A Night of Inner Devotion: Svoid live in Bucharest – 20 IX 2016 AB

Tuesday, September the 20th, Live Nation Promotions scheduled another concert in their series of  events that were planned for this end of year. Svoid(Hungary) and Abysmal Grief(Italy) were to play in Quantic Pub, right after the 2 bands shared the stage together in Cluj a night before.

Due to a sudden change of weather, the show was moved indoor, making this the first concert that took place in the big concert hall that looks so good. For the evening to be complete, another band was added to the bill, 2 Wolves (Finland), which was supposed to play in another venue the same night. But as the promoters (Live Nation Promotions and Titus/Metal Under Moonlight) agreed to merge their efforts, we got only one show with 3 bands.

As I said before, the indoor concert hall from Quantic is immense, the best place for concerts during the rainy/wintry season. The only downgrade is if there’s not enough audience, the place looks kinda deserted. And that happened Tuesday night, when only a bunch of people witnessed the first band, 2 Wolves.

Well, the 5 musicians play some sort of gothic/melodic death metal, definitely a mix that I don’t like, but as they came from far far north, I assumed it would be a decent thing to support them. Respect to those few who were in the front and encouraged the band, which, maybe out of enthusiasm, made some mistakes during their set.
I personally enjoyed the vocal parts (who changed between clean, growl or screaming in a blink of an eye), and the drum parts, which alternated between some blast beats and other slow tempos. I remember some songs like Freedom of Two, Serpentine Paths in the Autumn Night, Enemy Inside, Bygones and Stars. A decent opening act, but the best was yet to come.

One down, 2 to go. It was Svoid‘s turn to enter the stage, and since they did not have the time to do a proper soundcheck earlier in the evening, they sorted out all the technical details with the sound team in a timely manner.

After the small check, S decorated the stage with some incense sticks and a pole with two dead, rotting ravens (not wolves) which made me instantly feel at ease. The magic smell of those perfumed sticks quickly filled the hall and my wife and I were more anxious than ever to see them play for the first time in Bucharest. Since the release of their second album, Storming Voices of Inner Devotion, we were dying to see the Hungarian band live, so finally our wish was about to come true. I was really glad when I saw that more people gathered in front of the stage to witness this, as some of them bought the tickets especially for Svoid.

Svoid Incense Sticks

One by one, the four musicians entered the stage wearing some sort of corpse paint and sprayed with blood. The show began with a big surprise, an amazing U2 cover of Where the Streets Have no Name, played in the Svoid style. The cover was fantastic, proving how talented these guys actually are. The (clean) voice of S was impressive, transforming this really great song not in just another simple cover, but giving it personality and power.

The rest of the show was full of songs from the last album, Storming Voices of Inner Devotion, which was released earlier this year by the Romanian label Sun and Moon Records. I love this album, it’s a masterpiece of extreme metal (I would like to call it black metal, but it’s much more than that) and on disc each of the 11 songs follows a certain rigor and order, but live, it unfolds a new level of perception.

Svoid live Bucharest

S gave up the bass duties for these shows, so he focused on the vocals and the atmosphere, creating an invisible bond between what happened on stage and the abyss this songs were spawned from. Believe me, these are not some random words written just for the sake of it, this is how I perceived their performance, a manifestation of pure (anti)cosmic energy.
For the show to be complete, we were treated with 2 songs from their debut album, To Never Return (Nightless Moon Mistress and Chaosathanas/Noxulifer) and the fabulous Watain cover of Devil’s Blood, a classic song Svoid has reinvented and reshaped.

Another big surprise was to hear Long I’ve Gone, during which S left the stage and guitarist Gergő took over the vocal duties and, just like on the album, he added the same tormented, raspy vocals that made my skin crawl.
The ceremony ended with Never to Redeem and with the hope that we’ll have the chance to see this fantastic band again in the near future, with a bigger audience which they deserve.
I cannot end this review without mentioning Dániel, Svoid‘s extremely talented drummer, who really is a fucking drum machine. He is also doing backing vocals, so together with S and Gergő, the unholy trinity manifests in all its glory on their songs. It was a real pleasure to watch this (young) band at work, they have an enormous potential which I’m pretty sure they’ll know how to use.

The headliner for this show were the Italians master of horror doom metal, namely Abysmal Grief. Their music is the soundtrack for a funeral, so the stage and their outfits were chosen accordingly. White marble statues, candles, skulls, decayed flowers, hooded figures, crosses and lots of smoke created a sinister atmosphere.

Abysmal Grief live Bucharest

All of this was accompanied by an insane music, played a la carte by the Italian foursome. Unfortunately we did not stay for the entire show because it was already late and next day was a working day. We left after 4 songs, but even so, I could appreciate the quality music these guys played. Live, they sounded just like in the studio, proving that 20 years are not wasted in vain when you really want to do something of high quality.

It was another perfect night, with some very interesting bands and performances, with a big merchandise stand (tee shirts, cds, vinyls, tapes, pathches) and a promising new venue. For the promoter: keep up the good work and bring back Svoid in Bucharest.

Svoid play list:

Through the Horizon
Nightless Moon Mistress
A Mind in Chains
Devil’s Blood
Crown of Doom
Long I’ve Gone
Never to Redeem

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