sabato 6 gennaio 2018

Hierophant/Onryo (Rome, 28th December 2017)

Bands: Hierophant/Onryo
Location: Traffic Live Club, Rome
Date: 28th December 2017

Along with my friend Luca aka L.L., in 28th December 2017 I was back at the Traffic Live Club to watch in action two Italian bands, both very talented: Onryo, from Rome, and Hierophant. These last ones, directly from the region of Emilia-Romagna, was the main band and their Roman date has been the second step of their "Italian Descent Tour", that will end, among some breaks between the gigs, 23th February 2018 in the city of Venice, so to promote "Mass Grave", the 4th album of this devastating trio released two years ago by an important label like the French Season of Mist. Instead, Onryo, if you well remember, was supposed to be in the bill of the Goatvomit Festival but, for some reason, they can't played anymore for that occasion. So, they have recovered that missed opportunity to share the stage of the Traffic Live Club with a band of the level of Hierophant.

Said that, the show of Onryo (a Japanese word for "revengeful ghost/apparition"), still fresh of their debut EP "Mūto" (Everlasting Spew Records, 2017), was total fuckin' madness! Imagine 4 guys with a regular look (for instance, only one of them has long hair) that has bombarded the audience with a completely neurotic, dissonant and ultra-fast music dubbed by me as a kind of math/death/grindcore, playing always in a critical state of tension and showing also notable technical skills. In particular, the young drummer Giulio Galati, now active in 1665 bands, is very fuckin' impressive while the two guitarists (strangely, there is no bassplayer in the line-up) plays sometimes totally demented solos even in tapping. A special mention goes to the singer Daniel Casari, very good to hold the audience with his jokes between the 12 songs (included a Converge cover) played in the show and also during their execution through many gestures and even absurd dances so to emphasize some particular musical passages.

But something strange happened during the show: in fact, Onryo started it as a quartet and ended it as a trio because, at a certain point, the guitar of the long-haired Edoardo Spadoni...broke! So, he left his dead guitar on the stage so to let to his comrades to continue the show until the end. Fortunately, this was happened when there were only two other songs to play!

Ended the killer performance of Onryo, a band influenced a lot by bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan, Meshuggah and Cephalic Carnage, there was a quite fast change on the stage. Meanwhile, Luca and me met Giuseppe, the owner of the local raw black metal label Xenoglossy Productions, that some weeks ago contacted me to review some of his releases (one of them, Stige, has been already reviewed only 3 days ago). But then, the show of Hierophant started.

Well, the look of these 3 beasts from Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, is completely different from the regular one of Onryo: in fact, they looks totally old-school. For instance, the vocalist/bassplayer Fabio Carretti wears a t-shirts of the mighty Blasphemy, and you know how much I like this band and the entire old-school aesthetics, as expressed everytime on these fukken pages!

But the music isn't a Blasphemy kvlt! Precisely, it is a sort of dark black/death/doom metal that reminds me a lot of the stuff that comes from the Oceania like Vassafor and Temple Nightside with Bolt Thrower influences. It is a very heavy and monolithic approach to conceive the extreme metal but with some obsessive and almost psychedelic riffs and some suggestive atmospheric passages. Excellent is the performances of the two singers Fabio and Lollo, the former with his profound growls and the latter with his higher vocals. But, unfortunately, I have a regret about Hierophant: in fact, they played only for 30-40 minutes, a lenght too short because, for a band of this kind, I expected a longer show.

Anyway, we saw two bands radically different both musically and regarding the attitude and the look, so Onryo impressed me a lot for their intensity and technical skills while Hierophant for their incredible heaviness and wickedness. In addition, both they were fortunately supported by a good sound (differently from the Goatvomit Fest where the sound was too chaotic) and by a little audience formed by 30-40 people that appreciated them, also if, this time, there were few headbangers. Said all this delirium, see ya next time at Traffic Live Club or in another place ready for a extreme metal onslaught!!!




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