Several times per year, BLOOD RITES association organize great gigs in Rennes... Last one I saw was highly memorable with Barabbas, The Bottle Doom Lazy Band and The Wounded Kings and I was expecting pretty much from this new one with Hashcut, STANGALA and the revenant RAMESSES after one year of absence on the road.
I like so much this venue "LE MONDO BIZARRO", the kind of bar which programms almost all styles of underground music, surviving independantly with faith and dedication, more and more rare but so ESSENTIAL !!! It's also always a true pleasure to meet cool doomsters like the guys of Huata, Antoine from Time To Blast, Maryline and Fernando of Blood Rites of course and a few others.
I'm perfect in time, as the opener HASHCUT first notes ring when I just come in but there's a fair audience already present (about 90) which prevents me to view them correctly and my curiosity doesn't stand that long before I decide to order a bottle of cider and start discussing... I often need a bit of time to get into the ambiance, this to the detriment of the first bands, especially if I don't know them and sorry but I came for STANGALA and RAMESSES that's fucking all !!! it looks like their gnarly Stoner has convinced a great part of the people present, so I guess it's cool for them.The wizards from Kemper, STANGALA, start a bit late due, not to the traditional bigouden costume they were wearing but to some technical problems which will unfortunately never be totally resolved.
Steven plays on a very old little amp and the sound of his guitar is too poor, he still does the job with easiness but sometimes seems a bit tired or stressed (!?) The bassist and Thomas on drums play pretty loud which hide the samples of celtic instruments (pipes), this suffers from a serious problem of balance between the instruments.
The songs sound good though, mysterious, heavy, with a rather rough psychedelic edge. Fans, including me, can still enjoy "doom rock glazik", "sorcerezed", "bigoudened an diaoul", "bouet tousek has traou mat all" and a couple of other songs from their excellent debut album. There was a great unreleased song too (from the demo period), called "lutin salvia delirium"; watch out for their split album with Stonebirds soon to be released ! Hope to see them again in the future, with better sound results...
The set of RAMESSES will be perfect in all terms, sound included... This was really awesome, a creepy bath in heaviness. Ramesses are not particularly known for the originaility of their riffs but fuck those ones are so hypnotic and extremely crushing ! What I deeply like in this band is their ability to blend a wide variety of doomed sounds, basically Sludge but those regular hints of death, black and even drone make it roughly living and evolutive.
After the departure of Tim Bagshaw, the position of new guitarist (from BONG) looks hesitant, at least very reserved but he seems perfectly in phase with his colleagues musically and that is the most important, anyhow there's Adam who has enough presence, not to forget Mark hammering constantly his drums with a surgical attention !
Those guys shred on stage and the fact that the most part of the set is dedicated to "take the curse" (save "the tomb" and "before the jackals") enhance the extreme heaviness of the performance. Is it the sign of a future album that will sound like what remains their referent masterpiece to date (of course I also enjoy "possessed by the rise of magik" but to me it's not as memorable as the 2nd album) ? maybe a part of the answer will be revealed here in a near future ?! I spoke a little moment with Adam before the show and we concluded that I can send him an interview next week after the tour is finished :) ... interview or not, this guy is really cool and a terrific growler too !
This has been another excellent evening in Brittany's capital, thanx to Blood Rites and the bands; next gig for me there should be Doctor Cyclops in December, other good moments in perspective... \m/