Concert Review: Sylvaine, September 16, Opera House

Friday night saw Norway’s Sylvaine (not to be confused with the late Sylvain Sylvain or, for that matter, David Sylvian) taking to the stage at The Opera House alongside Imperial Triumphant and Zeal & Ardor.

A charming frontwoman who took the time during her set to tell the story behind some of the songs, Sylvaine, aka Kathrine Shepard, introduced herself and her bandmates as being “from Europe” adding that they come from Norway, France and Germany, but Sylvaine is really Shepard’s brainchild. A classically trained multi-instrumentalist and composer, Sylvaine has assembled a solid collection of songs on her latest, Nova (out now on Season of Mist).

Sylvaine offers up a mix of black metallish sounds with traditional folk stylings and vocals that run the gamut from ethereal beauty to full on shrieks. With a sound reminiscent of bands like Alcest and Myrkur, the band put on an impressive show. In a live setting, songs like “Mono No Aware” and “Nowhere, Still Somewhere” really come alive, with a few in the crowd even getting a bit of a mosh pit going towards the end of their set.

For their parts, headliners Zeal & Ardor and show openers Imperial Triumphant also put on memorable performances, though I feel that Imperial Triumphant in particular deserves a special shout out not only for their musical chops but for incorporating a champagne bottle into their performance, first using it as a guitar slide before popping the cork and then spraying the crowd, pouring the remnants into a few concertgoers mouths. I mean, if you were one of the lucky few to get some free champagne included along with your concert ticket? That’s just good value.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts