DelftDoom - A Night Of Nautik Doom
|Written by:||Lucas, Marcel Hubregtse|
Lucas: It's the tenth of the tenth of '09 and Delft is readying itself for a truckload of Doom. Originally planned to be held in Breda, venue problems caused organiser Insania Events to flee to Delft. No problem, BredaDoom becomes DelftDoom, simple as that. Armed with tickets #1 and #2, Marcel and I marched towards the Floratheater to drench ourselves in (Nautik) Doom.
Floratheater turned out to actually be a theatre. Complete with dance floor, cosy seats and balcony. And those disco lights were perhaps a bit of a misjudgement too. A strange setting, but what was even stranger was that for the opening band only 45 people were present. Well, we're getting used to that (see: Warning gig), but it's still a bit of a disappointment every time.
Marcel: Due to a double booking of the venue in Breda where last year's edition was hosted proceedings shifted from Breda's Boulevard to Delft's Floratheater. Comparing this year's venue to last year's I can safely say that I prefer the venue in Delft, which indeed was a theatre, so with lots of seating possibilities but also enough room for people to stand in front of the stage and with a total capacity of just over 200 people I would say.
Seeing that the line-up this year consisted of Akelei, Shattered Hope, Mourning Dawn and Ahab I was pretty sure that we would see a healthy turn up of doomsters, but boy was I wrong, but actually not surprised seeing my previous experiences with the number of people showing up at Doom gigs in The Netherlands. All in all, this evening of varied doom just saw 75 paying visitors showing up (amongst them the everywhere around Europe present German doom aficionado Holger with friends.). Just 75, a crying shame that is. Well, for those who didn't show up, "well, you missed a great evening of doom"
Lucas: First up was the 'Post-Doom' of Akelei, a Dutch melancholic-tinted Doom band. Their combination of Post-Rock and Doom metal is quite refreshing, but it didn't seem like people were really getting into it. Their tragic, atmospheric and Dutch-languaged style was perhaps a bit too odd for most. Still, I found it very refreshing and a nice change of scenery in Doom's often oh-so-heavy vistas. The sound was good although the vocals were a bit too soft in the mix. Although, one could argue, this added to the slight ethereal vibe of the music.
Marcel: First up were Dutch melodic post rock doomsters Akelei and since two of the band members are from Delft this was some sort of home match for them. I have seen this band a couple of times live over the past two years and they do keep on getting better per gig.
Instrumentally tighter than ever and the third guitar coming across better than before as well. Where one would expect keyboards here the third guitar comes into play. By far the most melodic band of the evening with their dreamy spaced out doom. Unfortunately Misha's vocals were very low in the mix making them near impossible to decipher, which was a shame since they are in Dutch and quite poetic. All in all a good warm up for the rest of the evening.
Lucas: The Greek Doomsters of Shattered Hope were up next and besides being cool guys to talk to, they delivered a solid set of Death/Doom. Their faster parts were in my opinion better than the slower parts because of the increased intensity, but they played a dynamic set so there was no chance of boredom. And finally, a female keyboard player that does not feel the need to spoil the entire sound with massive walls of (misplaced) 'atmospheric' sound. Kudos! Jo a.k.a. Marquis stepped on stage too sing along for a track and his vocals blew those of the original Shattered Hope singer away. What a sick throat, a promise for what was too come with Mourning Dawn, where he took most of the vocal lines on as a guest vocalist.
Marcel: Hailing all the way from Greece Shattered Hope were up next. Having talked to guitarist Thanos and drummer George before the concert they said to be really psyched about playing here and the band certainly did show that. Death doom of a high calibre was poured out over the audience. Some clear influences from a band such as My Dying Bride could be heard but not to the extent that it became annoying. During "Vital Lie" the band was joined by Jo/Marquis of Ataraxie, Funeralium, Hyadningar, part time Mourning Dawn on vocals. His hysteric twisted vocals adding a creepy edge to the song. Marquis will also be guesting on Shattered Hope's upcoming full-length debut. Due to the guest vocals "Vital Lie" was the highpoint of the set for many people present. In conclusion: A great set of very good death doom which was elevated even more by the guest vocals.
