Dutch symphonic rockers Delain celebrate their tenth year with a jam packed itinerary, culminating in a massive homecoming gig this December, which will be filmed for a live DVD. New album ‘Moonbathers’ was released earlier this year to approving nods from fans and critics alike, so how would the new songs slot in alongside the perennial fan favourites?
Before that, we had the not-so-small matter of this evening’s supporting acts. Sounding like a pre-PC gag, “These Dutch, Swedes, Canadians (with an American) walk into an old porno theatre in Glasgow on a baltic Wednesday night…”, the three bands on show brought varying degrees of heaviness that was rewarded with a packed out crowd. When Canadians Kobra and the Lotus took to the stage, the venue was starting to fill up quite nicely, despite the early stage time of 6.30pm. There’s a healthy smattering of Kobra fans on the barriers, and the band’s arrival is met with horns up. If you have yet to acquaint yourself with vocalist Kobra Paige, then do so. Her range is stupendous, and recalls memories of ‘British Steel’ era Rob Halford. It’s metal through and through, old school, when tags like ‘power metal’ didn’t exist, and everything was much simpler. New album(s) ‘Prevail’ will be released in two parts during 2017, and ‘Triggerpulse’ is already out there in the virtual world. Featuring a stunning vocal from Kobra, it spreads out live, as the riffs are ramped up. Perfect head banging material, that’s for sure, as the guy to my left is proving. Older material is greeted vociferously, none more so than the epic, ‘Soldier’. Bouncing and galloping, it even gets the merch guy banging his head like a loon. We salute you, sir!
For many, Swedes Evergrey were new to them. Besides the Evergrey T-shirts in the crowd, the majority were encountering Tom S Englund and co for the first time. By the time their set ended though, these guys had very nearly stolen the show. A great combination of light and dark, Evergrey can play the heavier material yet still remain melodic and emotional. Englund is a massive presence. Imagine, if you will, The Undertaker in all his WWE glory, stalking the stage with a guitar in his hands, the stark lighting only adding to the scenario. The set begins with ‘Passing Through’, from the new album ‘The Storm Within’, the murky sound initially plays havoc with Englund’s vocals, but it soon settles down and the big man is heard loud and clear. Although Englund is quite a frontman, it’s guitarist Henrik Danhage that piques my interest. That guy can play, and he even gets a brief solo later on in the set. Through songs like ‘A Touch of Blessing’ and ‘In Orbit’, the band quickly turn strangers into new friends. Evergrey need to get back over quickly for a headline tour!