We visited the Atelier A Fábrica venue, a recently open place in the city of Coimbra, Portugal to check out a stoner night that gathered the bands Stones Of Babylon and Fjords.
André Figueiredo, also a member of Mike Vhiles, and Rafael Borges on bass make up the duo known as Fjords. This project came to life in Coimbra in 2020 and offers a unique take on stoner rock by incorporating unexpected tempo and rhythmic changes, and ritualistic vocal performances complemented by the fat bass tunes and the occasional synth/noise addition. The band bases their compositions on progressive repetitiveness, adding layers of new sounds to the already existing, so listeners may find themselves in a hypnotic classic slow stoner rock/doom moment only to be suddenly bombarded with a chaotic and psychedelic grungy mess. Their performance included songs that drink from Nordic mythology such as “Melange”, “Arrakis”, “Fremen”, “Hela”, “Gardsolmi”, “Muspelheim”, “Yggdrasil”, and “Leifr.” There was also time for the latest single “Dagon”. Throughout their shows, Fjords delivers an intimate and cathartic experience as the two members passionately connect with each other onstage as well as with their audience.
Coming all the way from Lisbon, the instrumental trio Stones of Babylon brought with them an impactful performance of what they call ” stoner mantra doom”. The band was promoting the album “Ishtar Gate” released in November via Raging Planet Records.
The first thing you notice on stage is that there is a hanging gong. You know things are going to be heavy if there’s a freaking gong onstage!
What followed was a long journey into an introspective performance of hypnotic riffs, oppressive bass lines echoing everywhere, and wall-cracking percussion that hit everyone in the stomach on every hit on that bass drum. Even though the venue was not full, this didn’t affect the trio’s performance. In fact, this may have made the gig more interesting and even better because the synergy between the band and the audience was much stronger. Just like it happened in the Fjords show.
The band performed the album “Ishtar Gate” in its entirety so the audience was presented with the songs “Gilgamesh (…And Enkidu’s Demise)”, “Anunnaki”, the most publicized single “Pazuzu”, “The Gate Of Ishtar”, “The Fall Of Ur” and “Tigris & Euphrates”.
The Stones of Babylon premiere in Coimbra was a night to remember.
Also noteworthy is the fact that this venue, Atelier A Fábrica, has all that it takes to become a serious cultural pillar in the city of Coimbra, when it comes to concerts. We were superbly received and the place is huge, so let’s hope that more and more gigs take place there. Promoters, place your eyes on this venue!