Female Metal Show @Toulouse
|Written by Émilie Garcin|
|Wednesday, 11 December 2013|
Female Metal Show @Toulouse, FR
This year was the second edition of the Female Metal Show in Toulouse that gathered five female fronted Metal bands, all coming from different parts of France. I rarely go to Toulouse, but after that night, I definitely had no regrets about traveling so far for it.
The opening band of that night was a Melodic Metal band from Toulouse called Theopsya. Created in 2006, they released one EP called Tales of an Angel in 2011, and are currently working on their first album. I didn’t know them at all before that night, so this was a totally new discovery (many people in the audience already knew them, since most of them were from the same place as them).
Vocalist Manon has a nice and sweet voice, and didn’t sing one wrong note of the whole show. She looked a bit shy and apparently didn’t really dare to move, but there is no doubt that she will gain experience with concerts. The musicians made the show, exchanging their hats and exchanging knowing glances with people of the audience. The band also put efforts in their show and set up real stage scenery, using hats (as said before) on top of a real street lamp that was positioned near the keyboardist.
The melodies were nice, sounded quite atmospheric and the audience also applauded Theopsya at the end of each song. The show was of good quality, the cohesion between the members, and the stageplay showed us a good will from the band to be as professional as possible.
The second band playing that night was Bel O Kan, a Heavy Melodic Metal band from Lyon, France. I know them very well since I’ve already seen them several times; they had also played in Lyon with Whyzdom again the day before the concert in Toulouse. For these two shows, Bel O Kan were accompanied by a special guest as backing vocalist called Camille Grimaud.
Most of the songs played that night were taken from their second album Thousands of Conquerors. Carole was obviously looking comfortable, despite it being only the second time that Bel O Kan were playing in Toulouse. She didn’t hesitate to shout at the audience, asking them to make more noise and even to make a moshpit during one of their most famous songs, which was also the last one of the set, “Blowin the Wind”. She was not always very audible, but sang with harmony and ease. As said earlier, she was accompanied by soprano Camille Grimaud who sang the backing vocals of the songs.
Camille is a classical singer who is used to sing in public, but if I’m correct, it was the first time that she was singing with a Metal band on stage (as well as in Lyon the day before). And like Carole, she looked very professional, headbanged and interacted with the other musicians while singing beautiful and (most of time) high notes.
Another surprise was awaiting the audience: Marie from Whyzdom came on stage for the song “Battlefield” (she’s also featured on this one on the album), and together they were behaving like in a real play, according to the lyrics of the song: they were back-to-back when it started, challenging the audience with knowing looks, until they finally broke away at the middle of the song but still while playing their roles. This was really interesting to see and hear, and Marie was obviously having fun at that moment.
Bel O Kan’s musicians were also making a real show; bass player Denis was playing like a real guitar hero, raising his bass far above his head, while guitarists Fox and Chris were sometimes playing side by side, as if they were challenging each other. Meanwhile, keyboardist Nicolas was definitely flat out and head banged most of the show.
Bel O Kan obviously took pleasure to play that night despite they were unknown to the eyes (and ears) of most of the audience. Still I noticed some people moving their heads and acclaiming the band, especially on the last song which contains Celtic notes, “Blowin the Wind”. Smiling, Carole was also in a great shape and offered us a show of quality and more professional than ever, as well as Camille who easily found her place and made people enjoy her nice vocal capacities. They played and energetic but short concert; if I remember well, the concert lasted 40 minutes.
The third band of that night came from Grenoble, France. They replaced Asylum Pyre who were supposed to play that night, but had to cancel the concert for personal reasons. Let’s welcome Mindwake, who were then totally unknown to my ears so I was curious to hear them.
From what I’ve read Mindwake is a young band that was founded in 2012. They’ve released one EP, and are currently working on their second one. They create symphonic music, and played six songs that night.
Their vocalist Elsa is probably one of the best elements of the band; she has a real strong and powerful voice, and despite not moving a lot, she made us enjoy beautiful notes sung with perfection and harmony with the music. She apparently had no difficulty in interpreting even the highest notes.
Their bass player was also obviously having fun there; he was actually the member of Mindwake who moved the most that night, he didn’t hesitate to headbang and to move from here to there, while the other members were more concentrated on their music; this choice was although welcome.
The band wasn’t very communicative with the audience, probably because they’re young and not that experienced. They’ve got skills that they will improve in the future without any doubt; the compositions were catchy and entertaining, and Mindwake’s members had a real talent. I’d be curious to see them again in the future to see what they’ve become.
