Dutch Doom Days IX (Day 2) - Baroeg, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - Nov.7.2010
|Event:||Dutch Doom Days IX|
|Written by:||Jason W., Marcel Hubregtse, Deadsoulman|
Dutch Doom Days IX (Day 2) - Baroeg, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - Nov.7.2010 by Jason W. (39)
Dutch Doom Days IX (Day 1) - Baroeg, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - Nov.6.2010 by Jason W. (50)
Marcel: After at least eight hours of sleep and loads of coffee the doomed trio was ready for day 2. Day 1 had some great performances. Could day 2 live up to that? Looking at the billing it would be very hard.
Jason: Okay, so I really didn't want to talk to anyone that first hour after waking up. But, with the nearly bottomless pot of coffee offered by our temporary host, even my hunger was quelled. Of course, I was still already looking forward to a well-earned lunch later at the Chinese made-to-order place nearby, which yet again was overrun with Dutch Doom Days attendees this year .
Marcel: Nephthys are a Dutch band consisting of three women and one man, with the man handling drumming duties. Two of the three women handled vocal duties. When I see a woman on stage handling vocal duties for a doom band I start to tremble in fear cause 99 out of a 100 cases I run away from their vocals screaming because they lack the power needed. But of course there are exceptions, and lo and behold the main vocalist of Nephthys is such an exception. Hell, can she grunt. For reference think Runhild Gammelsæter of Thorr's Hammer. Unfortunately, the vocals by the bass player were of the powerless weak variety and at times off key. But hell, can she rumble her bass. Nephthys plays death doom with some melodic and, at times, sludgy touches. It was clear that this is a young band just starting out because they were extremely nervous and at times came across shy. Musically it was quite enjoyable, although being unfamiliar with their material I couldn't really get into it. Keyboard samples were used. If I were them I would use a real live keyboard player next time around. All in all enjoyable and a band I will keep an ear on.
Jason: The second day started off with the no frills performance of Nephthys. I'd liked the video for "Nightmares" that the band shot last year, with its horror-tinged approach, and was curious if they'd continued to progress that sound, considering they only have a demo - without that song - released. I found the raw singing of Geertje, who sounded better live than on the samples, to be as throaty as I'd expected. Bassist/vocalist Sil's singing was not as powerful as I'd hoped, yet she more than made up for it with strong bass work, while a mostly pleasant attitude of guitarist Loes made for an interesting mixture of emotions for me. I picked up the demo afterward, but I'm still looking out for some new recordings, as I feel they would better represent the band properly.
Marcel: Time for some pure sludge mixed with some stoner by Englanders Grimpen Mire. Apparently this was their first time playing live outside of the British isles. Having heard quite a few good stories about these guys I couldn't wait to see them at work.
Well, although this sort of doom is not everyone's cup of tea it went down quite well with most present. Not too original but some great Electric Wizard stoner sludge. Collin, especially enjoying their set, and I, being bludgeoned into submission, both of agreed that this was already one of the surprises of the festival. It's bands like this that make Dutch Doom Days such a great festival to attend. There's always something to be discovered, even by die hard doom fans.
Marcel: As some of you might remember at Dutch Doom Days 2008, Hooded Priest just didn't do it for me due to some "physical" problems. Well, here was my chance to redeem myself. Even though my physical state was now better than two years earlier it still wasn't in optimal form, but still good enough to objectively rate this performance by the band of which vocalist/Pagan Altar-mascot-look-alike Luther/Luce/Luuk and double bass player Otto are the focal points. First thing that struck all those present was the absence of Otto, so no double bass but just a regular electric bass. As Luther explained Otto had just become father and was therefore absent.
Okay, now to the music, Hooded Priest play traditional doom with loads of epic moments carried by the voice and stage antics of Luther. Luther is a front man who always gets the crowd going, and once again that was the case here. Musically it was all tightly played with Niklas' guitar playing at times bordering on thrash. So, extremely enjoyable and entertaining. Live certainly a treat.
