One problem that J-Metal fans encounter is that they don’t get to see their favorite bands live too often. If anyone makes a trek stateside it is usually short and quick. This month it was time for all girl Japanese metal band Nemophila fans to rejoice. Band came to US for a quick trek across the country for a handful shows. Pretty much everywhere they went venues were full. The Gramercy Theatre at the heart of New York City was close to a capacity as well.
Written by Andris Jansons
Nemophila traveled alone. There were no bands in support. So, while doors opened at 7pm and band came on stage hour and fifteen minutes later, crowd had to entertain themselves with few drinks and hustling for a better position closer to the stage.
While J-Metal is really just the same heavy metal and is only referred to the Japanese metal bands, though there are some specifics. One of the first things to note that Japan has multitude of all girls metal bands, just like Nemophila. While Nemophila image is more new age metal fashion, most bands cultivate Japanese anime fashion tendencies. It’s not just fashion, the music thematic often intertwine with anime thematic and music is often used in anime series and vice versa. Of course, this is not the only thing that makes J-Metal to stand out. A lot of Japanese bands don’t shy to sing in Japanese instead of English, and songs touch topics of the Japanese culture and life.
Nemophila is a young band, that formed only four years ago in Tokyo. Girls just a few months ago released their sophomore album called Seize The Fate, and their latest single Rise is getting some serious attention. Mayu on vocals utilizes clean and screamed vocals with such ease and poise, while Tamu Murata on drums is a pure “animal” (I need to choose my words wisely here as I speak about ladies), Haraguchi-san on bass and Hazuki with Saki on the guitars shred just like the guys from Pantera, Slipknot and Iron Maiden (girls wore t shirts of those bands on stage). Band also played Iron Maiden cover of The Trooper. I know I may sound like sexist being in awe of what these girls can do on stage as predominantly I’m used to see dudes in metal bands, so let me just say that Nemophila is amazing true metal band.
I don’t think I would succeed going through bands songs on the setlist as most might not be familiar to a larger audience. My main point here would be to advise metal fans to head to the streaming service of their choice and listen to bot of the bands albums, and check their website https://nemophila.tokyo/en/ , as their music is breathtaking and I would suggest that this band will go far in the future.
Unfortunately, New York City was the bands last stop in US, and we need to hold on to see bands future touring announcements.
Eluveitie returned to North America for a 2023 headlining tour with Omnium Gatherum and Seven Spires. The tour which kicked off on March 2nd in Baltimore, MD and will run through April 1st in Richmond, VA made a stop yesterday in New York City’s The Gramercy Theatre. However just before the first show Eluveitie announced that bands vocalist Chrigel Glanzmann could not join them and released following statement on their website:
“Chrigel has had to make the difficult decision to stay at home and take care of certain matters, and we fully support him in this time of need.
This decision was made at the very last minute, which is why we are only able to announce it today, on the day of our first show. We understand that this news may come as a surprise, and we apologize for any inconvenience it may cause. However, we want to assure you that we are fully prepared to deliver a one-of-a-kind Eluveitie set, with Fabi taking the lead and showcasing her incredible talents.
In addition to Fabi, we are excited to announce that we will be joined by two amazing guest performers: Adrienne Cowan from Seven Spires and Jukka Pelkonen from Omnium Gatherum. They will be taking over Chrigel’s part, and we are confident that they will do an incredible job.”
None the less – the show must go on! And if you did not sing the last part of this sentence, you might not be real rock fan 🙂
Written by Andris Jansons
First ones on the stage came American Melodic / Symphonic metal band from Boston called Seven Spires. To the date band has released three studio albums, with latest two years ago called Gods of Debauchery. Band opened with the title song from that album and followed with Cursed Muse and Succumb. Bands vocalist Adrienne Cowan provided excellent vocal range from growling to melodic singing. While performing the band expressed the gratitude of being back to perform stateside upon their return from touring Europe. They concluded set with Shadow on an Endless Sea and Dare To Live. All songs except Succumb represented latest release. Their set was a success as sold out venue roared in approval.
