Editorial iunie 2011

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon Editorials

Summer has arrived….officially! 

Before you start reading below, please take some time and play this song. You probably used to doing so anyhow: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHKzfcTa3ZU  

In the previous Editorial, I was contemplating slowing down on the writing until autumn to say the least, but here I am, again. I don’t know if I’m writing out of the need to maintain a monthly cycle of the Editorial or just because I have some things that need to be said. I know I had had a month I will not quite forget for a long time, unfortunately for me, as my personal fundamental frames have been shaken harder than ever - I don’t really wish something like that upon anybody. It’s like I’m witnessing a chaotic inner struggle, I have no idea if I want to listen to music anymore, to write about it, to organize concerts, or promote anything….after what I’ve said….I don’t know if I’ll go back to being a music freak. Maybe I’ll become religious, literally? Anything is possible right now, when your entire system of beliefs which includes ways of evaluations, of living, of acceptance, a system I grew up with, which evolved to be respected is going to hell, I honestly don’t know what to believe. I’m clinging in a compulsory way to positive styles of seeing the situation, to optimistic maneuvers and to guided hope and maybe who knows…Even my recent obsession with “not creating expectation because there will only be disappointment” is being a false friend now. Even the most compassionate souls, I’m not calling them wise, are willing to make me understand that it’s high time I accept reality and that I need to fight somehow to make it a little more beautiful. Well, I’m done with my abysmal introspections and with the intelligent rhetorical debates….I have a feeling I will be putting a lot of words on paper in this Editorial, most of them hard to decipher even by their writer. 

Maybe that’s why I can’t understand why Peter and Ia Bjargo were ok with their daughter, Vendela (which is very dear to me), opening the first official SHINING video, a video which only brings shock with its aggressive message.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSNLnDH6tjA&feature=youtu.be 

I’m sure that the reality of the street can not be ignored, and that it must be brought to public awareness, but the way of conveying the message seems to be a little embarrassing and simple, unscrupulously so to make some more money or gain a little bit more fame. The contrast between the innocent child aura and the drugs highlighted in the majority of the images (with the blood, alcohol, and cigarette bonus) just disgusts me, but I fully understand what they are trying to pull off here. I know Niklas very well, and I know a great deal about his problems, a lot of them I have come to accept, others I have tried to understand but everybody has a limit (maybe because I’m also a dad). I’m sane enough to try and dissociate between attempts to draw attention upon yourself and constructive approaches and the harsh reality. Maybe I am so bitter due to my current state which makes me restrictive and virulent but it seems somehow that I am the only one who views this release as nothing more than a mainstream video, modest in concept (so not to say average), but very well edited and assembled. The song is an expressive one but brings nothing new in comparison to “Halmstad”! Speaking of drugs, maybe this is where my adversity for the video comes from, I recently had a conflicting chat (with statistical evidence) with somebody who was trying to get me to believe that alcohol and cigarettes pose a greater risk of becoming an addict. Maybe so, but drugs are still illegal. I wonder who cares about that these days... The black market flourishes exponentially taking alternative routes, routes very fertile for kidnapping, threats, murders, suicide and procurement. Therefore I have to admit I’m anti drugs, even if some consider them less harmful than alcohol. Maybe I’m just being old school, or even out of date, but my convictions are not going to be changed by anybody, especially since I seen what those things can do to somebody’s life. More than that, if I was Vendela’s colleagues and I was seeing her in such a movie, who knows what stupid ideas, would go through my infantile head. Insight and maturity are indeed relative and may be applied differently. The education concerning life must start young, but gradually. All in all it’s just a video, maybe I’m taking it all too seriously and I’ve made it look too childish and pathetic, bordering cheap hypocrisy and stereotypes. So be it… 

I hope for the band members’ sake it works out for them, although I’ve noticed some recent line-up changes that make me feel a little bit skittish (at least for now) about the future quality of the band. Their image has received a big boost, and I’m pretty sure if SHINING was ever to come back in Romania, there would be a lot of fans waiting to see them….it looks like profitable business, those who are interested can already make the arrangements. My job as a concert promoter for this band is not officially done. SHINING has stepped into a different direction now, they no longer need my support, but I will gladly come to say hi to Niklas, and Peter, the others are kinda new faces for me so… 

We’ve stepped right into the subject of music. I have a lot of albums whom I have to give a good listen, but I also need to be in the mood. You can find them in the Playlist and about some of them I’ll be saying a few words. But first I want to talk about the few musical events that qualify to be called interesting. This events draw out the need to do something else in order to escape the mundane existence, while enjoying some bands at work, and exchanging words with old and new friends.  

