Roadburn 2010 is getting closer and closer every day. Last Saturday I had the chance to taste the atmosphere of the festival by checking out Church of Misery @ Vera, Groningen. Because they play at the same time as Thorr's Hammer at Roadburn, I was very glad Church of Misery played my home town.
When we arrived, Ortega just started their set. There weren't a lot of people, so we could easily find a spot close to the stage. I must confess I don't really dig the local bands around here, but Ortega really surprised me. They play some kind of riff-based Post Metal which (in my eyes) has some similarities to Isis and A Storm of Light. Their set was tight and packed enough punch to get me psyched for Church Of Misery. I think some clean, eerie vocals would have completed their sound. The vocals were OK, but some variation would have been nice.
Finally, Japanese DOOM-gods took the stage. I immediately wondered how a man can fit in such ultra tight jeans! Well, as long as it doesn't affect his singing, I'm fine with it. They started out with the first track of their album Houses of the Unholy, called El Padrino. From that point I didn't keep track of the songs they played. It was one big doom feast until they left. The bass player (which had an awesome Rickenbacker, hanging so low it almost touched his feet) and the drummer provided a great layer of thickness. The guitar player mostly followed the bass player's lead, occasionally busting out awesome, screaming solo's. The vocalist had a great day too, it was almost as good of a live performance as it is on their album (which is something special, these days). They played solid for the good part of 90 minutes, I guess (as I said, it was awesome enough to make me lose track of time and place). When they left for the first time, the crowd was cheering for an encore in a way I've never witnessed before in Groningen. After a minute or two they returned to play one last song before it was time to go home (right, on a Saturday night) and dream of what is to come @Roadburn 2010. Church Of Misery really made it a difficult choice between them and Thorr's Hammer!