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WIND ROSE, XANDRIA, LYCANTHRO In Ottawa, Canada

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Monday, April 29, 2024 @ 9:45 AM


Band Takes Dwarf Metal To New Heights At The Brass Monkey On April 17th

- advertisement -
Wild solos!
Large turnouts!
Inflatable swords at $20 each!
Roblox-rocking beats!
....low ceilings?

Dwarf metal made its official debut at the Brass Monkey that evening in the form of an ambitious touring package straight outta the Old Continent known as the Warfront, which bled metal out of every one of its 27 border openings - and gave at least one local opening band the chance to be on the prowl.

Power thrashing pups LYCANTHRO would be that band as they took the stage in all of their leather and studded glory. Opening with the brand new track "Iris", which timed in at just under 7 minutes, the band - comprised of James Delbridge (guitar/vocals), Andrew Stout (guitar), Stew Everitt (bass) and Kyle Summers (drums) - have clearly been listening to a lot more HELLOWEEN and YES than usual in preparation for their follow-up to 2021's Mark Of The Wolf. They've also expanded into a five-piece with the addition of keyboardist John Pyres and landed some slots on some rather prestigious festival bills, including Chicago's Legions Of Metal festival, the Power Metal Takeover festival in Madison, Wisconsin and their first-ever overseas appearance at the UK's Power Metal Quest Fest in Birmingham. And in preparation for those same shows, they've been playing on a few of the East Coast dates on this leg of the tour to a great reception. Following up with "In Metal We Trust" along with another new and powerfully lengthy number titled "The Great Masquerade", the band closed their set with the fan favorite "Crucible" whose video was probably the first time a KNAC shirt was featured since BON JOVI's "Bad Medicine" in 1988. A powerful 7-minute-long banger of a track, with Delbridge's vocals hitting ranges that probably JBJ couldn't even hit when he was at that age, it continues to be the leader of the pack when it comes to being the definitive LYCANTHRO song. And who knows what their sophomore effort will bring afterwards? Whatever the case, US and UK audiences can expect a howling good time by the ambassadors of wolfen metal.

https://www.facebook.com/Lycanthrokills/
https://www.instagram.com/lycanthro_metal/

In the course of a decade since I almost saw them opening for SONATA ARCTICA but misread their schedule and had arrived just as they'd finished their set, the lineup of German/Dutch symphonic power metallers XANDRIA had gone from being German/Dutch, to being completely German and are now German/Greek, following the addition of their latest singer, Athens-born Ambre Vourvahis. Their frequent vocalist lineup changes aside, they've also been readying the follow-up to last year's opus The Wonders Still Awaiting, whose songs made up about a good 80% of the setlist. Opening with "You Will Never Be Our God", the slightly-amended quintet featuring Ambre and both guitarists Rob Klawonn and Marco Heubaum put on an energetic performance - quite the feat considering that their rhythm section had been unable to secure their travel visas in time for the tour, forcing the band to make do with replacements. Still, as symphonic bangers such as "Reborn" and "Your Stories I'll Remember" would take on new meanings that evening given their current touring circumstances, XANDRIA were still able to debut a new track titled "Universal" to rapturous applause. As "Nightfall" literally climaxed their set, the stylish and grateful Ambre, practically moved to tears from the reception of the near sold-out crowd, graciously thanked the audience for their patienceand support on behalf of the band before they took their exit, leaving the fans with a promise of their as yet-untitled album to make its way across the Atlantic come their next tour - hopefully along with the rest of the band.

https://www.xandria.de/
https://www.facebook.com/xandriaofficial/
https://twitter.com/XandriaBand
https://www.instagram.com/xandria_official/

Setlist:

  • "You Will Never Be Our God"
  • "Death To The Holy"
  • "Reborn"
  • "Universal"
  • "Your Stories I'll Remember"
  • "Two Worlds"
  • "Nightfall"
They're Italian, they're mostly height-challenged and fueled on fine grog after a long shift at the virtual mines - and they're also playing the Brass Monkey for the second time in less than a year.

Dressed in all of their loincloth and battle fatigue glory, headliners WIND ROSE are unabashedly silly but widely entertaining thanks in part to the energetic persona of frontman (or is it frontdwarf?) Francesco Cavalieri. With the backing talents of the slightly taller Claudio Falconcini (guitar), Cristiano Bertocchi (bass), Federico Meranda (keyboards) and Federico Gatti(drums), WIND ROSE appeared pretty poised to carry the torch for dwarf metal once more through the sea of plaid and denim. Opening with "Army Of Stone", the band already have the tartan crowd well-prepped to venture into battle with their inflatable pickaxes and swords. Wacken Open Air meeting up with Hogmanay is perhaps the best way to describe the animated audience throughout the performance. "WHAT'S BETTER THAN ONE DWARF?" Francesco calls out to the crowd at one point as he's about to segueway the band into another high-energy folk-metal number before almost jokingly answering his own question, "Besides maybe two dwarves?" And the galloping intro to "Drunken Dwarves" gives way; by that point, if you hadn't fought your way towards the front of the stage to get the best view of the band, you were out of luck. And that giant crush up at the front was only going to get larger as WIND ROSE continued to deliver more chant-laden dwarven folk metal-styled anthems such as "Gates Of Ekrund", "The King Under The Mountain", "The Battle Of The Five Armies" and "Together We Rise".

And then came the performance of the band's highly-anticipated yet rather silly-sounding shovel-headed killing machine of a song titled "Diggy Diggy Hole", which is about dwarves and lots of digging - presumably. In fact, the song in question was originally written in 2018 by a pair of British YouTube gamers known as The Yogscast before it caught the band's attention and they came out with their own version a year later - which has since surpassed well over 54 million views, becoming WIND ROSE's most well-known song to date. So much well-known that WIND ROSE not only performed the original version of the song but also treated the audience to its dance remix version complete with makeshift platforms for Claudio and Cristiano to stand on as they played/danced. Why they needed platforms at all as they were perhaps the tallest members of the band in the first place - Claudio alone must be about DJ Will's height - was odd seeing as their heads were about less than an inch away from going through the ceiling. But that aside, this was a band that was enjoying themselves as much as the audience were and the closing numbers "Tomorrow Has Come" and "I Am The Mountain" sang of valiant future conquests before the lights came on.

Short in stature but tall on entertainment value, WIND ROSE truly brought their top game to the Brass Monkey that night and then some.

https://www.windroseofficial.com/
https://twitter.com/windroseband
https://www.instagram.com/windroseofficial/

Setlist:

  • "Army Of Stone"
  • "Fellows Of The Hammer"
  • "Drunken Dwarves"
  • "Mine! Mine! Mine!"
  • "Gates OfEkrund"
  • "The King Under The Mountain"
  • "The Battle Of The Five Armies"
  • "The Art Of War"
  • "Tales Of War"
  • "Together We Rise"
  • "Diggy Diggy Hole" (The Yogscast cover)
  • "Tomorrow Has Come"
  • "I Am The Mountain"


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