Monday, 23 May 2016

Ithilien (Belgium) + Incursed + Hilotz, 05.22.2016 at sala Edaska, Barakaldo

I'm not used to going to concerts on Sunday, but this time I needed to do so. Last concert with Incursed's actual lineup, the one I've known since I discovered them one year ago. I just couldn't miss the event. And, to tell the truth, I was so excited about it, that I truly thought that Incursed headed the show, which was not true, obviously...
18:45 and it was time to go in. The place was rather small, just to make everything so homely. First sign of what was coming. I could also see part of the soundcheck and foresee that the evening was about to be extraordinary. 
Hilotz, from left to right: Mikel, Etxahun and Pablo
First of all, it was the turn for Hilotz (Lasarte-Oria, Basque Country) to go onstage. Early in the first song, I thought of writring this, as I was caught in the heavy riffs they delivered. A hard, strong wall of sound, gutturals that felt like something was being ripped off within me and bass lines that made me collapse in pleasure. I was also delighted by the cowbell sound coming from the drums amidst such extreme sounding, overwhelming guitars that filled the whole venue. Furthermore, they pretty much mastered the art of combining fast riffs with slow or mid tempos, more distorted sounds with more acoustic lines, etc. No doubt these guys have a high potential. However, I feel they still lack something the experience will give them, and I'm gonna quote my friend and personal photographer during the concert: They play, but they don't play together, as one. I guess everything takes time, but definitely, I'm gonna swallow each one of their songs until I learn them.
Sabrina and Pierre from Ithilien
Then Ithilien (Belgium) came. The first things one could see before it all started was that there was a lot of people on a stage that left almost no room to move around comfortably, and that an astonishing musical deployment was about to take place: bagpipes, a hurdy-gurdy (I had to ask what it was, it is such an awesome instrument, please check it out), or a bouzouki amongst others. The lights came down, and only their ready silhouettes could be made out in the dark. And then it all exploded and the very first note worked out the magic. They made themselves big on such a small stage. It was a pity that no one else but me in the audience had listened to at least a song. And they were so static like waiting for who knows what to happen. Instead, I was headbanging harder than ever (up to that moment, of course). I enjoyed every single note, and especially paid attention to the hurdy-gurdy and the bagpipe. Hey, it didn't sound through any microphony system and it could be perfectly heard over the crushing guitar/bass riffs, awesome. Maybe, what I liked the least was the drums. I usually prefer well defined and accentuated double bass drum strokes, and this time the drums sounded a bit blurry, but still amazing. I stood in awe along the whole set and couldn't help buying a T-shirt, as a way to thank them for their great job.
Jon Koldo "Flying hands" Tera, from Incursed
(from left to right) Narot, Jonkol and
Palas from Incursed

At last, the most awaited moment: Incursed (Bilbao, Basque Country) got onstage to delight us all with their viking-themed aesthetic and music. And there I was, in the front row, with bright eyes and the look of an excited child. I could say that we, the audience, gave everything we had, but it wouldn't be fair: we only reflected and maybe boosted what they gave us from up there. I absolutely enjoyed Narot's wild energy and gutturals (and jokes), Mr. Jonkol "Flying hands"'s keytar lines and clean vocals, Juan's bass lines, and Asier's drumming, of which I had already had a taste back in August last year; and of course, the stunning guitar lines by Palas, who had barely had time to learn all the songs in the absence of Asier and from whom I got my flower garland souvenir. Man, I admire you for that effort, and thanks for the garland *chuckles*. Songs such as Tidal Waves, Beer Bloodbath and Suaren lurraldea (the last two are probably my favourites) couldn't be left out of the setlist and we all danced, jumped and sang to them (and I headbanged even harder than with Ithilien, letting myself go), as vikings having fun, drinking beer and conquering another milestone. Neither could a heavy version of A-ha's Take On Me, to which we had a good time, and in my case, a fair share of laughs (of true happiness, of course). Although we were all emotive (both the audience and the band) because Narot and Juan are leaving, there was no place for sadness, only for fun, and good music and vibe.
Incursed says: Never stop messing around!!
To sum up, it was the perfect evening, I ended up knackered, covered in sweat after three hours of shows. My neck still hurts from all that headbanging. I have to say that the bands playing were very brave, playing for so few people. I know, we assume them to act like that, but it's something we still have to recognize and admire. I didn't only discovered that they were incredible bands, but also that there are very kind and talented people playing in them. You can follow these bands in these sites:




Last, but not least, I'd like to thank Jon Rodriguez Martin, aka Jack Kalavera for his excellent photos.