Friday, 17 October 2014

Live Review: The Sirens at The Garage, London - 16.10.2014

It is undeniable that Liv Kristine (Theatre of Tragedy, Leaves' Eyes), Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gathering) and Kari Rueslåtten (The 3rd And The Mortal) are three of the most influential women in metal. During the 90s they paved the way for a whole new generation of female-fronted bands, and without them we wouldn't have the likes of Nightwish and Tristania. Now they've come together as The Sirens, sending fans on trips of nostalgia and celebrating their legacy; the birth of a whole new world of female fronted metal.

The show opened with the trio performing 'Treat Me Like A Lady' by Anneke. From the moment they walked on stage the chemistry between them was clear, as was the harmony of their voices. They're all so different, but work so well together. Throughout the set they performed solo and as duets, giving us the chance to hear a unique take on classics from each of their careers. The band did an excellent job of performing the wide range of musical styles from each lady's back catalogue, it was almost as good as seeing the original bands themselves.


One of the highlights of the set was Liv Kristine's performance of 'Venus' from Theatre of Tragedy's Aegis, the album regarded by many as defining Gothic metal. This was complimented by Kari's performance of 'Death Hymn' by The 3rd and the Mortal, another influential song from the early years of Gothic metal. Anneke performed 'Strange Machines' from The Gathering's highly regarded Mandylion. Time travel might not be possible but hearing these songs was like being transported back to the golden era when the genre was being born. The atmosphere was perfect. The magic I thought had gone forever was once more.

There is something quite potent about these three pioneering women coming together as The Sirens. Female fronted metal isn't just about having a woman in front of a microphone. Because of them, metal was no longer just about rage and masculinity. They opened the doors for a world of metal that was a thing of beauty; a world of romance, symphonies and pure melody. Seeing them come together was like things coming full circle, a definitive moment in the history of metal that I'm glad I got to be part of.

The night was tied up nicely by a performance of 'Sisters of the Earth' that The Sirens recorded together, showcasing the harmony of their voices. Overall it was an excellent evening, one full of nostalgia. The three sirens managed to consolidate their long and diverse careers into one cohesive, atmospheric night that celebrated the beauty of the female voice and their legacy; the creation of female fronted metal.