Sometimes you have to be lucky. A band on tour, and especially the singer, is vulnerable for illness or catching a cold. Despite some challenges, singer Jennifer Haben was still capable to keep the star of German symphonic metal band Beyond The Black bright. Unfortunately they had to decide to cancel the gig in Paris the day after because they expected not to be able to meet their wanted level. Hard to make that decision, but I think it’s the right one. The band is on tour with their third album “Heart Of The Hurricane” released in 2018. Currently doing their own headline tour in Europe with great success. Many shows are sold out and also this gig was upgraded to the bigger stage in Hertog Jan Zaal, because of that. Not delivering the right level might damage the momentum.
After a long drive (Dutch standards ?) from the South of the Netherlands to Metropool Enschede (in the East, near the German border), the nice and cozy venue (with balcony ring) was reached in time to experience support Mister Misery. The young Swedish gloom metal band joins for most of the tour dates. For me a first encounter with this band. And it was a good one. Mister Misery did have a strong appearance on stage, full make-up and dressed in dark, vampire-like outfits. And presenting themselves as an entity which makes it not only looks professional, it underlines the performance and fun on stage. The music is be a bit heavier than the main act, due to the more harsh vocal and less polished aggressive guitar riffs. But catching melodies and sing-along choruses compensate this pretty well.
The energetic and funny, sometimes a little (matching) over the top, created an atmosphere that made it easy to win the audience. Almost the full debut album “Unalive” was played tonight and definitely debut is not recognized in the songs. It can happen that playtime of support is too long, this time it was too short.
The short change-over didn’t destroy the momentum and was the audience ready for Beyond the Black. A huge backdrop, additional cool light elements and a front stage riser did give the set-up a professional touch. After an (in the mean standard) classical, bombastic themed intro the band opened the set with the strong hit ,,Hysteria’’, in which front lady Jennifer Haben entered the stage. A great singer with sometimes similarities (also in the music) to Sharon den Adel (and Within Temptation). Jennifer appeared very confident on stage and had a strong interaction with the audience. Only a few moments hinted already to the decision Beyond the Black had to make later. Even not 100%, Jennifer showed how good she is.
The set list of Beyond The Black offered an overview of their three albums; “Songs Of Love And Death”, “Lost In Forever” and the latest “Heart Of The Hurricane”. Jennifer is the front lady, and her vocal capabilities match this role and is very well supported by the band. Beyond The Black is categorized in the heavy symphonic metal genre but the songs tick more boxes than just that one. Songs like ‘Heart Of The Hurricane’, ‘Million Lightyears’, ‘Lost In Forever’ and ‘Shine And Shade’ pass. And suddenly there was this surprise. An intimate acoustic moment next to the P.A. system; Jennifer sitting behind the piano, accompanied by Chris Hermsdörfer (acoustic guitar). Jennifer’s request to light up the moment for the Michael Patrick Kelly Cover ‘Salve Regina’ was honored which created a magical moment.
All in all a great night with two talented bands on stage. After a first headliner show for Beyond the Black @ FemME 2018, a first headliner tour. Apparently Jennifer has been struggling for the last three shows, including this one, but even then they showed how this position suits. Hope to see both them soon back in the Netherlands (or close by).
Full set photos: Beyond the Black, Mister Misery