Cellar Darling on the campaign, then in live !

Cellar Darling on the campaign, then in live !

The first concert of Cellar Darling’s European tour was to take place on April 13th with the band Turilli / Lione Rhapsody. Due to pandemia, all the dates are cancelled one month earlier. But the trio don’t let themselves be discouraged, and immediately propose a live-streaming to compensate as best they could. The announced date is Sunday, April 5th. In the meantime, the quarantine measures are becoming more extensive and it is quickly becoming impossible to maintain this date. As a result, Cellar Darling launches its Lockdown Content Campaign.

The "Lockdown Content Campaign"

It is then a question of making the audience wait until the live streaming can take place, to stay close to the fans, to show that they are there and that they feel great. And to do this, the band will offer no less than ten videos during the whole month of April. The campaign starts on April 5th with a live chat with Anna Murphy, Ivo Henzi and Merlin Sutter. The following videos include playthroughs, acoustic versions of “Under The Oak Tree” and “Death”, “A day in the lockdown of …” videos with Ivo Henzi and Merlin Sutter, and a voice/hurdy gurdy version of “The Spell” by Anna Murphy.

The new announced date for the live streaming is May 3rd, and this time it is maintained. A “Pay As You Want” system is proposed to support the band, but the video is also available for free. We can notice that if we contribute 15€, we receive a signed postcard.

Live-Streaming review

Sunday May 3rd, around 8:20 pm, we meet the band at Soundfarm Studio, in Switzerland, in a warm atmosphere. A Facebook post announces a few minutes before, “We’ve plugged in about a hundred cables, four cameras, 24 audio channels, and connected evertyhing to the internet. But there is nothing pre-recorded and everything will be live !”

The concert starts almost immediately after the beginning of the streaming with the title “Pain”. One camera is focused on Anna Murphy juggling hurdy-gurdy, flute and keyboard in addition to vocals, another on Merlin Sutter’s drums, a third on the guitar/bass duo Ivo Henzi and Nicolas Winter (band’s session bassist), and a last one makes a wide shot of the studio. The sound is very pleasant with a lot of reverb, especially on the drums, all the instruments are distinct, we are attending a real quality live performance. The titles follow one another: “Death” (with its magnificent flute solo), “Love”, “The Spell”. The absence of applause and light effects between the songs is a bit surprising at the beginning, but the sequence is quickly done. Anna Murphy takes the floor after this fourth track. She feels stressed, and this is what she explains during her speech: they are nervous and she has lost her voice during the soundcheck.

Then the tracks “Insomnia” and “Freeze” are played. After that, a new intervention where the band reads some comments on the YouTube chat to get the feeling of the audience: “Talk more !” to which the singer replies: “My brain is melting ! ». Ah ah!

The track “Black Moon” follows, then “Hullaballoo”, “Starcrucher”, “Fire Wind And Earth” and “Six Days”. Before the last track, Anna announces: “It’s time to ask the question: do you want some more? ». The band offers us a masterful “Avalanche” to close the concert that lasted a little over an hour, all without any technical incident. About 30 minutes after the beginning of the live we were 1500 people connected. This live streaming is, in my opinion, a great success. The four musicians gave their best and remained smiling and enthusiastic from beginning to end, which largely filled the cameras and fixed lights.

The live ends with a last intervention by Anna who thanks at some length the audience who watched the live and those who contributed to allow the band to “survive” during this period of crisis. She is then taken with a laugh when she adds “I don’t know if we will do this again, maybe not ! We need to reflect about things that have just passed”, suggesting that this experience was a real adventure for them. Minutes before, she had already let out a “That’s incredible!”.

For those who missed the live, it is still available on Cellar Darling’s YouTube channel (link below), as well as all the videos from the Lockdown Content Campaign.

Cellar Darling on the campaign, then in live !

Crédit photo : Urs Gantner


MaYaN plays and the magic happens !

MaYaN plays and the magic happens !

It’s the first time that I go to the René Magritte Cultural Center in Lessines this Saturday of March. But it’s a great opportunity, because it’s a quality poster that we’re offered tonight, as the icing on the cake, MaYaN, the prestigious side project of Mark Jansen (Epica). The band was playing a few shows in the Netherlands, Germany and here.

