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With Rock City’s basement filling up nicely (but a little late due to an overrunning sound check) anticipation is rising, not least for me. I’d talked with Isolysis and their manager prior to the show and reading between the usual promotional hype this band seemed to have a genuinely charming confidence about them. Their actions however speak louder than words, delivering their powerful Groove Metal/Hard Rock sound with great ease and emotion. Not only enjoyable to watch but their music is the kind to leave a powerful impression without being either that aggressive or fast, instead focusing on tight riffing and a gritty down tuned sound. Holding them together Bane fills the role of frontman better than most bands, interacting with the crowd and clearly involved in his gruff vocal delivery he was exactly what you want: entertaining to watch. If I had any criticism it would be that they are a strange choice of support act, playing alongside two other female fronted Goth Metal bands… however it’s always nice to have variety at a gig and Isolysis were a pleasant surprise to start the evening. The crowd certainly didn’t object and I look forward to seeing them in the future.
Monday 22nd March 2010
Rock City in Nottingham, UK
Entering to the epic overture of Juno Reactor’s ‘Navras’ (used famously in the final fight in ‘Matrix Revolutions’) I can’t help but be a little excited about Achilla. Breaking into their first song, ‘Arashi’, they make a strong impression, leaving more than a hint of Opeth in their wake. It isn’t until vocalist Martamaria opens her mouth that things turn for the worst. Technical difficulties has her singing in vain, with no vocals being heard even at the very front of the room. She bravely sings on for a couple of songs before it’s sorted but when she is finally heard it was like nails down a chalkboard, this time not due to technical difficulties. Her singing style is quasi-spoken with a jarringly flat tone which further puts a dampener on the proceedings. It’s a guilty pleasure when later on in the set the vocals cut out again as the rest of Achilla’s somewhat progressive sound was definitely nothing to complain about. Particular kudos go to guitarist Daniele Panza who is a fine example of a guitarist having a creative writing style with the technical abilities to match. Although not without their faults Achilla put on an emotive show tonight with a variety of pleasingly catchy songs.
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Reviews & Photography by Nicholas Dishington
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Starting out as a studio project for Martijn Westerholt (formally of Within Temptation) as illness rendered him unable to play live shows, in Delain’s earlier days a classic band line-up with a tour seemed very unlikely. However, tonight, on their second date of a 5 day UK stint Nottingham fans finally get to see the band who are currently rising through the ranks of the Goth Metal genre. As the haunting extended intro to Delain’s regular set opener ‘Invidia’ fills the crowded room it’s warmly welcomed by the deafening cheer of around 300 excited fans, old and young alike. The cheers only get louder as the band, and finally front woman Charlotte Wessels, take to the stage and waste no time in getting the crowd going. The contrast between heavy and light is all the more apparent as they play such fan favourites as ‘Stay Forever’, ‘Sever’ and especially ‘Nothing Left’. With a plethora of crunchy riffs Delain pack a powerful punch but thanks to Westerholt’s ambient keyboard work we’re left with a very complete, atmospheric sound. For such a small venue it’s a very intimate gig but it’s really all the better for it as Wessels makes for an enigmatic lead, not only with a brilliant vocal delivery but with the way she reacts with the fans; encouraging them to clap, sing and head bang - something she was definitely not afraid of doing either! A nice little touch was a small Union Jack she wore for the gig although this fell off after only a few songs. Another pleasing detail was that towards the end of ‘Silhouette of a Dancer’ the front lighting dimmed to transform the band into silhouettes. Although disappointing that they didn’t play ‘A Day For Ghosts’ this was made up for with a great performance of ‘The Gathering’, even setting off a ticker tape explosion towards the end which was surprising to say the least. My only fault was that for faster songs such as ‘Go Away’, and especially the end of ‘Lost’, Wessels’ voice became completely drowned out. Taking a bow after finale ‘Pristine’ the band leave the stage knowing they’ve given a good show and I doubt that anyone here would have thought otherwise.
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