AD INFINITUM Chapter I: Monarchy – album review

There is nothing like new music to lift our spirits during these times. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of AD INFINITUM’s upcoming album Chapter I: Monarchy, and I am excited! They already released a couple of bangers singles and absolutely over-the-top videos (in the best way possible) for Marching on Versailles and See You in Hell. However, the first sample of what was to come was I Am The Storm, with a video released in November 2018.

The whole album has a lot of fire and power. It’s bombastic and symphonic, which makes it harder to create a new and specific sound, but they managed it gracefully.

Infected Monarchy is a perfect intro, so dramatic, symphonic, and bombastic, and yet very soft. I love how there is a such a common sound and concept tying the album together.

Marching on Versailles is such a powerful anthem I can only describe it as “!!!!”. I sure am ready to follow Melissa into battle and storm Versailles (eat the rich) This was their first single and it was chosen so well because it defines the album and band and really makes a statement. I loved it. Very curious to see if any new songs will surpass it in my top.

Maleficent is a bit different, starting with a lot more focus on drums, but alternating with very soft parts where clear vocals shine. The drama of it all is still there. And by the end of the song we are treated to some growls as well “Watch me riiiiiise!” – I sure will.

See You in Hell starts so soft like a sad song I just want to wrap myself into. It just gets better and better and then bam SEE YOU IN HELL. A song for my taste. The sound is so good, Melissa absolutely shines and the lyrics are even more powerful. I mean, “Goodbye my love/ May we meet again/ Heaven is closed/ See you in hell!”. Like wow! Chills! Take a moment to take that in. I also have to mention just what a big production the video is! True dedication and investment, bringing a story to life.

I Am The Storm was the first song we heard from Ad Infinitum, with a video released a year ago. It’s a good song and definitely a good first song from a band, but it feels somehow ‘other’ to the most recent songs from the album, as it’s not as over the top with the orchestration.

Fire and Ice is a ballad that is still full of different elements and orchestration but compared to the rest of the album seems more stripped down.

Live Before You Die is back with a kick! It’s the kind of song that makes you wanna move and dance, so I think this one will be a hit live.

Revenge starts with soft keyboard and bells, but I am sure it’s not gonna last. And there it is! the orchestration growing in intensity and dramatism. I love how they know how to mix enough harsh vocals to get just the right effects. The vocals are shining loudly on top of the instrumental. However, for this album I expected more …. hatred …. from a song called Revenge.

Photo Credit: Nat Enemede

Demons is fast-tuned, with slightly less choirs and dramatism than the rest of the album and makes even more use of harsh vocals. We even get a spoken interlude.

Tell Me Why closes the album on a softer touch, mixing “flowy” parts with more powerful ones.

All in all, this is the kind of musical content I want to hear. For a first album, this manages to create not just a specific sound but an identity for Ad Infinitum. It will also skyrocket Melissa as an absolute powerhouse vocalist! This album showcases just how much she can do and how well it all works. She can explore everything she can do, but still knows when to reign it in and not over do it, when to layer tracks and when to use harsh vocals. The instrumental also keeps up with her and helps create a magical and powerful sound.

Fans of symphonic metal will definitely run towards this album. For me,
Marching on Versailles remains the absolute favourite and highlight of the album, with See You In Hell a close second. Within this genre, this will definitely be one of the best albums of the year!

I am sure it will be such a treat to hear it live. So when things calm down and we get the chance to attend concerts again, make sure to buy a ticket and go see them support Serenity, Dynazty, and Victorious!

Blazing Desert Metal takes over Bucharest – Myrath and Eleine

Blazing Desert Metal descended upon Bucharest with Myrath and Eleine enchanting us for a night.

Eleine are the perfect opener for Myrath, close enough in style. After all, we do see their frontwoman, Madeleine Liljestam , in a traditional bellydance outfit. And boy does she put on a show! The songs are interesting and it makes for a nice show for those who don’t know them. Very visually pleasing. Unfortunately, the sound was quite bad, with drums cranked all the way up and vocal lines indistinguishable at times. Guitarist Rikard Ekberg deserves some praise for his really great interaction with the public.

Myrath are no strangers to Romania and they packed Quantic Club once again. This was my 4th time seeing them and I was really excited because they have been growing so much and their show has become so much more. It’s not every day that you see a band bring their own carpets and pillows on stage :))

The sound got better for their but not ideal and the lights were a real struggle for photographers, since they never actually light up Zaher and he got a bit lost behind the smoke.

Back to the good parts, the guys delivered! I truly love their attention to detail and their commitment to bring something extra and to do something special. This tour they have been bringing their producer Kevin Codfert on stage to join in on keytar (portable keyboards) for a couple of songs. They have a lovely bellydancer who just kept getting better and better throughout the show.


And as if that is not enough, they even had an illusionist! Yes, imagine floating sticks and tables and even floating Zaher!

They actually put thought into bringing props and creating interesting costumes. So glad to see men be creative about how they dress on stage and not just get away with basic tshirt and jeans combo.

