Sunless Rise Japan Tour 2017 – Part I: Live Review
Part.I - Personal Live Review
The sun was shining and the sky was blue… The day that the talented Russian guys entered the live venue UNIT for the very first show in Tokyo was blessed by the weather.
Since I’m a huge fan of Sunless Rise for a long time and have been working hard for them to spread the word about their music and its existence towards the world, I was deeply moved by the fact: “Finally the time has come!”.
Unfortunately, I have been super busy with my regular job these months and couldn’t been to Osaka for their very first show in Japan. So, the second show on the tour but the first show in Tokyo became my first experience for them live. After the rehearsal, John(Ivan) came for me to the entrance of UNIT and gave me a backstage pass, and then I met up with the whole SLR guys at the hall in the venue finally. I was totally overwhelmed by my situation, was literally shaking. Anyway, I gave them some gifts, took some photos and talked about our first meet-up.
Well, the latest gig that I saw at the venue was Whitechapel. So the size of the stage should’ve been enough for Sunless Rise as well. I placed myself around the right side towards the stage, and when the lights of the hall went out, the screen behind the stage started projecting the sharp and beautiful “Sunless Rise” logo vividly. All of SLR guys were ready to rock on stage already and we started screaming for them. When I found out the opener of the show in the evening was “Eidolon” from the intro, John shouted out for making us crazy. As we all know every single SLR song in their releases is perfect, but “Eidolon” was absolutely appropriate for opener of the show cos it has the dramatic intro and gave us time to make enough noise before setting into the first verse. Wow, what a band! They were doing so awesome on stage not only with precisive play but also with passionate performance! I’m completely in love with their music for a long time, every single part of their releases is my favorite and this time I found out they also are great live-act as well. So, all of them: Sergey, John, Alex(B), Alex(M) and Boris were doing awesome on stage to blow us away. The graphical projection behind the stage was perfectly syncing with their futuristic modern metal and was displaying the lyrics effectively at the beautiful chorus part.
“Konbanwa Japan!” John greeted to the audience with the Japanese word and we replied him with passionate yelling, and then he introduced the second song “Reborn”. Since the song doesn’t have any growl part, it was a surprise when they revealed the song as the first music video from “Unrevealed” but it means they have enough confidence for what they do with their whole music and that’s absolutely fantastic, huh? So, with the snowy music video on their background, they played through the beautiful song sacramentally on stage. The title John mentioned as the third song of the set made me scream louder. “Recovering The Truth” is my super fave among their new songs in “Unrevealed”. Feeling Alex’s killer drum sound not only with my ears but also with the huge vibration to my body was really exciting! I also love the philosophical lyrics with four temples (Serenity, Mercy, Discord and the forth one should be Catharsis in my opinion). Their passionate performance made me feel stronger love for their music than before!
“The Forgiven” had a place as their fourth song on the set. The projector showed us the dramatic music video behind them while they were playing the song perfectly. Alex and Sergey were showing us their fantastic clean vocals through the chorus part. As you know, the song is built on kinda miracle merger between beauty and insanity, and their magical play was only stunning at the show.
The next song: “The Burnt And The Frozen” which is the most brutal tune from “Unrevealed” led an epic circle pit, was just overwhelming! It seemed they were just like masters using carrot and stick to make us fanatic for their musical universe. John was extremely beast at the song and Boris were doing wild as well. Alex’s drumming were very sharp and loud! There was nothing starved for a true metal show, huh?
As they promised to Japanese fans before leaving their country towards Japan, their brand-new song: “Flywheel” was revealed on the tour. It has really brutal death metal verses and absolutely catchy chorus part with clean vocals, is just a typical Sunless Rise style but sounding more modern than their old familiar songs. I really loved it and can’t wait its official release day. The lyrics which had been displayed on the screen helped us to sing the unfamiliar song with them anyway.
Fun times go by so quickly. The final song of the night was their long time flagship song, “Nothing To Save”! Alex was concentrating his absolutely godlike guitar play and Sergey’s fingers were sliding on his keyboard smoothly and beautifully like a gold medal figure skater.
Being one of witnesses for the genius solo battle between the guitar and the keyboard in real was an absolutely ecstatic moment. That was spectacular!
I was thankful for my situation: there was one more time to experience them live next day! Lucky me!
Live in Tokyo - Day 2 was killer again.
