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Groene Engel, OSS, Netherlands
8th November 2014

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland

stream of passion

Scarlet Stories opened the evening's entertainment and turned out to be a very pleasant surprise indeed. Formed originally as an acoustic duo they have have developed into a full blown electric band and in front of an audience who didn't know them at all put together a warmly received set of complex but often riveting music.

Mixing up elements of Metal, folk, progressive rock and even ambient sounds you were never quite sure where they were going next but with some really nice playing and the sumptuous lead vocals of Lisette van den Burg they easily kept the audience's attention. I'm not sure why such an accomplished singer kept using two different microphones though, I couldn't hear any difference when she changed mikes.

Much of their approach to their music means they are looking to build drama and dark contrasts in sounds and vibe. Sometimes the effect could come across as trying to be a little pretentious but mostly it was just fascinating and the songs held together very well. When they tried something more straightforward you could hear a little Fleetwood Mac 70s feel in their sound but other times they were pure progressive Metal with big guitars and swirling time changes.

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Scarlet Stories came across as a little aloof on stage but the crowd warmed to them and they left the stage to an appreciative ovation. With a full electric album in the pipeline this unusual five piece will be yet another Dutch band to look out for.

Stream Of Passion have spent much of the year pushing their successful crowdfunded album 'A War Of Our Own' but tonight they elected to shake the set up a little and plunder the back catalogue for a few neglected gems.

stream of passion

The Dutch female fronted progressive Metallers with a latin twist have come a long way since their debut album 'Embrace The Storm' nine years ago. Recorded with a very different line up it still sounds fresh today and a rare airing of 'Wherever You Are' and the very powerful 'Haunted' were a welcome nod to the current band's roots.

The second studio album 'The Flame Within' was represented by the ever present in the set 'In The End' with it's catchy chorus and jumping opportunities for the as always hugely energetic band members. In addition their cover of Radiohead's 'Street Spirit' showed off the astonishing vocal range of their mercurial Mexican singer Marcela Bovio plus we got the rarely aired 'Now Or Never' and a fantastic version of 'A Part Of You', an underrated pair of songs from a really strong album.

Some SoP fans thought 'Darker Days' was a slight dip in form but hearing the pounding thrust and melodic twists of 'Collide', the haunting heartache of 'Broken' and especially the power and beauty within 'Lost' you have to say the best of that album is very, very good indeed.

stream of passion

Of course latest album 'A War Of Our Own' was still well represented and many of the songs have become live favourites already. The title track and 'The Curse' have the partisan audience singing along and it's always fabulous to hear Ms Bovio singing in her native Spanish in 'Exile' and 'Delirio'. It was disappointing that haunting ballad 'For You' was spoiled by the cretins at the bar too interested in their own conversations and talking over such beautiful music.

Many in the crowd at this show were in the area for The Gathering's 25th anniversary shows in nearby Nijmegen the next day so the evening had an international vibe and the multi-lingual (and once the singer of a tribute band to the Gathering in her native country) Ms Bovio was happy to do all the intros in English for all the different nationalities present.

stream of passion

This was another tremendous show from a fantastic live band, all six musicians on stage are individually talented and also share great chemistry so you come away feeling that you were at a show but were part of what was going on up on the stage. It's the band's 10th anniversary next year so hopefully there will be some celebrations and bigger and better things ahead of them too.

Line up:
Marcela Bovio-vocals, violin
Johan van Stratum-bass
Stephan Schultz-guitars
Eric Hazebroek-guitars
Jeffrey Revet-keyboards
Martijn Peters-drums

stream of passion


stream of passion

Scarlet Stories

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Stream Of Passion

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