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A night at the Legend Club (Milano) – 14.05.2023

It is more than appropriate to declare right from the start that this is not an objective review. I have never attempted to write one and though I tried my best to keep objectivity afloat, my judgment is clouded by the adulation I have, especially towards two of the bands that performed on the night, namely Blut and Viper Soup Complex. When I decided to book a ticket to Milan my soul objective was to support Blut on the debut of their album ‘Traum’. Little did I suspect that a Maltese band would be hitting the stage on the same bill. I fist came across Blut when they performed at Dark Matla Festival in 2022. Had the pleasure to perform on the same bill with them when Damaged & Co. played in Rock In Park (Milano) in the same year. When I heard through the grape vine that Viper Soup Complex were performing on the night I was a very happy man.

Situated on the outskirts of Milano, Legend Club is one of the main venues that city has to offer. During the month of May and June tens of bands play in nearly daily events organised under the moniker of Rock In Park. Hades Management, for the past years, have collaborated and staged an event featuring bands on their roaster. This is a very good opportunity for Maltese bands to play in Italy. The show in question was held on 14th May 2023. The weather was quite cloudy with the occasional shower from time to time, but nothing like the freak storms that were going on in Puglia.

First to hit the stage were the Maltese progressive, avant-grade rock band, Viper Soup Complex. It is never easy to open the night, let alone to do it in a foreign country were most of the crowd is not familiar with your material. It did not take long for the quality of the musicianship and the front woman’s stage antics to win over those present. Most of you reading this are familiar with their line up but for the sake of posterity the band is made up of Annemarie Spiteri (vocals), Michael Spiteri (bass), Melchior Busuttil (drums), Glenn Sultana (guitars) and David Ciantar (keyboards). Opening with Turquoise on Mars, from their debut Red Fugue (2018), the band continued with Tetrahedron Paradise, followed by The Well In The Labyrinth. The well received set came to a close by Stellar. Two of these three songs will form part of their much awaited second release. Four songs might seem like a short set list but if you are familiar with the band you’ll know that they take no short cuts and their compositions clock up quite a few minutes. Mind you, there was never a dull moment. The band gave their all and were greatly appreciated by the crowd. This was the second date for Viper Soup Complex in Italy as they performed at the Metal Queens’ Burning Night festival in Turin on the eve. Martyrium performed at the same festival on the 12th May 2023.

Photo by Danni Wells – DAWN

Viper were followed by Italian symphonic /power metal act Eternal Silence. Formed in Varese in 2008, the band’s current line up is as follows: Marika Vanni (vocals), Alberto Cassina (vocals / guitar), Alessio Sessa (bass), Martino Boneschi (guitar), Katja Di Giulio (violin) and Lorenzo Aimo (drums). Lorenzo Amio replaced the original drummer Andrea Zannin and this was one of his first live performances with the band. The female and male vocals formula works great with this band and the violin player adds more melody and impetus to their songs. Their set included material from their three albums, namely Timegate Anathema (2021), Mastermind Tyranny (2017) and Chasing Chimera (2015). Songs such as Dreambook, Ancient Spirit and Firefly were among the crowd pleasers.

Up next were Blut, who were celebrating the launch of their album ‘Traum’. This band knows its inception as a project of artistic expression by Alessandro Schümperlin, who happens to be also an established author of the steampunk genre. From a one-man studio project it evolved into a full fledged band. The line up has been through many a change and for this album, and performance, was as follows: Alessandro Schümperlin (Vocals), Chiara Manese (Vocals), Antonino Sidoti (Guitars), Bruno Tortora (Bass) and Stefano Morelli (Drums). Schümperlin and Manese compliment each other perfectly and balance each other out, one incarnating beauty and the other the beast. I let it up to you to sort out who’s who. Their show is complemented with theatrics, props and numerous costume changes.

As expected, most of the songs performed on the night were taken from their new album ‘Traum’. Starting off with Premonition, the band then launched into Wie Geht Es Dir (Traum), Alpha, Auspizium, Seele and Du Bist Nicht Da. The musicians left the stage leaving only guitarist Antonio Sidoti to accompany Chiara Manese in delivering Alchemical Passion. Manese’s angelic voice shone trough and glided on the gentle notes provided by Sidoti, making justice to the only ballad on ‘Traum’. After, it was Schümperlin’s moment in the limelight when the band came back to perform The Magician, taken from their album ‘Hermeneutics’. Manese came back on stage in a white dress, followed by a menacing looking Schümperlin, yielding a knife. The last song performed was How can I kill her?, from their ablum ‘Inside Your Mind’ and the set ended with beauty as a victim of the beast. Well Manese was soon resurrected and on the feet to received a well merited applause from the crowd present for the show.

Photo by Silvio Colombo

The day came to an end with a great performance by Italian Gothic Metal band False Memories. Formed in 2015, like many bands they have had a few line up changes along the way. The current one being as follows: Rosella Moscatello (vocals), Emanuele Cossu (drums), Moreno Palmisano (guitars), Dave Tavecchia (bass) and Francesco Savino (guitars). The band delivered songs from their three albums ‘Live Until the Twilight’ (2022), ‘The Last Night of Fall’ (2021) and ‘Chimerical’ (2019). They also performed singles released from their upcoming album like Rising Tide and The Storm Inside. On the album the band collaborated with, former Nightwish singer, Anette Ozlon. Their tight and enjoyable performance closed the night.

This was an experience I shall cherish.Watching Blut and the other Italian bands would have been excellent, but topping it up with compatriots Viper Soup Complex was really the cherry on the cake.On to the next.................

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