The Underworld Camden – 4 October 2022
Report by: Vaughan
Well, well, well – a gig that was due to happen on 14 September 2021, finally took place, over a year later. But well worth the wait it was – three symphonic metal bands on the same bill – in London! Added to that – an eight member pirate folk monster megagroup from Sweden, which to the casual observer may have seemed a weird fit…but it worked!
Despite the early start to the show – 18:30 – and it being a Tuesday, there was already a queue outside The Underworld and inside a pretty big crowd to welcome the return of local symphonic metal band Serpentyne to their hometown after a long hiatus. Not the least overawed by the three Napalm Records signed bands on the bill, they kicked out a tight set with new drummer Marco Biagini thunderous behind the kit and singer Maggiebeth Sand setting a standard for the rest of the bands to follow. Big things await this band – starting with a ten gig tour of Eastern Europe supporting Tarja on the 17th of October.
Ye Banished Privateers are not a symphonic metal band, but they do sing about pirates and the sea just like Visions of Atlantis. And there were eight of them. Sometimes it felt like 16. It’s hard to take in the chaos happening on stage as accordions, fiddles, kajons, lutes, and who knows what flourished on stage. A very popular band – you could tell this by the number of dressed up pirates and inflatable swords in the audience – Ye Banished Privateers cracked out sea shanties and jigs which the audience just lapped up. It’s hard not to grin as the audience danced and sang along with the band who clearly enjoyed themselves. Come back soon, ye rogues!
Back to symphonic metal – Xandria is one of the classic bands of the genre, having been around since the 90s. They have had a number of lineup changes over the years with their most recent lineup reboot this year. You wouldn’t have known this, though, with guitarist Robert Klawonn and bassist Tim Schwarz oozing confidence and owning the stage big time. Their new singer Ambre Vourvahis was both sultry with a stunning and relaxed voice. Playing songs from their extensive back catalogue, as well as newer songs like “Ghosts” and “Reborn,” they even got to play an encore, setting off the venue fire alarm in the process.
Finally, it was time for Visions of Atlantis, one of the most popular symphonic metal bands on the scene at the moment and for good reason. In lead singer Clementine Delauney they have a true metal goddess. She was a massive presence on stage, teasing the crowd about Brexit (“I’m French, I can say these sorts of things”) and launching Mexican waves during crowd favourite song “Deep and Dark.” The chemistry and theatrics with fellow singer Michele Guaitoli are a huge part of the band’s stage show and the crowd was taken on a journey of emotions, from hushed quiet during delicate duets to cheering for the rousing choruses of “Melancholy Angel” off their 2022 album, “Pirates.” The rammed Underworld crowd loved it.