What is the meaning of Helsott and why was that name chosen for the band?
Helsott means “Fatal Illness”, or “Hel’s Journey”. It just seemed very fitting for us at the time.
Was that the first idea for a name?
Yeah pretty much. There might have been some names thrown out there but nothing we grabbed a hold of. As soon as we came across Helsott we knew that was it.
Prior to Wacken 2019, I have never heard of the band, but watched you guys perform, front row, with my boyfriend. Loved the show, loved the music. Can you give me a little background of the band and how you guys formed?
Thank you for checking out our set. The band was formed by myself and my brother Mark. Cooper joined the band in 2011 and that has been the nucleus of the band. We have had many different lineup changes over the past 10 years. Our older brother was the original bass player. Mikey Muller was the longest standing bass player in the band but now he is our sound guy and our current bass player is a Doctor that runs a hospital in Michigan. We have a new lead guitar player Peter Truax.
Helsott is listed as Pagan Metal, and of course there are some Viking influences there as well. Do any of the members practice Paganism or have any Nordic ancestry?
We are all of the Earth, no need to practice anything. Mark and I have Norwegian and Danish ancestry. I would suspect that Pete is either Norse or Swedish.
When writing lyrics, what drives the inspiration and who is the lyricist of the band?
I am the main lyricist. Always glad for input or help from the other members but 95% of the lyrics are written by me. I am inspired by history and every day normal life. I never know when an idea will hit me.
Were there any challenges when writing and recording ‘Slaves and Gods’ and is there anything you would do differently?
Yeah our guitar player at the time chose to quit the band via text message day 1 of recording that album. We didn’t use any of his songs so Cooper and I put some stuff together on the spot and brought back some old songs that had never made an album yet and then we asked a bunch of our friends to help us finish the album. It ended up being a much better record than if we recorded it with the old guitar player but the stress at the time was overwhelming at times. Thanks to Arkona, Kevin Storm, TrollfesT, Morten Muller, Beorn Friedrichson, Elvenking, Hunter Havokk, Ryker Grey, and Dom Cray for their help.
You guys are based in California, how have the locals taken to your music? We definitely feel the love from the SoCal metal community. The feeling is very mutual!
Has it been hard to get out there in the USA in general being that this country is not big on metal, particularly Pagan Metal?
It is very hard. We do our best and that’s all we can ask of ourselves.
Peter Truax was recently announced as the new guitarist. How long have you guys known each other and what made him decide to join the Helsott family?
We have known each other for 5 or 6 years. Pete says it was a no-brainer to join the band. We have similar taste in music and we all get along very well. He is stoked to be a part of a band that is recording and touring and has the same ambition as he does.
What have been some of the best shows you have played and was Wacken 2019 your first time at the festival?
Wacken, Wacken Winter Nights, Cernnunos Pagan Fest, San Diego House of Blues in 2018 with Arkona and Korpiklaani, Several of the Paganfest 2013 shows including Hollywood House of Blues, Montreal, Denver, and Toronto.
What would be the perfect tour line-up for you guys?
Iron Maiden, Amon Amarth, Helsott. But in reality the 2013 Paganfest USA lineup was perfect. Ensiferum, Tyr, Heidevolk, TrollfesT, and Helsott.
Besides music, what other professions do the guys do? Music is my profession. I manage bands, promote for Wacken Metal Battel USA, part owner of Rotted Brain Records, and play in a few bands. Mark is in construction. Pete is into lighting. Doc is a Doctor. Cooper woks the bar at a winery.
What are some of the band’s past-times/hobbies?
Drinking, Drugging, Fishing, Camping, Ax Throwing, Video Games, any kind of fuckery we can get ourselves into.
What bands do you guys listen to?
Rush, Tom Petty, Blue Oyster Cult, Jimi Hendrix, and Pantera
Any new music being written now and if so, when can we expect the next release?
We are currently writing our next full length album. Expected to be released in 2021.
Any ideas for collaborations in the future with other artists? Maybe even someone from Amon Amarth or Ensiferum?
No ideas as of right now for collaborations. I do want to get Ripper Owens on the next record.
Any last words for the readers?
If you made it this far I applaud you and thank you for your interest in Helsott. Hope to see you on the road soon!