Jason: I missed a few of their initial songs, but I'd made myself knowledgeable enough of their samples online to be able to immediately get into it, with their set leading to a purchase of their full-length. And with a vocalist like Luther, it's hard not to enjoy the show. He commands the stage, so much so I took no other pictures of the band but of him. From solemn to wild-eyed to powerful, anyone who appreciates dynamic singers who operate on their own plane would be well-advised to see Hooded Priest. Their occult-themed and energetic doom was enough to cleanse even my own mental cemetery for awhile. Yet another CD purchase for myself this weekend.
Marcel: Without a doubt Ocean Chief were the heaviest band of the weekend, making me flee from the main area in front of the stage to the bar. Where everything could still be heard extremely well and the bass still making my glass of beer tremble as if the St. Andreas Fault had decided to work its magic. Somehow this sort of extreme stoner never works live for me but always does its trick at home on the stereo. Judging from the people present Ocean Chief delivered the goods and more. According to quite a few present they were the highlight of the two days. Just not for me, unfortunately.
Jason: Usually not my style of metal, but as someone who's easily moved by atmosphere, Ocean Chief had me captivated throughout their set. It was Johan's synth work that I enjoyed the most, as it added an air of intrigue into the music which mostly would have drifted off into a slowly moving cloud without it. Really heavy, probably the only band that tested my ears with volume, but as a tribute to some great sound again for the second day at the Baroeg, it reached that threshold that's not damaging but instead overwhelming. I don't recall much separation between songs, but then again this is all about state of mind, which they certainly achieved.
Marcel: What can be said about Irish Rotterdoom favourites Mourning Beloveth? They were the last edition to the bill due to the fact Desire pulled out quite late. But then again their addition was no surprise since a couple of the band members would be attending this edition of Dutch Doom Days anyway.
Anyone who has seen Mourning Beloveth live knows what to expect. Great death doom with brilliant clean vocals courtesy of guitarist Frank Brennan alternating with Darren Moore's heartfelt grunts. From the first notes of "The Sickness" until the last notes of unexpected closer "The Weeping Song" these amiable Irishmen had the crowd in their power. Their allotted hour was over before anyone had noticed. Not flawlessly played but with passion and conviction unrivalled by many a band. The unplanned cover of Nick Cave's "The Weeping Song" showcasing why these guys are so loved in the doom scene. Due to incessant yelling from a couple of people in the crowd for them to play this cover the band decided to do it, even though the last time, and according to them at the time only time, they had played it was at Dublin Doom Day and hence they hadn't rehearsed it. Okay, it was sloppily played. But who cares when a band is willing to put themselves at risk for playing a song asked for by the audience?
One of the highlights of the weekend as my fellow Metal Stormers present can attest to.
Jason: Definitely one of the more anticipated bands for our Metal Storm contingent, they started right off with "The Sickness," with its instantly recognizable riff enough to make anyone listen. It did not take long for Darren to pour himself into his singing and expend everything he had left into the mic. With a mix of Brendan's quite active bass playing and Frank's stoic intensity on the guitar and singing, it easily made for a memorable first time seeing the guys live for me. Their addition of "The Weeping Song" was enough to make me search out the vinyl split with Wreck Of The Hesperus from them afterward, in which I was kindly sold the last one left of the weekend.
Marcel: Another stoner band to grace the stage. Japanese Eternal Elysium (even though the bass player didn't look Japanese) play an entirely different sort of stoner as compared to Ocean Chief. What they deliver is stoner clearly rooted in a Seventies sound with side steps to psychedelic music. Their songs are mostly stop go affairs never flowing freely but putting people on the wrong foot. Nicely grooving along to all of a sudden break out into extremely danceable music. Certainly not for everyone. But a nice break in proceedings due to their off the wall approach.
