Agnes Vein, Universe217, Dreamlongdead // AN Club, Athens, Greece // 11.05.13

Saturday night, the Sabbath’s night and we are off to the local doom concert of the year! The Shamans of Grief, ‘Dreamlongdead’, ‘Universe217’ and ‘Agnes Vein’, are performing in An club, turning the club into a ritual altar! ‘Agnes Vein’ will also have the chance to present for the very first time in Athens songs out of their last release, ‘Soulship’. Let’s take a deep breath, as we pass through a magical night and the memories of yesterday’s riff-orgasm!

One hour after the door’s open, we got cozy enough and the first act of the night, ‘Dreamlongdead’, came upon the stage. The show has started! First song, ‘Madness from above’, and the band faced a problem with the bass, forcing the bassist to miss half of the song, trying to fix the problem. Beside this, ‘Dreamlongdead’ did not lose their bad-ass mood and they spited a blackened doom metal storm, opening, as a result, the gates of hell officially! It was my very first touch with their music and they surely left me speechless. The band was groovy, energetic on stage, with satanic vocals and destructive melodies. The audience got on fire, headbanging and singing the lyrics tills the very end. Four songs were performed, three of their first EP, plus one new song under the title; ‘The Howling from the Hills’ as I was informed later by their guitarist.

Just after a small break, ‘Universe217’ came upon the stage. It is always a pleasure to watch them performing live because of the emotional demonstrations of their music work. The songs we’ve been listening for a very long time, always sound different, just like the first time, astonishing and thrilling everyone. ‘U217’s’ setlist included mostly songs from their latest work, ‘Never’, plus two songs from previous music albums and a new one. The atmosphere was ecstatic; Tania’s voice was great as always, giving goose bumps to everyone in the audience! Just like a unit, AnClub was shaking by the heads of the fans moving up and down, under the atmospheric riffs and the heavy drumming. I have to say, ‘Enter/Mark My Words’, ‘ Never’, ‘ Stay’, all of them sound ten times better and heavier live rather than in their studio version. The only handicap of their set: WE NEEDED DAMN MORE!

Last but not least, the headliners of the night, ‘Agnes Vein’. I catch myself thinking of the group as Greek ‘Neurosis’. It is a tricky characterization, because Neurosis is the biggest name in the sludge scene worldwide, but each time I listen to Duality, I can easily feel that ‘Neurosis’ vibe all over my head. As a result, I’m very strict for that band. After the night, I felt that ‘Agnes Vein’ was actually unlucky, but they turned out to succeed in every way.

On technical parts, their sound wasn’t that good. They needed more clear sound, and sometimes the guitars covered the vocals. The band’s frontman and guitarist did his best to improve the sound, and he did, as the sound got better after a couple of songs. The setlist couldn’t be a better one, as the band performed songs from both full-length albums, one from their EP/demo and one delightful cover of ‘Electric-Wizard’s’ ‘ We Live’. Each member was energetic and passionate on stage. The new tracks sounded absolutely killing live and the band gave one memorable performance, as they traveled the crowd to dark, sludge/doom paths, despite their bad luck with the sound.

The night came to an end, and I’m in the pleasant position to state, that the specific concert was one of the best doom concert I had the chance to attend, leaving me only with delightful memories and a sweet emotion about the Greek underground music scene.

Dreamlongdead: 1 Madness from Above, 2 The Comfort Of a Cold Grave, 3 The Howling From The Hills (new song), 4 The Dead Dream Under Our Skin

Universe217:1 (Unknown song), 2 Enter, 3 Mark My Words, 4 Towards The Sun, 5 Stay, 6 Never, 7 Swallow, 8 Mouth, 9 Nothing

Agnes Vein: 1 The Fall, 2 In Orbit With The Cosmos, 3 Δι Αυγής/ To Know The God Within, 4. March Of The Netherworld, 5. Eventus, 6. Soulship, 7. The Sailor At The Seas Of Fate, 8. We Live (Electric Wizard cover), 9. Duality