I’m going to go to London to see the Japs of MONO playing with the Holy Ground Orchestra. It’s going to be a concert for my tormented and despondent soul! I forgot to mention my trip to Dublin during the first days of May. There I saw the Queen of Great Britain and North Ireland who passed right by me in a Range Rover (a possible emotional event for lots of people, especially since that kind of royalty hasn’t stepped on Irish soil in over 100 years). If I would have stayed for a couple more days I would have probably witnessed Obama’s arrival as well…such a big fuss with this political symbols and images. I should have probably waved to the queen, like the others were doing….I’ve seen the crowds getting emotional as Obama was making his speech….how pathetic….speaking of state leaders taking major decisions behind closed doors to kill in the name of (their) justice! 

It’s a well known fact that some leaders are more charismatic than others, some know how to speak compared to others, but all will follow their interests that are smilingly common with those of the normal folk. And like that in the name of freedom, we end up killing innocent families, dropping a few bombs to read the world of terrorists (here’s the thief! screams the thief!)…leaving so many collateral victims behind. Well it’s not my place to talk about this stuff here, but the modern imperialism of today (political, economic or religious) it’s not better than the one who came before it. In Dublin, my schedule was turned upside down by people protesting, perturbing the city exploration I had planned. In the evening, I was shocked to see more than 800 people at the EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY concert! Now that’s a real cosmopolitan capital where people are willing to try different expressions of music. The Americans were very intense, had a well executed show but there was something missing…I don’t know, maybe it’s because I was sitting way in the back, or maybe because some people were trying to communicate with me and I got disturbed. Anyway, a big and fabulous band from the Post-Rock movement, mandatory to be seen live! And Dublin is a very green city, having a huge park, one of the biggest in the world. Extremely beautiful! 

Oh yes, I’ve also been to see ROTTING CHRIST at the beginning of the month, in Cluj-Napoca. A concert with a small crowd who got heated up only from seeing the opening acts perform. I liked the venue; it has only a minor problem. While sitting down, the acoustics seems not so good, especially for music that doesn’t involve pop/ very melodic rhythms. Anyways, too many bands for one night, too tiresome for somebody like me, but probably way too COOL for a true metalhead. Regarding the organization, Hatework did a great job as always and Euphoria Music Hall is a very elegant venue, somehow similar with The Silver Church, if you like. 

On the 7th of May I attended Leo’s birthday party, well I mean The Festival of Dreams! I re-lived beautiful and emotional moments from the time of the Special Evenings, moments who were now long gone, now…. Therefore during a huge rain storm (which turned into snow) I went to the Cultural Centre Reduta. There were about 200 people there, enough so that the hall wouldn’t seem empty during the DonisArt events. But who cares, considering that it was Leo’s birthday, and last year he pulled of the same scheme, organizing his own birthday party. I don’t have this obsession with the birthday party anymore, so after a few months, on the 11th of December I will celebrate only with the people dear to my heart, far away from noise and crowds. Going back to Leo, his little festival started later than planned, I ran into Mihnea and also got delayed, because we started talking about OST MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL… 

The first band of the evening, QUANTIQ was very unappealing to me, but if I make an effort and consider the age of the band members, I can’t help noticing that this kids have their doors opened towards the new, but they are a little bit too over-influenced by the music of their parents. Maybe it’s not like that but their music seems simple and pale, even if you could recognize Pink Floyd, Talisman or Compact in there. The instrumental part had some Post-Rock touches mixed in, they were pretty but that’s about it. With no vocals, they sound much better! 

