The 2010 Sonic Rock Solstice took place in Builth Wells, Wales in June and was 3 days filled with some of the most dynamic music that England has to offer. One of the most anticipated bands at this years gathering was this one who were making their second appearance there. With the release of their terrific album Waking The Dead not too long before this event their set promised to be one of the memorable moments of the festival. To their credit, Anubis did not disappoint. Mixing songs from that release and their first album Sibuna the band delivers a fiery live performance that really makes me mad that I could not get my passport in time to make it over there!
I have been saying this with every album that Anubis comes out with but once again I have to emphasize the fact that this band has one of the most underrated and magical musicians around. Simon Lees is not only an amazing guitar player, he also has a fine rock and roll voice and live he only reiterates what I have been telling everyone. From the amazing six string work on the instrumental "Chenevare" to the scorching solo in "Stalked By Sadness", and the amazing "Angry Dolphins" he is on fire throughout the disc until the very end where he leaves you out of breath with another instrumental called "The Pharaoh" Lees epitomizes heavy metal. Enough about Simon though, I don't want him to get too big of a head. There is more to this band than just his amazing work.
The yin to Simon's yang has to be vocalist and keyboardist Sarah Co'burn. Her wispy voice gives a haunting quality to the music and offsets the harder music in their repertoire. On songs like "Locked In" "Abandoned" and the hypnotizing "Masquerade" Sarah is the focal point that shines like a beacon. It is her abilities that help to make this band something special. She allows them to follow whatever path they care to go down. With the terrific rhythm section of Pete Williamson on bass and Kevin Bartlett on drums along with that guitar player Lees, this band covers all the bases. They can be melodic, symphonic or as hard as nails.
Listening to this live recording gives me mixed emotions. Hearing them in this setting is a particular treat that should be thought of as a gift to any music lover. At the same time in the back of my mind I keep thinking that it may be awhile before I am able to participate in one of their concerts. I certainly hope that they can make it across The Pond and bless the U.S.A. with their presence. I thought that their albums are some of the best music on the planet and now hearing how they deliver live it only emphasizes the fact that this is a band that can do it all. It is also a band that I am going to have to see live one way or another.
The bottom line is this is a terrific live disc. What you hear is what you get from the band on stage and that is worth the price of admission. I think of it as the stop gap that hopefully will continue to satisfy until I can be in the audience myself.
1. Til It Hurts
2. Locked In
4. In Your Mind
5. Magic Carpet
6. Angry Dolphin
7. Stalked By Sadness
10. The Pharaoh