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Live Review: Eclipse Doom Fest VI

A Brazilian doom metal festival. For many years, this idea was a kind of utopia, but since 2008, with plenty of hard work and force of will from those involved in the scene interested in seeing it increase, that became a reality, in the form of Eclipse Doom Fest, that seeks to gather national doom bands and give them the time needed for them to play a good set, instead of squeezing it in a short time span between bands of faster styles. Since last year, the festival started to happen in the city of São Paulo, and this year's edition was, with no shadow of doubt, the best event I attended to in 2013, and it is at least among the top five in my life. What made this event so much special? That feeling of union that I have not felt in such large scale for a long time. It was great to meet personally people I only knew via internet, or even to be able to hold longer conversations with people I already knew, but in other occasions had been able only to exchange some few words. Add to that a booth for sales of high quality material (though the quantity was unfortunately very limited), a venue with a very picturesque atmosphere (Hole Club deserves its name! A subterranean space with no interference of external light whatsoever) and bands of the highest quality, which already have their names engraved in the history of the style in the country, and you can't help being amazed with the night. But I'm being subjective here. Let's proceed to the objective points of the event:
Soul's Silence (photo by Cielinszka)
The night was started with Soul's Silence, from São Paulo, presenting a set mixing themes from their first demo and newer material. It is interesting to notice how in a live situation the band's sound presents a very clear element of the 70's sound, at some moments event sounding somewhat psychedelic. They started warming everyone up and serving as a preview to the level of quality that we would see through the night, never losing the energy in a single moment.
Bullet Course & Cielinszka (photo by Julie Sousa)
After an interval to check the merch booth (and to get an Amarna Sky CD, to be reviewed soon), the stage was taken by Bullet Course, headed by the bassist/vocalist Daiton Arkn, (one of the people in charge for the organization of the event, by the way), which after an intro with heavy guitars as a counterpoint to a cello played by Cielinszka, collaborator of Doom Metal BR and head at Persephone Dark Clothes, delighted us with an energetic death doom with a sound somewhat faster than the average for the style. Their sound is full of quality and personality, it is actually difficult to draw parallels with other known names. I really hope to hear more from this band, they pleased me a lot.
Lachrimatory (photo by Julie Sousa)
Another break and more time to have some talk with friends who were at the same time old and new, and soon the stage was taken again, this time by Lachrimatory, the band which I was more than a month eager to see live. And they did not disappointed in any moment. Indeed, to this moment, I'm still impressed with their sound. A completely eerie doom, with passages influenced by the great names of the 90's (specially My Dying Bride) and the darkest shapes possible of funeral doom. Throw into it the fully dedicated performance from the vocalist/keyboarder Ávila Schultz (it is hard to see such an expressive keyboarder) and we have here (not to take any merit from the other bands) the high point of the night.
HellLight (photo by Cielinszka)
Finally, for a closing, we had the one that is certainly the most active doom metal band in São Paulo (I dare not say from Brazil, tought I have an impression it may be true), HellLight, that presented itself in their best shape, showing the difference it makes to play in a venue with gear able to endure the intensity of their sound. I don't remember, in any occasion, having heard Fábio's clean vocal lines with so much clarity. And to top that, they came with a renewed set, full of material from their upcoming album, No God Above, No Devil Below. Funeral doom of the highest quality, with long songs and a balance between clean vocals (at times doubled between Fábio and the keyboarder Rafael) and growls.
The overall balance was extremely positive, far beyond my best optimistic expectations. The structure was great, the bands too, and the same for the human element. There is nothing else to add that may not sound redundant, only that I expect anxiously for next year's edition, and hope to see more and more bands from the whole Brazil showing the power of the style around here, against all expectations.

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