I hadn’t heard of Delain until 2015, which is when I saw them with Nightwish at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, and they were awesome! The Human Contradiction got a lot of listens from me after that show!
This album, to me personally anyway, is a bit different! It definitely has a symphonic metal feel to it still, but there are definitely some straight rock elements, and interestingly there’s also a bit of a dance feel for me as well. The vocals at times are very bright and the melodies and rhythms are really catchy! The vocals compliment each other nicely, even when they are using harsh vocals! There are still in your face heavy moments, and still moments of symphonic metal, so this album has it all!
Below is my track by track review of Apocalypse & Chill.
This song starts out light and ethereal sounding, but at :14 seconds the guitars and drums kick in. Charlotte starts off on her own, but is quickly joined with clean backing vocals in a nice harmony. The chorus is really catchy, and ends with Otto’s harsh vocals screaming “just one second to love!” The melody is very memorable, and hooks you into wanting to hear it more and more!
Absolutely love the guitar breakdown in this too, along with the solo!
We Had Everything
So I said this album has dance vibes, and this song has a great upbeat vibe to it! It still has a symphonic rock vibe beneath the layers, but definitely makes you want to move!
This one sees mainly Charlotte on vocals, and is a lot of fun to crank up! Her vocals are very light and airy, with almost a playful vibe. This whole song is also really catchy and I really like the melodies throughout.
Absolutely love the guitars towards the end in this one too!
This one has a mix of different sounds and feels throughout. I really like this song. It starts out with a dance/house groove, but then at :08 seconds this hard guitar riff hits you right in the face! (Which kind of actually gives me a Rob Zombie vibe.)
I really like the backing mid range mini choir feel that starts at 2:46. It starts out strong, but then goes under a guitar solo, but then gets stronger again. It gives it a very epic feel.
This song again sees mostly Charlotte, and again her vocals are great. They feel light and airy, but play around with the melodies nicely!
This one starts off right in your face with the main riff, which is hard with strings behind it, but then slightly lightens up for the verses. The verses are very catchy in this one. This song also has some harsh vocals as well, in a very epic sounding breakdown! I love the strings in this one too!
This song kind of spoke to me lyrically. This song, for me, is about people in our lives that burn bridges down with us with their actions. I’ve know someone personally for a very long time that has constantly burned so many bridges with people she knows with her words and her actions. This person was supposed to be like family and has burnt down so many bridges.
“So why Would you set to self-destruct? Aim to annihilate You are burning”
This person, whether consciously or not, has been set on self destruct for quite some time now. Constantly blaming others for things, can never accept blame and always demonizes others.
“You’re burning your bridges down You’re burning them to the ground You’re burning your bridges down What goes around Must come around And you burn your bridges down”
This one has a pretty epic sound to it! I really enjoy this song. It starts out with an ethereal sounding intro, but then kicks into the main groove, which is really catchy and heavy. I also love the backing, choir like vocals throughout the song!
Male vocals kick this one off, but Charlotte joins in shortly after before the first chorus. These vocals really do compliment each other very well!
For me, this song is about heart break and the anger we feel and the need for vengeance that we can’t escape. We’ve all been hurt badly before, some even many times. What we do with that anger and feeling of needing vengeance can set us on an irreversible path of endless hurt and destruction.
“Give me a reason Give me a sign or a sacrifice One more reason to lay down these arms And stop the fight Give me a reason Give me a sign you get one more try Or tonight Vengeance is mine“
When it’s someone we love that hurts us, we want to look for a reason to give them another chance. When two people “lay down their arms” and stop fighting and actually listen to each other, real healing can take place.
To Live Is To Die
This one starts out with a bit of a dance/house vibe, but the guitars quickly follow! This song, musically speaking, kind of gives me a Crüxshadows vibe throughout. We hear mostly just Charlotte on this one. I also really like the guitar solo towards the end.
This song seems to talk about our limited time and that we need to fill the space in our lives with happiness, love and joy, not anger.
“To live is to die Remember to live To live is to die Tell me how you’ll fill the void And live a life worth dying for? To live is to die Remember to live To live is to die”
How will we fill our “void” or time? With a life worth living for? Or a life we’ll regret at the end of it all?
