Gaia Epicus - Horncastle, England, 5th November 2008
|Event:||Gaia Epicus: Damnation U.K. Tour|
|Written by:||Baz Anderson|
Gaia Epicus - Horncastle, England, 5th November 2008 by Baz Anderson (13)
November the 5th. In England this is the day we celebrate the thwarting of the gunpowder plot, where explosives were planted under the Houses of Parliament in 1605 with the hope of assassinating King James I. But on this night in the small Lincolnshire town of Horncastle, a very different celebration was going on; a celebration of heavy metal. Old Nick's Tavern, a small venue in the heart of Horncastle was place for this celebration. It is a cosy place with food and a pool table free to play on, on Wednesdays, and a dartboard as well as friendly people all around, a perfect atmosphere for a fun shows such as this. Before the show started, I was told of a volume limit and that horrible word, a curfew, but alas, neither of these things mattered as the bands played for ample time as the volume was just right, helped along by a nice sound system which enabled us to hear every aspect of the band's music.
First band of the night from Leeds, Damnation Angels, a quintet playing symphonic heavy metal. These guys, and girl, seemed like a relatively young band who have yet to find their specific style and stamp they can apply to the songs they write. The band was relatively static on the stage, or floor, as it was, and seemed a little stiff, probably due to a lack of playing live experience. Still, if the band keeps playing together, there is hope for a nice future as especially the drummer and guitar player had their moments to shine and showed great promise of budding talent. The band's frontman did a fantastic job given the situation by engaging the small audience and getting us to clap along at various parts. He showed more enthusiasm on stage than any of the other members and seemed to be having the most fun, which always lifts an audience's initial state of disinterest. Vocally not perfect at all, but with the strong determination he has, his vocals can only get better. Still with a small mob of friends presumably also from Leeds and the small audience present, appreciation was shown after every song. Damnation Angels are a relatively young band who have not yet found themselves, but have an aura of purpose that will hopefully make them grow as musicians and a band as a whole.
Headlining their Damnation tour in support for the new album out next month, Gaia Epicus are the band we have been waiting for tonight. All the way from Norway, these Norsemen know how to play their cutting edge, heavy power metal. Thomas and Ole have been joined by a new tour guitar and bass player, and without knowing these two haven't been a permanent member of Gaia Epicus for a lengthy amount of time, it was unnoticeable as the two played superbly and especially the guitar player who seemed to be enjoying himself most on stage brought a new, fresh, fun factor to the stage show. The band played superbly together, a few mistakes here and there but nothing significant, certainly nothing to take anything away from the enjoyment of the show. This was of course perfect opportunity to try out a couple of songs from the new album, opening the set with "Cyborgs From Hell" that sounded highly promising and also "You Are A Liar!" later in the set, of which both received a good reaction, as all songs did during the set. As the set went on, the audience loosened and made a great sound even though there was only a handful of people watching the show. Perfect opportunity for the audience participation part of the show with a fantastic sing-along chorus with "Keepers Of Time" from the band's first album.
The band were appreciative of the audience's efforts and generally seemed to be having a real fun time themselves. The set included a range of songs from all four of the band's albums and the set as a whole was a reminder of just how good power metal is live when it is done right. This band although musically slightly unoriginal, definitely put on a worthwhile show we were all glad to have seen. A real atmosphere of fun was in the room, especially when singer from the first band leapt onto the stage with one of the last songs to sing with them. An encore of "Fire & Ice" and the relentless "Iron Curtain" sealed the deal with the last song's unrelenting back half being a fantastic endless festivity of guitar soloing and drumming.
The band's hour set concluded the night's celebration and partying that was superbly hosted by the cosy and friendly atmosphere of Old Nick's Tavern. Gaia Epicus put on one of the best shows I have seen in a while, but unfortunately after a friendly talk with singers of both bands of the night, Thomas and Dane, it was time to say goodbye to Horncastle and say a big thanks to Old Nick's Tavern for putting this great show on!
Gaia Epicus Setlist
Written, and photos by Barry Anderson
||Written on 08.11.2008 by Member of Staff since 2006.|
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