However my review became long already, so I’m gonna focus to write some different points from yesterday. First, there was no projection behind the stage at the show. Actually Shibuya Cyclone that located at the bustling area in Shibuya is a smaller venue than UNIT, but I felt there were kinda special energies between the band and the audience at that evening, so the show became mind-blowing one! They played an additional song between “The Forgiven” and “The Burnt And The Frozen” and it was “Awakening”, hell yes! I couldn’t stop my super stoked feeling and goose-bumps in my whole body with the live-played sick tune! It reminded me the moment that I listened to their music for the first time. It was somewhere in 2010, their music blew me away at once, I hardly could sit still and wanted to get in touch with them ASAP but they were not active on Facebook at that time, so I wrote them via MySpace(!!!) later and they gave me mp3 of their promo EP 2009 as free. I was really into their huge-fountain-like music and was eager for more new songs from them. After a couple of years passed by, suddenly they broke the long-time silence, went active on Facebook and mentioned about their comeback to the scene. It made me crazy again and I offered my first interview with them ASAP. That was the trigger to get into their support obviously. From that point, I’ve been working on spreading the word about the band via interviews, giveaway action and distribution for “Unrevealed”. So I was deeply moved by the fact that I became a part of the audience at two shows in Tokyo and was absolutely proud of those talented Russian musicians who were perfectly playing their set from the metal masterpiece on stage in full-force in front of us. To return to the point, “Awakening” was definitely gold at the show. I was just hooked on the sound explosion, was letting myself into the huge numbers of musical notes they were making and I was just feeling it. Every single sound of instruments and vocals they release on stage was just magical at that moment.
Well, I need to mention one more special thing about the final show in Japan.
After playing the new song “Flywheel”, they suddenly left the stage with the words “… We’ll be back soon!” and all of the spotlights on stage blacked out. I was like “Whaaaaat??? What’s goin’ on with them??? Is there any technical problem or???” and we were totally confused by the unknown situation for a while. After few seconds from their leaving, they came back on stage again… with Japanese bandanas on their heads. Oh my gosh, that was the ones I gave them yesterday at the first meet-up. You know I chose those bandanas for them cos the Japanese word “一番(Ichiban)” printed together with the Japanese flag means “Number One” and Sunless Rise and “Unrevealed” are just appropriate for the extreme word, aren’t they? Of course, the audience there reacted great with their epic looking and their very final song of the Japan Tour “Nothing To Save” became definitely special. As I mentioned it above already, every single song of “Unrevealed” is perfect and I love them all, so I felt something missed without “Ghosts Of The Past”, “Lost Path” and “Sunless Rise” which were dropped from their set on the tour, but on the other hand, I already have another dream for their second Japan Tour with a new album + those not-played songs. Since Japanese metalheads love complicated technical fast piece, those songs should be played anyway then. *grin*
Well, on the final day, I had more time with the band before and after the show than last evening, so we had nice talking, took some photos again and filmed their short message for fans in Japan. That was fantastic as well. They even gave me a beautiful Russian coin and loads of Russian sweets. I’m still very thankful from the bottom of my heart for everything they did for me and all of their fans here with their amazing music and wonderful personalities, was really happy to know they are currently working hard for their new album and would love to come back to Japan soon.
Once again, thanks a lot to my epic Russian heroes: Sergey, John(Ivan), Alex(B), Alex(M) and Boris. Until next time, keep going with the “Ichiban” music! We love you so much!
Part II. Interview here!
All about Sunless Rise on this site here !
Live Review – Trick Or Treat First Japan Tour day 2 @ Palooza
I still have no idea where I should start writing about the unforgettable evening with Trick Or Treat as my highlight of the year. That was just overwhelming with a huge fun of the show plus very nice talking with them about their brilliant music and funny cultural differences between Italy and Japan. Anyway, I'd love to tell you about their show, about their live performance and the audience at that night.
