After Forever at Piorno Rock Festival – Granada, Spain – 16 March – 2002

In spite of the fact that in this festival there were many bands, we have decided to focus only on this one due to the fact that in the progressive and symphonic panorama there was not a great variety.

At about 12 p.m. the beginning of the event was “previsto” but as usual there was a thirty minute delay. The performances took place, with a terrible sound, and we reach nine o’clock at night, hour in which the boys of After Forever were almost ready to go out on scene. While they solve some problems with the amplifiers I approach the main sound mixing table and see with great surprise that the inept sound technician had been with his arms crossed during all the previous performances is not there anymore. In his place there is a young man that looked Central European. Rapidly I saw he started moving faders (surely trying to fix the disaster caused by the previous pseudo-technician). Also, another young man got hold of the lighting table and only needed 5 minutes to memorize the controls.

Well then, after all these observations the lights go out and the first compasses of Monolith start to sound. “Semblance of Confusion” was the next song where it was possible to feel the sound was impeccable. All the instruments could be distinguished and especially Floor Jansen’s voice. In spite of being almost unknown in our country, the all the audience stood up from the first moment (especially all the men) when they saw miss Jansen’s sensual swaying’s on stage. With very little time in between the songs, they played “Pledge #1”, “Emphasis” and “Leaden Legacy”. The connection with the public was total. Almost 75% of the audience were with their mouth open, myself amongst them since we noticed their professionalism reaches unimaginable levels. Everything well organized and reaching the impossible, the total union between the band and the audience when only few dozen people really knew After Forever’s music. Their two guitarists Mark and Sander did not remain behind in their Guitarist-Vocal facet, carrying out a great role with their dark guttural voices, giving the songs a great touch of aggressiveness. “Stranged”, “Following in the Cry” and “Pledge #2” were the following songs where the people that were resting in their seats joined the rest of the audience. While we carry on enjoying the songs I notice more details: their drummer keeps the tempo of all their songs with a metronome (only the highest professionals take this risk) and their sound technician has managed to achieve already the best sound of the whole night in which all the instruments can be distinguished almost to perfection. Floor continues cheering the audience demonstrating now her facet as a “front woman” doing “head banging” in the same style of the most brutal Death Metal singers (gentlemen, she even does it better than them!). While they continue interlacing very well songs from their two albums, like “Silence From Afar”, “Inimical Cimera” and “The Key” (and all this without losing their initial force) we reach the last song: “Forlon Hope”, where they used up all the energy they still had remaining. Leaving us with the desire for another song they left promising us that they would return to Spain this summer together with Nightwish (a tour that can turn out to be very successful).

To sum up, I will say that After Forever carried out the best performance of the night, joining aggressiveness, melody and sensuality with a difference to other groups, such as Ed Guy, Kreator, Overkill or Blaze. I only have to mention one fault, in this case towards the organizers of the concert who did not offer us an invitation to be able to interview After Forever, but what can we do about it? “Spain is Different”.