But enough about that, let’s get to the music! That’s why we’re here after all. Their setlist took us through their albums, including all the well known hits such as “Tales of the Sands”, “Endure the Silence”, “Believer” and the very strong songs off their latest album which are already classics: “Dance”, “Born to Survive”, “No holding back”, “Monster in My Closet” and obviously the title song “Shehili”. Though I think I would have liked them to start with a stronger bang to match all the craziness already on stage.
I have to admit I don’t know all their songs that well, but even for those I didn’t know it was such a pleasure to listen and watch!

The whole show is just such a great ride with so many things happening that make it memorable. Truly, it is an experience to take part in more than just a number of songs played. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they filled Quantic and people really joined in for the fun. They also announced that they would be coming back to Romania with their new album, so I am excited! This tour saw them go to Brasov as well, so the future looks very bright!

Hammerfall, Battle Beast and Serious Black trio in Budapest

This Thursday evening 3 heavy metal bands played in Barba Negra, on the same day as Megadeth and Five Finger Death Punch performed in the Arena. On my way there I was wondering about how many people I will see in the venue when I arrive, but when I saw the queue around the entrance I knew this show would be sold out or at least close to it. (later I learned it was actually sold out)

Image result for battle beast hammerfall budapest

Out of the three bands I was familiar with two, Battle Beast and Hammerfall, having seen each of them twice before.
Based on their name < Serious Black>, I draw the conclusion that they must play in the same genre as Hammerfall and I couldn’t be more right. When I entered the venue, they were just starting the show, the sound and the image of the band was just pure heavy metal, nothing more, nothing less. Sometimes less is more. I looked around and I saw people from all ages already having the most fun, kids, teenagers, parents and even grandparents. This genre, I would say, is the one that closes the gap between generations when it comes to music preferences. The youth loved it because it was catchy, very energetic and the band really knew how to hype the crowd. On the other hand, the older generation, I guess, grew up on this exact sound and this is what they think of when they say music was better when they were younger. Of course, this was true for the whole night, not only for Serious Black. People were enjoying the opening show, they were jumping, they were clapping and singing when asked to J , but the most important part is that they were there, listening to them.
We often go to events where there is considerably less people before the headliner starts and I was happy to see this was not one of those nights. Serious Black are coming back in September and I’m sure there will be many people who will join after seeing them opening for Hammerfall.

The next act on stage was Battle Beast, a band I enjoy a lot! I got into metal by listening to female fronted bands and what I like most about Battle Beast is that they are nothing like them. Not that I would not love those anymore, cause I do, but because of the surprise element they have. I guess everybody, including me expects a high pitched voice or exactly the opposite, some growls when it comes to female singers in metal bands.

BATTLE BEAST

Noora doesn’t meet any of those expectations, she has a very strong voice with a great amount of rasp, no opera style and none of the extreme ends of the spectrum. Hearing her is very refreshing, it feels like something new, when the genre itself is one of the oldest. Battle Beast bring an ‘80s heavy metal sound that still has a fresh vibe to it.
The moment they showed up on the stage, all hands were up in the air and the venue “exploded”.
They started with the opening  song from their most recent album “No More Hollywood Endings”, from which they played quite a few more during the night. Song after song, people were screaming, dancing, headbanging, nobody got tired and to be honest they would not let us stop anyway. The way they interact with the crowd is next level. All the joking, funny moments, speeches between songs add more to the table than we would think. A little disco element in the songs, a little comedy never hurt nobody. After a few songs, Janne brought some disco drums <as he said> on the stage which gave a whole new atmosphere, now that was the 80s vibe we needed from them.
Rock music was always about fun&games, and they did not let us forget this during the night.

After a short break Hammerfall jumped on the stage, by this time, there the venue was absolutely full, which shows that besides modern metal, there is still a huge need for simple heavy metal without adding to much extra elements to it.
The instruments were loud, the singer was loud, but damn, the crowd was even louder at times. Fans were not so busy with moshing, they choose to sing from the very first song to the very last one.

Image result for hammerfall napalm records

It didn’t really matter which album they were playing from, fans knew the lyrics and they definitely knew how to impress the band. In between the songs, they did not stop chanting “Hammerfall”, it was very nice to see that. Besides playing a few tracks from their new release “Dominion” they did not forget to bring their classics like “Any means necessary”, “Last Man Standing” or “Hearts on fire” (probably the first Hammerfall song for 90% of the crowd). Especially on these pieces, the fans not only sang along with the band, but they were let to sing choruses and bridges alone several times.
Some people prefer to hear the singer sing all the way to the end, but I think these are the moments that become unforgettable memories from a show not only for us, but for the band also. My favorite part at heavy or power metal shows is that the crowd not only sings the lyrics but they “sing” the riffs and the melodic guitar solos too. Of course, this also happened here on almost every song, which made this night a very loud and energetic one. Little kids also joined the “OoooOooo” parts and I’m sure they will remember this concert when they grow up.
After “Let the Hammer Fall” the band left the stage for a few minutes. It goes without saying that fans invited them back, so they continued the set with the most successful song from the night (imo) “Hammer High”.
That song is like the anthem of not only Hammerfall fans, but all heavy metal fans. It’s a classic that should be never left out of their setlist, and I’m glad they think the same way.
After this bomb of a song, the new album’s “Sweden Rock” followed which got the best reaction from the crowd from all the played new songs. As for the last one, the riff of “Hearts on fire” started playing and it took us back to some childhood memories when we couldn’t wait for this song to come up on MTV.

