mate Holla and I are a bit late – it’s already shortly
after half past seven, as we arrive at the Backstage
area. And a considerable queue has already formed in front of
the venue – are they all there to see KATATONIA?
That’s just not possible! Or perhaps it is? The question
can be answered best with the fact that I haven’t experienced
the Backstage Werk being so full as we finally entered the venue.
All deluxe places are occupied from the first minute on when LONG
DISTANCE CALLING started their gig. Even the space in front
of the merchandise stand is so full that one easily could drink
two, three beers to bridge the idle time until finally being able
to buy a shirt by the Swedish melo quintet or the German support
Full house – so, best assumptions for a memorable live evening.
Here we go
with the Muenster-based instrumentalists ::
DISTANCE CALLING :: who shared the pole position
with Disbelief with their current recording Avoid The Light
as our monthly leader almost exactly one year ago. The clever
song writing works out already on the record. Thanks to the mixer
each of the four instruments and the ambience sounds of Reimut
sound off so fat that one can find a lot of banging heads from
the opener Black Paper Planes on and the band gets celebrated
after each following track frenetically… And that’s
not just up to the excellent choice of songs the crowd gets supplied
with. The dedicated and energetic performance of the quintet surprises
as well as the brute overall sound, which blasts out way harder
and heavier on the bass than on the CD – this heavier bias
sorts well with the songs of the likeable band and moves them
in the direction of similarly progressive bands such as Cult Of
Luna, Godspeed You! Black Emperor or with exceptions Anathema.
It’s definitely not just up to the hair cut that guitarist
Dave reminds me of a young Steve Wilson. The axe player of LONG
DISTANCE CALLING elicits similar enchanting leads out of his
instrument like the exceptionally skilled musician of the English
Prog rockers. The band seems fresh and motivated just like on
the first day in spite of the long tour alongside KATATONIA
and Swallow The Sun, which groovy songs like the already mentioned
Black Paper Planes or the fantastically composed I Know
You, Stanley Milgram! impressively prove.
The band’s done with their set after a bit over three-quarters
of an hour – the shouts for encores don’t find a sympathetic
ear, the playing time is exhausted. Too bad, since I think that
EACH fan of the band would have died to hear The Nearing Grave
with Jonas on the mic. It might be that Jonas didn’t want
to strain his voice on the last evening of the tour beforehand.
And that’s a good thing – for I haven’t seen
Jonas in such an amazing shape on stage before.
Setlist: Black Paper Planes, Fire In The Mountain, I
Know You, Stanley Milgram!, Apparitions, Metulsky Curse Revisited
What a transition…
The Swedes enter the stage after a gloomy intro accompanied by
Sodomizer (Bloodbath) on the guitar and Niklas on the bass. Both
replace the Norrman-brothers Fred and Mattias who left the band
at the end of last year. As expected, ::
:: get started with the opener of the new album Night
Is The New Day, Forsaker. Jonas needs a few moments
to heat – but from then on it becomes clear, that this is
gonna be a deluxe gig, for I haven’t experienced the Stockholm-based
quintet in such a good shape. Everything’s just perfect
here: the crystal clear, but still immensely pounding sound offers
Anders and Sodomizer the perfect groundwork for their dreamy leads.
Furthermore, the band acts way more agile than ever before –
both new members blend in into the overall picture smoothly and
make a metal institution out of the live band KATATONIA
with wild headbanging and very intense stage acting… Impressing!
With a playing time of almost over one and a half hours the gig
can be considered as headliner-worthy: 18 songs (incl. two encores)
(unfortunately) aren’t a matter of course for a headliner
gig nowadays. The choice of songs consistently was slightly changed
compared to previous tours (or improved – at least for me).
The superb Saw You Drown replaces Deadhouse, For
My Demons replaces Right Into The Bliss and the surprise
of the evening is the dreamy Omerta.
Scarcely one third of the regular set is filled by songs of the
new album Night Is The New Day. No matter if Liberation,
The Longest Year or the already mentioned Forsaker,
the songs sound way heavier than on CD. The perfect concert complete
next to the immensely confidently acting Jonas and Daniel both
guitarists and the bassist Niklas – not only that I almost
don’t hear any errors, Anders and Sodomizer also share the
backing vocals, which ain’t surprising for Nyström,
but he also has a great voice tonight. The surprise surely is
Sodomizer, whom I wouldn’t put such a great voice past due
to his engagement in the Death-Metal band Bloodbath. What’s
missing is that KATATONIA would confirm that Niklas and
Sodomizer would join the band – in this line-up the Swedes
are invincible. Jonas, Anders and Daniel – don’t let
this opportunity slip!
Oh yeah, and finishing the set with a short citation of Entombed’s
Demon is cinema at its most!!
Setlist: Forsaker, Liberation, My Twin, Onward Into
Battle, Complicity, The Longest Year, Omerta, Teargas, Saw You
Drown, Idle Blood, Ghost Of The Sun, Evidence, July, Criminals,
Day And Then The Shade, For My Demons // Dispossession, Leaders