• Top 20 concerts of 2011

    24 Ene 2012, 21:22

    With January 2012 already almost at its end, it might be a little late to post this. But because 2011 had so many great and impressive concerts for me, I still wanted to post this journal entry, featuring my 20 favorite concerts of the year. The list is quite diverse, but so is my musical taste.

    1.Godspeed You! Black Emperor in Paradiso, Amsterdam

    This reunion tour has been one of the most impressive live experiences I've ever had. I don't think there was a single person in that concert hall that didn't have goosebumps all over his body when Godspeed performed Moya in utter and complete perfection. I will remember this night for as long as I live.

    2.Steven Wilson in Paradiso, Amsterdam

    My favorite musical composer of all time on his first solo tour. A lot of work was put in the sound engineering, but the screen visuals, the stage performance and the perfectly executed songs were absolutely stunning. I have seen Mr. Wilson perform many times before, and either the Fear of a Blank Planet Tour or this show must have been his best. Already looking forward to the second leg in May 2012.

    3.The Watch in de Boerderij, Zoetermeer

    This concert might look as a strange appearance on this list. In 2011, The Watch performed a cover concert of the famous British band Genesis. Completely focused on the "Peter Gabriel era", this Italian band played one of the best progressive rock albums of all time, Selling England by the Pound, in its entirety. To this majestic album, which was performed in such a flawless way that it could hardly be distinguished from the original, Genesis masterpieces such as the touching The Musical Box and the epic Supper's Ready were added. Peter Gabriel. Steve Hackett, and Phil Collins could hardly have done better than these Italians did.

    4.Watain in De Kade, Zaandam

    One of the best studio as well as live black metal acts out there, Watain needs no introduction to any fan of high quality black metal. Pioneers of what is often referred to as the orthodox subgenre of black metal, their live rituals are legendary among black metal fans worldwide. Watain does not deal in mere concerts, but in totalizing live experiences. Performing top-notch pieces off their latest masterpiece Lawless Darkness, the Swedish legions never fail to deliver. Can't wait for them to come back to the Netherlands.

    5.Aderlating in dB’s studio, Utrecht

    An in my opinion much underappreciated band, Mories de Jong's project Aderlating, played an overwhelming show in this small venue in Utrecht. Known from projects such as Gnaw Their Tongues and De Magia Veterum, Aderlating is one of his lesser know incarnations. Nevertheless, with the criminally loud sound in Utrecht, this unique mix of black metal, noise and dark ambient took over every inch of my body that night. The verses were performed with so much energy, agression, and violence that this concert, which lasted only half an hour, was a true physical and mental experience. Definitely the surprise of the year!

    6.Opeth in 013, Tilburg

    Touring their album Heritage, Opeth played an entirely clean-vocal live show in Tilburg. Even though Heritage received mixed receptions, this concert was a direct hit and showed us a beautiful and fragile Opeth, performing their most emotional songs.

    7.Covenant in Luxor Live, Arnhem

    The reunion of this legendary black metal band, who unfortunately turned industrial after two very promising releases, had led to high expectations. Luckily, Covenant did in no way fail to deliver and was the absolute highlight of the Aurora Infernalis Festival. Performing on my birthday, this was an ideal gift and really made my night.

    8.Pain of Salvation in 013, Tilburg

    The progressive rock masters from Sweden played a fine set while opening for Opeth. Despite the lack of enthusiasm from the crowd, the band did a great show, performing some of their best songs. The highlight of the show was of course Daniel's amazing voice.

    9.Alcest in Doornroosje, Nijmegen

    A one in a kind band, Alcest had been of my most grateful musical discoveries of all time. While they were not able to execute their sound live as well as on CD, the live show was nevertheless a great experience, which temporarily removed me from this world and took me to another.

    10.Van der Graaf Generator in Tivoli Oudegracht, Utrecht

    Founded in 1967, these mammoths of progressive rock still knew how to rock the evening! Thris triumvirate, all over 60 years of age, mastered their instruments remarkably well and were able to set down a show that people 20 years their junior could only dream of. Already looking fowars to the 2021 concert!

