It’s been some hectic last months, for Yours Truly, after the announcement of a very, very heavy pair of acts: Europe and the Land of the Rising Sun meet each other and complete themselves in this co-headliner tour, with Amenra supporting their latest, great album “Mass VI” and Boris, also with a new album out in recent times, “Dear”. Freezing temperatures outside, dilated time inside despite the short show (everything lasted a bit less than three hours) and much, much suffering in the Slovenian capital city.
Kinda raw but sober stage set up for the trio from Tokyo, almost ritualistic: a couple Orange walls at the sides of a small drumkit in front of a gong. Boris are some sort of shape-shifters, everybody knows that, and tonight they present themselves in their most liquid and elusive form, a drone/doom with disturbing volumes. Their theatricality really stands out, thanks especially to drummer and vocalist Atsuo who revealed himself as great photographer material. An outstanding performance by all three of them, playing “Dear” in its entirety with the only exception of “Biotope“: Takeshi, with his double neck bass/guitar and his clothing, seems to come straight out of the ’70s while the angelic Wata graces us with some top notch gems, both voice (she deserves way more space, according to me) and guitar-wise, with sensible and on point solos, as in the delicate and emotional “Beyond“.
Ranging from the funeral-ish “DEADSONG” to the rhythmic “Absolutego“, with the masterful climax in “Dystopia -Vanishing Point-” and alienated riffs of “The Power“, some sort of Black Sabbath in the grips of a very, very bad trip: the Japanese trio annihilates the audience, who accepts and endures without any resistance the sonic pestering of a band which surely is not for everyone, but has been for 25 years at the helm of the slowest and heaviest sounds around, along with a few others. Sayonara.
D.O.W.N. -Domination Of Waiting Noise-
Dystopia -Vanishing Point-
I have had the chance of seeing the Belgian quintet led by Colin H. Van Eeckhout almost three years ago, at Brutal Assault 2015: their performance took me absolutely by surprise, devastating everything on the path of their sound waves and making the other bands (Agalloch as well, and that’s saying something) sound as flat as a high school band.
An unmissable occasion, therefore, in the midst of this Siberian weather which helped fitting the perfect mood for such an intense event: right on time, Colin and his mates (all part of the Church Of Ra collective, also with other projects like Syndrome, Oathbreaker and Wiegedood) come on a bare stage and the suffering starts with “Boden“. The introduction builds up the tension perfectly, tension broken by a sonic sledgehammer right in the face, with great sounds since the beginning and a surprisingly balanced set which draws from the latest four Masses. The new songs here, “Plus Près De Toi” and “Diaken“, take no prisoners (as if there were any doubts about that) and align themselves seamlessly with other established great pieces from the Flemish combo, “.Razoreater.” above all.
Passing from atmospheric sections, finely chiselled by guitarists Mathieu Vandekerckhove and Lennart Bossu, to neck-breaking riffs in which the arrogant and full bass of Levy Seynaeve makes its way, these litanies bring to the surface the most hidden and bleak emotions of the audience, bewitched and defenseless in front of such an intense show, helped by the films on the backdrop: the interaction with the public is minimal, the music itself is enough to convey the nihilism and desperation of the Belgians. There’s also some space, among post-metal and sludge, for the hardcore vein from som years ago, with “Am Kreuz“, before closing with “.Silver Needle. Golden Nail.“: an unbelievable climax, suddenly cut off, sinking the audience in an abyssal silence. The band goes away for good, leaving everyone stunned and thinking about how short it all was (but it would have never been enough, really).
Plus Près De Toi (Closer To You)
Nowena | 9.10
.Silver Needle. Golden Nail.