Ahab and Mourning Beloveth @ Willemeen, Arnhem, 27 September 2013

Ahab and Mourning Beloveth are doing a very short tour through the low lands with one stop in the Netherlands. I was a little in doubt whether to go or not, since I don’t see them as really good live bands. But in the end I decided to go to Arnhem anyway.

I missed most of the opening band Marche Funebre from Belgium. They play doom death metal in the vein of old Anathema. From the couple of songs I heard they progressed a lot since I saw them last time, still a bit of a generic band though. So I just might check out their latest album some day.

Rotterdoom band Officium Triste were the second band on the stage. A band I have seen quite a few times. And as always they put down a solid gig but it is also a bit indolent. They focussed their set mostly on newer songs, including the excellent Like Atlas of their latest album Mors Viri.

Then there was Mourning Beloveth. I am a huge fan of their first two albums, but they never have been able to attain that quality again on later albums, although the newest album is a fine album in itself. They finished their soundcheck with a short piece of The Mountains are Mine. But surprisingly they started with It only looked Human. Although the band is quite tight, Frank’s lead guitar work is usually quite sloppy, which really is a shame as the melodies are actually quite good. After two songs singer Darren went of stage and to my surprise they started the amazing song Autumnal Fires! Darren doesn’t have many lines to sing as most of it is sung by Frank. Anyway, that was the first time I have seen them play this song live. And now Frank’s lead guitar was quite solid. They closed their set with another song of their latest album.

Then there was Ahab as the headliner. The-e German funeral doomers haven’t been known as a very great live band, but I must say they have progressed since I saw them live a year ago. This gig was much more convincing. They opened with the title track of the Divinity of Oceans album. What followed next was a sort of best of their first and latest album, with Old Thunder, The Hunt, and the amazing Antartica. The earlier songs sometimes drag a bit, but their songwriting skills have improved since then as well as that the songs are far more original. So in the end I was quite satisfied to go to this gig after all.

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