Mai 2011

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon Editorials

Breezy greetings!

Is it the weather or whatever other reasons, I have no clue... what's clear is that I feel more peaceful, more restored in that unscheduled, but occurred Sabbath. To me, the month of April was a calm one, from the concerts' point of view, I didn't attend any events, even though I wanted to go to at least two of them... but other mundane obligations kept me away.

Let's brush through the May events but also through the following ones, interesting ones, from my point of view and then I will return with details about album releases, for some are spectacular. Considering the abundant amount of CDs appearing every day, I'm trying to take them one by one, listen to them in peace, to make an overall idea. That is why I might not write about some right now, but if I will discover them later, I will return in the future editorials, maybe writing some reviews as well...

But before getting to the events, don't forget to click the “Play” button located on the right hand side of the screen in order to enter (at least theoretically) in resonance with the mood that persuaded me to write this new Editorial. It's a splendid track from the new TIDES FROM NEBULA album, which will officially appear one day after the Polish band's concert in Kulturhaus...

On the second of May I will be in Cluj Napoca to see another event organized by the friends from Hatework, this time in a great venue (same type as TSC from Bucharest). Euphoria Club is a former cinema hall elegantly arranged and with correct acoustics. The hall's advantage is that it also has an upper floor, so that you can also watch a “panoramic” concert... Hatework begins the 3 day long mini tour Monday afternoon, with ROTTING CHRIST as headliners, a show that should mobilize as much Transylvanians as possible, especially because the tickets are not expensive. The event deserves its money because you can also see OMNIUM GATHERUM, a beautiful Melodic Death Metal band. And go for a DE PROFUNDIS listening session as well, a band that has already played in Romania, their latest album being a good combination of Black, Death, Doom and some Progressive Metal. Iasi and Bucharest follows, I hope the organizers will manage to gather at least 1200-1500 fans in the 3 evenings!

http://www.kogaionon.com/ro/evenimente/concerte-rotting-christ-in-romania

On May 7th, the ones who have no desire or possibility to see AVA INFERI in Bucharest could choose Leo's offer, The Festival Of Dreams at Brasov! I was at Leo's birthday last year as well, who organized, in the same select and intimate Reduta hall, an edition subject to much talk, in different circles... that Searing Blaze sounded decent and Grimegod rose up fans from the comfortable seats, this didn't matter much! It was weird, if I could say so, to see Leo with one of his musical projects on stage... I don't think many people remember if his music was or wasn't interesting (even though the texts had beautiful landmarks), for Leo's stage behaviour overshadowed everything... to let himself get his head shaven on stage, meanwhile a song was played... and another to beat a piece of railway as a percussion instrument, heh... I saw people who laughed with tears, others vexed, astonished, even shocked... and almost everyone said after the concert that they have never seen anything like that... Yeah, that was last year!

Well, this time, Leo comes with another musical project, calmer and without desperate screams... but, as I know him well, he is surely preparing a live surprise, something that will amaze or even shock on stage... In the small festival's eve a young band from Brasov named QUANTIQ will step on stage, but also a project I have never heard of, it's the Italian band ONIRIC, a SPIRITUAL FRONT replica, but more Pop and somewhat more mainstream. The press release and the event's poster liberate a welcoming oasis, so let's see what's going to be on the 7th of May!

http://www.kogaionon.com/ro/evenimente/the-festival-of-dreams-brasov-7-mai-2011

The next day, on the 8th of May, I will arrive in Bucharest, in Kulturhaus, to see TIDES FROM NEBULA... The Poles are extremely talented in the area of Post-Rock and I expect some GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT fans to come! Even though they are not as jumpy and mainstream as the Irishmen who gathered a few hundreds of fans in TSC on the 12th of April, the 4 Poles play very well (congratulations Control Club for bringing GIAA and didn't smother the audience in your club, even though the ticket didn't have a modest price, 60 lei!). On the 9th of May the new official album is released, “Earthshine”, so it will be a perfect opportunity to purchase the CD from Kulturhaus. They will play in opening for RIVERSIDE, a famous Progressive band, both bands being brought to Bucharest by Twin Arts through a combination with the Polish Institute... I hope the overlap with the HAGGARD melomaniacs (who play in TSC) won't let Kulturhaus empty, on Europe's Day. But we speak of different fans and not of thousands ones, but a couple of hundreds! We shall see...

