The gig Vernissa hosted could be described as a tremendous set of affordable atmospheric Finnish metal. Each of the bands is yet to gain the attention they deserve, probably because the members of each band aren’t kids anymore. They seem to be mainly around and plus 30s and have more in life than just bands.
The Chant may not be in metal-archives but they still have plenty of kick in them with the atmospheric late Anathema like soaring. Crib45 represents modern Post-Metal at its basic majestic form and Hanging Garden a sort of mixture of melodic death, again late Anathema/Katatonia, and perhaps a pinch of doom as well (combined with shameless pop hooks and idiotic cover art).
The gig was allowed for all ages but for once the drinking area for people over 18 was smartly placed. Pretty much the whole place was 18+ except the side where people came in. Far too often these areas seem to be designated for keeping people with alcohol crammed as far away as possible. Not this time, excellent Vernissa!
The Chant was a great opener. Their playlist included tracks like Minotaur, Falling Kind and Earthen which are my personal favourites of their 2014 release New Haven. Falling Kind managed to set up a good amount of goosebumps too. Stage was quite crowded, was it 7 or 8 people on it? It did not result in wall-of-sound though, the dynamic was very much present.
The last track Come To Pass caught me by surprise as I did not remember it being such a blissful build up. The album version does not do full justice to its magnitude indeed.
Crib45… or like my Belgian friend says it needs to be pronounced NOT “Crib fortyfive” BUT “Crib neljäviis” (as they call their band that in their stage banter) …presented an expected heavier boost to the gig. They’ve been accused of being a carbon copy of Cult of Luna, and they do sound very alike. The difference between a blatant copy and Crib45 is that Cribneljäviis does their thing so damn well and the passion is so present it is very hard to accuse them being just a copy.
Again the last track Into The Abyss was the highlight. Its end with minutes of robotic posturing with a repetitive riff leading to epic end with surprising dual vocals works magnificently in a live setting.
Only thing that I do not think is very impressive on album or live is the end where music fades out but clean vocals and growls continue on for a long while. Friend accurately commented it sounding “like a humour band”. It is a brave move nevertheless. I was also glad to hear Waiting For Deliverance. I am only familiar with their newest album, 2014 Marching Through the Borderlines though. Their slot was under 1 hour, so these two monsters took about half of it already (some I missed because of beer and scenic Vantaa riverviews).
Hanging Garden‘s setlist seemed to be similar as their Lahti gig warming up Swallow The Sun a couple weeks earlier. They started with Borrowed Eyes where I am always taken aback on how much the vocals sound like Pasi Koskinen (ex-Amorphis 1995-2004). Only in the first lines though. Embers with its piercing piano lines and melancholic popdoom worked pretty damn well. Yeah I just made that genre up.
I was pleased how good HG sounded after strong efforts by The Chant and Crib45. Also the final track before last encore 10 000 cranes from At Every Door (2013) grew a lot since last, and first time I have heard it (in Lahti-gig). I still can’t get over that when they present the track it sounds like the vocalist says “ten thousand creams”. This gets me trying to mishear the lyrics as baking references:
I command you, bake
Bake the cake, with a furnace
Bake the cake, with darkness
Burn I command you, burn
After the audience convinced the surprised band to come back to a second encore they ended the gig with a cover they stated they hadn’t trained much. Jeff Buckley’s Dream Brother (which I thought was something by Tim Buckley, whose Starsailor I’ve had a brief acquaintance with, Jeff is actually his son).
Especially the drummer did not seem to mind the cover as drumwork was a joy to follow. Upon further googling that song does actually appear in Hanging Garden’s Backwoods sessions Live ep from July 2015. Apparently only in Youtube. They are definitely a band that I will want to see again in the future. Their newest Blackout Whiteout is also a real grower of an album, highly recommended.