6.11.2021: Ad Infinitum – Live in Turbinenhaus

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Since AD INFINITUM managed to play a live show to celebrate the release of Chapter II – Legacy,” I am extremely happy that they have also thought of the ones that couldn’t make it to Z7 in Pratteln and therefore also invested time and energy into creating an online show. Under the title “Live in Turbinenhaus,” this virtual concert combined many interesting moments in around 60 minutes of playtime.

The show started with a nice intro and view of the venue before going into the first four tracks off the album: “Reinvented,” “Unstoppable,” “Your Enemy,” and “Inferno.” Watching these tracks live, the sound, feel, and energy of the record translated well into a live setting. After the first two tracks, vocalist Melissa Bonny took the time to address the virtual audience and send out a greeting and a thank you to those joining this album release party from their homes.

Thinking they would follow the album’s tracklist (and not noticing that they switched “Inferno” and “Your Enemy” around), I expected to hear the familiar intro to “Afterlife” next, so I was extremely surprised and equally as intrigued when they chose to play “I Am the Storm” instead. Guest singer Madeleine Liljestam of ELEINE fame joined them on stage and transformed this song into a duet. As noted by those using the chat, the two vocalists harmonized well together, even though Madeleine’s vocal timbre is a bit darker than Melissa’s. The end result was a pleasant one and I would love to see these talented ladies sharing a stage again.

The band then continued with “Breathe” and “Into the Night,” two songs that complement each other in terms of soundscape and atmosphere, as one is bouncy and light and the second is heavy and dark. At this point and to everyone’s surprise, Melissa announced that for the next two songs they would be joined by Linda Laukamp (EKLIPSE) and Hans Platz (FEUERSCHWANZ). What followed was a sweet and short acoustic moment as they played “Demons” and “See You in Hell.” As beautiful as this section was, it broke the flow of the show and I would have preferred it to be at the end, as an encore.  

The show resumed with “Haunted,” “Marching on Versailles,” and “Son of Wallachia” next, but it took a while for the momentum to build back up. When it finally did, the show really got going with a selection of heavier tracks that saw Melissa constantly switching between cleans of growls with ease. While “Marching on Versailles” sounded as good as expected, with that chant-able “March!” driving the singalong experience, it’s worth mentioning that “Son of Wallachia” was especially memorable, as it featured not just a wonderful and slightly melancholic instrumental side, but also gorgeous vocals melodies that Melissa delivered with passion and gusto.

Up next, “My Justice, Your Pain,” “Animals,” and “Lullaby” made for great headbanging moments, while also raising the tempo and the levels of energy.  I haven’t said anything about the other musicians, but Adrian Thessenvitz was killing it on guitar serving up tastier and tastier riffs and just shredding when it came to solo time, as if playing guitar is the easiest thing in the world. Behind the drum kit, Niklas Müller felt like a machine pounding relentlessly and with style while working in tandem with Korbinian Benedict’s groovy and sleek bass lines to solidify the rhythmic backbone of the compositions.

After “Lullaby,” it was finally time for “Afterlife,” for which Alea der Bescheidene (SALTATIO MORTIS) joined the band. Though I am biased to the studio version of this song, I have to admit that Alea did a pretty great job singing Nils Molin’s parts. To end on a high note, there was a reprise of the chorus with everybody, though I would have preferred if Madeline, Linda, and Hans had joined in progressively instead of stopping the song, then trying to get the tempo back up for that rousing finale. Still, a good rendition of the song and a strong ending to an excellent show.

As far as the technical aspects of this show go, the color scheme was interesting and dynamic, fitting rather well with what was happening on stage. The sound was big and immersive as there were also a number of backing tracks playing, so as to capture the fullness and power of the album. Judging by the comments in the chat, many of those watching were impressed with how well the band and the audio crew managed the live sound. On the downside, the lack of interaction with the virtual audience took a bit away from the overall enjoyment of the show, as I didn’t feel as connected to it as I did watching, for example, LORD OF THE LOST’s “Sinister Summer Stream.”     

In the end, it was a rather well spent Saturday evening (and subsequent Sunday and Monday afternoons), as these streams that bands do for virtual audiences are, above all else, about the songs and the performances. Indeed, watching AD INFINITUM enjoying themselves so much while recording this trumps all of my nitpickings. One can easily tell this concert was made with love and care for the fandom and this is the ultimate takeaway here.

Written by Andrea Crow
Photos are stills from the stream

Setlist

  • Reinvented
  • Unstoppable
  • Your Enemy
  • Inferno
  • I am the Storm
  • Breathe
  • Into the Night
  • Demons
  • See you in Hell
  • Haunted
  • Marching on Versailles
  • Son of Wallachia
  • My Justice, Your Pain
  • Animals
  • Lullaby
  • Afterlife