Another one of my principles is showing up on time. I often read reviews where the journalists only arrive after the first few bands and I always wonder "what's the point of that?". Support acts are severely underappreciated. Quite often, I am one of only a handful of people that see these opening bands.
This day, I arrived a tiny bit too late but well on time to become bedazzled by the amazing sound of Sarkh while enjoying a warming shot of whiskey-cola.
As I mentioned, Sarkh was already playing when I arrived but I did get to see and hear a decent dose of black metal and ambient infused post rock, played with a lot of energy and a lot of power. This is the new outlet for members of Hessaja and I must say, this is one for the future. Sarkh delivered such a potent and immersive set that I immediately regretted having my end-year list already published. To be correct, the first sounds I heard when I entered were bird sounds, abruptly interrupted by brilliant heavy music. This surely is a band to keep an eye on in 2018. I definitely hope they'll be back.
After a short break it was time for Oldd Wvrms to climb the stage. I knew this band. I had reviewed their previous album but I lost track of them due to this website becoming overcrowded and me becoming a writer. Since their mesmerizing gig at Antwerp Music City I regret that and I'm planning to dig deeper into their 'Ignobilis' album. Their occult driven sludge doom sounded fresh, dark and enchanting, using keyboards to enhance the atmosphere and sluggish guitars to drown in. They smashed my end-year list and comfortably placed themselves in my top-10 of 2017. I hope to see them again soon.
Around ten, it was Tongue's turn to shine. I still have no idea what the term "post cascadian black metal" actually means, but this was awesome. While the other two bands mostly came up with slow, lingering music, Tongue chose a ferocious and brutal path. Blastbeats, haunting guitars and eerie screams stunned me and a heap of other people. This was sheer blackened energy from a very high level, perhaps one of the best black metal gigs I have seen in 2017. Besides I was incredibly impressed by the drummer, what an animal.
Mere twenty-five minutes after the last tones of Tongue faded away, I was already climbing the stairs to my appartement. This time, I had my wife's luck with public transport. For once I didn't have to wait longer than one minute to catch the tram. A bit drunk and proudly wearing my brand new Rodeo & Music City hood, I enjoyed the nightly trip through Antwerp's underground and overground, reminiscing the amazing times I had in Antwerp Music City. Earlier that night I sent Paul a picture of the venue (see below) with the words "natural habitat". I don't think I was lying or exaggerating. AMC is becoming my home away from home near home, or something like that.