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Melodic Alliance 2015 @ Gagarin Club, Tel-Aviv (Israel)

ELVENKING / Desert / Winter's Verge / Airborn / Switchblade / Stormy Atmosphere / Scardust
in Friday, 23 October 2015 at Gagarin Club
by Harel Golstein

*Photography: Sharon Shapira, Lior Kraisler

The Melodic Alliance mini-festival is DESERT'S first attempt at a major event. The event consisted of four local bands, WINTER's VERGE from Cyprus and 2 acts from Italy; AIRBORN, and the main headliners ELVENKING.

To a certain irony, the event took place at the Gagarin club in Tel-Aviv Israel which hosted a Game Of Thrones exhibition just a few weeks back, so the set and decoration were charmingly appropriate and fitting. Very medieval and atmospheric.

The starters were the resilient SCARDUST that stormed in with swift energy. They intertwine prog elements, symphonic and power metal and they seem to already have very strong material in their short catalogue. Their approach to a live show is well worthy of mentioning since they lifted the crowds expectations for later on. Their set of skills is apparent and it's obvious they have very strong musicians in their arsenal. A point very important of mentioning is vocalist Noa Gruman’s awesome set of lungs and skills. Her voice is truly powerful and SCARDUST relies heavily on her virtuoso abilities

Next were the mesmerizing STORMY ATMOSPHERE. Their vocal positions are held by Dina Shulman and Teddy Shvatz. STORMY ATMOSHPERE's material really is interesting and has a lot to offer; their music is a crossover between quirky and heavy. The vocal duo seems as if they try their best to be the most bizarre they can… which eventually comes across as a sort of indie fused with operatic metal. It may come off as a mish-mash at first but it does sound unique and it's highly entertaining. I hope to see more of them at the future with even wierder material.

When SWITCHBLADE took to the stage the crowd knew what they were getting. They're one of Israel's truest acts and they're ever so faithful to oldschool heavy metal; at times they sound just like MAIDEN. Their set included a cover of DIO's “We Rock”, and all along the show the crowd interacted very well and highly energetic to their stunning performance. The musicianship is extremely effective and their chemistry on the stage is very well felt. Guitarist Fede Taich and vocalist Lior Stein deliver a stupendous performance, and overall it seems the band is stronger than ever.

Italian power\\heavy metal monsters AIRBORN were the first headliner to perform. Their sound is very traditional and delivers all the goodies you'd expect to hear from such a strict-to-the-formula act. Their set included mostly songs of their latest album and the crowd loved it. I myself am not the biggest act of the genre, especially when it's so predictable, but the club shook from the stumping and jumping of the crowd that absolutely loved them.

Cyprus's WINTER'S VERGE gave the best performance of the evening and reaped the highest praises all around. Their energetic material and strong writing echoed the biggest names in power metal history and their song structures and writing are mature and rewarding. Everyone loved their show and after chatting with the band members themselves backstage i loved how down to earth good guys they were. They and AIRBORN took the time to take photos with the fans, make small talks and even shed light on how it's like to perform with bigger bands. They've got cool stories on their local Comic-Con convention (which granted them massive exposure) and they plan on expanding their multimedia attractions as a treat to their fans. Keep posted, these guys are very worthwhile.

DESERT deserve the best of praises for producing such an entertaining evening. Unfortunately, traditional metal is a genre not too noticed in Israel's metal scene, so it was astounding to see how everyone enjoyed themselves and it seemed like every fan in the crowd really was expecting this evening.  Anyhow, DESERT are in their top form and played an excellent set. It's truly obvious how naturally they perform live and they already gathered a following of fans that absolutely love them. Their material is fierce and edgy, traditional shredding riffs and beautiful keyboard harmonies, all lead by the intense vocals and charisma of vocalist  Alexei Raymar. It seems like DESERT are stepping forward in increasing speed toward professional and commercial success and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit when they do.

Melodic Alliance's main headliners were the infamous ELVENKING and the expectation to see them could be felt thickly through the air. Excluding the quality of their mid-era material from the discussion, there's no doubt about their ability to dominate a crowd. The entire place was once again shaking, and frontman Damna is a real pro when it comes to controlling the atmosphere of the club; "jump Tel-Aviv!", "I want to hear you scream!". A few days before the show they were informed 2nd guitarist couldn’t join the performance due to an injury, and they had to rearrange the songs, which relied heavily on one guitar and the violin. As expected, they were far from failing and put a hell of a show.


Ticket Price: 149 NIS


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Edited 17 August 2019

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