Solbrud, Izah & Wildernessking review
On a sunny sunday afternoon me and my fellow crew member, Bonno Zwaan, decided to hop into his vehicle and travel down south to see some interesting bands for an even more interesting price of 8 euro’s. The names of the bands playing go by the name of Solbrud, Izah and Wildernessking and this was going to be their last show on their current tour, before heading back home. I got to admit, I wasn’t familiar at all with Solbrud nor Wildernessking, so I went in with zero expectations. However, I’ve heard of Izah before and when I heard that they were playing with two other -most likely- interesting bands, I had to take the chance to see them. If you’ve never heard of the venue where they were playing, which is called Db’s in Utrecht, you wouldn’t know that this is one of the few venues in the Netherlands with easy accessible live shows. I’ve been to shows here before that costed me around the astonishing small price of 8 euro’s for three bands and left the venue in awe of how amazing this place actually is, as we don’t seem to have many places like this.
Anyway, the music. That is why we were there after all. After it was announced that the band was going to play, we went into the comfortably dark and small room where Solbrud was going to demolish our ears with their hellfire. Solbrud is a band from Denmark and they lean on the atmospheric wing of Black Metal, as I can’t call just plain Black Metal. They played for a well worth 40 minutes and to me it seemed like they only played three songs. This was Black Metal that was influenced by the more recent waves of Black Metal and if you let it, it would take you on a journey if you were just giving it some time. The set was tight, you could pretty much tell that they were on the end of the tour. However, they delivered every second of their show right the way it was supposed to and I have to give it to the vocalist for being an important element to this. His voice was so cold and rasp that it chilled me to the bone. As I said, a tight and good 40 minutes of Black Metal from Denmark. A nice way to meet with this band, although their atmospheric angle on their music doesn’t shine through as well live as on their albums. These guys can go back to Denmark with their heads held high.
As for Izah, the second band this evening, this was also going to be my first time seeing them live. And even though I was already familiar with their music, they still managed to surprise me. I was looking forward to them the most and I was hoping that this wasn’t going to be a let down. When Izah started their set I wasn’t sure what to think at first. Also, I wasn’t sure what to think when I saw people leaving the room. Izah is an Atmospheric Sludge metal band from our own base and in their not so many years of existence they have grown into an appreciated and well-known band that they can be very proud of. I didn’t let the people that left the room form any judgment about this band and stood there while the band was working their magic. It was like a delicate flower that needed growing, it was fragile and reserved at first but as you gave it time to grow, it grew into something beautiful and strong. As with most post-metal -or however you want to call it-, I knew that this wasn’t going to be the type of music where you’d know what they’re all about in a couple of minutes. You could call it shy, that some of the musicians didn’t like to show their face and just gazed at their feet. But this is everything that they’re about, the band roams inside their own sludge/post rock space while the vocalist connects with the audience. I don’t see how Izah is called a Sludge band most of the time as they implement so many genres in their music. It can’t quite be described, just let it come to you. The further into the set, the more intimate and less set back it got. They knew how to deliver and they knew how to get the people back in the room. Only to leave me with saying that this was the best out of the three bands this evening. And no, this is by no means because they are cheeseheads just like me.
Wildernessking as the headliner of the evening got me interested in what they were going to deliver. Again, i had no expectations but as they call themselves an Atmospheric Black Metal band, I was curious of what was going to be left of that Atmospheric part on stage. Wildernessking comes from South Africa, so they were a long way from home and I had never gotten the chance to see a band from this region, so I was secretly hoping to hear a new type of sound, maybe influenced by their country. This band was everything I didn’t expect and sadly, not in a necessarily good way. Maybe it was the songs that they were playing, maybe it was the sound -which actually seemed good to me-, maybe I should have given them a listen to hear what they’re about, or maybe it wasn’t for me… But I really couldn’t find the essence of this band in their music on stage. It wasn’t bad at all, but I guess that some layers of their music got lost in the mush. I guess me and Wildernessking have to meet again and this time on CD. They played a short set and I went outside with some question marks on my face, but not for long as I walked back to the car with a satisfied feeling as I thought that this was a sunday afternoon well spent.
Review done by Zina Koning | Dutch Brutal/Death/Metal/Thrash NL | 30-07-2017