Review: Abigail at Tomberon Fest

On a chilly Sunday evening, metalheads gathered up for the second evening of Tomberon Fest (March, 26-27 2011) hosted by Fabrica Club in Bucharest. Four band names were announced on the festival’s line-up for the 27th: Akral Necrosis (black metal), Abigail (doom metal), Ka Gaia An (pagan/folk metal) and Kistvaen (depressive/suicidal black metal).

At about 8 PM a bunch of friends, fans and other metalheads formed a rather sparse crowd waiting for the performance of the first band on the festival line-up. Apparently one of the members of Akral Necrosis got an unexpected case of flu shortly before the concert, so they were unable to perform; the organizers chose to leave their allocated time for the people to socialize and gather for the next artist’s appearance.

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Photo: Gabriel Isac

At about 9 PM Abigail got on the stage and invited the crowd to come closer for what was about to happen. During the last couple of months Abigail were able recover from some internal turmoil and find their identity. With a fresh line-up and a very inspired composer, they rocked the March evening more than ever. Razvan (lead guitar, vocals), Mihu (lead vocals), Mirel (drums), Alex (keyboards), Vlad (guitar) and Vali (bass guitar) had one of their best performances in the last few months. As always, they started with an Intro meant to set the mood. Only accompanied by the first chords of Mirror/A Room without Windows, Mihu (lead vocals) appeared on the stage and let the magic loose.

We can safely say is that Abigail is one of the best Romanian doom metal bands. On a black stage, under pale light, with the gigantic “A” logo projected on the wall, Abigail shared their musical beliefs and magic with the public for about one and a half hours. Even if it was a cold Sunday night, even if next day everybody had to go to work, the crowd was totally charmed by songs like Astral Sleep or Kogaion (one of the oldest songs in their playlist), not to mention Bitterness… Tears, the masterpiece of Abigail’s sound. New songs such as It Is the Night I Fear or Sweet Cruelty were perfectly performed, and the crowd had the occasion to sing, feel and absorb each note coming form the stage.

A perfect communication between Razvan, Mihu and the crowd lead to goose bumps at the beginning of each and every song. It is also well known that doom metal is more than just music; doom metal is a state of mind, a choice of life style that requires a special performance from the artists who choose to play it. Doom metal bands do not usually have the possibility to move a lot on the stage, but Abigail managed to create a great, solemn atmosphere by only one move: they all gathered in a circle and started the magnificent Bitterness… Tears intro.

Another aspect of Abigail’s performance was the sound system, which didn’t help them much (Razvan’s clean vocal parts were almost totally masked by the instruments), but I’ve seen worse than that, so I can say that this performance of Bitterness was one of their best. It looks that the lead vocal, Mihai Ilie (Mihu) is becoming better with each performance, and that the members have a special bond on the stage, which makes their music divine. Abigail also had a special guest star, Fane AKA Buvnitz (vocalist for Kistvaen and Dwarf Planet) with whom they performed a great Hypocrisy cover, Roswell 47. Unfortunately, that was Fane’s only occasion to perform that evening, given that one of his band colleagues, Vlad, was declared missing during a trip in the Romanian mountains. Needless to say, the song sounded better than we all expected, and the crowd’s reaction was amazing.

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Photo: Gabriel Isac

Because of their almost perfect performance, because they’re not a commercial band that plays 3 times a week in order to make money and because the crowd simply loves them, Abigail decided to come back on the stage for another song and a huge surprise: Kogaion with Fenrir (ex Abigail / currently Kistvaen guitarist). I must admit that that performance of Kogaion was the best performance of the evening and that the chemistry between Razvan and Fenrir as guitarists sharing the same stage never disappeared. Many thanks to both of them for leaving their past problems behind and reuniting for a couple of magical moments. It was another example of the music’s secret powers.

Even if Ka Gaia An, another great band, was up next, a doom metal and moreover an Abigail passionate could not stay and listen another performance that evening, so I went home thinking of Abigail’s great performance and waiting its next great show.

Thank you, guys, for a great night and until the next time, rock on!

Full setlist Abigail live @ Tomberon Fest, Fabrica, 27th of March 2011

  • Intro
  • Mirror / A Room without Windows
  • Astral Sleep
  • Kogaion
  • It Is the Night I Fear
  • Sweet Cruelty
  • Bitterness / Tears
  • Roswell 47 (Hypocrisy)

by Maria Vasile