August 2006

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon Editorials

Stifling vexatious salutes!

Given these canicular days, I can hardly convince myself into writing some thoughts! August rules now and all the civilized people are on their well deserved holiday, yet I disabuse a new message even if the heat rather invites me to slumber... that's it, at least I own the night time that loomed alongside the first accords of the latest AGALLOCH! I've long awaited this last album and I can guarantee you that John Haughm's band released another Metal jewel, one that determined me to sit down to the laptop right now. One important event happened in my life: after quite some time, I came to the point of getting to a concert and enjoy it. Moreover, I pressed pause and stood still, thinking how, for various reasons, I've overlooked some relevant live opportunities that took place at less then a hour of wandering by car from where I live: RAISON D'ETRE, MISANTHROPE, KING DIAMOND, OPERA IX, NOVEMBRE, LACRIMOSA! In fact I've bought a ticket to every one of these concerts, I was determined to see the bands... something happened... This time, I had to drive for over 8 hours to get there and another 10 to return, on roads deplorable laid with asphalt and patched in an engineer manner (copy & paste), with plenty of red traffic lights, lots of melomaniacs and dreamy drivers, policemen saturated in shining braids for which we alone are paying; besides, many carts handled by believers on their way back from the church but with a little halt to the local inn - simply cause it's on the way; on addition, loose women debating on the road border matters such as the Romania's integration or the social aspects that could decide the future of the gross domestic product; moreover, I could see youngsters' trendy clothes parade while they were hurrying to get to the nearby disco or club... in the end, I've experienced another kind of "Discover Romania" episode... and still, what a beautiful country we have! And we spend the holiday money on knocking about the world, to all kind of places who's ancestors were tormented through the era's expansion to cultivate/invade us some ages ago... as the saying goes: the mountain doesn't run to Mohamed, but the Romanian is! And we keep praising ourselves up, in our way filled with nonsense and cant, that firs might uproot, but they never bend! Yes, yes, yes...

Back to my journey on Transylvanian lands, it all happened in the long run to meet - in one corner of the country, 10 km away from the Hungarian border - my old letter pal, Kobi Farhi. That's why I made my return to Samfest, after more than 10 years of absence, back to the days when Fane Boca was struggling to keep this fest alive and, I was endeavoring not to get subjective in the choosing between the performance of a band (which I really supported) that died while it was coming into being - NEW AGE - and another one, fighting to impress with a pompous Orthodox Black Doom - GOD. Those were beautiful times, I went to Samfest for 2 or 3 several years, and I remember the in the jury, among some local journalists, there was also Doru Ionescu, a true upholder for the Rock phenomenon (not solely for the Metal one), that was setting out on the long road from Bucharest, just for writing and broadcasting the Rock event that took place in Satu - Mare. And I know that in one particular year, my ratting along with his one succeeded in effecting a debut award for New Age band from Suceava. OK, I've became either an old and anachronic guy for all modern HIM admirers that went into ecstasies at Hermann's town or, once again, incomprehensible by all the excited fans of a band (that I indeed respect) that during a month time activated my saturation and disgust on the simple hearing of such words like Depeche Mode or Vodafone: television, radio, press, clubs, beach. This very consumism keeps on seizing, and covers all kinds of forms, therefore the concerts' mania is a good opportunity to give pleasure to the population and gain its "high - fidelity"! On the other hand, it was simply natural for us to come to the point of enjoying concerts that seemed impossible to take place in Romania several years ago. Why natural? Because Romania is yearning for concerts! Some may call it a virgin market that could bring fast & easy cash... never mind, it's a fair objectives changing with mutual satisfaction. Not to remind you how must, probably, be experienced the exotic halo flowing from the transit within an ex - communist country, carried on solely of late and all over known autochthonous spotted figures: Dracula, Ceausescu, Nadia, Hagi! Me myself may be just a frame of this consumption based system, I'd be naive to believe otherwise, yet, beyond all doubt, I caress my Self that under Orphaned Land's vesper it all seemed different, as underground veiled the even, sincerity has opened the gates, while the pharisaical acts were rather infantile so that I've sensed tolerance for them in the end! Well, I don't lure you with my deliverance: that one hour and a half time along Orphaned Land, at Satu - Mare, has been an oasis of TRUTHNESS! It was the purest spectacle I've seen in the shadow years!

