Dutch Doom Day XVII, 24 October 2018, Baroeg, Rotterdam

The start of autumn is usually the time for Dutch Doom Day held at the Baroeg, the 17th installment already. Two days filled with doom metal, often rather obscure bands that one doesn’t get to see often. I went to only the first day, as I didn’t really know or liked any of the bands on the second day. And I skipped the first band Whooom who play instrumental sludge metal.

So the first band I saw was King Heavy. A Belgian / Chilean doom metal band, mostly reminiscent to Candlemass. An okay band; I usually not that keen on classic doom metal. Maybe not doomy enough and the vocals a bit too limited.

The second band was from Belgium called Iteru which is Ancient Egyptian for Nile. Listed as death doom metal. They were all masked probably Egyptian style (The Bangles did that better anyway). It was quite loud even with ear plugs. With very heavy distortion and lots of dissonance. All in all they were more death metal with black metal influences with slow passages, than doom metal. Not really what I prefer.

Monolith Cult – not to be confused with Monolith Death Cult – are from the UK. They also play more classic doom metal. Some riffs were really doomy, but it was mostly quite upbeat. The vocals sounded a bit out of place and so were his stage antiques.

Ophis is one of the two bands that made me decide to go. Doom death metal, with heavy riffs and leads. This was the last gig of the second guitarist, Phil announced. Musically it was very solid. The set focused more on the newer material this time around, with Earth Expired being the oldest track. Stylistically they have not changed that much. The last two albums are also very solid. Quite a good gig.

Who Dies in Siberian Slush is a Russian band I had never heard of. They play funeral doom metal a bit similar to Shape of Despair. Aside the regular instruments they added a trombone and a flute. Both seemed to have some trouble keeping up with the guitars and sounded regularly off key. A bit so-so, not bad but not that interesting either.

The last band was the main reason for me to go. Even though they play live relatively frequently in the Netherlands, Esoteric always have a great performance. The stage is cluttered with effect pedals and boards as usual. They started off with the opening track of their latest album Abandonment which is an awesome track. A few of the guitar lines sounded a bit different. Then they played two new songs that sounded a bit different from the latest album, a little less focus on lead guitars, but more heavy, dissonant riffing. Very interesting songs and I am looking forward to the new album already. It was followed by a song from the Maniacal Vale and the set was concluded by another new song. Awesome gig.

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