Following some good rest, good food, and some touristy stuff (Tallinn always has something good to offer), it was time to head back again to Rockclub Tapper for the first day of the ninth edition of Howls of Winter.
The first band, KÕDU was clearly well-known among the locals, as one could see from the atmosphere and the many familiar faces from the Tallinn scene. It certainly helped set the mood, while the Lithuanian SISYPHEAN brought a whole different energy with their atmospheric black metal, perhaps somewhat in contrast with the other bands of the night. A warmer welcome was given to the black/death Estonian trio ZIEGENHORN, who lifted spirits with an entertaining gig.
If we talk about entertainment, however, it’s difficult to top HAGZISSA during this weekend: the Austrian guys were definitely among the most memorable – maybe even a bit of an oddball – of the festival. The singer’s look is reminiscent of the death in Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, and his theatrical moves (as well as perfectly executed crab-walk) clearly grabbed the crowd’s attention. Musically more “upbeat” than the rest, it was also the moment when the audience truly began getting excited.
All this played in favour of VOID PRAYER, who found the stage perfectly set for their last gig (the band has officially split-up). In an intense hour, they poured all of their raw, grim atmosphere onto the fans, showing one last time what they were all about before closing this musical chapter.
Some guitar-breaking was also in order, while slowly people started moving towards the afterparty in search for some more drinks, some food, and the long forgotten art of socializing.