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Sonata Arctica/ Mutiny Within/ Powerglove/ Forever’s Edge


Date: 4/5/10
Venue: The Gramercy Theater, NYC
Review By: Kevin Alba, Photos By: Rich Catino
 

Tri-state area power/progressive metallers Forever’s Edge kicked off what was sure to be an excellent evening of Metal as Finnish superheroes Sonata Arctica made their return to the Big Apple. I honestly felt that this band did not do a great job warming up the crowd as the majority of the already filled Gramercy stood there staring at the stage. And an attractive female vocalist added to the mix on certain songs was a nice touch and did no harm to the band. Musically, I heard traces of Symphony X mixed with older Kamelot (think more "Dominion" era rather than "Epica"/"Black Halo"). Overall, to me, this came across as generic B-rate Power Metal though the band did seem to win over some fans by the end of their set.

Powerglove got a huge response from the young audience as they played Super Nintendo inspired Metal. I feel that these kids are decent players but the whole gimmick is just silly and unnecessary. The outfits the guys wear makes the Manowar of the early/mid 80’s a bit less laughable. This is my second time seeing Powerglove this year (first was last month opening for HammerFall) and I would much rather see these support slots get in the hands of other European Metal acts such as Brainstorm, Mercenary or new-comers Kalmah. However, whatever the kids like is what is going to sell and I do not see these Nintendo metallers going away anytime soon. Their set saw quite a bit of moshing and a lot of crowd participation for "Go Go Power Rangers". I guess there were a lot of Toys R Us kids in the audience.

 

Powerglove:
Tetris
Metal Kombat For The Mortal Men
Storm Eagle
Transformers
Mario Minor
Power Rangers

 
 

The night truly kicked into gear for me when Roadrunner Record newcomers Mutiny Within hit the stage. Did you ever get the feeling when seeing someone perform they are on the verge of becoming huge and will soon enough be stars? Well that is exactly how I felt watching Mutiny Within. The power metal audience was instantly captivated by the mix of Killswitch Engage meets Dream Theater. Chris Clancy has such great clean vocals that I wish that the more extreme style he also uses was absent. The crowd seemed to recognize the single/video ‘Awake’ which is currently being played on your local rock and metal television channels such as Music Choice and Fuse. ‘Year of Affliction’ and ‘Lethean’ also went over extremely well with the latter exploding like a weapon of mass destruction on enchanted land. Chris was very much into interacting with the people, once running through the crowd with his mic singing an entire verse in his travels, later on crowd-surfed while singing without missing a single note. I was so into the bands 40 minute set that it seemed like it went by in five minutes.

 

Mutiny Within:
Images
Falling Forever
Oblivion
Forsaken
Year of Affliction
The End
Awake
Lethean

 
 

As soon as the backdrop hit the stage featuring Sonata Arctica’s logo and a wolf howling into the sky, the warm spring evening in New York City suddenly felt like a wintery night in Finland. The Finns started the night representing the new album ‘The Days of Gray’ hard with its first single ‘Flag in the Ground’ followed by ‘The Last Amazing Grays’ showing a calmer side to Sonata. We would get four more from the new album and I have to say that after hearing these tracks live I do appreciate that album a bit more. I didn’t love the album from the start, but it now sits with me a bit better.

Prior to ‘Juliet’, Tony asked the audience if they know anything about Shakespeare which brought on a lot of cheers. ‘Deathaura’ was played for only the second time ever that night and it just sounded amazing, easily one of my favorites on the album. ‘The Dead Skin’ had a real heavy breakdown midway which brought about lots of headbanging and moshing. Sadly, the excellent ‘Fullmoon’ was the only song represented from the first album. Once that song kicked in the entire standing crowd was jumping up and down going insane. On a side note, I thought of something funny… ‘Fullmoon’ features the lyrics "runaway" in the chorus and was the only song played from the first album, and tonight Sonata avoided their second album "Silence" altogether. Who do they think they are, the Bon Jovi of Power Metal? The band did listen to the audience’s concerns though from the last tour and added in more material from "Winterheart’s Guild" which sounded great. Prior to the final cut of the evening, Tony started mouthing the music to "New York, New York" which caused the audience to bust into the Frank Sinatra classic word for word which amazed the band. Tony then jumped in and said "New York, Don’t Say a Word" which brought much delight to the energetic crowd.

 

Sonata Arctica:
Flag in the Ground
The Last Amazing Grays
Paid in Full
As If The World Wasn't Ending
Fullmoon
Juliet
Deathaura
Broken
The Dead Skin
Keyboard/Guitar solo
The Cage
In Black and White
Don't Say a Word
Everything Fades to Gray

 

This was overall a very enjoyable evening of Metal in New York City. I love how far Sonata Arctica have come since I first saw them co-headline with Overkill at BB Kings back in April of 2005. I would say that Sonata are easily one of the biggest Power Metal draws in the US and I hope they continue to come back and do what they do best. I will be keeping an eye on Mutiny Within as I continue to listen to their album, now blown away by their live performance. Next, they will next be on tour with Soilwork and Death Angel. I am hoping that they follow in the footsteps of label mates Trivium and reach super stardom in a few short years.

 
 
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