AEON AETHEREAL - "Halloween Bash", Tapper, Tallinn, Estonia on October 30th 2009
Review and pictures by Luxi Lahtinen
Could there be any better way to spend your Halloween night than going to see some metal bands, and being surrounded by a bunch of nice and friendly people - not to mention being accompanied by some true female beauties too (ha, lucky me!).
In Tallinn, Estonia, they luckily have quite a few rock/metal clubs that have earned their reputation by arranging some metal concerts there - out of those Rock Cafe and Rockclub Tapper being the most popular and known ones, I think. Rock Cafe is a bigger venue, and therefore all the big concerts are mostly arranged there – and Tapper works more like a good springboard for smaller bands in general where they are introduced to a smaller crowd – with some exceptions though. International bands like Blaze Bayley, Unleashed, Bullet, Ritzie Kotzen and some others, have also played there, so Tapper can most definitely also fulfil the criteria for the international concert events, and make them happen there.
And speaking of the latter one, Tapper, the Halloween party was celebrated there at that night by the live performances 5 Estonian local bands: MintTaara, Bestia, Aeon Aethereal, Morigan and Tharaphita, all of these bands representing more extreme sides of metal genres - from thrash to death to black metal. Since Aeon Aethereal was the only band to me personally that I had heard of and become familiar with their music in advance, this review is strictly based on Aeon Aethereal.
Aeon Aethereal (previously called BloodForge) is a Tallin-based metal act that is a sort of hybrid of thrash, black and death metal – added with some progressive elements here and there. The band has been around since 2004, consisting of 5 young and absolutely talented musicians whose true potentiality can already be proved on their more than promising debut full-length album, PARASITE HALLS that they released on their own, last year. I managed to talk with the band´s vocalist Ott briefly before their turn to conquer the stage, simply inquiring what to expect song-wise from them at that night, and he told that they would be playing all the songs off their debut album, except an instrumental tune, called “Atrophy Sublime”. They decided to not include any new songs into their set at that night simply because they are currently working with songs for a concept album, and didn´t want to reveal any of those new songs in advance for the audience yet. That pretty much explained why they wanted to stick to the PARASITE HALLS album material only, and play only those songs live on the Halloween night 30th of October.
It was delightful to notice that when it came to Aeon Aethereal´s turn on stage, lots of people had gathered to witness their local heroes´ performance. In fact, they managed to gather at least twice as many people to see their live show than what the first two bands that night - MintTaara and Bestia - pulled for their sets. This alone should tell you something about how popular Aeon Aethereal seems to be among the local Estonian crowd.
Just 2 weeks earlier, the band had played 2 other shows; one in Riga, Latvia on October 16th – and the other one in Pärnu, Estonia on October 17th , with their new bass player Markus who replaced Andres in August 2009. According to this fact, nobody in the audience could tell it was his 3rd gig with the band. Markus looked very confident and relaxed with the rest of the band members onstage, like he had been doing his thing for some years already. He passed his Purgatory really well on just his 3rd gig with Aeon Aethereal, and if he did his share well as a part of band´s whole live appearance, there´s nothing bad, or negative to say about any of other Aeon Aethereal band members´ performances either. When the Aeon Aethereal guys were churning out their impressively technical and progressive-tinged – let´s say, ´extreme metal songs´ - one after the other, I could not help admiring all that non-stop live energy they were able to get out from their own steaming machine. The guys have clearly realized that whenever you need to perform live, you gotta remember that people have actually paid for their tickets to come to see YOUR band playing live, so you just gotta do something there onstage; a bit more than only watching the tips of your boots during the whole set - and looking like an idiot who did not quite make it to a toilet before his turn to walk to the stage. And then it was already too late, of course.
The Aeon Aethereal lads gladly showed the best side of them when it comes to a properly made live show, acting wild and energetic through their 40 minutes set – so full of sheer enthusiasm and ever-burning passion. What also caught my attention in an impressive way, was the band´s dynamic guitar duo Ove and Silver, who simply proved to be quite virtuosos with their 6-string shredding axes. Both of these young fellows (Ove, vocalist Ott´s little brother, is only 18-year-old - quite unbelievable IMHO!) actually proved to be quite phenomenal guitarists both in sheer shredding and soloing departments. It was also a very pleasing thing to notice that a guy behind the mixing desk, had managed to turn the buttons to the right (louder) direction when it came to the sound of both guitars on the stage. Sometimes you are not able to hear when some guy starts soloing live, but luckily this wasn´t the case with any of the 2 Aeon Aethereal´s guitarists. Also the bass´ sound was good too, and delightfully audible.
As for the band´s frontman and vocalist Ott, he seems to be at home whenever he goes onstage, but on the other hand it is no wonder why he is actually able to shine with that much of stage charisma. He´s a very tall, blond-haired guy - and he´s also a school teacher by profession. So no wonder at all if he knows how to move on the stage, and how to entertain to his crowd. What was also a great thing about their concert, every time when they finished one song, all those people who had gathered to see them, warmly yet so sincerely showed by either hand clapping or simply screaming, or shouting how excited and pleased they were about Aeon Aethereal´s show at that particular night of Halloween. I was - among about 60-80 other people out there in the audience that you could nod their heads securely and say Aeon Aethereal saved the Halloween night with their strong set of songs, and overall a very professional yet tight performance. By witnessing them for my very 1st time live, I am also confident to state that here is definitely one upcoming Estonian metal band that many of us will be hearing a lot of positive things in the future. Just mark my words for that. ;o)