Dutch Doom Days VII, Baroeg, 25th October 2008
|Event:||Dutch Doom Days VII|
|Written by:||Lucas, Marcel Hubregtse, Deadsoulman, VPeter|
Dutch Doom Days VII, Baroeg, 26th October 2008 by Deadsoulman (41)
Dutch Doom Days VII, Baroeg, 25th October 2008 by Deadsoulman (43)
Two days of top class doom in a nice cosy club in Rotterdam (Baroeg, which other club would be suitable for such a doomfest?), what more could a three person strong Metal Storm staff delegation (Collin, Lucas, Marcel and we would be helped out a bit by guest reviewer Arutha) ask for? Sunny weather? We had that the Saturday. Rainy autumn stormy weather? We had that the Sunday. Hopefully Collin would be on time for he left France early on the Saturday. And lo and behold trains ran on time for a change. Collin, Lucas and Marcel entered Baroeg shortly after 2 p.m. with the first band planned at 3. First things first. Marcel went on a cd shopping spree and beer token spree, and the other two... to be honest no idea what they did, hahaha. At three o' clock sharp the first band of the weekend opened the proceedings.
Day 1, Saturday
Lucas: The opening act of the Saturday was "Faal" (Fail, ed.) which is a relatively new atmospheric Black/Doom band. This was only their fourth gig ever, but damn, they were great. Usually I don't care too much for opening acts but this definitely got my attention. Very intense and fast blackened doom parts alternated with atmospheric, spacey solos and keys. A great half an hour and in hindsight, one of the more impressive bands of the weekend. Keep an eye on this band.
Marcel H.: Beforehand Faal were already being tipped as one of the possible positive surprises one should look out for by the organisation of Dutch Doom Days (see interview with the organisation here ) I could only concur with that expectation because having seen them twice prior to today's gig they had already made a huge impression on me.
And deliver they surely did. Tighter and more impressive than before and that considering this was Geert's (bass) first gig with the band. melodic blackened doom of great class. A song such as 00:00 turning into a live favourite this early on in their career due to the memorable opening riff and Perpetual Solitude also being another highlight of the set due to its atmospheric soundscapish solos and keyboard passages.
All in all Faal delivered the perfect opening salvo for a great weekend of doom. All three Metal Stormers (Lucas, Collin, Marcel) were highly impressed by this young sixsome. We weren't the only ones as could be concluded from the long line of people in front of Faal's merchandise stand immediately after the concert.
Beneath The Frozen Soil
Collin: After the blasting surprise Faal had been as openers of this nice festival, Beneath The Frozen Soil's task was admittedly not the easiest. People were still impressed by the previous band's performance and kind of needed to freshen up a bit, so the set of these Swedish guys was largely overlooked and mainly played in front of a scattered audience. I can't even say they missed much. I don't know if I was still under the influence of Faal's music, but BTRS's sludgy doom/death failed to impress me. Not that the music was bad, actually it was rather decent. It's just that the whole thing lacked dynamics and atmosphere, two crippling faults for metal shows in general, and even more so for a doom concert. If it wasn't for the good performance of the frontman with his evil looks and tortured vocals, this set would already be forgotten. From now on, I'm going to enjoy Beneath The Frozen Soil's music strictly on albums. Unfortunately, after a brilliant opening band, this was the beginning of a (fortunately short) string of lacklustre performances, happily ended by Griftegård - but that's another story.
Wizards Of Doom
Lucas: Seventies proto-doom is generally not my thing, and neither were the Wizards Of Doom. Yeah, the riffs were groovy and had a bit of stoner feel and I appreciate that, but the accompanying vocals put me off. They sounded completely uninspired and bland to me, but I guess that's just the style for this (sub-)genre. A good moment to browse for cd's, with this in the background.
Marcel H. : Before the start of the Dutch Doom Days weekend there were a couple of bands I was really looking forward to seeing. And Wizards Of Doom were one of them. The reason being that this Danish band consists of two current Saturnus band members and one ex-Saturnus member. Okay, the Wizards play traditional doom whereas Saturnus plays melodic death doom. Unfortunately Wizards Of Doom didn't really make the impression I was hoping for. Maybe due to the unfamiliarity of their songs to me since they hadn't released any material (except for a couple of songs on Myspace) yet. It was all decent but somehow lacking in the magical department. Having had the opportunity to let their 2008 Promo sink in by now I think it is safe to say that next time around I will enjoy their live set more.
