June 2007

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon Editorials

Salutes... leaving ones!

Why?

Some would say because the Summer's alive and this means open time for vacations, sabbaticals...yes, everything is about to leave, all seems to get closer to the end: no more football (leagues, championships, cup), the parliamentarians are leaving too, pupils and students still have some exam obstacles but school is almost over, so just the most unlucky of them won't reach maximum happiness immediately, but they'll also evade in just a few days... the more worried ones (having families and jobs) are already fantasizing about the Bulgarian pools they'll proudly populate soon... many say that the Romanian offer is too expensive and out of trend...so I can move my eyes down on the map, towards Turks and Greeks where are incomparable attendances, lower prices, earthly heaven... this way our seaside transforms into a serene and relaxing oasis, therefore a more and more inspired choice to made...

Well, there's also time for leaving towards concerts alike the ones in Germany, Holland, Hungary... where hundreds of bands will perform for their fans, in a metallic mixture of beer, barbeque and other elative flavours...in a perfect ambiance...

Others might think it's just the right time for leaving to Europe or somewhere else in the world in order to make some extra money... especially that there's summertime ... some will leave to do some more buildings abroad...or to diligently pick the strawberries perfumed with worn out euros...

There is a "leaving" of my own too, and it embraces an inner journey, atypical for this time of the year, enlivening a converse feeling, of bleakness...why is it so?

MAYBE because the true Master of rhetoric found his way into leaving this world of ours, the one person that I never had the courage to meet face to face, even though I was given the opportunity to do so...I used to believe that I knew him throughout his writings and that would suffice me...did it? ... you can find some solitary thoughts regarding Octavian Paler in the ARTICLES section on my site.

MAYBE it's all due to the fact that one of my all time favourite bands ever decided to leave this Metal scene! It's hatefully sad: ARCTURUS does no longer exist, they've broken up! There will be no comfort into knowing that I'll be able to see Hellhammer filling his time with tours alongside the commercial DIMMU BORGIR? Just the insipid continuous run for money! Well, there's nothing to do about it! Hurry up and buy yourselves the DVD released by Seasons of Mist, with the unforgettable evening concert in Oslo, in front of a far too modest audience, but where Simen&Co have done a great show! Also, read the review I've done for a special album, created by a band that tries to imitate the well-known Norwegian band...it is named QUADRIVIUM and I'm astounded that no label has hurried into offering them support!

MAYBE, it is all determined by my recollection of the void left by the leaving of the genius Quorthon! Maybe that's the exact reason for which you'll find on top of my current playlist, the one album I've always consider the best! I've truly missed BATHORY!

And there might be many more MAYBEs but I finally realize that it is solely an inner issue...

Well, since we've started to talk about vacations, a particular form of leaving, let me tell you how does it feel to go by air, as last weekend I had to accept an invitation towards a sunny, some would say exotic, island...I was really unmoved by all the prehistorically rocks smartly dignified by light spots and other professional marketing touches... Being on plane, I've realized the punishment within two whole hours of complete deprivation of my music, as I had to listen solely to the house/dance/latino drones squeezing through the passengers head-phones or ipods... For over ten years, I've caressed myself, as I've spent all my travelling time in my car, with my music and within my solitude, so now I could only horripilately ascertain the frustration of not having the elements for which my inner comfort yearns... Moreover, there was no phone too and no socializing mood, so I found myself in the position of searching for relaxation into the air holes and on the custom display that encouragingly shown me the altitude, the temperature outside (tens of degrees below zero) and the remaining distance in order to reach destination... useless to mention how mobilizing and motivating the preparation movie was: how to put my oxygen mask on, how to use my rescue vest on in case of need...not even the programmed stewardess's smile succeeded into dissipating my regret of not being able to listen to some precious sonorities of mine, ones certainly atypical for everyone else on that charter. I couldn't read, nor sleep so I've entered a state of controlled absence for over two hours and only the passengers' applauses celebrating the landing brought myself back to me and to reality. What did that state of controlled absence mean? I was trying to set an imaginary bridge between the salt packet standing on the table in front of me (along the other aliments in the classic catering service) and its source, the place where it is extracted from. One week before, I went with my family at Praid saline and we spent there a couple of hours in order to refresh our breathing... An interesting thing happened; being down there, at some hundred metres under ground, an electric breakdown occurred for some seconds... just enough to induce panic attacks and screams all around... darkness ruled, the acoustic within was tremendous, as for security, it was just a feeling to be searched into that cave/mine cause no one had it anymore... fortunately, some lights started to loom, I figured they came from the mobile phones' displays...well, they were quite refreshing items until the electric problem was solved and we returned to light... You can imagine the interesting associations my mind bridged between the air holes and the electric breakdown...a true controlled absence... It's not the first time I go by air, I cannot say I fear flying but, despite being considered the most secure transporting nowadays, it's awfully frustrating to lack a steering wheel, at least a plastic, toy like one (or maybe half of it as the pilots have) and an apparent pedal allowing you to enliven the illusion of being in control... especially that the sole way to ignore those turbulences is to put the lifebelt on... it is beautiful up there, but safer down here... I do not want to enter another dimension, so I delude myself that all depends on will and habit...

