The fourth and last Preliminary of the Female Metal Event Battles 2019 in the Netherlands was country wise a surprising one. Bands from the Netherlands (3) and Spain (2) battle for the slots in the European Final on the 7th of July. This time the venue was the Box (Hilvarenbeek) the place for also the European Final and FemME 2019.
As usual, a draw determined the playing sequence. Psideralica from Mallorca (Spain) opened the battle. On stage a trio with two females (vocals and bass) and one male (guitar). The drums are taken care off by a backing track. Although the beat is quite relevant in the music of Psideralica, you get used quickly to the missing drummer as it was compensated by the dynamic presence of the ladies. The Industrial Gothic Rock / Metal is a little on the edge, but an interesting experience.
Dutch Impulse is offering Symphonic Metal in a way as expected. Unfortunately the lead guitarist was in hospital (recovering) and we missed some solo’s in the music. With flavors of Within Temptation and Delain it met expectations. It was a good show despite the absence of the lead guitarist, but not really authentic / surprising.
With Under False Names another area of metal was explored. With harsh vocals mixed with clean, this was not the predictable sound what still is the prejudice of a lot of people when referring to female metal. The five members bring songs about freedom. equality and politics in a musical mix of hardcore, crossover and punk. And with enormous energy on stage.
The forth band was Toxic Army from Spain. The beat driven sound had some references to Psideralica. Hailing from Mallorca and the same bassist could explain. A different singer, a female guitar player and a (male) drummer completed the band. The stage performance was dynamic, and the interaction was sometimes a little sensual but never over the top. The Industrial-tinged metal was a bit more into metal making it an interesting refreshing approach.
Closing Pandora’s Key filled up the stage with the largest line-up. This symphonic metal band added an electric violin to the instrumentation what did give a specific twist to the sound. The singer struggled with her voice (illness) but managed to perform reasonably well. The music was more or less as expected, however the emotion in the songs and the violin added something what made a subtle difference. A duet with a male guest vocalist completed the show.
A great compliment to all bands. I’m every time pleasantly surprised by the quality of the bands, the variance in music styles, the friendliness and the willingness to work together even when being in competition. Unfortunately only two can go to the European Final. Both, audience and jury decided on Pandora’s Key. The Battle ‘rules’ made them audience winner. Jury winner became Toxic Army. We see them back in July.