Voices Of The Succubi 2017
Location: Château Buskett (Malta)
Date: September 1st/2nd 2017
The small Mediterranean island of Malta is the venue for several rock and metal festivals. Throughout the year there are the Dark Winter Meeting, Metal Over Malta, Malta Doom Metal Festival – just to name a few. A further festival has been added last year – Voices Of The Succubi. The VOTS is reserved for bands with female singers. It fills a gap that has been left by the off of other similar events. The festival was initially planned as a one-day event. A few weeks earlier, was then added one day in cooperation with the organizers of Metal Over Malta and the Female Metal event in Eindhoven (FEMME). Embedded in the event was a band battle for the FEMME 2018. Two bands each day applied for two places for the semi-final. But more about that later. All pictures can be viewed on Flickr.
Around half past eight PM the first band started as part of the band Battles, TheGuardian from the Belgian port city of Antwerp. With energetic melodic metal, they wanted to convince the audience and the jury of their musical abilities. Especially with the self-titled “We Are TheGuardian” they also succeeded quite well. Here they could animate the present fans to join in and sing along. With Solitude Within, also from Belgium, the second band of the Battles followed. Symphonic metal in the style of Delain, Evanescence or Therion. Vocally singer Emmelie Arents reminds me of Charlotte Wessels or Amy Lee. Unfortunately the singing was a bit badly mixed and came only quite quietly from the boxes.
Stylistically completely different presented themselves following Psideralica from Palma de Mallorca. The Spaniards celebrated Industrial Metal with a jazzy flip side. From the actual four-piece band only a 2.0 Electronic Set was that night on stage. So it called Toni Kernel, guitarist of the band. Together with his wife Lady Marian he burned down a true pop-heavy riff fireworks. In a statement, he was impressed with the enthusiasm of this set of fans.
Then Anna Holtz impressed me with her bell-clear soprano, which was once again refined by a powerful vibrato. Such a voice I’ve rarely heard. Together with her band Desdæmona from the lagoon city of Venice, she demonstrated the high school of symphonic power metal.
About the headliner of the evening, the local heroes Weeping Silence, I need not say much at this point. I was able to experience the band several times live, among others, at the Metal Over Malta festival. The focus of the almost one-hour set was on the current album “Opus IV Oblivion“. With “Second Age Of Death”, the band also introduced a new song.
The second day was moderated by model and performance artist Dani Divine. The evening started with the probably most individual show of the festival – Viper Soup Complex, which I could experience at MoM last year. At first, a swan was plucked symbolically. Then bloody cloths were hung on a leash. And a “cooking show” was also on the agenda. For this, singer Annemarie Spiteri took a fan from the audience onto the stage. In other cases, she also performed an extremely theatrical show. Vocally Annemarie presented her clear voice, occasionally changing to operatic passages or even to bad growls.
Afterwards Wolfsinger from Northern Italy rocked the stage of the Château. This was classical heavy metal, crowned by the powerful voice of Raffaella Santini. With a lot of power it went on afterwards. Blind Saviour from Malta presented their latest album “The Master Plan”, on which the band takes the listeners on a time journey into the year 2229. With their Power-Metal, the band was able to give me a live performance as well.
After an artistic performance, it was time for the next band within the band Battles. Except for “Seven Angels” the Luxembourger of Elysian Gates presented their current album “Crossroads”. And the musicians got going properly. They are bursting with self-confidence. With their impressive performance they impressed all the fans present. Singer Noémie Leer showed a great vocal range from high clean clear vocals to rough growls, and the guitarists Sue Scarano and Guy Christen shone through a variety of genius solos. For me this was the best show of the entire festival.
Then you could take a breather at the doomy sounds of Lightless Moor. The clear voice of Ilaria Falchi was accompanied by subtle growls of guitarist Federico Mura. Since the drummer Stefano Spanu was ill, the band was supported by Alessandro Castellano (Acts Of Tragedy, Dogmatica) at the battery.
The second contribution of the day to the FEMME Band Battle was then somewhat bulky. Esperoza traveled from Moldavia. Singer Zoya Belous impressed by an enormous vocal range, from high opera singing to harsh death metal growls. However, the spark of enthusiasm didn’t jump across to the audience for this Extreme Metal. Many melodic and rhythmic changes ensured a stodgy musical fare.
Then when Enemy of Reality came on stage, the schedule was already messed up very much. Since the Greeks around soprano Iliana Basileios Tsakiraki started an hour late, they had to cut their set list. Nevertheless, the musicians were not spoiled by the fun and delivered their symphonic metal on a high level. Unfortunately, a back pain forced me to leave the festival prematurely during this show, so I could not see the performance of the headliner any more.
Sovereign winner of the first band Battles for the Female Metal Event 2018 were Elysian Gates. They were able to convince both the audience and the jury. Congratulations to the musicians from Luxembourg. The second semifinals place secured themselves in a photo-finish TheGuardian.
An amazing weekend in Malta is over. A big thank you goes to the organizers of the festival, the Maltese band MartYriuM. In the varied line-up was certainly something for every musical taste. I am always impressed by the warmth which it is received in Malta. For the next VOTS I would hope that more fans will find their way to the Château Buskett. And it might be useful to invite one band less. The later it became, the fewer fans were present. And it’s a pity for the headliner when they have to play in front of an almost empty hall.
MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber