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Distorted Reality и hereAndNow във Фенс

Благотворителен концерт за Пламен Богоев – Бандата в София на 28 октомври
Metal Madness Fest III

Архив

Фотогалерия: IXXI, HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY, SHAMBLESS, BOLG и OCCULTUM

IXXI, HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY, SHAMBLESS, BOLG и OCCULTUM.

София, 27 ноември 2015 г., клуб Live & Loud.

Снимки: Димитър Баръмски ©

По технически причини не разполагаме с фотографии на BOLG и OCCULTUM, за което се извиняваме.

JUDAS PRIEST: An Act Of Affection

A lot of people in the „metal scene“ have been bringing up the futile objection to bands announcing farewell tours, and then continuing to tour. In the case with JUDAS PRIEST, their EPITAPH was thoroughly justified. Rarely have they been as close to perfection, and stretching to give their absolute all in recent years. That they didn’t wait too long to announce another album and tour, was an act of loyalty to their fans, rather than a trick – a fact which needs no explanation to those involved in the love affair with PRIEST for over 40 years. While still having attended only one show on the current tour, my feeling is that of ease and intimacy, of demand and pressure having been lifted off Priest’s shoulders, with the completion of Epitaph.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

Redeemer Of Souls itself, with the promise of being „classic Priest“, is far from the quality of their latest studio rendition, let alone the quintessence of Metal which is for example Screaming For Vengeance. They do lie on their glory; with that said, the album is almost every bit enjoyable: whatever this classic band offers as easy-listening, outweighs in quality a myriad of contemporary rock and metal acts. Songs like Dragonaut (nevermind the title), Redeemer, and March Of The Damned are instantly catchy, while Halls Of Valhalla is another opportunity to display Rob Halford’s high-pitched vocal mastery.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

The Metal God never fails to deliver, although exhaustion spells clearly on his face and body. The fact floods me with many emotions – from feeling for him, to feeling closer to him. He is less imposing and more vulnerable. He is close to us literally, noting how good he felt about the venue, a sold-out 2000-capacity, with only a meter or two of distance between the stage and the first row. („We played in Denmark the other day, where the audience was two miles away – ridiculous!“) A small minus about the Ronda hall of Tivoli Utrecht, is the stage being too high; and the sound of the vocals was somewhat lost in the down-front-centre-stage spot where I was.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

As soon as the band appeared on stage (right on time and with no support, woo-hoo!), Mr.Tipton felt the audience with his penetrating gaze, and then maintained the eye-contact, while encouraging the fans to sing along the lyrics. Richie Faulkner provided the muscles and glamour of the rock show, while Mr.Hill and Mr.Travis appeared genuinely enthusiastic as ever.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

And such was the atmosphere that instantly set in between band and audience. Within myself, there was the mixed feeling of happiness and the hesitation to let the band go, after two short hours.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

The concert opened with Dragonaut, to quickly pick up with the groovy heavyweight Metal Gods. After the playful favourite of Devil’s Child, something quite unexpected happened with me.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

Victim Of Changes began – and I burst in tears.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

I try to put a name to the emotion, and come up with this… nostalgia. Nostalgia, however, in a very special sense, as described by Halford in a 90s interview which stuck with me: „Nostalgia is a human necessity – it is affection.“ Victim Of Changes represents the whole history of my affair with Priest, which seems to have initiated in the dawn of time. I was crying, and I still am while typing these lines. I don’t want anything to change in my love with Priest. It won’t!

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

Enough with being whimsical. JUDAS PRIEST are not 90-years old, they are young men, mostly in their 60s. However, their attitude defies even that, exemplifying spirit over matter, and the mere number which age ultimately is. As the concert progresses, I get the distinct feeling of Rob fancying himself as a young man still, as cocky and devious, as Rock’n’Roll as he has always been. And while later representatives of metal subgenres get lost in comically faux-intellectual reflections on the genre and its „ideologies“, the Metal Gods have long made the statement of what heavy metal is. It is all about having fun. It is about having fun extremely, electrified, making Judas Priest the epitome of ecstatic musical intensity.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

The setlist offers the aforementioned four songs off the new album – a relatively small number, making the current tour another „best of“ this legendary band. After Halls Of Valhalla, we plunge into a Love-Bitez delight – which is to continue with Turbo Lover, met by the audience with special exaltation.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

In between songs, men in the audience shouting „We love you Rob!“ vocalize the emotion for me, stripping me of the hesitation to express it, in order to not offend the entire band. Of course The Metal God is the star – and this gentle, refined yet monstrously expressive man steals the affection. In so many words, we love the man to death. And it fucking bites.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

A lot of fans sorely miss KK Downing, but the duo of his younger replacement and legendary guitar maestro Tipton simply saturates the soul.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

In between Love Bites and Turbo Lover, I was happy to hear March Of The Damned, which in its heavy-rock oldschool feel was my instant favourite off the Redeemer album. I had seen a setlist of the tour somewhere which didn’t include the song, and it made me wonder.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

The song of the same name as the new album follows, and then the aesthetic feast of Rob’s vocal in Beyond The Realms Of Death.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

It is time for lyrical introspection and vocal precision to give way to pure bacchanalia with Jawbreaker, Breaking The Law, and Hellbent. The biker image of Halford and his whip is sure to give a hardon to even sworn male straights.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

There is no interval to mark the supposed encore – indeed, why the theatrics. Electric Eye comes, then You’ve Got Another Thing Coming (where I always love to see Rob dance).

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

The question drummer god Travis poses, which song we still want, is brief and rhetorical. Painkiller it is, and one could hear the cracks in the redhot air.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

We’re Living After Midnight (although it’s still ten o’clock), and Rob takes his time to have the autoerotic ball which has underlied his artistry. He still looks every bit „horny as fuck“, as he claimed he was in the 80s. He still is a mean git on stage – and lovable.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

What I’m probably missing, is a song off Ram It Down; Blood Red Skies during Epitaph was a blast.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

With the spectacle coming to an end, there’s a sense of freedom. Love. And gratitude – from band to audience, from audience to band… the gratitude and contentment of still being together after all these years. There’s a deep unadulterated feeling of bliss which the guys’ faces exude, and it is touching and true. They’re as genuine as a rock artist should be, real as „good old southern blues“ (Halford, 2000).

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

Needless to say, I cannot wait until the next time. This time, without a camera. I’ll just be there. The deeply feeling, deeply reflective, yet giving nature of these gentlemen demands all the unmediated, private attention.

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

Setlist:

Dragonaut
Metal Gods
Devil’s Child
Victim of Changes
Halls of Valhalla
Love Bites
March of the Damned
Turbo Lover
Redeemer of Souls
Beyond the Realms of Death
Jawbreaker
Breaking the Law
Hell Bent for Leather
Electric Eye
You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
Painkiller
Living After Midnight

Text and photos: Diana Chavdarova ©

Redeemer Of Souls Tour, TivoliVredenburg Ronda hall, Utrecht, 14 June 2015

SATYRICON and The Unbearable Passion of Being

SATYRICON have long been defining – and defying – just what that thing might be, “black metal”. They define it by their very background, while defying the prevailing, largely unreflected notions the conservative metal scene loves to stick by.

SATYRICON’s statement is of Black Metal as the indefinable, the obscure energies that pierce through us, while demanding their musical expression. Black and bottomless in their epistemological obscurity, the solitary existential hero is resolved at bringing them to artistic shape.

Satyricon

Satyricon

An intellectual framework is essential for understanding black metal, namely the black metal of which Satyricon maintains to be prime source and example. Indeed, there are no other tamers of energy like Satyricon, not swerving an inch from the pit of their inspiration.

There is simply no drummer like Frost. And Frost’s monstrous tribal power is situated within an intricate structure, provided by the band leader/composer.

What is unique about SATYRICON, and in our humble opinion puts them in a position above all, is the interplay of contemplation and aggression, which they deliver organically. While in other masterful bands (e.g. Enslaved, but also the whole tradition of “dark” and/or extreme progressive metal) these dialectics are apparent in the counterpoint of dreamlike versus harsh lines, there’s no telling apart of both these aspects in SATYRICON’s music. Both sides are at fine interplay here, but in reality indistinguishable. SATYRICON is meltingly intense with the cool awareness of passion being the mistress to rule their act.

Satyricon

Satyricon

SATYRICON are warriors of sincerity. The battle for the Truth black metal has had as its slogan, is but a battle for ourselves. And while this might sound trivial, it must not have been easy for Satyr to free himself from the burden of demands placed upon him. Metal fanatics could crush any aspiring, sensitive, ingenious artist with their narrowness. It is interesting to note that many artists have broken out of punk rock and into their unbounded artistic legitimacy, while metal artists’ vastly valuable but slightly different projects have been spitefully crushed and the artists’ wings broken.

Black Metal, in its individualistic pathos, can afford not to care. If the “genre” (in big inverted commas) can be defined by anything, it is the downright resentment of limits. This all important message SATYRICON has made sure to reiterate verbally, as well as musically. If you want to know what black metal is, refer to SATYRICON. Name it very, very intense rock music, and also be safe – while being aware “rock’n’roll” is but a Negro euphemism for libido. Black metal should then be the act of ultimate liberation of these ecstatic, violent potencies.

Satyricon

Satyricon

In the musical manifestation of SATYRICON, everything’s allowed. This is a progressive band in the most authentic sense. From the early outlines of black metal as genre, through the complex compositional infernalia of Rebel Extravaganza, from there transitioning into the works in the overall frame of “rhythm-and-metal” (popularly referred to black’n’roll, that notion not exhausting Satyricon’s exploration of slightly more minimalistic limits), and to the lush contemplation of their last studio delivery, this is a band the seriousness of whose music has culminated in its choral arrangement with Live At The Opera.

Whether chorally and orchestrally emphasized, or delivered in underground clubs, Satyricon’s music is equally poignant. It is Romantic per se. In the club where the author of these lines had the privilege of seeing them, our souls were torn out.

Satyricon

Satyricon

The atmosphere of sunset warmth the last studio album emitted somehow pervaded the show. There was no pretense, no showing of muscles, and no lustrous image. There was simply the promise: we’re here, and we’re not leaving without you.

The pre-history of such a commitment would be the extensive tour the band did in 2008/9, which left them pressed by the expectations and demand of their product, so successfully executed. It might have been that the imposing artistic output of 2008’s Nero had distanced Satyr from his soulful calling. The mantra of the “truth” in art, of the inseparability of art and existence, rings loud within the artist. It is down with grandiose presentation and all about essence now – a delight for the fan who is interested in the psyche of the loved artist, rather than in hearing “the old songs”.

Satyricon

Satyricon

What is not to love about Satyr – the perpetual wink in the eye, the occasional clumsiness, the intolerance for ignorance, the uncompromising professionalism, not least the vulnerability and surrender to her majesty, the Music. There’s no need for an artistic mask, for there’s nothing more compelling than the man in his integrity, who, after exploring his diverse aspects in consecutive albums, is now giving us himself. There are art-rock greats that are entertainers. There are prophets of humanity like the blues masters, who enamor us by wearing their hearts on their sleeve, skipping intellectual distance.

Satyr has chosen to be the latter kind. His doom might not be much different from the heavy-hanging blues, and he is now showing us that his musicianship and interaction with the audience are marked by a warm spontaneity not unlike the very first originators’ of our genre: making one feel at home, wanted, and liberated. There’s no menace in SATYRICON any longer, there’s the need to be together, and a passionate appeal for the audience to participate. The “existential fear questions” have seemingly dissolved, and with our newly embraced strength, we can get down. There’s no “us” and “them” anymore; the extremity of genuine expression celebrates our communion. It was a feeling like no other to scream the lines together with Satyr. The concert was a gift, and the musical gems – and jams – deeply appreciated.

Satyricon

Satyricon

The soundscape seemed subdued, while enthralling in its tension. SATYRICON are such masters. There’s hardly anything about them which hasn’t been thought out in great depth. The lighting was also impressive, reflecting the atmosphere. It felt like a continuation of the tour for “Satyricon” (2013), an album which has been underplayed live, and perhaps needed longer time to take root.

The setlist was a wisely calculated balance between all albums, with other underplayed songs able to render the fan ecstatic.

Shortly after the intro, the gripping Rite Of Our Cross sets in. Satyr’s vocal phrase cuts through, but unlike the sharpness of Metal God Halford, there are the roughs of a blunt edge that sting. I cannot get enough of Satyr’s vocals, and would have undoubtedly placed him at Number One in a recently published chart of Best Extreme Metal Vocalists by a popular magazine. “Fear!”, “Rage!”, “Lust!”, the spat-out lines cannonade.

Satyricon

Satyricon

The density is somewhat relieved through the amplitudes of the three subsequent songs (Our World, Diabolical, Crow), allowing us to merge with the dynamics, and eventually prepare for another burner: Filthgrinder. The tentative “act two” of the set brings more of the new, followed by an input of the old, getting the “die-hard” traditional fans fully onboard.

The logical center of the concert consists in another three pieces, namely A New Enemy, Die By My Hand, and Infinity Of Time And Space.

A New Enemy deserves a whole chapter of its own. It is a song which Frost himself has claimed “a favourite”, a vessel of that “magical energy”. The fan will forever be puzzled why the song has hardly been played live in the past few years. It was Frost’s playground, his field to deploy all the powers that work within – powers known only to him, but tangible and elating to all. The response was quick, the room illuminated by the audience’s exaltation.

Satyricon

Satyricon

Die by My Hand introduced keyboard sampling of the band’s choral arrangement for the Opera. Disappointingly but predictably, it didn’t work quite well. It never does – and here’s for hoping Satyricon does as many more live orchestral collaborations as it truly deserves. The song carries intricate dynamism which the choir in the Opera performance lifts and emphasizes – as it does Satyr’s genius in general. In a rock’n’roll setting, however, the song is best left speaking as originally intended.

Infinity Of Time and Space launched us into Satyr’s introspective dreamscape. It was a breath of space, and an allowance of time to sneak into the artist’s intimate withdrawal. After favourites such as Pentagram, the artist formally announced his defiance of being “entertainer”, and his fondness of free jamming – an inclination the more perceptive of his audience have witnessed throughout.

Satyricon's Setlist

Satyricon’s Setlist

There were the audience’s favourites still to follow and challenge our necks, with Repined’s absence being felt on this tour. Another thrilling piece I seem to be missing, is Nocturnal Flare; and it would just be brilliant if SATYRICON revived The Scorn Torrent in the future.

The overall feel was indeed that of jamming. Of unassuming unpretense. Of being one with the fan. Of being a fan. I didn’t sense a distance between Satyr’s banging head and mine, between the band’s timing and the audience’s.

And this is what leaves blissful expressions on people’s faces. Metal legends or otherwise. The Dawn Of A New Age tour has, by all accounts, been nothing short of a declaration of mutual love.

Diana Chavdarova

(after The Dawn Of A New Age tour at Szene, Vienna, 19.4.2015)

ACT OF GROTESQUE „Spectrophobia“ (Live, Sea Of Black Festival 2014)

ACT OF GROTESQUE „Spectrophobia“ (Live, Sea Of Black Festival 2014)

 

02.08.2014 Summer Theatre of Burgas, Bulgaria – Sea Of Black Festival

SATYRICON in Berlin – a nostalgic flare… (and a Frost-esque reflection on music)

satyricon_05

It is quite difficult to describe the feeling of seeing Satyricon live after four years; with a period of more than a year (2008-2009) having been dominated by them through the extensive and explosive Age Of Nero tour. The emotion is, of course, personal to begin with. The band do have their loyal and passionate – even fanatical – following; to the extent of a young man banging on the tourbus door after the gig in Berlin: „I must meet Frost!“… After all, we ourselves waited for hours to meet the band in the cold November night. The layers of personal memories and the excitement of a gathering long overdue, are there. In addition – and more objectively – we must definitively state this is a band ingenious. Precisely the reason we took the ‘trouble’ of flying from Sofia to Berlin for this gig.

