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So it was at 

Z7 Metal Dayz 2009











October 7th 2008 at Station 4 Saint Paul Minnesota USA

photos and review by © Matthew Haumschild



           You know it’s a good show when your neck hurts two days after the show had ended. I had been looking forward to the show for a long time, however, when you think about it, it is such a weird line-up. First, there’s Cold Colours, a local band that’s basically rock, metal, gothic, a la Sentenced; Virgin Black, this atmospheric, horror, boarder-line satanic, mega-goth outfit out of all places, Australia; Samael, a neo-industrial metal outfit whose lyrics belong in a philosophy book rather than in a metal album; and Amorphis, an organic sounding metal band who proclaims to be “metal progressive” although I don’t know why, I would just describe them as a classic rock band. If Amorphis came out in the 70’s, they’d sound the same as they do now, only they’d be better than most bands I can think of from those days. Yes, there are exceptions and yes I do realize that there have been great bands that have come out of the 70’s.





            It has been a while since I’ve seen Cold Colours, to be honest, it’s been well over a year. I still remember seeing their singer a few months ago when I walked into Station 4, I was dressed in a collard shirt and stylish jeans my significant other gave me, he looked at me and said, “traitor.” I just kind of smiled and said, “yeah I know.” I didn’t know if it was because of what I was wearing or because I hadn’t seen them play for over a year. The last time I saw them, they had a solid line-up but since then, the singer/guitar player/song writer was the lone member left. So, this is my first time seeing him play with “hired guns.” My first impression from this “temporary” line-up was that they sounded good. That’s it, but it was missing something, the band was missing cohesion. It’s like they were just playing the songs but only the singer was feeling the songs. The show went off without a hitch for them, the song “Silent Dream” wasn’t like I remembered it, the drum lines were change as were the solo and the harmonies. Their show was good too, talking with the audience, making us laugh, and it was good. I don’t think they are ready for touring though. Because it was group of hired guns, Cold Colours would need to have a solid line-up if they are going to be serious.






            I had seen Virgin Black before, in July of 2007 with To/Die/For, I feel bad saying this because I hung out with VB after there show here and they are actually really nice, but I couldn’t wait for them to get off stage last year. I would wander around outside, counting the minutes, looking at my watch wondering when their 30 minutes were up. I feared, I’d run into the same situation. And they started off the show the same as last time, the singer would “SHHH!” in the mic three times, effectively shutting up the crowd, “someone is dying.” I just rolled my eyes as I was in the bar talking to someone I thought was more interesting than the band, but none the less, during our conversation I was listening to the band, and from what I had heard, they had improved. Then I walked over to the viewing area of the bar and looked at the band, and they had added a guitar player that wasn’t with them before. VB had this weird atmosphere amongst them, it was kind of cool, everyone looked very drab, the “new to me” guitar player was a woman in full attire playing a cool looking guitar that wasn’t gothic at all. There were parts of songs that sounded really really good, but in between the really good parts were some kind of boring music. I should reemphasize, VB has more in common with Gothic rock like Bauhaus, The Cure with splashes of hard metal than Gothic metal like Paradise Lost. So, if one is more inclined to Gothic Rock, you’d might dig VB more than I do. As I mentioned in my first paragraph, they are boarder-line satanic, that was just my impression on some of the sounds I heard combined with evil sounding singing. At the end of the show, a lot of people seemed to like them a lot. I felt they had improved drastically from the last time I saw them. I think they would do well in the movie industry for soundtracks or even on film itself for if a character in a movie walks into a goth club and the camera would shift to this band. I think there’s a lot of potential here.










            I have been waiting years to see Samael and finally they were here! So, when VB was done, I went to the front of the stage, front and center. I was not going to miss this band. That’s why the photos aren’t exactly the greatest. Samael also brought their own lighting too, which was very cool, I know for a fact that not a whole lot of bands do this let alone a European band. In case one isn’t familiar with Samael’s setup, Samael doesn’t have a physical drummer. Xy, is their keyboardist, sampler, drummer all in one. He stands in place of a physical drummer with a keyboard, sampler, and about 4 drums with cymbals. This is unique because, this is the only band I’ve ever seen that does this. The band is industrial with tribal elements to boot. During the set, Xy would jump from his keyboard and sampler, grab sticks, and bang on the drums and it sounded awesome. Samael’s stage show was the best of the night, and the best I’ve seen since I saw Sepultura and In Flames in Italy in 2006. The atmosphere surrounding the band was incredible. The fog machine was going with lights focusing on each member from the stage and not from above the stage. The band started out with “Solar Soul”, the combination of fog, strobe lights, and loud guitars and beats that are found in the best industrial acts, it created this awesome feeling that caught on throughout the night. Samael stole the show. Their music was dead on and everyone was starting to get it. Some of the songs they played were, “Slavocracy” which by the way, got everyone moving, “Reign of Light,” “Ave!,” “My Saviour,” “Rain,” The Ones Who Came Before,” “Son Of Earth,” and “Year Zero.” They had played some of there older stuff, but I am not as familiar with their stuff before “Passage.” The band also had continual feedback problems throughout their set along with problems with Xy’s setup. Something would become unplugged and his set up would sound tinny. Other than that, the crowd and were loving every minute of their show. At the end, everyone was chanting their name, When it was all over, a lot of people went to the merchandise booth to buy their stuff.







         After Samael, I felt like leaving because I couldn’t imagine a better act that would follow. And I was right. Amorphis sounded great. Keyword, sounded. The band was dead on with their music, but I just wasn’t feeling them. The crowd was enjoying the music as I was, but it didn’t inspire fists pumping in the air or yelling out lyrics or anything. The band looked dead on stage and not in a gothic looking way either. The guitar players were just kind of standing around along with the bass player, the drummer flat out looked bored. The singer was only one doing anything. The singer was looking like he wanted the crowd to move a little more, he was Amorphis’s show. He sounded great. He sounded as good as he does on the CD. I would say he’s one of the best live singers I’ve ever seen. He sang with his heart and that is something I admire. I am not as familiar with their catalog as was with Samael. But they did play “The Smoke,” “House Of Sleep,” and “Weaving the Incantation.” Obviously they’d played more than that, but that’s as good as I can remember it.


            Would I see any of these bands again? Yeah. Samael, hell yes! Amorphis, yeah I would I just they’d act last bored. Virgin Black, yes, but because the band was so cool with me after the show I feel they are worth another listen, also considering they had improved since the last time I saw them. Cold Colours, I’m going to see them play whether I want to or not, so it’s kind of a non-factor, they play a lot of shows in town here and I feel that everyone in town should see them at least once.


            Bottom line, if Samael plays, go see them! 




by Matthew Haumschild___         


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