VALKYRE + ANCIENT BARDS @ De Verlichte Geest (24/09/2016 – Roeselare, Belgium)

It’s been a long time since I last reviewed a concert. There are various reasons to explain this gap, but let’s keep it at scheduling conflicts, for the most part. Yesterday was different. I needed to experience some live Metal again, even if it wasn’t as reporter. But as I wrote something about it on Facebook, why not write it here as well? Sorry, no photos, as an injury prevents me from carrying/holding my camera. Like I wrote, I didn’t attend the gig as press.

Gig in question: Ancient Bards (IT) + Valkyre at De Verlichte Geest, a pub near the station in Roeselare, Belgium.

When I arrived at about 20h20, Valkyre had already started their 45 minutes set and showed they are a very good band. Catchy melodies, nice grooves, enthusiasm, … While Claudia has a light voice, it goes well with the music, also offering nice contrasts. I can’t tell which songs they played, except that their latest single, “Whispering Thoughts” (see their page), was on the set list.

About half an hour later the sympathetic Italians of Ancient Bards hit the stage. Which songs they played, I still vaguely remember (feel free to correct the list where needed), but not the order. In any case, each and every one of the band played with passion. I was amazed from start to finish, not only by the mind-blowing vocal performance by Sara Squadrani (she’s one hell of a vocalist! And very kind, too), but also Martino Garattoni – Music‘s bass skills (he’s a beast, almost like Patrice Guers – Bass Player (Official)), Claudio Pietronik‘s refined guitar skills, Simone’s input (it’s good to have two guitarists live, indeed, plus helping with the rough vocals for “Through My Veins”) and not in the least Federico Gatti Drummer‘s drumming (the amount of stamina that guy has). Let’s not forget Daniele Mazza (keyboards), the master bard.

This was the second time I saw this wonderful Italian band at work. The first time was at Mfvf Metalfemalevoicesfest in 2014, where they played very well, but yesterday the band played better, in my (humble and totally unbiased 😛 ) opinion. No, seriously. The atmosphere is more intimate in a smaller venue, therefore allowing for a better, deeper experience of the music. As I told the band, some songs should not be headbanged to (not a healthy activity, in any case), but enjoy them with your eyes closed and letting the music or the songs in question do the talking.


Set list (per album):
The Alliance of Kings (2010, review):
– Prelude / The Birth of Evil
– Only the Brave
– Frozen Mind
– Nightfall In Icy Forest (?) / Lode al Padre
– Daltor the Dragon Hunter
– Faithful to Destiny
Soulless Child (2011, review):
– Broken Illusion
– All That Is True
– Valiant Ride
– Dinanzi al Flagello / Soulless Child
– Through My Veins
– Hope Dies Last (?)
A New Dawn Ending (2014, review):
– Before the Storm (?) / A Greater Purpose
– Flaming Heart
– Across This Life
– In My Arms
The absentees were wrong, in my opinion. Then again, as I wrote, the atmosphere would have been different, a little too energetic, I think. To each his/her own, of course. But why were there only about 15-20 people? Lack of promotion, I reckon. Also, there was Metal over Oostrozebeke, which meant that, as always, you have to choose the event you want to attend. Maybe several people had decided to wait until Female Metal Event – FEMME in Eindhoven (today, 25th September) to see the band at work.