Messa / Church Of The Sea @Kyttaro (26/1/2023)


“swirling on the chosen spine…”

With the appropriate weather for a great doom event the amazing MESSA arrived in Athens and offered us a superb performance that satisfied everyone in the club. With the exception of the short duration we couldn’t expect something better from a gig that was really a night to remember and left everyone with a big smile at the end. Earlier we also enjoyed a great opening act, CHURCH OF THE SEA that blended doom with electro tunes.

 “A hundred raindrops falling up…”

It was a difficult day for the Greek capital as in only sixty minutes we had the 1/10 of the annual rainfall! Despite the hassles the heavy rain caused, the darkness all over the city set the appropriate doom mood and hopefully there was no need for a boat to reach the historic venue at Ipeirou street. Doors opened at 20:30, and the few at the time fans unpacked the heavy winter clothing and looked for the merchandise stand where the highlight was the re-issue of Messa’s latest release while some 80s classic heavy tunes made us ordering the first beers.

“purple skies lurk in the dark…”

At 21:20 Church Of The Sea got on stage as the intro was playing in the background kicking off with “XVII”. This Athenian trio was ideal for me as an opening act since they are capable of creating nice dark atmosphere carrying a unique sound color that is inside the grey tone obviously. The interesting thing with this band is that they blend doom (mainly because of the downtempo) along with dark electro tunes and some slow fuzzy guitar riffing. There were many inside the venue that weren’t familiar with them before this show so they seemed surprised at first with the lack of drummer but Church Of The Sea make build slowly their music in an almost ritual approach that brough a warm applause from every one in the venue. Their forty minute long setlist was based on their great debut album “Odalisque” (and yes, “No One Deserves” and “Odalisque” are great songs) without forgetting their first Ep “Anywhere But Desert”, they always tend to close their gigs with “At The Edge Of The World”. Irene seemed a bit anxious but we really enjoyed the eerie vocals and their special unique hand movements.

live video Church Of The Sea:

Church Of The Sea setlist:

Intro/XVII / Raindrops / (A Story About) Preparation / Me As Water Me As Tree / No One Deserves / Odalisque / At The Edge Of The World

“What can I do when the bell rings…”

When Church Of The Sea got off the stage Dj tried to find the sweet spot for the average metalhead in the venue so he played  Manowar’s “Metal Daze”. After the small breakout the stage was ready for the headliners so MESSA were ready for their first headline show in Athens, the venue was packed at that time and every one was looking forward to see them live, let’s not forget that many people had “Close” at their lists with the favorite albums in the end 2022. Ι had the album on the top of my list too and I wasn’t sure what they could do on stage but to make things short I would say just one thing, when I got out of the club I was still shock of the great show they gave. “She knows / The perfume, the depth of your heart …”

“Sunset fades…”

From the beginning of “If you want her to be taken” the Italians took us by the hand and lifted us into an enjoyable show full of melodies. Allied with the crystal clear sound and the band on fiery form we really couldn’t believe how beautiful was this gig. Sara behind the mic seemed like a nymph from a magic tale dazzling the fans while she transferred the unique sound of every composition. Alberto was crazy good on the guitar, on every guitar he used and was moving easily from rock bursts to blues, he even used a bow for the intro of “Suspended” (a song that was one of the highlights of their set). The rhythm section was super compact too but Marco on the bass was stealing the show many times and the good sound helped to enjoy him even more. The closing composition was “Hour Of The Wolf ”, a great pick but looking at my watch I realized that they were barely on stage for 65 minutes or something. This is acceptable on a festival slot but come on, they could add at least two more songs, they have three great album full of great stuff, I was expecting something like “She Knows/Tulsi” for example, that would have toped their show but damned, who cares, it is not always about quantity, from quality point of view this was a great live performance. Great band…

live video Messa:

Messa Setlist:

If you want her to be taken / Babalon / Suspended / Leah / Pilgrim / Rubedo / Hour Of The Wolf

® live report/video: Konstantinos Mindcrimek Vlachos

® photos: Nikos Drakopoulos