Katatonia - live in Bucharest 2007

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon Articles

Fifteen years had to pass for another dream of mine to reach completion! When did it befall? Exactly at the gateways between the seasons, as I've experienced the first upbeats of December on KATATONIA's tunes, live, and not in my headphones while lying in bed! Trust me, there couldn't have been anything more blessing for my spirit chasing than listening to "Dance of December Souls" in the first day of Winter, December the 1st! Pensive as I am and owing to my sorrowful rockeristic seclusion within the Mountains of my lands, among the upright firs sheeted in metallic myrrh, I deeply complied Traditions and profoundly prepared myself for celebrating the Strigoi's Night or Saint Andrew's, the night before the concert that is. Believe me, I've truly got involved and:

- concealed all my tools outside so that the Strigoi wouldn't be able to unbury any hatchets or scythes and use them into contending around other forlorn houses in the so called Crossroads Hora

- in order to keep my mind lucid and out of the possession of evil wraiths, I've anointed my doors, windows and blackeristic stables with garlic

- well, I've placed 41 grains and basils under the unmarried girls' pillows, and make sure that they'll dream their destined ones...  I've even offered them the opportunity of mirroring into fountain's depths, enlightened still by the Easter candles light into seeing their soul mates...  respectively all those available Blackheimists

- I've laid aside nine cups of water in an unused beaker hoping that the next day fortune will cross my way if I'll extract the same nine set there the day before...

- no, I didn't throw away the wastes, nor did I clean the stable, and I've forbidden all women to comb themselves, plus I've told the children to set aside, for Sorcova, apple or plum tree branches

- I also looked out in the archives and found it is the day of the New Year rising accordingly to Burebista and Decebal's calendar, the destined one for celebrating Luparia, the day when the wolf is utterly sagacious, being evenly capable to turn completely round the head and take a complete view of its tail

- yet, I've feared to listen to what are the wraiths unbosom to themselves throughout this mystical night...

Indeed, I've precisely respected all these sayings so that I could fully rejoice the best Saint Andrew's day possible! Especially as another katatonian evening was about to come, one that I've long awaited: the 30TH of November in Bucharest.

 

A great sacrilege I have committed though: all night long I've listened to "Tomb of Insomnia", "Velvet Thorns", "Without God", "Palace Of Frost", "The Northern Silence", "Gateways of Bereavement", "Black Erotica", "Love of the Swan", "Funeral Wedding", "Shades of Emerald Fields", inducing myself the mood for being able to fully gratify what I was expecting to receive in the coming evening. Therefore, I had an enchanting St. Andrew's eve... unrestful too. These tracks will always have a dwelling of their own within my heart as they represent KATATONIA's Dark essence. "Brave Murder Day" marks the beginning of Swedes' decision into entwining Hypnotic Dark Doom Metal with several other facets, more Gothic, Rock and finally even Pop ones, which cannot do else but obliterating me from them, unwillingly... I was hoping though that my time will come, or at least my track, in the evening that was about to happen...

 

After an infernal driving session, meaning two and a half hours needed for traveling 58 km by car, in an unbelievably annoying traffic, that you're almost on the edge of burning down the mayor's Christmas Tree,   finally I've reached the Preoteasa Hall. I had tens of intentions to get there for other concerts last evening was my first stop at the Students' Cultural House, as I recall to have seen it engraved somewhere around there. A dutiful security filter at the entrance, using a ticket scanner, then placing a bracelet on the right hand and nothing more, just let's rock prescription! I was expecting a completely different happening, other proportions, other conditions, and distinct standards! A week before I've been to another Students' Cultural House, in Iasi. There's no comparison! Last evening I've been instantly invaded by claustrophobia! I've seen Titus's promotional stand on the left (he seems to be everywhere, along with his CDs waiting for buyers) and that was about all in what concerns merchandise. No KATATONIA item was exposed (I wonder, aren't they interested in selling their stuff?) T-shirts, bracelets, personalized accessories... nothing. I think there were some stuff from SUBSCRIBE too, that's the Hungarian band that played in the opening, but they've missed my sight.

