Twilight’s Embrace, Marche Funebre, The Infernal Sea & EYE OF SOLITUDE
Where: Lomax, Liverpool, UK
When: 31st January 2014
Once again, Liverpool based DeathWave Entertainment have put together another cracking line up of bands in a gig that was an absolute must for fans of the darker and heavier end of the Metal spectrum.
The evening’s proceedings were started by Twilight’s Embrace who played a fine mix of tracks from their growing arsenal releases. Heavily influenced by the likes of Swallow the Sun, Insomnium and the current wave of melodic-death-doom bands, this 5 piece from Nottingham ripped through a solid set, and demonstrated that their mixture of clean/growled vocals pitched against the heavy doom elements were really well judged, as were the atmospheric “rockier” sections of the tracks.
With each of the elements combined, Twilight’s Embrace formed a really enjoyable live experience, and one that I’d be happy to witness again.
Second on the bill were Marche Funebre. These guys normally play as a 5 piece, but their guitarist Peter was beset with some unfortunate news, and had to head back to the band’s native Belgium. A big shake up for the rest of the guys of course, but it was a challenge they were well up for. Having not had the chance to see these guys live before (as this was their first time in the UK), it was impossible to tell they were a man down – such was the conviction in their performance.
Coming across as a slightly more upbeat version of old school My Dying Bride, Marche Funbre’s sound is of course very heavy, as is usual for the Death-Doom genre but it’s littered with glimmering melodic sections that that aid in breaking up the dirge. The solid rhythm section of Boris (bass) and Dennis (drums) is backed up with a sterling guitar performance by Kurt who essentially had to fend for himself, and Arne makes an excellent front-man – not only in his vocal performance but also his genuine and likable on-stage banter. “Roots of Grief”, the title track of their latest release, was a highlight as the guys ramped up the power with a more Death metal vibe. A really good set from a great band.
So, this leads us to The Infernal Sea, who, i think its safe to say (and i don’t think they would disagree) were the “odd man out” tonight. Dressed in uniform, symbolism emblazoned hoodies and a seriously intent look on their faces, i can only assume they had a nightmare drive from the east of England. The fact of the matter though was that they focused every bit of this anger straight into their incredible mix of blackened metal.
Tracks such as “Skinwalker”, “Tanisroot” and a couple of new, unnamed tracks blend a traditional Black metal style with elements of grindcore breakdowns to devastating effect. By the time “Into The Unknown” was aired, there were only a few members of the crowd left to win over! And so by the time it was over, there was no doubt they were successful. A special mention needs to go to James Burke, The Infernal Sea’s drummer, for not only his solid drumming, but also for his epic windmill headbanging whilst playing!
And this is the the beauty of the shows that Deathwave are putting on, it was a stroke of genius to break up the bill with a band so blisteringly savage, as it was the perfect aperitif to the colossal main meal to follow…
For those of you that haven’t had the pleasure of Eye of Solitude before, you really must check these guys out – they knocked this writer’s socks clean off with their latest release “Canto III” late last year and we just had to put them in our Top 15 albums of 2013 (you can check out the feature here: http://wp.me/p3TUwU-mz).
Describing Eye of Solitude to those that haven’t had the pleasure is a tricky task – on record, they play monstrously heavy, funeral paced Death-Doom, but there are small respites that stop the listener from being crushed under the quaking drums, the sheer weight of the down-tuned sludge… and THOSE, inhumanly low guttural vocals!
For me, it was going to be interesting to see how the band would come across in the live arena, but under no circumstances did they disappoint, and they even managed to replicate all of the bands key atmospheric elements just fine, as the doomy pace created an almost trance inducing musical experience that was all aided by the band playing in almost pitch black. Highlighted only by some white “fairy” lights, each devastatingly heavy part transcended into dreamlike sections of melody which entice you to let your guard down, only to then be floored again by the power of the riffs.
An incredible performance, and to quote an acquaintance on the evening… “A real fuckin’ TREAT!” Couldn’t have put it better myself…
All photographs by Phil Vidamour Photography, and used with kind permission.
Setlist: This Lie, The Dry Land, The Path, By Darkness Undone
Setlist: These Fevered Days, As in Autumn, Of Dreams and Vanity, Roots of Grief, The Dark Corner
The Infernal Sea
Setlist: Intro, A Prayer for Cleansing, Tannis Root, Skinwalker, New (Untitled), New2 (Untitled), Into the Unknown