Twilight Force at Frannz Club in Berlin

The audience bearing arms at the ready

Twilight Force busted my ‘gigs in Berlin’ cherry for 2023 for a night of power metal – and I only really decided to go on a bit of a whim. I’d previously seen Twilight Force over half a decade ago, and (incorrectly!) wrote them off as underwhelming. Thankfully a good friend of mine gave me a kick and told me to give them another shot – and boy am I glad I did. 2016 me, you are a fool.

I was a touch late to the start of the show, so only managed to join in at the start of Seven Spires’ set. The band were on their first tour from over the Atlantic, all the way from North America. I dug through my listening history after the show, and as it turns out I’ve heard some of their stuff before! But as they mentioned on the night, lots of people in the room hadn’t.

They played a set spanning all eras of their three-album discography, donned in pirate costumes – which clearly went down well in the room. I have to presume that everyone was stunned by Adrienne Cowan’s insane vocals as I was, as well as Peter de Reyna’s bass playing. I sadly couldn’t really hear any of what Jack Kosto was doing on the guitars, but his fingers looked like they were dancing all around the fretboard! Hopefully next time the mix will have a little more mid-range clarity.

But enough about Seven Spires, and onto the main event!

Touring their new album At the Heart of Wintervale which came out last month, Twilight Force are on a full-force European tour hitting up every major city – and bringing their fully-fledged live show with them. As the 7 members came up to the stage one by one, I was instantly impressed by the level of detail in their costumes, and stood back to appreciate the first tracks of the set.

The audience battled the Sapphire Dragon with their inflatable swords

My eyes were immediately drawn to Blackwald, founding member, keyboard player, and lore creator for the band. His eerie announcements in between boomed through the venue giving the whole audience a story to follow along with for the evening, effectively turning the whole show into an immersive theater act. Clearly a lot of thought had gone into how the show’s story should progress through the evening, and Blackwald was the glue holding it all together – as well as blessing us with some killer keyboard licks.

Whilst set had a few tracks from the new album, Dawn of the Dragonstar was the main focus of the night – presumably as to not alienate fans that haven’t managed to digest the new album that only came out last month.

Twilight Force figuratively and literally unleased many dragons during the show, my favourite moment of which was when singer Allyon had to protect Lynd on guitar from being hit by a giant inflatable dragon that was being flung around the audience whilst he was playing a killer guitar solo during ‘Flight of the Sapphire Dragon’. If you spend any amount of time watching Lynd’s fingers, you’ll get lost in his buttery smooth solo lines. I always find it terrifying when guitarists in power metal bands can play that quickly, and Lynd was no exception.

And then obviously a man named “Busty” joined them on stage and chose a song for the band to play next because it was his birthday. Obviously.

Busty receiving his birthday Knighthood

Without running through every little minute detail of the show, at every opportunity possible, there was some sort of unique crowd participation from potion drinking, dragon battling, and evil laughing. That all combined with snazzy costumes, this act is full of well-crafted entertainment for every attendee to get involved in.

I was enthralled by the levels of pompousness shown by the band as Blackwald introduced the rest of the band one by one just before the encore tracks. Each member had their own little bits of intricate lore thrown in as they waved their capes around the stage in curtsey. Finishing the night with ‘The Power of the Ancient Force’, I was gutted to realise that my journey into the Twilight Kingdoms was over.

I was an absolute fool to sleep on Twilight Force. Their music slaps, their live show put a massive smile on my face, and I’m very glad to have given them another go!  Next time I’ll have to bring my inflatable sword so that I can battle the dragons properly…

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