This one starts heavy and in your face, but pulls back substantially on the verses and choruses. That main riff definitely hooks you in though, and you hear throughout, as well as the end of the song. I really like that main riff a lot, it brings me back to this song often! And there’s a nice face shredding guitar solo too!
Another in your face heavy intro! This one has a slower tempo, but still drives hard. When the verse comes in, the band pulls back and Charlotte comes in lightly. This song is pretty dark, and definitely keeps with the apocalypse vibe.
There are two sections that really stood out to me lyrically.
“Our cities turned to ash Our stories all been told Our final melody is slowly Dying with the light But you are the night You are the night.”
“You don’t walk alone tonight You will learn the price of time You’ve got the weight of memory Forever chained onto your feet Chained onto your feet Chained onto your feet But when your back’s against the wall Who’s gonna catch you when you fall?”
Ghost House Heart
Time to bring it down quite a bit. This song is mostly keyboard and Charlotte, with strings throughout. An absolutely beautiful ballad. I really love the strings in this one.
The vocals throughout are light and airy, and this song feels really ethereal.
Charlotte starts off lightly with the line “Why do we fall like the leaves to the ground?”
We all fall in our lives, but it’s not the fall that defines us. It’s how we pick ourselves up and how we overcome that defines us.
“This is not the end There’s a million things to see But it’s not for you and me It’s a cross that we carry Oh, this is not the end There’s a million things to say There’s a heavy price to pay (This is not the end) And there’s a million things to say.”
Our fall isn’t the end. There’s so much beyond a bump in the road that is yet to be seen.
Masters Of Destiny
This one starts off softer, but gets really big and epic for the choruses! The symphonic feel with strings and choir-like backing really draws me into this one a lot. I kind of get a “Meadows of Heaven” (by Nightwish) vibe. This one is definitely a big favorite of mine!
To me, this song is saying that we are the masters of our own destiny.
“We are the dreamers We roll the dice so we’re alive We’ll always be Masters of destiny.”
We have the power to fulfill our dreams! As long as we take risks and never give in to the world telling us we can’t, nothing can stop us!
Legions Of The Lost
This one is really catchy right off that bat with yet another epic feel! I feel like this could be playing during an epic battle scene in a movie! Needless to say this is another favorite!
From the guitars and drums, to the strings and choral background, this song puts you through a roller coaster of feelings and emotions.
With an epic sounding choral intro in Latin, this adds a really different feel to this song and it’s really cool!
“Temet Nosce Acta Non Verba Temet Nosce Dum Spero Spero Omnium rerum principia parva sunt”
This roughly translates to –
“Know thyself Actions not words Know thyself As long as I hope, I hope, All small beginning”
By the first verse, this song seems to be about standing up for what you believe in, and not letting money, power and politics get in your way.
When listening to the bridge, we hear – “Never forget what you are made of. Or what you started fighting for. Always remember who you are.” These words really stood out to me.
The Greatest Escape
This one starts out with just a keyboard, but is quickly joined by guitars and strings. The verses are light and the choruses are catchy! I really love the strings in this one. This song is oddly relaxing and gives a calming feeling to the listener.
“Cut through the highest waves Finding your soul a haven Water the garden over your grave.”
This song, for me, is about finding rest for ourselves. In a world that is overloaded with information and noise, we need to give our hearts and souls a rest.
The final track. No vocals here, just straight instrumental. This song starts out with just a keyboard and builds into a guitar solo. At 1:37 though, hang on because things are about to pick up. Then we get a really heavy break down groove. We then go back into the lead guitar solo again, but this time with a heavier groove under it. The song outro has a heavy groove and a lead solo with the note hanging over and fading into an echo.
As I said above, when I first saw Delain with Nightwish in 2015, I really enjoyed them and loved their music! This whole album is enjoyable, but I definitely like the second half more! I would rate this album a 4.0 out of 5.0!
For me, this album has a great mix of styles, all without losing the symphonic metal vibe.
If you haven’t listened to “Apocalypse & Chill” yet, please give it a listen! It’s available on all streaming platforms and of course for physical purchase as well!