http://www.kogaionon.com/ro/evenimente/concert-in-romania-al-trupei-de-progressive-rock-riverside

I kept on writing about the theoretical possibility of seeing PRIMORDIAL in Bucharest and about that quite controversial organizer! Well, it seems that all financial and technical issues have been solved, so the Irishmen will play in Wings club on the 14th of May. They just released a new album which was incredibly well received by the worldwide specialized press. I must also take into account that the material was long awaited! PRIMORDIAL is a spectacular live band and the Bucharest concert should be a serious option for every Pagan Metal fan, new or old. Alan Averill, the band's vocal, is a veteran of the Metal scene and his voice is unmistakeable! So is his stage makeup, heh. But I assure you that you won't regret such a show, should you take on my recommendation. On the other hand, Florin Sandor seems to want to mind his own business, meaning that his last successful achievements (the concerts were held) were WATAIN/DESTROYER 666 and RAGNAROK. There are all the premises so this new next event will be held and I will attend the PRIMORDIAL concert hoping that I will spend a great Saturday. I know nothing about the opening bands; I hope I won’t have to stay until midnight to see the Irishmen at work. There is an announced schedule and I hope it will be regarded.

http://www.kogaionon.com/ro/evenimente/primordial-live-in-bucuresti-14-mai-club-wings

I might have gotten to DARK TRANQUILITY as well, I haven't seen them in Sibiu last year, but I won't be in the country, I think that Artmania will fill up the TSC club on May 19, for it's a serious and prestigious organizer in Romania. Personally, I think the ticket prices are rather high, especially in the actual economical situation and the abundance of bands visiting Romania, but it's been proven that Artmania managed to make the EPICA event sold out a couple of weeks ago, at an identical price! It's incredible what sacrifices Romanian Metal bands make to attend such events! All my respect!

http://www.kogaionon.com/ro/evenimente/dark-tranquillity-la-silver-church-pe-19-mai

It should be taken into account the event from the 24th of May, also from Bucharest, from TSC, where KATAKLYSM will destroy the brutal Death Metal fans' ears, a new Hatework landmark event!

http://www.kogaionon.com/ro/evenimente/kataklysm-in-romania-24-mai-silverchurch

And, at the end of the month, the veterans from GOD will hold a minitour in Romania, to present their latest album, and „call for their ancestors” in towns like: Cluj Napoca, Bucharest, Brasov, Bacau and of course, Iasi!

That would be the events of May that I recommend!

One Event comes on the 5th of June with a well chosen combination of bands, OPETH and KATATONIA. If they would put BLOODBATH, the ticket price would have been more accessible for many pockets. I find the 110 lei to be a rather spicy price, even though the 2 bands are top notch bands and it is known that they aren't easy to bring (financially speaking). I appreciate the organizer's courage and I wish that he manages to gather 2000 souls, especially because the event is on a Sunday... We might see a song played together in the end...

http://www.kogaionon.com/ro/evenimente/opeth-si-katatonia-in-premiera-pe-aceeasi-scena-in-romania-pe-5-iunie

After only 2 days (June 7th), I'm leaving to London to see a concert that can't be missed by a declared Post-Rock fan: MONO and the HOLY GROUND ORCHESTRA! The musician “Taka” assured me that it will be the same set list as in New York, so what we saw on DVD we will find in London as well.

Maybe I would have liked them to surprise me with a new song, but... it is what it is! No matter what, MONO is an outstanding band with landmark albums for most actual Post-Rock bands, exceptions being the colossal Godspeed You! Black Emperor and the now mainstream MOGWAI, who are just a bit durable than MONO...

http://www.kogaionon.com/en/events/one-inch-badge-and-tidal-shift-proudly-present-mono-and-the-holy-ground-orchestralive