 

We've got used to the Romanian habit by now, therefore it was no surprise into assisting to another delay of the concert starting hour, so that ABIGAIL began performing half an hour later than expected. There was about a 500-600 audience, watching, adoring, and appreciating them. It was obvious that the band was playing on its ground, their Atmospheric Doom Death Metal didn't sound bad at all and the battery along with the guitar made a quite interesting performance. The keyboard guy turned wearisome at a certain moment, continuously repeating the same rhythms, plus the feminine voice seemed pretty weak to me. I've got no idea about their studio sound, but on live performances ABIGAIL hosts a minus at the vocal chapter. It's true all right, the sound conditions didn't help them at all, but there was a void undoubtedly beyond that. Well, their show was above average in the end, as the band members acted friendly, despite the lamentable scene acting. Except for the guitarist though, he has also done the vocal part (pretty faint in tonalities and far too piped for the aggressive parts)... he was fine! And that's all about ABIGAIL.

 

SUBSCRIBE followed, but I went for a couple of tea with two dear friends of mine; their music has nothing in common with anything... there's nothing to interest me anyway.

 

Ok, it was 9.30 pm, more and more people started to come, I've also noticed the veterans appearing, that's if I am to refer to age criteria, plus several other fans, angrier faced and visibly impassioned. Somewhere in the access zone I've met Negru/NEGURA BUNGET, which I haven't seen for quite some time. The same modest guy from Banat lands that I've known for over 15 years now, passing slightly noticed through the crowd. As I understood, tours are going well and they've changed the label, so everything sounds promising. How the hell else? NEGURA BUNGET is the most appreciated and respected extreme Romanian band around the world! And Negru represented there one of the key figures from our underground scene! Otherwise, I've seen other figures too, from Lenti to Coro, plus many journalists making sure that their names are widely noticed by everyone around, proudly operating all kinds of photo cameras... At Titus's stand you could get for 5 RON an issue of Negura Magazine. Yet, there weren't many interested, maybe because it was an older issue. But, there aren't great chances of releasing a new one either... Negru's answer in this matter was the same one that goes for my Kogaionon: the project is still alive but there's no knowing into the moment when a new chapter will reach completion! I guess there aren't many interested into spending 4 - 5 EUR here in Romania for a new underground magazine's issue! As for the ones abroad, I for one reached satiety into addressing to them. Again, I divagated. But here I return to solid stuff, announcing you that I've got a new idea contoured, one that will bring be great joy if it will materialize next year: a few Kogaionon T-shirts, for the few true underground individuals poisoned with madness of mine for more than 12 years...

 

But wait, I've told you nothing except for the restrained concert hall. Believe me, that's an insignificant detail comparing with the rest of the atmosphere: zero ventilation, unbearable smoke (dear promoters from Bucharest, learn from your Iasi colleagues, cause one week ago it was incredibly aerated and pleasant to attend a concert in the location they've chosen), with a flat floor lacked in any levelling (the shorter ones had to hasten into lengthening on their tiptoes), plus the familiar queue for cooling drinks and beer (the soft water seemed pretty high priced and there was no chance for mineral) and the bounding sofas gave me the feeling of being in a Lounge club, waiting for the house DJ to let the music flow; it was gloomy too.  A disappointing location which will be for me a one time experience, that's for sure!

 