LAONLYNESS, another of Leo’s chimaeras, was introduced to the public in the most somber way, which surprised me a little. The two new songs were reminiscent of Post-rock (on stage we could find some of the band members of QUANTIQ plus another keyboardist from TRUE MIND) and Leo’s voice played with different inflexions, maybe a little bit too complicated for the unaccustomed ear. I have no idea how to describe this sound, so I will just call it Lao Music. After that, we listened to some songs which were released way back with different projects and were a little retouched. Of course the playlist included the song with the carnation, and of course, it featured the lady who offered Leo the flower. Towards the end of the recital, Leo lay down a little on the stage, covered by a blanket, only to spice things up and make it look like a massive on slaughter was coming up. Nothing happened. The crowed called for a bis, and then it cheered for a couple of minutes. Very likable and full of jokes, Leo made me smile for quite some time. I managed to relax completely and be very thankful I could attend his birthday. 

The last band came from Italy and it was some sort of SPIRITUAL FRONT clone. Very weak performance, a plus for the female vocals and the pianist. Maybe if the band leader wasn’t so anxious and knew English a little bit better, he could have conveyed his message to the very friendly and patient public. Even so, during the recall finale, Leo showed up on stage and sang with the Italians their hit track…but only a few words, during the chorus. 

And that was about it, in Brasov…the second day I was lucky enough to catch some snow in Cheia, composing a beautiful landscape, I was breathless… 

I couldn’t go to AVA INFERI but from what I understand there weren’t many people attending this event either, maybe the ticket price was the problem once again? Costin assured me that Rune&Co’s show was flawless and this overjoyed me. The intensity of their music should be perceived in the mind’s eye and not through mundane frames. 

The next day I went to Bucharest to see TIDES FROM NEBULA. I feel right at home in Kulturhaus and it was a real joy to catch up with the people I know, especially since I didn’t visit in a long time. I didn’t escape what I was most afraid, tough. So many people came, too many for my taste. Therefore I had to watch the concert on the screens, while sitting on a chair at the bar. The show was flawless; I saw a lot of people who came exclusively for their Post-Rock performance. Other than that, a lot of fans waiting to see RIVERSIDE, a lot of them being a little older than what one would expect and DREAM THEATRE fans. For those who didn’t see TIDES FROM NEBULA on the 8th of May, another occasion might come up in November, when they will re-unite alongside another interesting band for a tour, but I can not say more here for now. Congratulations Twin Arts, a very successful event (it was sold-out because of RIVERSIDE which ate up a whole bunch of space) held together by their promotional team if we count the fact that in another venue in Bucharest, TSC, HAGGARD was playing behind closed doors – so this only highlights the fact that if you bring the right bands – you can make people come out. This means that something can still be done around here, even if some people are discouraged by the fans’ ignorance. 

Another week later, I went in Wings to see PRIMORDIAL. I hope they are going to make some changes to improve the appearance of the venue soon, because everything there is a little off: it smells like you just stepped in the barrelhouse, the air is putrid and filled with tobacco smoke, the whole environment seems moldy (it’s probably from that dirty floor). It sucked for me, but I didn’t see the almost 300 people who attended the event, be bothered by such details. It’s obvious that it’s me who has a problem, as long as I felt that I couldn’t breath in that place, the ventilation system did not seem to work, the dump smell never went away, only the acoustics of the hall seemed to “work”! And the scene is pretty big, so I think Wings could become a really nice club if somebody would be willing to make some investments there. I arrived just before Alan&co went on stage, and during the entire concert I shifted between the actual hall and the hallway – where the air was more breathable. Their show was impressive! Alan is a flawless artist who knows how to connect with the crowd. They played about 2 hours, even thought they initially announced they will be playing 90 minutes. I don’t think anybody had any bad things to say about this concert, from my point of view it was maybe a little too Metal, or maybe plain Metal, without any other influences. On the other side, here’s the proof that if you have the will and the appropriate amount of money you can organize whatever concert you please. There was so much buzz around this organizer, it’s true, he’s kind of young and in the past he made some bad choices and made our country look bad. This time he took care of everything, so the Irish men left Romania with very good memories. Therefore Metal Maniac has taken a good step in the right direction; I hope they learned their lesson. On the other hand, I know there are a lot of personal egos in the Metal concert organizing business, which is a real bad thing, because I think it emphasizes the level of maturity we have achieved. I won’t comment upon the embarrassing episodes when festival organizers fight like crazy while holding grudges of one another for no apparent reason. It’s pretty pathetic and lame that a person that considers himself some big fancy hot shot organizer thinks that everybody should praise him. Ceausescu is said to be dead….. but his spirit still dwells among us, pushing people to peruse their goal for money and popularity at any cost. This is the land of choice, where everything is possible! 