If you’re looking for a great symphonic/power metal band, look no further! From the vocals, harmonies, and instrumentation, this band is a breath of fresh air in the symphonic/power metal genre! They remind me of bands such as Nightwish, Symphony X and others! Clémentine Delauney and Michele Guaitoli really sound amazing together! Their vocals really compliment each other and really blend well! The guitar solos are really great as well!
I found out about Visions of Atlantis last July on Facebook. I don’t always check out the bands I see on Facebook, but I decided to give this band a chance. I was immediately glad I did, and couldn’t stop listening to them.
Below is my track by track review of their newest album called “Wanderers”.
Release My Symphony
This opening track has a :36 second ethereal sounding intro, which gives off a great vibe for the start of the album. Hold on to your seats though because at :37, a crescendo comes in which kicks into the main riff which is a combination of drums, heavy guitar riffs and symphonic sounds. This riff for me is the hook, and it lives up to its name. It’s really catchy and pulls you in wanting more!
Clémentine starts off light and airy, but don’t let that fool you! Michele comes in next, and then they share a beautiful harmony together. The chorus is really catchy!
“Release my symphony Of innocence and poetry Reveal the remedy In melodies and words Escape the tragedies These rhapsodies unheard Ode to the souls That yearn to unfold”
Both of these voices, while they seem drawn back, are powerful even when singing a softer portion of these songs.
This song, for me, is about releasing who we are to the world, and not letting anyone hold us back. There are those that want to try to hold us down, but we need to release that and not let it hold us back.
“Battles I Lead Cherish the strength that I fight with Tears I have shed But I hope for bright tomorrows will swipe away the sorrows.”
We all have an inner strength that we draw from different things. This inner strength can help us to look past our sorrows and to learn and grow from them.
Heroes of the Dawn
The intro to this track has a light Celtic feel to it, but the guitars kick in :12 seconds in and really kick this song up a notch. Michele opens up this song vocally starting off the first verse and Clémentine follows not too far behind. This song is also really catchy with catchy melodies, vocal harmonies and riffs. This song kinda reminds me of Nightwish’s “I Want my Tears Back”.
Nothing Lasts Forever
This track takes it down a few notches with an amazing power ballad. As I had noted earlier, even when the vocals are pulled back, there is a true strength to them. That rings true all throughout this song. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album! To me, there is so much raw emotion in this song, and the listener can feel that.
This song starts off with just a keyboard and Clémentine. Vocals are pulled back, but still powerful. And the backing strings bring this song to a whole different level.
When the chorus hits, so do the drums ever so lightly. And Michele joins in with harmony.
For the second verse, the band is now all in and Michele takes the verse this time.
I absolutely love the guitar solo just before the final chorus/outro as well!
This song for me is about how precious life is and how limited our time is. The title is straight forward and really speaks to the theme that nothing lasts forever. It speaks to how if we don’t spend our time wisely, we’ll grow old without accomplishing anything of significance. Looking back on our old selves, would we regret what wasn’t done or what wasn’t said?
“The beard of the old man, all soaked with his tears Each single one falling for one of his years Of running the races in quest of a place still unknown It’s called home”
This part really hit me. Life is so fleeting and happens so quickly. In the blink of an eye it could all end.
“Nothing lasts forever It all will be gone Could you still remember When your life began? Cherish the moment Without a regret Nothing lasts forever It’s never too late.”
While we can’t change the past, it’s never too late to change the here and now. Make your time here count.
A Journey to Remember
Here we go again, hang on! This track kicks up the tempo again for another catchy, upbeat song. The strings and guitars really make this one a great symphonic metal track! The hook really does pull you in to want to hear more and more of this track. I’ve played it on repeat several times!
Clémentine and Michele harmonize a lot in this one.
For me, this song is about the fear that we all have about being successful and the journey that leads to that success. A journey to success is never without difficulties and are usually filled with those who want to knock us down.
“The message is clear The trap is to fear They’d damage what I hold dear.”
Those who want to knock us down try to use fear to tear us down and to unravel us.
“Set sails This is the day Stars align to show you the way A journey to remember A quest to find your treasure land Buried in the sand The key to your own chains.”
When we decide to not let fear trap us and we separate ourselves from those who try to knock us down, this is when we can break free from those chains of fear.
