For almost two months, British power metal band Dragonforce, along with the support of Visions of Atlantis, Seven Spires and Firewind have toured North America. They kicked off the tour in Santa Ana, Ca. back in March 7th and with their final tour date on April 23rd in Berkeley, CA.
First up was American metal band, Seven Spires. I would like to give big props to whoever designed the bands wicked attire, it was a mix between victorian/gothic which kinda reminded me of characters of the film “Interview with a Vampire”. Seven Spires kicked off the show with “Wanderer’s Prayer” (intro) and quickly transitioned to “Gods of Debauchery” from their album of the same title and then followed up by “Oceans of time” before going into the track “Lightbringer”. The sound and the style of this song was a little bit different than the previous ones as it had a very catchy chorus which sounded like a chant.
Six of the seven songs of their set list are from the newest full length album Gods of Debauchery (2021), while “Drowner of Worlds” is from their previous album Emerald Seas (2020). A memorable moment which totally caught me off guard, was during the performance of “Lightbringer” where Herbie Langhans (vocalist of Firewind) came up the stage wearing a couple of bath towels (see photo) and sang along with Adrienne Cowan. it was a very humorous moment to say the least.
Seven Spires did a great job setting the mood up for the rest of the night and I highly recommend you check out their latest full length album Gods of Debauchery.
__________________________________Visions of Atlantis___________________________
A little about the band: Visions of Atlantis is one of those very rare gems, although not very well known in North America compared to in Europe (which after this tour with Dragonforce, that will certainly change). This is their second time touring the states and getting tons of new exposure; maybe in the near future they will be headlining a North America tour? One can only hope.
The band was founded back in 2000 and was one of the first symphonic metal bands to have a female and male vocalist and the inspiration for their music comes from the mythology of Atlantis, the sea and pirates. If you haven’t heard of them yet, I highly recommend you check out their first demo “Morning in Atlantis” which was released back in 2000. Currently their newest song “Melancholy Angel” from their new album Pirates, is their most played song in the website “Last.FM” which towered their last most listened hit “In & Out of Love” (Armin Van Buuren cover) from their album Wanderers (2019).
This is my second time seeing Visions of Atlantis and just like last time (Regency Ballroom SF 2020), their performance is nothing short of spectacular. From the very start of their set, French soprano singer Clémentine Delauney beautiful voice pulls you in like a siren does to sailors at sea, the only difference here, you won’t get shipwrecked, hehehe.
This time I had the opportunity to meet the band a few minutes before the show started and all I have to say is Wow, just WOW! I was so taken aback by how talented, friendly and humble they were specially when interacting with their fans. Visions of Atlantis kicked off their set with “Master of Hurricane” off their upcoming album, “Pirates” coming out May 13th. Second, was “A Life of Our Own” from their last album Wanderers (2019). This song is about the mythical sea creature Kraken as you can tell by the lyrics:
“As it reaches out with thousand arms, Grasping the hull of the ships, It’s the omen of doom from the songs I recall. A terror that makes grown men weep”and especially the chorus: “May the kraken come. May we get caught in a storm. We will keep our calm. True love will carry us home”
Clémentine and Michele Guaitoli’s (male vocals) voices mix so well together, the best way I can describe it is like drinking a Jack n Coke after a hard day’s work. Christian Douscha is always smiling while playing the guitars and swinging it back and forth; you can tell he enjoys what he does and has fun doing it. Herbert Glos is always killing it on the bass! You should also check out Herbert’s other band Dragony with ex Visions of Atlantis male vocalist Siegfried Samer (2013-2018). Last but not least Thomas Caser: this guy is all around badass. How cool it is to see the CEO of Napalm Records kick ass on the drums! He also happens to be one of the founding members (and last one left in the band). Thomas has kept the soul of the band alive, even though the dark and uncertain times.
The end of their set included two other new tracks, “Legion of the Seas” and “Melancholy Angel”, in which Michele Guaitoli and Clémentine Delauney managed to get the crowd to jump up and down with them. After the show ended, I also had an opportunity to meet them again.
Although they were probably very tired from their performance, they stood by their merchandise table with a big smile welcoming everyone, taking photos, signing autographs, and thanking them for coming to the show. They basically waited there until they met all their fans and everyone left. Fast forward to the present, Visions of Atlantis is stronger than ever with each new album being better than the last.
Since the band Battle Beast was unfortunately not able to make it on tour, the legendary power metal band Firewind took their place. Firewind is a Greek power metal band that was formed in Greece’s second largest city Thessaloniki, back in 1998 and not long after that, their demo “Nocturnal Symphony” was released. Now, 24 years later, Firewind has released a total of 9 studio albums, with the most recent one being the band’s self-titled album in 2020.
Firewind started their set with “Welcome to the Empire” from their self-titled album in 2020. Second song was “Head Up High” a classic from their “The Premonition” album (2008).
The song that took the cake that night was the last song in their performance, which was “Maniac” (Michael Sembello cover) also from The Premonition album. A little less than a quarter into the performance, Adrienne Cowan from Seven Spires came on stage to sing along with Herbie Langhans. They both showed off their nice dance moves and shortly after that, we had an epic guitar solo by none other than Greek metal god Gus G himself rocking the shit out of his Jackson star guitar. Needless to say, the crowd went wild with excitement and cheered him on as he continued to shred.
Last up was British power metal band Dragonforce. These Sega loving guys really know how to have fun and always rock the stage! From giant arcade machines, a giant dragon, C02 guns, confetti, and even a Banjo solo by Sam Totman, Dragonforce never lets you down with their performance. They even did a cover of that one Titanic song by Celion Dion – “My Heart Will Go On” and it included a killer guitar solo by their two high speed guitarists. I mean, what else could you possibly ask for?!
They started off with Point of Origin (Yanni), then quickly moved to “Highway to Oblivion” which is the first track of their Extreme Power Metal album (2019). One of the highlights of the night was right before they performed Remembrance Day; they asked the crowd to take out their phones and turn on their flashlights and hold their phones up high for the entirety of the song while they they sang along with them.
As always, Dragonforce likes to end their shows with a bang and the last song of their setlist was “Through the Fire and Flames” from their 2006 album Inhuman Rampage, in which members of supporting bands crashed the stage and joined in on the fun, which made it very entertaining to watch as the show came to an end.
Pictures and review by Alex Macias. Please visit Alex @ his website for more stunning images. alexmacias.photoshelter.com