Ryan Murray | Co-Owner | Chief Editor | Contributor
Symphonic metal’s Visions of Atlantis finally had a chance to set sail on their very first North American headlining tour, and they laid anchor along the way in Clifton, NJ at the famous Dingbatz!
Thursday, February 23rd saw VOA’s headline tour stop at the famous Dingbatz, a venue they were supposed to play at back in March of 2020, but then things got shut down due to the pandemic. To say that it was with the wait is an absolute understatement!
Supporting this tour was LA’s hard/alternative rock duo The Spider Accomplice, with more local support from Everdawn and Psychoprism during this stop as well.
I arrived a little earlier than anticipated, so it gave me time to stop at the coffee shop next door. One thing was clear – Clifton must’ve been ready for the pirates, because a few buildings down they had a large pirate statue standing outside! 🏴☠️ 🌊
Before the show started, I had the chance to chat with both Meek from VoA as well as Arno and VK of The Spider Accomplice, which were both amazing interviews with lots of things discussed including musical inspirations, the North American Headlining tour and more! You can watch the interview with Meek here! The Spider Accomplice will be posted this week as well!
In between interviews, I attended the VIP meet and greet session for VoA, and this was probably one of the most well spent VIP’s I’ve ever participated in. Not only was there a picture opportunity and a signing opportunity where the band signed anything the attendees brought with them, but before that, we were treated to an exclusive 5-song acoustic set that included songs from both Wanderers and Pirates, and even one song from Delta! The tracks played were New Dawn, Darkness Inside, Heroes of the Dawn
A Life of Our Own and Clocks.
What was enjoyable was the intimate setting and how genuine the entire band was throughout the entire VIP. You can tell even in a smaller setting that the entire band is so much more than that. They are truly a family. The bantering between each other during the VIP was priceless and their sound and vocals were absolutely perfect! The chemistry Clemi and Michele have both vocally and interpersonally when performing is incredible, and the entire band has such an incredible presence about them.
Opening the show was a band called “Everdawn”, a symphonic metal band originally from New Jersey that was originally known as Midnight Eternal. The band rebranded themselves as “Everdawn”, which included the addition of Alan D’Angelo on Bass and the incredible vocal talent of Alina Gavrilenko. Everdawn puts on an absolutely incredible show! Everything from their stage presence, chemistry and sound is incredible! Their sound reminds me of earlier Nightwish, which for me is huge as a fan of Nightwish since 2000. Fischer and D’Angelo play incredibly well together on guitar and bass respectively, weaving in incredible melodies throughout. Zaks’s keys adds incredible layering while Prestup’s drums were both heart-pounding and beautifully in the pocket. Gavrilenko’s vocals are absolutely incredible! She has an incredibly beautiful tone, great control and use of range! Of no fault of her own, the mix had her vocals kind of muddled, but she expertly made up for that with her vocal projection.
You don’t want to miss this band live!
Ghost Shadow Requiem
Heart of a Lion
Stranded in Bangalore
The Last Eden
Next up was NY/NJ’s Psychoprism, an incredible power metal band that packs one heck of a punch as well! Everything from the instrumentation, vocals, arrangements and layering is great incredibly well done! Rittgers’s vocal range absolutely just soars and is just in the stratosphere! His strength and versatility are a perfect match. Visser and Hugo effortlessly weave an intricate web of style and finesse, while Myers skillfully, and with precision delivers on drums. Peterson on keys has a great energy as well, also adding incredible layering to the overall sound and atmosphere. Again, the only thing was the vocal mix was still a bit muddled, but Rittger was able to compensate really well! This is also a must-see band that you won’t want to miss live!
Next up was the full touring support band called The Spider Accomplice. This exciting and eclectic duo from Los Angeles, CA is labeled as a hard rock band, but draw from many influences including rock, blues, metal, symphonic metal, among others. Having heard of The Spider Accomplice a little more than a year now, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to their music before in the past and have always enjoyed the mix of influences they bring to the table! The energy this duo brings to the stage is infectious! It’s if you weren’t watching them perform, you wouldn’t think there are just two people on stage! VK’s vocals, while of course have a great and punchy rock quality at times also have a kind of blues feel, which for me produces a really cool and interesting sound! VK herself has said that she’s different, but if you look back on a lot of famous woman rockers who have paved the way, they were different too and I think VK is absolutely killin’ it! The amount of passion that is poured into every word is palpable, and it’s a really satisfying thing to witness. Arno Nurmisto, originally from Finland, is an absolutely incredible guitarist who has incredible stage presence as well as VK! The chemistry these two have is great! With feisty tracks such as “Fight”, VK is letting the world know that she won’t tolerate being told she isn’t enough and that she will fight to the end, but instead of going down swinging, she won’t go down at all. The mix this time around was quite a bit more balanced, with vocals having been much clearer and present.
These two are an incredible duo, so be sure to check them out!
The Spider Accomplice Setlist
End My Life
As the pirates get ready to take the stage, the lights drop and the intro to Master the Hurricane starts and fills the entire venue as screams and hollers fill the air. Each band member begins to take the stage with increasing intensity from all of the sailors who packed into the ship for this voyage. As the epic choirs begin to fill the air, Caser, Dushi and Glos come in creating an epic and massive wall of sound! When Delauney and Guaitoli take the stage, it gets even louder. The entire band has some of the most incredible energy I’ve seen live in a long time and truly interact with the fans throughout with great eye contact, hyping up and more! Also, this song as a set opener couldn’t have been more perfect!
Delauney and Guaitoli have incredible chemistry together! They don’t just sing, but they put on an entire performance that is filled with drama, longing, and deep emotion. Their voices blend so incredibly well together and their harmonies are both effortless and flawless. Delaunay’s vocals are both powerful and heavenly, while Guaitoli’s have incredible power and range.
Throughout the entire performance, the entire band continues to banter and fool around with each other in a pirate kind of way that only adds to the performance.
After the opening songs, Delauney greeted everyone, but before she’d continue, she wanted to ensure that the sailors that were there were serious and in the voyage for the long haul, and in turn wanted the roars of the crowd to satisfy her quest for serious sailors, and the crowd didn’t let them down!
Playing an incredibly well mixed set, with tracks from Delta, The Deep & The Dark, Wanderers and Pirates, these pirates put on one heck of a show, leaving their indelible mark on their maiden headlining voyage to North America!
And if that isn’t enough, Visions of Atlantis will be releasing “Pirates Over Wacken”, their next live album on March 31st via Napalm Records, which you can pre-order here!