Somebody once told me a good concert is one leaving you with a song as a soundtrack of your thoughts. Saturday evening did that, but so many other things for me, as well. We had the opportunity to listen to some exquisite doom projects, and I lived unique moments and met new interesting people, who knows, maybe friends in the making. It feels like a new chapter of the underground music story is about to unfold, and I will share some of my thoughts with those who’ll read my lines.
I’ll start with Descend into Despair – usually I’m not that impressed or probably don’t pay that much attention to the opening acts, but it was not the case here. It is a band to keep an eye on, we wrote in our webzine several times about their upcoming album, Synaptic Veil, which we are eager to listen. We had our chance on Saturday, because they interpreted their new compositions. I was highly impressed with song such as Damnatio Memoriae or Tomorrow. I’m particularly taken by Xander’s dark, grunt vocals and to the overall atmosphere and the layers of darkness they succeeded to awake.
Next, it was Abigail, a name that needs no further introduction. Their setlist included older well known songs, like Sweet Cruelty or It is the Night I Fear, but also the new song Respir they released last year. They had a surprise for the audience – an acoustic moment with only Razvan on guitar and Laura Balla, who performed two covers, one was a tribute to Aleah Starbridge – Sinking Ships, and the second one, an Anathema cover. I felt very touched, particularly by this idea, but of their performance overall, despite the changes in their line-up.
Full Abigail setlist: Shades of a Distant Light / Respir / Astral Sleep part 1 / It is the Night I fear / Sinking Ships (cover) / J’ai Fait une Promesse (cover) / Sweet Cruelty / Sonet
It feels like the heaviest task to write about Cloud’s and the music they perform. It’s so filled with raw emotions that I found myself blinking in tears – not the only one, as I found out later. Probably each of us have experience lost and extreme sorrow, and Clouds is touching exactly this sensible spot, bringing these feels and memories to surface. It can be painful, but cathartic at the same time. They interpreted song from both their full length albums, Doliu and Departe: How Can I Be There / In all This Dark / Oceans of My Tears / I Gave My Heart Away / You Went So Silent / Heaven Was Blind to My Grief.
During Funeral’s performance, I chose to retreat in the yard outside. I was near the entrance so I could still hear the music. It started to rain heavily so I thought I was nothing more adequate than to stay outside in the outpouring rain, alone with my thoughts and enjoying the music. A lightning was sometimes striking the darken night, a perfect highlight for what I was listening: This Barren Skin, The Will to Die, Burning With Regret, Vagrant God, Erkjennelse, From These Wounds. From what I saw, I was impressed with their elegant onstage presence, the vocalist was holding a glass of red wine, also a perfectly match for their songs.
The last band, the Finns from Shape of Despair, got me back next to the stage, to better experience these sublime vocals and the dark, desolate atmosphere. They began with the opening track of their latest full-length, Reaching the Innermost, continuing with the well-known Angels of Distress. They performed some other highly expected songs, Quite These Painting Are, Sleeping Murder, In the Mist. I must admit, even though I was enchanted to listen to them, the evening was a bit long and I had to fight feeling tired. This is one of the few faults I could find to this otherwise perfect night. The other one would be the problems with the sound – not so perfect at Shape of Despair, had a couple of nasty moments during Descent into Despair and Abigail’s gig. I’m not going to emphasize the collaboration between the bands we saw on Saturday, since the information is one click away (Daniel Neagoe is also the drummer at Shape of Despair, Eek performs with Funeral and also with Clouds), but I they all did a great job at multitasking, even though some changed instruments.
Full Shape of Despair setlist: Reaching the Innermost / Angels of Distress / Woundheir / Sleeping Murder / In Longing / In the Mist / Curse Life / Quit These Paintings Are / Sylvan-night / To Live for my Death.