There are many bands that include our country in their tour schedules. But few of them have developed a deep connection with the Greek audience, a kind of mystique affair, an inner bond, established somewhere in the past and maintained throughout all these years. While Heaven Wept, being among this closed group of bands, came to our town for a farewell show, after almost 30 years of existence. That would be the last chance for us to experience the poetry, melancholy and heaviness of their music, before their definite end.

On Sunday, 11th November, not only Heaven, but weather also wept. A gloomy, rainy late afternoon was the perfect condition for the show of a band that was always interwoven with feelings like sorrow, despair and loss. In their final act in Athens, the Americans were supported by two Greek bands with female vocals.

Unluckily, I arrived late at Temple, therefore I didn’t have the chance to watch Upon Revival’s act. Concerning Enemy of Reality, they are a relatively new band of symphonic metal from Athens, fronted by Iliana (ex-Meden Agan), a well-known soprano of the Greek scene. Their live show was solid and professional, indicating that they have worked countless hours in the studio. Iliana showcased once more her impressive vocal abilities, being the heart of the band. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy their music to full extent, despite their excellent performance, due to the awful sound conditions. I hope to see them again under better circumstances.

After around 20 minutes, While Heaven Wept were in front of our eyes. Their long-awaited act started with the first four parts of their last album, “Suspended at Aphelion”, exhibiting their more progressive side. However, the more emotional moments came later, when we travelled to an unknown, wild ocean. The instrumental “Vast Οceans Lachrymose”, followed by “The Furthest Shore” and “To Wander Τhe Void” was a not-to-be-missed trinity, sending electric signals to our spines. Great response by anyone, sing-alongs during the refrains and stunning performance by Irving and Phillips; that was an experience that will always be remembered.

The journey towards the past continued with the absolute album of their discography; honestly, there aren’t proper words able to describe the divinity of these compositions. Perfectly executed by all band members, the grandiose “Of Empires Forlorn”, the silky and desperate “Soulsadness” and the heavy “The Drowning Years” sent us to another level of existence. As for the unforgettable “Voice Ιn Τhe Wind”, I don’t think that there was even one person in the venue not singing its lyrics.  

The last part of the act comprised (what else?) “Vessel”, a classic song that we always have a distinct preference for, and the 15-minute opus “Thus With Α Kiss I Die” from their debut; 15 minutes of doom, crushing heaviness and poetic sorrow to end something that was more a well-kept, rare experience than just a show of any kind.

It was evident that the band was well prepared for these final acts. Rain, supported discreetly by Michelle where necessary, gave an infallible, breathtaking performance, while they all contributed in transmitting to the audience Tom’s doom, epic, delicate and progressive compositions.

Surely, that was a show that left everyone satisfied and we’ll all refer to in the future. Never was melancholy so promising and sorrow so heart-lifting than on that rainy, November night. Farewell to this great band.

Alex Nikolaidis