Swallow The Sun, Draconian, Shores of Null in Aschaffenburg

Co Headliner Tour: Swallow The Sun, Draconian & Shores Of Null 15.04.23 Aschaffenburg Colos Saal

Tonight it was time for Doom at the Colos Saal, which opened its doors at 19:00. At this time, quite a few fans had  already been waiting in front of the venue and until the opener Shores Of Null entered the stage, the Colos Saal filled up considerably, so that the Italians could open their set in front of a big audience to get the crowd in the mood for the evening. And they succeeded in this task excellently.

Shores Of Null focused their song selection mainly on their recent album “The Loss Of Beauty” and, supported by a remarkable wall of sound, the demanding compositions of those guys around frontman Davide Straccione went down very well with the Aschaffenburg audience. The powerful and at the same time very melodic guitars create beautiful, energetic songs that get a particularly exclusive touch through Davide’s variable vocals and spread deep melancholy and sadness. The great advantage of Shores of Null is that they know how to leave some room for a positive mood despite all the gloom and take the audience on exactly such a journey. The song material is also very catchy and captivates you immediately, which means that the band quickly had the majority of the audience on their side, playing absolutely precisely and liberated. From the older albums, “Quiescent” and “Black Drapes For Tomorrow” were two very strong songs on the setlist, which once again presented the band’s playing skills.
A more than successful start into the evening and the audience thanked those sympathetic Italians with great applause! The only drawback was the unfortunately much too short playing time of just under 40 minutes.
Thumbs up for Shores of Null !!!

Setlist Shores of Null:
Destination Woe
Nothing Left To Burn
The Last Flower
Black Drapes For Tomorrow
Darkness Won´t Take Me
My Darkest Years

Unfortunately, Draconian don’t appear on German stages very often, so the fans were all the more happy to see the Swedes live at Colos Saal this evening. It was especially exciting to see how returnee Lisa Johansson would join the band on this tour. She could be heard on the first 5 albums, now returned after 11 years of abstinence and took the place at the microphone, which Heike Langhans, her replacement at that time, had filled very successfully.
After a short changeover break, the Aschaffenburg audience loudly welcomed the Swedes, who opened their set with “The Sacrificial Flame” and made it clear right from the first minute what kind of doom metal roller was in store for the fans. Draconian’s eye-catcher pair is clearly growler Anders Jakobsson and Lisa Johansson, both of whom offer an extremely gestural, visual focus in addition to their very good vocal performances.
The Anders’ growls  are at the top of the death metal genre and with Lisa you have the feeling that she had never left and her beautiful voice forms the lovely contrast to Anders powerful growls. A really strong performance!!! It is noticeable that Draconian focused on song material from the “Under A Godless Veil” and “Souvran” album, which were recorded with predecessor Heike Langhans. But Lisa mastered this challenge effortlessly and showed that she knows how to replace Heike in a more than worthy way.

For fans of the older Draconian albums, the band presented “Seasons Apart” (“Turning Season Within” ) as well as “Elysian Night” (“A Rose For The Apocalypse” ) and the closer “Daylight Misery” (“Arcane Rain Fell” ) for the headbangers among the fans, before a memorable gig came to an end after about 75 minutes. A very strong performance of those Swedes and one can only hope that not too much time will pass until Draconian will present themselves live in this country again.

Setlist Draconian:
The Sacrificial Flame
Lutrous Heart
The Sethian
Stellar Tombs
Seasons Apart
Sorrow Of Sophia
Elysian Night
Pale Tortured Blue
Daylight Misery

CONCERT PHOTOS here below in the interactive gallery, or click on image and enjoy in full size via Flickr
Draconian (1)

The venue had filled up even more during Draconian’s show and before Swallow The Sun came on stage, the rows thinned out a bit, because many fans needed to cool down……
The Swallow The Sun band members entered the stage in hooded coats, shrouded in dark light, except for guitarist Juho Räihä and drummer Juuso Raatikainen who appeared with a delay, which was a perfect fit to the dark stage atmosphere. Nevertheless, the thinned rows weren’t filled to the same extent you had seen with Draconian and you quickly got the impression that many fans had been at Colos Saal mainly because of the Swedes. The bar was now damn high and you might have been curious whether Swallow The Sun could top it.

The Finns opened their dark performance with “Enemy” and singer Mikko Kotamäki showed his best side with his growls and the clean vocal passages. The rest of the band also performs on a very high playing skill level.
The current album “Moonflowers” is the main focus of the band on this tour and the audience gratefully accepted this decision and supported Swallow The Sun to the best of their abilities. The heavy doom songs blasted from the P.A. with a very good sound quality and penetrated the last corner of the Colos Saal. The song selection was very broad: besides the material from the current album, almost the whole spectrum of the band’s discography was covered and all STS fans got their money’s worth. After a little more than 75 minutes, Swallow The Sun ended a good gig with their second encore “Swallow” (Horror Part 1).

However, it has to be mentioned that the atmosphere was different, compared with Shores Of Null and Draconian; so Swallow The Sun couldn’t quite reach it, despite their good performance. The fact that the Colos Saal is a first-class address for live music was impressively proven by all 3 bands and an all-in-all successful evening, leaving a satisfied audience. Some of the musicians could be met later at the merchandise stand and the fans were not only happy about the merch they had bought, but also about the one or other photo with their faves. 🙂

Setlist Swallow The Sun:
10 Silver Bullet
Falling World
Keep Your Heart Save From Me
Woven Into Sorrow
Stone Win
New Moon
This House Has No Home
Descending Winters
Swallow (Horror Part 1)

Text & photos:
Hanzi Herrmann

Hanzi Herrmann ---- festival / concert reviews, live photos, interviews