Wovenhand, Moa Bones // Fuzz Club, Athens, Greece // 08.10.2014
The Greek crowd could never be absent on a date with one of its favorite musicians, David Eugene Edwards. So, although walking in Fuzz Club rather early, I found myself amongst a sea of people that had already flooded the venue in anticipation of watching Wovenhand live. And is there a better time to go to such a concert than the middle of autumn?
The concert was opened by Dimitris Aronis’ one man project called Moa Bones, just one man, his voice and his acoustic guitar. For about 40 minutes he created a very soothing beginning for the night with his Bob Dylan style, presenting very nice country/ folkish compositions and above all a very broad range of voice. Although I wasn’t thrilled by his performance, the Neil Diamond (Solitary Man) cover was much appreciated and he left me wandering if his style would be more captivating with a full band behind him.
Then, among frantic cheers and applauds, that iconic figure with the hat showed himself upon the stage, accompanied by three other magicians. Whoever thought this was going to be a mellow country/folk show with some heavy alternative rock elements, they were in for a big surprise. Wovenhand chose (mostly) to praise their two last albums, which are the heavier they’ve ever recorded, but their live sound was beyond any expectation and imagination. From the very first song, “Hiss” they shocked the crowd with a sound that resembled more Neurosis and Converge than their own studio sound. When the next two songs, “Closer” and “Maize”, were over I felt that this sound wave was not only post metal, but post apocalyptic. They drove us down an intoxicating, breathtaking, tribal spiral sensation that inspired awe and absolute amazement. The only thing same with their studio albums (and maybe even better) was Edwards’ spine chilling, otherworldly voice, intermingled with this soul numbing – heavy rhythm section that felt it had come out a violent dream.
Speaking of the rhythm section, what elevated this concert to near perfection (besides of course the crazy double guitar work) was the unbelievable drummer. I repeat, unbelievable. A great deal of the sensation that we were witnessing a mystic, native American like spiritual ceremony is due to his ingenious, tribal and at times very progressive drum rhythms that hit the heart like a hammer. Wovenhand decided to tone it down a bit with songs like “Horse Head Fiddle (16 Horsepower cover)”, “Corsicana clip” and the grooviest “Long Horn” but they would always come back on the heavier side with songs like the terrifying “King O King” or “El-Bow”, “Field of Hedon” and “The Good Sheperd”. Obviously, when Edwards grabbed his banjo the result was heartbraking and this is why the performance of “The Refractory” will remind burned inside my memory. For the encore they chose “Whistling girl” and “Kicking bird” to finish off any emotion we had left.
Men of few words and extravagant music talent, breaking the fourth wall of their majestic performance twice to thank us for coming to the show, they made us aching for the next time they will set their foot on Greek soil to give yet another uniquely dark and beautiful show.
Report: Axilleas Pantogios
Photos: Dimitris balabakis
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