Beyond the black – The Dome, London – 31st October 2019

Beyond the black

Tonight’s show was originally due to be at the smaller Boston music rooms but good ticket sales led to it being updated. This is Beyond the black’s first headline tour and it’s clearly been successful with many shows in Europe selling out despite playing much bigger venues than in the UK.

Support on the tour came from Swedish band Mister Misery. They’ve got a strong visual image with their painted faces – a Joker meets Wednesday 13 kind of look, and based on that I was expecting something heavier than they delivered. What they deliver is metal but with the sort of catchy choruses you associate more with Swedish rock bands such as H.E.A.T. It’s actually very good and the circus vibe that comes across in “My ghost” works really well. They’re a band I’ll certainly check out again. They get a decent reception tonight but that’s far from the very entusiastic welcome they got from the German fans in Cologne a few days earlier.

After a break it was time for Beyond the black. In the last four years I’ve seen them several times, from supporting Saxon on their UK tour, to playing Bloodstock, supporting Within Temptation in Europe and now doing their own headline tour. Since a linup change in 2016 that saw the entire band with the exception of singer Jennifer Haben leave, the lineup has remained unchanged and it’s a great band that includes Serenity guitarist Christian Hermsdörfer. After the intro of “Paint it black” followed by their intro tape they take to the stage with “Hysteria”. Songs including “Songs of love and death” and “Running to the edge” follow before Jennifer and Christian head out to a small stage by the sound desk to do a short acosutic set. It’s a nice change of pace and gives those fans further back a chance to see them up close. As the acoustic set ends the rest of the band come back on the main stage and join in before a drum solo starts while Jennifer and Christian make their way back to the main stage.
We then get “Heart of the hurricane”, “Lost in forever”, Shine and shade” and the set closer “Hallelujah”. It’s a slightly shorter set than in Cologne but it’s still a great night.

Beyond the black seem to be putting in the work to tour places even if they have to play smaller venues than they’re used to (Manchester and Bristol were both small venues), and that hard work is fairly certain to pay off as they build their fan base. I see them appealing to a similar audience to Delain and based on that and how good they are live I fully expect them to keep selling shows out and playing bigger venues in future.

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.