    11.Rosetta in Ekko, Utrecht

    12.Absu in Luxor Live, Arnhem

    13.Primordial in Doornroosje, Nijmegen

    14.Farsot in Luxor Live, Arnhem

    15.The Devil’s Blood in dB’s studio, Utrecht

    16.Negură Bunget in Luxor Live, Arnhem

    17.Sonata Arctica in Effenaar, Eindhoven

    18.Blackfield in Paradiso, Amsterdam

    19.Peter Broderick in Paradiso, Amsterdam

    20.Virus in Luxor Live, Arnhem
  • Gorgoroth - Live in Rotterdam 10 april 2010

    12 Abr 2010, 7:50

    Sat 10 Apr – Quantos Possunt ad Satanitatem Trahunt - Europe Tour

    Had an awesome night watching Gorgoroth live in Rotterdam. The sound wasn't perfect, but hey: it's black metal. The show was great and the return of Pest has truly paid off. The choice of songs was also great, they played the following tracks:

    Setlist:

    1. Bergtrollets Hevn
    2. Aneuthanasia
    3. Katharinas Bortgang
    4. Prayer
    5. Revelation of Doom
    6. The Rite of Infernal Invocation
    7. Forces of Satan Storms
    8. Ødeleggelse og undergang
    9. Blood Stains The Circle
    10. Satan-Prometheus
    11. Destroyer
    12. Incipit Satan
    13. Profetens Åpenbaring
    14. Unchain My Heart!!!

    Connections: GorgorothMardukMayhem1349Ov HellImmortalDarkthroneEmperorBurzumWatain
  • Sunn O))) Live in Utrecht, The Netherlands, 20 October 2009

    21 Oct 2009, 14:59

    Tue 20 Oct – Sunn O))), Eagle Twin

    After discovering Sunn O))) a couple of years ago, it took me quite a while to really get into their music. I remember classifying it at first listen as, not surprisingly, monotonous noise. I couldn’t really see the point in all the bass noise and hissing vocals. I put the records I had away for quite a long time.

    However, since mid-2008 I started paying more attention to the mighty old Sunn O))) again. I started to appreciate their newer stuff more and more and had a Sunn O))) discography marathon a while later. I have now listened to and learned to appreciate every studio album, one more than the other, from The Grimmrobe Demos through Monoliths & Dimensions. After becoming totally crazy about them this year, I went to see them in Tivoli de Helling in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

    The lords of drone doom had some high expectations to fulfill. I saw them perform for the first time last May during the ten year anniversary tour of The Grimmrobe Demos. They played in an old church in Rotterdam and performed The Grimmrobe Demos in its entirety with a well suiting high volume. No vocals, no guests, just pure, mind-blowing bass violence. And mind-blowing it was, I was mighty impressed by the powerful performance and so was the Man Upstairs, as it started raining and thundering like Ragnarok was about to break out.

    So when I arrived at the Tivoli last night, I was expecting quite a lot from Sunn O))), while simultaneously wondering whether they would be able to deliver. Tivoli de Helling is a pretty small, but definitely atmospheric venue. Just before half pas eight, the support act, Eagle Twin, started with instantaneous low-tuned tunes and violently high-turned volume. The band consists of one drummer and one guitar player/vocalist. They set down an excellent show. I had heard their debut album, The Undkindness of Crows, twice before the show, much to my acclaim, but their live performance was even better!

    When they started playing, the vocals were a little bit soft, but luckily this was fixed quite fast. After this, they played some good, raw stoner metal. A strong part of their sound were the vocals, which sounded raw and strong and better than those of most stoner metal singers. Their sound was nice, low and dirty and the drumming was very energetic. The bass was pretty heavy and could be felt throughout the entire body. What I liked best was a ten minute guitar drone doom piece around the middle of the set. It consisted of long, mighty guitar drones accompanied by energetic drumming and reminded me a lot of Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine (the band, that is). After this, they returned to their old stoner doom sound and ended with an outro with very cool, eerie vocals, giving a hint of what we could expect from Attila a little later.

    Around ten o’clock Sunn O))) entered the stage in their usual monk cloaks after a long, but atmospheric intro. Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson took up their guitars and started playing some REALLY low and heavy drones. Definitely louder than in Rotterdam, I could feel my entire body vibrate near the stage. They were accompanied by Steve Moore on synths and trumpet. After a good while of bass violence, Attila Csihar entered the stage and started performing the lyrics to Agartha. This started out quite normal, but throughout the show he found more and more creative ways to use his voice to accompany the sonic doom of Stephen and Greg. He also started wearing a creepy, slimy mask later on, which looked pretty cool under the hood of his cloak.