Overall, I think this is how a tour line up has to be done. Great quality bands playing in similar subgenres, so fans can appreciate them all, no matter which band made them buy the tickets.

Review by Eszter Kovacs

Sărbătoarea Subcarpați și pe 2 Decembrie

La cererea publicului trupa Subcarpati va sustine un al doilea show pe 2 decembrie. BestMusic vă invită și în acest an să ținem obiceiul în picioare și să facem încă un concert sold out. Invitate speciale sunt Surorile Osoianu.

Subcarpați e un mix exploziv între muzici tradiționale românești și beat-urile zilei de azi. O combinație eclectică prin care ne reoxigenăm cu folclor românesc, instrumente tradiționale și ritmuri de trip-hop, dubstep, rap sau dancehall.

Trupa s-a născut în 2010, la inițiativa lui MC Bean, solistul trupei Șuie Paparude. La granița dintre folclor și ritmuri moderne, de electro și hip-hop, trupa pune preț pe tot ce înseamnă tradițional românesc.

Subcarpați reinterpretează folclorul în manieră proprie și aduce în prim-plan ideea că e important să ne conectăm la originile noastre. Vorbește despre patriotism și dragostea pentru valorile tradiționale fără să le transforme într-un discurs patetic.

Biletele se găsesc în format electronic pe www.iabilet.ro și în rețeaua fizică iabilet.ro/retea: Magazinele Flanco, Diverta, Hard Rock Cafe, Cafe Deko, Club Vintage, Club Quantic, Expirat Halele Carol (în intervalul orar: 18:00-22:00), Berăria H, Metrou Unirii 1 lângă casa de bilete Metrorex, Magazinul Muzica, Magazinele IQ BOX – Telekom, Agențiile Perfect Tour, Magazinele Uman, sediul librăriei Libmag (Bulevardul I.C. Brătianu, nr. 6, Sector 3), Casa de balet și pe terminalele Selfpay din toată țara.

Online pe www.iabilet.ro, puteți plăti cu cardul, prin Paypal, pe factură la Vodafone sau Orange cu plata la sfârșitul lunii sau ramburs cu plata cash prin Fan Courier oriunde în țară.

Acestea au următoarele prețuri:

  • presale: 65 lei până pe 15 noiembrie
  • presale: 70 lei până pe 1 decembrie
  • la intrare: 80 lei

Apocalyptica in Bucharest – or how live music is the closest we get to magic

Apocalyptica descended upon Bucharest in a show we will surely remember. They have been celebrating their 20th anniversary for a few years, so we were glad to see them return with Apocalyptica plays Metallica by 4 cellos.

First of all, we all know Apocalyptica, the world famous metal cello band. I had seen them last year in a festival so I already knew just how incredible their live show was. That being said, we were not ready for what came. It was an incredible night of emotional music, that left us all wondering how they can do all of that with just cellos. But more than that, their stage presence, their charisma, their wit, all made for a great evening.

The show had two parts, the first seeing the 4 celloists in front of panels, creating such a powerful image. Would have been much appreciated if the stage was not so low, and most of us could have actually seen that. The magic of a cello show is that the audience can be heard so much louder, somehow making a 1700 people show seem so intimate and special. Though you’d expect the public to singalong a bit more loudly to well known Metallica songs.

They started strong with bangers like Enter Sandman and Master of Puppets, continuing to play songs from their first ever album (obviously Metallica cover album). It was really magical from beginning to end. Even for those who knew the band, myself included, it was surprising and incredible to hear it all and know it’s being done just with 4 cellos. The sound and atmosphere was just so intense.

Photo credits: Adelina Sahlean

The second part of the show was heavier, with the appearance of drummer Mikko Sirén and hist very interesting drum set. They took us through well known songs, but also included some gems such as Orion or Escape. And for a little snippet for those who paid attention, during Seek & Destroy, they also gave us some tunes from AC/DC’s Thunderstruck.

Photo credits: Adelina Sahlean

What I must definitely mention is that I have rarely seen better interaction with the public. Eicca and Perttu took turns engaging the crowd, sharing anecdotes, being funny and very charming. Kudos to Perttu for being quick silver on stage, running all around while playing a cello. And a huge bow to Eicca, who clearly fought through fever and illness to still give us one hell of a show.

It’s been a couple of days and I am still thinking of how great the show was. We all knew they are great musicians, but seeing them on stage is something else. The whole show is just something else, pure magic. I am so glad we were able to see them in Bucharest once again, and let’s hope we do this again soon.

