Saturday turned out to be painful, and not because of the music. With the price of beer at a mere 6 leu (just over £1) a large portion of the crowd from yesterday are looking a little worse for wear. Crawling back to the field for the next and final round of music was more than worth it though.
I started with Saturday with Bulgarian ambient folk act Kayno Yesno Slonce (5/5) who provided a chilled interlude to the festival. This band are very much like Wardruna, a distinctly ethnic touch while still providing a heavy backing to accompany the traditional instrumentation. Very unlike any of the other bands that had been on that weekend, this was a refreshing change from the light rock that seemed to have dominated the second day. With the field packing out to see of the end of the festival, the crowd of mesmerized beings was slowly increasing as the set went on.
Finishing off the festival is Greek band Chaostar (4.5/5). Containing the guitarist and drummer from Septic Flesh, as well as an opera singer, synth player blasting both orchestra and dubstep and this band are pushing the boundaries fusion music. It was hard not to be skeptical at first considering the style description that had been provided, but as the closing act on the Saturday, they had to be doing something right, right?
From the first note the band easily proved why they had been chosen to headline this festival. Each element within the music mixed easily together in an effortless display of musical brilliance. Comparing this band to any others would be pointless, although each element is not unique in its own right, the sound is something entirely different.
I can’t help but think back to Fifth Element’s brief techno opera performed by the Diva, and with singer Skoula’s thin face, sweeping dress and dreadlocked hair, she looks ethereal, almost alien herself. At points when Skoula ventures out of her Opera voice the band does edge into the Nightwish area of metal, however these are quickly pulled back in check with some seriously powerful operatic bursts. As an avid hater of dubstep, I’m surprised to find how well this band utilize every sound, and for once, I am actually enjoy the bassy wubs emanating from the speakers.
Chaostar are one of those bands that need to be seen at least once in a lifetime. During the performance I really was unable to tell whether I liked them or not, they are something entirely different and there’s always the anticipation that comes with an inability to even guess what’s coming next with this band. It’s an experience that so few bands can boast of providing for fans, a realization of the aims of the festival sonically and the perfect ending to a long weekend.
Ghost Gathering as a festival is just plain different; did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I be running back? Possibly not.
For me the whole festival was too polite, too chilled. It lacked that essential element of reckless stupidity that sees people waking up in bins at 7am caked in pen marks and stale larger, but for those of you who are happy to spend the day with a beer in one hand, food in the other and some avant-garde metal onstage, this is the perfect festival experience.
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