Beyond the Black (headline)
Heart of The Hurricane European Tour 2019
Forever Still (support)
9/11 – 2019
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Beyond The Black led by singer Jennifer Haben stopped by Malmö Sweden at their Heart Of the Hurricane European Tour earlier this fall. The German symphonic power metal act ended here in Scandinavia but haven’t released any new album but re-released their former album now titled HEART OF THE HURRICANE – BLACK EDITION which was released at the beginning of May this year. Along with them on tour in Europe Mister Misery was support act but in Scandinavia the Danish act Forever Still took their spot. The Danish duo released their brand new album BREATHE IN COLOURS earlier this year and it followed up the debut TIED DOWN from 2016.
Since this particular show in Malmö took place on a Saturday it meant that it was going to be night club after the show which made the show had to stop no later than around 11 o clock. The doors to the club opened at 7, Forever Still was scheduled to be on stage at 8 and as mentioned above the metal night was supposed to be over at 11. Last time I saw Beyond the Black was at Wacken Open Air this past summer and I was curious to see how the band was going to perform at a smaller club stage. The club wasn’t sold out and there were tickets left to purchase as I came to the venue. The band is pretty big in Germany but that doesn’t mean they are big in Scandinavia.
As always I took a look at the merchandise and discovered they had to heavily miss-calculated the prices on the items. The prices were really steep and both the t-shirts and albums sold was really expensive and there weren’t many fans at the club that actually bought anything. When you’re Iron Maiden or Kiss you can pretty much set any price you want on your items but not when you’re at the level Beyond The Black is.
While I checked out the merchandise stand the clock came closer to show start for Forever Still and when I looked at the stage I saw the bands gear and backdrop.
The band kicked off the show with “Fight” and “Awake The Fire”, this night the band consisted of three people in singer Shining, drummer Frisch and guitarist Kleemann. The second part in the duo that are Forever Still, Mikkel Hagstrup, wasn’t on stage at all this night, the trio hadn’t a bass player either which made the constellation feel a bit strange. During past shows in Sweden both Shining and Hagstrup been on stage with the other two members variate.
“Scars” followed and unfortunately the sound wasn’t mixed particularly good and Shinings vocals was put a bit too low in the mix. The lights was not great either and as usual when it comes to Kulturbolaget parts of the band members stood in darkness. Kleemann sat down behind a keyboard kicking off “Say Your Goodbyes” which is a pretty good ballad that parts of the crowd seemed to enjoy. After that song Kleemann took his guitar, Shining sat down behind the keyboard and it was time for “Breathe In Colors”. To be honest I found the show to be pretty boring and uninspired, from what I can remember from seeing the bands past shows it included more speed and variation, I don’t remember their music being as dull as this show was. The bands alternative metal influenced by goth music felt a bit lame and didn’t bring the bands presence to life this night. Shining thanked the fans for coming to the club and said it was nice to be back in Malmö again, it’s time for us to play “Do Your Worst” for you.
“Survive” followed straight away as well as “Miss Madness”, Shining thanked the fans and once again said it was great fun to be in Malmö. The final song for the night was the first single from the new album in “Rewind” and with that the show was over.
The 40 minute show didn’t do much for me and it was just a show off in bad material, boring songs and lack of energy. It also felt strange not to see and hear a bass player on stage as well as the other part of the duo. Nah, Forever Still didn’t impress me at all and I just leave you with that.
Set list (not in order)
Awake the Fire
Say Your Goodbyes
Is It Gone?
Breathe In Colors
Do Your Worst
As the crew began to prepare the stage for Beyond The Black a huge podium with a drumset was put up as well as a huge backdrop. Three boxes were also placed on stage I guess for the band members to stand on but besides that there weren’t a lot of stuff up there. Beyond the Black’s debut album titled SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH unveiled 2015, the year after the band suffered member losses and the only one that remained in the band was singer Jennifer Haben. Rapidly she filled up the empty spots with new member and last year the album HEART OF THE HURRICANE was released. The re-released version titled HEART OF THE HURRICANE – BLACK EDITION contains the original album along with another disc which is a best of release made of the two past albums. There’s also three brand new songs added on the disc so I guess fans of the band were eager to put their hands on the new disc when it came out.
HEART OF THE HURRICANE – BLACK EDITION is available as digi pack CD, CD, black vinyl and a deluxe box version. Many of the recent shows have been sold out which meant the band was directed into performing at larger venues. The Malmö show was the official tour ending but the band is already confirmed as support to Amaranthe in Finland at the end of year as well as a few show stops in Russia for it is over for this year.
Beyond The Black
As soon as the band showed up on stage the fans screamed from the top of their lungs and the show started with “Hysteria” which was shortly followed by “When Angels Fall”. Singer Haben had the fans clap their hands as she stood on her box while the rest of the members moved across the stage. The line up in the band consists today of:
Jennifer Haben – lead vocals
Chris Hermsdörfer – lead guitar
Tobi Lodes – rhythm guitar
Stefan Herkenhoff – bass
Kai Tschierschky – drums
The audience kept on clapping their hands as “Songs Of Love And Death” continued on the show, best way of describing the bands music would be well played melodic symphonic metal and the band actually have some really strong songs and solid material. I’m not a huge fan of this metal genre but I do appreciate some of the bands material. The members felt solid on stage and everyone contributed to make the show as great as they could.
