The Black Planet

Report: Anathema + Alcest @ Amager Bio, Copenhagen

Report: Anathema + Alcest @ Amager Bio, Copenhagen

Anathema came to Denmark to promote their new album ’The Optimist’. This record, which won ‘Album the year’ award during ‘Progressive Music Awards’ in September 2017, promotes itself. Anathema were accompanied by the French band Alcest,  as an opening act for them in this European tour.

Alcest, the shoegaze black metal act was the opener of the evening. The band was formed as a one-man project by the leader Neige in early 2000. However, there were a few changes through the years – regarding both the lineup and the musical style. Originally a black metal band, they started to combine the classic black metal influence with more shoegaze sound. Thus, becoming one of the first band which style was branded as a Blackgaze. They have toured with Opeth or Mono in the past, so this is not their first time presenting themselves to more prog oriented audience.

They started with their set with the song ‘Kodana’. An opening under a dimmed light, which was warmly welcomed by the audience slowly filling the club. During the whole set they provided a mixture of new and old material, mixing the moods and styles between playing black metal tracks as well as more nostalgic material. They finished their show with ‘Délivrance‘ leaving the stage one by one, resulting in a visually appealing effect. The band’s mentor Neige, was the last one to leave, while waving and thanking the audience for their support.

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Now it was the time for headliner of the evening – Anathema. Formed in Liverpool in the early nineties, they initially played heavy doom metal tunes. Their sound was polished through the years evolving a few times to finally end up making Anathema one of the most important progressive rock bands on the scene. Consisting of three Cavanagh brothers and Douglas siblings (John Douglas was not with the band on this tour due to personal reasons) and Daniel Cardoso, this band had a very successful run last year. They recorded the fantastic ‘The Optimist’ which won the album award of the year of Prog Magazine.

Since this tour was a promo tour for new material, the show started with a visual presentation accompanied by Vincent Cavanagh playing ‘San Francisco’ on the keyboards. Slowly, the other band members joined him on stage one by one, warmly cheered and welcomed by the audience. When the song was finished and everyone was on their place, the band went straight to nostalgia with ‘Untouchable’. Next point on the set list were some other tracks from the new record, ‘Can’t let go’ followed by ‘Endless Ways’ and the title song ‘The Optimist’. Next, with the touch of the magical voice of Lee Douglas, was ‘The Lost Song, Part 3’. In the following part of the concert there was also place for the classic ‘Thin Air’, among others. The unforgettable song ‘Closer’ was the chosen to end their set.

The whole show was accompanied with nicely prepared visuals. According to the set list on the scene band planned to have a four song long encore set, however, the band was so happy about the warm welcome that decided to add two more tracks as a big ‘thank you for coming’. After almost two and half hours of music, the show came to an end. Anathema made sure everyone got what they came for by providing a well-selected mix of old and new songs and giving another outstanding performance.

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Text and photos by: Kasper Pasinski
Managing Editor: Rita Limede

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