On the 14th of June, under the DonisArt banner, in Kulturhaus, a Cult band of the Gothic genres will step on stage, with an over 25 years long history! Sam Rosenthal managed to convince DonisArt to give up the sabbatical half year for a rare concert and 100% fitted for a connoisseur audience. Maybe in the '90s I couldn't image a BLACK TAPE FOR A BLUE GIRL concert in Romania, even though I really wanted to see them play live, even then. The Americans accepted the invitation to play in Leipzig and they wanted very much to hold a concert in Romania, an already arranged thing... I hope their wish will be compensated by a receptive and open public to the new musical approach promoted by the 3. It’s not a secret that DonisArt tried several times in the last three years to bring the Americans to Romania, but the distance and the available time were serious and unmanageable issues. Even if it will be summer and during the week (probably exam session for some), I tend to believe that there will be a couple of souls gathered in Kulturhaus, especially because you can have a glass of whatever while watching the ROME concert from December 2008 from Brasov, the only occasion to view or review this event! It's a great honour and joy for DonisArt to be able to organize a BLACK TAPE FOR A BLUE GIRL concert in Bucharest and they hope something beautiful and at everyone's expectations will come out. It is the first event organized after a half year pause, maybe a good opportunity to have a talk with the Special Evening's old friends about what's going to be at DBE 3.

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

After a vacation I wish to be totally relaxing, I will get ready to leave to OST MOUNTAIN festival. Bands that should bring a serious amount of people have been announced, if I'm to refer to SAMAEL or KEEP OF KALESSIN. FEN are a truly remarkable choice and, from all attending bands (35, they say), I wish not to lose them. There will be DORNENREICH (acoustic version), WINTERHORDE and THE FORESHADOWING, interesting bands that know how to make a show. I might not see some of them, in case I organize something on July 22nd. For the ones interested in what DonisArt might bring on July 22nd, I can only say that it's not Metal, nor Neofolk, Ambient or Gothic and the event will be held close to Alba Iulia. It's likely I will confirm in maximum 2 weeks the eventual concert and I will know if I will miss the first day of OST or not.

As it seems, Mihnea & Co. want to make out of OST a redoubtable outdoor festival for Underground bands and that make me very happy, for we have no real local Metal festival. I hope that this year OST will gather a couple of hundreds of people compared to the last year's 200 and talk about an event of maximum interest for Romania... on this nice, of course... But in the promotion field it kind of suffers...there are 2 and half months left and the organizers haven't announced all participating bands! July is a difficult month, with already planned vacations and holidays, any event of this size should already have had the whole line-up announced! Let's hope that this kind of details would matter or influence something only in my mind!

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

Artmania comes in August with the festival which, this time, extends their line-up from 3 to 4 bands per night, this is really good news. I hope they will bring some bands closer to my taste and not necessarily very big ones... The idea with LACUNA COIL in Sibiu might be a good one only because of the band's vocal and her image, an element without the Italian musicians wouldn't get so high in charts... I heard some rumours about a possible action somewhere in Dumbrava, in the same days, for Underground fans, with extreme bands; it would be great and complimentary to the great recitals from the town's Great Market. Sibiu deserves something like that and Artmania could make much more, especially because it showed that a couple of times.

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

In the next weekend (August 19-20) DARK BOMBASTIC EVENING 3 comes... I named it a festival because it's easier to express and outline... we, actually, wish the event to be perceived and accepted as a simple unconditional platform, where the attendees become friends of the festival and who would spend a few days far from the daily worries and down forces, in a civilized and decent environment, enjoy the invited bands' concerts and the location's surroundings as well, meet friends (new or old) from all around the world, plus other interactive activities, with cultural prints or total relaxation... we have many ideas, but we suggested ourselves to follow the policy of small steps with this first outdoor edition, to get to know each other better and find out what are the needs and expectations. We allow ourselves to believe that the belief in the fair ideas we have and try to put into practice together will outline another dimension that has no connection with pragmatic or mainstream references, where the comparison criterion becomes an uninteresting topic. DonisArt doesn’t want DBE to become a mainstream event, suffocating or crowded, for it would have to depart from the free Underground Spirit and make all kind of compromises! Some consider that a festival is successful if many people come... We, DonisArt, consider that an event is successful if the attendees (musicians, artists, fans, spectators, the press, organizers) feel good, give their best and manage to escape normality... without counting the sold tickets or evaluate the accounting colour of profitability. Therefore, we have patience; we wish mutuality to be the key of the intended “success”.

Getting back to more tangible matters, I don't have much news to announce, for with new and newer details I will return around the event. Offered to the ones interested the opportunity of accommodation in Alba Iulia at an elegant hotel at favourable prices, will go and see how a festival in the RYMA area looks like on 21 May, and I also hope that then I will finalize other elements about the logistic and organizational details. I found out that Costica Chioreanu's graphic exhibition will have an exceptional soundtrack, Rune (AVA INFERI, AURA NOIR, ex-MAYHEM) being a member of the Where Purgatory Ends concept...

