A great night of hard rock and Symphonic Metal at The Asylum, Birmingham, with Xandria and Skarlett Riot.
Xandria – Skarlett Riot
The Asylum, Birmingham – 25 November 2023
Words and Photography: Andy Shaw
First up were British hard rockers Skarlett Riot. Coming off the back of a headline UK tour, they were straight into this support slot. A short but sweet set showed why they are making waves as a top live band.
Skarlett Drinkwater is the perfect front for this band. Her vocals were sumptuous. Opening with Chemicals, she had the crowd won over straightaway. The band looked like they were thoroughly enjoying themselves. Tim Chambers on bass and Danny Oglesby on guitar and some stunning growl vocals were walking around the stage with the broadest smiles, mouthing the words to all the songs.
They didn’t waste much time and were straight into Breaking The Habit, Gravity, and then Paralyzed. Their brand of rock is well-honed, and The Asylum audience was clapping and jigging away.
Stronger was next, followed by Underwater, then the first live play of their excellent new single Hold Tight. The set finished with To The Flames, then Warrior.
Please go and see these guys. Skarlett Riot are a brilliant live band and wonderful entertainment.
German Symphonic Metal band Xandria were amazing. It takes skill and a whole heap of talent to be brilliant exponents of this genre. Tonight, their set lent heavily on their new album, The Wonders Still Awaiting.
Opening with You Will Never Be Our God, Ambre Vourvahis immediately shows her stunning vocal dexterity. Her beautiful soaring voice and the deepest of growls are shown perfectly in the next song, Death To The Holy.
Another new song, Ghosts, followed. The stage was constantly enveloped in dry ice, and the strobe lights from behind and underneath gave an amazing visual experience.
Then, there are a couple more new tracks, Reborn and Your Stories I’ll Remember, before a stunning acoustic version of Ravenheart. Back to the new album, Two Worlds was then followed by a crowd-pleasing rip-roaring guitar solo from Robert Klawonn.
Nightfall from their 2014 Sacrificium album showed guitarist Marco Heubaum, Tim Schwarz, bass and drummer Dimitrios Gatsios in full Symphonic Metal dreamland. The crowd were certainly enthralled.
The set ended with the new track The Wonders Still Awaiting, then an outing for A Prophecy Of Worlds To Fall, the first time they had played this live since 2015.
Returning for an encore of My Curse Is My Redemption, then Valentine, this was a great evening. Symphonic Metal is alive and kicking in the safe hands of Xandria.