The second to the last band were Fenrir, a folk Metal band that you might know, since they toured with Tristania and Sarah Jezebel Deva last year. They released their latest album Echoes of the Wolf in 2012, and most of their songs played that night were from it.
The musicians came out in kilts and with totally white and blue make-up on their faces. They were accompanied by vocalist Elsa Thouvenot, who did a really nice performance, head banging while singing nice folk notes while the other musicians were having a lot of interactions together, going here and there on stage. There was a great cohesion between the members and a good communication with the audience, Elsa asking them for screaming louder or raising their hands for example.
Fenrir’s line up is notably made up of two violinists, Elsa being one of them. At the middle of the set, Bruno and she played a nice violin duet which totally seduced the audience. They livened things up even more than before, people in the audience were headbanging while applauding the band, and the atmosphere was electric.
I actually think that the Fenrir show was the high point of that night. People were overexcited, and the festive ambiance made the whole thing ever more enjoyable. The fact that the whole band was dressed in a folk way was also highly appreciated, so we could feel even more this folk and Viking atmosphere.
The audience absolutely LOVED Fenrir. I don’t know if they knew them from before, but they obviously enjoyed this concert and even loudly asked for a recall at the end of the set. Fenrir came back to the stage and played a last song (whose I forgot the title), and then left the stage under the ovation of the audience to give the way to the headliner of that night: Whyzdom.
It was the first time that I was seeing Whyzdom since November 2011, when they were still playing with Clémentine Delauney. Now they have a new singer called Marie Rouyer, and I had heard many good things about her and her voice before this concert. I was quite curious to see and hear her singing the old and new Whyzdom songs.
Whyzdom started their concert with a song called “Everlasting Child”, taken from their first album From the Brink of Infinity,. I was expecting a song from their latest album to start their show with, but after all, this one suited very well as an intro song: the dark introduction immediately put us in Whyzdom’s symphonic, mysterious and dark atmosphere. Meanwhile the stage play was very meticulous: (fake) but realistic torches were positioned on each side of the drums and blue lights made the whole thing very enjoyable.
All the musicians entered the stage followed by Marie. She sang with perfection all along the concert and I was really impressed: I didn’t hear one wrong note and on top of being a good singer, she was also acting like a real actress, holding a dagger during “Dancing With Lucifer”, playing with cards during “Cassandra’s Mirror” or also wearing a cloak with a hood at another moment of the concert. As a new singer, she managed to take over it and looked very comfortable.
The other musicians were also putting a lot of effort in their own roles. They were very communicative with the audience, especially guitarist Vynce Leff who often shouted to people. Keyboardist Marc Rulhmann looked swept away by the songs, headbanging most of the concert. Meanwhile, guitarists Regis and Vynce did some grunts from time to time. Bass player Xavier and Vynce also played side by side.
Most of the songs played that night were taken from Whyzdom’s last album Blind?, which was released in 2012. Among them, my favorite song of this album entitled “Dancing With Lucifer” was played as the second song of the set and was followed by “On the Wings of Time” taken from their first album; a long and enchanting song which was once again interpreted with brio by Marie.
We were also pleased to see again Carole from Bel O Kan as guest on the song “Atlantis”, taken from Whyzdom’s first album. I definitely think that Whyzdom songs may be quite hard and technical to be sung, but both of them interpreted it very nicely and were obviously having fun together.
Then came the song “On the Road to Babylon” for which I love the intro: epic and melodic choirs make it spectacular and impressive. Marie announced this song as being the last of the concert, but a few seconds after it ended, all the members were back for the very last song of that great night which was on the most Whyzdom’s famous songs: “Daughter of the Night”.
People in the audience looked less enthusiastic than they were for Fenrir; maybe because it was late and also probably because it’s harder to dance to Symphonic Metal songs than folk songs. Whatever the reason was, I really enjoyed this concert and the whole night. Whyzdom are definitely a very professional-looking band and it’s always a pleasure to see them playing. The good mood of Whyzdom’s members was also highly appreciated. At the moment, they’re working on their third album so hopefully we’ll get more news about it soon.
To sum up, this was a really nice night and I enjoyed each band, even the ones that I didn’t know before. There were about 100 people only in the audience, a pity that there were not more since I think that these bands deserved to been seen. Hopefully next time there will be a bigger turn out!