A Life of Our Own
Release the Kraken! This song has a really catchy beat to it. This power metal song kinda gives me an Iced Earth vibe. This time around, we hear Clémentine using a bit more of an operatic style voice. It’s not over bearing and sounds really nice. It blends really well with Michele’s vocals.
This song, for me, talks about difficulties that we face in life and facing our inner demons of fear. It talks about a true heart being the only lighthouse to those fears.
“Here it’s presence I feel as I tumble and reel The fear I will have to resist This danger awaiting, the storm unabating I can’t ignore it exists Sailing far away from common paths The truth as the cause to espouse We will face our demons, the worst of their wraths A true heart, the only lighthouse.”
For me, this talks about the presence of fear in our lives and how we have to resist it. Ignoring our fears and hoping they will just disappear doesn’t do anything but set us up for failure. We need to face our fears head on and face our demons.
To the Universe
I really like the riffs and melody on this track! This song really leaves me with a Symphony X vibe. The vocals yet again really shine and show how well Clémentine and Michele compliment each other.
This song, for me, is about taking a deep dive into ourselves and seeking out who we are supposed to be.
“This one time, the universe will see Deep inside, who I am meant to be It will reveal the stars and the path I have to take And all of what I will forsake.”
Sometimes we get lost and lose our path. We feel beaten down by difficulties in life and we let those who kick us down hold us back from pressing on.
“If we find who we are meant to be If we take the path no one can see We would banish the forces That nail us to the ground We should give it a chance The world’s in our hands”
When we let those around us hold us back, we allow them to hold us to the ground and we feel stuck. We can stop them from holding us down by taking the higher ground and discovering who we are meant to be outside of their toxicity. We can move on and overcome.
Into the Light
This track brings it back down a few notches with an absolutely beautiful, mostly keyboard/strings ballad. This song sees only Clémentine on vocals, and she sounds very enchanting! The keyboard and strings really compliment each other very well. The band joins in at 2:55 with a nice guitar solo! The song ends with the band dropping out and an outro with just keyboard/strings with Clémentine softly finishing this beautiful song out.
This song, for me, is about the loss of someone very close to us. We would do anything to get just one more day with a loved one that we’ve lost. It also seems to be about how this person, while no longer physically here, residing in our hearts and memories forever.
“I’ll steal from time Just one more day Into the light of your heart I’ll pray the stars For you to stay Forevermore.”
What would we say to someone if we knew today was the last day we’d ever see them? What would we give to spend one more day with them after they are gone? We need to live every day as if it’s our last with the ones we love.
The Silent Scream
Now here’s an epic sounding track! The hook honestly reminds me of the first heavy part in Nightwish’s “Poet and the Pendulum”! It has the same epic vibe, and makes you want to move! Melodically and musically this is one of my favorites and it has been on repeat on several occasions!
This song, for me, is about how we as mankind are abusing the earth.
“Wasteland we will leave behind Forests to cultures. It’s fading away Truth must be shown to the blind As the world’s fate and ours are entwined”
We leave behind wastelands, we litter in mass quantities and destroy a lot of things, but we care less and less about forests/nature. The words suggest that many need to awaken to the truth, as our fates are “entwined” with the world’s fate.
“Change, now the time has come Losing the light, losing the fight Falling apart, it’s coming undone Earth, it’s silent scream I’ve heard There is a way that we can take To repay all the hurt”
The song seem to urge us that it’s not too late to change. The earth is “silently screaming” out. We can take steps to “repay all the hurt.”
The Siren & the Sailor
In this song we hear Clèmentine with a slightly more operatic vocal again. This one has also got some time signature changes, which really add to the feel/complexity of the song.
This song, to me, seems to be about self greed and what it does to us when we let it continuously tempt us.
“Tempted by the charms The beauty, the game Your greed is the call That leads you to shame They guide you to the dark These very steps that you take Away from your heart.”
Greed leads to so many negative things. It can guide us into the darkest places and warp our sense of what is truly important.
“Fallen in disgrace there’s no one to blame Come down save me Wisdom is the key to your redemption Come down save me Too bad, it will never be the same.”
We tend to want to blame others for our own greed and the problems that it causes. With wisdom, however, we can grow beyond that. Once we take responsibility for our own greed, we can grow and learn from it.
