Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Arkona/ Fallen Martyr/ Yesterday's Saints/ Burning Shadows / Vitality @ Cafe 611 10/28/2013

We went up to Cafe 611 to catch Arkona on the first stop of their headline tour!  We apparently got there way early, because we actually got to see the first band (unheard of at Cafe 611).  We met up with a buncha fun friends- Iri, Ashley, their friend, Larry, Brittany, Nathan with a J, Annie, and even the couple who goes to a lot of these Fredneck shows.

So as we got there, Divine Conspiracy was on. This was one of their first shows they said- and it kind of sounded like it. They had some alright guitars, but the vocals and drums were a bit thin. I didn't really catch any of their song titles, but they did play a System of a Down cover ("Toxicity") and Pantera ("Fucking Hostile"). Their Pantera cover seemed a bit faster than the original, but the SOAD cover... UGH IMO. The crowd eerily watched from the edges of the floor. Not a bad debut, but not a really great one either.

There were a bunch of people there- about 100-120 people at the high point I think. There were a bunch of Arkona shirts and some CDs, and 2 DVDs. Yesterday's Saints had shirts, and Burning Shadows had shirts and their CD(s).

Vitality, a band I swore we had seen before, was on next. Their sound was some pretty killer twin guitars that were very NWOBHM ish, but with a metalcore vocalist, who at times was almost similar to the Black Dahlia Murder's vocalist, but not quite. The guitar melodies had really hooked me, they sounded great, and were very old school. I really enjoyed their riffs, and because of this I kind of didn't really focus on the vocals at all.

The elusive Burning Shadows was on next, I know we missed them a couple times- so I was looking forward to seeing them. They have that true/ power metal sound, with some vocals that are ambitious, but a little lacking. Their vocalist, IMO, would have been a bit more metal with some leather or chainmail armour instead of jorts. But he certainly had energy, but he seemed a bit too raw- like Zandelle or another...less polished Power metal band. his style was fitting, but something wasn't quite hitting the mark. The music was sufficiently true sounding, and one amped up fan was headbanging a lot throughout the set.  They sounded rather good,  but something was a little lacking that I couldn't quite place. Their set was rather fast paced, and got me more excited.

Yesterday's Saints we up next, they were another band I had not seen a full set of, so another first. We moved to the floor for them, and it was hella loud.  Their vocalist, Matt got up into the faces of several fans, making them a part of the show :3- He then patrolled the 'stage' and alternated between some soaring clean vocals and harsh growls. He was certainly putting his all into it, because he was bright red! I dunno if it was where we were standing or what, but the vocals sounded a bit muffled. The bass and drums were pretty crushing (in a good way). The guitarwork was pretty good too, one of the solos on the last song was of note as well. I believe Matt said that they were playing some new songs (they are in the process of finishing recording an album!). After 3 enjoyable bands, I was feeling good.

But that nice feeling was kind of coming to a slowing end, as my not so favourite local band Fallen Martyr was up next.  I stayed on the floor and gave they guys another chance- they started out with some heavy riffs, and then--- the vocalist started. His vocals, IMO, have always clashed with the heavy music, and in a 'ruining it' way for me. The vocals are a bit whiny or even atonal. I think the closest was Linkin Park's Chester's screams on some of the early songs, over some decent riffs, but drowning them out. I think the singer must be feeling something, because he seems sincere, but it just sounds kind of a mess.  They still seem to have a pretty solid fan base, as they are consistently near the top of the local billings, so they must be connecting to some people.  I only really recognized their last song that has the long drawn out 'Rise' part. It was rather late at this point, so that combined with this...less than impressive set... was making me sleeeeepy.

Arkona finally came on almost at midnight (!!) , which was about an hour later than the originally proposed set time. The crowd surged right up to the stage, which was packed with Russians in tunics and leather pants. The bass player really looks like someone's dad... or Ron Jeremy. He was holding it down, and looked pretty aloof, not a THING bothering him. Badass!  The folk instrument guy (flute/recorder/bagpipes) was visibly nervous, but sounded damngood. I don't know if he was nervous cause it was the first show of the tour, was annoyed that people were focusing on Masha, or what. This kind of reminded me of the Amaranthe show with Eliyze.

 Some other silly parts of the show- Masha addressed the crowd as 'Baltimore' despite being like 50 miles from there. There was a wall of death before 'Maslenitsa,' which was kind of ridiculous. There was a lot of girl power in the pit this night as well. Masha Scream took a very exhausting looking break and sat facing the corner before the encore. It was a little unnerving cause it looked like she was going to faint. The guitar or bass player kept guard while she got her strength back.

The sound was pretty good for Arkona, and thankfully the folk instruments were nice and clear and not drowned out. My foreverfolk complaint about people moshing to songs that aren't that moshable remains relevant here. There were a couple songs that were moshable, but other were just... not. Some songs were still a bit of a mess with the flute conflicting with the drums. The guitar was noticeably absent or relegated to the background, taking a backseat to the folk instruments and vocals, which is rather odd in metals. I thought it was a fun show overall, but I still need them to be heavier. Still, a great opportunity to see foreign bands up close!\ (despite the late late times)

Yesterdays Saints
Arkona's first stop of the tour
More Masha Scream
Masha Scream and folk player
Arkona's folk metal
Arkona end

Setlists (original times were:
[ARKONA 1045pm-

FALLEN MARTYR 955-1025pm



VITALITY 755-815pm


Divine Conspiracy (? -over at 8:26 ish)

Vitality (8:41- 9:01)
  • ?
  • Tears of Sorrow
  • ?
  • ?
  • Back to Blood
Burning Shadows (9:17- 9:43)
  • 1000 lies
  • ?
  • ?
  • Southwind
  • New Dawn Arise
 Yesterday's Saints (10:06- 10:32)
  • Origen Adamantius
  • The Recruitment
  • Recursion
  • Cain's Agony

Fallen Martyr (10:56- 11:21)
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • Body of Light
 Arkona (11:52 - 1:21) (setlist.fm)
  • Az'
  • Arkaim
  • Ot Serdtsa k Nebu
  • Goi, Rode, Goi!
  • Zakliatie
  • Kolo Navi
  • Slav'sja, Rus'!
  • Pamiat
  • Arkona
  • Po Syroi Zemle
  • Stenka na Stenku
  • Maslenitsa
  • Yarilo
  • Rus
  • Kupala i Kostroma