[Live Report] Doom Over London – Sunday (40 Watt Sun, Black Moth, Coltsblood)

Having no bands to check out in particular on that second and last day of the Doom over London, I had plenty of occasions to wander and discover new bands. In fact, it took me no time at all to find a new band I liked when I stumbled into the Dome to hear the second half of Hung on Horns‘ set. The ex drummer of fan favorites Obiat is now playing for this trio and their mix of doom and alternative rock is splendid. The vocals of band front man and bass player Sean Cooper are soothing and memorable while the guitar and the drums explore each song’s structure with much playfulness and mastery. Another one to keep track of.

On the other side, at the Boston Music Room, the Wounded Kings were predictably excellent. Never one to play a bad performance, the rock and roll doom quartet offered an excellent set and continued to prove that this festival was consistent for at two important things: booking excellent slow and heavy bands and offering an excellent sound quality to each performer. One could regret that most had only thirty minutes to play but with so many on the schedule there had to be some sacrifice and it was for the better as it prevented each and everyone from dragging their set for too long.

Darkher did not leave much of a memory in my brain but Pantheist did thanks to their versatile singer. Dressed in a monastic robe, the man led the musicians into some mystical funeral doom despite looking like your best friend’s dad. Visually, Pantheist did not offer much but once you let yourself through their musical universe there was much to enjoy. Coltsblood followed and quickly affirmed their presence with the loudest sound of the day. With a very loud bass sound and some metal scratching guitar riffs, the trio plays a unique take on sludge and doom. No one would be surprised if these musicians had made a pact with the devil thanks to the quality of their sound and the burning red that surrounded them throughout their performance. Another very impressive set from a band with one of the most unimaginative cover I have seen recently.

After such a huge performance, Lord Vicar sounded very boring in comparison with their traditional doom. Despite that, many came to see them, proving also that the most popular bands of the day were booked on the medium stage while the biggest room remained largely empty in comparison for most of the bands. Sinistro on the other hand took the doom formula into a different direction by mixing heavy riffs with a an unusually pop sounding singer. Sadly, she didn’t seem in tune for most of the songs I saw which diminished the overall performance despite her impressive charisma. However, when she finally locked in by pushing her vocal chord, she produced some very impressive vocal lines, proving that this might have just been a bad night for this Portuguese quintet.

Speaking of impressive vocalist, Black Moth had one with more charisma than most. Harriet Bevan is a natural star on stage and shines while her band mate rock the crowd with ease. They might have been the most rock band of the weekend and the least heavy too but also might have had the best songs of the day. There is no doubt in my mind that with the proper push this band could be huge. In contrast, the success of Swallow the Sun mostly escapes me. Some of the riffs are alright but their performance was just dull and uninteresting. In other words, it was a perfect set up for the brilliance and the soul crushing melodies of 40 Watt Sun. The trio plays some a sort of doom rock by obsessing over the same guitar melody while guitarist and singer Patrick Walker sings some painfully intimate lyrics with the kind of voice a younger Michael Caine might have possessed if he had fronted a folk band in his younger years. A very memorable performance that offered a perfect conclusion to my weekend of discoveries.

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