One day before that, I was walking in the city center where I’ve seen the oldie and goldy Florian from Transylvania, Vita de Vie and Urma. All this bands were a first for me, but I was shocked of how many people knew the lyrics and sang along with these bands – there were a lot of metal people in the crowd but also people who seem not to blend in so well.

But lets go back to what it’s about to come: on the 14th of June, after a 6 month break, DonisArt is bringing to Bucharest a Dark Wave legend – the Americans of BLACK TAPE FOR A BLUE GIRL. Before the concert, there will be the chance for the fans to re-view the 2 year old ROME concert of Brasov! A good way to refresh/heat up for what’s to come in August! The ticket price will be a modest one (30 LEI), Kulturhaus has very accessible prices, the location is comfortable and elegant, the band will be available for chats with fans, they will also be bringing merchandise at very good prices. This are excellent arguments to come and spent a few hours, even if this time it’s all happening on a Tuesday. We start at 20:00 and we’re going to finish when there’s no one left standing.

http://www.kogaionon.com/ro/serile-speciale-organizate-de-kogaionon-si-donisart/black-tape-for-a-blue-girl  

I don’t know if I’m going be able to go to Greece for the summer, but I’d really like that. It depends on the answer I get back from some people who know what will happen to my future. I will find about that on the 13 of June while being far away from Bucharest. 

In July I’m going to OST. I have no news, last time I said too much – announcing bands before the official statement arrived. So therefore, I think this is a major event to be considered this summer, if you’re a Metal supporter or, this year, an Ambient one. We’re going to have at Rasnov a new Ambient scene. Very soon the last bands added to the bill will be announced:

http://www.kogaionon.com/ro/evenimente/ost-mountain-fest-editia-a-ii-a-22-24-iulie-2011-cetatea-rasnov 

I hope that I will announce another event in no time (or not) on the 22nd of July (it’s not Metal, it’s not Gothic, it’s not Neofolk) which will happen in Cluj-Napoca. It will materialize only if it’s meant to be, if not I’ll be present from the first evening at OST! 

Artmania still hasn’t announced the whole lineup for the festival in Sibiu, I have no news about that…there are some rumors, but we shall wait and see, maybe something to my liking will come up…. 

http://www.kogaionon.com/ro/evenimente/festivalul-artmania-sibiu-2011-8-14-august-2011  

Right after that, Buvnitz caught the legendary ATEHIST on tour and he’s bringing them on the 15th and 16th of August in Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest. Two concerts for the fans of true Technical Death Metal and not only. I have to go and see them, even though I’ll be busy with other stuff then. 

DBE3 is coming up. I have a lot of news to announce but it’s too soon so it’s no use…I can only assure you that the beverage prices will be friendly and the food will be pretty varied for the festival’s little concept. Next week I’ll be going on a little trip to Alba Iulia and I will probably get have some new pictures of the Ryma Spaces, so you can get an idea of the beautiful location we’ll be spending 2 day/nights in. 

www.darkbombasticevening.com  

DBE is conceived to be an atypical event, with an accent upon minimalist elements and noncommercial details. In case you didn’t see the teaser for the event, until now, here it is: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFFSYb7dlqc  

