The Old Dead Tree, Sybreed, Aabsynthe - Paris, France, 03.04.2008
|Event:||The Old Dead Tree|
Back in October 2007, I had the opportunity of doing an interview with The Old Dead Tree just before the release of their new album ("The Water Fields") and before they start touring. Unfortunately I was to miss them a few days later as they performed in a small venue in Paris, Le Nouveau Casino.
That's why I made sure I'd not miss them again that Thursday night in Le Trabendo - yet another small venue in Paris. To accompany them, two guest bands they chose because on that last tour, they were the two bands who they befriended the most. And this is how it went for me..
As I entered the venue; I could hear the music had started with something far from what I had expected to hear in the early moments of a TODT gig. Aabsynthe's music is closer to death metal than the headliner band, say something like death/thrash metal with melodic elements. Although that night, the melodic aspect wasn't obvious to the ear and this is certainly due to the absence of the keyboard player, who was at the hospital according to an announcement the guitarist/singer made in the middle of the (short) show. The sound was loud, almost crushing and even though some of the rhythmic schemes used were quite basic, I found myself enjoying the performance of the guys from Lyon.
I liked their attitude, too. Seems like they are friendly and honest guys, just like the guys from Aabsynthe are in fact. Laid back, down to earth. Of course they asked and wished for more people to headbang, or mosh, but that didn't happen and they played in front of a scattered and mostly static audience.
I knew the name, but not the music. To be honest, I'll keep the name in mind but I'll try to forget about the music... Yeah, I'm quite harsh and I'm sure a few people enjoyed the show Sybreed gave but I'm not to be found among them, simply not my cup of tea. See, I kept thinking they were trying hard to emulate Katatonia (I noticed afterwards that the guitarist was wearing a Katatonia t-shirt) while also keeping in mind they had to add something more, their touch. A touch I'll define as more aggressive and more electronic. To sum up, they have an excellent formula! But IMO, they are using it badly, the songs suffering from pretty bad compositions (at least, it sounded like that live) and average stage presence (ok, I admit there wasn't that much room left but still they could do better, I felt nothing during their show) and an average sound. Probably better on CD.
The Old Dead Tree
Playing in your hometown may not be the easiest thing for a band, it's always a bit special as Manuel Munoz said during the show, thanking everyone (crowd, bands, crew) for their support. Yet fortunately, such shows are often great as well and this is what actually happened with this show of The Old Dead Tree.
I saw them twice before but for the first time, the overall feeling I got while watching them on stage was that the music was louder than on their albums. I can't really explain why, perhaps because of the new drummer, Raphaël Antheaume (from Penumbra) who played great that evening and for whom this show was the first as the official drummer of the band. At first I found it disturbing to see his long smooth arms hitting the drums but later I was spending moments focusing on his playing, which I told you was good.
Maybe it was the setlist that gave me this feeling. We got a good bunch of songs out of their 3 albums, and I was mostly pleased by the addition of Won't Follow Him from the first full length "The Nameless Disease", for this is my favorite TODT song of all time. Manuel presented the song as an oldie they hadn't played for at least 4 years or something like that.
Other songs performed that night: We Cry As One, How Could You?, It Can't Be, Out Of Breath, The Knock Out Song, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8, Even If, What's Done Is Done, Regarding Kate, Start The Fire... and some more (even a cover "Army Of Me" - I've searched and it appears that the original is by Björk).
On How Could You?, Manuel announced he wouldn't play the guitar, and a few seconds later we saw Nicolas Chevrollier (ex-guitarist) joining the band for this song and the next one (I think). He's lost his great hair but not the will to play.
The first encore consisted in two songs played in acoustic, the first one being Unrelenting and the other Don't Wake Me Up (I think). It was nice. Then they ended the show with a last encore, playing Start The Fire (that did wake up part of the crowd!) and their traditional closing song What Else Could We've Said? Indeed, what else could they've said or played to add to this already "complete" show? Sure, their music may not be particularly suited for live performances, but they did it right, the best way they could. Hats off!
Thanks goes to Jeff, Julien (K Prod), Roger (Base).
Sorry for the lack of pics. The venue was far too dark for my poor cam.
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