ArtMania 2019

            Așezat în inima Transilvaniei, orașul Sibiu este o încântare pentru mine. Această zonă magnifică, medievală, cu arhitectură veche, este și va fi un centru de cultură, de istorie și de evenimente deosebite precum este și evenimentul pentru care revin cu drag, în fiecare an: festivalul ARTmania, desfășurat în Piața Mare.

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(c) Carlos Funes

            La fel ca edițiile precedente, și ediția a 14-a a fost una destul de reușită atât din punct de vedere al formațiilor care au urcat pe scenă, cât si din cauza atmosferei pline de energie, a oamenilor frumoși, a întâlnirilor dintre prieteni. Oriunde îți îndreptai privirea puteai zări tineri care se îmbrățișau (pesemne că se revedeau după o perioadă lungă) sau care ciocneau pahare de bere ori pur și simplu savurau sunetul și muzica din acel moment.

            Sunt foarte mulțumită că am ajuns la timp în Piața Mică unde băieții de la Am Fost La Munte Și Mi-a Plăcut au încins atmosfera cu piesele lor exclusiv instrumental, în ciuda căldurii foarte mari. Trupa de post-rock/tripcore, fondată în 2015, s-a bucurat și aici de un succes, publicul a reacționat pozitiv, a fost și mult headbanging și aștept să îi văd curând și pe scena mare pentru că îmi sunt foarte dragi.

            Prima seară de festival a fost destul de populată la ora deschiderii, iar trupa germana de post-hardcore Fjort a deschis șirul concertelor. Cei trei membrii ai acestei trupe înființată în anul 2012 au împărtășit pasiunea lor pentru muzică și pentru găsirea unor noi căi de afirmare, de a exprima emoțiile prin trecerea de la o abordare visătoare la una extrem de agresivă, hardcore prin care au transmis energia lor către fani.

(c) Carlos Funes

După prestația publicului din Piața Mare, destul de monotonă, pot spune că nu mulți dintre cei prezenți s-au și bucurat de acest concert, probabil fiindcă nu erau familiarizați cu acest gen muzical adoptat de Fjort sau poate doar căldura a fost de vină…

            Următoarea trupă care a urcat pe scena ARTmania a fost Wardruna din Norvegia. Solistul Einar Selvik împreună cu trupa sa de neo/dark folk a redat Sibiului o parte din tradițiile culturale norvegiene folosind instrumente tradiționale nordice inclusiv tobe primitive de cerb. Aceștia au oferit publicului un sunet străvechi, plin de emoții si trăiri nedefinite. Wardruna, trupa cunoscută în special datorită serialului mult iubit, Vikings, și-a încântat fanii cu melodii de pe ultimul lor album numit “Skald”, lansat la finele lui 2018. În general tonul melodic abordat de această formație, o creație specifică, devine o ocazie bună de a pluti către o asociere reușită de poezie, de instrumente și de voce. Și piesa care mie îmi place foarte mult “Helvegen” a răsunat în Piața Mare a Sibiului.

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(c) Carlos Funes

Nu mult a durat pentru ca atmosfera să se încingă, să revină la viață odată cu prezența pe scenă a celor de la Architects. Trupa britanică de metalcore din Brighton, formată în 2004 de către frații gemeni Dan și Tom Searle se află pentru a doua oară la noi, prima lor prestație în România fiind la festivalul Electric Castle. Mulți spectatori entuziasmați în timpul concertului, au sărit, au țipat, s-au eliberat de probleme și au intrat în inelul muzical cu multă energie. Astfel, din recital nu a lipsit piesa „Gone With The Wind” , cunoscută în rândul iubitorilor celor de la Architects, ca fiind dedicată lui Tom Searle, fratele geamăn al toboșarului Dan Searle, răpus de cancer în 2016, la aproximativ 4 luni după lansarea albumului  „Holy Hell” în 2018. Au fost cântate și “Death Is Not Defeat”, “Gravity”, “Holy Hell” sau “Memento Mori”.

(c) Carlos Funes

            Pentru că deja eram copleșită și trebuia sa îmi revin într-un fel, la pauză am optat pentru o bere rece 😊 dar a durat foarte mult până am intrat în posesia ei, datoritș cozilor lungi de la fiecare dozator…  și recunosc că nici nu am avut timp prea mult de așteptare pâna în clipa în care cei de la Dream Theater, headlinerii serii, au urcat pe scenă. Admit că nu sunt fan Dream Theater, și după părerea mea, se putea și mai bine sau poate drumul, respectiv căldura l-au copleșit un pic pe vocalist. Instrumental vorbind, trupa americană progresivă a fost genială, te punea în mișcare fără prea mult efort. Printre piesele prezente s-au numărat  „The Dance of Eternity”, „Peruvian Skies”,  „Untethered Angel”, sau „Lie” si la bis s-a cântat „As I Am”. Concertul s-a încheiat puțin după miezul nopții.

(c) Carlos Funes

            A doua zi, după micul dejun, am pornit într-o scurtă călătorie prin Mărginimea Sibiului, o splendoare vizuală, din care nu mă puteam opri din privit. Peisaje de poveste, feerice, cu păduri, dealuri, ape curgătoare, cu sate situate pe văile râurilor care curg din Munții Cindrel prin platoul transilvan. Într-adevăr, avem o țară minunată!