    Sunn O))) performed the first three songs of Monoliths & Dimensions (Agartha, Big Church [megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért] and Hunting & Gathering (Cydonia)), but in completely different forms than on the album. Agartha stayed quite true to the original version, but the other two songs were heavily mixed with live additions and improvisations. Later on Attila went to change costumes and came back in a cloak filled with mirrors and metal plates. He was crowned by Stephen O’Malley with a glass crown which pointed in all directions and started shooting lasers from his hands. This was nice, but not as cool as some people found it to be. Personally I find it more atmospheric to see a crazy monk hissing in clouds of fog than an avant-garde king shooting lasers on stage. Nevertheless, he performed excellent and the entire band was met with well deserved applause after nicely suddenly turning off the music.

    It’s true what the CD booklets say: Maximum Volume Yields Maximum Results. Sunn O))) proved this last night with the loudest and most physical show I have ever seen. Go see them when they come to your town, you won’t regret it.

    Artist Connections: Sunn O))) & BorisEarthKhanateKTLPentempleBorisNadjaBurning WitchBurial Chamber TrioGrave TempleAsvaAscendOmOrthodox
  • Porcupine Tree live in Amsterdam 12 October 2009

    12 Oct 2009, 23:10

    Mon 12 Oct – Porcupine Tree, Robert Fripp

    Last time I saw Porcupine Tree perform in Amsterdam, half of the venue was empty. Now, in the same venue three years later, it was crammed. A lot of PT enthusiasts showed up and it promised to be one hell of a night.

    Unfortunately, my friends and I arrived too late to see Robert Fripp, but according to some people I spoke, I didn't miss much. Anyone can correct me if I'm wrong of course, I wasn't there to judge it for myself.

    At 8.30 sharp the band entered the stage. They immediately started playing Occam's Razor with also immediately synchronized video playback kicking in. This is the kind of show I love and it promised to be awesome.

    The video's were almost all animated, in contrast to the Fear of a Blank Planet films which featured a lot more real life material. Overall, I found the animations less inspiring than those used in earlier shows. They were still decent, but I wasn't awe struck like I was during previous concerts.

    The audience was surprisingly great. When I saw PT for the first time in Tilburg in 2005, the whole crowd was completely silent during the entire show. This created such a warm and intense ambience which I never again experienced at any other Porcupine Tree concert afterwards. Tonight, the crowd was pretty silent once more. This could be due to poor knowledge of the lyrics to The Incident, but whatever the reason was, it made the show more enjoyable for me.

    Sound problems were quickly fixed after the first songs, creating a very good live sound at a level you don't hear often. It was great hearing the Incident live and they did a hell of a job putting the entire thing out there. Highlights were definitely the raw and energetically played Drawing the Line, the enthusiastically recieved Time Flies and the apotheosic, epic ending with I Drive the Hearse.

    After a ten minute break (featuring a countdown) the band returned on stage to play some other songs. Some were pretty predictable, but there were certainly some surprises. The wonderfully played Russia on Ice which faded into the second part of Anesthetize, both personal favourite PT tracks of mine, was definitely the apex of the second part of the show. Other well performed songs were Normal (featuring awesome harmonious vocals) and another raw and straight forward track called Bonnie the Cat.

    They ended the show with an encore containing The Sound of Muzak and, of course, Trains. It was nice to have The Sound of Muzak instead of Blackest Eyes, which is awesome but which I have seen too many times live to really miss it.

    Overall a good evening with a great audience ambiance (which you don't often experience in such large venues) AND awesome sound. One of the best times seeing them live!

    Setlist:

    Part One:
    Occam's Razor
    Blind House
    Great Expectations
    Kneel and Disconnect
    Drawing the Line
    Incident
    Your Unpleasant Family
    Drawing the Line
    Yellow Windows of the Evening Train
    Time Flies
    Degree Of Zero Liberty
    Octane Twisted
    Seance
    Circle of Manias
    I Drive the Hearse

    Part Two:
    The Start of Something Beautiful
    Russia on Ice
    Anesthetize (second part)
    Lazarus
    Strip the Soul
    .3
    Normal
    Bonnie the Cat

    Encore:
    The Sound of Muzak
    Trains
  • Review: Wolves In The Throne Room - Black Cascade & Malevolent Grain

    4 Mar 2009, 9:35

    Wolves in the Throne Room has proven to be relatively one of the most productive black metal bands of the new millennium. Ever since their debut in 2006 we haven’t seen a year without a Wolves release. And while 2009 had barely started yet we have already generously been treated to TWO Wolves releases: the Malevolent Grain EP and the Black Cascade LP. Because these releases have followed each other so closely in time and because they feature only six songs combined I have chosen to review them together in one article.