The title track for this album. Let’s bring it down a few notches to another beautiful ballad with keyboard/strings. This one also only has Clémentine on vocals, and again she sounds enchanting! The vocals, keyboard and strings blend very well together and are powerful!
This song, for me, is about the constant search to fill a void in our lives, and constantly wandering around trying to fill that void anywhere and everywhere with anything and everything.
“Despite all the loving arms And all the friendly smiles We still find a giant void Tarnishing our minds.”
No matter how many friendly people we surround ourselves with, we still wander around trying to fill a void in our lives. For some, the fill for that void is found in a romantic relationship. For others it’s religion. For me as a Christian, I have found the fill to that void in my relationship with God.
At the End of the World
It’s time to kick it up a few notches again! This song starts off kinda heavy, but backs off a bit for the verse. Michele starts this one off, but Clémentine isn’t too far behind. They then meet in yet another display of beautiful and well balanced harmonies. The chorus for me personally is the hook. It’s a really catchy melody, and lyrically speaks to me as well.
“We will make our life Like the pirates we once were Paradise we will find Right at the end of the world We will start in this place, we will end on the Sea There is nowhere we’d rather be Than away, far away You and me.”
To me, this is about making and finding true happiness with the love of our lives. It doesn’t matter where we start off in a relationship, we can always bring it to new heights. We can always grow closer, and we can always build a relationship stronger and stronger as long as we do it as a team with our loved one. There is no where I’d rather be in the world than being with my wife, no matter where that leads us.
Bring the Storm
This song has a :06 second distorted bass intro, and it’s really cool! Then the band and synth kick in! The main riff has a pulse pounding feel to it, and really draws me back to it to want to hear it more! This one is another favorite for me. The melodies really hook me in and I find myself listening to this one a lot as well.
This song, for me, is about two worlds colliding in a relationship without mutual trust. When trust isn’t mutual in a relationship, it makes things extremely difficult. You can’t have a relationship without mutual trust in each other.
“True love is all I want to know True lies is all I got to live I sense what you don’t want to show I’m losing faith in you when you tend to deceive.”
When you’re lied to in a relationship, it’s beyond hurtful. When it becomes consistent lies that just get bigger and bigger, it starts to decay a relationship. True lies become the norm, and it breaks you down. When our significant other lies and deceives all the time, it becomes very obvious and visible and we start to lose faith in them.
“Two worlds collide and with reason aside We cannot explain. Damage done. As you take from me all I give to you And it seems it’s never enough Anger divides and we’re crossing the line We cannot escape. Bring the storm As you lie to me, as I lie to you As we lie to everyone else But it feels like peace is never far away.”
When one constantly gives, gives and gives and the other only constantly takes and takes, it’s extremely draining. It begins to feel like we can never give enough since the relationship isn’t an equal give and take. As the lies and deceit continue, anger comes to the forefront and we begin to cross a line. Before we know it, we’re both lying to each other, as well as to others around us who are concerned about the issues as well.
In & Out of Love
The final track. There are two things that really hook me with this one. First, I love the border line dance groove which starts out subtly at 1:00 and grows from there. Also, I really love the strings towards the end as well! They start out subtle, but really jump to the forefront at 2:23.
Overall, I would give this album a 4.8 out of 5.0! This group has a lot to offer the symphonic/power metal genre and I really look forward to seeing where they go from here! If you haven’t heard this album yet, or anything from VoA at all, I highly recommend them!
On a more exciting note! VoA will also be in the USA VERY soon! They will be with DragonForce, but then they will be doing a small headlining tour! I’m from NY and one of the headlining shows is less than an hour from me at Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ on Sunday March 22nd, 2020! I’m very excited they will be here and hope to see many US sailors come out as well! I already have my tickets!
The album reminds me a little bit of early Nightwish — Oceanborn, Sleeping Sun-era Nightwish. The lead singer appears to have a mixture between a regular tone and an operatic tone, not always present, like she is experimenting with her voice.
Some of the songs seem to drown out the voice of the lead singer, especially the heavy guitars in the background. Recommendation is to work on mixing and mastering to tone down the musical instrument levels in the background.
Overall impressions, they’re not horrible, they sound like a rough cut-type-band where it sounds like they’re just getting a start in the industry.