We officially released the final promo of the festival, we hope to have as many views as possible and shortly and exactly express what DonisArt wanted to transmit to DBE friends.

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

Of course that not only this event will capture fans' interest, there are unannounced scenarios (read the rumours) with PARADISE LOST, MY DYING BRIDE, DEVIN TOWNSEND... and, of course... ANATHEMA... but everything in its time. And this Autumn I expect to see dozens of various concerts, for every taste... So, raise money, the concert market doesn't seem to be affected by the worldwide recession, on the contrary! Curious thing is that the beverage market dropped with quite some percents... what does that mean? That the man comes to the concerts and takes is easier with beer or the classic juice? I was just asking myself, just like that, rhetorically... but it doesn't matter anymore!

There are important new releases announced, that might present interest for many of you: TENHI just finished recording the new album, KAUAN sent last month's master at the Avantgarde label (listen to a song here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0THbyOeN9I), ARCANA come up with a new material announced long before, but also with a new Peter Bjargo album (you can listen to a song here: http://soundcloud.com/peter-bj-rg/the-architecture-of-melancholy), SYVEN are waiting for their shamanic debut to be released (you can find my favourite track here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SToSQu0MBQ), ROME come up with a maxi single consisting of 2 new tracks, DRACONIAN release in June a new Doom Death Metal material (this time, the sound has incorporated a violin as well, a new track here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6GbV_UA6Jg), DORDEDUH are about to finish their debut ( I listened to their tracks in their studio and I can say that we're speaking of a real rock opera, details soon), ALCEST will come up with a new album (a new track played lately in Moscow can be followed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_nU6D1BZws), so are LES DISCRETS, who insist more upon Ambient Post-Rock, another kind of Slowdive (a short teaser here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcAQcdzoFdQ), VALI finished recording the new compositions, NARSILION releases a new Ethereal NeoFolk material, SAGITTARUS and ROSE ROVINE E AMANTI have finalized the recordings for the new songs, DIRTY GRANNY TALES started supporting the new theatrical concept called “Refection”, MY DYING BRIDE come with the long awaited “Evinta”, TRIARII prepare us a new Martial Industrial bomb (www.triarii.de), DARKSPACE hope to finish the new chapter until the Fall, MONUMENTUM keep threatening us with working hard at their album, they made a teaser in Winter... interesting times are announced!

Let’s get to the monthly Playlist, probably the second last one for this period, for during summer I don’t really find myself writing about music...

Once again, we have dozens of albums, many of them completely uninteresting, some attractive only as a band name and that's it... But we also have some interesting releases, about which we'll speak now...

From the outset, there's the re-edition of the French EVERY SILVER LINING HAS A CLOUD debuts, this time released at Projekt Records. It's about the same tracks, same album, only that the artwork is changed. Let's hope Sam will bring to the concert with BLACK TAPE some CDs to sell with this fantastic Romantic Post-Rock project! It's a remarkable collection piece, about which I already wrote here:

http://www.kogaionon.com/ro/recenzii-kogaionon/every-silver-lining-has-a-cloud-every-silver-lining-has-a-cloud

Still al Projekt the duo's ATRIUM ANIMAE album appears, in translation “The Soul's Gate”. The Italians took as landmark DEAD CAN DANCE's “Spleen And Ideal” and spectacularly march on the Neoclassical dimension, transforming their music into a desolate journey from a hopeless apocalyptic scenario... with symphonic strokes but also cleric ones, these ethereal sonorities could easily satisfy the cravings of the ones keen on STOA, ARVO PART or ARCANA. Superb!

PRIMORDIAL officially released their new material, an elaborated Pagan Metal that surprises the old fan with nothing new, but comes with a new dimension. The impressive epic, the sound is very catchy and melodic, outstandingly explosive, with prolonged guitar solos and much cymbal noise, just right for live moshpit! I don't know if it's more radiant than the previous one (at least as perception and atmosphere), but it will be surely rated as one of this year's best albums! A classic album, a cult band, a living legend! And Alan's voice, majestic and dominant, overflies and fills the glass, inserting the last drop of a warrior sound, liberating, typical to a nation seriously oppressed during history! The sum of voice inflexions might be anytime a lecture material for many vocalists of our days', for it sounds perfect! On the other hand, being exigent with the ones I require from much, I would have been happy to discover in PRIMORDIAL's sound other innovative elements, avantgardist, knowing that Alan listens to different sonorities, like ROME or TRIARII, for e.g... The “The Mouth Of Judas” sequence seems to me a track that develops a fascinating epic nostalgic aura, a kind of Metal ballad full of interior reverberations. The guitar riffs remind me of “Braveheart” or “The Last Mohican”...

