Twilight Force, Seven Spires, Silver Bullet Live at The Underworld, London, January 26th, 2023

It’s nearing the end of January, gigs have been a bit thin on the ground so far this year and thankfully, fantasy power metallers Twilight Force have stepped up...

 

Words & Pictures: Adrian Hextall / MindHex Media

 

 

It’s nearing the end of January, gigs have been a bit thin on the ground so far this year and thankfully, fantasy power metallers Twilight Force have stepped up to the plate, turning Camden Town into a haven for elves and wizards, at least for one night. They bring with them Boston outfit Seven Sires, touring the UK for the first time as, I believe, were openers Silver Bullet from Finland.
If anyone thinks that power and melodic metal are dirty worlds in the UK, then a packed Underworld would suggest otherwise. Wall-to-wall fans of the genre, looking forward to a triple bill of music dressed up to the nines, with capes, leather, and elven ears scattered throughout the passionate crowd.

Openers Silver Bullet, nothing to do with Bob Segar’s band from back in the day, decked out in the sort of military jackets that reminded me of My Chemical Romance, played the sort of melodic metal that couldn’t be more different to the act that gave us ‘The Black Parade’ but what they brought to the stage saw an already full Underworld respond in kind with a level of energy that was maintained throughout the entire evening. Highlights included ‘The Ones To Fall’ and the rather epic ‘The Witches Hammer’. Check out the latest album ‘Shadowfall’ for more.

Before Seven Spires took to the stage, the crowd was already chanting lyrics to the opening song ‘The Wanderers Prayer’. It’s hugely encouraging to see reactions like that to bands touring the UK for the first time and even more impressive when you realize several people in the crowd have come over from the States and are doing all of the UK dates following the band, heading over to mainland Europe for one or two more shows before returning home to America. Not only is that dedication but it gives us hope for the future of live music and the metal scene in general.
The most notable comparison, if you don’t know the band would be a symphonic metal version of Jinjer. Vocalist Adrienne Cowan can mix the rough with the smooth, the highs with the lows, and the calm with the storm with ease. One only had to look into her eyes during the performance of the band to see the intensity and fire burning within them to realize that this is a band destined to go places. If that piques your interest, then 2021’s ‘Gods of Debauchery’ release is well worth investigating.

As the stage cleared and the mics were moved around to create as much space as possible for Twilight Force, an army of elves moved towards the stage to take up prime positions front and centre. Incantations and spells were muttered quietly and then, through a sea of fog and mystical atmosphere, the band appeared on stage, all seven of them. Now, thanks to some smart stage placement with Isak Olsson (De’Azsh) perched at the back tucked away in the corner on his drum kit and Daniel Beckman (Blackwald) shunted over to the right-hand side of the stage, the rest of the band got ample space to move around making dual guitar solos easy to perform and allowing Alessandro Conti (Allyon) to fling his cape around with ease and when required brandish a broadsword with the clear intention of taking orcs out if any were present in the venue.

Partway through the show, a willing elf is brought up on stage to select a song for the band to play. The result, a storming rendition of ‘Long Live the King’ was I feel slightly more the choice of the very, very vocal crowd but either way our elf departed with a smile and a wave and a cheer from everyone present.
As with all Twilight Force shows, there was a nice level of humor present and as ever, Blackwald with his impromptu speeches came across as a curmudgeonly version of Gandalf leaving the room grinning and chuckling in between songs.

‘At the Heart of Wintervale’, ‘Blade of Immortal Steel’, where the sword unsurprisingly makes its appearance in Allyon’s hand, and the epic ‘The Power of the Ancient Force’ closed out a wonderful night of might and magic and for a while it truly felt like we’d been transported to Wintervale for the gig (although the mead left something to be desired, so I stuck to Beavertown’s Neck Oil ale instead). Hugely enjoyable, more of this, please!

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Photo Credit: Myglobalmind

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