    Malevolent Grain:

    A Looming Resonance: Definitely not a very WITTR-like song. It is monotonous instrumentally, but not disturbingly so. The most unique thing about this song is obviously the clean, female vocals. This is nice, but tends to get boring after more listens. The recurring sentence “Time stands still” is nice and gives the song a distinct atmosphere. It gets faster around the 8 minute mark, but is overall low-tempo for Wolves standards. They seem to work more with drones on this song, which suits a Southern Lord signed band perfectly. This also applies to the noisy crescendo into which the song accumulates.

    Hate Crystal: Now this is Wolves in the Throne Room as we know it! It starts out immediately with the all-familiar shrieking vocals, fast guitars and pounding drums. Sometimes it gets interrupted by nice instrumental pieces with a little more prominence of the guitars. As opposed to the opening track a true black metal song, with maybe the exception of the last two minutes, wherein the raw black metal sound flawlessly fades into a smoother, calmer, ambient part.

    Overall a nice treat from the guys with an experimental track which gives us something different for a change and a very traditional, consistent second track. The first track is nice for a few times, but, as has already been said, gets less interesting after more listens. Hate Crystal hasn’t yet let me down once though and is one of Wolves’ finest, especially for fans who, like myself, like Diadem of 12 Stars the best.

    Overall: 70/100

    Black Cascade:

    Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog: The opening track starts out just like Hate Crystal, with immediate vocal and instrumental violence bashing through your speakers. What I like best about this song is the atmosphere, the black metal feeling, the dark sound it has to it from beginning till end. Later on it progresses into a slower, atmospheric part, just to be followed by an awesome faster part with nice and speedy repetitive guitar riffs. You will notice that this formula will be used more throughout the album. The song ends in a pleasant drone, probably with a smile from Southern Lord.

    Ahrimanic Trance: This one also immediately brings you into the black metal atmosphere we all seek. It features some incredible vocal work. It is not very complex, but nevertheless fairly satisfying. Around the five minute mark there is a part which I find a bit messy (but not too much). This flows into a short ambient part and then returns to the up-tempo drumming and guitar playing. This turns into a great harmony between atmospheric and fast instrumentation and raw, powerful shrieks. The last four minutes consist of a slower part with repetitive guitars and loud drums. It sounds okay and evil, but is the second weak part of this song, which is a pity.

    Ex Cathedra: This track starts out pretty weak instrumentally, though Nathan provides us with some nice sick vocals. It gets better later on, with some nice rough parts, interrupted by weaker ambient parts. The ending is awesome, I must admit, but this is still the weakest track on the album and (with the exception of the last minutes) really misses “feeling” to it.

    Crystal Ammunition: The last track starts out nicely and becomes more brutal as it goes. This gets interrupted by a soothing instrumental part, that suddenly returns to the rough drumming and riffing. Later on the ambient and rough part synthesize around the ten minute mark with very nice results. The album ends with an ambient part supported by some heavy drones.

    This is overall a nice album, but not the quality I’m used to from Wolves. After hearing Hate Crystal on the Malevolent Grain EP I expected another brilliant full length. This seemed to be the case when the album opened with Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, but this is immediately the top track on the album. Ahrimanic Trance is decent and at some moments great, but features some weaker parts and Ex Cathedra is just plain average. Luckily Crystal Ammunition makes up for the previous two tracks, but overall I’d say this is an okay release, something I’m not used to from the band that brought us masterpieces as Diadem of 12 Stars and Two Hunters and which has been one of my favorite black metal bands ever. If this would have been another band, I might have given it a higher rating.

    A plus point is the consistently great vocal work on the album. On the flip side: sometimes, as in Ex Cathedra, the ambient parts are out of place and of mediocre quality. It also bothers me that the tracks feature too much superfluous outro. Finally, it misses the overall “feeling” that the previous album had and which every black metal album should have. Atmospheric metal albums should have a distinct atmosphere as a whole and Black Cascade misses this. Let us hope that they’ll set the bar a little higher next year.