            Seara, am ajuns exact când trupa slovacă Mobius a urcat pe scenă. Am fost surprinsă, în cele 40 de minute cât a durat concertul, de concepția muzicală a trupei cu influențe de stoner, doom sau sludge metal care mi-au dat senzația că au cântat aceeași piesă. Nu am mai fost prezentă la nici un alt concert de-al lor și din această cauză nu pot face comparații. Urmare reprezentației lor, fanii rock-ului s-au pus în mișcare, către alte atracții precum umbrelele prezente în Piața Mare, berea rece sau standurile de merchandising.

(c) Carlos Funes

            Următoarea formație prezentă pe scena ARTmania a fost trupa Alcest din Franța, protagoniști ai propriului gen muzical inventat: Post Black Metal / Shoegaze Black Metal / Blackgaze. Având în vedere că majoritatea versurilor melodiilor au fost în franceză, mi-a fost destul de dificil să pătrund în povestea lor sau să recunosc tema abordată, dar acordurile Alcest tind spre zona muzicii de film, fiind visătoare și capabile să transmită o emoție intensă. Postura lui Neige, gesturile din timpul concertului, sunetul chitarelor din ce în ce mai accelerat au transmis trăiri puternice, nelimitate care au încins atmosfera.

(c) Carlos Funes

            Pentru mine vârful festivalului Artmania a fost atins cu trupa norvegiană Madrugada. Sivert Høyem a fost o prezență foarte apreciată, acesta făcându-și apariția pe scenă îmbrăcat la costum, iar sacoul negru a fost asortat cu o floare roșie la buzunarul de la piept. De altfel, artistul a schimbat sacoul în timpul concertului cu unul foarte sclipitor, ca și când a vrut să transmită cu siguranță că toți cei 10 ani de absență de pe scena muzicii rock nu i-au influențat negativ, ba din contră, au revenit cu mult mai multă energie, cu și mai multă iubire față de muzică. Melodii precum “Belladonna”, “Strange Colour Blue”, “Salt”, “Electric”, precum și “The Kids Are On High Street” au răsunat pe scena festivalului.  

(c) Carlos Funes

Madrugada, mai mare ca niciodată, a oferit un spectacol vizual foarte frumos și a fost intens apreciată de publicul numeros din Piața Mare care i-au aplaudat și aclamat minute bune după terminarea concertului, precum și de toți cei prezenți care s-au strâns în jurul gardului. Scena din Piața Mare a fost destul de înaltă, având montate două ecrane foarte mari în stânga și în dreapta pentru a putea oferi publicului o panoramă foarte bună a ceea ce se petrece, din oricare unghi al pietei, din interiorul spațiului amenajat pentru festival, cât și din afara acestuia.

Festivalul a fost încheiat de legendele suedeze, Opeth, o formație cu renume, bine cunoscută în muzica internațională, cu influențe progresive, folk, blues, clasice și death metal. Concertul a fost deschis cu piesa ce dă titlul celei mai noi înregistrări a lor, Sorceress, arătând arma secretă a clasicismului. Alte piese prezente au fost “Ghost of Perdition” ( de pe albumul “Ghost Reveries”, 2005), piesă expusă cu multă putere, “Cusp of Eternity” (“Pale Communion”, 2014) sau “The Drapery Falls” (“Blackwater Park”, 2001).

(c) Carlos Funes

De altfel, se poate spune despre reprezentația lor că au fost prezente atât piese noi de pe albumele recente, cât și piese de pe albume timpurii. Ceea ce m-a captivat și mai mult a fost modul în care a fost interpretată piesa “In My Time of Need”. Opeth a încheiat concertul cu melodia „Deliverance”. Pot afirma că fiecare membru al trupei pare să se fi prezentat la cel mai înalt nivel posibil. Nici o înregistrare în studio nu poate surprinde sentimentul euforic al unei trupe sau legătura și interacțiunea cu publicul, așa cum a făcut Opeth la Sibiu. Nici cuvintele nu pot descrie cât de incredibil a fost.

Și uite așa a luat sfârșit festivalul ARTmania, cu publicul bucuros și plin cu noi amintiri. Felicitări organizatorilor, care au demonstrat încă o dată că se poate respecta programul anunțat publicului. Pentru ediția din acest an, au fost amenajate trei intrări/ieșiri, în concluzie nu s-a stat la coadă pentru accesul în zona festivalului, fiind alocate totodată 4 puncte pentru achiziționarea jetoanelor. Această ediție a fost foarte ok, fără incidente, fără mâini sau picioare rupte 😊.

Ca minusuri, ce nu țin de organizarea festivalului: la sfârșitul fiecărei seri de concerte nu mai găseai nimic de mâncare și nu a fost în regulă. Pauza dintre concerte a fost de aproximativ 20 de minute și nu aveai timp decât pentru a te duce la toaletă, nicidecum pentru a lua masa sau de a pleca pentru covrigi… După festival, am plecat cu prietenii, în grup organizat, încet spre cameră, întrebându-ne oare ce ne va aduce ARTmania 2020.

