Rated 4 out of
Even better than I thought it would be
Both support bands excellent and worth getting there on time for. As for main event, even the slower more atmospheric stuff which I found a bit dull on the last record sounded great live, especially when the crowd shushed each other so Caro’s voice could ring out. Speaking of which, a bit strange how it took quite so long (a whole song or two) to get her vocals right in the mix, hence the absence of the 5th star.
Date published: 2017-12-15
Rated 5 out of
Best live band ever
Oathbreaker is one of the best bands I have seen live, and this was the second time! Chaotic and intense musical landscapes! Amazing!
Date published: 2017-12-14
Rated 4 out of
Great evening, had a blast!
Got into The Haunt halfway through Gravelines' set. It was like seeing a quartet of battle-glad vikings on the eve of victory, getting pumped up in a bloody mist. (I don't know if this was intentional, but the lighting dude red-washed pretty much the whole of their set.) Very sludgy with a hard bite. Definitely worth checking out.
After a beer-&-urination break Svalbard hit the stage. These guys really blew me away; not just because it's a breath of fresh air to have a woman screaming down the mike for once, but because they are tight and come at you like some angry tattoo artist with an inked-up jackhammer. I forgot to bring my earplugs, but the two guitars seemed to compliment each other nicely, creating elegant soundscapes in those huge, delirious blast-beat moments. Svalbard's drummer is pretty interesting. He's got very quick hands and a bit of an illusionist; I lost sight of what he was doing half the time. I'm really not the right person to write about drummers and drumming, but I think he's a tight player.
Another break and the venue was really heating up. I was sitting on a bench in the dark waiting for my friend, who'd gone to get a drink of water. I couldn't be bothered to get another beer. I was feeling slightly faint from the heat. (I haven't been to a proper indoor metal gig for maybe two years now.) It seemed as if all the long beards, logo'd black hoods and studded denim waistcoats in Brighton were now here in The Haunt, sipping their golden suppers and waiting for Oathbreaker. I'd never properly listened to them but my friend promised they were good.
As Caro Tanghe begins to sing, I start to imagine a young, sad girl singing into a well. It's a ridiculously romanticised image, but it stays with me through their whole mad set. From where I was standing in the murky blue darkness, I saw just a sliver of her face behind that long wavy brown hair. You never saw her full face, not once; she'd be thrashing her head from side to side and at points you'd go, "Ooo what was that! Nope, too late". When she sings she sounds troubled but timbre of her voice suggests something more reflective than lived. When the music fright-blasts into action, like a machine gun in the dark, Caro is still alone. She's got a fantastic stage presence, not willing to show her face completely, enhancing that gloomy, mysterious aura that surrounds her. (Incidentally, if you dig her character, then don't bother chatting to the utterly transformed, smiling girl at the post-gig merch table.) The band is like her dark, spiteful and venomous subconscience speaking up for her during her moments of composure. But then, her scream -- it is scarily good. Fine on record, but you properly feel its impact live.
I was so wrapped up in the cloak of Caro (not literally -- that would be indecent) that I didn't really give enough of an ear to the rest of the band, I'm sorry to say. My friend noted their new drummer (a beefy presence behind the kit), who apparently needs to tidy up his hits on the snare. I said I hadn't really noticed. All the same, I thought the drummer had a good even hit. Then again that was towards the beginning of Oathbreaker's set. I was starting to get tired towards the end, losing my focus and feeling the sore pressure in my heels (Man, I'm only in my mid-twenties -- I need to get out more). So I can't corroborate my friend's opinion. Sorry for ending this weird review on such a pointless point. I left The Haunt feeling fixed and happier than I have been in a while. Finally I was back in the scene, with some kickass black metal to send me home.
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 5 out of
The band were faultless, the sound was incredible and the atmosphere bubbling.
The venue was low ceilinged and poorly laid out however, with the merch desk narrowly tucked away. The low stage made it difficult to see anything.
Date published: 2017-01-23