    Overall: 68/100

    Highlights: Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, Crystal Ammunition

    Artist connections: WeaklingLurker Of ChaliceDrudkhNachtmystiumNegură BungetBlut aus NordDarkspaceVelvet CacoonFenLeviathanDarkthroneSatyriconEmperorBurzumMayhemImmortalGorgoroth1349XasthurUlverDeathspell OmegaAlcestKralliceWalknutAgallochThe Ruins of BeverastPaysage d'HiverColdWorldUrfaustEnslavedPrimordialLifeloverShiningJudas Iscariot
  • Review: My Dying Bride - For Lies I Sire

    24 Feb 2009, 10:29

    "The feel of the album is heading for empty and bleak with flashes of rage." Thus spoke Andrew Craighan, My Dying Bride's long time guitarist about their latest work For Lies I Sire. Of course this vague statement reveals absolutely nothing, as this could apply to any album from their gloomy catalogue. But after two and a half long years of waiting and anticipating I grew impatient, so I was thrilled when I finally got my hand on this record. Their latter albums definitely belong to my favourites and have never managed to dissapoint me thus far. So while I was actually supposed to be studying I gave up after a while to actively listen to this long awaited album. Because I have listened to every song attentively, I have chosen for a track-by-track review to pay heed to every song on the album and give a detailed description of the new My Dying Bride record.

    My Body, a Funeral: The album opens perfectly with a calmly playing guitar. Aaron immediately starts singing in a very strong vocal melody. After one minute the band's freshest member Katie Stone gives us the welcome return of the beloveth violin, which has been highly anticipated among fans. The song is great all the way through and ends with a vocal harmony between Aaron and a background singer. This will be used a lot throughout the album, with in my opinion very positive results. Overall a very strong opening track and without a doubt the best song on the album and already becoming a personal My Dying Bride favourite for me.

    Just like the opening track, Fall With Me is also very strong throughout the entire song. It features a very powerful drum and guitar part around the middle and ends with the classic My Dying Bride formula of slow guitar and weeping vocals.

    The Lies I Sire is nice and features all the familiar My Dying Bride elements. I don't really have anything else to say about this one.

    Bring Me Victory opens very promising with awesome vocals and guitars. It gets slightly weaker later on with a dull guitar part, but ends in the same great way it began. A nice track.

    Echoes From a Hollow Soul is a classical My Dying Bride track, not too venturous, but a very nice song nonetheless. It ends with a nice, atmospheric piano part where Katie proves to truly fit into the band's dark sound.

    ShadowHaunt is grim, even for My Dying Bride standards. It really evocates the emptiness Andrew was talking about. It starts out with bleak and cold beginning and evolves into a grave ending with a genius harmonious combination of rage and despair.

    Santuario di sangue features good uttering vocal work by Aaron, brilliantly advancing into an atmospheric violin part with well placed noises in the background. After the original first minutes, the second half of the song contains the classic formula which is not really original, but still features the things we love so much about this never dissapointing band.

    A Chapter in Loathing starts with the same speedy death metal guitar riff that sets in at the end of The Blood, the Wine, the Roses off A Line of Deathless Kings. It is without a doubt the roughest and most death metal track on the album with harsh vocals and fast guitar playing. Even the violin has a rapid part. This one's a gem for fans of My Dying Bride's death metal side and Aaron's rawer vocal work.

    I LOVE My Dying Bride closing tracks. The Blood, The Wine, The Roses, A Doomed Lover, For My Fallen Angel and Black God belong to my all-time favourite tracks by the band. Death Triumphant is a great track, but fails to impress me in the way their legendary closing tracks do. It is undoubtely an awesome song, but in no way reaches the level of the other ones mentioned.

    Although not, as in Aaron's words, "the most depressing thing we've created to date", this is a classic dark and depressing My Dying Bride album. It truly manages to evocate the bleakness and emptiness throughout the entire album Andrew was talking about . The most important innovations are the return of the violin and the extensive use of harmonious vocals. Especially the latter gives very positive results and are new to the My Dying Bride sound. It is in my opinion the greatest addition and innovation of this album and certainly what pleased me the most. Apart from that this also features the classic My Dying Bride formula pretty much throughout the entire record. It is not groundbreakingly innovative, but definitely features some new addition and in my opinion improvent to the My Dying Bride sound. I found it to be an album that grows on you and gets better with more listens. Overall a great, solid record that will please every My Dying Bride fan.