I must say I was a bit apprehensive. Having attended the ‘Nero’ tour about ten times, I was secretly hoping for the same sweeping energy; furthermore, I was curious how the controversial new record would be delivered live in its intricacies, anticipating a resolution of what to make of the record. ‘Satyricon’ (2013) certainly carries the flair of nostalgia. That sweet feeling of decadence, of autumn, of twilight, and ultimately of maturity. On the one hand, a feeling burdened with the experiences of the past, carrying on their undertones, producing a richness of expression. On the other, nostalgia could be a feeling of loss, of generally being devoid of the past and its content.

satyricon_12

While my emotion is highly subjective, I was seeking that presence, that fullness in the Berlin delivery; and what I got, is rather complex to describe. The concert began quite differently from what I’ve witnessed on the Nero tour. There was that definite overtone of the ‘old school’, which seems to also characterize the new record. Surely, a majority of fans are happy with precisely that. ‘Satyricon’, if summarized laconically, is perhaps a gift for them. I suppose these fans have not sensed the depletion of energy, of punch and a power, which devotees to the past decade of Satyricon would expect. Most would go with the ‘Mother North’ flow, and they would be right in themselves. But I was anxious in my expectation of Now Diabolical: the song that blew me off every time I heard it. This time… it did not. The vibe did not pick up. I was puzzled by how deplete of energy the opener to the marvelous Satyricon 2006 could sound.

Luckily, the songwriting gem that followed, namely Black Crow, delivered. I was ready to be immersed in more musical splendor. I couldn’t wait to hear whether my impression of Nocturnal Flare being the best song off the new album, would be confirmed. I was hoping that other songs would also deliver. To cut a long story short, the concert stood on three pillars: Black Crow, Nocturnal Flare, and To The Mountains. The rest was a more or less lax (or laid back) musicianship, far too melodic guitars, and catchy tunes, e.g. Nekrohaven, Fuel For Hatred, King (mind you, Fuel could – and have been – a blast in the past, but here it also sounded routine). Sadly (very sadly!), we did not get Repined Bastard Nation: a tune which I cannot imagine being played without madness.

satyricon_13

Around the dancy post-punk feel of the gig, revolved and intersected the aforementioned feel of the ‘old days’, with four songs from pre-Rebel albums, and the sumptuous Our World It Rumbles, Infinity Of Time And Space. I was curious what I would get from the latter, but no, it definitely didn’t have the groove and magnetism of Nocturnal Flare. All in all, even Pentagram Burns struggled to be dynamic. Density did not characterize this concert; however, I was content with the quality that three rock-solid songs delivered. There needn’t be that manic feel anymore (and surely, we’re all getting older), in order for a song to be intense. Intensity is brought just by the quality of songwriting and the rendition. Sometimes I wonder whether Satyr realizes – or cares, even – about his compositional genius. With an effort, more Nocturnal Flares could have come out of Satyricon 2013, instead of the wandering through territories not immanent to Satyricon (‘progressive’ black metal in the vein of Enslaved, etc.). All criticism aside, I would rush to see the band again, not sparing any means. I can’t, however, free myself from the feeling that music is no longer Satyr’s main passion. Like Michael Caine gives an impression that rather than being on camera, he’d prefer to be lounging in his London restaurant smoking a Bolivar, it seems Satyr would rather be somewhere else.

