|On Thorns I Lay
Days were passing by and everything was leading to a very special Saturday night, the one of the 28th of May, the Saturday night when one of the best doom/death metal bands of the 90s, Saturnus, would offer us one of those live shows you don't see every day, one of the live shows that remain vivid in heart and soul, a dream from which you don't want to wake up and when you do, you want to dream again!
At Petroupoli, Athens, at the club "Ston Aera", we have the chance to live an enchanting night. The fans had started arriving outside the club 1-2 hours before the show would begin and the doors, finally, opened at 8:30 in the evening. In the beginning only a few people had kept a position in the very first places of the club, but those were the ones to feel great when Saturnus steeped on stage because they would be right in front of this magnificent band; I was one of those lucky people too! In the beginning Sense Of Loss got on stage and they played 4 melodic/atmospheric metal compositions which were really beautiful and atmosphere-evoking, making many people in the club move their heads in the tempo of their melodies, consider me in. During their third and fourth song a female singer (she was wearing a t-shirt of Sun O))), hell yeah!), a member of another band of which I don't remember the name, enriched the sound of Sense Of Loss with her beautiful melodic voice harmonizing beautifully with the overall feeling of the band. Their sound was very good and you could hear clearly every single instrument and enjoy Sense Of Loss with all of your heart without wondering where did the sound of the guitar, the keyboards or anything else go.
Time was passing by and the second band, Hedon Cries got on stage and started unleashing their doom/death metal in the air. Generally, they were a good band, very interesting, without playing anything new though, but having all the clichés of the doom/death metal scene! After they played three of their own compositions they covered My Dying Bride's masterpiece bearing the name "My Hope The Destroyer" which made many people of the audience headbang like hell, count me in (how could I resist since I haven't seen live yet one of the greatest bands on earth, My Dying Bride…?)! Concluding, Hedon Cries played one more of their own songs, "A New Realm Approaching", a song I like a lot, ending their performance in a good way. They had a good sound, but I think that the vocals should have had higher volume, something that made the singer grunt more powerfully in order to be heard. I believe that if the microphone had higher volume the extreme vocals would lend the music more groove and power to the music of Hedon Cries.
And the moment arrives for the best band coming out of Greece concerning the atmospheric sound of metal, a band that really has nothing to fear from bands from abroad! I could call On Thorns I Lay as the Greek Paradise Lost, not in their sound, but in their overall course up to date, since they didn't remain static in a specific field of atmospheric, generally, metal! I had seen them live 3 years a go along with Primordial (hail!), Septic Flesh (hail! Too bad they had to disband…) and Diva noctua Entropia, but I couldn't feel their music as much as I would like to because the sound wasn't the best, generally the sound that night was horrible, and because they didn't play that much! I must admit that this time they were fantastic and they had a good sound (ok, we can forget the fact that Minas' guitar wasn't very loud during the first song, something that was fixed from the second song and on, and that Stefanos' microphone, who was doing the grunting vocals, had some problems, a problem that was fixed after some songs…) impressing me and making me enjoy a lot their music! Their playlist was minly based on their new forth-coming, unreleased yet, album and I can say that On Thorns I Lay, after the wonderful "Egocentric", return back heavier, without losing in emotion, judging from what I heard from their upcoming new album. From their up to date discography they played the following songs: Life Can Be (with which they began their show), Angeldust, Crystal Tears (a majestic song!), Threat Of Seduction and Feed Her Lust! The new songs we had the chance to listen to were: One Day To Live, Breathing, High, Precious Silence, Mistakes, 2Face (Oriental) and Life Without You (with which they farewelled the audience). A special mentioning must be done for the new female singer and member of On Thorns I Lay, Machi, whose voice is beautiful and melodic, being a wonderful duet with Minas while on stage! They gave everything on stage and they left leaving satisfied the audience from what I noticed!
Slowly the great moment was arriving and the members of Saturnus had gotten on stage preparing their musical gear and suddenly… Empty Handed and we started headbanging in an ecstatic way! Saturnus had started making us bowing gently in front of their majesty from their very first song for the night, filling our souls with fragile emotions, piercing slowly our inner self! A new brilliant doom/death metal composition followed, I Long, and they keep on enchanting us with Inflame Thy Heart with Thomas on the vocals showing what a great front-man and performer on stage he is, whether he recites in a mourning way or sings with his deep grunting voice, leaving wounds on your frail body! While he was singing his imposing, yet so tranquil, stare could make you feel condemned, doomed!
A brand new song followed, Pain Washes Me, another fabulous doom/death metal song, to slowly reach the dreamy, yet melancholic, Starres to feel a few minutes later that Paradise belonged to us… Since it was difficult, due to lack of time, to play as a whole the colossal opus bearing the name Paradise Belongs To You, one of the best and most personal doom/death releases of the 90s, they "composed" a special song for us for this special night, a 21-minute masterpiece consisting of parts of the songs coming from Paradise Belongs To You, an exceptional song that made us drown in an ocean of intense emotions, at times expressed in a dynamic and imposing way, at others through a beautifully serene and melancholic sound-prism. Having experienced the Paradise Medley and having believed that Paradise, finally, belongs to us Saturnus kept on unleashing the beauty of their music with the grand opus Lost My Way to slowly lead to another brand new song, Descending.
Right after Descending a deeply emotional composition filled our lips with bitter dust, Softly On The Path You Fade, with Thomas leaving us wonder which peak of emotional grandeur he can reach while interpreting on stage… He seemed to be touched while smiling when the audience was singing along with him "casts long shadows on my heart"! Murky Waters, another brand new masterpiece, followed, moving in the shame musical soundscapes with Empty Handed and Lost My Way, quite different from the other songs consisting of the new album, but still so equally great!
In Your Shining Eyes lets the show flow in a calm and tranquil way and right after this follows one of the most beautiful songs, an ode to threnody and grief, Drown My Sorrow, a piece of Art that made us travel somewhere else, in memories that hurt still, in dreams that withered and fell from the night-sky like the leaves when autumn arrived (forever autumn…?)… "I fall back into pain with your empty kiss, beneath this rain you're still the one I miss", I think that it's enough to describe how we felt that emotionally holy moment!
For the end they kept the absolute hymn, Christ Goodbye, with the audience being ecstatic for one more time and bowing in a gentle way in front of Saturnus for this heart-rending, anger-filled slow opus! Everything I said is so small in front of what we saw, of how we felt that night! Around 200 people had the chance to see one of the most wonderful doom/death metal bands around in one of their best performances on stage, and not only since they were really great guys, very friendly and humoristic! They gave everything they had to give on stage and they received all the love from the audience; and thus they paid pack with one night to remember… Thomas, Tais, Lennart, Nikolaj, Peter and Anders deeply thanks for the beautiful night!
Having experienced what Saturnus means live from now on every time I listen to their songs it won't be the same because the emotional charge will be more intense! I just can't wait for their new album to be released and to see them live once again, since they promised to the Greek audience that they'll be back! A very good live packet in a good club with very good, generally, sound! What else could anyone ask for? Whoever didn't came just lost a GREAT live show, I have nothing more to add, the last words belong to Saturnus:
"I fall back into pain
With your empty kiss
Beneath this rain
You're still the one I miss…"
Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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