at Z 7 - Pratteln  (CH) - 22/01/2003
review by Dalia "gryphon_spirit"Di Giacomo- photos  © by Stefan "absolut-evidence" Vogelaar 

The public use of these fotos   is strictly prohibited without written permission.

NOSTRADAMEUS       Sony Music Entertainment   www.nostradameus.com 
This evening must be quite lucky for the Z7 cause the venue  is really very crowded, as if the "templars " of the whole Switzerland and sorroundings would have fixed a kind of general meeting. Templars or not, there are a lot of Power and  Heavy fans, who are not only attracted by the name HammerFall, but by the so called supporters too. I bet a lot are here cause are interested in Masterplan too.

And at 20:00 the performance begins. A kind of melodic epic intro resounds. Nostradameus ' drummer takes the stage supported by a lot of applauses and soon afterwards appears the rest of the band . My  first impression is  positive, cause Nostradameus seem to be already a  well amalgamated group , from the optical point of view too. And for sure Nostradameus don't disappoint this impression with their music , cause  every member of the band harmonizes with the rest of the line up. i underline this concept, firstly cause  Nostradameus are relatively newcomers , so it 's always a pleasure to see a kind of new band so well come together and secondly cause , on the contrary, Masterplan will give to me the exact opposite impression. But let's proceed with order. It is still not time to think about Masterplan cause the up- tempo The Vision is capturing all the attention of the good mooded crowd. I don't know if it's the spirit of the Power, but tonight we are in presence of a totally different kind of Swiss audience: not the usual severe and a little bit cold one, but an extremely happy, joyful and nice . A crowd very easy to be cheered on and that is supporting  this first band enormously .  For the record ,and the honesty,  i must say that for me (maybe with the exception of the new tracks HammerFall will present) this evening will be truly a torture. I generally  don't like the Power oriented music  , but job is job, and an interesting band like Nostradameus well deserves some suffering. The more i listen to them , the more i understand that they can offer something innovative to this genre both with their music and stage acting. The blond singer  Freddy Persson has a very good voice, and he could really compete with Tobias Sammet, being Freddy's  voice much more agreeable in my opinion. Their hammering and heavy music well supports their being likeable. After The Vision is the turn of Far too strong form The third Prophecy. Obviously singer Freddy doesn't forget to present Nostradameus new album! People is clapping their hands , while the energetic  voice is successfull instanding up to the instruments. The  thing that really  annoys me is that i don't understand very well the lyrics , maybe it's my fault , maybe it's that i'm  in the very  front of the powerful boxes  and everything echoes a little bit. The omnipresent "Thank you so much " resounds as expected, but the band doesnt waste time in ceremonies and presents at once Murder from their The prophet of Evil. The rhythm is really galloping and heavy, again another song  in which the  bravely involved crowd can offer support . Solos and vigorous notes are not missed and the 5 -string  bass, played by the impressive Thomas Antonsson,  is doing a great hell of work. Warm applauses. Again the rhythm remains high  with  the energetic  but  melodic,  a little bit anthemic, Those Things you did which offers moments of heavy crunchy relentless guitars too, making the joy of the Heavy Metal faction. Attractive but not too much, entertainers but not too much, Nostradameus  with their good calibrated metal outfit, give even a touch of deep black (meant as  colour, this goes without saying ) to this cool atmosphere.  The kind of hymn One for all, all for one closes a really good gig which has basically only the defect of being too short. Though all this is not my cup of blood , i saw and listened to Nostradameus  gladly, though i think that they should be also more easy-going: still they covertly betray the emotion of the impact with a big crowd, but all in all the Swedish Nostradameus are really a good band which can propose something fresh to the kackneyed Power/heavy scene. The bursts of applauses and the greetings of all Nostradameus lads in group   to the audience  sign the end of the first part of an evening that promises to be elated. 


The Vision

Far too strong


Those things you did

One for all, all for one.

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MASTERPLAN         www.master-plan.net        our review (Italian)
20:47 Masterplan are on the stage. The audience is very curious at the idea to see this group , that , in the scene, has done such a sensation. I'm still simply trying to understand why and maybe this evening i will have some revelation. the spark  will fall upon me , making comprehensible to me  the Masterplan success formula...we should not forget that this is the first  tour of the band , which had its first live debut ever as Masterplan in Osnabrück. So we too at Z7 are very lucky to see above the first ones Masterplan acting live. The first thing hitting me, (but could it be otherwise?) is the fish-bone shaped bass guitar , shark maybe?, whatever. Able to lighten  in the darkness and hopefully to let out  effective sounds. And let's go with another session of  Power-heavy! , though one can at once understand that there are lots of differences with Nostradameus' fresh music.  Masterplan are generally  less fast than Nostradameus and the vocals sound lower though very agreeable. The songs proposed alternate  galloping rhythm with more mid-tempo oriented songs. Among the first group of songs proposed we can mention Spirit never dies; Heroes; Kind hearted Light; Crystal Night , played in  an enthralling way with heavy end; the melodic Soulburn proudly  presented together with the album by  bass player Jan who has better entertaining talent than singer Jorn Lande, providing backingvocals very often ; and Bleeding Eyes, a little bit hypnotic and anomalous for the genre, atmospheric  with some oriental echo.   