satyricon_28

I’d like to thank the guys for being kind enough to sign autographs, and Frost particularly, for the warm and responsive vibe I always get from him. And could it be otherwise, with the man who once said: „It’s a passion for music that has brought me and us to devote our lives to Satyricon. You can always try to analyze this further and see that music in a way is tied to life and vitality but I haven’t really brought the thought or analysis that far. I just know and I feel that there’s passion for music and I observe that music invokes very strong things and very strong feeling in me. It pulls strings and being a performer myself it feels like the only way I could go. I cannot really even think of my life as something detached from music now. Ten years ago perhaps I could but not any more and passion for music must be what does it. I cannot conceive of it differently.“

satyricon_15

Also in 2009: „As far as black metal in general goes, I simply think it has gone through a perfectly natural evolution. There is really nothing dramatic with what has happened. It has grown and matured and gotten more complex just like any living organism. But a revolution rather than just slow evolution is now called for, I think.“

„Different people have different needs and aspirations in life. I am much more strongly linked to music than (…) an established life. This is the reason why I have dedicated so much of me to the music.“

satyricon_26

I humbly think that passion in itself is a revolution, an antidote to establishment per se. In the light of all the recent Satyricon’s statements that the 2013 album should „pave the way for the future of black metal“, I hardly think the genre follows a linear movement. There are a few unique bands (Samael, Enslaved etc.) who have followed their own line of evolution, with passion always being the unifying moment, the base to which everything could be reduced – a base resolutely extreme, unambiguously intelligent, yet running far deeper than the conscious.

satyricon_31

To summarize, Satyricon may have lost their edge (or are taking a break from walking that thin line which makes a good performance astonishing), but they will always be known for the rich, rather hermetic, completely unique (and certainly ‘progressive’) compositions, together with a first class live delivery. A world of their own we hope will never crumble.

The darkness shall be forever, the beautiful darkness…

Diana Chavdarova

Satyricon, Berlin, Lido, 28.11.2013

С нетърпение очаквах да чуя какво ще ни предложат „Сатирикон“ след бомбастичния тур, след дългото затишие и последвал нееднозначен албум. Чудех се дали впечатленията ми от албума биха се затвърдили. С една дума, оказа се, че да.

satyricon_23

Почти няма следа от суровата енергия от предишни албуми и турнета. Концертът в Берлин започна лежерно и „олдскуул“, с интро от новия албум, последвано от Hvite Krists Dod. Now Diabolical, която досега винаги ме е разбивала, шокиращо мина някак незабелязано. Black Crow ме грабна – това просто е великолепно парче. Оказа се, че концертът се крепи на три пилона: Black Crow, Nocturnal Flare, To The Mountains. Nocturnal, любимо ми от новия албум, звучи още по-прекрасно на живо.

Запитах се: защо ли Сатир не се уповава повече на композиторския си гений? Какво е целял с откровено комерсиалния „Сатирикон“ 2013? От една страна, явно да погъделичка олдскуул феновете, а от друга, тези на които се нравят пост-пънк ритмите и мелодиите на King, Nekrohaven. Дори Fuel звучеше слабо. Много се надявах да чуя Repined, но не би. Infinity Of Time And Space не звучеше инслейвдски, а също й липсваше интензитет и динамика. Като цяло китарите бяха твърде мелодични, а музицирането – рехаво. Мисля, че за Сатир музиката просто е престанала да бъде приоритет.

satyricon_36

След доста мръзнене до турбуса, се сдобихме и с автографи. Фрост бе особено мил, както винаги. Дано групата продължи да има фанатични фенове… като младежа, блъскащ по вратата на буса: „Трябва да се видя с Фрост!“, който зарази и случайно минаващ възрастен гражданин не съвсем с всичкия си, и последният взе да приглася: „Искам Фрост!“… Като цяло, доста забавна и ведра картинка. Нека споменем и любезните германски фенове, които не пропуснаха да се зарадват, че сме дошли чак от България, и пратиха поздрави на милата ни родина.

Диана Чавдарова

Сатирикон, „Лидо“ – Берлин, 28.11.2013

SAMAEL in Bucharest: Madness and the damage done!

