Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Toner Low w/SardoniS, Fiend in Paris (@Glazart, 19/02/2015)

Here I was once more, all pumped up and set for another evening of dirty ol' rock n' roll brought to us by our friends over at Stoned Gatherings productions. Whereas last weeks' show was more focused on the lengthy, atmospheric side of stoner rock compositions, last Thursdays’ gig at Le Glazart would offer us yet another night of stellar stoner rock, but this time of the doomier and sludgier persuasion, our top guest of the evening being the Dutch Stoner-doom band Toner Low.

 Firing up the evening into a magnificent blaze were the local faces forming the doom-influenced stoner metal act Fiend. From the very start of our first set of the evening, we were treated to the fat, abrasive, in-your-face riffs we had all come out to hear. What we got were simple and straight-to-the-point riffs nicely-coated in a deliciously fuzzy tone, delivered straight to our faces.
The band would sometimes dive into some slower, doomy sections before building up again towards some explosive riffs served alongside some rocking, ecstatic guitar licks on leads. Simply put, these guys further prove to us why you should make an effort to catch every opening band whenever you're going out to catch a concert. For those unfamiliar with the band, log unto your favorite cat-video search engine (google, YouTube...) and type in the 5 magic letters to uncover magnificent sound of Fiend. Just do it.

Following up our local opening act was the Belgian guitar and drum duo known as Sardonis. Sonically, the band played a crushing set of songs rooted somewhere alongside the border between doom metal and sludge metal. While the two piece formation usually spawns some concerns as to the bands' capability to keep up alongside four or five-piece acts, Sardonis' set undoubtedly proved to us that they could sound just as ferociously heavy and complete as any four piece sludge band, but also that they were capable of turning their basic stripped-down formula to their advantage. For one, the bands' set was accompanied by some nice visuals projected unto the stages' backdrop, exploiting the stage room to its fullest. Also, the guitar sound had a heavy chunk of low end to make up for the absence of a bass guitarist, making for an earthshaking rumble for every menacing riff being channeled through both of the massive Marshall amps set onstage. The songs from Sardonis' set was nicely balanced, with some faster riffs coming in now and again as well as some post-metal touches being sprinkled here and there (some riffs actually reminded me of Amenra). Overall this was a great set and yet another great musical discovery for me.

Finally, it was time for our prime guests of the evening to hit the stage. It didn't take more than a few drum hits and a few stricken notes to understand why some critics have to compare the Toner Lows' sound to that of the stoner doom titans from Sleep. Ear protection was a vital necessity for this evening, in that the sole intensity of each note being hit swept you away and physically shook your whole body to its very core and make you literally gurgle like a Tibetan monk. Heavy would be an understatement, were I to describe Toner Lows' show. The snare drum was constantly rattling from the sheer intensity of the vibrations. It was noisy, it was loud, unapologetic and filthy, and by god was it satisfying.
This was a slow paced, earthshakingly heavy set, with lengthy yet groovy compositions charged up for maximum potency. The set was also complemented with the appropriate imagery to immerse the audience into the full stoner experience, with some colorfully trippy lava lamp-like motifs projected onto the front of the kick drum, along with an animated backdrop of ganja leaves flying about on the stage backdrop. Every now and then, the sonic vibrations in the air would mix in with the all-too-familiar smell of THC.
A small gripe I would have for this otherwise top notch show would be the fact that the vocals were completely inaudible during the few passages during which the frontman made use of his mic, though this obviously was a virtually irrelevant issue for us riff-hungry audience.

And so yet another night of classic ass-kicking stoner metal drew to a close, leaving some people with damaged unprotected eardrums others with suspicious bowel movements from all of the vibrations, and others off course that would go on to wander into the night on a search for the nearest kebab or fast-food joint. Nevertheless, it's pretty safe to say that all of us left the show that night with a sense of satisfaction from this stellar show. For those who didn't get a chance to witness the show first-hand, I recommend you check out the great bands and check out this weeks’ Salem’s Pot and Monolord show at Le Glazart. I'll see you there.


PS: I'd like to yet again send my thanks to Stoned Gatherings for making this review possible. Be sure to visit their website to find out about their upcoming shows.
SardoniS Setlist

Fiend Setlist

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