Fjord launched their latest album, Portrait for a Reflection, on December 15 at Fabrica Club, having Flesh Rodeo and Asemic as guests / opening acts. The event was hosted by Final Step Productions, a relatively new name in the underground scene, and it was my first time at one of their concerts, but certainly not the last. Not only they did a good job at organizing this evening, but they already have announced some interesting things for 2017, so I definitely recommend anyone to keep an eye on their future actions.
Back to the gig last Thursday, I arrived at the venue around the announced beginning hour. Fabrica Club is one of the 3 indoor venues where underground events are held on a regular basis, so it naturally became a near and dear place for me. The night started with no unnecessary delays, with Flesh Rodeo. They’re an Alternative Metal act from Bucharest, started in 2008. I had some reserves if Alternative fits well at a Post-Rock event, but the band was quick to convince me through their solid and energetic show. Now I’d say it was just what a good concert needs, a strong beginning. The vocalist, Radu Ursoiu, has a good and expressive presence, constantly moving on stage. As they were performing, the club became half-full and people started to gather around the front row.
Next was Asemic, an Instrumental Progressive band, again from Bucharest. Their performance was a good continuation of what Flesh Rodeo had started, the same energy flowing through their music. The band was maybe more static but communicated to the audience more. One of the things they announced was a line-up change, Tudor Scanteie being replaced with Andrei Alexandru Bogdan on guitar. Also, they said they’re performing a new song (I don’t recall them mentioning the name for it). So we let ourselves sink in the crescent riffs, with their energy dispelled at times through slow-down passages, while we waited for Fjord.
I believe I saw Fjord live twice in the past, in 2015 in Colectiv Club as an opening act for Altar of Plagues, I don’t remember the second occasion. I was rather unimpressed each time, can’t tell why but they seemed dull. Portrait for a Reflection was online for streaming on bandcamp even since September, and I listened to it more than once, so I had the time to form an opinion. It’s a really good album, the band seems to have found a unique and distinctive voice. That is really hard with Post-Rock, a genre that leaves little room for innovation and many bands seem to sound alike. But it’s not the case here, Fjord has become a unique mixture of melancholic and powerful passages, both on the album and on stage. The lights went off, making room for the video projection and enhancing the atmosphere. I felt embraced by a nameless nostalgia, but not fully taken, the strength of the riffs occasionally taking me back on solid ground.
The club was full when Fjord has begun, a rare sight at concerts having only Romanian bands in line-up. Overall it was a pleasant night for everyone, ending with a good add to my CD collection, an album which I recommend to you all.