I’ve received a lot of questions regarding the availability of the tickets at DBE3. As I have said in the statement we don’t want to create obligation and deadfalls by imposing tickets by categories, because the festival costs what it costs, even if we sell all the tickets in pre-sale. It’s very sad for us, when on the different social sites we see people sell their tickets/2 day passes because for whatever reasons they can’t make it to event. We don’t want to condition anybody, we want people to attend if they want and can. The venue can accommodate thousands of people, but that won’t be the case for DBE 3. We will have to return with details about the camping sites, because we’re going to have a special place for a limited amount of tents. In the upcoming month we will be deciding the band order and the starting hour would probably be 16:00, during the 2 days.  

Two weeks ago we’ve launched a new concept entitled KRUNA. If the bad news I received would have come two days ago, DBE would have been the last event I would have pulled together for sure, and KRUNA would have been a concept left to rot in the back of my mind, where it has been sitting for the last 2 years. In an unjust world you must follow the right steps, if you want to be straight with yourself. Therefore what I’ve announced will become reality, what will come after that….I have no idea. I’m not going to press the point with KRUNA now, because starting this autumn until December I will present the public with 4 or 5 exclusive events, for the fans who really know their music. There will be bands coming here for the first time and others who have visited us before, but who want to offer us something different. We’re goanna host some Innovative Black Metal, Melancholic Post-rock and maybe some Martial/Neofolk. The advantage of this new concept is about offering the participants the physical and psychal comfort, because I’m expecting the crowd to consist of a select few, even though the underground movement isn’t really appreciated in our country. This can only mean less clueless people. The bands won’t be mainstream; they won’t be classic or catchy…because what we’re talking about here is a different approach to music, meant to be highlighted by a special, adaptive, molded concept entitled KRUNA. More details soon! 

Speaking of Festivals, I just remembered…Leipzig, Amphi, Summer Darkness, Wacken, Hellfest and Brutal Assault are coming up ….some of them are already sold out, and I’m very happy for their organization team. I’m sure everything will go according to schedule. But why would I go to a festival with massive crowds, with too many stages, where I’d had to run from one place to the other because the bands I want to see are playing there simultaneously or very close to one another? What would be my satisfaction of enjoying a couple of days out in nature (outdoor would be the right term), to relax and to savor in piece everything happening out there? Festivals have achieved the status of some sort of all-inclusive, where you even get stuff you didn’t ask for, and what you truly want may not even happen. Maybe there’s a nice vibe out there, but I had enough! Last year, in Leipzig, I had to walk all around town to see a couple of good show, for which I exclusively purchased my ticket. And what happened, eventually? I chose two stages and I checked on and off on the bands performing on them, otherwise I would have ended up a zombie. Small, chic festivals are more close to my heart as are little gateways to unknown pensions and hotels, discrete and private. Why would I stay in line, at the elevator, to go down from god know how many floors, to have breakfast, when I could take only a few steps, to get to a small and quiet dinning area. Anyhow, that’s only my problem.  

And now, lets move on to the Playlist and the albums…we have so many of them again (I had to listen to almost 2/day) and only some of them are really interesting…Bands who once set the standards for the Underground Metal scene are now way to big to focus on anything but making money. The art is forgotten! I’ll give you an example, to skip the generalities,  let’s talk about the new AMORPHIS album: how the hell did a band, that years ago was taking everybody by surprise with their brilliant albums, end up performing songs that could easily be broadcasted on MTV or on national television and not even during specialized music programs. I don’t see what the problem would be since recently the Dark component has been replaces by the Melodic one – a forgettable, Rock, and simplistic one. I’m simply left speechless in front of this music and in front of the fans’ blindness to accept almost anything that has the AMORPHIS name on it. The good side (for the band of course), is that their fan base is growing exponentially. To this sort of music, even a disco fan can relate, and would probably even dance with his girlfriend on the chorus. On the other side, OPETH is continuing its singular journey, without making any commercial compromise, which is a thing to be praised for. I can hardly wait to see how their new album “Heritage” sounds like; it will be out in 3 months! They are also a band who lives exclusively on their music! KATATONIA has dropped the extreme approach, and has leaned towards the melodic as well, but it’s still bearable, they still manage to maintain the intense Dark and mysterious feeling. AMORPHIS has become a very disappointing band for me, but everybody makes their own choices. I have the same feeling when I see organizers who in the past were focused on Underground events, now being consumed only by the prospect of organizing mainstream events, or even worst bringing bands from totally different music styles, who of course appeal to a much greater crowd. This is life, some people grow up, some evolve and sharpen their input on life, but the tidal wave ends up brutally drowning them. Good for them! I have the tendency of believing I’m from another kind of movie, maybe a black and white one, which stills bears an aroma of freedom and a direct message. “You’ll never grow up!” would say those close to me, but they are not possessed by the spirit of music. Although, they might be right! 

