September 22-23, 2017 | Eindhoven – The metal genre seems more male dominated, and while that might seem true on festivals like Into the Grave, Occultfest and other major Dutch metal events, this weekend is fully packed with female fronted acts. Femme Metal Event is a fairly young festival and this is the fourth edition and also lasts four days. There are some exciting names such as Delain, Mayan and For I Am King. I was there on Friday (Dynamo) and Saturday (Effenaar) to report as many acts as possible on behalf of PitKings. Pictures: Oscar Anjewierden
Friday, September 22 (Dynamo)
Viper Solfa (NOR)
The first act to take the main stage is the Norwegian act Viper Solfa. The enter the stage in outfits that can best be described as Ghost Busters outfits. Singer Miriam Renvåg voice is powerful. The whole performance seems a bit static and their sound is big. But once you start to break down the individual instruments it is a lot less impressive. Renvåg screams her lungs out, but sounds really out of tune a lot of the time. The energy comes more from the grunts of Ronny Thorson. The audience seems to endure it.
The small stage is ready for yet another Norwegian act, and the room is pretty crowded. This post rock formation sounds very dark and has tendencies towards doom. The quality of this band sounds much grander than their predecessors, and they have a nice build up in every song. The sound of singer Tåran Reindal sound impressive but they are more complementary to the music, rather than they stand out. Nevertheless, an act to keep up with.
Weeping Silence (MAL)
A lot of bald guys with beards take the stage and amidst of them is singer Diane Camenzuli. They are a very famous act in Malta, where their roots lie and they’ve been around for almost twenty years now. Camenzuli stands her ground on stage but Dario Pace Taliana steels her thunder a lot the time with his dark grunts and stage presence.
For I Am King (NL)
Technically speaking For I Am King is one of the better acts of this Friday and they impress from the first moments on stage. I hear straight on metal with some doom influences here and there. Unfortunately, the bass player is missing tonight because he chopped his fingertip off during the cutting of some garlic. That doesn’t stop the rest of the band of making the most of it, and their sound is still really full. Singer Alma impresses the audience with her deep grunts and high-pitched growls. Their set is interesting from beginning till the end, they even have a moment of silence for the finger of bass player Jasper.
Vetrar Draugurinn (NL)
The room of the basement stage is fully packed when Vetrar Draugurinn takes the stage, this Dutch melancholic post metal band immediately reminds us of bands like Ayreon and The Gathering, mainly because of Marjan Welman’s voice who used to sing in Ayreon. This formation has more familiar names, with bandmembers from Stream of Passion, and All For Nothing. It seems a bit strange that they have to play downstairs when they look and sound much more suited for the main stage. If you like melancholy and drama then you’re in the right place.
Dutch symphonic death metal band Mayan is the main act of this Friday and the main stage is a little bit more filled now. They start off with the song Burn Your Witches, and the sound is a bit low in volume. But the attention of the audience is immediately drawn to the stage because it looks like total mayhem there with about nine people taking the stage. There are two female singers who provide breaks from the brutal grunts, but they play a small role. Mayan looks chaotic on stage, but they sound very much together.
Saturday, September 23 (Effenaar)
Amberian Dawn (FIN)
A nice crowd has gathered when the Finnish symphonic metal formation Amberian Dawn open the Saturday. Because of keyboard player Tuomas Seppälä the whole sound is fairytale like. Singer Capri sings her lungs out whilst looking fiercely at the audience, her piercing looks make you feel included in the performance. The songs sometimes sound like an eighties Disney movie soundtrack, also because of the fact that the backing vocals are prerecorded. They really seem to enjoy themselves on stage and say they are looking forward to Delain. Capri’s first song ever written is called Cherish My Memory and leaves a good impression.
The small stage at the Effenaar opens a little bit later causing some obstruction at the doors, but once they open the room is packed. It is time for some metal from Germany. Lilly Seth immediately demands the audience attention with her appearance, she looks quite huge and sounds it as well. With paint on their faces they look ready to blow the audience away. Her singing is good but in the higher regiments she is out of tune a lot. The guitarist looks like he’s from an eighties glamrock band but overall the audience seems entertained.
Edge Of Paradise (USA)
We’ve seen a lot of symphonic metal and now it is time for some heavy metal all the way from the U.S.A. Edge of Paradise have perfected the dramatic look, and seem armed and ready. Singer Margarita Monet has so much resonance over her voice that it makes you wonder whether she’s play backing yes or no. The whole show looks very streamlined and is dramatic, something the American are good at, quality wise it is kind of sketchy.
Beyond God (NL)
This Eindhoven based symphonic metal formation Beyond God is ready to take the small stage with their Epica sound. And they sound like they have a lot of potential, and singer Meryl Foreman sings has a clear singing voice. The sound effects however take away some of the charm and come over as rather lazy.
Theatres Des Vampires (IT)
This Italian formation knows drama, and every song is filled of it. The most stand out thing from the whole act is singer Sonya Scarlet outfit, which leaves very less to the imagination. Their sound is very grand and they seem to impress the audience.
People seem to have really come for one act this edition, and that is the Netherlands own Delain. In the more than ten years since they’ve been around, this act from Zwolle has proven to be one of the biggest name in the heavy gothic/symphonic rock scene. Tonight, they prove why that is by giving away a performance to remember. Everything about their show makes sense, and even if it is not your cup of tea, you get sucked in. They play a lot of old work, to the excitement of the fans. A perfect ending of a successful Saturday of FemME!