When the singers of three pioneering metal groups happened to form a band together – Avengers Assemble style – we were, to put it mildly, weeing our pants with excitement. Anneke van Giersbergen, Liv Kristine and Kari Rueslåtten are all formidable front-women in their own right, but together... Well, here's what we discovered.
The Sirens, live in London
Venue: The Garage, London
The harmonic trio come to London
Even when clad in glittery garments, these ladies are still more metal than you
They may look all dolled up and ready to go to the matinee, but The Sirens know a thing or two about this metal lark. Anneke's well known for her time in The Gathering and collaborations with Devin Townsend; Liv lent her voice to a Cradle Of Filth tune and Kari's former band, The 3rd And The Mortal, recorded some truly grim content – she stands alone, centre-stage, wallowing and wailing to the harrowing doom of Death Hymn. Elsewhere, a storming version of The Gathering's Strange Machines sees Anneke throwing shapes – zero fucks given, Dad dancing style – to the backdrop of what is essentially a Lamb Of God riff.
The disciples of Devin are here in droves
While all three of The Sirens are equally talented, a sea of Devin Townsend shirts sweeps through The Garage. Anneke's tunes do end up receiving the largest roars from the crowd, but no matter – this is The Sirens' show, and if Anneke's work with Hevy Devy brought the masses in, then so be it.
Take That wish they could pull off these harmonies
Just about every song aired tonight could be put on the radio. Why they aren't on the radio does beggar belief – as the three of them bound on stage to Anneke's Treat Me Like A Lady, we're all left wondering why everyone and their nan doesn't love this stuff. On occasion, however, the constant rotation of vocalists does get a tad overbearing – Liv's contribution to Kari's ghostly Trollferd somewhat hinders the original song's naked, vulnerable qualities.
There is a cello involved
The backing band manage to lug an electric cello onto the scene for a couple of numbers, yet nobody can be arsed to replace Hayko Cepkin's guest vocals during Mental Jungle. It's a small, arguably obsolete nit to pick, but frustrating nonetheless – the inclusion of said cello bolsters a genuine authenticity to tonight's proceedings, only to have it snatched by Cepkin's vocals, booming from the PA system like we're at a Britney gig. Sonically it's still a dream, but doesn't quite sit right on the visual front.
To paraphrase our Leo: Before, The Sirens had our curiosity. But now, they have our attention
Minor niggles aside, The Sirens deliver. Boasting three fabulous front-women and utilising each of their personalities – the charm of Anneke, the melodrama of Liv and the serenity of Kari – the final tune, Sisters Of The Earth, is an absolute winner and showcases the band's compatibility in the studio. The future of The Sirens remains uncertain (they've only recorded two songs, each member is insanely busy and they have no plans to record a full-length yet), but tonight is something truly special: a nostalgic nosedive into the vaults of yore, capped off with an equally exciting ascent into the present.