When I passed through the entrance of Palooza with the band, a Japanese support act was still playing there. I met up with a couple of my friends quickly and took up our stand in the pit when the setup for Trick Or Treat had started, but the hall was packed with the audience already and we couldn’t reach to the front row. Suddenly, the hall became dark and the people there started yelling eagerly to Trick Or Treat for their enter on stage. After the sound of rolling thunder broke the darkness, finally members of the band showed up on stage and the people became more crazy coz it was just Trick Or Treat's very first Japan Tour and all of us knew the first song of the show at that evening was Inlé (the black rabbit of death). It couldn't had been better than any other song for the opener of the show cos it’s the killer first track from their latest masterpiece “Rabbits’ Hill pt.2” and the brilliant album art was exuding its existence as a backdrop on the stage. I was singing the entire song together and was enjoying their passionate performance. I still have very special feelings for “Rabbits’ Hill pt.2”, so when Alle shouted out about the second song Cloudrider, I went hyper again… or I should say the audience went crazy for the hopeful song about Kehaar and the Watership rabbits. Such a positive song, such a brilliant band! My mind was already filled with joyful feelings at that moment.
Premonition from Rabbits’ Hill pt.1 was the third song they played. Everything of the enormous adventure started with the Fiver’s vision. My mind was floated between Sandleford Warren and the show, shouted the chorus part “Escape from here…” like the in-trance Fiver. Since their second full-length Tin Soldiers was their major debuted album in Japan, Loser Song they played as the fourth song at that night made us feeling great. And I already got Trick Or Treat are such brilliant live performers with the precise and energetic playing and the amazing vocals. The whole band looked joyful on stage and it made me happy enough to be a part of the unity for a big metal party. And I know I was not singing alone. (That's cord words for all Trick-nerds, haha)
A decade of my love for Trick Or Treat paid off with the next song – Evil Needs Candy Too. How could I imagine that the time for Trick Or Treat show in Japan come true until the couple of months ago? It was just fun to sing together the evil and funny chorus part with full force. I’m totally familiar to get some pain in my neck and body via metal shows but I found out that muscles of my face started weary already cos I was smiling all the time through the show so far. All hail happy metal.
Well, the next song was the band’s playtime pt.1 – Let It Go from the Disney movie “Frozen” but a metal version. I actually had some obvious feelings from two different aspects about it. It was simply fun to see how my beloved band arranged and played the world famous hit song for a joyful metal party. On the other hand (and it’s an important thing for me), it was very first time ToT Japan Tour, so the 60 minutes of their setlist was too short for me. I wanted to hear more songs from their fabulous albums. It's not murmur to the band. I have such a strong love for their original songs and a huge excitement for the first experience of their show :)
Leone’s bass solo refreshed my complicated feelings, and then the time for rabbits is back! Alle asked to a fan in the front row to get a rabbit beret for the next song - Rabbits’ Hill. The song is one of my 3-top-fave in the pt.1 (Wrong Turn and The Tale of Rowsby Woof are the rest of them), so I went crazy and of course the whole audience as well. I was singing the song along with the band and was closing my eyes for a while to feel the Watership breeze brought by the beloved guys with their killer performance. And, Alle’s vocals were just amazing!
The next one was their very early time’s song - Like Donald Duck. This cartoonish song was fun to hear in their show cos the whole members looked absolutely enjoyable. I didn’t miss that Alle dropped some lines from the song actually but that’s live. You should take it pleasure that you could experience many small differences as special memories at every single show. *grin*
Cartoon out, anime in, and it was time for boys. Alle asked to the audience for help for the next song - Saint Seiya’s theme. Our applause goes to Alle for his perfect singing with whole Japanese lyrics, and I was happy to see their love for Japan stuff, woot! Nuff said.
It’s time for a prison break, time for freedom! With the following song The Great Escape, I was really blissful and was singing the song along with the band again. I love guitar solos in the song. Guido and Luca have beautiful forms each other through their great guitar performance and it made me more into their show. All hail guitar heroes. Well, I’m very familiar with overwhelming drumming (I love blast beats) since I’m a big fan of extreme metal, but Luca’s drums were good enough to satisfy me at the show.
What a fancy evening. Michele Luppi from Secret Sphere joined on stage for the next song Take Your Chance. This is one of my fave in Tin Soldiers along with Freedom. It was kinda magic to be one of the witnesses for the original duet :D
Too sad to know the next song was the final song but United, hell yeah! Alle toled us Tony from Sonata Arctica was too busy to join the show tonight, so he needs to sing it alone, haha. His jokes made us smiling a lot and wiped out my gonna-miss feeling. Now we should be united for the finale of the big party. All of the audience there kept jumping with the band and was singing the epic chorus part. Trick Or Treat were Hazels and we were Bigwig, Fiver, Dandelion, Blackberry, Pipkin.... at that moment. “It’s the time for deliverance now! United we’ll be strong!”
