Delain + Evergrey + Kobra and the Lotus
@ Koko, London
13th November 2016
Review by Oliver M.
Photography by Graham Hilling
Two years after The Human Contradiction, Delain are back in 2016 with their fifth album Moonbathers. During that period, the band suffered some line-up changes and toured intensively throughout Europe and North America. They also released the EP Lunar Prelude, containing some new songs and a few live tracks from February this year. 2016 is a very special year for the Dutch metallers, marking the 10th anniversary for their first full length album, Lucidity. That’s the reason why they’ve been very busy recently. So naturally, they’ve felt it’s the right time to offer their fans a new album.
In order to promote Moonbathers (released by Napalm Records in August), Delain have just done a headline European tour along with Evergrey and Kobra and the Lotus. This extensive tour contained seven dates in the UK in total. We had the opportunity to cover the London show, which was a great success. The Koko is definitely one of the best venues I’ve seen in the capital so far. It’s indeed a very beautiful place and offers an excellent sound and comfortable balconies. This gig was nearly sold out.
Kobra and the Lotus (3.5/5)
Formed in 2009 in Calgary, this melodic heavy metal act achieved some renown within the Canadian scene in the last years. They’ve released three albums and two EPs until now.
This promising female fronted metal band recently signed to Napalm Records and is currently working on their fourth opus. They delivered a very good set, spanning most of their discography.
Unlike the majority of their counterparts, the vocals are not the band’s strongest point. Kobra Paige has a decent voice but doesn’t reach the level of the most well-known female metal singers.
However, their songs really convinced the crowd, thanks to some catchy choruses and nice guitar solos.
Kobra and the Lotus have succeeded in writing highly inspired compositions and it’s not surprising to see that they’re now part of Napalm’s roster. This significant step up is fully deserved and I’m very much looking forward to hearing their new works. A good discovery!
One year after their amazing show at the Underworld Camden, progressive metal masters Evergrey are back in London to the great satisfaction of their fans. The Swedes are currently promoting their 10th album, The Storm Within, which has been highly praised by the international press.
Released by AFM Records about three months ago, this new opus is heavier and darker than the previous masterpiece Hymns for the Broken. Anyway, Tom Englund and his mates offered a fantastic concert as always.
They played eight songs in total, including two new tracks (“Passing Through”, “In Orbit”) and the old classic “A Touch of Blessing”. Basically, their set contained mostly recent songs. For example, we got three tracks from Hymns for the Broken which was, predictable seeing how big of a success this album was.
Moreover, Henrik Danhage delivered a brilliant guitar solo as a present. He’s a very talented guitarist, performing solos to perfection. The performance of the other musicians were absolutely flawless as well.
Throughout their 20 years long career, they’ve gained a lot of experience and succeeded in writing high quality compositions constantly. By the way, the atmosphere was much better at the Koko that night than at the Underworld last year.
It was a pity they didn’t headline the show, a longer set would have been nice. Next year, the band will headline a European tour, so let’s hope London will welcome them once again!
After the show, all members had the nice idea to go to the merchandising area in order to sign the CDs and vinyls of their fans. Almost like a kind of “Meet & Greet”; Evergrey never disappoint!
As I said previously, Delain is celebrating the 10th anniversary of their first album this year and I think they’re currently reaching the top of their career. Their new opus Moonbathers is very good and has been critically acclaimed so far.
Moreover, I was blown away by their live performance that night. Indeed, the Dutch conquered the London crowd with an impressive set containing some of their best material. They performed brilliantly 18 songs in total, spanning most of their discography.
As expected, they had to highlight their brand new album, with six tracks from Moonbathers. Martijn Westerholt is not only an excellent keyboardist, but also a talented composer.
After leaving Within Temptation many years ago, he’s still able to write some very inspired compositions contrary to his former band, whose quality has been declining in the last years. His symphonic keyboards are one of the most important elements of Delain’s art.
They’re absolutely majestic. Then, let’s not forget Charlotte Wessels’ stunning voice. Her vocals are impressive on stage and she’s also very charismatic. I would have loved to hear more male growls on a few songs but they prefer to focus on melodies rather than aggressiveness.
They also delivered a few nice guitar solos but these are very short. In my opinion, “Suckerpunch”, “Army of Dolls” and “Sleepwalkers Dream” are probably the band’s finest songs due to their great melodic choruses.
Delain received some warm reactions from the audience, who even chanted their name. Congratulations to them, a great show and a night to remember!