Even though they already played in Europe a couple of times, this August marked Birushanah‘s first ever visit to Hungary, which happened during the summer tour they did with longtime friends, the French doom metal heads,  Monarch. It was already a pretty heavy and powerful pairing, but in Budapest they also shared the stage with UEUM, a local experimental act, with highly atmospheric music, featuring a guy on electronics and another one who was switching between growling and… a trombone. A somewhat unexpected pairing, but it worked great and the dark atmosphere were further empathized by the thick smoke and darkness (during their show there was no light at all besides a small projector at the rear end of the room) that completely enveloped the small basement club.

Next up was Birushanah, that’s been working as a trio for a while, with Iso on vocals and guitar, Mokkun, the new guy on drums and Sano on metal percussion. The metal percussions were actually a somewhat steampunk looking drum set built from metal plates, giant cog wheels and car parts and it played a vital part in giving their music a very interesting industrial twist. But of course industrial is just one of the many elements that make up the band’s extremely unique music, where heavy rock and Japanese traditional play the center roles. Their sound is truly one of a kind and it is quite impossible to categorize… and it also tends to be quite divisive: for some, their unlikely mixture of styles, that also has a recurring progressive rock influence, works great, but for others it is just a bit too much I guess. It definitely is the kind of music that iss not easy listening and it takes some time before it grows in you and really starts to work. Their show was very powerful, Iso has an extremely strong stage presence and the music was like a more intense version of their studio recordings: overall heaviness, spiced with some industrial flair with Iso’s vocals bringing the traditional influence into the mix.

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For most the main act of the night was Monarch of course and it is easily understandable why they became cult favorites: they mix extremely slow doom with black metal elements, and round it all up with death growls and sometimes eerie, sometime ethereal female vocals. And this already powerful combination is made even stronger by an ominous stage presence complete with candles and ritual props. The atmosphere just sucks you in and it was the kind of show that left a lasting impression and leaves you to carve for more. So, while Birushanah proved how unique they are Monarch got a new fan that night.