Lucas: Jo didn't disappoint during the Shattered Hope gig, and he delivered together with Mourning Dawn as well. The regular vocalist of MD couldn't keep up with Jo, but he had throat issues (perhaps the reason for Jo's guest vocals in the first place?) so that was no surprise. The solid Extreme Black/Doom that MD presents was reminiscent of old Shining and Forgotten Tomb and, as I just said, very solid. Their full, thick whirlwind sound left no room for breath and when it washes over you, that's not really one of your primary concern either. A better gig than what I remember from the Dutch Doom Days VII edition, although the competition was a lot stiffer then.
Marcel: Had Marquis just guested with Shattered Hope now it was time for him to guest even more during Mourning Dawn's set. Unlike at last year's Dutch Doom Days where he did all the vocals here he did the largest part of them with Laurent handling quite some as well. Unfortunately Laurent suffered from throat problems due to a cold so his vocals didn't come across as well live today as on their latest album For The Fallen. Mourning Dawn was by far the most extreme doom band of tonight with their black doom which is quite reminiscent of old Shining old Deinonychus and old Forgotten Tomb. Tonight they were more extreme and a lot tighter than a year ago at the aforementioned Dutch Doom Days, so delivering an excellent set, which was appreciated by most, but not by all due to the extremity of the vocals. Extreme band on stage but quite soft-spoken and very amiable guys off stage. Great show just before the band most, if not all, people had come for.
Lucas: Even during Ahab the audience seemed a bit timid. Only at the end, when they played "The Hunt" with the impressive WHALE AHEAD group-chant, the crowd really started head banging. Well, I guess after all this really isn't the music style for that. Despite the lack of physical-movement-extravangancies, people were definitely enjoying the German Nautik Doomsters and their incredibly heavy riffs and sound. The initial 45-headed crowd had evolved into a 75-headed crowd by the time Ahab played their first tunes and that was once again really surprising. You'd expect a band like Ahab, with a brilliant new album under their belt and relative popularity in Doom circles too draw a much bigger crowd, but alas... Still, Ahab played a strong gig and didn't seem too bothered. A definite recommendation whenever they play one of their rare gigs.
Marcel: Ahab, probably one of the hottest bands in the funeral doom scene currently. After the much lauded Call Of The Wretched Sea in 2006 they released an even better received follow up with The Divinity Of Oceans earlier this year. It was apparent that most people had come for Ahab because now all of a sudden a small crowd formed in front of the stage standing instead of sitting in the theatre chairs, which was the case during the three earlier sets. Although the crowd seemed to appreciate Ahab more than the other bands I somehow was left behind very slightly disappointed. Not that it was bad but somehow I had expected something extraordinary, which, alas, didn't happen. Tightly played, good sound, well-executed, although the beginning of "Old Thunder" was sped up quite a bit when compared to the album version. A decent ordinary set is what I experienced. Still as enjoyable as floating in the ocean under a tropical sun with a cocktail in hand of course, but not as mind-blowing as I had hoped for. But judging from the crowd's reactions I was clearly in a minority on this one. At precisely midnight all proceedings came to a close, the crowd dispersing into the night, certainly having got their money's worth.
Lucas: After Ahab's final tunes it was back to reality. Organiser 'King' and I took the train back to Utrecht to crash at Marcel's place, while Marcel and the Mourning Dawn guys went back by car. As soon as we arrived at Marcel's place, beers were cracked open and Doom started playing (again). No food, but hey, who needs food when there's Doom and beer. ( )
Marcel: Back to everyday life and reality for the rest of us. Shattered Hope off to Alem where they were staying, Ahab staying in Delft, I think, Akelei to their respective towns all over The Netherlands and Mourning Dawn together with Stijn (Insaniaevents, organizer of Delftdoom), Lucas, and yours truly to Utrecht. Stijn and Lucas by train and the rest of us by car. A car journey which should normally take about an hour max now turned into an almost epic doom journey of about one and a half hours due to the highway's off-ramps to the city of Utrecht being blocked. Thankfully we arrived at our destination just before Stijn and Lucas arrived. Had some beers there, played some Griftegard, Capilla Ardiente, Count Raven and some other doom before hitting the sack.
Next day realizing I once again fucked up for I had forgot to get food the day before and since it was a Sunday no shops are open and some would only open at 4 p.m. I hope Mourning Dawn and Stijn didn't starve on their way to Ghent and Lucas survived going back home. So, a mea culpa is in order here. Sorry, guys, my mistake, I should have thought of getting food and not just beer. [Note by Lucas: no problem, happens to the best of us.]
Many thanks to Stijn of Insania Events for organizing the gig, Floratheater for providing the bartenders and all the bands that played for a good night.
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| Marcel Hubregtse
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