The doors of Prague’s club Nová Chmelnice opened at 7 PM and after short break, the first band started.
AEONIAN SORROW of Gogo Malone (also check Luna Obscura) were the openers for the show, but simply, they were on pair with headliners Swallow the Sun and deserved more time on the stage and full set for sure not only five songs … Fourty five minutes were not enough for me.
AEONIAN SORROW is the perfect slow paced funeral doom from Greece/Finland with perfect mix of two vocals (female clean and growling for a man singer), slow downtuned guitar strumming, keyboards and enormous dose of heavy burdened, but so beautiful emotions. The project is sometimes compared to Sweden Draconian due vocals. Especially the vocal of Ville Rutanen had that effect on me and seemd identical. The vocal of Gogo (the heart of the project) is really amazing. It does not matter if it is during parts with lyrics or just lyricless singing. Ending of the song “Forever Misery” and its parts using (probably) some kind of falzetto and magical vibrato, you are just brought to another dimension and it had effect of siren’s singing to a sailors on me. The project has only one full length album but it is astonishingly good thanks the experience of musicians from other projects.
The second band was OCEANS OF SLUMBER. I did not checked this band and wanted to have a little surprise, but it maybe was not the best idea. I have to praise the seductive vocal of other female singer Cammie and showmanship of bass player Semir but I also have to say I enjoyed this band least. I am sure this modern sounding band would be better as the concert opener instead of AEONIAN SORROW, which fit the doom genre of headliner much better and are same with top notch quality. From OCEANS OF SLUMBER musically, I felt many times that parts of songs were kinda glued together. I lacked more emotions in solos, which sounded to me more as some scales practicing. Changing styles or more genres in song is not a problem to me, but it did not work for me here. I enjoyed mostly rough ones with á la black metal approch. Maybe next time its gonna be better. Of course it is just only my opinion and there were lots of fans who enjoyed the band fully.
It is no surpise most of us came for inhaling the magic of Finnish deppresive Sun Swallowers. SWALLOW THE SUN have played songs from all albums apart Ghosts of Loss and Hope with emphasis on the newest one “When a Shadow is Forced into the Light“ where the same named song also opened their concert. As a highlight I mark “Upon the Water” from the newest one and “Lost & Catatonic” from their spectacular trilogy Songs from and its first disk.
The sound was great and pushed it to people hard, tho not with excessive loudness. Bass was also nicely hearable as I like it. For one song Gogo Melone of AEONIAN SORROW borrowed her voice to support the guys. I also like the guys attitude of being calm stoic without an fancy mucho posing… Their music speaks for them. Some fans who also are interested in band members themselves could be in a shock when main member Juha Raivio changed guitar to a Les Paul with a portrait of his passed girlfriend Aleah “Starbridge” of Trees of Eternity. For me, that moment was like a sad stabbing in a heart. If it is only as a memory, or as a motivation to create captivating, dark and sad masterpieces, I do not know. And it does not probably matter anyways…
Whole club was filled with big damn ball of heavy emotions where melancholia dominated. It was enormous and perfect in some way as we realize, there are other with own pain and suffering, so we are not alone in this hard fight. Looking forward to see bands again.