I would give this album a 2.5 out of 5 as the lack of presence of the lead singer and the music drowning out take away a lot for the listener.
Tarja had two special shows, one in Romania which was filmed for DVD, and one in Prague which I attended. She played the best of her solo career in new arrangements that would only be heard at these shows. I was looking forward to this show so much wondering what would be in store. Attending the soundcheck gave me a glimpse of what was to come that night and it made me even more anxious.
The show was about 2 hours long and included 16 talented and wonderful musicians. The setlist included songs from every album, some performed many times on stage and some rarities that were missed including Naiad. Tarja has always shown just how professional and dramatic she is at her shows, putting on the best and giving her all to her audience, even when sick or just about burnt out. This was no exception and of all the shows I have been to, this by far was the best.
Every musician gave a flawless performance and you could see that each of them had good chemistry. If there were any mistakes, I did not really notice nor did anyone else as the audience continued to get louder and give more love through each song. The only complaint I would have would be the lighting. The lighting was beautiful, but at times flashed so much that it was hard to see the stage and musicians and was, at times, hurting my eyes.
One of my favourite performances of the night was ‘You and I’ as it is one of my favourite songs by Tarja. Beautifully written and beautifully performed. Other favourites included Love to Hate, Diva, I Feel Immortal, and Tears in Rain which was performed alongside with Clèmentine of Visions of Atlantis. Clèmentine did such an amazing job and her voice matches Tarja’s perfect. Falling Awake was performed with Toni Turunen, Tarja’s younger brother. He has much range in his voice and you can tell music runs through this family’s blood. Naiad was another great performance where all joined in together including Chiara Tricarico. You can see the full setlist below.
You can tell a lot of work was put into these shows and into the new arrangements of these songs. Having seen photos from the show in Romania I cannot wait to have a copy of the DVD in my hands. I only wish the show in Prague was also recorded as the atmosphere of the audience was wonderful, the theatre was beautiful, and the show was just top notch. Maybe they will put some of the fan’s clips onto the DVD as a bonus. 😊
Gentihaa’s “Reverse Entropy” is a brutal assault on your senses! This album is difficult to place under any specific sub genre of metal, but has got it all musically – from thrash riffs, to metalcore, to extreme metal, to symphonic metal. Vocally it’s a mix between brutal vocals to melodic metal vocals. As described by the band, the vocalist André is dealing with a story. “Lyrically, André is dealing with a story found in a well-hidden corner of the web, dealing with 8 pills that give different “super powers” to 8 random individuals, leading them to the distant future just to find out that the Earth is destroyed, and then all of them trying to reverse the entropy with the help of the master (Alpha) through the guidance of the one (Singularity).”
Serum – The opening track is an instrumental and gives you a feel of where this album will go on the melodic metal side. The guitars in harmonies kick in at :16 seconds in and then drums at :37 to give it a heavier feel. It’s time to take a journey to the future!
Empathy – This track kicks off with kind of a thrash/metal core feel right away! The melodic vocals in this song easily remind me of Symphony X. The intro gives me an “All That Remains” vibe. The vocals are a mix between melodic and brutal throughout. For me, this song talks about the destruction that will come in the future from a lack of empathy.
“No one is fully mindful Of each one’s perfect structure She’s the one who can truly see it Holding on to sanity.”
To me, this speaks to the human condition. None of us at any given time is ever really fully mindful of others. As humans, we all tend to slip into a pattern of apathy. With empathy, this allows us to hold on to sanity because we step out of ourselves and we put others ahead of ourselves.
Vision – This song starts out a bit more dirge like with a demonic like speaking of lyrics. There’s a lot of orchestral strings in the background of this track and I really like what that adds! This song, for me, speaks to the fact that as humans, when we’re empathetic towards others, we want to help save others from their apathy and selfishness. Try as we may though, we can’t change people.
“Swore to myself that I’d save all of you But things humans can do were never enough Swore to myself I’ll reverse entropy So I’m seeking God no one else it can be.”
This line speaks to me a lot. As a Christian, I rely on my relationship with God to get me through everything. I find that God helps me to ‘reverse entropy’ whenever I feel a lack of order to things. When things around us seem to be confusing and lacking purpose, we can turn to God for purpose and meaning. The song seems to agree with that in the line “so I’m seeking God no one else it can be.”
