As a pre-party event for The Gathering’s 25th anniversary show in Nijmegen the next day, Stream of Passion played a show at the Groene Engel in nearby town Oss, bringing Scarlet Stories with them as support.
Female fronted group Scarlet Stories played a somewhat melancholic brand of progressive metal, with a style somewhere between Stream of Passion and Kingfisher Sky. Their musicians were talented, with a lot of atmospheric nuances to their playing and interesting sections, but unfortunately these sections didn’t seem to cohere well into enjoyable songs, it seemed they were weaving together interesting, yet ill-fitting sections of music together. Singer Lisette’s voice while decent is unspectacular in a sea of female fronted metal bands tackling a melodic style, and it sums up their set, they have some decent moments but don’t do a lot to stand out from the crowd and are somewhat forgettable, especially lacking in a formidable stage presence.
Stream of Passion though have shown themselves to be one of the genre greats already, with fourth album A War of Our Own released this year being arguably their best to date, and having always put on a phenomenal live show in their performances thus far. With a mid-sized but excited crowd made up of people from around the world they put on as great a show as ever, bringing that extra energy and “passion” that makes them one of the most exciting live bands in the scene. Each member of the band combines keen melodic sensibility in their playing with a fantastic stage presence throughout their set, particularly bassist Johan who rarely stops running round the stage and smiling while playing. They played a great setlist, and though the new album had the most songs aired on the night, they didn’t neglect the others, with all albums represented with several songs. Marcela’s voice was beautiful throughout, radiant with the huge levels of energy that went into the performance, particularly on the brilliant A War of Our Own and ballad For You, and her beautiful violin playing through a lot of the concert just adds to their melodic sensibilities. With the intense melodic belters Collide and The Curse they nailed it with the heavy progressive songs, while Wherever You Are showed and In The End showed their softer more emotional side. After the set they came back on to give away tickets for sold out The Gathering shows the next day in a lovely gesture, before coming back for two encores, covering Radiohead’s Street Spirit in an emotional, heavy version that is all their own, followed by the brilliantly progressive closer Haunted. Set mainstays In the End and Passion may have been notably absent from the setlist, but at this point they have so many great songs out that it was interesting to see them change it up in another brilliant show from the symphonic metal maestros. As good a show as ever from Stream of Passion.