Conan – Kraak, Manchester 19/03/14

Conan KraakKraak is certainly one of the better venues in Manchester and it was great to see that, following my interview with John of Conan (coming soon), the venue was already nicely filling up.

Openers Bastard Of The Skies got the night off to a great start. There was a great thick tone to their music and singer/guitarist Matt had a very powerful voice that lent itself well to the music. Although it would have been nice for there to have been a bit of crowd participation (I was unsure if they just performed one continuous doomy treat of a song, or whether it was a few seperate tracks that were blended together!) it was an all-round great start to the night.

Up next was Bast. Having enjoyed their debut album Spectres, I was interested to see how their sound would translate in a live environment, and they were certainly not a disappointment. It was a thoroughly engaging performance, and you could tell the band were putting all their emotion into it, which made for a great show. It did feel like they could have benefited from a longer set, however.

Corrupt Moral Altar were up next and injected a lot of energy into the night. Their music had a lot more of a kick to it and frontman Chris was like an angry little ball of energy! There was a crushing heaviness to their music and it was just relentless from start to finish – you barely had time to catch your breath before the next song began and hit you like a tonne of bricks! Thoroughly excellent stuff, and my personal highlight of the night.

It has to be said that Conan went down a storm and the crowd was eating from the palms of their hands from start to finish. Whilst I wasn’t quite sold on their latest album Blood Eagle, I went into the set with an open mind and the songs translated much better live than they did on CD – proving that you should always give something a second try if you didn’t enjoy it first-off. There was a lot more body to the music and it was expertly performed; you couldn’t ask for more.

As mentioned in my review of them, some of the songs did feel a little repetitive, but one could argue that that’s one of the key elements when it comes to music in the doom genre. However, it was a great performance from the band all the same and as soon as the set was done, everyone was already calling out for one more song, and the band were all too happy but to oblige!

An all-round good night and I have a feeling there were more than a few pairs of ringing ears following the set’s closure!

7/10

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About Natalie Humphries 1817 Articles
Soundscape's editor, who is particularly fond of doom, black metal and folk (but will give anything a chance). Likes to travel to see bands abroad when she can. Contact: nathumphries@soundscapemagazine.com or @acidnat on twitter.

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