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY come with a splendid album, the Post-Rock side being neatly used on this long, long awaited new chapter from these Americans musicians' history. As meditative, as nostalgic and melancholic! I can’t wait to see them in Dublin on the 16th of May!

KRALLICE released their third album, an extremely complex material based on a perfect balance between virtuosity and technique, recommended to WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM fans or ALTAR OF PLAGUES! Modern Fast and Technical Black Metal full of diverse influences, but perfectly executed!

Napalm Records return, after a long time, with an exceptional release, meaning the new KAMPFAR! The Norwegians don't bring anything new to the Heathen Pagan Metal scene, but the way the new songs sound leave you with the impression of a sensational album! I think the album will be considered a classic for these kinds of sounds and the band will enjoy an unexpected interest for the live apparitions! I don't find the new LEAVE'S EYES and MIDNATTSOL as inspiring, for the symphonic side suffocates more and more the old Doom Metal skeleton. Regarding the new VINTERSORG album, I don’t know what to say... from album to album they seem more and more faint, diluted, more repetitive...

Also from the Northern countries, from Sweden, the third YGGDRASIL album appears, a beautiful Pagan Metal, maybe the best from the talented Magnus Wohlfart entire musical activity. Searching and listening to the album is really worth it, it will be a pleasant journey for every atmospheric Metal fan, a MUST for Pagan/Folk/Viking fans! The sound of guitars confuses itself with the one of violins, the keyboard is well inserted, and the symphonic insertions are there, but discreetly, offering the listener the feeling of relaxation. In exchange, with DIBBUKIUM, this odd Yiddish Folk Metal, I don't think that Magnus & Co will convince many people... or... who knows...

Niklas finally sees his 7th album released, but at Spinefarm Records, after a failed attempt at Indie records. SHINING fans will be glad to listen to other influences in the Swedes's depressive Black Metal, along with some of Niklas's clean, substantial voice passages and some fantastic guitar solos! And for diversity to be maximal, you can year Peter of ARCANA's voice on a track that has nothing to do with Metal. And you have to carefully listen the album’s last sequence, “FFF”, that's really full of weird insertions, effects and various rumbles, '70s organ sound, somehow brought from another movie but which perfectly fits in the desolate landscape realized by Niklas. This track shows that SHINING is already prepared to cross into another lands and the avantgarde-experimental flavor gives me future very interesting albums’ hope, which surely will lose conservative fans in favor of other ones1

Season Of Mist come up with two fancy releases, one that copies by hard ORPHANED LAND, meaning the new ARKAN album and another one about which I've read only superlatives, the new SEPTIC FLESH. If I'm to relate myself to ARKAN, the traditional percussions and female voice are more present than in the past, giving it a strong Folk and Atmospheric note which, until now, it was dominated by the Melodic death Metal fury, with a strong and imposing growl. It's a more accessible album, more commercial, but with a specific trademark, too visible for the musicians’ African “pedigree”. It doesn’t sound bad at all, I really enjoyed the album's audition... at one moment, and I really thought lived once again the moments when I visited the African continent... Good thing there's plenty of Metal in the tracks’ structure.

As for SEPTIC FLESH...hmm... too many ideas, too different songs, we can't speak about a conceptual album, but of sequences gathered around from different films. The album has strength, it emits fantastic energy, it has passages that remind me of both early SEPTIC FLESH albums and the last released one, but... there is a but... a first audition might astonish, after more listenings, something breaks in between the tracks, we speak about different ideas... this time, I don’t see the stylistic version as a strong point... even though we have plenty of Black, Death and Gothic Metal... plus Philharmonic Orchestra of Prague!

An interesting chapter is represented by the reissues, Peaceville bragging with some collection CDs, like UNHOLY, EVOKEN, THORNS/EMPEROR or DODHEIMSGARD. Old albums reissued with slightly modified artwork, plus various bonus tracks which make the best of these apparitions.

