My Dying Bride + After Forever Live » Antwerpen - November 02 2003

Source:  Lords Of Metal
My Dying Bride + After Forever + The Prophecy
Hof ter Lo - Antwerpen (B) - November 02 2003

Lords of Metal

Both Vera as well as Michiel B. are huge My Dying Bride fans. This time the English doom gods held a short 3-gig tour: one in Londen (UK), one in Utrecht (NL) and one in Antwerp (B). Vera and Michiel attended this last gig in order to write our readers this report of the show which was also captured on film in order to be released on DVD later on.

Text by: Vera & Michiel B. & pics by: Natascha

This rainy, dark day in Autumn I arrived rather early at Hof ter Lo. To be sure of and to make clear arrangements with the tour manager, so that, when colleague Michiel B. arrives, we could go on board of the bus to do the interview. Moreover we could expect a few special items today. At first the show of My Dying Bride was filmed in order of the release of a second DVD. At second I had great expectations to see The Prophecy again. The camera team arrived; seven people showed up to make constant close ups of the performing band. (during the interview something to laugh about, later on stage a serious matter!)

Lords of Metal

When we hear The Prophecy’s soundcheck at half past seven, it is about time to open the gates of this doom festivity. It is a crowded venue when around the clock of eight the chats are deafened by the enigmatic doom metal of The Prophecy. I got to know them in February 2003, realized this was something extraordinary and I was happy to see the band performing songs I’m familiar with now. Alas, it was a heavy going today. The goodwill of the audience and the band was largely extant, but the Prophecy was forced to stop after only half an hour, just when we were getting in the mood and longing for more. There also was a technical problem but this was solved quiet fast. Much too short, but in the meantime I enjoyed the impressive wall of sound, split by the multilateral voice of Matt Lawson. Beside a few older songs they played two new tracks which will be on the forthcoming album, namely ‘Cascades’ and ‘Rivers’. These contain more clean vocals and maintain the melodic and yet dominating guitar parade for which the band is known. It is a pity they could not play any longer and therefore I am very curious about the article of colleague Kasper in Utrecht. Because in the Netherlands they played one hour! I’m really jealous this time!(Vera)

After the decent but a little too short performance by The Propecy our very own After Forever were up. Maybe a rather odd band in this doom metal line-up but for yours truly this wasn't quite that bad. It had been rather quiet around this Dutch band and besides that the band had spent their Summer vacation inside the studio in order to record both a new mini-cd, which was to be released shortly after this gig as well als a new album. And this new material made me rather curious to be honest. After Mark Jansen was fired from the band and had released a killer AF-style debut album with his new band Epica I was dying to hear what his former band would sound like now. The band who brought us the album “Decipher” which in my opinion was close to perfection. There had been some speculations about their new sound but the best way to fid out about that was hearing and seeing it myself..

After Forever showed their guts and started off with the instrumental intro of their new mini-cd “Exordium” entitled “Line Of Thoughts”. And if that wasn't enogh the audience was immediately treated to a new song: “Beneath”. The Belgian crowd's reaction was a little tame at first so it was time to get them going with “Monolith Of Doubt”. Also 2 other new songs “Glorifying Means” and “My Choice” were introduced. I have to confess that these new songs didn't strike me as much as “Monolith Of Doubt” and “For The Time Being” when I herad those 3 years ago just after the release of “Prison Of Desire” but that shouldn't mean anything. With “Follow In The Cry” (with a Pipi Longstocking intro) and “Yield To Temptation” their heavenly debut album was included in the set but the crowd really got wild with the Iron Maiden cover “The Evil That Men Do”. After the “Decipher”-masterpieces “My Pledge Of Allegiance part I”, “Forlorn Hope” and encore “Emphasis” the show was over although many spectators didn't wait for that which made it more and more crowded at the entrance..(Michiel B.)

I was convinced that My Dying Bride is never dissapointing on stage but tonight I had to adjust this opinion a little. OK, I was really pissed off everything was built full with cameras and I wasn't allowed to use my flash light while taking pictures (and half a meter behind me the crowed flashed their asses off) which made over 90% of my pictures useless. But also MDB seemed a little overwhelmed by all the cameras and the DVD recordings. The band started with the title track of their last album “The Dreadful Hours” and “The Raven And The Rose”. The atmosphere which was created was great but I had the impression that the sound was more adjusted for the DVD recordings instead of the spectators (at least I hope so cause otherwise a lot of mixing and mastering has still to be done). Things started to get interesting when MDB played a nice new song entitled “The Prize Of Beauty” which they faded out into my all-time favourite “The Cry Of Mankind”. Also newsters “Catherine Blake” and “The Wreckage Of My Flesh” were introduced to the (by all the cameras a little too) enthousiastic audience. The performance was rather decent although I think in particular the choice of songs could have been much better (the album “Turn Loose The Swans” was completely ignored for instance)..(Michiel B.)

And then it is time for MY DYING BRIDE. While Michiel and I take pictures in overdrive, a solid wall of darkening spreads its curse over the heads. It comes rolling downwards from the stage, a sound My Dying Bride has a license to. Like we heard before, they play songs from all their career, even ‘Sear Me’ in the original version. Aaron is dressed in a white, flashy ‘space-jack’ as if they want to emphasis the ‘not of this world’ sublimated themes of the band. No one stage dived today, in opposition to the Peacefest in 2001. This was also caused by the gap in between the band and the audience where the camera crew did a serious job. Being filmed all the time can destroy the ultimate spontaneity of a band but after three days on a row they are pro enough to take the crowd by storm once again!(Vera)

More pictures: After Forever | My Dying Bride


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