First observation, the staff is welcoming and the venue is spacious. We have time to have a drink before the Belgians from King Drama open the evening. This new band, made up of experienced musicians, is giving its first concert today. With its folk-tinged rock, sometimes a little more angry, the band brings a fresh wind to the current scene. The melodies are sweet and catchy and the choruses easily stay in mind. It is Ophélie, on vocals, who mainly manages the stage animation by jumping and dancing. Her voice is supported from time to time by Alain’s voice, also officiating on guitar, which we knew until then in a harder register (About:Blank, Spiritual Jack). Apart from a few small rhythmic blunders, King Drama defended themselves very well for a premiere and made a good impression on the audience. Note also that the band had to make up for the absence of its bass player, who unfortunately was ill.

After a short break, the French from Attraction Theory  come on stage. Although this is also a recent project (2017), it is also carried by musicians who have some past, including Didier Chesnau (Headline) and Constance Amelane (Whyzdom). It can be seen and heard as well. The band offers a modern metal, sometimes hovering, sometimes more aggressive, carried by Constance’s very soft voice. The mix is pleasant and can be listened to with pleasure. I like it very much, even if I have this feeling of “already heard”. But as my friend told me: when it’s so well done, it’s absolutely not disturbing! I especially remember the cover of “To France” that closes the set of Attraction Theory, a song that reminds me very good memories.

The sequel is a bit late, but as it’s still early, it’s not particularly disturbing. It is, indeed, the opportunity to talk more with the friends here and drink beers… Lots of beers! By the way, we are surprisingly few for such a line-up. It makes you wonder if the evil aura of the current virus played a role. Anyway, once MaYaN  comes on stage… Thinking back about that moment, I don’t know what to write. This band has so much energy, the many musicians running around in all directions to the frenetic rhythm of the music. You don’t know where to stare, something’s happening every second, in a different place. After two or three tracks, I laughingly tell one of my fellow photographers that this band is tiring! Not to mention that the lights aren’t super easy to manage either, by the way.

Finally, beyond these small details, for me, it is simply magic that happens before our eyes. The set is simply perfect: scenically, musically, vocally… The sound is amazingly clear! For a few seconds, I even come to wonder if the band isn’t doing some playback. I also admire Laura Macri’s performance as she’s doing the lyrical parts alone tonight, as Marcela Bovio is currently recovering. Her interpretation of “Insano” almost alone on stage is to fall, I have shivers!

Let’s note that the setlist is varied, mixing the different albums of the band, but also proposing some surprising covers: “Follow In The Cry” (After Forever), “Nihilism” (God Dethroned) and “At The Mountains Of Madness” (Orphanage). But these bands are part of the history of MaYaN and the musicians who took part in the project. Finally, for more than an hour, MaYaN delighted me and I think I wasn’t the only one to have taken a superb slap in the face by attending this modern opera in the company of talented artists, happy to be together on stage and in contact with the audience.

After this superb concert, we were able to share a little moment with a few members of the band, always available for fans and smiling. A real pleasure! For the anecdote, I tried to get some information about Epica’s new album, which will be released later this year, but it didn’t work! To sum up, even if you’ve certainly already understood it: it was a very good evening, well organised… And, of course, well toasted!


The Headbanger Tour wakes the dead with a great death metal poster

The Headbanger Tour wakes the dead with a great death metal poster

Go to Luxembourg this time (a very distant land for the Belgian I am). Death fans from the surrounding area gathered on Saturday, February 29th at the Rock Box, an iconic venue of the region offering diverse musical evenings.

Once the entrance (which looks like a nightclub) has passed, once the small wooden staircase has been climbed and once the welcome stamp has been placed on my hand, I find myself in a beautiful little room, halfway between an attic and a saloon. As usual, everyone is accustomed to the bar and everyone seems to know each other. The atmosphere is excellent.

The almost two hours of travel make me arrive late and I unfortunately miss three quarters of the Theophagist concert.

Kraton begins, proposing a fierce and controlled death. The band offers a precise set, with a high and sometimes heavy atmosphere (the band says they want to invite the spectators to a reflection on the human condition). Wink to the drummer, whose energy is dripping from her cymbals! Kraton definitely signs my discovery of this evening.

The Headbanger Tour wakes the dead with a great death metal poster
The Headbanger Tour wakes the dead with a great death metal poster

It’s Infected’s turn to climb on stage. I’ve always tended to say that bands that just looked like a bunch of school buddies wouldn’t go far. But in the case of Infected, we’re dealing with a bunch of dudes made up of talented musicians! If in some bands we look for cohesion, fun and sometimes even a smile, with Infected, we are inundated with brotherhood and joy. You can tell yourself that the singer sometimes misses a bit of seriousness, but is that really a problem?

The band, composed of musicians with other projects (Coalition, Ardenne Heavy, etc.) offers an interesting mix of thrash/ death/ groove, which works very well and I liked it very much. The audience too !

