Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hull, Inter Arma, Elder, and Windhand in Paris

Doomed Gatherings has what can only be called the most impressive doom metal bill to grace Paris ever. Yes, ever. No other set of doom acts so heavy, so poignant, so darn beautiful, have come to this city in the space of one weekend. (Why, for a lot of these bands, it's there first time in Paris!) This first day seemed to have the best line up of all, stacked with doom metal titans whose music will ring out long after they are gone. I showed up to the venue a little early to get some interviews in and see my friends in Windhand, before long, it was time for the show!

Hull were the first band up, and while I didn't know anything about them they were extremely interesting to watch. I especially liked the way they mixed two vocalists, it gave them a unique vibe that made for an exceptional show. On top of that, these guys seem to be pretty talented in structuring their songs, contrasting fast and slow like old hands. Their is a primal power here too, it gave Hull a certain authenticity, even if outside it was still bright. These guys are definitely interesting to check out, but their set was far too short, they only got through about three songs. The last one though, oh my god, THAT was heavy, it demonstrated that Hull may be the face of a new wave of doom bands.

Up next was Inter Arma, one of the bands who I had most wanted to see going into this festival and by god did they blow me away. They play with such an incredible and fiery passion it is impossible to overestimate them. There is a primeval beauty to their music, a sound that could move entire mountains. This is the sort of thing that really gets to the heart of what metal is supposed to be. With hair flying and disembodied screeches soaring over the metal masses, we were taken in by one of the loudest bands on the planet. These guys get the magic of doom metal and they know how to bring it to the fore, loud, triumphant and covered in blood. I simply can NOT wait to see Inter Arma again live.

Elder were the third band to play live. Beforehand, hanging out with them, I had been struck by their cheery, happy-go-lucky New England attitude, I was interested to see if they would deliver onstage as well as they did on the record. Suffice to say, this is another one of those doom metal bands who are simply transcendent. The thing that most impressed me with these guys was the quality of their new material, it is a clear development on the older Elder stuff, but it also has a unique vibe of its own. Best of all, it was just as tight as the older material. These guys seem to be held together by sheer groove and it allows them to conquer, masters of all that lays before them.

And now it was time for Windhand, dear Lord, Windhand. This is the band who are going to take over the world with sheer volume. This is the band who go beyond doom and create something more, sound that maybe even can't be properly categorized as mere music. Windhand is the voice of the soul, it gets to you in a way that is simply indescribable, a triumph of loud guitars, heavy drums and ethereal vocals. Dorothea is a doom metal priestess, looking down upon her congregation of followers, all of whom would do anything for this band, this beautiful band. As they came out and pulled off a stellar encore, I realized that Windhand could very well be, along with Pallbearer, the defining doom act of our generation.

What more is there to say? Windhand simply crushed my bones to dust, far better than the last time I saw them and triumphing over every other band I have seen this year. That being said, the other groups really impressed me. I will be digging in and looking for more stuff from Hull before I crash tonight. And after the punishing set from Inter Arma I will be sure to give Sky Burial a few more spins this week. As for Elder, well, given the state of their new material, I feel pretty confident in saying that the new record will be glorious. If you're in the area, come on down to Doomed Gatherings day 2 and 3, this is the greatest doom festival of the year, and you HAVE to join the fun!

Find the bands on Facebook or Bandcamp!


Inter Arma:



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