Evergrey Camden Underworld 20-06-15
First up was 6 piece Awake By Design who recently released their second album Carve The Sun.
Led by vocalist Adrian Powell the band played a tight 25 minute set of heavy metal with a style similar to Iron Maiden with added symphonic keyboards to add a depth to the 2 guitar assault from the 2 Luke's Hatton and Smith.
Plenty of head banging riffs and some mighty guitar soloing and double bass drumming work from Dave Roelofs too.
The single Tired Of Angels impressed with added guitar melodies always a favourite alongside the heavy riffing.
One to keep an eye out for.
Next up were One Machine who are the brainchild of Steve Smyth (Testament, Nevermore, Forbidden, Dragonlord, Vicious Rumors) on guitar.
With one album The Distortion Of Lies And The Overdriven Truth under their belts and a new one due out in September the came on like a Panzer tank and crushed everything in their path playing a near thrash metal with pounding double bass drumming and duel guitars.Plenty of fast fingered hornets on helium soloing and Chris Hawkins on vocals didn't stop moving and cajoling the audience to give more.
Their fourth song was a near ballad with a great chorus and melodic soloing which was a surprise with the all out assault before and afterwards.
As Chris said 2 more to go they were told actually that was it and off they went.No dis respect to them but many many times with extra support acts we then miss some of the headliner's set and in all honesty that is who we came to see!!
So because of the early curfew but with now a full set ahead of them Evergrey pummelled London to within in an inch of their lives with a 110 minute set of the most fantastically heavy melodic metal seen anywhere on the planet.
Here is what they played.
King Of Errors
Leave It Behind Us
Monday Morning Apocalypse
Mark Of The Triangle
Wake A Change
A New Dawn
Encores of When The Walls Come Down
A Touch Of Blessing
The Grand Collapse
Last years Hymns For the Broken was one of the finest slices of music from that or maybe any other year with the band re energised after a 3 year break and the return of Henrik Danhage on guitar and Jonas Ekdahl on drums.
With Johan Niemann on bass and Rikard Zander on keys joining band main man Tom S Englund who provides some tasteful guitar soloing of his own and possesses a wonderful vocal range too.
The crowd were up for it from the word go as this was the band's first headlining show in the UK in 8 years and the only UK date sandwiched between Graspop in Belguim the day before and Luxembourg the night after.
After a lengthy intro first up was King Of Errors from the new cd and it was greeted like a long lost friend.With a great sound the band showed off their musical chops with Danage and Englund riffing like mad and some powerhouse double bass drumming from Ekdahl and able back up from Niemann on bass and a real depth to the whole evening added by Zander's keys.
Englund is a mighty vocalist that can do the whole gamut from heavy to light and the songs all have choruses that need singing back by the crowd.
Danage and Englund both provided plenty of guitar soloing from the top drawer and not all just notes for the sake of notes but with plenty of melody thrown in too.
Over the course of the show Evergrey took us through a journey from throughout their career but with a reunion of sorts we were treated to 7 songs in total from Hymns For The Broken with new single Black Undertow being hard to beat.
After a quiet beginning the song explodes pre chorus with a monumental bridge and then chorus before the main guitar riff and drum pattern rocket us through to another chorus that demands crowds bellow it back.Light and shade mid song with Tom showing his melodic side before Danage's guitar solo with plenty of held notes wringing every emotion from every note.The end passage of huge guitar and soloing suddenly drop off to be replaced by a keys ending.Wonderful.
The Masterplan and Solitude Within show that the band have always produced quality music with 2 more newies in Wake A Change and A New Dawn ( superb twinned guitar solo ) providing able back up.
I'm Sorry and then Missing You have Tom just on vocals and with just Zander's keys as backing show off his quality melodic range and a peaceful end to the set.
After a couple of fan favourites during the encores in Recreation Day,Broken Wings and A Touch Of Blessing it all led to one of the most intense pieces of music I have witnessed in over 30 years of gig going!!
Walls of guitar with riff after riff and drums hitting hard with the band zoning in and getting lost in the music as do the crowd too.If you don't do gigs you wouldn't get it and that is their loss I can tell you.Get away from the day to day crap and lose your mind.
Evergrey were everything I hoped and more and after a quick signing session with the band life was a whole lot better.
Come back soon.