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2010-04-06 DE – Munich - Backstage Werk

My mate Holla and I are a bit late – it’s already shortly after half past seven, as we arrive at the Backstage area. And a considerable queue has already formed in front of the venue – are they all there to see KATATONIA? That’s just not possible! Or perhaps it is? The question can be answered best with the fact that I haven’t experienced the Backstage Werk being so full as we finally entered the venue. All deluxe places are occupied from the first minute on when LONG DISTANCE CALLING started their gig. Even the space in front of the merchandise stand is so full that one easily could drink two, three beers to bridge the idle time until finally being able to buy a shirt by the Swedish melo quintet or the German support act…
Full house – so, best assumptions for a memorable live evening.

Here we go with the Muenster-based instrumentalists :: LONG DISTANCE CALLING :: who shared the pole position with Disbelief with their current recording Avoid The Light as our monthly leader almost exactly one year ago. The clever song writing works out already on the record. Thanks to the mixer each of the four instruments and the ambience sounds of Reimut sound off so fat that one can find a lot of banging heads from the opener Black Paper Planes on and the band gets celebrated after each following track frenetically… And that’s not just up to the excellent choice of songs the crowd gets supplied with. The dedicated and energetic performance of the quintet surprises as well as the brute overall sound, which blasts out way harder and heavier on the bass than on the CD – this heavier bias sorts well with the songs of the likeable band and moves them in the direction of similarly progressive bands such as Cult Of Luna, Godspeed You! Black Emperor or with exceptions Anathema.
It’s definitely not just up to the hair cut that guitarist Dave reminds me of a young Steve Wilson. The axe player of LONG DISTANCE CALLING elicits similar enchanting leads out of his instrument like the exceptionally skilled musician of the English Prog rockers. The band seems fresh and motivated just like on the first day in spite of the long tour alongside KATATONIA and Swallow The Sun, which groovy songs like the already mentioned Black Paper Planes or the fantastically composed I Know You, Stanley Milgram! impressively prove.
The band’s done with their set after a bit over three-quarters of an hour – the shouts for encores don’t find a sympathetic ear, the playing time is exhausted. Too bad, since I think that EACH fan of the band would have died to hear The Nearing Grave with Jonas on the mic. It might be that Jonas didn’t want to strain his voice on the last evening of the tour beforehand. And that’s a good thing – for I haven’t seen Jonas in such an amazing shape on stage before.
Setlist: Black Paper Planes, Fire In The Mountain, I Know You, Stanley Milgram!, Apparitions, Metulsky Curse Revisited

What a transition… The Swedes enter the stage after a gloomy intro accompanied by Sodomizer (Bloodbath) on the guitar and Niklas on the bass. Both replace the Norrman-brothers Fred and Mattias who left the band at the end of last year. As expected, :: KATATONIA :: get started with the opener of the new album Night Is The New Day, Forsaker. Jonas needs a few moments to heat – but from then on it becomes clear, that this is gonna be a deluxe gig, for I haven’t experienced the Stockholm-based quintet in such a good shape. Everything’s just perfect here: the crystal clear, but still immensely pounding sound offers Anders and Sodomizer the perfect groundwork for their dreamy leads. Furthermore, the band acts way more agile than ever before – both new members blend in into the overall picture smoothly and make a metal institution out of the live band KATATONIA with wild headbanging and very intense stage acting… Impressing!
With a playing time of almost over one and a half hours the gig can be considered as headliner-worthy: 18 songs (incl. two encores) (unfortunately) aren’t a matter of course for a headliner gig nowadays. The choice of songs consistently was slightly changed compared to previous tours (or improved – at least for me). The superb Saw You Drown replaces Deadhouse, For My Demons replaces Right Into The Bliss and the surprise of the evening is the dreamy Omerta.
Scarcely one third of the regular set is filled by songs of the new album Night Is The New Day. No matter if Liberation, The Longest Year or the already mentioned Forsaker, the songs sound way heavier than on CD. The perfect concert complete next to the immensely confidently acting Jonas and Daniel both guitarists and the bassist Niklas – not only that I almost don’t hear any errors, Anders and Sodomizer also share the backing vocals, which ain’t surprising for Nyström, but he also has a great voice tonight. The surprise surely is Sodomizer, whom I wouldn’t put such a great voice past due to his engagement in the Death-Metal band Bloodbath. What’s missing is that KATATONIA would confirm that Niklas and Sodomizer would join the band – in this line-up the Swedes are invincible. Jonas, Anders and Daniel – don’t let this opportunity slip!
Oh yeah, and finishing the set with a short citation of Entombed’s Demon is cinema at its most!!
Setlist: Forsaker, Liberation, My Twin, Onward Into Battle, Complicity, The Longest Year, Omerta, Teargas, Saw You Drown, Idle Blood, Ghost Of The Sun, Evidence, July, Criminals, Day And Then The Shade, For My Demons // Dispossession, Leaders


story © Haris