Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Live Review: Lehavoth/Dukatalon/MooM/Aphotik @ Tmuna Theatre, Tel Aviv [29th December 2017]


I think it's been a while since I've been to/reviewed a local metal show, so tonight sees me at the Tmuna Theatre in Tel Aviv to witness 4 local bands who all appear on slightly different parts of the metal spectrum.


First up tonight is local band Aphotik. I can't specify how local as none of their profiles suggest where they are from but Tel Aviv-ish would be a good guess. On stage, they are a very competent death metal band with the odd beatdown reminiscent of more metallic hardcore bands like Irate. Their Theocracy EP/demo is a bit misleading as the vocals lead more towards grindcore growling whereas the live vocals are so much more audible and therefore just a little bit more enjoyable. Think of a more death metal sounding Lamb of God and that's the kind of thing Aphotik do. As new blood goes, Aphotik are a nice surprise.



Not that it's too much of a surprise to anyone who knows me or even to anyone who reads this blog regularly, MooM are one of the main reasons I am here tonight. Consisting of people from other punk and hardcore bands, MooM are the most exciting powerviolence band in the country (there's just about enough of them for that statement to have any significance). Fronted by Sima (also singer for melodic punk band Not On Tour), MooM manage to blend powerviolence, sludge and hardcore punk perfectly in a way that they can not only play on punk bills like they have mostly been doing but also play a metal show like this and not seem out of place. Sometimes, it's all about the intensity and the enthusiasm put into the playing and MooM have that in spades, as everybody spasms about the stage ferociously hammering and shouting away. As well as regular crowd pleasers like Sacred Scripts and Piguey D'Kirot, there's some newer, more hardcore material which gets people head banging and pushing each other like crazy. MooM have definitely deserved their places on European festival billings and may they be met with many more!



As well as MooM, Dukatalon are my other main reason for being here tonight. Sludge and doom can be a bit hit or miss with me but sometimes I can just hear a band playing and get immersed in their grooves - this Tel Aviv trio is a prime example. I don't think I can name a single song of theirs...but I just know I love them nevertheless.
Although guitarist/singer Zafrir (Tsori)and the rest of the band don't really talk much on stage, it doesn't make the performance any less enjoyable. The band just blasts out their slow, low and heavy riffs which blend with pounding drums and echoey vocals to fill the venue like some sort of cloud of intensity over the crowd. Although the band's music in general has strong Crowbar influences, Zafrir's vocal are more gruff. The newer yet unreleased material even sounds like what Kingdom Of Sorrow (featuring Kirk Windstein of Crowbar and Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed
could have sounded like if the music leaned more towards Crowbar's sludge sound and had tons of reverb on Jasta's vocals.
It is good to see Dukatalon again after all this time. Although original drummer Yariv isn't around to make over-exaggerated expressions, set off confetti canons and generally hype up the crowd, new drummer Maayan does the job of knocking out the grooves with the greatest of ease. I'm now eagerly awaiting the new album!



I'll be honest, by the end of the night, I wasn't fully awake and can't remember much. However, what I can say is that I was quite pleasantly surprised by final act Lehavoth.
Having technically been around since 1995, the Tel Aviv band have gone through a few line-up changes. I think this is my first time seeing them. I can't be 100% certain but if I have seen them before, I must have been way more tired than I was tonight or else I would not have forgotten them. The band have a lot of life on stage and actually seem to have a lot of fun while playing their mix of grind and death metal.
Although there isn't normally much room for originality in those genres, Lehavoth are quite refreshing. There's almost a punk-like energy to their performance while still being very much metal - sort of like Napalm Death but sounding much darker. They might not be a band I would choose to see on a regular basis...but I definitely want to give them another go. I would definitely recommend listening to their latest EP Grinder.


Photos by David "Doh Doh" Rosen - www.dohphoto.com

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