Doom Over Scania IV @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE)

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HANDS OF ORLAC / MEMORY GARDEN / DOOMOCRACY / CRIMSON DAWN / NEBULOUS AURA

Date: 01st April, 2017
Venue: Farozon
Tickets: 180SEK (€18/$19)
Promoter: Doom Over Scania
Photos: Erika Wallberg


So, it was that time of the year again when one of the coziest events in Swedish Metal happens, ‘Doom Over Scania’. A cool hang-out that, especially with this year’s line-up, should have lured every Heavy Metal and Doom freak out of their comfy couches and down to Farozon. Ok, it was a better gathering than last year, so I guess with time it will grow.

First out was NEBULOUS AURA as BONG OF CTHULHU had to cancel some days before the festival and no suitable replacement was to be found. But NEBULOUS AURA started off in a very good way; I liked the Drone-styled instrumental intro and it is rather cool to have the band turning their backs towards the crowd just waiting for the show to start. The incense got sufficient time to pounce on and a mysterious clam lowered over Farozon. Also, to have chandeliers helped creating a very hushed atmosphere. And it continued very well. Second song (perhaps) was a bit more up-beat and had a strong occult vibe to it. The stomp in the riffs was fantastic and the lead-heavy progression got everyone present to nod with approval. It's definite, NEBULOUS AURA have the future in front of them, they definitely have a lot of talent and when they got it together as for this song and for a few more throughout their set it sounded fantastic. But on and off, musically it was a bit out of control, not as tight and intense as those extremely good moments. It's damn cool to see bands breaking out of the standards though, long and extreme songs with tons of changes and dynamics. Conceptually, it all was very cool and with a bit more time and more shows I'm sure all of it will sound as good as the highlights of the show.

NEBULOUS AURA

Nebulous Aura @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Nebulous Aura @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Nebulous Aura @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Nebulous Aura @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Nebulous Aura @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Nebulous Aura @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Nebulous Aura @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Nebulous Aura @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Nebulous Aura @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Nebulous Aura @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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I first heard of CRIMSON DAWN while prepping myself for the ‘Malta Doom Metal Festival’ a few years back, and listening a bit before the show, I was impressed. But not as impressed as I was with their live performance. I love it when a band can catch this type of dynamics and keep the music intense, even if it’s Doom we’re talking about. A few years later now at ‘Doom Over Scania’ CRIMSON DAWN managed to repeat the task, or actually do the same thing better. The day before the festival “Chronicles Of An Undead Hunter” had been released and the show started up with opening track from that album, “Eternal Is The Dark”, and it sounded fantastic. I love the theatrical touch with cloaks and hoods and it all became a mixture of priests and a cult. It worked especially well for vocalist Antonio Pecere, with his motions and expressions.

“Dark Ride” is one of my favorites from the new LP and I was thrilled that it appeared in the set. CRIMSON DAWN even managed to get the crowd to sing along to this one which is remarkable since the night was still early and the record brand new. The absolute favorite moment though was “Gaze Of The Scarecrow”; I love the mellow imitation of the song and Antonio nailed it perfectly. CRIMSON DAWN really is musical perfection and everything sounded marvelous but Antonio stood out. His voice is very strong, clear and it feels strange that he’s on a stage like this in front of a few-headed crowd. It all is so much bigger than this.

So yes, CRIMSON DAWN delivered again and I was afraid that the rest of the bands on the bill would get it hard to live up to these standards. 40 minutes worth of goose-bumps is hard to beat.

CRIMSON DAWN setlist:

01. “Intro”
02. “Eternal Is The Dark”
03. “Tower Of Sin”
04. “Dark Ride”
05. "The Suffering”
06. “Source Of The Dead”
07. “Gaze Of The Scarecrow”
08. “Crimson Dawn”
09. “At The Cemetery Gates”

CRIMSON DAWN

Crimson Dawn @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Crimson Dawn @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Crimson Dawn @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Crimson Dawn @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Crimson Dawn @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Crimson Dawn @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Crimson Dawn @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Crimson Dawn @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Crimson Dawn @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Crimson Dawn @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Crimson Dawn @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Crimson Dawn @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Crimson Dawn @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Crimson Dawn @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Crimson Dawn @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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DOOMOCRACY have also impressed me when I’ve seen them on other occasions. But since they’re more standard Epic Heavy Metal / Doom and there are no frills and spectacle around them I was afraid they would appear a bit faded compared to CRIMSON DAWN. But there are more ways to impress and since the genre is rather versatile my concerns was completely unwarranted.

Damn, this was a smack in the face. Vocalist Michael Stavrakakis took command immediately and got everyone onboard. At that point, there was a decent crowd at ‘Doom Over Scania’. And the a bit more up-tempo, when compared to the bands prior to DOOMOCRACY on the bill, worked mighty fine. “Lucid Plains Of Ra” struck hard and the majority of DOOMOCRACY’s set was from brand new “Visions & Creatures Of Imagination” released the day before the festival. As I didn’t have the opportunity, as I had with CRIMSON DAWN, to listen to the record prior to this event most of the material was new. But that didn’t take away something from the whole experience. It’s clear that these guys are true professionals. I mean, it seems there’s 12 good vocalists on a dozen (yes!!) in Greece and Michael is no exception. The rest of the band holds the same standards as well. But it sure seems promising for that album as both “One With Pain” and “Guardian Within” sounded great, an immediate like on those two.

DOOMOCRACY sure delivered as well, it was rather different compared to CRIMSON DAWN but that’s what’s nice with music, isn’t it?

