17 C

Agalloch w/CROWN Live Report 24.08.2015 @ Eightball Thessaloniki


written by Vassilis Nitsos

Being a reader of the magazine since 1996 and that first cover with Lemmy and the lion and, in addition, being a long time friend with the guys who run the magazine now, writing a report for Metal Invader seemed so natural and helped me overcome any harsh feelings toward my vestal appearance. Along with some good friends and much anticipation, we started our journey, with the Eightball Club being our final destination, to enjoy the last gig of summer and the band’s last European gig, as well.

Shortly after 20:30, the French band CROWN went up on stage to open the gig. Having just a superficial relationship with the band, what immediately struck me was the absence of the drummer. This strange group consists consists of three guitar players, with two 8-strings and a 7-string respectively, and a drum computer. The peculiar style of the French with many doom / sludge / industrial elements didn’t thrill me on one hand, but the crowd seemed to enjoy their presence and the musical pieces the two French and the Swish performed on stage. They seemed to fit as an opening act for Agalloch, if anything. With heavy sounds and influences by Sunn O))) and Neurosis, the outcome was experimental, with points reminding us of Godflesh and points that seemed too relaxed / monotonous (that was my point of view). Adding a drummer would give them volume and more power.

The vast crowd who waited outside the venue, when CROWN finished their set, started gathering inside the club, waiting for the long – anticipated gig to start!

For the next 120 minutes, we enjoyed magical music, full of dark riffs and a massive bass to haunt the night. The setlist was based mainly on the last work of the quartet from Oregon “The Seprent & The Sphere” and some older songs, as was natural. The crowd, close to 350 people, as opposed to the one of Athens (which was about 500 but, according to information, not as warm) seemed to enjoy the show, though the reactions were rather mild. Don Anderson invited the crowd to participate more actively, though in vain, by clapping or the classic “hey, hey” with raised fists in the sky. The applause in every pause was certainly fervent and indicative of how the audience enjoyed every minute of music that night.

It’s needless to write that Agalloch’s performance was highly professional and highly emotional at the same time. Faultless, as was the impeccable organization of Krisis Productions. I don’t wish to write any more, since I think this live concert falls into that category where what you’ve experienced cannot be conveyed by paper or computer. Unfortunately the news that the band won’t follow us to the after show held by Dizzy Dolls kind of spoiled our night, but it’s totally understandable. The band had a flight to catch! After all, Sifis the Wizard was there for the excellent black/death music choices that made alcohol flow endlessly…

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