The friends from Eastern Front sent me a CD with a completely unknown artist called SEADEM. I was more than pleasantly surprised to discover a splendid female voice which wonderfully folds upon a random NeoClassical construction. Listening to SEADEM's voice, my thoughts swing between TARJA and Ann-Mari (ARCANA), something that gives me the hope of hearing in the future of this talented French.

TIDES FROM NEBULA come with a clean Instrumental Post-Rock, very well executed and with much atmosphere... there are many passages with psychedelic touches (without putting accent on the percussion), some that remind a little of old SIGUR ROS (“Cemetary Of frozen Ships”), energetic rhythms in I LIKE TRAINS style (“Caravans”) and even with meditative shapes in EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY style (“The Fall Of Leviathan”). Although they don’t come up with anything new in this instrumental scene, the four Poles can offer with this album diversity to all MONO, CASPIAN or GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT fans.

On the Ethereal Pagan Folk side, the Hungarians from THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT accede with a new album, somewhat more expressive than the last one, with a slight more stylistic outline. The Lorenna McKennitt and DEAD CAN DANCE influences are too visible and this thing is liked by the ear. Agnes and Mihaly manage, with the new eight tracks, to get ahead of the previous 3 albums released in the last 7 years and to put together a charming material! This kind of music must be listened somewhere in nature, eventually in a thick forest!

FORGOTTEN TOMB return in force with a 6th Depressive Black Metal album, more commercial than ever, with an unmistakable style but with too many stylistic variations, touching alternative phases, grunge, even PARADISE LOST echoes. The atmosphere is very gothic indeed, good thing the growl parts keep the music away from less depressive territories! However, an album that you'd delightfully listen to, you can’t get bored... maybe just the pissed blackers might find it too rhythmic, they maybe preferring to listen to only identical brutal albums.

Still at AGONIA RECORDS an interesting Orthodox Black Metal appears (how does this sound, only my friend from GOD used to play such odd combinations hundreds of years ago, for now they sing about their ancestors, heh), the band is called AOSOTH and it's worth a couple of auditions... to colour up the brutality's landscape!

I've been trying hard for a while to understand the 2 long tracks of the long JOHAN WOLGANF PZOJ's project, but I didn't understand too much put of the presented avantgarde Black Metal (it reminded me of the old ENID)... It's not like it wouldn’t be tangled, but it also seems twisted... Not even AXIS OF PERDITION moved me like it used to; perhaps I should offer it more attention...

INSENSE presents us a new Metal album, as aggressive as technical, even with Progressive strokes... but also Metalcore... But, overall, death Metal is still the dominant style of the Norwegians’ music.

DEMONAZ officially released the solo debut, an album not far from IMMORTAL sonorities, but with a strong heathen/Norse trademark. It's an album recommended to BATHORY and why not, PRIMORDIAL fans!

PETTER CARLSEN returns with a too mainstream album for my ears, meaning that the Pop Rock rhythms have no clear deviations towards the Dark melancholic phases presented on the debut...

ALCEST enjoys the reissue of their old MCD in various collection editions, the 2 tracks being included both in the classic version and the rearranged one as well, where the sequences are way better heard. No one expected ALCEST to have so much success after they started playing live (first time in their history was in Bucharest, remember?) and the fans' interest towards Neige's previous releases exponentially grew! Therefore, bingo for the band and implicitly for Prophecy Productions, which offer to fans the most attractive combinations, as booklet and boxes...

Also the ones from Prophecy Productions come with A FOREST OF STARS and FINNR'S CANE, but I haven’t managed to make out much after a first audition. The first ones remind me a little of DORNENREICH, but the inserted violin in Black Metal's structure doesn’t seem to be a strong element and the vocals are rather random. The other ones mix up the Cascadian Black Metal with other modern phases and the result seems something noisy, hard to decipher. Maybe I didn’t have the right mood for these albums? I'll try them out again...

And ARMS AND SLEEPERS released a too soft album, seems to be lounge music, relaxing but not accompanied by a dark component... it's to rhythmic and pop, if not to call it mainstream... just the right music to run in a cocktail's background! I know they come again in Romania, I hope that live they'll have another perception... at least to me!

LES ACTEURS DE L’OMBRE PRODUCTIONS arrive with the reissue of a Fast Black Metal album from 2007 (for SATYRICON fans) and CULT OF ERINYES, a project that wishes to promote Ritualistic Black Metal, for BLOOD OF KINGU, WATAIN or SHING connoisseurs. The 2 materials don’t sound bad at all, but they don’t detach themselves from similar bands, that only play well.

