A vocal clinic was in full effect from note #1, so much so it could be argued that a second version of the “Three Tremors” should be recognized. Noora Louhimo of Battle Beast, Charlotte Wessels of Delain, and Kamelot’s current goldenthroat Tommy Karevik each sounded effortlessly impeccable, exuding star quality yet remaining unmistakably distinguishable from one another. Not to be undone, incredibly versatile guest melodic death vocalist Lauren Hart managed to muscle her way into the spotlight, whether it was through backup vocals, duets with Karevik (which Wessels partook in as well) or channeling the black metal might of Dimmu Borgir’s Shagrath for a song such as “March of Mephisto.”
There was a distinct 80’s Euro/speed sheen to last night’s power metal affair. Johanssonian keyboards, Sinner/Running Wild grit, Helloween/Stratovarius melodies, and classical lightning storms a la Tolkki and Malmsteen thundered the enthusiastic, devoted, chanting, clapping, Wacken-proud audience.
Power metal can be a rather contentious genre. It has its critics and detractors. Despite that, there is a definite appetite for this particular alloy in the Pittsburgh metro area. That much was in evidence Thursday night. As a seasoned metal concertgoer, I noticed faces I don’t normally see at doom or thrash shows for example. There is an untapped interest in this music in Western Pennsylvania, and its fans are knowledgeable, passionate, and appreciative. Promoters should take heed.
Battle Beast were bombastic fun. Delain were memorably elegant. And Kamelot were glorious, proving that they are worthy of the power metal crown. Attendees were left gratified. It was refreshing to see bands like these get the reception they did in this region. Power metal acts have been trickling in over the past six years. Perhaps more of the Progpower alumni will see our shores as a result.
– The Grymm Hessian