Pogo is the host of a new doom metal festival this winter. Two days of doom metal. However, the lineup of the first day was the one that interested me the most, in particular the two last bands that actually played. So I decided to skip a couple of bands and only attended the evening.
Eye of Solitude seemed almost done setting up as I entered the venue. However feedback from the microphone seemed to delay the gig a bit. And when they finally started it would still popup every now and again. Also the guitar sound was quite low in the mix. I wanted to check out this funeral doom band as they seem to be in high regard in doom circles, but they never convinced me on their studio efforts. And eventually they turned out to be quite dull in a live setting as well. On the one hand that is due to the rather monotonous grunt the vocalist uses. On the other hand, most of the guitar riffs and melodies are just not very interesting. I think I’ll pass on this UK doom band in the future.
The second I watched was the local and just reformed Eria D’Or. I think I had seen them before in the early 2000s. I can’t remember the details tho. They play a somewhat progressive doom metal with some death metal influences. Musically they could hardly excite me much, just not very interesting in the riff department. The sound problems seemed to have vanished however.
Officium Triste is also a more or less local band, which I had seen several times. They play doom / death somewhat in the vein of old Paradise Lost, Anathema with some funeral doom touches. Live they are always solid. And so it was this time again. The set list contained only one surprise among the mostly newer songs, namely the song Lonesome off the debut album. And where they used to close their set with This Is Goodbye, they now opt for My Charcoal Heart. This seems to be a kind of fan favourite. Pretty good gig.
The real reason to go to this gig however was the final band of the evening. The mighty Esoteric. As usually they brought a lot of equiment, so it took quite some time to set up. But when they finally started, they opened with the excellent opening track of their lastest album Abandonment. Despite the complexity of these songs they manage to capture the songs live very well. They restricted their set to only songs of the last two albums. (Why is Dissident or The Blood of the Eyes no longer on the set?). Possibly their best song – Disconsolate – was played very well as well and they closed the set with the shorter song – the previous were all in the 15-20 minute range – Caucus of Mind. After disappearing backstage in a blaze of noise from the guitar effects, they came back after a few minutes to play an encore. They extended their playing time with some 20-25 minutes at least. However, I really enjoyed this gig and Esoteric are a very original band and their gigs are always superb.