Another dark weekend in central Lisbon, this time with the fifth edition of Under the Doom festival, in a two day format, congregating in our sunny shore some established and new dark collectives. Two days where two hundred metalheads have communed the obscure anthems of 10 bands, from Shoegaze to Black Metal, but with a common denominator: Doom metal.
If the first day was more doom-oriented, Saturday had a more eclectic line-up, starting with AGONIA, one of the most tenebrous bands of the Portuguese scene. Even if they entitle their sound as “cataclysmic doom”, we’re not sure if there’s a label dark enough to describe them. Punishing riffs and agonizing shouts commanded our souls during a decaying half an hour, leaving no room for chat or bright sensations. Everything was sombre. Black and grey. As every painfull existence should be. The final “A Dissolução Final” was the most tortuous experience of that night.
Continuing in Portuguese territory, we had the chance to retake contact with northern black metalers DOLENTIA. And what an evolution these guys have had. Counting with members from Bosque and InThyFlesh, their six tracks setlist blew our ears with an unexpected speed and power. Misanthropy and occultism were incarnated by “O Reerguer de Medos Antigos” or the more old ones “Ruinas” and “Cântico”, as well as the recent “Voragem”, where a superb drum exhibition has eager our appetite for the new “Iniciação Eversiva”. The final applause by the doomish audience was the best reflection of Dolentia’s performance.
Moving towards Doom/Death sonorities, Belgians MARCHE FUNÉBRE came back after the promising first concert last November. And in these four months they’ve improved their already well oiled stage presence, conquering all those that didn’t knew them. Starting with the strong “These Fevered Days”, “As in Autumn” catchy approach was the click the band needed to earn the audience’s full attention. Between long songs, “Roots of Grief” appeared as the shortest but heaviest song of the setlist, before the ending with “Crown of Hope”. It’s a band that evidences a strong taste for live appearances and that joy transmits a positive energy to their followers, and that’s why they were one of the festival winners.
As the night went on, Irish veterans MOURNING BELOVETH filled the stage with their five piece presentation. Having part of the audience conquered since the beginning, they’ve based their set on their last “Formless”, starting with “Ethics on the Precipice”. In their usual slow tune, the guitar melodies were accompanied by the gutturals of Darren Moore and the clean voices of Frank Brennan surgically placed. Even if the slow pace was kept till the end of the show, “Narcissistic Funeral” is a classic within the genre, and the pleasure of listening to it hasn’t vanquished in all these years.
Italian black/doom metalers FORGOTTEN TOMB returned to our country, once again as headliners. With a faster sound than their Irish companions, “Rejected Existence” opened the ceremonies in a catchy way that pleased the audience, judging by its reaction. If they’ve been changing their sound through the years, it’s still “Springtime Depression” their most consensual effort. And from there they’ve pulled two of their best moments: “Todestrieb” and “Daylight Obsession”, both still anthems of depressive BM. Asher continues to hurt every drum he touches, while Herr Morbid still shows a confident attitude, leading a band incapable of performing bad shows.
And with a precise timing, the festival ended with a very positive outcome, both to the audience and to the bands, promising a window opportunity for a new big event next year. It has been an entire month lived within RCA’s walls. We’ll be back in April.