    Overall: 85/100
    Highlights: My Body, a Funeral, Fall With Me, ShadowHaunt
    Artist connections: AnathemaParadise LostNovembers DoomMourning BelovethSaturnusKatatoniaDraconianShape of DespairSwallow the SunTiamatEvokenCandlemassEsotericSkepticismMoonspellOctober TideVirgin BlackMorgionFuneralDaylight DiesOpethLacrimas ProfundereType O NegativeLake of TearsNovembreRaptureOfficium TristeCathedralAgallochAntimatter
  • Shining - The experience

    19 Feb 2009, 16:48

    Today I had the day off to study at home. I had to take care of some stuff and write an important piece of work. After scrolling through my Winamp Library and inspired by listening to a lot of Sunn O))) and Lifelover last week I stopped at my Shining discography. I had only listened to V: Halmstad before, but also had all the other albums in my collection. So I decided to listen their entire catalogue from V to I. It was an amazing experience.

    I was already familiar with the depressive black metal genre thanks to beautiful acts like Lifelover, Nae'blis, ColdWorld and Leviathan . Each and every one of these bands is so emotional and awesome, so I was looking (and still am) for similar stuff. Obviously I am also familiar with Xasthur , bus he’s a bit too noisy for my taste (though I love his work with Sunn O)))). But now it was Shining’s turn to give me the chilling and haunting experience this genre never fails to provide.

    I started with IV: The Eerie Cold and put all the subsequent albums in the playlist. In the beginning I was just typing, but as the music progressed I sometimes stopped working, stopped doing anything at all to fully appreciate the effect of the music. The tones of the several albums filled the room with a total and intense atmosphere. I believe real fans of the genre must have experienced this as well. Though the musicianship evolves through the band’s career, every album is a masterpiece and none lack the dark, chilling atmosphere that defines Shining. The heavy guitars, the wonderful, very well placed piano parts, the haunting samples and of course the creeping atmospheric vocals… Each song is another voyage on the weary winds of Scandinavian winter. The hours passed by like mere seconds and I felt like I was alone in an immense Swedish forest in winter time (cliché huh?), caught in an all overruling atmosphere brining me down to my knees. And when Only Silence Remains..., the last song of I: Within Deep Dark Chambers was closing, I closed my eyes and dissolved into the music, BECAME the music. Starting with five minutes of guitar and vocal violence, it faded into a very short calm guitar part. The noise terror returns in a mighty crescendo and after nine minutes the song ends with the tortured shrieks Kvarforth, accompanied by some cold, mysterious sound effects.

    And that where I opened my eyes again. I returned to my room, to the world, and thought about what just had happened. This had been an awesome experience which I am sure to do again, but it will never be as immense and powerful as this time. Everyone who is interested in great, profound and very atmospheric music should listen to this band. My now silent room still contains the echoes of five dark masterpieces. I think I will soon close the curtains, turn off the lights and let myself be taken away again.
  • Porcupine Tree DVD Recording @ Tilburg 15 oct 2008

    16 Oct 2008, 6:20

    Amazing show tonight! It was my fourth Porcupine Tree concert, hopefully with many more times to come. The croud was a bit too noisy, (at my first PT concert, the entire crowd was silent during the whole show, wow!) but the band was great as usual

    Setlist

    For those of you who've never been to a PT show (go!), the band plays on stage and behind ans besides them are three giant screens where video's are played perfectly simultaneous with the music. This gives an even more magical effect to the already impressive show. They started playing the entire FOAB album in a row and I was glad to be able to witness this for the last time.

    1.Fear of a Blank Planet: An obvious opening track. The mic fell during the second verse, but that was fixed in no time. Well played as always with a lot of energy.
    2.My Ashes: Very warm atmosphere during this one. Only wish Steven Wilson would've song the chorus himself.
    3.Anesthetize: Very well played, especially during the loud parts with bashing drums and flashing lights. Probably the best peformance of this fabulous song I've ever seen.
    4.Sentimental: This was awesome! One of my faves from the FOAB-album, performed perfectly!
    5.Way Out of Here: I always like the video during this one, great one!
    6.Sleep Together: Oooh, this was nice as well. Especially the instrumental ending which is also great on the album was performed extraordinary. Altogether a fantastic performance of a great album.

