Abattoir's Concert Hunt - Round 33 & 34 (Concert Review)
Round 33 : Stoned Jesus, VOVK (02.10.2019 - Zagreb/Croatia) --> Venue: Vintage Industrial Bar
It was just around the same time, at the same place/venue, a year ago that I saw Stoned Jesus live for the very first time. These Ukraine-based stoner doom rock/metal juggernauts have been touring actively in the last couple of years, so it's not really a coincidence seeing them again at same spot with the same timing (only one year apart). Why see them again? That first appearance was a very well-worked-out show and for me it was a pleasure to watch/listen to them up there, firing up and engaging the crowd that accepted them without any hesitation at all. Well, it didn't quite work out that well this time.
Before Stoned Jesus hit the stage, their fellow countrymen VOVK took care of the warm-up part. Musically speaking, this trio does have some things in common with Stoned Jesus's music. It's definitely not the same level of heaviness nor psychedelia, but they still brought a bit of a different approach to the table, combining various genres/subgenres (stoner rock, post-hardcore, math rock). On top of it all, they gave a convincing, fearless, and intense performance, which is what matters the most at the end of the day. This is something in which they surpassed their more recognizable successors, at least at this particular gig.
Of course, while I had seen Stoned Jesus for the first time one year earlier prior to this second attendance, I did have (rather) high expectations of what to see/hear and feel this second time, and I normally don't. The venue was filled to the maximum and the crowd was hyped as well. The band not so much, however, especially the frontman. Even though there was not much going wrong with their performance, a couple of songs into the set, guitarist/vocalist Igor Sydorenko started to complain about the smoking in the crowd. I'm not sure why exactly, but I think the issue was his sore throat or something close to this diagnosis. I didn't recognize it during the show, though. Of course, he asked politely in the first place, but his requests were not considered by some of the individuals (there is always someone, of course). Consequently, there was tension, some cursing, and a bad mood for his part. It's a dick move (not from him), but what can you do? It's a stupid, meaningless thing that unfortunately (mildly) impaired the overall impression of the show and the band's full potential for the performance itself.
Round 34 : Morne, Goragorja (05.10.2019 - Ljubljana/Slovenia) --> Venue: Klub Gromka
A couple of days later, back to the other side, this time checking out Boston-based sludge doomers Morne, with support from Slovene post-metal trio Goragorja. Even though the venue that hosted this event is one of the most visited ones on my regular "schedule", this was my first attendance there in 2019 (and also the only one, as it turned out in the end). Klub Gromka is also the smallest venue among all the ones I've ever been to (max. capacity of 60-70 people). Nevertheless, it brings out a special atmosphere, intimacy, and in some way closeness to the musical act.
Morne were touring through the whole continent without support groups, which on this particular occasion meant an opportunity for a "local" artist(s) to express its potential. And, luckily for me, the potential came at just about right time. It was an instrumental post-metal act by the name of Goragorja. Although they are not exactly categorized as "local", Slovenia is such a small country that everyone here could be considered local. This was my first time seeing them live and my first time listening to them at all. It was quite a revelation, especially considering how rare such bands are within our country. The impact was undeniable and I'm still grateful for this discovery.
Following a very exciting performance, specialized sludge doom bringers Morne had to make quite an impression up on the stage to improve on the whole picture of their predecessors. It kicked off intensely, with a half-hour-long setting/tuning up of the instruments... Well, it's really not that unusual for venues like this one. Despite being special in its own minimalist way, it does happen to bring out flaws when it comes to the quality and the setting of the overall sound. And it does happen quite often in this club that certain bands/musicians struggle with finding the right sound of their instrument(s). Even so, as I've pointed out a few times before, this is not something I would be pedantic about. It's just a matter of patience from my part.
Morne's latest album, To The Night Unknown, has made a solid impact, and that was one of the reasons I attended this event. In comparison, however, the show just didn't feel special in any particular way. There was nothing wrong with the guys, not with their execution or their commitment to the performance itself. I won't bother with the reasons too much; I guess my enthusiasm for their music has waned. All in all, it didn't turn out completely the way I had hoped in regard to Morne, but I was still lucky enough to catch my countrymen Goragorja in the end, who, on the other hand, did brighten the night as a very positive surprise.
||Written on 06.03.2020 by Attending all sorts of music events is my thing.|
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