We were among the first ones in and saw a mostly empty room. Although that would change in the hours to come, I can't help but think the organization had expected some more people to show up. I hope they weren't too disappointed. After all, they did deliver a highly enjoyable evening with a great sound and with three interesting bands. Eventually, Wanheda climbed on stage for a handful of people.
It looked like most of the band was rather nervous for this performance, except the bass player who must have had a history in the hardcore scene. He is clearly the "metal"- part in the post-metal tag of Wanheda. While the guitarists were fully occupied with the technical pluckings, he walked round as if he was a Halloween version of Henri Rollins. I didn't mind. This was a decent post-rock gig from a young, skilled band.
Give time and plenty more gigs, Wanheda surely has the potential to become a serious player in today's Belgian post-scene. Sure I can still see them at Dunk! in the following years but they will have to obey to the golden rule of rock 'n roll: play, play, play, play and play again. Of course I bought the CD afterwards.
Here, the drummer was the powerhouse of the band, furiously pushing forward his bandmates. Those bandmates did an awesome job as well. The stage was packed with activity. You didn't know where to look first. Oddly enough, the only point of critique I could write down is the volume level of the electronics and samples. Put them up, make them a full-fledged part of the performance. They fit perfect, just a little louder.
See, if I have to comment on the volume level of one tiny but not unimportant part of a post-rock performance, it must have been good. This was good. No wonder Dunk! Records signed these guys. In contrast to the somewhat shy performance of Wanheda, Astodan proved that they're ready for the big stages, the world tours and the post-rock history books. This was impressive.
By now, there was a decent amount of people in the room but for Telepathy it doesn't matter if there's two people or twenty thousand, they just blast. Not only have they written stunning pieces of post metal, they also have an evincive stage performance. It's almost a choreography, legs wide, body moving along with the music. Of course, it's not rehearsed or anything, this is just Telepathy being a well oiled post metal powerhouse.
I saw the bass player in the lavatory after the gig. He even pisses in that same posture. How metal can you possibly get? They're nice people but on stage they will fucking kill you. So naturally, Telepathy pretty much won this evening, but it was a close call since Astodan was so impressive as well. In all, this was a near perfect evening of instrumental heaviness. Kudos to the organization and thank you.