Haben smiled and thanked the fans for coming to see the show, the next song is called “Beyond the Mirror”, the song woke up everyone in the crowd who started to sing along with Haben. There were a longer black box placed in the middle of the stage and it could take two people standing on it which the members used a lot to stand on. “Written In Blood” then followed, then a keyboard tune came out from the speakers and “Unbroken” followed. Luckily the band didn’t rely too much on the keyboard parts live and there weren’t anyone handling the keyboard either. The music felt more solid and heavier live compared to on album which only is a positive thing. Everyone but Haber walked off the stage during the first half of “Unbroken”, when they came back in the middle of the song Hermsdörfer helped her out with some growling/lead vocals. The fans loved the set up of the song and clapped their hands, Haben said it was time for a song from the new album and said that many asked how the song writing process is working in the band. Well, me and the bass player wrote the song and a miss-interpretation made the song into what it is now, he said something stupid and I thought he said spiderweb of eyes, so the next song is simply called “Spiderweb Of Eyes”. The band’s music is like a softer and nicer version of likes of Within Temptation and Tarja Turunen to mention a few in the same genre, it’s nice unharmful music that people that normally doesn’t listen to metal can listen to and think they are headbangers. It’s not bad and I think the band can go far since they are really professional and dedicated in what they do, however it’s not my kind of metal music.
“Running To The Edge” followed and even though this was the last show for the tour there were no signs of anyone in the band being tired, contrary everyone worked really hard and did their best to get the fans going. The small crowd jumped up and down and unfortunately people in the crowd didn’t pay any attention to the one standing next to them and people jumped on each other, I don’t have any problems with fans living out to the music but please watch out so you don’t land on anyone else’s feet. And what’s the thing with people in the crowd filming an entire show with their phone? I thought we were there to experience the show live and not through a lens. Enough ranting now, “Million Lightyears” with Hermsdörfer on stage started but apparently something happened on the other side of the club in front of the stage, Haber was standing over there and suddenly Herkenhoff ran over to her shouting at some guy in the crowd that he if he couldn’t behave he shouldn’t be at the club. Herkenhoff was furious as Hermfsdörfer said the band members were protective of their singer and nothing should happen to her just because some random dude couldn’t behave. We are here to have fun together and play metal, the fans clapped their hands shouting their support to the band as Hermsdörfer said the band was once again taking on “Million Lightyears”. Haben let the fans take care of the chorus and wanted the crowd to give a hand for the band. Well Malmö do you want to hear “Dear Death” she asked and fired off the song.
Everyone in the band walked off the stage and when Haben and Hermsdörfer started to talk again it turned out they were sitting at the mixing table across the stage at the club, “Through The Mirror” followed with only keyboard by Haben and guitar. It was a beautiful ballad in which Haben really showed was an amazing voice she has. It was sure something different to sit by the mixing table singing and it was fun to see a band try on a different approach. Haben thanked for the applaud saying she wanted the fans to sing a long with her in the next song which was “Song For The Godless”. She told the fans what to sing and when and everyone followed her instructions and it became a great interaction moment with the fans. First the fans sang accompanied by guitar and keyboard and after that solo without instruments and it was a fun way of peeling down the song into a new version.
Haben said that she participated in a TV show where artists interprets other artists songs and said the next song became such a great version that the band wanted the play it for the fans, it was the song “Salve Regina” originally made by Michael Patrick Kelly. The band continued on the guitar/keyboard path and as they entered the stage a dancer came out dancing to the music. A drum solo followed as the song ended and I could see Haben and Hermsdörfer walk back towards the stage. Luckily the solo was a short one and when the band had reunited on stage it was time to fire off “Misery” and “Heart Of The Hurricane”.
Do you want to jump up and down with us Haben asked and fired off “Lost In Forever” which was followed by the last song out during the ordinary set of the show in “Shine And Shade”. Needless to say that the fans started to shout for encores as soon as the band left the stage, 95 minutes of music wasn’t enough for the crowd and the guys came back firing off “In The Shadows” as the first encore out. Haben thanked the fans several times as well as the crew and the rest of the band for an amazing tour. She introduced the band members and then the band walked off stage, that made the show last about 10 minutes more and totally the band performed for about 105 minutes altogether.
What are my thoughts on the show and the performance; well I was positively surprised by Beyond The Black to be honest. I think the band has all the potential to become one of the bigger acts of their genre and I have to give them credit for already taking on a headliner tour this early in their career. Their music may not be my cup of tea but I appreciate their stage show and their connection with the fans, the band seemed to be having a great time together, besides for the debacle with the guy that somehow offended Haben, and created a great atmosphere together with the crowd. The set list felt solid and included a good mix of older songs teamed up with more current ones, and the section with the acoustic parts felt intimate and honest. Overall was this a great night together with Beyond The Black and I have to say that if I stumble across the band on a festival I’m definitely going to see their show. I’m not surprised if the guys are performing at the some of the bigger stages at Wacken Open Air or Graspop Metal Meeting soon.
The band is booked to perform at Graspop Meetal Meeting, Resurrection Fest, Monsters Of Rock and Powerwolf Open Air next summer.