The blissful time was over… all we could do was keep applauding and yelling to the band for the unforgettable time with their brilliant performance. That was a blast, real blast! I’ll never forget about the evening forever.
As far as I could see, there were a couple small sound problems attacked them but it could happen often at that class venues. So the blame should not go to the band, and who cares? That’s live. Spirit is the matter! Their energetic and happy performance covered all troubles at that evening!
After the show, I met up with Guido again and talked about the show, about their music and more. In our conversation, I confessed my dream to him: I’d love to see complete “Rabbits’ Hill pt1 & 2” show one day, using a big screen on the back on stage reflecting Alle’s art work and some scenes from Watership Down novel would be perfect. Adding choirs would be great too. It’s just a dream, but I don’t think it’s impossible. Like Alice says “The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it’s possible.”
I had a real blast at that evening, got unforgettable memories from the great Italian band! I can’t thank enough to these guys: Alle, Luca(V), Leone, Luca(S) and especially to Guido. We love you! Hope to see you guys very soon.
Until the next time... May the trick be with you!
Sorry for my blur live photos. I was busy myself to enjoy the show at that time :)
Beautiful picks: Luca's pick, Special pick for Japan, Guido's signed pick.
I gave them those El-ahrairah trophies as "Rabbits' Hill pt.2" album of the year + Inlé.
Sight of Emptiness Live in Tokyo (2 days)
Those 2 days which my favorite Latin American extreme metal force Sight of Emptiness played in Tokyo for the first time were just more than overwhelming. They brought us their awesome music, passionate performances and the fresh breeze from their beautiful country Costa Rica.
Their first show in Tokyo had been started with "Deception" (you also know the song as their latest music video, right?). Usually, a fast song would be nice to kick-start a show, but the deep and philosophical song gave us a big impact with their passionate performance and I got goose-bumps. Eduardo's strong and husky screams are one of my favorite points of the band, and he showed us more powerful and soulful screams through them lives.
After his short greetings to the audience, he shouted out "Hostility" as the second song. Together with balmy synth melodies and faster rhythms, we started moving more active on the floor. Actually, after the show, the band told me there was some technical accident during the song, but who did recognize it??? We only went crazy with their epic performance. Anyway, I would like to mention that they played the song more perfect and energetic on Sunday.
Hostility from day 2
The next song was "Transition". That was impressive they chose the last track from the album "Instincts" for the short set-list of the first Japan tour. I love the powerful song anyway, I banged my head harder and was totally into their performance. Well, at their show on Sunday, some special thing for me happened right before the song. Eduardo shouted out my name for dedicating the song... how can I express my feeling at the moment exactly? That was unbelievable and absolutely honored, but it made me almost run away from the floor because of my shyness. Obviously, "Transition" became the special song for me since the evening anyway.
"Essence" they played right after "Transition" was a blast. I think many people there knew the song as the first track / first video from “Instincts”, we sang the clean part together and screamed the epic refrain "Living a dream with nothing to worry about". I can't stop loving their lyrical universe, by the way. So, it’s fabulous to sing-along or shouting out the way of life with our mother nature via their songs at them live.
Essence from day 1
When Eduardo shouted out “Burning Silence” (my favorite song from the album “Absolution of Humanity”) as the final song of the show, we went crazy, many metal horns started flying up in the air and we banged our heads to enjoy their epic performance ‘til the very last second. Triple-windmill-head-bangs by Eduardo, Andrés and Esteban on stage made us more enthusiastic for the show for sure. The brilliant time had gone so fast but I won’t forget their passionate and spiritual performances in Tokyo. They made me feel very proud of myself being a supporter for Sight of Emptiness in Japan. I hope they come back here with a new album and play gigs again at wider venues with a longer set-list in the future. They deserve it.
Burning Silence from day 2
I would love to shout this out to Eduardo, Andrés, Rod, Rafael, Esteban and Gabriel: Thank you so much for all your efforts through the Japan tour, thank you so much for coming all the way from San José, Costa Rica. Arigato! We love you guys!
Check Sight of Emptiness interview about the latest album "Instincts" on kumi666.com
Get a copy of "Instincts" on Sight of Emptiness online store and support the brilliant band!