I allowed some days so that my emotions could settle after Saturnus, Esoteric and Abigail played last week-end in Quantic, Bucharest, as a part of Before the Storm Tour. All three bands are well known and well liked by the local public, all have previously performed in Romania more than once. Quantic was full and I enjoyed seeing so many people being there, especially some familiar faces I haven’t seen in a long time.
The evening started with Abigail, whom we saw just recently, opening for Tiamat on the same Quantic stage. The setlist was different, with some older songs that have not been performed live in a long time, with Razvan at voice. The gig started with Voyage Within, followed by Astral Sleep. Then, Razvan announced, with a bit of emotion in his voice, that they will perform a song that was last played live around 1998, CXLII. After this incursion in the past, they returned with The Mind Repeats What The Heart Can’t Erase, that will give the name of a new album. This song had a Post-Rock vibe that I enjoyed. I am very curious as to what’s written in the stars for Abigail, in the future. At the end of this, some technical problems occured that almost made me wonder if the band considers playing Noise. They persisted a bit after It Is The Night I Fear, but both the audience and the band moved on with a laugh. The evening ended with Sweet Cruelty. I checked the general impression and “better than their opening gig for Tiamat” was the answer I received. For me, it was not better or worse, just different, but it was the starting point in a journey through my inner emotions.
Esoteric stepped next on stage and it was the most anticipated band of the evening for me. I last saw the live in fabrica club, at November To Dismember Fest in 2014, and what a gig it was! Their music is a long journey into a dark abyss. It’s like Lovecraft would come back into existence and write an album titled ‘The Call of Chthullu’ instead of a story. I’m mesmerised by Greg Chandler’s voice. I also thought the psychedellic video projection complemented the music (I want to reccommend you his other band, Lychgate, while we’re here). They played 4 songs, Dissident, Rotting in Dereliction, Stygian Narcosis and Cipher. As with the previous band, I asked around, curious to gather impresssion, and people who don’t necessary listen to this band were amazed by the complexity of their composition, but I can understand why this music may not be everybody’s piece of cake.
Saturnus performed last time in Bucharest at Metal Gates in 2017. This time, they are touring before lauching a new album, which they said during the gig that hopefully will be out in April or May 2023. Chasing Ghosts is the name of a new song they played in Quantic. As always, they mentioned the fire in Colectiv and ask the public to keep a minute of silence, and brought a flag on stage with the name of the victims. I know they were deeply saddened by this tragedy, as I remember seeing them on Colectiv stage, in 2015. The public was very animated during their gig, I know they have many fans here. The songs that stuck with me were I Long and Christ Goodbye, which was their last song before the encore, they ended the evening with A Father’s Providence. It’s hard to explain because their music have layers and layers of complexity, but sometimes that song everybody knows can become intertwined in your inner path.
As always, Gheorghe Paraschiv took some beautiful photos, some are featured here, the others are on our facebook page, here.