Finnish Melodic Death metal band Omnium Gatherum came on next. Just as Seven Spires, their latest release Origin saw daylight in 2021. Finnish guys are more experienced and have been around since 1996. Though their first album Spirits and August Light was released only in 2003. Since then the band has release nine studio albums. From the original lineup only Markus Vanhala is still with the band.
Their set was a trip down the memory lane as seven out of nine songs were from their earlier releases, with only Paragon and Reckoning hailing from latest album Origin. Their sound was different from Seven Spires as it was more technical and progressive and bands vocalist Jukka Pelkonen delivered blistering vocals. Crowd was immersed in their set as crowd surfers started to flow towards the stage and some brave men and women opened pit in a packed house. Bands “oldie” Ego from their 2011 album New World Shadows brought crowd to frenzy as moshers responded to Jukka’s request to open up that mosh pit for real. This was a strong and loud performance by the band, and it brought up the level of excitement to already pumped up crowd.
Just as Omnium Gatherum was different from Seven Spires, the nights main attraction Eluveitie plays fundamentally different style. The clean vocals of Fabienne Erni stood in sharp contrast with Adrienne’s and Jukka’s strong singing styles. And while Eluveitie incorporates unclean vocals by Chrigel Glanzmann their composite style is much more folk and melodic. As you read in the beginning on this tour exactly Adrienne and Jukka are filling in for Chrigel.
The first thing that strikes you when you see Eluveitie take the stage is abundance of all sorts of different instruments. While traditionally drum set is in the middle of stage, Eluveitie has it set up more to the side to have more room for other instruments, as to the other side they had set up Celtic harp which is played by Fabi and place for Matteo Sisti who plays bagpipes and whistles. Nicole Ansperger who plays violin usually finds herself next to Annie Riediger who plays hurdy-gurdy (I will not explain this instrument, just search it up). All that while you still have bass, lead guitar and rhythm guitar players. So, the stage is pretty crowded.
Some considerable parts of Eluveitie songs are sang in extinct Gaulish language, which was part of Celtic language for the people of continental Europe before Roman Empire, and covered the land that is now Switzerland from where Eluveitie hails. You would normally think that while only handful people in the whole world are familiar with this language, that it would not be helpful to sing in it. I would say Eluveitie has shown us that the contrary is true. It adds beautifully to the mysticism that the band embraces. Their lyrics are based on texts written in Gaulish such as prayers, invocations of the gods and other spirits.
Bands setlist spanned though their discography, while four songs were from latest release from 2019 called Ategnatos, which was bands eight studio album to date.
Atmosphere during Eluveitie performance was simply incredible as everyone enjoyed heavy riffs mixed with folk instruments fitting to satisfy even most strict music critics.
The tour just started in will go on till April 1st. Future dates below.
It’s not every night you hear a lady yell at you “get ready to get boned”… but that is exactly what lead singer Rosie Bones, from British born, female duo, rock band Bones declared to the audience right after ‘Happy’, the opening song of their set. She said that shortly after taking a sip from her whiskey flask. What a character!
Bones are currently on tour, supporting American fashion-art rock band Palaye Royale. On November 12th they made a stop, for a sold out show, in New York City’s Gramercy Theatre. Bones started out in London, UK but now call LA their residence!
Bones are stylish, provocative and ultra-talented and although, as of now, they have no record released, they still have a decent amount of songs for a set. Their most popular with the public seemed to be single ‘Beautiful Is Boring’ and the David Bowie cover ‘I’m Afraid Of Americans’. Rosie sings with a devilish style, she like toying with the audience while delivering lyrics that give a middle finger to the sky. Carmen Vandenberg is simply amazing on guitar, delivering solos like a seasoned rock star. They incorporate Blues, Alternative & Indie Rock in their style of playing and have defined themselves as ‘Future Rock’. Both ladies have a great chemistry on stage and it’s simply a matter of the time until Bones hit the big time!