I might turn pathetic keeping on these terms, still it does not matter for me what would some or the rest take for true! The five Israelians' determination on the stage fondled me so that even my obscure lairs of enjoined query went voided! Awfully, the Summer Theatre only harboured maximum 250 curious souls! Ones might have been true admirers, because I've noticed they knew by heart lyrics from the "Sahara" debut and also from the second - more introverted and less digestible - album, "El Nora Alila" and they were singing with enormous joy! There might have been another source of dynamic stimulus, yet I can assure you that, here and now, my never ending way is Orphaned Land. The story shall follow the other path as this very concert will flood all to the ultimate drop of it into the abyss of my soul, in a folder named "remembrances". Maybe this folder will howl for a serious up - grade when I see ARCTURUS, DVKE or MY DYING BRIDE live, then I'll be able to endure my remnant Metal existence deeper within myself...

Once I thought about doing the concert's chronicle it all came clear: there's no point for one. You'll find out more about the Samfest atmosphere from an interview with Kobi, as well on my site. My only desire is to stress that starting with "Orphaned Land" and till the answer to the encore cries - an inspirate live mix between "The Beloved's Cry" and "The Storm Still Rages Inside" - the band ignited the spark of unique sound! I rather refer to the atmosphere than to the sound effects! Even if the keyboard and the feminine vocals were absent, oozing in the background via a laptop properly connected to the trasmitter, Kobi and Sassi's flash of inspiration elegantly imposed over an ignorant Romania, one that didn't deign to come and see on that Saturday evening these modest but truly talented and vivid musicians. Obviously, there have been many tracks from the second album, but I think it was simply normal to promote them now considering the fact that Holy Records re-recorded it, as there are 10 years since it has been released, so there is an anniversary event! If I'd missed the concert, I could presume a loss.

Now that I have been there, beyond all doubt I would have wasted a great opportunity to dwell once again the Metal scene the same way I did 13 years ago, when Kobi sent me his first demo and let me know that they've signed up with a French label, interested in Oriental Doom/Death Metal, Holy Records. Therefore, Underground never dies! This was my way of enjoying, so to say, the consumism, yet I still delude myself into believing that there is another phenomenon we're experiencing, the CULT one! That's the history of a July concert at Satu - Mare, surely there have been other bands but they never kept my interest! I took what I needed and I continued my wandering... fulfilled! Thank you Nelu Brandusan / Promusic Prod for organizing this concert and I hope that sometime soon you'll bring another underground figure of the extreme Metal! You know what I mean, we've been talking about it for several times! To bring up what I've been listening to lately, ORPHANED LAND perfectly entwines my current state throughout that MCD, recorded live two years ago, using solely normal vocals and here and then acoustic: it sounds like beautiful madness!!!... moreover, I can only notice that the AGALLOCH's sound has nothing to do with this very season, therefore listening to it can touch inner resonance solely during night time! The grave isolation feelings, low effects and tonality of this music do not enhance a natural symbiosis during summer! Except the night time, as I myself am experiencing it. I had a pleasant surprise from ROME's mini - album, and CMI shall soon release three new remarkable albums, which I'm eagerly waiting for. HIM and THE 69 EYES' trend couldn't help developing a clone at the Austrian label, Napalm, one called LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE, bringing out an extremely dynamic, but far too commercial album at least as far as I'm concerned... well it's easy going. SATYRIAN is the veteran's Jan Yrlund project, he used to play alongside LACRIMOSA for long years and now is involved in several music projects, this very one being focused on a bombastic Gothic Rock, including some exceptional tracks. SUB LUNA brings a delicate material that captivated me for a while, mean while the long awaited WELTENBRAND leaves room for modest reviews, despite the expectations towards something exceptional.

ANATHEMA released a new DVD that hasn't warm up my bones but that could gain collectors interest. ASHRAM presents an elegant neoclassical folk; AXAMENTA drudged to invest more in the new album, one that take the sound shape of a more progressive BAL-SAGOTH. ALWA GLEBE is a Dark Wave project, presenting a professional feminine vocalist, and I can barely announce you else, maybe except some Black Metal, brought out by OLD and LUNA AD NOCTUM; moreover an Irish Doom/Death Folk project - MAEL MORDHA and that's all from the current playlist.

Interesting albums are announced for the autumn, yet I'll vanish away as something tell me this night's mirage is falling apart... Reviews folder will be refreshed during this month, still I'm yearning for a cold rain to freeze me into listening, breathing and writing, all at once, about some albums from the last two playlists. We are to be found again during autumnal time, harvesting the Metal crops and counting the darkest comings into being...

August, 2006.