So we participated in the first day on Maximum Rock Festival in Bucharest. And what a participation it was! We witnessed the band we safely consider one of the very best in the modern metal scene: the unique Samael. The band were, naturally, flawless. Everything is perfect with Samael: the image, the performance, the music, the vitality, the style, and not least, the energy. The positive and uplifting energy, quite unlikely for the dark metal scene. We can positively say we went insane on Samael. We totally lost it, and there’s palpable and painful damage. Oh well… the pain, the pleasure.
Samael

Samael; photo: Diana Chavdarova

The setlist was more than perfection. We’ve no idea whether the band responded to a request of ours to play Born Under Saturn, but we were ecstatically happy to hear that song, which is, usually, exclusively part of their recent „Passage“ set. So, here we had some of the best of Passage; the oldschool occult-ceremonial stuff; the electronic blast of newer days; plus the organic mixture of all the above, represented by Samael’s latest rendition. In our humble opinion, The Truth Is Marching On, which closed the set, was sheer climax. WE GOT FUCKING CRAZY, RIGHT!

We’d like to thank the organizers, as well as the lovely considerate guards and staff. The only bad taste in our mouth was left by the preposterous tobacco smoking inside, which seems to take place in every Romanian venue we’ve visited lately.

We’re off to see My Dying Bride tonight, while extending a hearty wish: Samael, please come to Bulgaria again soon!!!

Liv Kristine, who is also to perform this evening, was among the avid fans in the first row. There’s hardly any wonder why.

The only question that bothers us, is why were Samael not invited to visit Sofia, like their colleagues of Leaves’ Eyes and Atrocity.

Samael

Samael; photo: Diana Chavdarova

My Saviour
Shining Kingdom
Flagellation
Soul Invictus
Luxferre
Into The Pentagram
Jupiterian Vibe
Slavocracy
Reign Of Light
Moonskin
Born Under Saturn
In Gold We Trust
Baphomet’s Throne
Rain
Infra Galaxia
Ceremony Of Opposites
The Truth Is Marching On
Diana Chavdarova
Madness and the damage done (част от щетите на екипа)

Madness and the damage done (част от щетите на екипа)

И така, участвахме в първия ден на „Максимум рок рестивал“ в Букурещ. И какво участие бе това! С убеденост можем да кажем, че „Самаел“ са една от най-най-добрите модерни лайв групи днес; да не говорим за уникалността им. Всичко при тях бе, както винаги, зашаметяващо: имидж, изпълнение, музика, виталност, стил, енергия. Позитивната, „вдигаща“ енергия, съвсем нетипична за даркметъл сцената. Позитивно изтрещяхме на „Самаел“ – доказателствата са очевидни и болезнени.

Сетлистът надмина очакванията ни. Дали групата бе отговорила на наша молба да изпълни „Born Under Saturn“ (обикновено само част от „Passage“-сета, който напоследък за пръв път изпълняват изцяло), не можем да знаем. Така или иначе, чухме не само част от въпросния албум, но, разбира се, антични окултно-церемониални класики, електронен бласт от по-нови дни, както и микса от всичко това, който последният им албум представлява. „The Truth Is Marching On“, с която „Самаел“ завършиха, си беше чиста проба климакс. WE GOT FUCKING CRAZY, RIGHT!

Благодарско на чудесния стаф и загрижени гардове… но пушенето поголовно на концертите в Букурещ е просто отвратително!
Samael

Samael; photo: Diana Chavdarova

На път сме днес да роним сълзи и сополи на „My Dying Bride“, все още екзалтирано подканяйки „Самаел“: елате отново в България!!!

Лив Кристин, която също ще пее тази вечер, снощи бе на първия ред като част от въодушевената агитката на „Самаел“. И никой не би се питал защо…

Питаме се единствено защо „Самаел“ не бяха поканени да „отскочат“ до София, подобно гостуващите в северната ни съседка Leaves’ Eyes и Atrocity.

Samael

Samael; photo: Diana Chavdarova

My Saviour
Shining Kingdom
Flagellation
Soul Invictus
Luxferre
Into The Pentagram
Jupiterian Vibe
Slavocracy
Reign Of Light
Moonskin
Born Under Saturn
In Gold We Trust
Baphomet’s Throne
Rain
Infra Galaxia
Ceremony Of Opposites
The Truth Is Marching On

Диана Чавдарова

Fire. Ecstasy. ORPHANED LAND!

