Evergrey
with Andromeda and Time Curve Symphony,
Saturday 16th February 2002, Club Dunois, Paris, France

By Charlie Farrell


French mag Rock Hard (sister publication of the German magazine with the same name) had organised two 'showcases' for these promising and fairly unknown acts (in France at least). The venues chosen - Club Dunois in Paris and the Rail Theatre in Lyon are not particularly large, but they offered the advantage of allowing the French public to see the acts at a low price. With a local French band opening up the show as well, there were few who could complain that 3 bands for 12Euros, was anything other than excellent value for money.

In Paris, the local band chosen was Time Curve Symphony. Unfortunately such was the crush of people trying to get into the hall via the single, rather small door, that I was forced to listen to their set from the corridor outside and it was very difficult for me to offer an opinion on their performance.

Ticket for the gig

After a short break and the chance to hear tracks from various upcoming new releases it was the chance for Andromeda to take to the stage. Right from the very opening chords I was blown away with their sound and in particular with the vocal harmonies offered by the new vocalist, David Fremberg and the keyboard player Martin Hedin. Whilst I enjoyed their debut disk, Extension of The Wish, at its release, early in 2001, I had not listened to the disk in some time. From the beginning of the powerful The Words Unspoken, the swirling synths and powerful riffs had me hooked.

This was swiftly followed by In The Deepest of Waters, another excellent track, before the band introduced the title track of their upcoming disk 2 is 1. Slightly slower in pace and less instrumentally showy than their other tunes, it nevertheless demonstrated a progression in the bands style. A souped-up Arch Angel led into what appeared to be an extended version of the album's title-track Extension of the Wish, which featured a wonderful instrumental section during which the musicianship of Johan Reinholdz and Martin Hedin really shone. Not content with that, the band then followed up with the instrumental number Chameleon Carnival - a track which they had omitted from earlier performances.

The set was closed out with Eclipse - a track from the expanded edition of Extension of The Wish and a storming version of Star Shooter Supreme. If anyone doubted that these guys could reproduce the fantastic musicianship found on their album, then this performance would have blown those doubts away. A powerful, solid performance from a very impressive bunch of musicians. Can't wait for the new album.

After an extensive break, extended by 10 to 15 mins due to some equipment problems, Evergrey took to the stage to big cheers. Their most recent album In Search of Truth was very well received by both Press and Public in France and this was the first opportunity for a French audience to experience a full headlining show by the band. They launched their attack with The Encounter. An excellent tune from the In Search of Truth album - the wonderfully emotive line "They're coming" - ('They' being the Alien visitors, which the concept for the disk is based around) sending a collective chill down the backs of the audience. "We're Evergrey from Sweden" announced vocalist Tom Englund in introducing Rulers of the Mind, from the same CD, to a warm response from the crowd.

However the gremlins which had delayed the start of the set continued to dog Tom and his guitar throughout both these numbers and the subsequent track She Speaks To The Dead from their earlier disk Solitude, Dominance, Tragedy. As the number finished, he cursed the Japanese equipment manufacturer and the technicians before the launching into Watching the Skies with extra aggression - clearly not a happy guy. To my ears the sound was fine, the guitars of Tom and Henrik Danhage blending with Michael Håkansson thumping bass and Patrick Carlsson's driving drums producing the gothic metal sound for which the band is well known. Chris Rehn's keyboards were excellent, adding a progressive edge to the bands already powerful sound.

They continued to mix old and new tracks and with Tom's guitar woes seemingly coming to an end, following a change of guitar, they really delivered a great show. The unity between the two guitarists and the bassist was clear to see during the shows of synchronized headbanging and the audience did its best to respond in a similar way.

In seemingly no time at all it was time for the encores with members of the audience screaming out song titles - indicating a knowledge of the band's full discography. They played both Solitude Within and my personal favourite Nosferatu before taking a further break off stage. When they returned for a final time, the crowd were unanimous in their choice of song - it had to be The Masterplan, the anthemic opening number from In Search of Truth and the band gave it every last drop of energy they had, absolutely wonderful!

With the clock edging towards midnight and conscious of their intention to perform a signing session with their fans, the set ended there and with it an excellent evening's entertainment. Watching the Skies, Mark of the Triangle and The Masterplan were personal highlights and it cannot be long before the band is headlining on a more extensive tour.

Setlists:

Andromeda:
The Words Unspoken
In The Deepest of Waters
2 is 1 (new)
Arch Angel
Extension of the Wish
Chameleon Carnival
Eclipse
Star Shooter Supreme

Evergrey:
The Encounter
Rulers of the Mind
She Speaks To The Dead
Watching the Skies
When The River Calls
Dark Waters
Mark of the Triangle
State of Paralysis

Solitude Within
Nosferatu

The Masterplan

 

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