Rated 5 out of
Great Venue, Excellent Bands
It was a cold, wet miserable evening when we arrived - slightly early. Fortunately The Underworld is attached to a pub, The Worlds End, so we waited in the warm with a quick half. Then we popped out, picked up our tickets and went down to the stage.
We were still fairly early so we got a good spot near the stage and were comfortably settled when the first band, Secret Rule, came on. There were four bands on the bill, with Secret Rule opening at 6:30pm, so we weren't expecting much to be honest. In the event we were blown away. They could easily have been the main support act. The sound was great, the music was high energy and high quality and the band looked (and sounded) like they were having amazing fun.
The evening was billed as 'Symphonic Metal'; the second band, Sleeping Romance, were nearer the operatic end of the genre. The singer had an amazingly powerful voice, the band were lively and together: another great act.
The third band, Visions of Atlantis, had both male and female vocalists. For the first part of the set they varied between duet and passing lead between them; later on the female vocalist's throat began to pack up - she had a throat bug apparently - so the male vocals took most of the strain. She looked like she was struggling by the end, so bravo to her for seeing it through. Again high-energy, high-quality music. I can't remember the last time I went to a gig with three support bands and really liked every single one of them.
Then Serenity came on and showed the others who was boss. Stage presence, stagecraft, working and enthusing the audience - all the support bands had done this well but Serenity are masters of their craft. They came in with all the pomp of their opening track from the Lionheart album, rocked the place for a while, slowed down for three acoustic songs, then upped the pace again for the rest of a brilliant set.
Serenity use primarily male vocals but had a guest singer for female lines. I'm not sure whether there were sound problems on her mike or if the register of the songs didn't suit her, but she sounded underpowered throughout. The odd thing was that the Sleeping Romance singer came on for one song and her vocals, so strong during their set, also sounded thin.
None of which stopped the Serenity set being a hugely enjoyable finale to a brilliant night.
Date published: 2018-02-16