Threshold, Overtures and The Silent Wedding at The Live Rooms in Chester

Posted on 26 November 2014
By George Heron
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The first thing you notice about The Silent Wedding is the lead singer sounds like Tony Hadley. Yes, the lead singer of Spandau Ballet, the very same.

A difference being that TSW’s Marios Karanastasis is better at keeping in tune and sounds operatically trained.

It’s funny how a tune will start really heavy like Tale of Strahd in a Symphony X way and then will quickly soften because of the Hadley-esque vocals that kick in for the verse.

Could be a niche they’ve carved out there.

The crowd greatly appreciated their cover of classic 80s and 90s Prog Metal band Savatage’s Gutter Ballet, with the cleaner vocal delivery of Karanastasis adding a pleasingly different dimension to the song.

Italian Power Prog Metallers Overtures confidently stroll onto the stage sans lead singer turning their backs on the crowd while their intro is playing.

They then break into title track from their new album, Entering The Maze, the vocalist and singing teacher Michele Guaitoli, swaggers onto the stage at his cue, looking a combination of Marouane Fellaini and Mike Portnoy of ex-Dream Theater, with respective frizzy hair and beard.

He opens his mouth and emits a vocal sound akin to much maligned vocalist Geoff Tate in his pomp. Then he reaches a high note which I’m pretty sure is beyond anything Tate could muster even at the peak of his powers. Outstanding.

Overtures are a heavier, faster and more technical band than the one that preceded it and the pummelling they provided greatly endeared themselves to the crowd.

They had a joke where they asked the crowd to boo them as loud as they could. There was no reason to boo as they were very good and I bought their latest CD I was that impressed.

One characteristic that is consistent of all three bands is that all the vocalists within the bands use a very clean but powerful and emotional delivery without any grittiness that a James Hetfield would bring to the table, for example.

Threshold’s Damian Wilson stands above them all and most other vocalists ever, however. He doesn’t sound like anyone.

He’s clearly classically trained but has his own unique and inimitable range. He displays this for more than 2 hours in an astonishing display of energy and vocal technique.

He started the set in the crowd, singing with the crowd opener Slipstream off 2007’s breakthrough release Dead Reckoning (their first for Nuclear Blast).

There was a moment where you could be forgiven for thinking he might be on drugs such was the energy he displayed on stage and off it.

You couldn’t have the career he has had spanning two decades and countless projects without looking after yourself though so don’t be spreading any rumours about that, now.

The band were no slackers either. The two guitarists Karl Groom and Pete Morten aggressively traded solos and riffs all evening.

Johanne James constantly added embellishments to all songs making them sound even more awesome than they already were.

Keyboardist West, could not be heard at first but that was quickly rectified and excelled to add further atmosphere to the music with his solos and samples.

They played music from throughout their career spanning more than 20 years.

The oldest track they played was from 1997’s Extinct Instinct, Part Of The Chaos. It held up very well with the more popular recent material that graced this past decade.

Another amazing thing about the set list is how well the new material from this year’s marvellous “For The Journey” stood proudly alongside such classics as “Pilot Of The Sky Of Dreams”, “Ground Control”, “Mission Profile” and “Long Way Home”.

At the end of the gig, Damian stage-dived into the crowd and went straight into chatting to his adoring fans.

This current Threshold line-up have achieved greatness this year and the only way is up.