After Forever Live » De Effenaar, Eindhoven - November 14 2003

Source:  Lords Of Metal
After Forever & Nemesea
De Effenaar, Eindhoven - November 14 2003

It had been quite a while since I had last seen After Forever as a headliner. Of course I don’t wan to say anything bad about their great performance at the Metal Benefit Festival, last September in Nijmegen, but since I was half of the team that had organized that day, I was so busy I hardly had the time to check them out. Nowadays, the band are such a big name in the Netherlands that there are several opportunities to catch them playing live, and when I found out they were going to sell out the Effenaar again, I know what I had to do.

Text by: Aernout

After Forever always make the best of it, live. Of course they aren’t flawless, but their enthusiasm makes up for everything. They don’t have to be flawless, since everything they do is being blindly adored by a host of followers. It will therefore be no surprise that I was more curious about their new opening act, the Dutch Nemesea.

The only thing I knew about Nemesea was that their singer, Manda Ophuizen had lovely long hair and that she was a looker. Not the best basis for serious journalism, but I was free of any prejudice and willin to be surprised. Without much ado, and without much response from the audience, the five male musicians entered the stage and started with the intro of “Threefold Law” and thus the band’s twelfth ever performance. When Manda – indeed a feast for male heterosexual eyes – appeared in not too much fabric, the crowd went wild. She only impressed me with her voice, however (yes, I know, I am such a professional). She didn’t seem, to be all too pleased with her outfit, by the way.

There is plenty of room for improvements, but I do think this band has potential. Manda, however inexperienced she may be, is an eye-catching person on stage, who obviously feels her music. Some of the other band members could have done better on stage, but this will undoubtedly have to do with their limited experience. In the beginning it is far more important that they play their music in the best way possible, and this seemed to be working out rather nicely.

I was surprised at their choice of covering the recent Nightwish-hit “Bless the Child” which made Manda’s voice stick out. She sounded better than during their own songs, even though she didn’t really try to sound like Tarja. One explanation I could come up with is that they are still looking for the right way to sing and play their own songs, and with a cover you have the example already there. People were enthusiastic, and much more enthusiastic than they were about After Forever’s previous openers, Autumn.

Next up were After Forever. The new mini-CD ‘Exordium’ has just been released, but I didn’t have it yet. The shows have been adapted to the new mini: a new intro (heavier, less spherical than we were used to hear from them), new songs (four of them, all of which were performed today) and a new decoration of the stage (nice backdrops with the AF-logo and balls that referred to the ‘Exordium’-theme). Most of all of course, it means those new songs.

I must be honest and say that they take some getting used to. As I said earlier, I didn’t have the promo yet, so it all was new to me. It’s no surprise that not having Mark Jansen’s hand in the writer also had some effect on the music. Whereas ‘Decipher’ was the logical successor of ‘Prison of Desire’, I cannot say such a thing of ‘Exordium’ just yet. I have only heard the songs being played live, once or twice. My first impression was no deception, however.

Fortunately they also played classic songs such as “Yield to Temptation”, to me the After Forever song with the most impressive intro, and I could only laugh with enjoyment when I heard the Pippi Longstockings intermezzo in “Follow in the Cry”. All in all a lovely night in Eindhoven.

Freckles on her nose,
Diddle diddle dee,
a girl came riding
Into town one day
Diddle diddle she was quite a sight.


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