As I discovered Symphonic Metal only 3 years ago, I went on the search to find out when this style of music came around and what took so long for me to find it. I came across bands like Nightwish, who are legends of this style, and also found Epica, Within Temptation, Tristiana, Leaves’ Eyes, Delain, Xandria and the list goes on. One band that has stood out more for me than any is a band from Norway called Sirenia. They have never toured in North America, so my plans were to fly over to Europe once again. This time to see Sirenia live. To my surprise and shock, I saw on Facebook that they would come to North America playing The Mod Club in Toronto on May 17, 2017. A show I would not miss for anything!!
Without knowing who they will play with that night, I didn’t care, it was all about Sirenia. My wife, (co-writer) Shari and I both share a love for Sirenia.
We arrived to catch the last song of the opening band Sicocis. As I didn’t know any of the opening bands, I was able to do a little research on them, thanks to social media. I would say not my style but the crowd that came early seemed to enjoy them.
We quickly head over to the merchandise booth and I picked up my new Sirenia concert shirt.
Next up was MindMaze from Allentown PA USA. From what I heard from them online I was intrigued to see what their live set would sound like.
What I found is a mix of metal from power, progressive and more my style, Melodic. On vocals, the beautiful Sarah Teets was powerful with a clean melodic sound. They promoted their newest (just released) album Resolve with a short setlist of 5 songs. Of those 5, they played 3 songs from the new album. The new material sounded amazing so right after their set I found myself at their merchandise booth. Why not add another CD to the collection! Before the night was over I went back to purchase their first 2 CDs. I will quickly say if you like female vocals, mostly hard rock with a mix of different styles throughout, then go to their site and buy their music. You won’t be disappointed.
Before the next stage show, I was set up to interview Sirenia. The tour manager told me to go upstairs in the dressing room as they are waiting for me. I was confronted by security so I told him what I was doing. I asked him to take me up to the dressing room as they are waiting for me. He would not let me pass and would not get off his seat to help me interview the band. Always trying to give as much support as possible to the bands we write about. I pleaded my case to security only to be turned away again. I am hoping to get something for our readers via email interview. Hopefully, this will work, and I can post the interview at a later time.
Co-heading the show is Arkona from Russia doing their 15th-anniversary tour. All I can say is I can’t believe what I am hearing and seeing. On vocals, Masha amazes with a combination of clear rough vocals and melodic singing throughout the show. I don’t know how she can sing a full setlist but she was amazing for the way she sings. It looked like the crowd were definitely here for this band from Russia. They were moshing, dancing, and even threw in some Russian Folk Dancing. Bodies flying all over, falling down and they kept getting up for more. I give this band credit for what their style is but something I will not be able to comprehend. My wife Shari was rocking it out on the sidelines loving this heavy pounding, screaming music.
Finally, Sirenia was about to come on stage. I get myself up near the stage as I thought people were taking a break after Akrona only to see that sadly many people left. Supporting their release Dim Days Of Dolor (released in November 2016) which made my Top 10 of 2016, I was ready to finally see Sirenia! The lights go down and the intro starts. Drummer Jonathan A. Perez gets behind his drum kit and is joined by Jan Eric Soltvedt on guitar. Following, comes the creator of Sirenia, Morten Veland.
They opened the evening with a song from their 2015 release, The Seventh Life Path (Album Review), “Serpent”. French beauty and Sirenia‘s new singer, Emmanuelle Zoldan graced the stage in gothic wear of a black & red satin and lace outfit with a matching corset. Absolutely stunning only to add her beautiful voice. With singing lead on only one album, Emmanuelle was magnificent. She sang songs from 6 albums of the past. The band went all the way back doing songs from almost all their albums including “Meridian” from their first release At Sixes And Sevens (2002). Crowd pleasers “My Mind’s Eye”, “The End Of It All” and “Lost In Life” were also performed.
I was excited to hear the old tracks, but also a big fan of the current album. They heavily concentrated on Dim Days Of Dolor playing the title track, “Goddess Of the Sea”, “Treasure N’ Treason”, “Ashes To Ashes” and “Elusive Sun”. Hearing these new tracks solidified why this album was one of my favorite releases of 2016.
The album that got me into Sirenia was 2013 release Perils Of the Deep Blue. I was thankful to hear two amazing songs from this album, “My Destiny Coming To Pass” and “Sons Of The North”. As a fan of their previous vocalist Ailyn, I was sad to hear of her departure. In the end, Emmanuelle has proved that she is a perfect fit for Sirenia and does the songs of old justice.
They finished the night with “The Path To Decay” from their 2009 release The 13th Floor.
Even though it was a smaller crowd for Sirenia, the fans that were there to see Sirenia were completely satisfied but wanting more.
Seeing Sirenia share the night with Arkona was a big difference. The change of energy between the two bands left Arkona fans wondering what happened to the craziness their band created throughout the crowd. Two different styles of music, symphonic metal is what I prefer and will see any chance I can.
Thanks again to Noel Peters and Inertia Entertainment and Napalm Records for bringing this show to us in Toronto.
Shawn “Animalize” Irwin
Mindmaze Set List
Back from the Edge
Sign of Life
One More Moment
This Holy War
Sirenia Set List
Lost in Life
Dim Days of Dolor
My Destiny Coming to Pass
Goddess of the Sea
Treasure n’ Treason
Ashes to Ashes
The End of It All
Sons of the North
My Mind’s Eye
The Other Side
The Path to Decay