OK. I'll end the leaving theme for now and I'll return to the suffocating summer time and to the new acts presented on this underground Metal/Ambient scene. First of all, I thought it would be the right time for me to add some new reviews on my site, all extracted from the playlists I've accustomed you to. As always, I've chosen the best ones and I've simply spoken my thoughts regarding them, without involving any cheep compromises regarding obligations or sullen moods. But you know, I always smile when I spot in the dedicated press more and more chronics done for certain advantages and not pure interest, or for the simple fascination of being able to write some rows about them.

I am truly glad to announce you that AD OMBRA will soon release the debut album, "Rites Of Genesis", under the banner of the Polish label War Office Propaganda... You can already enjoy some tracks on the band's my.space page (www.myspace.com/adombra) and I can tell you they're far more symphonic as the ones on the debut CDM (you can read the review I've done one year ago)...It all started with an Orchestral Classical uncovering Gothic scents, yet now AD OMBRA presents an Industrial Orchestral approach, with opera voices included... less theatrical, but more melodic and accessible, with an excellent feminine voice, AD OMBRA creates high expectations! I can't wait to get to listen to the full release of George D. Stanciulescu, as he will surely bring to light a new work saturated in abstract musical elitism!

Let's get to the current playlist, June/July one; I can disclose you that after listening and relistening BATHORY, I've discovered a hallucinating SHINING, one that I'd really like to see live in Romania, maybe at Maximum Rock, why not? Emil from Corvus Records announced me for quite some time now that he's about to release two new materials and he has done his work: KAYNO YESNO SLONCE outdid himself this time, while the Finish NEST casts me in the same abstract universe, dominated by kantele - that bizarre and beautiful instrument; FORTID presents a second chapter full of light and shade and truly melodious; KORPIKLAANI continues into amazing me as they release one album a year and the created Folk Metal is not quite simple; Lars Jensen's (MYRKGRAV) SWORN has a pale debut, yet uncovering a remarkable last track (a genuine modern Norse Black Metal); OCTAVIA SPERATI proves that quality Gothic Doom Metal can still be created in Norway, even if it consist in four women and one man; DWELLING throws us into a fascinating Neo - Classical realm, while GRAVELAND continues to release one album after another, all lacked in that long awaited glimpse of inspiration; AMATRIS shows that they are able to perform quality Gothic Metal without tormenting into conceiving something original; FJOERGYN holds on the same Experimental Black Gothic Metal approach that intrigues and confuses the listener, but we are dealing with an interesting sound in the end; LORD AGHEROS transforms his project into a journey along several bombastic musical styles; DARKESTRAH comes from a weird country and unveils a magnificent Black Metal album; the Bulgarian SHRINE hasn't enlightened me yet regarding the sort of Ambient Industrial they're performing, but I admit I didn't have the needed time to assimilate it completely; NOCTURNO CULTO releases a ravishing CD + DVD, not necessarily in what concerns the music, but surely as presentation form; KATATONIA brings a new EP and a DVD + CD with the concert done last year in Germany, and it might be considered a good choice for reaching relaxation. The playlist is pretty abundant and diverse, so be my guests and discover yourselves the rest of the albums...

Another important aspect to consider is the Artmania festival, scheduled for 15 - 17 of June at Sibiu, where you'll be able to enjoy live some bands that were solely a dream for Romania's live scene a couple of years ago: MY DYING BRIDE, HAGGARD or THE GATHERING. I wonder how come KATATONIA is not on the list, as the headlines also confirm WITHIN TEMPTATION's participation, alongside AFTER FOREVER, ANATHEMA or TAROT. There will be at least two interesting evenings (plus the acoustic ANATHEMA evening at Cisnadioara) and I promise I'll share you my story about this festival somewhere in the autumn... Sure, there's no way for me to pass over another festival, the one that will be yield in August at Cluj-Napoca, and where ORPHANED LAND will perform again...brimming us with joy, at least the same as they've done last year...

I have no idea how many of you found any interest for my contradictory semantic of the verb "to leave", the key theme for this very editorial, but if you succeeded into understanding my thoughts, there must be still some resonance left between us. If not, it simply means that I haven't been explicit enough or maybe I've reached an uninteresting subject...maybe due to the heat outside, the burning sun or the tightly fit décolletages peered by tanned complexions posted/gladly spotted all around, depending on the amount of consumed beer, filtered and decanted by some of us.

Maybe autumn will bring us better albums or some long awaited ones, as the new WINDS or the re-completed LIMBONIC ART... or, who knows what underground cannons will take us aback... Until August/September, cool days, serene nights, maximum hydration and plenty of music at choice...

June 2007