of eminence and fulfilment; sweetly running uninterrupted through the historical chasms in the deepest heart of London.