Since magic can’t be described, I won’t bother. Should I have Byron’s eloquence, I could not entirely convey Middle-Eastern charm to those who do not carry it.

Orphaned Land

Where should I begin… Until recently, I wasn’t the first ORPHANED LAND fan, despite my hunger for Oriental Metal. There’s an explanation: like I witnessed tonight, the band’s older albums are more complex: distinctly „progressive“, as the favourite word of many. Abrupt rhythmic changes, and all the signifiers of the genre. I heard too much rock, if you may. Rock is of course never superfluous; yet „truth“ is in the blood, in authenticity and heritage. Not only melody is the height in musicianship per se, but the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa have been blessed with melody by birth. This is what Orphaned Land exploit to the fullest in their latest rendition, doing it seamlessly: being exquisite while simple, intense while unaggressive. I would gladly drop the little-meaning „progressive“ and replace it with „fusion“… a wonderful ethno-metal fusion. Metal can, indeed, be sheer joy. It can be a flow.

Orphaned Land

To my delight, the band played most of their new songs. The musical height was possibly Let The Truce Be Known. However, that’s relative; everything was full of finesse and emotion. It is not every day we love an album, and hearing it live matches or surpasses the recording. (Not every day we encounter a REAL band…) Exquisite lines and ornaments, radiance emanated by band members… a concert passing a restraint sentence to language while redeeming Music to its pedestal.

Orphaned Land

This was indeed a special concert to me. I had a favourite live performance by ORPHANED LAND, namely Estarabim… I was all too glad to encounter a few Turkish fans who supported my wish, and we all sang and danced frantically to our song. Then again, I heard everyone tonight „got theirs“. Everyone was special.

What better embodiment of  ‘All Is One’?
A Bulgarian documentary comes to mind: ‘Whose Is This Song’. It told about a song whom all Balkan peoples thought was theirs, and they were even prepared to go to war for it. (I know the song as Turkish Katibim, and also as Bulgarian Strandzha mountain revolutionary anthem.) In some countries the melody turned to love song, in others – to war anthem. Yet the melody itself is obviously from the Middle East.
It is but A SONG.
And the sensuality and grace, and gentleness of our nations turning to aggression is insane.

Orphaned Land

I got far more than I bargained for, with Orphaned Land. They (nearly) finished with my favourite Ye Benaye. On top, they interpreted another favourite of mine, ‘The Yemenite Song’ I knew and loved from Ofra Haza.

Their „Aideeeee“ barely allowed us to stop for a second and relish, and contemplate „Children“ – dedicated to the Syrian little ones.
So diverse and vivid are ORPHANED LAND in their emotion… So humane.

Diana Chavdarova

11.10.2013, Sofia, MixTape 5

ENSLAVED – истинският хедлайнър на Sofia Rocks 2013

Ето че и София доживя да се гмурне в този меломански разкош, ENSLAVED. Интензитетът, страстта и съзерцателността на тази група не оставят никого равнодушен – твърде жалко, че сетът им бе прекалено кратък, за да побере леещите се композиции. Върнете се отново, романтични воини на Музиката!

Enslaved_41

1. Riitiir
2. Ruun
3. Ethica Odini
4. Roots of the Mountain
5. Convoys to Nothingness
6. As Fire Swept Clean the Earth
7. Allfaðr Oðinn

Текст и снимки: Диана Чавдарова

The trve headliner of Sofia Rocks 2013

So, Sofia finally lived to find ourselves sucked into that music-loving splendour which is ENSLAVED. The intensity, the passion and thoughtfulness were well-received and embraced, shared, contemplated. We were moved, we were touched and exalted. Too bad the set was way too short for the voluptuous compositions. Please do come back, romantic warriors of high-caliber music!!!

1. Riitiir
2. Ruun
3. Ethica Odini
4. Roots of the Mountain
5. Convoys to Nothingness
6. As Fire Swept Clean the Earth
7. Allfaðr Oðinn

Diana Chavdarova

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