I shall move on now to some less bombastic ideas….KAUAN has returned with a brand new album, but I have the feeling it won’t receive the same kind of praise as its predecessor. Expectations were very high and maybe some fans would have wanted to hear some new approaches to songs, maybe an epic one and taking a different step concerning the rhythm. You can read about my opinion in here: 

http://www.kogaionon.com/ro/recenzii-kogaionon/kauan-kuu  

Also form Avantgarde Music I received a pretty interesting material, the Portuguese band BEFORE THE RAIN, which mixes influences of PARADISE LOST and KATATONIA with modern beats, percussion and Post-Rock influences. The album bares a persistent Doom Dark Metal touch but the vocals sound too bland for me. I would have liked to here a more powerful, expressive voice. Good thing they had Peter Bjargo as guest on the album, so the music reminds me a little bit of The Foreshadowing. 

From Russia, we have ABSTRACT SPIRIT, a band who plays a very exquisite type Funeral Doom Metal, in the vein of EA, SKEPTICISM, COLOSSEUM or SATURNUS. I really enjoyed of third album of this Moscow group and I’m recommending it to you. I didn’t like at all HEAVY LORD, even though their Stoner/Doom/Sludge approach seemed interesting at first. I got the same to say for the rare track collection from FUNERAL, I was hoping I’d find more expressivity at work there. It’s clear we’re not talking about a conceptual album, but of 9 tracks cherry picked from the band’s 15 year history – some sort of bad FUNERAL mix. It’s probably attractive for the devoted Doom fans, but even tough the songs have been remastered last year, they didn’t manage to convince me at all. To be noted that the digipack will be released in 999 copies therefore it might score a rapid sold-out! NIGTH OF SUICIDE bring us a new Funeral Doom Metal material, a pretty slow one, with some slight MY DYING BRIDE/ OFFICIUM TRIESTE similarities. The 4 tracks are quite long (each one has more than 10 minutes), which will probably be making very happy the fans of Dark Metal. I wasn’t blown away but it was a decent listen. For the fans of SAINT VITUS and PENTAGRAM, an option would be listening to the debut album of the Italians FANGTOOTH. To me this project seemed to lack any personality whatsoever. 

A spectacular EP comes from the Americans FROM OCEANS TO AUTUMN, which offers the listener a mix between ISIS and EARTH structured on Shoegaze, Post-Rock and Heavy Metal elements. All this combined, forge in just 20 minutes (2 tracks) an intelligent sample of modern Post Metal. From what I’ve gathered they already have two albums out, and their history is related to the project AUTUMN IS FOREVER. I can’t wait for the new album “Oath of Eternals” to come out. 

So not to jump off track, here come the Brits of CLOACA. Their 5 tracks taken from “Lassitute” make up 75 minutes of individual music. This album is about Ambient, Experimental, Post Metal and will certainly be a treat for fans of GODFLESH, JESU, NEUROSIS, ATAVIST, PELICAN or CULT OF LUNA. Their Dark Metal, served with Electronic and Industrial insertions, but based on a grave and hypnotic groove, proves once and for all that the five piece is experimenting on an old SWANS skeleton but in a more violent way. 