    But this was only the beginning... The band came back and played eleven more songs for the enthusiastic Dutch crowd.

    7.Normal: Didn't think they were going to play this, since they already did Sentimental, but luckily they did.
    8.Stars Die: Steven Wilsons own personal favourite played especially for the older Dutch fans. Gotta love this one. Especially the vocals came out great.
    9.What Happens Now?: Played with a lot of enthusiasm, so the two best songs of Nil Recurring were represented, and represented with style.
    10.Open Car: Nice, seemed to be an exact replica of the song off the Arriving Somewehere... DVD. Well played.
    11.Dark Matter: They already played this last time. I would have liked something else from their older material, like The Moon Touches Your Shoulder, but it was nevertheless nice.
    12.Wedding Nails: VERY nice instrumental, better IMO than Mother and Child Divided, which the band usually tends to play instead.
    13.Half-Light: O my God! Steven Wilson approached the crowd with a special guitar. On the place where the hole is in an acoustic guitar, on this guitar there was a small tv-screen with awesome effects. It really helped to give this song an even warmer and more intense atmosphere than it already has.
    14.Sever: A nice one which few people seemed to know. Great switching between harder vocals in the verses and softer, hushy vocals in the choruses.
    15.Blackest Eyes: THE Porcupine tree classic. Not really played any different than other times, but the crowd went wilder this time. Porcupine Tree's fanbase has really grown over the years.
    16.Sleep of No Dreaming: Wow, did not see this one coming. Awesome song of course and very well played. Made me feel a little bit part of the Coma Divine-magic ;-)
    17.Halo: A great closing track. Lot of people singing along and the band gave everything they had for the last time.

    And that was the first Holland show and what a show it was! Sound was decent, crowd a bit too noisy as I already said, but altogether an awesome evening with an awesome band.
  • Best 50 Songs of 2007

    17 Dic 2007, 11:33

    2007

    As 2007 is drawing to an end the “best of 2007-lists” are starting overflowing last.fm. This year, I have chosen to join the hype. However, instead of naming the year’s best albums I have made a list of the best songs.

    2007 has been a year of amazing discoveries for me. In 2006 I discovered a crazy little thing called and this year I have further refined and extended my taste within this amazing genre. It has been a great post-rock year with a lot of good releases by both the bigger names and the more underground bands.

    This year I have also discovered the genre. While 2007 has been my year of probing the post-rock spectrum, 2008 will probably see a lot of new sludge albums into my music collection. And although my favourite sludge bands Isis, Cult of Luna and Mouth of the Architect didn’t release anything this year, this was compensated by a lot of other, smaller bands. The new Minsk release alone made 2007 a great year for sludge, everything else has been a nice extra.

    And as always, I have sticked to the progressive rock/metal genre. It’s still my favourite music and this year has seen a lot of great releases thereof. New albums by Porcupine Tree, Neal Morse and Symphony X were truly masterpieces.

    So now I will present you my list. It will probably still be under construction for the following days. Any comments (or recommendations) are welcome!

    The 50 best songs of 2007

    1. Porcupine Tree - Anesthetize
    2. Minsk - Ceremony Ek Stasis
    3. pg.lost - Yes I Am
    4. Jesu - Weightless and Horizontal
    5. Neal Morse - The Door
    6. Logh - Saturday Nightmares
    7. Symphony X - Paradise Lost
    8. Eluvium - Prelude for Time Feelers
    9. Threshold - Slipstream
    10. Within Temptation - All I Need

    11. Porcupine Tree - Normal
    12. Immánu El - Under Your Wings I'll Hide
    13. Eluvium - Radio Ballet
    14. Blackfield - Christenings
    15. Omega Massif - Unter Null
    16. Explosions in the Sky - The Birth and Death of the Day
    17. Tunturia - Cast Shadows on Clouds
    18. Oceansize - The Frame
    19. Jesu - Old Year
    20. The American Dollar - Signaling Through The Flames

    21. Eluvium - Reciting the Airships
    22. 65daysofstatic - The Conspiracy of Seeds
    23. Caspian - Moksha
    24. Radiohead - Nude
    25. The Fray - How to Save a Life
    26. Anekdoten - A Sky About To Rain
    27. World's End Girlfriend - 100 Years Of Choke
    28. Air - Once Upon a Time
    29. God Is An Astronaut - Tempus Horizon
    30. Dream Theater - The Ministry Of Lost Souls

