Ophis, Ataraxie @ Baroeg, Rotterdam, 19 February 2016

Two veteran European doom death bands decided to team up and tour Europe together for a little more than a week and brought a Mexican band with them. The last stop of this tour was in the Baroeg in the town of Rotterdoom.

The opening act Majestic Downfall were about to start as I entered the venue. I had never heard of these Mexican lads before, but checking metal archives they have released no less than four albums. Musically, this is very typical for doom death metal, leaning towards diSEMBOWELMENT, that is mixing slower chugging parts, with fast sections interspaced with some clean sections. So quite decent songs but never rise above the mean. Generally a very solid performance, with singer Jacobo actively engaging the crowd. They continued their European tour with Worship.

The second band was Ataraxie from France. A band I have been following for over 10 years and seen several times live. They opened with a song off their latest album, Procession Of The Insane Ones. That one alone takes 20 minutes. The three guitar mostly drive these songs each playing different riffs and melodies throughout with dissonance aplenty. Then a new song followed, which sounded quite in line with their latest albums. Finishing the set with Dread the Villains, another song off their latest album, I missed the earlier material. But after some crowd intervention ( well mostly Majestic Downfall guys really), they were allowed to play an encore, which was to be L’Ataraxie. A very solid show, with Marquis being a bit more timid than before, both in his singing as in the spaces in-between songs.

The last band of the evening was the German Ophis. Another band I have been following since their debut album and seen quite a few times. The first song they played came from their latest opus, named Somnolent Despondency. It features a few lines of clean vocals; always a bit precarious for grunting singers usually, but it turned out okay. The newer material seems a bit more temperate than the previous albums that featured a very nihilistic anger and that showed on stage as well. After an intro taken from the exorcist III, the song Pazuzu was played off the debut album. I can’t recall them playing it live before. They played a new song as well. Which showcased quite some interesting lead guitar work. Near the end of the song the guys from Ataraxie and Majestic Downfall climbed on stage to sing along. After Resurrectum, the album closer, they turned back to Withered Shades, with Suffering is a Virtue. Then they too returned for an encore, which was Funeral off the first EP. It shows how much they have grown. Quite a good gig really. One doesn’t see those quality tours too often.

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