I discovered with delay a group from Chile, called BAUDA. If you like TENHI or EMPYRIUM, I recommend you to listen this South American combination of Ambient with Black and Progressive Metal, the debut “Oniirica” being a very promising material for what should follow from Cesar's side, the project’s leader. You have here a famous video: http://vimeo.com/20396672?ab    

Let me get back to the idea of music/concert, actually one of my old anguishes that I don’t know if I got to express it coherently... It has to do with my religion called MUSIC and the fact that I find myself better in the term “muzicos” (how hilarious this might sound) than in the term religious... there are countries that respect the Underground musical culture (without being viewed as a religion) and where the public comes to the events to discover new bands, to see unknown bands’ potential that emanate beautiful energies, to find out what new or derived musical styles could be smartly put into practice... in other words, to be open and receptive for new... to support the cause, movement, intention...

A great deal of us, pragmatic, all-knowing but incredibly superficial, prefer the result and not the intention... we look for information and attend the concerts of the bands we know, titled, in fashion and where it's cool to mark our presence... or thanks to old memories that could awaken nostalgias. But let me develop a little these terms and their connection with music, or I will become a blogging examiner (or even more than that), convinced by the fact that my work is clearly done in the moment when I ask (myself) smart and truthful ideas, about things we might change, not only charismatically express them, if not in a cynical way... perhaps typical to Latinity...

PRAGMATIC because we’re interested in what we listen to, to search and go only to the great/well known bands’ concerts, eventually the ones at the mainstream's border or way beyond... and there's pragmatism indeed, for the ticket price is on the same verge, wagons of money, for sure!

ALL-KNOWING... because if we speak about Metal, for example, we know there are serious bands, that made and still make history, about which we know many details (lately, the worldly ones seem to present interest). These are the bands that mark both our adolescence and the after nostalgia, a facile and cozy paradigm in which we indulge ourselves with all our responsibility, frequently invoking daily obligations and lack of time... Moreover, as adolescence loses itself in the rear view of each's existence (even though we have the impression it’s not that far) “objects in mirror are closer than they appear”, we like to believe that we are more mature, more in control, more calculated/balanced, more responsible and the “once upon a time, I was a rocker with long hair, beard, studs and debauchery” age is over. So we limit ourselves to the band we discovered in those times, of “Gauss's bells” individually and we arouse the ambition to stay “in the true ones”, for almost everything that appears now was done way better some time ago, “in our times, we know it well”...

SUPERFICIAL because we might not have a too correct education towards the Underground spirit and movement, towards unknown quality bands which, without the public's help, remain completely anonymous and lose their motivation in time... Or even worse, accept the mainstream compromises to keep alive the band... for some musicians, this proved to be a successful receipt! Superficiality might be assimilated here even with self-sufficiency, and the pragmatism and all-knowledge being characteristics that completely fit and hermetically close a “malignant” circle without chances of change.

Perhaps that's why in Romania this quality Underground scene is much diluted, the interest is a pale one and the support, most of the time, a declarative one. We don't have the patience to seek, the disposition to discover, the pleasure to experiment and why not, the will to transform... we like to get everything done, to desperately run after the branding effect, to guide our existence and joys only through comparisons with the help of daily proximities! Truth has become a matter of time and not of essence and the semantics plays that card of form’s cheap justification and not the background's explanation. If it's good, if it's bad... each one with their own theory linked to the “live for your own self” semantic.

Let m not fall in the net of examiner-born moralists and let me mention that, despite the things written above, there are some supporters of the Underground cause, especially the ones who own clubs... Putting aside the financial aspect (it doesn’t have its purpose here), there are some clubs in Bucharest that really support (directly and indirectly) the Underground cause and I would like to mention here the ones from Underworld, Control, Kulturhaus, Wings and of course, The Silver Church. It’s good that these clubs exist and even though their schedule is a continuous mélange between cultural/artistic acts and existential compromise, events take place, concerts and that's great! Once that I will discover other clubs in the capital or in the country that are receptive and open to the ones written by me, I will gladly mention them in my future editorials. Let's hope to see more and more local bands that wish to make something great, to have inspiration and total determination so this Romanian Underground movement would catch wings... locations exist, the social-economical-political climate helps us to ignore it, the ideas exist as well...

