Chronicles from Euroblast 2018 – Day 3
The third and last day is upon us! By now I'm considerably tired and I've already seen more bands than I usually do during festivals. And again lots of people have shown up for the first band of the day, which makes me think that there wasn’t much going on on the after-party front in the youth hostel.
We set sails with German youngsters Time, The Valuator. Extra points for having a comma in their name. Such a nice band to start the day. They were, and to my knowledge still are, touring with a new singer as of 2 weeks before the festival, and Rafael Andronic is feeling those shoes perfectly. They stop just short enough from being djenty, and their sound is very layered but clear.
Opening the side stage we had another one of my favorites from the festival, the Austrian extreme metallers Dhark. With their progressive, dark, moody moody metal and general atmosphere of despair, they entranced the crowd. Gernot Weller on the drums takes the band higher and higher with incredible dexterity. The gloomy clean vocals are amazing as well, like a chant between both Matthias Waldner and "Mark". I think they should sing clean all the time!
An up and coming Swedish band was next to take the main stage, with Letters From The Colony. Another almost-djenty band with very atmospheric interludes and a great singer in Alexander Backlund. He was very funny and self-deprecating as a frontman, even going as far as saying “Who’s got our album? 5 of you? I love you guys”. Eden Circus from Hamburg would be next on the side stage, on which they barely fit with 5 guys and a keyboard there just waiting to be tipped over. Such an amazing band! Great sound, incredible voice and lots of energy.
Back to the main stage for the first surprise of the day. Italian experimental proggers Adimiron are awesome! Their music is anger in melody, and the bass from Cecilia Nappo is so fucking good. They play a little bit from everything, and all of it well. They were going to be a very hard act to top on this last day and were definitely one of the highlights from the festival. Such a prog heavy band with mostly slap bass is hard to find.
German prog-rockers Lake Cisco were next on the side stage, showing that this day was way more diverse than the previous one. This band was just a joy to listen to, with their proggy spacey dramatic rock that is easy on the ears but not by any means dull. I was about to leave their set to have lunch but I decided that my stomach would have to wait a couple of hours, and it was worth it.
The band that would top mighty Adimiron as the best on this day, and perhaps the whole festival, was slated to take the main stage. Serbian-Chilean (yeah, I know, right?) proggers Organized Chaos with amazing performances from all members and so much energy that no one was left just standing by the end of their concert. They premiered a song ('Big Boy'?), shot a video, rapped and even threw fake money at the audience. Amazing! Everyone was enjoying their music! And with good reason! Such musicality and virtuosity together. These guys are destined for big things. They could've easily headlined this day.
Theia from Italy were next on the side stage, and they're a very good band, punishingly heavy with incredible guitar solos. Unfortunately I was too hungry to stay. Which I regretted an hour later as this next act I could've skipped.
Just like the day before there was a Swedish djent band headlining the main stage, with almost exactly the same sound and lights. Humanity’s Last Breath gave us another insanely good but horribly lit show. There was a funny moment on the side of the stage with photographers looking at the pictures they had taken and laughing. Not a single good photo was made during those first 3 songs. The band’s sound was a little bit all over the place, being more focused and balanced during soundcheck. I could've eaten during this set.
Surprise #3 of the day. How many times has anyone ever seen a band's first performance ever outside of a smoke-filled bar with questionable hygiene standards? French self-described baguettecore band Heptaedium can say that they played their first show ever in Euroblast. As a matter of fact, they did say it. "This is our first show" (crowds applauds) "Ever" (crowd goes insane). They didn’t even have a drummer. They have very mechanical, almost industrial moments, followed by very melodic passages, and their sound is excellent, especially the thumping bass that just keeps rumbling.
And after all this heaviness and brutality it was time for Surprise #4, Serbs Destiny Potato / Sordid Pink. Pop invaded Euroblast, with the occasional growl for good measure. David Maxim Micic can do no wrong with his weirdly named creative outlets and their show is simply beautiful. Aleksandra Djelmas can sing beautifully, maybe in 15-20 years she'll be the new Anneke, endlessly collaborating on everyone's album and making them more magical. David’s solos are equal parts fun and mindblowing, and Siebe Sijpkens on bass gives the band such a deep growling rumble that elevates the songs. This was simply a beautiful show that put a smile in everyone's face.
As we were getting close to the end of the festival it was time to close up shop in the side stage, and the honor went to Romanians White Walls, who did one hell of a job. A good mix of mellow and full-on prog metal songs, with Eugen Brudaru really bringing it on vocals.
The last band, the last concert, and one of the best of the festival. German instrumental prog rockers Long Distance Calling brought all their atmospheric, moody, instrumental songs for an excellent show that kept everyone in a trance swaying to the music. They have great build-ups and releases in their songs. This was an excellent choice to close the festival, as it doesn’t leave you on a crazy high, but it does bring so much satisfaction and closure. As they were finishing their last song I had an epiphany (dramatic, I know): these guys are a melodic post-black metal band missing their singer. Maybe he’s somewhere in the woods in the middle of the Black Forest. They were also the only band doing an encore. What a show!
Euroblast was all in all an excellent festival, very well organized but with a couple of hiccups here and there. Delays with bands that take too long loading and/or sound checking are almost unavoidable. Other than that this is a well-oiled machine of a festival. That second day though, a bit more variety would’ve done wonders. Maybe for next year, a more diverse distribution of bands would be beneficial and make it even more enjoyable.