AZALIA SNAILS is a new name to me, but they have dozens of albums out and have been making music for 20 years. Their approach is a Pop based one with some Indie influences, but all in all dominated by a mysterious aura. Their album sounds very interesting so far, to be recommended to those who like weird stuff. From Silber Records, I also discovered another strange project, ELECTRIC BRIDE NOISE, a band with a cinematic approach, developed intelligently by inserting some DarkWave, Post-Rock and even Blues passages. This mix makes this CD a very interesting, cosmopolitan and varied album. I haven’t heard anything like this before (it feels like I’m watching Twin Peaks) and Brian Lea McKenzie’s projects seems to have taken root in my brain (DEAD CUT TREE, VLOR, SOMETHING ABOUT VAMPIRES AND SLUTS). 

IN FLAMES, too, have a new album out, dedicated exclusively to the fans. I was never a big follower of this ……Melodic Death Metal music (executed skillfully I have to reckon) so maybe that’s why I’m not very excited about this release. Well, all their releases are built upon the same structure; they never bring something new, experimental, avant-garde. This classic approach is killing me. I never had a thing for DARK TRANQUILLITY either, so this bands come from another planet for me. Maybe it’s a good thing that these bands actually exist, because they have so many fans. But they are too Heavy and Melodic, and not Death Metal at all. 

About THURISAZ I did not hear any news in a while, I thought they broke up. I think they had 2 albums out, following the Melodic Death Metal path while trying to break off a little on the Black Metal and Doom Metal one. Their new material continues what they already started; I’ve noticed some extra interludes and some Technical and Progressive passages. But they are still Melodic or Atmospheric Metal. Nothing new, nothing to wrong, but that’s about it. 

A few years ago I saw ARKONA live and I found their music to be quite pleasing in sound, but now they either completely stepped into the White Folk Metal camp, or I’m just too sick of this happy little ethnic thing they have going on. The new EP will might as well please the fans, but for me ARKONA is now completely boring. I can say the same for TYR or ALESTORM, they are bands who bring it the crowds and easily sell thousand of albums. Their new accomplishments are as jumpy and as epic as ever, but to my ears completely dull and repetitive. 

TOMBS surprises us with a long awaited album, an explosive one, but the Hardcore, Post-Punk, Metal and Experimental mix hasn’t managed to penetrate my awareness. Maybe if they’d skip the Hardcore bits, the tracks would be more easily digested. 

Prophecy Productions brings two new things out in the open: SOL INVICTUS a cult band for the NeoFolk scene, a long awaited album from which I’ve managed to listen to a few songs the past year or so and HEKATE a very appreciated band in Germany. I was expecting Tony’s album to be a major sell-out, and I think Axel’s new material will be a surprise for a lot of people, because the HAKATE songs are very different, ranging from Heathen to Pagan Acoustic, with ORDO ROSARIUS EQUILIBRIO influences and other ambient bits. By far, it’s the best HEKATE album to date. 

An Etheral/NeoFolk project comes from the CAMERTA MADIOLANESE vocalist – Daniela Bedeski and is entitled ROSA RUBEO. The music is build around the expressive and wonderful female vocals but the final product seems to be missing something – it’s probably the frailness and emotion of this particular music style that needs to be complemented with some more dynamic elements. Otherwise we just have another LORENNA Mc KENNITT or ENYA. Not far from the Italian project, lands EVI VINE, a band that works with a superb crystalline voice, who just released an album full of warmth and melancholy. Destined for the fans of calm, meditative music. 

From Switzerland I have just discovered a new very interesting Post-Rock band exactly to my liking: KOVLO. They have three albums out and the last seems to be very well structured and executed. MONO, JAKOB, THIS WILL DESTROY YOU, CECILIA::EYES or EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY enthusiasts will discover in KOVLO a really inspired approach for a relaxed, introspective audition. Their Post-Rock blends with Experimental and some background voice-overs taken from different movies. Quite an interesting project! 

