CELLAR DARLING with support from DIAMOND BLACK - Audio, Glasgow 01.04.18

CHRIS STONES

PHOTO CREDITS: GAVIN ROSS PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Audio, Glasgow lurks in a dark tunnel under the city’s famous Central Station where the rumble of trains on the lines above shakes the very foundations of the compact floor stretched out before the slightly elevated stage. A healthy audience gathers and friends and acquaintances greet each other as the support act ‘Diamond Black’ steadily take to the stage accompanied by the drama of their tension-building intro tape.

 

‘Diamond Black’ are the proud creation of ‘Sisters of Mercy’ guitarist Ben Christo. Playing a melodic mix of rock with a sprinkling of metal delivered in a dark but contrastingly uplifting manner - this is a strong opening act for the attentive audience. Christo is joined on stage by Adam Lightspeed on bass and Jan-Vincent Velazco on drums to form a formidable band fronted by the looming figure of J.I Turunen on vocals.

 

Opening track and soon to be released new single ‘Ghost in the Glass’ is a mid-paced lesson in power and fantastically showcases Turunen’s soaring vocal range. His sombre presence and obvious vocal ability is instantly attention grabbing despite him being slightly quiet in the front of house mix. His dark figure adds to the theatre and drama of the show contrasting Lightspeed and Christo on his flanks who are animated and work the stage. Christo’s backing vocals are impressive and the melodic feel of the track is well delivered - complimented by a tasteful solo that receives nods of acknowledgement from the knowledgable audience.

 

Second track ‘If You Kill My Demons’ is another strong track with tight, percussive rhythm and hooky riffs that are delivered confidently and begs the question “should this band not be headlining their own tour?”.

 

The band’s short set seems to pass all too quickly with a cover of ‘Nine Inch Nails’ track ‘We’re in this Together’ which is passionate and consistent with the set flow and feel but arguably not needed given the strength of the band’s own material.

 

The set closes with current single ‘Sorrow’ - a massive track that lifts, drops and soars with a clever structure that changes tempo and attack. Velazco drives this track with a technically perfect performance that allows Christo and Lightspeed to ride the wave alongside Turunen’s epic delivery.

 

Christo himself is humble and sincere chatting after the show saying “I’ve been working up to the first show for so long that I never really thought about what happens after. It’s like when you've had a really horrible exam lined up and you come out and you feel a bit - what do I do now?”.

 

The band are sincere in their thanks to ‘Cellar Darling’ for the opportunity and Christo is rightly optimistic about the future telling us “Ghost in the Glass is the new single and it’s going to come out on Friday 13th (April), which is suitably spooky” (laughs). Christo’s pedigree speaks for itself but he has surrounded himself with a formidable outfit who will without doubt go onto great things.

 

Diamond Black are:
J.I. Turunen - Lead Vocal

Ben Christo - Guitars, Backing Vocal

Adam Lightspeed - Bass, Backing Vocal

Jan-Vincent Velazco - Drums

 

Additional:

Jaani Peuhu - Synths, Backing Vocal, Production

Michal Akrabi - Backing Vocal

 

Find out more from Diamond Black on the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/diamondblackofficial/

Website: https://diamondblackofficial.com/

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO INFO@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

The headline act ‘Cellar Darling’ are self professed story tellers who have created what they describe as the new wave of folk rock. Their progressive fusion of folk, metal and prog rock is truly unique and offers an originality that is so difficult to find in the modern music industry.

 

Forging a new direction from their roots in ‘Eluveitie', Anna Murphy (vocals), Merlin Sutter (drums) and Ivo Henzi (guitar) are beyond compare in their musicianship and songwriting prowess but in a dark and forbidding Glasgow venue their mettle may well face its greatest challenge.

 

Opening track ‘Black Moon’ is anthemic and Murphy’s fragile but powerful vocals provide a haunting vibe that is driven by a tight and punchy drum and bass part delivered through a Zeppelin-esque time signature. The hurdy gurdy features for the first time and adds that unique originality in melody that is heard through the show to come. That originality is strengthened again in ‘The Hermit’ where Murphy impresses with her broader abilities by playing flute to add another dimension to the atmosphere in the material.

 

‘Avalanche’ provides a slightly more commercial prospect but retains the band’s trademark hooks. The song builds steadily with Murphy employing her full range of vocal tools, ranging from an almost yodelled phrase to full on metal chorus. There are many tracks of this quality in ‘Cellar Darling’s’ portfolio but this is special.

 

‘Six Days’ is another stand out track moving from piano backing to thunderous staccato drums and guitar where the tension and emotion paints a lyrical thing of beauty. As the track slows to a silent end, the crowd wonder if the song has finished but are afraid to move lest they disrespect what they have just heard. That is until Murphy wryly whispers “It’s okay, you can clap”. A wonderful moment.

 

Murphy’s skill on the hurdy gurdy drives much of the band’s signature sound but she is quick witted quoting accomplished player Efrén López between songs saying, “You spend half your time tuning the hurdy gurdy and the other half playing out of tune!”. This warmth pours from the stage and embraces everyone present and encourages off-mic conversations that are both bizarre and funny in equal measure.

 

As the night draws towards its inevitable end, ‘Hedonia’ is played. The track is pure folk metal and drips with emotion and feeling with lyrics delivered in Swiss-German. The stabbed delivery is tight to the point of being clinical and really captures the essence of the sublime quality and skill of this band.

 

As the band leave the stage to a tremendous applause, they return moments later with smiles on faces and Murphy asks the question why do bands do the traditional encore given it is expected of everyone in the room. Laughs and more thanks over, the band launch into arguably their most challenging track ‘The Prophet Song’ by QUEEN. Those familiar with the song will be familiar with its musical complexity and undoubted power and it is delivered with a huge respect for the original custodians of the song. There are open mouths in the room as the song is delivered. Says it all really.

 

Closing track ‘Challenge’ features on the band’s album and is a solid full stop on the tale told to this Glasgow crowd. The looks on the band faces show they are clearly pleased and they should be. Those present have witnessed a display of musical dexterity and song writing that won’t feature in small venues for much longer. ‘Cellar Darling’ will clearly grow and develop to a tour de force that span genres and draw larger crowds.

 

The room doesn’t empty quickly after the show as the band mingle with new fans to exchange thanks and plaudits after the success of the night. Tonight hasn’t happened in the most aesthetically pleasing venues but it has worked. The dark and threatening city street where fans leave for home has been brightened for a brief evening. Such is the magic of ‘Cellar Darling’.

 

Set List -

Black Moon

Hullaballoo

The Hermit

Avalanche

Six Days

Rebels

Under the Oak Tree

High Above the Crowns

Starcrusher

Water

Fire, Wind and Earth

Redemption

Hedonia

Prophet’s Song

Challenge

 

Cellar Darling are:

Anna Murphy - Vocals, Purdy Gurdy

Ivo Henzi - Guitars, Bass

Merlin Sutter - Drums

 

Find out more from Cellar Darling on the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cellardarlingofficial/

Website: https://www.cellardarling.com/

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO INFO@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

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