Kingcrow &
Spheric Universe Experience

August 31, 2013 - De Pul, Uden (NL)

Ok, the new season has begun; most of the holidays are over and the venues are starting to program progressive music again. On the final day of August, De Pul in Uden was hosting the Uniting The Powers Of Metal tour-a tour which combined forces of France's Spheric Universe Experience and Italy's Kingcrow. These two bands both have a style of their own, but in a way that makes a perfect combination for a great evening. Too bad this is the beginning of the season and most money seems to be spent on holidays, therefore the venue did not quite sell out, but still a good number of people showed up to see two great performances.

Spheric Universe Experience

Vince Bena´m
The first band to set some fire to the stage was Spheric Universe Experience, whose latest album The New Eve was released in 2012. On stage these Frenchmen combined a melodic type of metal with a lot of progressive elements. The metal side came from the heavy riffs and fast fret work of guitarist Vince Bena´m, regardless of his smaller size, his sound was big. He
Franck Garcia
was using the whole stage and was playing great in unison with bass player John Drai, who turned out to be the joker of the band. At one point his mouth was covered by duct tape to prevent him from talking too much. Nevertheless, the metallic touch, the man in the back; keyboard player Fred Colombo was the melodic pillar and his melodies and solos were very tasteful. A surprise to me was the performance of the band's vocalist; Franck Garcia, who besides being a pleasant entertainer, was in the possession of a perfect voice. This is a voice that makes the difference and I think this is one element for the band that lifts them way above the average metal bands with a progressive touch. A hilarious moment occurred when Garcia asked how to pronounce 'Thank You' in Dutch, 'Dank U Wel' seemed to come close to the pronunciation of 'Dans Ton Cul', what means something like 'Up Your Ass' in French.

Just a little remark, I would like to hear a little more variation in the compositions, a strong power ballad or a real heavy monster would be welcome to the still impressive set.


Within a short time the stage had been changed and Kingcrow was ready to rock. Immediately the band grabbed you with the strong instrumental intro of Drowning Line and when vocalist Diego Marchesi started his vocal part it was clear to me; this guy stands up to the expectations and even overdoes
Diego Cafolla and Diego Marchesi (r)
the performances on the CD. I think the replacement of the vocalist a few years ago and enlisting this fantastic voice was the best thing that happened to Kingcrow. Let's be clear, this is an entertainer that finds himself somewhere in the middle of Haken's vocalist Ross Jennings (who has the same kind of intensity on stage and completely loses himself into the songs) and Damian Wilson (not for the voice, but as a performer he can grow to become equally good). The band itself had to use a hired gun to perform Ivan Nastasi's guitar parts, due to the fact he had become a father and could not join the band's tour. As a replacement Kingcrow brought in Michele Capraro,
Diego Marchesi and Francesco D'Errico (r)
who had to learn the songs in about two weeks. Therefore his stage performance was focused on playing and not attitude. All my respect goes to this impressive guitarist, who played flawlessly in my opinion. The guitarist on the other side of the stage was Diego Cafolla, who has a different approach to playing the guitar, closer to Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson. His wah-wah solos sounded great and through the rough (ab)use of his guitar during Fading Out Pt III, he had to finish the song with only five strings left! This was something the band made up for by playing the song again during the encore. All songs played that night came from the bands last two albums; Phlegethon from 2010 and In Crescendo released in 2013 (see review) and it would be hard to recall a song that was the highlight of the evening to me. Because of the intensity of the vocals and the interaction on stage, I enjoyed every song as much as the next. With all the power on the front side of the stage, including the sophisticated bass playing of Francesco D'Errico, there was someone in the back that usually does not get the attention and appreciation he deserves, but keyboard player Cristian Della Polla' s contributions are of great value, better they are a prominent factor to the sound of this band. He is a humble player that concentrates on the music, not on the fuzz in front of him. Backbone of the band, drummer Thundra Cafolla had the best job of the evening; hitting hard and keeping the boys in motion. The set ended with an impressive version of the title track of their previous album Phlegethon and then it was almost over, but the Italians came back and wanted to play the song that went wrong, due to the broken string one more time, a very appreciated gesture.

This was the first time for me seeing either of these bands live and both of the bands have left a great impression on me with their flawless performances. After the show we were catching up with the musicians and you could notice the way the two bands already have bonded together. For myself, I am glad I went to De Pul that evening otherwise I would have missed the presence of two bands that could use some more attention. They certainly deserve it.
Ok-one highlight of the whole evening, because I need to mention it,... the vocal performance of Diego Marchesi, a voice that touches you somewhere inside!

Pedro Bekkers (edited by Robert James Pashman)

Setlist Spheric Universe Experience:

Shut Up
The New Eve
Being/The Inner Quest
Now Or Never
Down Memory Lane
World Of Madness
Lakeside Park
The Day I Died
In This Place
Heal My Pain

Pictures Spheric Universe Experience
by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Spheric Universe Experience:

(left to right)
Franck Garcia:
lead vocals
Fred Colombo:
Vince Bena´m:
Gaby Odvad:
John Drai:

Setlist Kingcrow:

Drowning Line
Right Before
Washing Out
This Ain't Another Lovesong
Timeshift Box
Fading Out Pt III
In Crescendo
Morning Rain

Pictures Kingcrow
by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Kingcrow:

(left to right)
Cristian Della Polla:
Diego Cafolla:
Diego Marchesi:
lead vocals
Francesco D'Errico:
Thundra Cafolla:
Michele Capraro:

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