A STORM OF LIGHT is some sort of all star band, being connected with: NEUROSIS, BATTLE OF MICE, RED SPAROWES, THE BOOK OF KNOTS, TOMBS, and last but not least SOUNDGARDEN. Their particular form of Atmospheric Metal doesn’t seem bad at all, you can point out the different inspiration it has, and the artists are doing a good job at it, constructing a very original and diverse sound. 

Going back to something more aggressive, I found to be interesting 66 CRUSHER (Progressive Metal) and AENAON (Greek Avant-Garde Metal very well done). DJERV debut consists of a mix of genders who’s not exactly my cup of tea (Punk Metal?), HAEMORRHAGE, ROTTEN SOUND each have a very extreme and brutal albums out, ranging from Grindcore and Gore to pretty sick Death Metal, OBSCURA spawns a very professional new album, very Technical, DOCTOR MIDNIGHT&MERCY CULT are promoting a Metal/Rock blend which I can hardly understand (a more evil clone of M. MANSON), LEGIONES have released two very intriguing, dark but brutal tracks in comparison with  their other albums – which are only good for archiving.  

I’ve rambled way too much again and it’s time I finished. In a few days I’ll visit Timisoara to see what’s the status of the debut album from DORDEDUH and I might come back with some interesting details. I also have to discuss with Alex of Beauty of Pain about his accessory parade. 

Anyway, I’ve been listening lately to a lot of new songs of bands dear to my heart, about which I will be able to talk (I hope) in my next Editorial: 

INDIAN FALL have a new drummer and are focusing their efforts into recording a new material, I hope they will continue following the avant-garde path and not the brutal, overly aggressive one. 

SYVEN will have it’s first record out on Vendlus Records in a couple of days, I recommend this material from the bottom of my heart, it’s a real musical jewel. I will be publishing a review on it soon. 

TRIARII are preparing their new “Exile” album which is almost done (I’m very curious to see what sort of Martial, Christian has in store for us). The same goes of KWOON who will be launching a new EP, THEODOR BASTARD are working on a new album too, STATURNUS are almost done with their long awaited CD (I hope they find a competent label), WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM will be bringing out in autumn a new innovative piece of Black Metal – I hope it’s just as good as the latest ALTAR OF PLAGUES (the best Black Metal album of the year so far!!!!), TENHI has the green light for their new stuff, DARKSPACE is working hard on their new Cosmic Black Metal chapter, ARCANA has a lot of finished tracks, I hope they will come out soon, SEVENTH HARMONIC will be releasing a new album, NARSILION have out something new as well (in the Medieval Neofolk vein) coming this month, ROME has 2 tracks out, which will be followed by an full-length at the beginning of the year. DRACONIAN unleashing their new compositions in 3 months. LES DISCRETS and ALCEST will surprise the fans with new albums in the fall,  so are LANTOS, VINTERRIKET who have just finished mixing the new album, SAGITTARIUS will have a new album soon, as well as ROSE ROVINE E AMANTI. There is plenty to look forward to! 

I will put a stop here. Even if sometimes I’d like to simply my existence, it seems that all I end up doing is complicating things even more: first it was Kogaionon, then DonisArt (and the Special Evening concept), then it was Dark Bombastic Evening and now I just launched Kruna…There’re still a lot of ideas, but resources are getting quite dry. The forms are still in place and part of same background and all is for a single cause: quality Underground Music. All this makes for a strange life style maybe, but for unconditional determination and free will as well. 

All is good and cool I wish upon you! 

Doru 

P.S. I’ve recently seen a cultural TV show where an editor in chief from Humanitas was explaing that the Internet is the black hole of modern days. We just stop choosing the real way to live and abandon ourselves into the virtual one. Nothing new here on this topic, I would like to write and receive letters form bands, like it happened 20 years ago. Although I’d find it exaggerated to ignore the possibility of getting a fast urgent answer from a friend, and wait 2 weeks for an answer instead, if all goes well, and none of the letters go missing. Particularizing the subject of course a book has its unique aroma but in time even the iPod tablets will become a functional and safe alternative….the catch is not to become psychiatry patients, like the study above shows. We’ll have Niklas/SHINING all over our foreheads. 

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