The Headbanger Tour wakes the dead with a great death metal poster
The Headbanger Tour wakes the dead with a great death metal poster

Back forced, I will not have the opportunity to see Desdemonia again, which I had discovered at the Metaldays 2019 and which had left me a great impression.

The Headbanger Tour offers an extremely high-quality poster in a well chosen location!

Valentine Cordier


Campaign For Musical Destruction 2020

Campaign for Musical Destruction 2020 @Trix

Sunday evening, I braved the storm and faced the weather to go to the Antwerp Trix to attend the Campaign For Musical Destruction Tour 2020 gathering BAT, Rotten Sound, Misery Index and Napalm Death.

Report 16022020 BAT

The Americans of BAT opened this evening with an excellent thrash which set us in motion for the rest of the hostilities. It was a great discovery for me. I already knew Ryan Waste in Municipal Waste and although it is a band that I love very much, I found that BAT has a little something more. I found that the voice was really good, that it worked well with the music and Ryan managed to keep all the energy and the intensity of his voice throughout the concert. If you don’t know BAT but are a fan of thrashy sound like Municipal Waste and Cie., check them out.

Report 16022020 Rotten Sound (2)

Then it was Rotten Sound (Finland) who stepped on the stage. The last time I saw them was in a small room in Liège (La Zone) with Implore and Brutal Sphincter. Despite a not very clean sound and an extremely energy-less audience, Rotten Sound sent a flood of energy and violence of which they have the secret. However, I preferred their performance at La Zone where the intimacy and proximity of the public corresponded more to the atmosphere that we can find in grind concerts where it sweats, it grows and it stinks violence. Here in the great hall of the Antwerp Trix, it was impossible to recreate a similar atmosphere. On the other hand, we can say that Rotten Sound has fulfilled its part of the contract and that they have given everything to make the audience move. But the audience in question had surely confused energizer and sleeping pills.

Let’s go to the third concert and not the least: Misery Index (Netherlands). The Dutch offered us a show combining their classics and new songs. Although the band offered an excellent set balanced between cleanliness and pure violence, the audience did not seem that motivated. We had to wait for the last two songs to see small beginnings of pogos in the pit. Even the microphone was more into the mood than the audience, it fell backwards during the last song. It made the audience laugh but show must go on, the concert ended in beauty. I would like to point out that Misery Index has took the bar up a notch compared to their performance at the Turock in Essen with Wormrot (06/04/2019). I found them more energetic and more effective on stage.

Report 16022020 Eye Hate God (38)

In a completely different register, we then moved on to Eye Hate God and its kind of grinded psyche stoner / rock. One thing is certain, we were no longer in the same world. I found the band much more introspective than the first three, you really had to be in their trip to fully enjoy the concert. Compared to the three other groups of the evening, their universe did not stick and for me, it was extremely complicated to get in the mood. It’s because of this that I find that Eye Hate God was a bit of a poster. This created a mismatch in the audience: there were those who came for Eye Hate God and who didn’t care about the other bands and those who came for Napalm Death who were more attracted by the style of the first bands. However, I must say that the performance was impressive and I appreciated the dirty but groovy sound offered by the band. I will finish by saying that Eye Hate God is venomous, visceral and sensation-wise it’s a bit like when you spit bile, it comes from the bottom of your guts.

Napalm Death offered us an insane show. The band has announced the release of their next album in a few months. We got a preview of this new album with a track: « Logic Ravaged By Brute Force » which combines clean and shouted punk/grind singing. For the rest of the concert, it was like every time I have seen Napalm Death: violent, fast, efficient and so good! If you’ve never seen Napalm Death live, don’t hesitate! Especially if you have to catch up on a workout session, because Barney is the only guy who can blow up your 10,000 steps a day in one concert.

Regarding the public, the crowd was delirious at the mere mention of classics like « Scum ». Napalm Death made everyone move throughout the venue (FINALLY!). We were given a concentrate of energy and violence. Napalm Death get to the bottom of things and this without compromise, while remaining faithful to the ideas they proudly defend. It may be an “old” band but they still lift an impressive amount of energy, all at a speed greater than that of a Boeing. You have a slack ? Forget Nalu and take a shoot of Napalm Death. Finally, the new song was well received even if it is the classics that are most successful among the public. The concert ended with two cover songs: one of the Dead Kennedys, « Nazi Punk Fuck Off » which made everyone move, and the other of Sonic Youth, « White Kross », which had less success.