Recenzie de Alina Lupusoru

East European Comic-Con 2019

Ca in fiecare an, East European Comic-Con este un eveniment astepta cu sufletul la gura de toti cei care se bucura de filme, seriale, benzi desenate, gaming, si multe altele. Asteptarile sunt mari, dar stim dinainte ca ne vor fi nu doar implinite, ci si depasite.

Anul acesta am avut sansa de a ii vedea pe Paul Wesley (“The Vampire Diaries”), Carice van Houten (“Game of Thrones), Vladimir Furidk (“Game of Thrones”), Nicholas Brendon („Buffy The Vampire Slayer”), Manu Bennett (“Spartacus”, “Arrow”), Adam Brown (“The Hobbit”), Staz Nair (Qhono din “Game of Thrones”, care va fi și co-host al panel-urilor cu actori) și David Raynolds („The Travelers”, “Wayward Pines”), acesta din urmă acordând autografe și fotografiindu-se cu doritorii în schimbul unor donații redirecționate unei cauze nobile și anume unui orfelinat din Moldova.

Chiar daca ultimul sezon (sau ultimele sezoane) din GoT au fost slabe, putem sa ne bucuram de tot ce a insemnat si sa mergem sa ii vedem in fata noastra pe Mellisandre si The Night King. Iar daca nu e suficient, avem ultima sansa de a ne face poza pe Tronul de Fier (the Iron Throne), adus special pentru Comic Con.

O surpriza mare a fost Paul Wesley, pe care nu cred ca multi se asteptau sa il vada. Pentru mine, ca fan The Vampire Diaries si The Originals, a fost o surpriza foarte placuta.

Actorii sunt desigur ce atrag cei mai multi oameni, dar nu sunt cea mai importanta parte a comic-conului. Cel mai important este atmosfera, bucuria tuturor de a fi acolo, libertatea de a ne exprima si a fi noi insine. Este ceva special sa stii ca esti ca la o mare petrecere cu mii de oameni care au aceleasi pasiuni ca tine. Timp de 3 zile apucam sa descoperim oameni, jocuri, arta, muzica si multe altele.

Dintre paneluri, tot Manu Bennett ramane cel mai bun entertainer, care stie cum sa tina publicul implicat, cum sa scoata mereu cate-o anecdota. Ca intotdeauna, ne-a vorbit despre cultura lui, Maori, terminand cu un Haka. Dupa Comic Con, el a facut din nou un turneu prin Romania, postand foarte entuziasmat despre tot ce descopera. Ma bucur sa stiu ca va veni si la Comic Con in Cluj-Napoca, pentru ca sigur va fi fenomenal si atunci.

La polul opus, Vladimir Furdik, aka “The Night King”, a avut unul dintre cele mai slabe paneluri din cate am vazut. El este la origine cascador, nu actor, care poate s-a simtit. Problema cea mai mare a fost greutatea de intelegere si exprimare in engleza. Staz Nair a facut tot posibilul sa ii traduca in rusa si sa anime discutia. Prima regula in improvizatie este “Yes and”, adica atunci cand ti se pune o intrebare sa vii si tu cu o contributie care sa duca mai departe conversatia. Vladimir nu incerca prea tare sa aduca el mai mult decat un raspuns scurt la intrebari. Au fost si vreo 2-3 exceptii, dar cam atat.

Carice van Houten, sau Mellisandre, a fost o aparitie foarte placuta. In primul rand, ma bucur sa vad o femeie la un panel, lucru mai rar. Apreciez faptul ca anul acesta au fost foarte putine intrebari “cringe” si publicul a evoluat in ce intreaba. Pe de-alta parte, au fost multe intrebari legate de ce ar fi vrut personajul sa faca, sau legat ce s-a zis in sezonul 3 episodul x, foarte specifice. In mod clar, intrebarile puteau fi adresat celor care scriu episoadele, nu actorilor, dar am apreciat cat de mult a incercat Carice sa dea un raspuns la fiecare, sa se gandeasca ce ar fi facut personajele, ce s-ar fi intamplat. Chiar a fost o prezenta foarte buna si apreciata.

Pe langa paneluri, asa cum am zis, Comic-Con inseamna o experienta, in care ai ce sa faci zile intregi, oameni de vazut, lucruri de cumparat. Dupa atatea editii stii la ce sa te astepti, ceea ce este bine, dar au fost si multe activitati noi. Experientele VR au avut mai mare amploare ca oricand. Au fost multe standuri de la care sa cumperi jocuri, accesorii, carti, postere, stickere. Trebuie multa vointa sa nu vrei sa iei cate ceva de peste tot.

Per total, Comic-Conul a fost din nou un succes. Mi se pare impresionat cat de mare e, vazand cata munca intra pentru asa ceva. Au fost si cateva mici probleme, de exemplu cand in ziua a doua a fost sold-out si nu era clar daca mai intra oameni sau nu, fiind afara si cei cu abonament. Dar toate s-au rezolvat rapid si fara probleme.