DOOMOCRACY setlist:

01. “Lucid Plains Of Ra”
02. “Faceless”
03. “My Bane”
04. “Taste Of Absinthe”
05. “One With Pain”
06. “Guardian Within”
07. “Doormacht”
08. “Ghost Of The Past”
09. “Sins”

DOOMOCRACY

Doomocracy @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Doomocracy @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Doomocracy @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Doomocracy @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Doomocracy @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Doomocracy @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Doomocracy @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Doomocracy @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Doomocracy @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Doomocracy @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Doomocracy @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Doomocracy @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Doomocracy @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Doomocracy @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Doomocracy @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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I wonder how many times I’ve heard the word CANDLEMASS rip-off when I’ve mentioned MEMORY GARDEN. It’s fascinating how fast people judge without knowing because there’s no chance they could have listened to either band if claiming they’re the same. Sure, we’re talking about Epic Doom with Heavy Metal influences here too but MEMORY GARDEN is definitely unique. And again there was a band delivering a stunning performance on the ‘Doom Over Scania’ stage. I love the complex rhythms in MEMORY GARDEN’s music and when performed as flawless as this it still has a great flow. “The Evangelist” from the latest “Doomain” LP struck hard, else I really like “Carnage Carnival” so opening “Nameless” and the title track went down well too.

Again, the crowd delivered a good support for the band but halfway through the set almost everyone suddenly left. Even if the first band had cancelled the event was delayed resulting in this drop-off since people had to catch the last trains out of Hässleholm. It’s really a shame and that’s the only thing to complain about, that the timetable isn’t kept, even if it is better for the first bands the Headliners are basically playing for an empty house.

Ok, perhaps the real old school MEMORY GARDEN leans a little more towards the CANDLEMASS style, everything flaws a little smoother and the crowd, what was left of it, sure was up for some old school stuff. “Rhyme Of The Elder” is my favorite from “Tides” and “Judgment Day” is great too.

As I’ve seen MEMORY GARDEN a couple of times over the years, I knew what to expect; it will always be a whirlwind of action when Simon Johansson is on stage and when he’s getting a match for the attention by Ante Mäkelä it all becomes forceful. And absolutely, MEMORY GARDEN’s performance too was right up there with the previous two bands on stage. But as they always sound great this was no surprise. But I’ve actually forgotten how good “Doomain” is, I love the title track of the record so this came in as a good reminder of that. And what an end with two Old School ones in “Genesis” followed by “Warlord”. High quality at this years’ ‘Doom Over Scania’ doesn’t really tell how good the bands had been up ‘til now.

MEMORY GARDEN setlist:

01. “Nameless”
02. “The Evangelist”
03. “Carnage Carnival”
04. “Inarticulo Mortis”
05. “Hallowed Soil”
06. “Rhyme Of The Elder”
07. “Judgment Day”
08. “Forever”
09. “Doomain”
10. “The Downfall”
11. “Genesis”
12. “Warlord”

MEMORY GARDEN

Memory Garden @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Memory Garden @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Memory Garden @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Memory Garden @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Memory Garden @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Memory Garden @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Memory Garden @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Memory Garden @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Memory Garden @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Memory Garden @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Memory Garden @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Memory Garden @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Memory Garden @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Memory Garden @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Memory Garden @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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It was a while since I had seen HANDS OF ORLAC so this was exciting. It was getting late though and I wasn’t the only one starting to feel tired. No wonder, as I think HANDS OF ORLAC actually started to play when they were supposed to end their set. The good thing was that a few new people showed up just to see this band so there were some fresh blood in the building.

Anyway, HANDS OF ORLAC sounded awesome and it felt like they’ve grown a lot since last time I saw them, both their sound and how the performance was structured now. “Vengeance From The Grave” always go home very well, I love the dynamics and the rhythm of this one. The addition of the flute builds it up too. The songs’ dark and gloomy nature sent an occult vibe out over the place. Just as for NEBULOUS AURA the atmosphere got very special here too, without the incense though. It was the music itself and the stint stir out over the hall from The Sorceress, the whole attitude really creates a cool thing.

Also both “Burning” and “Coin In The Heart” from second album “Figli Del Crepuscolo” sounded really good. Again, what NEBULOUS AURA managed to catch on a few places in their set HANDS OF ORLAC delivered from start to finish; I really love the hypnotic beat in the music, it’s suggestive and very heavy. It’s also fascinating how different bands can be while still under the Doom gem. So this was yet another very good performance on this edition of 'Doom Over Scania'. But it was clear it was late now - people were tired which was a downside. The party kind of died hours ago and even if the crowd had a blast while it lasted I felt a little sorry for HANDS OF ORLAC and MEMORY GARDEN. Bands of their caliber deserve more. But again it was a very good event, the atmosphere at Farozon is always fantastic and the quality of the bands this year was phenomenal. Do we dare to hope for a fifth edition in 2018?

HANDS OF ORLAC setlist:

01. “From Beyond The Stars”
02. “Vengeance From The Grave”
03. “Burning”
04. “Coin In The Heart”
05. “Curse Of The Human Skull”
06. “Noctua”

HANDS OF ORLAC

Hands Of Orlac @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Hands Of Orlac @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Hands Of Orlac @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Hands Of Orlac @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Hands Of Orlac @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Hands Of Orlac @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Hands Of Orlac @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Hands Of Orlac @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Hands Of Orlac @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Hands Of Orlac @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Hands Of Orlac @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Hands Of Orlac @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Hands Of Orlac @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Hands Of Orlac @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Hands Of Orlac @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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Serpent @ Farozon, Hässleholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)