Darken the Moon V – Magasin 4, Brussels

On this Saturday, I travelled all the way to Brussels, Belgium, to attend a small festival, called Darken the Moon which was held for the fifth time, but it was the first one I attended. This tour combinded the Esoteric tour with three more bands. And as there was no Dutch date to this tour I decided that Belgium it would have to be. The venue was already half full or so when I arrived and the second band was playing. I skipped Fading Bliss al together.

So the Belgian Fading Bliss were on stage. They play instrumental doom metal, which reminded me a bit about Faal at times. Anyway, not bad but not entirely my favourite style either.

This festival series is organised by the Belgian band Marche Funebre and they have played on all episodes yet and so have this year. I had seen them before and essentially they play a kind of doom metal somewhat in the UK gothic style, of early Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride. I didn’t like them at all when I saw them the first time, but with every gig I see them – this is the third time – they seem to improve quite a lot. Especially the vocals are sounding a lot better than the way off-key vocals of a couple of years back. So actually this gig was pretty solid after all.

The first band that really made me drive all the way to Brussels was the British Indesinence>. A band that doesn’t play too often on the continent. I have been fortunate to see them before on one of the Dutch Doom Day festivals a couple of years back. They now have a very good new album under their belt. And after a short, but somewhat annoying intro they started right off with the opening track of said album. There were some sound issues all the way through the gig, particularly  Ilia’s guitar was way too low in the mix. But other than that they played a really great gig, cramping no less than four whole songs in their 45 minute gig. So yeah those are quite long songs but overall very varied, and reminding me a lot of the style the mighty diSEMBOWELMENT employed but then with some more dissonant chords. They even played an old demo track (Catalepsy). Though I would love to see them play Auro or Lull some time. Awesome gig tho and already made the trip worth it.

Next up was the Chilian (now relocated to Sweden) band Procession who play classic doom metal. It’s pretty obvious what Filip’s favourite album is: Epicus Doomicus Metallicus. There is lots of melody in their songs and quite basic riffs, and that makes the songs quite easy to digest despite the songs being rather slow and long. All in all quite an interesting band and quite a decent gig, despite a couple of mistakes.

Finally the mighty Esoteric appeared on stage. This is one of the foremost interesting doom metal bands out there. And always a great live band as well. After they put all their equipment on stage – and hell they bring a shit load of stuff, they started off with probably the best song they have written thusfar: Disconsolate. Apparently the light’s man had already gone home, as they played in near darkness, which was quite weird and really irritated the band. Nevertheless they worked their way through the 15 minute song. After that song at least some lights came on, on stage, but there was no such thing as a light show, but we could at least see the band as well.  They continued with another song of their latest opus, called Loss of Will, a bit of an odd choice, as the songs is relatively short and really slow through out. But then there was Circle another brilliant song with lots of great lead guitar work off the previous album. The second album was revisited through Creation (Through Destruction) which sounds a bit different than the newer work, but works quite well anyway in the set. Finally they came back to the latest album with the opener Abandonment, which contains a lot more great lead guitar work. And that was it. Or maybe not, as they returned once more to play Caucus of Mind. I had my hopes on the return of Dissident or The Blood of the Eyes to the set but maybe next time. Nevertheless a really great gig once more by this masterful band.







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