Pentru mine, Comic-Con este intotdeauna o mare bucurie, cateva zile in care simt ca o parte din mine iese la iveala si e libera. Ma simt ca un copil care se bucura de orice. Cu siguranta ne vedem si la urmatorul!

Dirty Shirt & Orchestra / Lansare album Bucuresti

13 Aprilie. Quantic. Dirty Shirt și Transylvanian FolkCore Orchestra ne arată cum se face la Maramu’. Un show de ținut minte prin care lansează
noul album, Letchology.

Este al doilea concert Dirty Shirt pe care îl văd. Dacă primul concert m-a convins să îi revăd, acest al doilea concert m-a transformat într-o fană adevarată.

Seara a început cu francezii de la ZE GRAN ZEFT, care au fost o surpriza plăcută pentru mine. Au sunat foarte bine, au interacționat cu publicul, cu anumite glume mai mult sau mai puțin nesărate. Până la urmă, daca e să îi învățăm română, trebuie să începem cu înjurăturile. Înapoi la muzică, stilul lor mă duce cu gândul la rock-ul alternativ al anilor ’90. Per total, foarte interesanți, cu un sunet bun și prezență scenică.

Dirty Shirt urcă pe scenă alături de orchestră și își încep concertul în fața unui public dedicat, pornit să cânte, să țipe, să danseze. Exact cum le spune și descrierea, seara concertului a fost PARTY FOLKCORE GIPSY METAL FROM TRANSYLVANIA! Iar seara trecută s-a simțit cu adevărat ca o mare petrecere.

Dirty Shirt sunt una dintre formațiile care sunt mult mai bune live decât pe album. Scena mică din Quantic este neîncăpătoare, la propriu și la figurat, pentru tot ce ne oferă ei în această seară. Toată energia lor, toată atmosfera, tot ce înseamnă pe scenă, nu au cum să fie surprinse destul în studio. Iar comentariile politice și sociale sigur sunt sarea și piperul unui concert.

În concert ne-au trecut prin discografie, cântând melodii noi dar și cele deja cunoscute. Am apreciat cât de mult permit melodiile lor intervenția publicului, print ritm, cântat, aplaudat. Având și fragmente deja faimoase din folclorul românesc, sigur ajută, precum “Cobzar”, “Ciuleandra”, “Săraca inima me” sau “Dulce-i vinu”. Dar și noile melodii sunt la fel de apreciate de un public care deja îi cunoaște bine. Folkcore să fie!

Cum o petrecere nu e adevărat petrecere până când nu se întâmplă ceva mai ieșit din comun, și de data aceasta am avut parte de crowdsurfing.
Dan “Rini” Craciun, vocalistul, și-a luat barca și a început să cânte Bad Apples în timp ce publicul îl purta prin sală.

Spectacolul nu se putea încheia fără un wall of death pe “Mental Csardas”, sau fără “Pălincă” că doar am zis că e petrecere.

La final, pot spune că am rămas impresionată de concert, de formație, de atmosferă. Îmi pare rău de cei care au ratat concertul, pentru că au pierdut ceva chiar special.

Septicflesh live in Bucharest – concert review

The first months of 2019 were pretty quite regarding big shows, but somehow March and April unleashed the mayhem. Everyting started on a Saturday night, on 31th March, when I was heading to Quantic club to attend a very special show of one of my favorite bands. Maximum Rock announced that Septicflesh will return to our lands months ago and the hype got really real.

Science of Disorder was the first act of the night. Knew nothing of them and had no expectations. Though I arrived a short time after they started playing I managed to listen enough to have an opinion. The first thought that came through my mind was the similar sound they had to Septicflesh. Actually, I think they might have been the closest band to the headliner from that night, which is never a bad thing. I always enjoy seeing bands that come from the same range of vibes and sounds. Not saying they have the same songs or hit the same notes, but was definitely something different from those generic fast heavy riffs. They had a pretty decent public which they managed to engage and keep alive. The funny thing was the aspect of the band members. For what was going to happen that night in Quantic, the guys seemed a bit „soft”. However, the show was a real success and got the audience hyped for rest of the night.

Photo by Carlos Funes

Diabolical was the band that caught my attention from the very first song. Though I find the capes a bit generic and mainstream for this kind of bands, their unique sound was really intriguing. There was this perfect balance between heavy riffs, melodic parts, and growling and kept me there, starring. They made such a transition between the first band and those who were to come, that you would have no doubt you came to the right Death/Black metal show. Diabolical is certainly a band focused on atmospheric elements, from the black capes to the warm light colors and a constant feeling of darkness. You know a band is good when the people outside the venue are starting to come and watch, nodding their heads and whispering to each other, while keeping their eyes on the stage. I really hope to see them again soon.


Photo by Carlos Funes

About Krisiun I don’t precisely what to say because I knew them before but I was never really a fan. However, they made a show to remember and the audience loved every moment. Despite their raw riffs coming from Moyses Kolesne, the brothers Kolesne are the perfect driving force behind the band with vocalist Alex Camargo‘s brutal “approach”. It was a show on point, full of energy, moshpits, and smiles, marked by surprising cover. I didn’t get the chance to see Motorhead live, but Krisiun made “Ace of Spades” sound really authentic.


