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Eden's Curse / Mob Rules / Degreed http://ns2.rocktopiarecords.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/5a/0e/8a/Edens-Curse-Live-2019-Thumb-74-1556655480.jpg Hot

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Eden's Curse / Mob Rules / Degreed - Corporation, Sheffield (UK) - 19 April 2019

Hot on the heels of backing Ted Poley at HRH-AOR, Degreed returned to these shores as the guests to Eden's Curse. The talented Swedes are one of Melodic Rock's best kept secrets; the quality of their music should surely have them playing to larger audiences throughout the world. Opener 'Black Cat', followed by 'Sugar', highlighted what an exceptional four-piece Robin Ericsson (vocals/bass), Mats Ericsson (drums), Micke Jansson (keyboards) and Daniel Johansson (guitar/backing vocals) are. I am already looking forward to the release of the band's next studio album after hearing the excellent 'Ruins'. Then followed a run of four songs from 2017's superb self-titled opus, 'War!', 'Tomorrow', 'If Love Is A Game' and 'Shakedown'. 'The Scam' from 2015's equally impressive 'Dead But Not Forgotten' release brought the thirty-minute set to a brilliant conclusion.


Degreed Live 2019

Despite being in existence for over two decades, this was my first time seeing German Metal outfit Mob Rules. They certainly look the part, all dressed in black and masses of hair. As with everything German, they were highly proficient; a solid rhythm section of Markus Brinkmann (bass) and Nikolas Fritz (drums), the twin guitars of Sven Lüdke and Sönke Janssen, archetypal Metal vocals courtesy of Klaus Dirks, and a keyboard player Jan Christian Halfbrodt, who looked like he could have been Jeff Scott Soto's younger brother! As mentioned, I was not familiar with their material, but the songs that stuck out to me were 'Black Rain', 'Sinister Light' (from the last studio album 'Beast Reborn') and set closer 'Hollowed Be Thy Name'. My recent re-education into all things Metal, via Fireworks, meant that I enjoyed Mob Rules this evening far more than I would have done six months ago.


Mob Rules Live 2019

Following a successful support tour with the Michael Schenker Fest, Eden's Curse returned with an eight-date UK headline tour to support 'Testament – The Best Of Eden's Curse'. Being the small venue at the Corporation, drummer John Clelland was sat right in the back corner of the stage; bassist Paul Logue later reported that he was having difficulty hearing him, despite being stood only a few feet away. Fortunately, that did not transcend to the audience, a few feet below the stage, as the sound and mix were excellent, which is essential to the enjoyment of The Curse (the dividends of employing your own sound engineer).

The quotation is "Go big or go home". The Curse had no intentions of going home and opened with the title track of their fourth studio album 'Symphony Of Sin'. The set list followed a similar running order to side one of the aforementioned greatest hits package, so it was always going to be a great evening in terms of song selection.


Edens Curse Live 2019 1

Personal early favourites were 'Fly Away' and 'No Holy Man', the studio version of the latter being famous for the inclusion of Dream Theater's James LaBrie and Helloween's Andi Deris.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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However, it's the keyboard refrain that I love most about this song. Chrism (Christian Pulkkinen) played this to perfection, his keyboards were high in the mix as they should be, being an integral part of the EC sound.


Edens Curse Live 2019 2

The catchy 'Sell Your Soul' preceded the epic 'Jerusalem Sleeps'. Always a high point of an EC show are the duets and this evening Serbian front man Nikola Mijic (sounding better than ever in my humble opinion) was joined by the wonderful Helen Hurd for an excellent rendition of 'Unconditional'. Most bands would have difficulty following such a great track, but no problems for The Curse as they launched into two epics, 'Judgement Day' and 'Jericho', with guitarist Thorsten Koehne soloing in his own unique way like there was no tomorrow.


Edens Curse Live 2019 3

Logue, the friendly Glaswegian, regularly addressed the audience, and despite only approximately one hundred fans in attendance, commented on how they always get a loud reception at The Corporation. He also showed true class when introducing 'Unbreakable', referring to the original singer simply as "Michael" without a hint of vitriol. Initially, they thought the song might alienate some of the fans; instead it has become a favourite and a must-include on any setlist, as is 'Evil & Divine' the main set closer. Although the band did not leave the stage before the two-song encore.

The current line-up has now been together for around three years and it shows. This was the tightest that I have seen the Curse, and new song 'Forever' bodes well for future studio recordings.

Hurd returned to the stage to bring the triumphant set to a close with the splendid 'Angels & Demons'. Kudos to the whole band (and the two support bands) who interacted with the fans from the moment they left the stage to a deserved standing ovation. This certainly was a Good Friday.


Edens Curse Live 2019 4

Review and photos by Mark Donnelly

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