And another small detail: I was reading in the last days that a prestigious Metal magazine opened a branch in Norway... but when exactly? Even today, when times lay under the internet, where every unprinted project is born without chances of survival... Ok, people would say: “heh, Norway, that's another thing, another culture”... yes, so it is... but can we count what nonmainstream music magazines exist in Romania? Except SUNETE, that wretched themselves to put a new issue, does any other name come to your mind? Not to me... and don't let us mention the fanzines... This is where we got after 20 years of freedom, where we all saw how Rocker, HMM or Maximum Rock disappeared from the stalls... it’s good that we have at least some specialized sites where we find out from one or another. And talking about the distribution of Underground Metal/Gothic accessories, all we have left are Alex/Beauty Of Pain and Titus/Bestial Distro... one focused on clothes and boots and the other one on CDs...

Could it be ignorance, superficiality, pragmatism or whatever else? Perhaps yes for some, no for others... I tend to believe that as long as there are chances to be optimistic, I will believe in that chance... just let me not become like Razvan Lucescu and affirm (for real but pathetically) that after each failure, chances still exist...and stay and watch again the Worldwide Championship on my room’s TV, instead of raising up a tricolor flag on Europe's stadiums', there, “between the elites”, where the European confrontations present maximum interest...while we are striving to get done in the summer our first stadium from the capital of European standards... And from here we can slowly slide, if we want to, towards a comparison with our shy nonmainstream festivals and the Romanians' interest only towards the ones from Europe, for “everything's professional there”. We like to say that “chocolate from Germany it's original, it has quality”, that it can’t be compared with ours... It might be a gram (or a ton) of truth in those sayings but we somehow learned to blarney everything from the outside and disregard what we have here. Could this be a reason why we don’t have a serious and quality Underground musical movement here? Rhetoric, of course...

This summer there are some tests (“provocations” sound too neutral for the Romanian's critical eye) and let's hope that in autumn we will look with much more understanding and interest at the local Underground Metal/Gothic/Ambient/Rock scene.

In the last 4 years, I’ve met many beautiful souls that want to make something for this Underground movement, no matter if it's artist, fan, spectator, press or organizer I believe they deserve more, I believe we all deserve more, that’s why I have the belief that things will get to move here as well (even at a snail's speed) in the right sense... especially when, year by year, more and more fans from Europe come to events from Romania, who show, teach and support us (in the most friendly and honest way) this movement... But my optimism blurts out and I tend to become ridiculous, like most of politicians and priests that got used to the idea that their noble cause is to live out of the contributors' money... Goof thing we have exceptions!

No matter what, after 20 years of supporting Underground music, I can say that I never intended to promote well known bands, big ones, that fill concerts halls and sell thousands of albums... despite the fact some of them became meanwhile big and congrats to them! I didn't do that in my once radio show (Antofagasta), nor in Kogaionon magazine (webzine, for a couple of years) and nor in the events organized under the DonisArt trademark... I don’t think these bands need my support and promotion, they render on another scale, where there are businessmen who know how to make it in a more pragmatic and efficient way than I would. We don’t speak there about Underground, but business, another Mary with another hat, which I respect, but it's not for me... Not when it’s about something I love, respect, breathe... It's more pleasant (but more difficult) to look for following simplicity, to watch things without conditions or more or less mercantile interests, even sneaky ones... I want to live in the way I resonate with everything that creates me physical and mental comfort... And it would be nice if my ego (sadly, sometimes exacerbated) wouldn't negatively affect the ones around me. I don’t have to make free socializations and prove that I’m an objective professional, equidistant or other different standard labels... The free and unconditional Underground spirit is a belief you feel, not impose on yourself! Maybe that’s why I keep having the belief that”...underground will never die!”

That would be my status at the end of April, beginning of May... I've been fancying for months the idea of re-founding my radio show, this time online, but I don’t have time or masters who would technically guide me towards a long abandoned project for veridical reasons, but inexplicable to my ego... an advice, a suggestion, a constructive remark in this direction wouldn’t hurt, on contrary, would complicate my existence even more (declared to be as simple as possible), but maybe I could help this Underground movement more to have as many functional engines as possible...

Oh, long editorial, maybe the audio track “caravans” was at fault... I hope we’ll hear, see and greet each other soon...

I wish you all a ‘’least working’’ first of May! The ones who will go on the 1st of May to Blind Guardian will definitely serve the homeland in a rocker's style!

April 27 2011