In conclusion, it was an excellent live experience with good bands, a sound not always perfect but each band gave everything to send us a concentrate of energy and violence in its own way. Big up to BAT, the opening band which, I remind you, is really worth it. I believe that “All Is Said And Done” for this Campaign For Musical Destruction 2020!



The Great Tour: When Sabaton sets the Sportpaleis on fire!

The Great Tour: When Sabaton sets the Sportpaleis on fire!

I am really nervous when I enter the Sportpaleis of Antwerp on the evening of the 2nd of February. It was a hell to park the car, there are people everywhere and I don’t really know where to go despite the instructions I received at the entrance in a small stamped envelope. Fortunately, I met some less stressed colleagues who helped me.

Amaranthe, one of my favourite bands, opens the evening in this huge venue that keeps filling up. With their electro metal, the Swedes are just the perfect choice to warm up the audience. Their ultra catchy choruses seem to work pretty well on the first rows. To relax, I sing along every song. There’s so much space in this photo pit that I doubt the others can hear me. However, I am embarrassed by the Sabaton set already installed, all the bands are condemned to play behind barbed wires. Either, Amaranthe’s performance is excellent: energetic to the max as well as musically and vocally impeccable, the three singers performing really well in their respective styles. The setlist is also well thought out, gathering several songs from each album, among which we find “Digital World”, “Hunger”, “GG6”, “That Song”, “The Nexus” and also “Amaranthine”, the obvious ballad to take a little break in this intense set. Just great! Even if, of course, these 45 minutes spent with Amaranthine leave me with a taste of far too little.

The Great Tour: When Sabaton sets the Sportpaleis on fire!

Little break, little beer. At the price they are (3,50€) and knowing that the instructions for Sabaton shooting are particular, we go easy. Then, we go on with the Finns from Apocalyptica who start their show with a track from their latest album “Cell-0”, released in January of this year. Their music is atmospheric and dark, it takes to the guts. The cello is so beautiful! And played like that, it’s really impressive. The band offers a visual show as well, psychedelic images scrolling on the screens in the background. After three original compositions, the musicians are joined by Elize Ryd of Amaranthe for two tracks, including “Seemann”, a famous Rammstein song. It must be said that Apocalyptica is best known for its covers, especially those of Metallica. Tonight, the band proposes “Seek & Destroy” and “Nothing Else Matters” for the greatest pleasure of the audience who participates with enthusiasm. I had never seen Apocalyptica live and I thought instrumental music would bore me… I was wrong, it was great!

The Great Tour: When Sabaton sets the Sportpaleis on fire!

A bit before THE concert of the evening, the photographers have a briefing with Sabaton’s PR manager, Nick. He explains everything that will happen during the concert in terms of pyrotechnics and entertainment. He also reminds us that we are divided into two groups and shows us the division according to the setlist. I’m in group A, so I stay in the pit for the beginning of the show. We’ve been warned that it’s going to blow up on the first track, but in fact it’s very impressive and quite distracting.

In short, after a sweet introduction (“In Flanders Field”), it’s a cannon shot that gives the top start of the Sabaton concert, the musicians bursting on stage, as they often do on “Ghost Division”. Ideal to start in the energy and the band’s energy is once again overflowing! After “Great War”, which is also the title of their latest album released last summer, the combo leave the stage for a narration and comes back wearing gas masks. Only Joakim (vocals), also equipped with a smoke machine, will keep it throughout “The Attack Of The Dead Men”.

The Great Tour: When Sabaton sets the Sportpaleis on fire!

The tracks follow each other at breakneck speed and we don’t know where to stare, because something happens almost every minute: keyboards embedded in a Red Barron’s carcass, animations and screen replays, little jokes, famous riffs (Judas Priest, AC/DC, Iron Maiden,…) more flames and more fireworks and… As if all that wasn’t enough, we also get a bazooka shot on “Night Witches”! Halfway through the show, the band is joined by Apocalyptica for no less than six songs. It’s nice, but in my opinion, we don’t hear the cello enough.

Seen from the grandstands, the show is all the more impressive as the venue is so huge and full. However, from the audience’s point of view, it’s a bit strange. As much as there is a crazy atmosphere in the front rows, there are even some crowdsurfs, as much in the stands, it’s dead calm… One or the other arm rises timidly from time to time, but apart from that, everyone remains seated. No one moves a hair during “Carolus Rex”, for example, which is one of the band’s anthems.

Finally, for almost two hours, Sabaton ha filled our eyes and ears with excitement. Whatever people say, they are real showmen and what they do, they do it perfectly!

