Exit Eden: Metal Dayz Festival, Hamburg

ian sutherland
Words and Pictures: Ian Sutherland
5th October 2017

exit eden

The annual Metal Dayz festival is a strange affair. A two day indoor event with a capacity of around 1,000, it is a kind of Metal adjunct to the Reeperbahn festival held elsewhere in the city but with a strange mix of bands and industry events.

On this first day the main hall switched between a panel discussing Wacken Open Air, bands such as German Metallers Any Given Day and the launch of the Full Metal Mountain event for 2018. German thrashers Sodom were the headliners but what interested me most was the live debut of symphonic Metallers Exit Eden.

exit eden

Formed around an idea by a German label and TV station, the notion of taking well known pop songs and doing them Metal style has morphed into a full blown band with four female singers. The resulting album, 'Rhapsodies In Black', is chock full of old and new pop tunes being blown up, rearranged and generally torn apart in glorious symphonic Metal style. Jim Steinman has nothing on this line-up!

Metal Dayz seemed like a strange venue for the live launch and coming on at the un-rock'n'roll hour of 4.30pm, only thirty minutes after the doors opened, did give the start of the show a slightly surreal vibe.

exit eden

A big intro from the compere, a delay, then an intro tape meant things seemed subdued but finally the band kicked into 'Unfaithful'. The song let the four ladies of Exit Eden introduce themselves one by one to the stage, but it was when they were all present and they hit that first big chorus that I finally realised it had all worked out.

The sound was amazingly good for a first gig from the first set of the day. More importantly the musicians were doing a fine job of pumping out that muscular symphonic Metal sound and letting the four excellent voices fronting the band strut their stuff like the album showed was possible.

exit eden

Amanda Somerville comes across as the leader, with all the presence and poise that comes from her experience allowing her to show off those expressive vocal chords and all despite being pregnant with twins.

Clementine Delauney's willowy form and elegant moves are a nice contrast to the rock vibe coming from Marina La Torraca and Anna Brunner is a revelation. Discovered while working in the record label's office, she has a fabulous, raw rock'n'roll voice and not only looks the part but seems like she was born to be a rock star.

exit eden

Musically they focused mostly on the rockier tunes from their debut, and the big chorus strut of 'Impossible', 'Question Of Time' and the aforementioned 'Unfaithful' worked tremendously well live, all those great voices soaring over an impressive Metal backdrop. When they slowed things down for big ballad 'Incomplete' and the classic oldie 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart' it still sounded terrific.

Their all too short set came to an end with a crunchy, riff laden version of 'Paparazzi'. Thirty minutes was way too short for the crowd now filling the hall but streamed live on the internet, this was about making a wider statement of intent.

While undoubtedly Metal, Exit Eden were the least heavy band on the bill on this first day but any concerns about a reaction against the pop source of the material were quickly dispelled. There may have been a few hesitant moments between songs but the developing chemistry between the Metal maidens up front, the big sound, fabulous vocals and irresistible choruses made a huge number of new friends in the crowd. More please ladies!

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