Frankly getting an invitation to see the first gig of a band feat. members from Swallow The Sun, Amorphis, HIM sounded quite tempting in every aspect. Hallatar is definitely an interesting project. They released their debut NO STAR UPON THE BRIDGE in 2017. The band was formed by Juha Raivio known for works with Swallow The sun to dedicate the work to his late fiancé, who passed away a few years ago. The band hasn’t done any gigs until now due to schedule issues. As for the debut album, it is a great melancholic doomy output that should be checked out for sure.
Before Hallatar hit the stage another domestic melancholic doom patrol – Hanging Garden – opened the night of the doom. The band offered more in the Katatonia vein of the approach with the pure signing. The band received a polite reception from the crowd. Even though the band isn’t that familiar with the crowd, but the band definitely gained the attention and interest as the music genre is basically same.
Hallatar definitely pulled a nice amount of people to the legendary Tavastia club. After the intro, the five-piece took to the stage in the wake of church bells ringing, creating a more funereal ceremony than the celebration of life. It is definitely fully expected, as stated earlier the whole concept of Hallatar had been created to honour Juha Raivio’s late finance Aleah. The whole atmosphere definitely brought all kinds of thoughts and flashbacks to the mind when living up to melancholic doom metal filled with sadness and sorrow. Despite being the first gig for Hallatar, the band has a lot of professional experiences gained by playing in other bands, therefore there was no hassle or other unexpected things. Instead, the five piece did an outstanding performance and honorary for the late fiance. The one hour set was pure magic and doom from the beginning to the end. The Amorphis frontman Tomi Joutsen is an excellent interpreter and frontman for a band like Hallatar. His deep death growling as well more clean singing approach worked extremely well.
It was stunning to witness how the audience respected the band’s performance. There was no thrilled cheering and chanting as one is used to seeing and hearing at gigs. Instead the dead silent moment landed over the audience between every song. The atmosphere was like one kind of memorial ceremony. People didn’t speak loud, just whispering to each other. Joutsen didn’t have any extra long speeches, just focusing on singing.
Hallatar’s gig was definitely an exceptional one for sure because of the more ceremonial atmosphere among the audience.