By on 24 September 2010

Mega doomy thanks to our man on the ground for this – wish we’d been there:

It’s a dreary and dismal day in Dublin as rain pours mercilessly from the sky. For the second annual Dublin Doom Day it’s a fitting downcast surrounding. Cork’s finest purveyors of atmospheric sludge, People Of The Monolith, are up first and despite some of those dreaded sound problems initially, their set is a triumph. With an immense EP, ‘No Hand To Comfort You’ in their arsenal on top of a robust stage presence, their future couldn’t be more enthralling.

The mood flips in a slightly different direction then for the filthy maggot infested crust doom of De Novissimis who deliver a brutal performance. It’s a pleasant (or shall we say not so pleasant) surprise and a more than welcomed one. The third act is another Irish one – Tipperary’s Brigantia. The three-piece impress with some foreboding Sabbath-adoring tunes as the dense riffs of ‘Prisoner’ and the ludicrously catchy ‘Time Machine of Doom’ are some of their set’s standout moments.

Portugal’s Why Angels Fall is playing their first show outside of their homeland, performing two medleys of the vast, sprawling 30 and 40 minute tracks from their debut full length ‘The Unveiling’. Their music which could have come across muddled live is implemented beautifully. It’s another satisfying surprise as in parts their riffs are colossal and crushing only to shift into evocative calm passages which are loosely reminiscent of early Anathema.
But then the standard of the evening is catapulted into a lofty height by Shattered Hope from Greece. Partially Saturnus influenced ardency as well as soaring guitar leads melded with tasteful keyboards make Shattered Hope a particular highlight of Dublin Doom Day.

Following on, Officium Triste’s performance is ridiculously tight, playing with an unrelenting fervour. Their emotive brand of doom is executed flawlessly whether it’s the melodious yet ominous chorus of ‘My Charcoal Heart’ or the morose riffs of ‘The Sun Doesn’t Shine Anymore’. A new album from them couldn’t come any sooner.
Griftegård begin with an intro track of intimidating choirs and all garbed in black shirts and slacks with front man Thomas Eriksson standing before a pulpit, they truly look like clerics addressing the congregation. From opener, ‘Charles Taze Russell’, Griftegård’s dirges become a mournful presence and while their set wanes slightly halfway through, by closer ‘The Mire’, the air gathers pace once again for a stunning conclusion.

Mourning Beloveth, though not playing last are Dublin Doom Day’s headliners, and like every headlining slot should be, it’s an utterly victorious one. It’s quite fitting that Ireland’s finest doom export; in fact one of Ireland’s finest metal exports altogether, would conquer this growing event. ‘Autumnal Fires’ is a climax in their set with guitarist/clean vocalist Frank Brennan delivering his ever unnerving croon. Elsewhere ‘The Crashing Wave’ is everything its name would suggest, devastatingly heavy and to close, we’re treated to their, even more harrowing, rendition of Nick Cave’s ‘The Weeping Song’.

The next set is Hour of 13 and it marks a historic moment. For long they were strictly a studio band, having released two full length albums, however vocalist Phil Swanson and multi-instrumentalist (guitarist for this instance) Chad Davis’ live vision has come to life. There’s an understandable trepidation for an occasion like this, however with the first bars of ‘Call To Satan’, that’s quickly dispelled. They sound like they’ve been gigging for years on end and the crowd welcome tracks like ‘Demons All Around Me’ and ‘Grim Reality’ with open arms.

Then, to play out the crowd on hand into the wee hours are Pagan Altar. With ties stretching back as far the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, their well seasoned and esteemed vintage doom is rapturously received. Terry Jones’ on stage demeanour is something to be reckoned with, giving the same level of passion to new tracks from their forthcoming album as well as older numbers. They perform a lengthy set that brings to an end a day and night that’s been a resounding success.
Jonathan Keane

About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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