Metamorphosis – This song starts out a bit softer, but doesn’t stay that way when the guitars kick in at :29. The tempo is down just a bit on this song, but that doesn’t take away from the power. This song, for me, talks about the bondage of having enemies, which once again can lead to destruction.
“Fantasy Becoming alive Enemy Everyone I find Reality Suddenly it hits me I am free From the human chains“
It seems we have a choice of either living in a fantasy or living in reality. More than that, we can also make our reality free of the human chains of apathy.
Alpha – This one starts off light, but doesn’t last long until the heavy groove kicks in! Absolutely love the backing strings in this track! This song has some metalcore and thrash beats. This song, for me, talks about how important it is to be careful with what we do with our time here on earth, and that if we aren’t careful, we’ll wake up to realize that we’ve wasted our time with the things that don’t really matter.
“Woke up one day and there it was The life I lost in my palms When she touched me with her hands I knew I’d give my life for her”
What will we do with our time here? If we aren’t careful, we’ll wake up to see that we did nothing of importance. We need to wake up and step out of apathy and into empathy.
Beyond – An ethereal intro gives way to some brutal riffs! This song, at times reminds me of Cradle of Filth/Dimmu Borgir musically. For me, this song is about looking everywhere, far and wide for anything to set us free from destruction. Looking “way across the galaxy for anything that will set her free.”
“My Lord God save us all We’re all alone We are all alone If only you told me what to do God save us all If only you showed me the way to We are all alone.”
To me, this is about looking in the wrong places for guidance and direction. If we chose to look in the wrong places, we feel alone and ignored. If we look to God to save us all from apathy and destruction, we can escape the human chains.
Command – This is an interesting song. The guitar parts in the beginning are melodic and harmonizing, but heavy! A lot of brutal/heavy vocals throughout as well. At about 1:57 however, there’s a nice acoustic sounding part with cleaner vocals.
“You will be my eternal slave Give me yourself we will be here forever.”
This, to me, speaks about being an eternal slave to time. If we let time use us, instead of us using our time wisely, we can very easily end up stuck forever with a wasted life, waking up one day and wondering what happened with our time. This is all about the choices we make.
Mastery – This song starts off a bit slower then the previous track, but still has an epic sound to it right from the start. A lot of tremolo picking throughout gives it a death metal vibe, but with some clean vocals too. This song, to me, is about those of us who put ourselves over others with our thoughts and actions. Those of us who make ourselves out to be better than everyone else. These types of people seem to be more and more prevalent and could lead to destruction in our future.
“He’s tired of all the Incompetence of the World Bow before me You bunch of lowly ants.”
This line, to me, speaks about people who think they are better than others. Those who act this way tend to tear others down with their words and actions.
I personally have dealt with people like this. People who are toxic and feel that they are better than everyone else. People who can’t accept blame for how they are, but instead they blame it on others. People who think they can never do any wrong. It’s toxic people like that that lead to others’ self destruction. We need to make the choice to distance ourselves from people like that and not allow them to break us down.
Singularity – The final track. This track starts out with an acoustic sound and clean vocals. At about 1:50, the guitars and drums really kick in and the brutal vocals come in. Getting a glimpse into the future through the singularity, one sees a future controlled by machines. For me, this song is about the technological strides we’ve made, and how our reliance on artificial intelligence, while a good thing, can also be bad if we aren’t careful.
“I control The machine of mankind I will rule I have the power to control And to rule The machine of mankind I am the singularity.”
Artificial intelligence is all around us. Smart TV’s, Smart Phones, Siri, Alexa and so much more. Technology is a good thing when we use it as a tool, but we need to be careful because while technology is a positive tool, it can quickly takeover us. Instead of the technology being a slave to us, we become slaves to technology.
While I had never heard of Gentihaa before, this album was absolutely worth a listen! This album combines all sorts of metal – from metalcore, thrash, extreme and symphonic metal, as well as brutal and melodic vocals. “Reverse Entropy” also has a lot of harmonizing guitars and orchestral strings in the background. (which I always love!)
I give this album 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. If you haven’t listened to “Reverse Entropy” by Genthiaa, please be sure to give it a listen!