    31. Knight Area - Exit L.U.M.C.
    32. Marillion - Somewhere Else
    33. Sieges Even - Eyes Wide Open
    34. Sonata Arctica - Paid in Full
    35. Sigur Rós - I Gaer
    36. Marillion - Thank You, Whoever You Are
    37. The Pirate Ship Quintet - Pirate Ship
    38. Air - Photograph
    39. Boris with Merzbow - Feedbacker
    40. *shels - The Conference of the Birds

    41. Sunn O))) - Belürol Pusztít
    42. Beware of Safety - To the Roof! Let's Jump and Fall
    43. Pelican - City of Echoes
    44. Devin Townsend - Solar Winds
    45. Maserati - Show me the Season
    46. Joy Wants Eternity - You Are The Vertical, You Are The Horizon
    47. French Teen Idol - Rebirth
    48. Latitudes - A Falling Mute
    49. Blackwaves - 0114 AA
    50. Do Make Say Think - The Universe!
  • PORCUPINE TREE + ANATHEMA live in Amsterdam 05-12-07

    6 Dic 2007, 1:03

    It was my second time seeing Anathema, my third time seeing Porcupine Tree and my fourth time seeing Steven Wilson. Nevertheless, the goosebumps were still as intense as they were the first time.

    The gig was played at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam. It's a nice venue, it was big enough for everybody and it left every person enough space to move.

    Anathema opened the evening with my (and a lot of other people's) favourite Fragile Dreams. It was an amazing opening song and also the climax of their show. I have never been that into Anathema, but they performed a nice show. During two songs a female singer sang along with the band and she did a great job. The band used a lot of psychedelic and distortion effects, mainly with vocals. This was okay, but in my opinion they overdid it a little. All and all, a nice warm up for Porcupine Tree.

    Then, after a short wait, the lights went out for the second time. Porcupine Tree entered the stage during an atmospheric intro. They grabbed their instruments and Fear of a Blank Planet set in. As always, they played their music perfectly simultaneous with the images on the video screen behind them. This particular song was played with a lot more energy than earlier this year.

    Next was What Happens Now?, one of the two great song off Nil Recurring (the other being Normal). They played it well and the vocal distortions during the chorus were okay.

    Two songs later, Steven announced that they were going to play a lengthy song. I instantly knew enough and I prepared to be anesthetized! All three parts were performed perfectly and it gave me goosebumps all over my body.

    Open Car was played directly and energetically. It was followed by Dark Matter, which was opened nice and smooth and ended in a fine instrumental section. During Blackest Eyes I heard a lot of people singing along. I remember when I saw them back in 2005. The entire venue was completely quiet, you could actually hear a pin drop. I guess things change, but as always, this song was great and gave a lot of people a fresh dose of adrenaline.

    Cheating the Polygraph was performed in a way to rock out to and many did just so. I would have preferred Normal instead, but you can’t have it all (and with a setlist like this, I wouldn’t dare to complain. It was great to hear Half Light. I expected them to play this during their last tour, but they didn't. Oh well, I got to see it live anyway. Not many people seemed to know it (which is quite logical), but most people did seem to appreciate it. Way Out of Here and Sleep Together being played as a duo was a great choice of the band and after this they left the stage.

    After a bit of cheering, Steven Wilson, Colin Edwin and Richard Barbieri re-entered the stage. Steven Wilson said they were going to play a song that they hadn’t played in a long time. After threatening to play Jupiter Island, the band started to play The Sky Moves Sideways Phase 1. It was awesome, it was epic, it was wonderful. It was really nice to see this live and it definitely was one of the best moments of the evening. After playing Trains and Halo to an enthusiastic audience, Steven Wilson thanked the fans for coming and thus ended one of the greatest concerts of 2007. An incredible way to (almost) close the year.

    Setlist:

    Fear of a Blank Planet
    What Happens Now?
    The Sound of Muzak
    Waiting Phase One
    Anesthetize
    Open Car
    Dark Matter
    Blackest Eyes
    Cheating the Polygraph
    Half Light
    Way Out of Here
    Sleep Together

    Encore:

    The Sky Moves Sideways Phase 1
    Trains
    Halo