Photo by Carlos Funes

After half-an-hour set change and sound checking, we finally got to be introduced to the Greek Gods. In my opinion, Septicflesh is one the best bands one can see live. They know how to put up a show like no one else. Their connection with the audience, the way they are always trying to engage the people, the record-like sound, the attitude of Seth, all of these are the pieces of an exceptional show. The only downfall was the heavy amount of dry ice which never really cleared so anyone could catch a proper view of the band. In a way it was a plus for the atmosphere.


Photo by Carlos Funes

The classical „Destroy Style” Septicflesh atmosphere never really left the stage. The show started with „Portrait of the Headless Man” and lasted a little more than an hour, where each song seemed to have every human emotion playing on stage with the raspy high-pitched vocals of Seth.

The thing I love about Seth, the leader of the band, is how he interacts with the crowd and how he s trying to make them a part of this huge orchestration. You could really feel that each band member was well prepared to give everything they had, and so they did.


Photo by Carlos Funes

We got the chance to listen to songs from Codex Omega like “Enemy of Truth” and “Martyr”, but the best moments of the show were the crowd became really enthusiastic were during “Pyramid God”, “Prometheus” and „Persepolis”. However, “Anubis” was the moment when everyone lost their minds, singing, screaming, jumping, feeling every note.


Photo by Carlos Funes

I didn’t realize how full the club was until I called it a night a left the club. The night overall was a big success, and I cannot wait to see the bands again, soon. Until then, many thanks to Maximum Rock for make it happen this time.

Godsmack/Like a Storm live in Bucharest – concert review

On a lovely 1st April Monday, a perfect combo I might say, my steps took me to Arenele Romane, where I was going to fully enjoy a Godsmack and Like a Storm show. I knew the schedule will have no delay so I was at the venue by 7:30 PM.

Photo by Carlos Funes

Like A Storm is a band that came to our lovely country from New Zealand. I am a big fan of those guys for some years now and had some expectations regarding their show. With a sound so loud it forced me to wear earplugs, the guys took the stage, opening things up with lead singer Chris Brooks on the didgeridoo (very unusual instrument for such a band). As this was a first for me, and likely for most in attendance, but the combination of didgeridoo with the heavy guitar riffs of Matt Brooks, coupled with the strong bass lines of Kent Brooks, seemed to work perfectly. Like A Storm performed a short, but extremly energetic set that included past hits such as “Wish You Hell”, “Become The Enemy”, and closing with “Love The Way You Hate Me” (favorite song). The last song had a little special moment when Chris threw himself in the audience, jumping and singing around. They engaged the public in such a way that by the end of the show they definitely left with a strong romanian fan base. However, the sound was so loud I could barely understand the vocals in some songs. Overall the show was great and raised to my expectations.

Photo by Carlos Funes

So this was Godsmack’s second show in Bucharest. Usually, two days in a raw shows make me skeptical about the audience. To my surprise, the show was almost sold out (the first one was a full-house) and there was little space to move or breath.

Áfter the usually “move things around the stage” break, the Boston natives attacked with the song “Someday” from their latest release “When legends Rise”. With his trademark vocal power, frontman Sully Erna delivered a high energy set with records like “When Legends Rise”, “Unforgettable”, “Someday”, and “Bulletproof”. Guitarist Tony Rombola delivered the goods in his own inimitable style, and although he may not be flashy, he can certainly hold his own music wise, putting out some of the heaviest guitar riffs.

Photo by Carlos Funes

As for Shannon himself, he is just a treat to watch, putting on a drum show that might as well stand for himself. With arms flying in ways that the human body isn’t meant to move or catching his drum sticks while holding down the beat, Shannon truly is a master at what he does. However, the highlight of the drumming part was the battle between Sully and Shannon, “Batalla de los Tambores”. Featuring two drum sets that move out towards the front of the stage, Sully and Shannon have a drum off, taking turns drumming back and forth and also together at times with killer precision. Judging by the smiles on their faces, this might be their favorite part of the show too.

Sully didnt’t waste too much time chattering between songs, so Godsmack delivered a killer 2 hours set of heavy rock, which also included hits from the past including “1000HP”, “Cryin’ Like A Bitch”, “Voodoo”, and “Whatever”. Still, I don’t know if it was because of the stress or weariness but Sully missed many notes on some songs, kinda ruining them. Also, the sound was still a bit too loud, but far better than what Like a Storm had.


They closed out the evening with “I Stand Alone” and a funny cover of ACDC’s Highway to Hell. Godsmack is one of those bands that let you know the rock n roll is alive and well. And nothing tells you that more than the Godsmack women panties from the merchandise area. :))

About the organization there is not much to say. They were on point with everything, there were no lines at the bars or at the counters, the access was on time, no delays in the schedule, everyone left happy. Overall, the night was pretty awesome and I can’t wait to see both bands again soon. Until then, thank you Metalhead for making things happen.

Photos by Carlos Funes.