Anyway, I guess in the meantime almost 750 fans gathered and KATATONIA enters the stage. Some of them shorthaired, other wearing caps, but the audience burst into bawls and applauses accompanied by blue set lights...and the dream was on its way to come through! Yet, the sound was miserable. Leaving apart the inexistent acoustic in that particular hall, I've searched the eyes of the ones I was with asking each other: this is KATATONIA? After two tracks, the sound seems to improve a bit, but I was there solely to pay my respects and to reencounter my Past! I was convinced that I'll have to wait for some stuffing tracks in order to caress my soul with at least one of those above mentioned that enchanted me the night before. Lus assured me that they'll only play tracks from their last albums, but I've dogged into trusting that the band will choose a mix of early KATATONIA and the new one. That's just fine to wait two hours for five minutes of bliss as long it happens. I am familiarized with this feeling since the times I used to buy all sorts of Romanian publications just for the hope of finding an information, a review, an interview with an extreme underground band... of course, among the multitude of commercial and well known Rock, Pop and Metal bands, bla, bla... the same goes for the bygone years when I used to enter a musical store and I was constrained to eye scan thousands of titles yearning to crop some scents of elitist underground, cause it was a fitful name in those ages... or at the concerts, where I had to listen to ten other bands for getting to enjoy the one that interested me...  But, now I came to the point where I am desperately hoping to delude myself into being able to listen to a single track from the band's repertoire...that's terrifying indeed. So, there I was, placated with the thought that KATATONIA is going to play mostly tracks from their last four to five albums...
Still, the concert ended, the programmed bis started with "July" and... nothing. A girlfriend promptly announces me that she glanced on the playlist and saw that the last track is meant to be "Without God". You cannot imagine my joy, desperation, enthusiastic hope! And the last track consumed, obviously it wasn't "Without God", but one from "Brave, Murder, Day" I guess, yet one that connected me to my Past bereavement, an aggressive piece! I was already transiting towards my past, as Renske put an end to his trolling solely animating HIM chicks, the guitars began their doomed cry and Blackheim's solos awakened myself inside of me, the bass started its mighty vibration and the battery exploded (as it also passed the last two hours in the waiting for this instant to come) so naturally, the public went delirious! It might be solely an impression of mine but my feeling was that the track has been the reward for everyone's expectation! To get a drop of early KATATONIA!!!! It was a huge shock, because it has been the sole true track performed yesterday evening, and it came after several sequences that I simply cannot comprehend, assimilate, listen to... During almost the entire show I've plunged myself into a comfortable armchair, waiting for something to happen. And I had a glimpse of joy somewhere around 11pm, when finally KATATONIA has played something for me too. Or at least that's what I've chosen to take out of it. It's true, if I am to compare what they've done last evening with what they've used to do years back, even this single track sounded lamentable, given the pale voice, but nevermind it all, I could listen to one track in the end! Yet, I've got the same feeling as in PARADISE LOST's concert: only the guitar continues to be alive! It could be distinctively decanted even on the Pop Rock tracks! Anders, my man, why the hell did you give up DIABOLICAL MASQUERADE too? Where did that Experimental Black dispelled? Are those Reggie rhythms the sole remnants from a musical legend that will always have my respect?

 

Well, that's how the concert ended: salutes, filming, photographs, salutes again...and then all was over. They've been very friendly, incredibly opened and fervent towards the audience, especially for a band rooted in frozen lands. That's one thing I've really liked about them, and they have my admiration for that positive attitude! The public left the hall looking as they've done a sauna (it was extremely hot inside), the most of them seemed to have had a gratifying experience, looking satisfied, delighted. It probably was a fine show! Maybe they've found it dreamlike, as it was a considerable accomplishment: KATATONIA in Romania! I do hope they've all enjoyed it! This solely means that I am one of the few dinosaurs which slowly withdraw towards his car, eager to press play and get a pure sense of KATATONIA, starting with "For Funerals to Come" all the tracks down to "Epistel", again and again ...

 

Mysterious times we are living! I remember some years ago, someone asked me something about Gauss's curve in connection with feelings' intensity... I don't remember my exact answer back then, but I can state for sure that Napoleon was in the knowing when he said that you solely realize the deepness of your feelings towards someone or something when you've lost it... or own it no more... or no longer exists... Intensity has been and will always continue into existing, and the same goes for the underlying feelings, KATATONIA exists still, yet within a different realm... far from being at least parallel to mine!

 

Now, take a moment and take a look. We've started with the ancestral strigoi and now we find ourselves in a new season, more catatonic than ever before, each continuing on the very distinct and private path!

There's no unsettled quest about it, I have great joys waiting for me to dive within: Be welcomed Winter! And along with you, Of Drynwhyl (for connoisseurs solely)!!!!

 

1st of December, 2007