Lucas: SubRosa got a lot of attention from the very start, and quite possibly the only reason for that is that it is an all-female doom band. Yeah, us (male) metalheads are that desperate for a little sexy time these days. Granted, SubRosa weren't bad, in fact, they had some pretty good tunes and hearing Doom with violins without the annoying, whiney "sad" atmosphere of modern plastic doom bands was also a very nice change. But apart from that, they aren't that great at all. After a couple of songs one of the bass-strings broke and no replacement could be found (actually there were other problems with the bass as well, ed.). Two members tried to stall some time by performing an acoustic, vocal-based track from unknown source, for which I give them credit, but the problem couldn't be solved and the show was over.
Marcel H.: SubRosa, being one of the very few doom bands with female vocals that I can stand, I was looking forward to seeing live. Their debut Strega made quite an impression on me earlier this year. Some nice sludgy retro traditional doom. So what could go wrong? Apparently a lot. First off the songs came across better on album than live and secondly due to bass problems the set was cut short. Thus leaving me behind pining for more for I was hoping the band could redeem their dodgy start. Alas, after a couple of songs and an acoustic part (due to the bass problems) the band had to call it a day. Hopefully the band will be over again soon so that I can pass a fairer judgement on them.
Arutha : Some great Female Doom from the USA! I was really looking forward to this but due bass problems they had to quit after the third song. And what is to say about a show who only played 3 songs? It was an okay performance, not really that good but not that bad either. I expected better.
Lucas: Up next were Griftegård, the first clean Doom act of the day. It should be noted that the guys from the PA did a great job with all the bands, and for Griftegård it was no different. Their epic Doom metal was epic, doomy and uh, metal. No awards for originality here, but certainly one for passion, skill and a great vocalist.
Marcel H.: Griftegård, another band I was really looking forward to seeing this weekend. Rumour has it that today would be their first ever gig. If that was the case it sure as hell didn't show. Epic doom metal as epic doom metal is meant to be. Musically leaning a lot towards Warning and vocally to die for. The huge presence of Thomas Eriksson also helped in that department. As did the chorus to Charles Taze Russell... "Christ comes through the window, Christ comes through the roof, Christ comes to kill sin, Christ comes in truth." Just having heard that chorus once a large portion of the crowd was already singing along to it later on in the song. Both songs of their debut Psalmbok were played (the aforementioned Charles Taze Russell and Paul Gustav Dore) plus some, to me unknown, other songs. Certainly hoping to be able to see them live once again in the near future.
Griftegård; a sort of an enigma because the cd version of their debut ep Psalmbok was only released in 80 copies and sold at Doom Shall Rise V 2007 where it immediately sold out. Psalmbok was re-released a little late as 12" vinyl by Nachtgnosis and limited to 500 hand-numbered copies and is almost sold out as well (a couple of copies are still available at Nachtgnosis. Griftegård; a band to keep an eye on for anyone who is a fan of epic doom metal.
Arutha: Damn that singer has one hell of an epic beer belly. Griftegård plays some good old Traditional Doom metal, but way happier (maybe also due the fact it was the singers birthday) and more groovy. They played a solid set, that functions pretty well as warm up.
Lucas: Mourning Dawn really benefited from their session vocalist Marquis, of Funeralium, Ataraxie and nowadays also Bethlehem fame. Their set consisted of average Black/Doom, but the vocalist had some sick shrieks. The man can reach painful heights, wonderful. He sounded like a distorted Rob Halford. No idea why their original vocalist wasn't there (he was there but just concentrating his guitar playing this time, Marcel), but I have my doubts if he could have done a better job.
Marcel H.: Today's gig by Mourning Dawn would be a special one, as Jo/Marquis had told me a couple of weeks earlier when I talked to him before he went on stage with Ataraxie, because at Dutch Doom Days Mourning Dawn would be employing the services of Jo instead of their regular vocalist. Actually this move wasn't that surprising since Jo will also feature as guest vocalist on Mourning Dawn's upcoming second album.
Mourning Dawn delivered a musically competent set of black doom but Jo's tormented twisted vocals (think Bethlehem and Deinonychus) lifted it to an extra level thus seeing to it that it was immensely enjoyable. Their self-titled 2007 debut still doesn't do it for me, but here in a live environment with Jo's vocals it was one of the highlights of the weekend for me.
Arutha: Black Doom is not really my thing, but it was a pleasant show and probably the most fastest sounding Doom with Blast beats often pounding our ears. They also mixed Dark Metal in their brand, but that came off pretty bland and the "Darkish" screams were pretty annoying.