Jason: Probably my main disappointment was that I could not pick up their new CD afterward, as we were informed it would be available not long after their tour was over. Yukito had enough depth and interesting touches to his guitarwork that his solos are still some of my most remembered ones of the whole weekend. It felt like he could have made some up on stage and it would have been as great to hear as the rehearsed ones were, really. The band's presence was a bit obscure at times with not much lighting, but their music's bluesy interludes provided some non-visual entertainment, even if I much preferred when Yukito controlled the floor. The second day in Rotterdam had turned into the more diverse of the two for me.
Place Of Skulls:
Marcel: Place Of Skulls is of course a name familiar to all those worth their traditional doom weight. This band formed around Victor Griffin consisting of ex-members of Pentagram, Death Row, and Molly Hatchet, was just like headliner Revelation, a three piece. And just like them Place Of Skulls proved you can produce a huge sound with just one guitar on stage when you have a great rhythm section to back you. Lee Abney on bass and Tim Tomaselli on drums surely proved what an awesome rhythm section they form, they played as tight as, the proverbial, duck's ass and adding the oomph needed when Victor went off into one his many solos. Place Of Skulls proved this night that a doom band can be awesome just playing songs with a head and tail and a chorus. Backed by what might probably have been the best sound of the weekend they played a cross section of all four of their full lengths. Notable stand-out track was the Nina Simone cover "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" off their Nailed debut. Even though almost no-one was familiar with any of the new tracks, off As A Dog Returns, such as "The Maker" these tracks were received extremely well and didn't deviate from any of the other tracks played.
An awesome conclusion to a great weekend and what I personally regard as one of the best, if not best, gig I have seen in the last couple of years.
Jason: Right up there in the top of my choices for the weekend, Place Of Skulls left it all on the stage as the weekend's closing band. Their energy was only matched by the awesome sound, making me re-appreciate the band's material from a much heavier standpoint. The tracks off the freshly available "As A Dog Returns" fit seamlessly into the set, and while it is always hard to tell how perfectly newly heard songs are played, I can for sure say that it sounded like the guys had been playing them for years. A classy guitar solo style from Victor, a heartfelt yet determined bass performance from Lee, and Tim giving his all on the drums, Place Of Skulls had a timeless stage presence that could fit in any era of metal. An ideal finish to the weekend. Oh, and did I mention, another CD purchase to finish out the night?
Conclusion Day 2 and total weekend:
Marcel: Although day 2 consisted of some very good performances I found day 1 to be just a bit stronger due to the bigger variation in sorts of doom. But all in all Dutch Doom Days' organization proved for the ninth year running that they rightfully have their place on the international doom festival calendar and have a knack for putting together a varied and at times surprising doom package. So, you can be sure I will be present again next year. Not only due to the programming but also due to the immensely friendly atmosphere ever prevalent and once again showing that the doom scene is at times more like an international family than a scene consisting of egos.
To resume, personal highlights were Place Of Skulls, Revelation, Akelei, and looking back at it a couple of weeks later, Hooded Menace.
Jason: While Place Of Skulls had an immense finish to the weekend and ranks as one of my choices of this year's edition, I still feel that the first day of the weekend was the stronger of the two. The consecutive sets of My Silent Wake and Akelei really won me over, as together they managed to inspire that transcendental state of mind that I yearn for music to do for me with each listen. Many thanks to all those I had the pleasure to share a beer with and enjoy some cathartic doom metal with, and one that hopefully I'll meet again in the not so distant future.
Thanks go out to Felix Schoonen for the accreditations, the Baroeg regulars for the great time, Baroeg cooks for providing snacks on day 2 and last but not least MoL for having Jason, Collin and me stay over at his place and providing us on the Sunday with all the coffee needed to wake up and hence missing the start of the Feyenoord home match by doing so.
To return to the first day of doom over the world, click here:
Dutch Doom Days IX (Day 1) - Baroeg, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - Nov.6.2010
Disclaimer: All band photographs in this article are property of and ©Jason Wiesenbach, published for Metal Storm, released under for use under Creative Commons, "cc by-nc-sa."
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