the band plays good and many members are putting in this gig a lot of evident personal enthusiasm.  They are all good musicians many of them with a lot of experience on their shoulders, but yes this, really this seems  to be the problem of the band as well, at least to me. The more they play the more i have the impression to have in front of me 5 persons who have hardly something in common , music aside.  More than a coherent  line up,  it seems to me a group of  5 persons  put together due some strange alchemy: Roland Grapow (ex Helloween no further explanation needed) this evening seems to me like run  directly away from Europe (yes the final countdown band..remember?);  the keyboarder , really happy and smiling , with his red trousers and the general outfit seems on the contrary  directly taken from the Backstreet Boys ; drummer Uli Kusch (another ex Helloween) the other enthusiast one, is doing a good work with pure sports attitude; bass player Jan Eckert (who used to play with Iron Savior) energetic entertainer with  his original bass. Finally the singer: Jorn Lande, sophisticated in manners and clothes and not really very good mooded tonight.  Well we will see if this band, besides its style of music, will find a bigger presence homogeneity.

Some nice digressions   are when  bassist Jan, during the break moments, beats his bass making it pull out crunchy notes and intermittent light , or when Grapow asks the audience whether people would be happy in listening something from  his musical past.  And indeed a medley of old songs is proposed : among them the beautiful Sun is going down (Helloween).  Towards the end of the show, at the classical question "do you want more?", the audience simply electrified, gets the song Crawling from Hell, followed by the presentation of the members of the band.  

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HAMMERFALL    www.hammerfall.net              our CD review
Templars of Pratteln ! Switzerland ! this is one of the venue where we played more cause it's one of the best in all f**king world! - well more or less with these words Joacim Cans has expressed his deep enthusiasm for crowd and venue duringh the show . Methinks that the " templars " of Switzerland should be extremely satisfied and proud. What then the true heirs of the true templars , if they ever still exist, could think about all this we don't know. 

After the Masterplan show ,  the stage was completely cleared and a huge free space was created. Here and there some impaled skulls.  At the very end of the stage which was now appearing in all its vastness, a kind of mobile lift structure was supporting  HammerFall drums. once elevated this structure created a kind of door through which finally the well known band- mascot Hector enters the stage while the teutonic chorus of Lore of the Arcane spreads its notes . Ovations. the crowd is simply ecstatic. Hector lets its hammer  fall and a nice pyrotechnical effect introduces the band (no seriously... all HammerFall fans will forgive my open ignorance about these templars' terrible  weapons... but what the hell is that thing? a) a not better identified  megahammer b) Thor's hammer c) a tool which makes you  laugh to death) . Anyway all in all it was a really enjoyable introduction. Already from the first song proposed, Riders of the Storm, (with pyro effects too) HammerFall's performance  seems super.  The more i try to find  a loud defect , the more i remain surprised to see an enthralling , positive -mooded show. Well ,to be honest ,  the drummer is not always up to the task, making some clearly remarkable  mistakes , but ehy it's live!  after all the show runs wonderfully among applauses, headbangings, Joacim's entertaining moments, and catchy heavy songs. The band is extremely lively and mobile, bassist Magnus Rosén simply a savage force of nature,  guitarist Elmgren is very energetic, while i would have appreciated  more aggressivity from the tall Oscar Dronjak who only gives to me a delicate almost gothic impression. The audience is simply at seventh heaven: people jump when Legacy of Kings is proposed , is quite impressed by the falling snow effect during Glory to the Brave when so often Joacim lets the crowd sing. Legacy of Kings was followed by an impressive bass solo, while after Glory to the Brave it was Elmgren's solo turn. Crimson Thunder , the title track of the new album, is an apotheosis crowned by the enthusiastic request of the encore, which comes triumphally with pyroeffects which underline Templars of Steel, Hearts on Fire (super enthralling) and HammerFall. And now final pyros and group -greetings of the band to all Swiss templars! Cool Heavy-Power music, impeccable vocals: in few words all a brilliant  band that knows perfectly its job and how to sell itself. The impression i got reviewing their new album was right...


Lore of the Arcane

Riders of the Storm

Heeding the Call

Stone cold

Hero's Return

Legacy of Kings

---bass solo---

At the End of the Rainbow

The Way of the Warrior

The unforgiving Blade

Glory to the Brave

---guitar solo---

Let the Hammer fall


Steel meets Steel

Crimson Thunder


Templars of Steel

Hearts on Fire


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our interview with HAMMERFALL (Magnus Rosén) will be online next days 

Niederrohrdorf - Switzerland Impressum