It felt like early Christmas when Eluveitie, Lacuna Coil and Infected Rain announced a joint European tour for autumn 2019. One of the stops of this long run was also in Zlín, the Czech Republic on December 7th. Well, there was no chance of missing that epic line-up for me.
Czech republic feels almost like a second home for Moldovan stars Infected Rain. Such a shame they played for a clearly empty venue as at least two-thirds of fans didn’t get in on time and missed their set completely due to unforeseen circumstances at the entrance. The band opened with “Mold” and continued with new tracks off their third studio album “Endorphine” such as “The Earth Mantra” and “Black Gold”. They couldn’t skip their signature song and emotional bomb “Orphan Soul”, and closed the show with an older but golden piece “Sweet, Sweet Lies” that led the vocalist Lena Scissorhands to the barrier where she connected with fans like only a handful of artists would do. This band surely knows how to bring on the storm and make the crowd move.
The crowd situation got better with the arrival of Italy’s goth masters Lacuna Coil. But still, not everyone got to see their set. It’s already a custom to see band members covered in heavy make-up and thematic costumes, that, together with smoke flooding the stage, created the right atmosphere for their gothic inferno. They kicked off the show with an intro and “Blood, Tears, Dust” from their 2016’s album “Delirium”. The band didn’t slow down for a second and continued with the hit song “Our Truth” and two new pieces off just-released “Black Anima” – “Reckless” and “Layers Of Time”. The audience joined the vocal duo Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro in singing their cover of Depeche Mode’s iconic hit “Enjoy The Silence”. The show continued with a mix of old and new tracks, finishing with LC’s anthemic track “Nothing Stands In Our Way” with people shouting “We fear nothing!” tirelessly at the top of their lungs. What an atmosphere! What a powerful moment! The band was in a great form and promised to come back and perform for Czech Coilers soon – they’ll return for Masters Of Rock festival in summer.
After Lacuna Coil, it was time for the headliner of the night. All that was going on behind the curtain with Eluveitie’s logo during an intro – reinvented version of “Catvrix” – can be described only as an epic ethereal introduction that sends shivers down your spine. There was no time to catch a breath, the stage was soon filled with all nine members of Eluveitie, kicking the evening with the opening and title track of their latest album “Ategnatos”, followed by uncompromising “King” and Swiss-German “De Ruef vo de Bärge”. Throughout the whole show, the heavy headbanging material was in balance with more melodic pieces such as “Epona” and “Ambiramus”. Especially during “Epona”, people had fun jumping and dancing to the beat along with the band. Once again, I was mesmerized by Michalina Malisz slaying on her hurdy-gurdy, especially during that hellish intro of “Deathwalker”. Halfway through the set, it was time for the singer Fabienne Erni to shine. Now, this is where I need to point out how disrespectful it seems to me to crowdsurf and shout during her masterly performance of “Artio”. After a short pause that followed “Helvetios”, it was time for an encore – straightforward and brutal “Rebirth” and the Eluveitie classic “Inis Mona” that tested the crowd’s singing abilities. Eluveitie and Czech fans created a magical, at times almost tribal atmosphere. Charismatic band leader Chrigel Glanzmann enchanted the audience with his dedicated performance and Fabienne with her stunning voice and harp, backed by seven utterly talented musicians and masters of their own instruments. I’ve seen Eluveitie twice this year and these were easily two of my top 5 live performances of the year. The band is truly on the top of their game so if you have a chance, grab tickets to a show near you. You won’t regret. I promise.