A miserable wet Friday helped set the atmosphere for In Solitude‘s Dublin date with support from the mighty Beastmilk. The smell of incense filled the air to alert the senses that this wasn’t to be a standard metal gig.
Opening proceedings was solo act Daniel Bay, who, as a replacement for punks Obnoxious Youth, seemed to be out of place on the bill but his dark melancholic songs brought to life with his Nick Cave like vocals was perfect for those in attendance who enjoy some of the darker alternative acoustic music. His songs were well written and performed with an subdued intensity. It would be interesting to hear him with his own backing band just to give some of the songs a new depth. I’m really looking forward to seeing how he progresses in his career. Also, a smart move was the cd-r demo he brought on tour that was on sale for €2!! You cannot say fairer than that., a 4 track physical copy demo for the price of 2 mp3’s!! After Daniel Bay, the receptive crowd started to swell for local act Venus Sleeps. Think fast drone music with punk vocals. A bizarre combination that, if I’m honest, didn’t really work. The music is really strong, with a very present Black Sabbath influence augmented with almost space rock guitars. I could easily listen to it all day, if it were instrumental. The vocals just don’t sit right with the music and some of the lyrics aren’t strong enough in context of the music. This is only my opinion but the best way to find out if it’s your thing is to check them out over the next while as they’re releasing a new album soon and perhaps they will change my mind too.
Next up were probably the most anticipated band of the evening, Beastmilk. They have been the talk of the Irish metal scene for quite sometime and initially when the album Climax came out it divided opinion. For some it was an instant classic, for others it was a slow burner. With smoke filling the stage and lights providing an atmospheric back lit setting charismatic frontman Khovst brought to life the emotion and melancholy ever apparent on the album and 7″ s. One thing I dislike is bands introducing every song. It has a tendency to upset the flow of the set, Beastmilk however used the titles to great effect sending some diehard fans into a frenzy each time a single word is mentioned. I genuinely can’t say enough about how good they were. Everything was on point. The band were tight, energetic yet not over the top. The set was perfectly paced and included most of the album and a few tracks from the recently re-released 7″s. One of most truly original bands in recent memory and one of the most exciting and composed live bands I’ve ever seen.
Following such a stellar performance for any band would be tough, unfortunately, In Solitude fell prey to technical difficulties with singer Pelle Ahman’s impressive vocals dropping in and out for the initial part of the set. And while they kept their composure on stage, any atmosphere dispersed from the venue and it became a different gig. When the mic issues were sorted they were brilliant. With only an hour or so to showcase 3 albums is a tough ask but they delivered a great set with a true intensity and passion that makes you realise there is something special about In Solitude, especially as a live band. If you have a chance to see this tour do not miss it.!!