The night starts with German melodic post blackers Dolch. Dolch attract us with their pop-leaning heaviness and clean female vocals. The sound, however, is not their side tonight. It’s muddy. More so, drums are loose at places and unconvincing. The lack of pummelling power is somewhat compensated with beautiful bass lines. In my humble opinion, it is the bassist who provides the strongest rhythmic and harmonic foundation to Dolch. Confident bass riffs clearly steal the spotlight.
The Ruins of Beverast are vitriolic. We are immediately impressed by the wide range of Alexander von Meilenwald’s vocals. From a growling guttural yell, hardcoresque shrieks that remind us of Aaron Turner to the strength and brightness of higher notes. Pounding, aggressive drums, tribal rhythms and industrial moments added by luscious synth fuse everything together into one shamanistic ritual. The psychedelic vibe Germans create can be rightfully likened to that of Oranssi Pazuzu. Applause!
The Ruins of Beverast
The king of the night is obviously… King Dude. The American composer is supported by his band tonight so we expect a heavier, more of a rock n roll set. The moment Thomas Jefferson Cowgill steps on stage, his heaven (or hell) sent musicality and charisma conquer our ears and hearts. “Rosemary” brings some good old post-punk vibe, while “Sex Dungeon (USA)” orchestrates a rather timid Belgian crowd into frantic dancing. Metallic acidity, the walls of fuzzy guitar and thick bass, all are thrown into a hedonistic blender of “I Wanna Die at 69”. “Silver Crucifix” gravitates towards melancholy, - I feel irrevocably moved by Thomas’ dry-throated singing. Even if there are a couple of moments that didn’t quite hit the heights, King Dude’s performance is magic. Perhaps it is that imperfection that makes the set utterly breath-taking and stimulating.