It’s been a while since I last wrote for my favorite blog. I have no idea what’s going on in metal this year. Since my residency began, all I’ve done is cut people into small bits, cut those small bits into tiny bits so I can then analyze tinier bits under the microscope. In another one of his many miracles, Stoned Jesus blessed me with the rare opportunity to have my eardrums shattered by his holy riffs. Openers were the great Brazilian acts Hierofante and Saturndust, and they absolutely killed it as well.
Ironically, it all took place in a venue called Inferno. Go figure.
For those of you with a terrible memory (or an even worse taste), I have covered Saturndust’s self titled debut and Stoned Jesus’ latest album The Harvest on this very blog before. Don’t miss out on them.
Hierofante, on the other hand, is probably not as well known by our TovH crowd, so let’s get to it. This is trippy, trippy shit. Now playing as a three piece consisting of drums, guitars and an analog synth, this band puts out psychedelic sounds that have a stream of consciousness feel to them. There are two releases under their Bandcamp page – I and Música Electrônica Transcendental¹, and they are both name your price. Safe travels.
As good as their records are, seeing them live was much better. The way Hierofante moves as a unit on stage is mesmerizing. The drummer provides the foundation to initiate the trance, while guitar and synth battle for your attention like your mind battles your visions in a drug haze. With enough focus, the experience becomes almost religious.
Even though the crowd was mostly metal oriented, everyone was moving and enjoying Hierofante’s concert. It was a perfect way to set things up for something much heavier.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to Saturndust since discovering them last year. Seeing them live was a no-brainer, now that I’ve moved to the city where they’re based. The show exceeded my expectations in the sense that not only does their music sound as good live as it does on the album – immense, earth-rumbling riffs – their energy is very captivating. While it must be weird to talk about energy in the context of a doom band, even their slowest moments pack a lot of force. I’m still a little deaf since hearing “Gravitation of a Hollow Body” live.
While they did experience a slight technical difficulty, the cut in sound took no longer than a couple minutes to be solved, and it gave space for some jokes between the band and the audience. Hearty laughs were shared. The headbanging recommenced. All was good.
(This dude’s a pro and his concert footage is siqq. The other photos are great too. Follow him. Beware of some NSFW shots. Stay woke.)
After a set that was so good it felt like it went by too fast, it was time for the headliners: Stoned Jesus. Anticipation grew as the band set up their instruments. People roared when Igor, Sid and Viktor took the stage. The frontman raised a piece of paper with the number 50 written on it. “This is how many concerts we’ve played this year,” he said. Then, he folded the paper and showed the number 0 to the crowd. “This is how many regrets we have.” More roaring.
How crazy is it for an independent Ukrainian band to come play in Brasil and be so well received?
The audience’s enthusiasm was met by the band’s charisma. Igor, the vocalist and guitarist, is a natural showman. Charming, witty and capable of commanding the crowd. The fact that everyone seemed to know the lyrics didn’t hurt, obviously. To me, that was the most impressive thing about this night. “I’m the Mountain” was the climax of the concert, and it completely blew me away. All the nuances and crescendos that make this song the best cut from Seven Thunders Roar (2012) were performed perfectly, with the added bonus of a passionate audience singing along.
Attending this concert was a phenomenal experience. I needed the release. With the lights on and more than a few beers in me, I decided to head home, but not before hitting up the merch booth. While Stoned Jesus and Saturndust tees were sold out, I managed to score a sweet Hierofante t-shirt and another of the concert’s promoter – Abraxas productions.
I also had the chance to say hello to Felipe Dalam (axeman and singer from Saturndust) and to talk to the lady who slays the Roland synth in Hierofante. If you’re reading this, I apologize for not knowing your name – I can’t seem to find it anywhere. Check her side project Rakta on Bandcamp. They play a dope blend of noise rock, psychedelia and post-punk influences, and have been covered on Cvlt Nation before.
You can find more photos of the show at Imprensa do Rock.
If you ever have the chance of seeing any of these bands live, I highly recommend going.