Heavy Days in Doom Town
Text and photos by Astrid Tonella
The second day of the fest was taking place at the famous Ungdomshuset, the headquarters of the punk/hardcore/crust scene. This unique venue disposes of two stages. A small stage, Dödsmaskinen, was decorated for the occasion in the spirit of Baba Yaga, with pines and tree branches and a bigger stage, where the artwork of the different artists invited were also displayed. I was really stoked about the second day, because there were quite a lot of bands I was dying to see.
The first band in my program was Pilgrim. I had actually heard a lot about these guys, but never get the chance to listen to them, so seeing their show was a bit of an experiment for me. The young Rhode Island trio hits the main stage and starts playing – it’s quite traditional doom metal with a vintage touch in the spirit of Saint Vitus and Black Sabbath. Nothing original there, but they got the basics right for a band that only has been around for barely two years. The riffs are slow and pounding, the vocals are haunting, and it really does the trick. Unfortunately, I only got to see half of their set, because Aguirre was about the play at Dödsmaskinen, but this is definitely a band I will keep an eye on, and I am curious to see which direction the band is gonna take in the next few years.
It is now 8pm, and Aguirre is gonna take the stage. I was really looking forward to seeing my fellow countrymen play as their two full-lengths, especially “Fatalitas,” which really seduced me. The band starts to play in front of a room filled to a medium capacity, with barely any light. I got a bit stressed out, because it meant taking pics was gonna be a challenge. Despite that issue, I started enjoying myself as soon as they started. The band played with a lot of energy, despite a crowd that was a bit dumbfounded. At that point, I was thinking, this is what I came here for – to see some pissed-off and dirty acts, and Aguirre really answered my expectations. Their riffs are fat and punishing, and Matthieu’s harsh voice really gives it that dirty sludge touch. After a while, the room is filling up and the band started to own the stage, throwing beer at each other. Then came their song “Besse,” absolutely killer, which probably seduced more than one audience member. A few songs left and it’s already the end of the set. I wish they played a little longer, but that show was a real slap in the face, I’m glad I didn’t miss out on it and Aguirre is definitely a band I’m looking forward to see again!
Right after that, no break to collect myself, I’m heading to the main stage to see Devil play. Damn, I’ve been longing to see this band since they realized their demo “Magister Mundi Xum.” After skipping their set at Roadburn, there was no way I was gonna miss them again.
The band starts with a couple of songs from their full-length, which I am not too familiar with, but after a while, some enthusiasts asked the band to play the songs from their demo. That’s when the beast was unleashed! It was inevitable; I mean, songs like “Time to Repent,” “Spirit of the Cult” or “I made a Pact” are really made for sing-alongs. There is nothing truly original about Devil’s sound, but what makes it work is their ability to make a connection with their audience and their sincerity when they play. All in all, a very good show and good atmosphere – I think these Norwegian dudes should visit Denmark more often!
Shortly after, it was time to let Jex Thoth enter the stage. I took my precautions in order to get a good spot, as I knew many people were looking forward to seeing her, despite Sleep playing the same night in another venue. As I was waiting for the show to start, I realized I was standing between a bunch of real fans, and the Swedish girl next to me confessed she was about to see them for the 17th time! Even though I never got the chance to see the band live, there was no doubt it was gonna be a good show and a delight to photograph. What to say really, except that Jex is a hell of a showwoman. The band starts with the occult track “The Banishment,” and coming last on stage, she imposes her presence right away, putting a spell on her public. The atmosphere is very retro 70’s occult rock, with a hint of psychedelic here and there. The whole performance is very theatrical, and stagecraft is definitely a key element in Jex’s universe. She really dominates the show and you can’t be anything but seduced by her flawless voice and her incredible charisma, if you decide to play the game. Songs go by, and we even got to appreciate the now famous “Seperated at Birth” or “Son of Yule.” After an brief encore, you could see a lots of happy faces leaving the room. A must-see.
Stay tuned for Heavy Days in Doom Town Day Three…