Ethereal Blue, Dustynation, Luna Obscura
Eightball club, Thessaloniki, Greece

Sunday evening and it proved to be a good choice to go and witness the heights the Greek metal scene has reached. I always criticized the absence of the crowd but now I tend to understand them. Crisis times and lots of lives are good enough reasons. Who would imagine 20 years ago that we wouldn’t know were to go since for example Nevermore and Bolt Thrower play the same day in our city! Of course it still remains a shame because the standards where high and the show was great. Every band had generally good sound and lots of appetite for a good well served metal performance.

Opening act was the band from Serres called Luna Obscura. Although it was a good warm up I can’t say that I am totally pleased with their music. I’m not quite sure that, what Theater of Tragedy did many years ago, still reaches out to many people. Ethereal female voice, mostly brutal male vocals and the usual atmospheric gothic metal background. Prerecorded keys and orchestrations didn’t quite help to set the atmosphere. They played professionally, I give them that, but I couldn’t find something fresh in their approach. Except of course their female lead singer’s beauty. I don’t want to underestimate her vocal ability but her beauty stood out.

The gig continued with our own Dustynation. A well known local band celebrating their debut album, although not yet released but ready and waiting. Another one good performance from a band which needs desperately to make the next step. Or even leap. Their album must be released and they must surely chase festival and out of border appearances. Dark mostly mid-tempo progressive metal with clean and brutal vocals in the veins of Opeth, although I would dare to say that they sound even more diverse. The covers they did show exactly their influences. “Morbid” from Psychotic Waltz, “Used” from Pain of Salvation and “Master’s Apprentice” from Opeth. Except from “Used” which sounded to me a bit faulty everything worked perfectly, except one thing. For the duration of their appearance 3 cover songs and especially a long one is too much. They have great material of their own and they must gain more confidence in playing them live.

Last band for the night Ethereal Blue. 5 years after their last performance in Thessaloniki, supporting Moonspell, the band returns to present their second, soon to be released, album “Essays In Rhyme On Passion & Ethics”. Great band, with great material. Their music is really difficult to be described. Cynic and Ephel Duath come to my mind but still it’s much more, believe me. Experimental black metal that starts from Dissection and reaches the beautiful weird music of Ved Buens Ende, atmospheric in the veins of Arcturus and In the Woods…,post,death, progressive, even jazzy.. Pretty much everything. But the bet is won by hearing their compositions. Each song is much more than just the sum up of the genres it covers. Each song stands and breathes by itself. Each member a great musician, that proved it before our surprised eyes. A special reference I would like to make for the extremely steady and massive drummer and the exploding performance of their singer.To be honest if I could ever sing I wouldn’t treat my throat in such brutal, inhuman way. I hope he can still talk before if these guys proceed with their art he will have a lot of big gigs and interviews to give.

Congratulations to all the bands for this show and to the people who still supports the local scene. Some of these bands will grow bigger soon and much of their success will come thanks to you.

Aris Deligiannidis.