They did not come without adequate support. Portuguese SINISTRO opened this show. Although they have been active since 2011 under this name, the band members have been well-known in the art circles for much longer than that. When you have an actress, producer, and multi-instrumentalist in a band, you know that you are halfway to offer something new and interesting to the music world.
The accent at their last night’s appearance was on the last album “Semente” that came out last year via Season of Mist label. The album is a spiritual journey through which they managed to portray not only the landscapes of Portugal but also the inner quest that is happening in all of us. Although singing in their mother tongue, it’s impossible not to feel at least a part of it. The whole performance was in the sign of incredibly expressive Patricia Andrade, who vastly contributed to this band becoming a symbol of the new wave of doom genre.
Another relatively young name in the doom metal scene was given an opportunity to present themselves to the native audience in a very impressive way. If you have not heard of PALLBEARER so far, you spent the last few months living in a cave. In a very short time, the band exploded on the scene in part thanks to the fantastic promotion of the record label, but in bigger part thanks to music and a very strong live performance.
Their latest album “Heartless” quickly found itself in all the top charts around the world and earned one of the nominees for the title of the album in 2017. We heard “Dancing In Madness” and “Thorns” off of that album with the addition of several songs from earlier releases including the impressive debut “Sorrow and Extinction”, which has also long been spoken about.
The tracks from the new album, “From the Gallows”, “Medusa”, “Blood & Chaos” are mixed with the timeless hits such as “One Second” and “Tragic Idol”. We sang along to “Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us” and “As I Die” as loud as we could. The first thing I noticed comparing the performance with the one at last year’s Exit Festival is admittedly better and cleaner sound than it was the case on the Explosive stage.
Another big difference that marked the second part of last night’s performance is that we heard the heavier side of the band and songs that are often not included on the festival setlists. I was especially thrilled to hear by the phenomenal “Beneath the Broken Earth”, which is the jewel of the previous album “The Plague Within”. It was followed by the legendary “Embers Fire” and then the latest doom masterpiece “The Longest Winter”. The almost perfect setlist, support bands that fantastically fit in and perfect mood made this Friday 13th everything but bad luck.
When your day starts at 5 AM, you spend half the time at the job that brings you all but satisfaction, catching only two, three hours of sleep, giving your maximum to get to the concert on time, then running to catch the last train and come home in a decent time so you can repeat this routine tomorrow, you can’t help but wonder if it’s worth it. In the train, you meet a neighbor, breathless and swamped in sweat who tells you, “I do not run for anything except for metal.” I got the answer to my question. As hard as your day was, when you enter a hall full of tired but smiling faces, whose day was probably not much better than yours, when every nerve in your body plays to the rhythm of music coming from the stage, you know it’s worth it. You’re home. You found paradise.
by Jadranka Balaš