The Lamp Of Thoth
Lucas: The Lamp Of Thoth were just really, really catchy. Their classic doom/heavy metal with hilarious lyrics is a great live combination. Yeah, it's immature, but it is also great to scream "Hey you, you motherfucking whore, you're going to burn, there's blood on Satan's claw" along with the vocalist and two hundred other people. All of their songs had their catchy sing-a-long parts, but this part stood out most and was still stuck in my head a couple of days after the festival.
Marcel H.: The Lamp Of Thoth have been hot on all sorts of doom and metal forums ever since they released their Cauldron Of Witchery e.p. At first I was baffled as to why exactly but gradually it dawned on me. The Lamp plays some hell of a catchy brand of old fashioned doom metal which is mixed with loads of NWOBHM. So not as dark as most doom. Most of the times lyrically reminiscent of Hammer House Of Horrors and musically it just all oozed FUN. So, what would they be like live? Damn, now this is one of those bands that come across live better than on album. Sheer fun, catchy doom to sing and yell along to, as could be witnessed during Blood On Satan's Claw. Where it not for the fact of the lyrics to that song Blood On Satan's Claw could become a hit song would it be released as single... "Hey You! You motherfucking whore, You're going to burn, there's blood on Satan's claw." I am really looking forward to seeing The Lamp live at Doom Shall Rise in April next year.
Arutha: The hyperactive cousin from Electric Wizard, they sure as hell gave one hell of a show! Very fast and catchy Doom, that went down as a treat with the crowd. Even days after the concert the songs were still stuck in my mind and some have very wrong lyrics "hey you motherfucking whore!" the energy also sparked of their stage presence. Only downside is that the songs on CD sound pretty bland afterwards.
Lucas: Isole are of course a class act and one of the bigger and better Doom bands in the vein of Candlemass. Now I must admit I didn't focus a lot during their set, as I was sitting on a bench trying to get some rest from the long, long day. This did gave me the opportunity to notice that the sound was excellent back at the bar as well, which is a very convenient thing when you want to hear the band but don't necessarily have to see it. Anyway, Isole played a good gig, no frills, a good vocalist and a good set.
Marcel H.: Isole, probably the band most people came for today. Having released a top notch epic doom album earlier on in the year this was something highly anticipated. Even by me, although I don't like the mechanical drum sound on their latest Bliss Of Solitude. But this is live and luckily the drums sounded a lot more organic. A good cross section of all three of their albums was played including some personal favourites. And the live versions even managed to surpass the studio versions. Blessed by a great stage sound and great vocals performance Isole delivered the goods and more...
I am already looking forward to seeing them live again soon. November 30th with Faal (yes, I know that will be the fourth time I will be seeing them hahahaha) in Tilburg.
Arutha: The Show of the day, heavy and emotional these Swedes brought total Doom and we surely were happy with it! They played a lot of songs of their new album but also some old and it was a satisfying set.
Lucas: Forgotten Tomb was fucking amazing. Plain and simple. A long day of standing, walking, sonic violence and beer definitely took its toll on me and during their soundcheck I felt my eyelids slowly closing again and again. But I fought the temptation to pass out and dragged myself in front of the stage, hoping for a good show. And that's what we got. From the very first seconds I felt as if a huge tidal wave of iron spikes washed over me. The riffs, the drums, the vocals, it all mounted up to a massive wave of sound which kept washing over my paralyzed body. Combined with the exhaustion it was very trance-inducing. All I could do was stand still and let it all come over me. Which was all I could possibly wish for. Brilliant closer.
Marcel H.: Forgotten Tomb, the last band of a long (nine bands) and doomy alcohol induced day. To be honest I wasn't expecting too much of these Italian black doomsters cause with their last two albums they moved away from their tormented black doom as played on Songs To Leave and Springtime Depression to a more Icon, Draconian Times era Paradise Lost. Not that I don't like those two albums but I am starting to miss the warped black doom days of Forgotten Tomb. Sceptical as I was I was totally blown away by these Italians. A great live gig and truly worthy headliners for this first day of Dutch Doom Days.
So at midnight this long day of doom ended for us MSers because a long (in duration) trip back to Utrecht to Marcel's house (to some people here at Metal Storm known as the Motel Hubregtse) awaited us. This time no annoying girls chattering away near Lucas (who was the only of the three of us still awake cause Collin fall asleep as did I) but dammit we had to change trains in Amsterdam cause someone had apparently puked in another compartment. Finally the three of us reached Motel Hubregtse just after 3.30 a.m. Where the day was evaluated and some sleep caught because Day 2 would begin at the same time again the next day.
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