Last Saturday, on the 7th of November, Doom Over Kiev VII festival held in MonteRay Live Stage concert hall, Kyiv. Three headliners, iconic British band Pantheist, Antimatter and the Russian-Ukrainian project Kauan with the presentation of its new album "Sorni Nai". Seven hours of incredibly intense doom atmosphere, new material and best hits of the participants. Noizr Zine's journalist visited the concert and today share his impressions and photo review.
For the first time, we heard about Doom Over Kiev in October, 2007. It was the concert with metal bands from different cities of Ukraine, who represented the same thematic field of heavy music genres: doom, funeral / gothic and death doom metal. On Saturday, we talked with many guests, but we couldn’t find the lucky one who visited DOK I. Nevertheless, we know that quite soon the fest was called the main doom event in the country and the next year DOK II announced the Swedish headliners Draconian. Now, listeners could be proud of a pretty well held analogue of European festival in Ukraine.
Following concerts were held by various foreign and Ukrainian artists. Usually, among five or six participants, there were two guest bands from England, Finland, Sweden, Denmark or Russia. Doom Over Kiev has become a place of debut performances or quite important gigs for some bands who are famous today, like Stoned Jesus (DOK III, 2009), Kauan who had their first live show there (DOK VI, 2013) and others.
The long-awaited seventh festival starts a one year break. Of course, the news about the event made us glad as well as the list of this year participants. Doom Over Kiev VII is led by a fairly well-known British metallers Pantheist, their associates Antimatter and the previously mentioned Russian and Ukrainian project Kauan. Following the headliners, some other bands were expected on stage of DOK VII, the Swedish death/doom metal band When Nothing Remains, Ukrainian group Vin De Mia Trix (already familiar from DOK IV, 2011) and the project Nightspirit. However, earlier this month we got some news about the line-up changes. When Nothing Remains regretfully declined their participation:
"We are all very sad by the news we got today from the government passport central," – the guitarist Tobias Leffler wrote: "Our singer passport will be ready next week and with that being said we can’t travel to Ukraine. We really looked forward to this and we hope you guys can find another band on such short notice. We don’t want to put you guys in this situation but unfortunately we have to cancel the show. Best regards. Tobias, Jan, Peter and Dimitri," – was signed by the musicians.
Following the name of the band, there is nothing remained for the organizers as just to cross out When Nothign Remains from the list of the participants. So, on Saturday the 7th of November Doom Over Kiev VII opened its door for hundreds of listeners. But as it turned out later, some more surprises got the stuff a bit nervous.
By the beginning of the event there were not so many people in the hall, most crowded at the bar in a que to get some drinks. However, according to the schedule, lights dimmed near the stage and the red curtains opened the scene with Sergey Pokhvala (Nightspirit project) on it .
Sergey created the project with an artist’s approach. The idea came with the attempts to portray night with the help of curtain guitar sounds. The musician started the festival with his 26-minute composition, using the guitar, a bow and a whole collection of sound effects. During the performance the concert hall exactly plunged into the endless expanses of night. With the background of mysterious sound effects, Sergey reproduced truly unique electric guitar sounds creating gloomy passages and soft solos with the help of a mediator and a bow. Nightspirit’s show ended up with lively applause, the audience seemed to come out of oblivion.
After a short time for soundcheck, doom metal band Vin De Mia Trix from Kiev played the next thirty minutes of the festival. During this time, the group shared two new tracks "FVIMVS" and "NOE", which will be included into their new album. Aggressive vocals, heavy guitars and deep doom motives enlivened the audience. More people had already gathered near the stage enjoying the performance of the Ukrainian metallers.
Once Vin De Mia Trix left the stage, guests of the festival were informed about some changes in the schedule. At this time Antimatter brought some disappointing news.
"The flight of Antimatter was scheduled for the 6th of November with a transfer in Frankfurt," — DOK VII team member says: "However, the union of Lufthansa flight attendants went on strike. For this reason they canceled hundreds of flights, including those one for musicians."
Fortunately, the organizers of the festival were able to save the situation, the tickets were booked for the next day. Mick Moss and his team went to Kiev via Munich, so it was necessary to make some changes in the schedule.
One of the headliners, Kauan, were met on the stage with loud cheers. Later musicians commented their performance, they played just two songs, but their set lasted about an hour. In fact, their show has begun with the new album "Sorni Nai", which was successfully released last month. Shrill notes of a violin, keyboards support and the same chilling sound effects. Concert hall screens scrolled dozens of terrible thematic photographs from the Ural Mountains during the show. Exciting atmosphere and a stunning live performance. As an encore the band played their track "Orkidea". Fan zone was fully packed and enthusiastic audience held the musicians leaving with real ovation.
From the airport terminal directly to the stage, so it happened to Antimatter. The musicians came just before the performance, taking about twenty minutes for a hasty soundcheck. Mick Moss corrected the sound during the first songs, but from the very beginning the British band formed a real volcano that just exploded an hour later.
Quite lively frontman gave the audience all his emotions despite such sad and deep themes of his songs. The rest of Antimatter members were also quite enthusiastic. The group performed their popular compositions of previous years "Uniformed & Black", "Monochrome", "Redemption", "Over Your Shoulder", as well as some news songs from the last album "The Judas Table", among them we heard "Killer", "Can Of Worms" and "Stillborn Empires" in the end. The listeners refused to let Antimatter without their encore. Moss repeatedly thanked Ukrainians for the warm welcome and while leaving the stage said goodbye until the next visit to Ukraine.
If all this time the audience listened to the melodic motives and life lyrics, with the Pantheist coming out the concert hall simply drowned into darkness. Thick smoke around the stage and lightened candles. The band was in a serious mood and you could read it in the sizzling Costas’ look he took around the hall. His black frock also became quite thematic.
The iconic metallers played quite heavy final set, which included the songs "Time", "O Solitude", "Here And Now (The Present)", "Do not Mourn", "776 BC" and others. The listeners did not hide their delight, they enjoyed the legends of the genre. Later Pantheist frontman shared with us his own impressions:
"We very much enjoyed our stay in Kiev and are grateful for the people of Doom Over Kiev who brought as there, as well as the audience and how they reacted to us."
For several days the official pages of the festival collected positive reviews, videos and photo reports. To summarize, Doom Over Kiev VII went very well and it was more than just interesting to be a part of the audience. So, now we are waiting for continuation of the main doom festival in Ukraine!
Text and photos by Yuri Somov