Swallow the Sun, Oceans of Slumber and Aeonian Sorrow LIVE review

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Last week, on April 30th, I went to Swallow the Sun‘s concert in Sala Caracol in Madrid. I had been anticipating it for some time, since Swallow the Sun has become one of my favorite bands lately and it was also the first time I went to a concert where all the bands played doom metal (more or less) and doom has also become my favorite metal subgenre.

The first thing that caught my attention when I entered the concert hall was its acoustics. Aeonian Sorrow, the first opening band, had already begun to play and the strength and clarity of the sound made me think that I had arrived late and it was the main band who were playing, but it wasn’t. Of all the concert venues I’ve visited in Madrid, I think that sala Caracol is the one that gets the first prize in terms of acoustics. I’d had some bad experiences in the past in other halls, but the sound of the three bands in this one was awesome. And already talking about Aeonian Sorrow, I have to say that I listened to some of their songs previously and it seemed to me very heavy and funereal but quite generic doom, in which growls alternate with the melodious voice of the female singer. However, in the concert they played some other tracks that I hadn’t listened before and that caught my attention for being more original. Doing a bit of research on the Internet, it turns out that the main songwriter of the group is a woman, and it’s the first time in my life that I find a female main-composer in metal, so I’ll have to listen more carefully to their album no matter what, so I’ll post the review here soon. Their presence on the stage was confident (most of their members are or have collaborated in other projects, so they have experience) and knew how to interact with the audience, which made it more engaging and entertaining.

Aenoian Sorrow playing at sala Caracol in Madrid

It was more difficult to count on the complicity of the audience for Oceans of Slumber . Despite how comfortable Cammie Gilbert was on stage and the guitarist’s efforts to encourage the audience, the concert didn’t quite take off. I was more familiar with the music of this band (in fact I have the review of their last album half written, I hope to publish it soon) and they didn’t dissapoint me with their live performance. Cammie’s voice was at the height, sounding almost identical to how it does on the record. The problem was the drums, which are very excessive. I know the drummer, Dobber Beverly, is the main songwriter and he likes his instrument to look good, but it’s too much. So please, someone ask him to hold back, because it ruined some moments that could have been very beautiful musically.

Oceans of Slumber playing in Madrid. Although the efforts of the band members, the audience was a bit cold.

And finally, very punctually, the main band, Swallow the Sun, came out on stage with their original alignment (yes, Juha Raivio was there). At first, the audience was still a little cold, although the band members had already jumped on stage and started playing the song that opens their last album (whose review you can read here), but by the third or fourth track , they have warmed up. I particularly liked the lighting on the stage, since during most of the concert the band was backlit, you couldn’t even distinguish their faces, with the hoods of the jackets on and partly hidden by the smoke, which made them look like apparitions and it gave the whole a ghostly tone that stuck very well with the funeral music. They played their usual set, which you can consult here. And there’s not much more to tell: they lived up to my expectations, which were high. It wasn’t a concert with much interaction with the audience, no show, no pyrotechnics, no people running around the stage and breaking guitars. They simply played one song after another, but not tiredly, but with emotion. It was a concert dedicated exclusively to music, and I was there for the music, so I left very satisfied. So if you are a fan of doom metal and Swallow the Sun comes sometime to your city, don’t hesitate. As a final comment, the voice of Mikko Kotamäki sounded incredible live, much better than on records, which is anusual.

Swallow the Sun live in Madrid. Notice the effect of the backlit illumination.

And that’s all for today. I’ll be back in short with more reviews. Until then, keep rocking!

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