Orphaned Land, Klone, Matricide, The Mars Chronicles // Fuzz Club, Athens, Greece // 12.10.13
It was the first time i heard that Orphaned Land would came to Athens for a live show and i was really excited. It was almost a decade since I listed to their album“Mabool” and for me it was something completely different in metal music with all these traditional oriental melodies followed by progressive and death metal elements.With all these in my mind I found my self waiting to get to the Fuzz Club. It was nearly 19:30 and according to the program the first band should start. Unfortunately the doors hadn’t opened yet and for an unexpected reason we had to wait for 20 more minutes to get into the club (if we sum it up, 50 minutes after). Thankfully that delay didn’t affect people and with a smile they started to get in the club.
At 20:30 The Mars Chronicles got up to the stage. It is a four member group dressed in white who wanted from the first moment to wake up the Athenian crowd. They are a progressive metal band, really technical with aggressive rhythmic and melodic vocals. Before entering the gig I heard that they are the new “Dream Theater“. Theater is for sure among the bands that have left a huge legacy all these years and many newly formed bands will borrow their musical style or their technical expertise and they will try to do something of their own. On the other hand, as a newly formed band to be followed be a huge brand name as the “new” something can be harmful. Music history has many examples and I hope that Mars Chronicles won’t be one of them.
It was nearly nine o’clock and Matricide were on stage. Well I have to admit that this band drew a lot of my attention. Progressive elements followed by death metal and harsh vocals gave a new tone to our night. Something that i didn’t expect was a death/prog metal band since I thought that the support bands would be similar to Orphaned Land. They gave an aggressive show and they forced many heads to headbang. It wasn’t difficult to understand that their main influence would be Meshuggah and I can say that they were really good. For sure they gained some fans after this show and I’m one of them.
Klone was the last support band. I think that that was the only band that the average listener would know (compared to the previous bands). Having listened to some tracks of their latest album I knew what to expect. The groove progressive metal came to a conflict with the alternative rock with some psychedelic elements. It’s not easy to describe their sound; for me is like members of Gojira with members of Tool came together and played. Furthermore, the band had an exceptional presence on the stage where their movement was harmonic combined with their music.
On the last song the crowd seem to be bored but at the end they cheered for their presence.
Before I start writing about Orphaned Land, I can’t resist referring to the almost assaulting sound that these bands had. It’s not my job to know if there is a problem with the bands’ equipment or the sound engineer or whatever, but there are more and more bands who have gone to this club and faced lots of problems with the sound.
It’s time for the Orphaned Land to come to the stage. The crowd started shouting the band’s name and after a several minutes the band made their appearance.Kobi Farhi with his imposing figure grabbed the microphone and the show started with “Through Fire and Water“, a track from the latest album “All is One“.”All as One” was the next song, a well known song again from the homonymous album. Farhi “forced” the crowd to clap their hands and sing along.
You may know that Orphaned‘s albums have a major subject, religion. Moreover, the religion was their “guide” also in their shows, like in the track “Ocean Land” when Farhi seemed to be praying to god.
They were excellent performers and even the low presence of people didn’t create any problems to their show, which they seemed to enjoy a lot. I couldn’t forget their sound engineer who went on stage in almost all acts, while the bands were performing live. He was trying to give a funny side in the whole show, even if he was more “energetic” than the standard point, but never mind that.
Finally, the show ended and the crowd became a big hug when the band was trying to have a photo with us in the background. Shows like these are experiences of a lifetime and as Orphaned Land say in “The Simple Man” “Peace to all men is the dream I wish to bring” which reflects the major thoughts of this band.
Report: Manos Spanos
Photos: Andreas Denwar