The 31st of March 2011
Sludge and doomy metal lives well in the catacombs of the underground. Heavy doom and sludge metal has started gaining more and more success and interest amongst metal fans during the past few years, even though doom metal has had a strong grip in the extreme metal style, but the pure doom metal hasn’t become that huge. Nowadays there are quite a few festivals arranged in several countries for that particular genre. Of course, the increasing success has reached the borders of Finland as well. For example when Electric Wizard and Jex Thoth visited up here, gig venues were entirely packed. Once again the small underground club in the heart of Helsinki offered a highly appreciated night of doom metal when two known names got on the stage. The club wasn’t that packed as at the gig of Jex Thoth. However, dozens of long haired and bearded hippie doom metal fans arrived at the venue.
The night was kicked off by The Gates Of Slumber hailing from Indianapolis. The three piece unleashed an utterly heavy set dominated by the strong bass sound. Unfortunately, the bass sounds took almost the dominating role leaving other instruments on the background. But however the sounds were a little bit out of the balance and distorted. Despise these problems, riff after the riff the band rolled like a massive tank.
The set featured an entirely new song called "The Scovrge Ov Drvnkenness" picked up from the forthcoming THE WRETCH album. The new songs caused the divided opinions amongst the attendances. However despise the strong bass sounds Place Of Skulls sounded and looked heavy for sure.
The other doomers, and the headliners of the doom night, was Place Of Skulls led by Victor Griffin. The three piece’s latest album AS A DOG RETURNS is an outstanding heavy doom rock output. It is kind of worthless to mention Down in this case, but if any of you out there happens to dig Down, AS A DOG RETURNS is without any doubts a must pick up by every doom metal maniac.
Victor Griffin’s magical doom guitar playing and sound could be enjoyed at Roadburn last year when Deathrow returned to the stage after “a few year hiatus”. That guitar tune was magical massive and doomy. Of course the bigger venue gave more space and better sounds for the doomsday celebration of Deathrow.
As for the gig in Helsinki, well when Griffin’s pedal and mic stand combination was brought to the stage by the roadies it could be expected a real monsterous doom metal storm in the club. The doom rock songs with the groove grip approaches from Griffin’s Les Paul were astonishing filling up the club with the heavy, but above rocking songs.
Comparing Place Of Skulls to Deathrow is more or less pointless, but apparently the acoustics of the club environment didn’t create the most authentic atmosphere for a band like Place Of Skulls as it would have been expected in the first place. Whereas Deathrow’s unique doomy style literally flourished the whole venue up into the glory of doom at Roadburn. Instead, Place Of Skulls have influences a little bit from the Southern Rock bands and of course put their own touches to the material to create a unique approach. Because of Victor Griffin’s involvement in the legendary and pioneering band of the doom metal – Pentagram – including a Pentagram cover was an obvious choice in the setlist of the night. Thus “Sinister” got played in front of the spellbound audience. In general songs “Silver Cord”, “The Monster”, Feeling Of Dread” “Dead” “Timeless Hearts”. As it can be seen the set included the older as well as newer material.
These two doomesters are touring Europe and will be testified at Roadburn again. There Place Of Skulls will spellbound the audience again…
The official sites
Gates Of Slumber