The Great Tour: When Sabaton sets the Sportpaleis on fire!

See the full gallerie of the event HERE !

Setlist :

01. Ghost Division
02. Great War
03. The Attack of the Dead Men
04. Seven Pillars of Wisdom
05. The Lost Battalion
06. The Red Baron
07. The Last Stand
08. Resist and Bite
09. Night Witches

With Apocalyptica :
10. Angels Calling
11. Fields of Verdun
12. The Price of a Mile
13. Dominium Maris Baltici
14. The Lion From the North
15. Carolus Rex

Encore :
16. Primo Victoria
17. Bismarck
18. Swedish Pagans
19. To Hell And Back


The Hu, a journey to the heart of the Mongolian steppes

The Hu, a journey to the heart of the Mongolian steppes

Cologne. I had not planned to drive two hours, even to see The Hu, which I had only heard about once or twice. In general, the: “What? You don’t know them? But it is a phenomenon, you must absolutely listen to them!” attract me very little. Well, I still decide to go see the band.

The Hu has attracted the gaze of the metal planet with a monumental “communication shot”: no one could miss “Yuve Yuve Yu” on their social medias. And miracle, by looking at the dates of the band, we realized that they were playing a little everywhere in the coming months. Very well seen!

The venue (Die Kantine) is spacious, but we are still very tight. To make up for this, and without understanding where it comes from, a fresh air arrives on the audience. Rather pleasant! The venue is proposing various activities (discotheque, cultural events in general, …), and it shows very beautiful exterior, in an industrial style. Big downside: drinks are very expensive! Count 4.50 euros for a beer, deposit included. Not necessary to say that we did not leave the place drunk.

The Hu, a journey to the heart of the Mongolian steppes

But, after this little tour of the owner, let’s get to the heart of the matter! The Hu leaves me with a strange, paradoxical taste. A rather unpleasant feeling of unfinished …

A show in half shade

Overall, and not to hide anything, the show lacks power! One could say that it is the fault of the style, I think rather that it is the choice of the band to chain four very quiet song that leave something to be desired … The public was nevertheless excited and the atmosphere was very good. Which is very nice!

Traditional Mongol instruments (morin khuur, tovshuur and tumur khuur) were not heard enough. It is disappointing, considering it’s the band’s trademark. On the contrary, in scenic terms, they were too highlighted (RIP the bassist and the guitarist carpet in the shadow all the concert long). I expected a very tight-knit band, and finally I looked for interaction as a GPS looks for the right address. On the other hand, diphonic singing remains impressive and challenging!

In short, the concept is excellent, but it deserves to be further developed, for example through the promotion of traditional percussions, or even through stage settings (there were none so to speak). My main fear about The Hu is that the audience will turn away from music that could become weary. The future will tell us if the band manages to solidify its fanbase while renewing its music.

The Hu took me on a journey, but a bit of a wobbly journey …

Valentine Cordier

The Hu, a journey to the heart of the Mongolian steppes
The band @ "Die Kantine"

Damned Soul Fest III : an eclectic poster

Damned Soul Fest III : an eclectic poster

First Damned Soul Fest of my life. This little festival with (already) great reputation intrigues me, and so I decide to venture into the beautiful little village of Bomal Sur Ourthe. When I arrive, the cold is already piercing. A small beer to warm it up, and it’s gone! I discover the room, tiny but very warm and welcoming, with its «underground» side. Who says small room, says tight audience. But not here! Despite the high attendance, we are not on each other.

Belgian groups are on display, but not only: Luxembourg, France and the Netherlands, neighbouring countries are proudly represented. A diversity that I like. There is also a diversity of styles: death, hardcore, rock’n’roll, or symphonic. I only knew three groups on the poster. But I don’t care, I love discoveries.

I start with Dirty Wolfgang. First time I see them live. Recently, there is a new drummer who joined the ranks of the hard rock «sons of a bitch» in their «loud» version. The band offers a squared and energetic set, but rather unnatural. Despite the quality of the sequences, we feel that the three musicians still have to play together before acquiring a real cohesion. But apart from the little rhythmic errors, it’s promising! The influences of the band are multiple, but Dirty Wolfgang manages to merge them into a clean style, powerful, and dirty at the same time. In short, we love!

Damned Soul Fest III : an eclectic poster
Damned Soul Fest III : an eclectic poster
Nico Mike D. , new drummer

Anwynn continues. First time I’ve seen the band since Kelly Thans from Pandora’s Key replaced «Bouc» at the growl. It was just that mix of voices that I liked. So I’m skeptical. But I quickly realize that my doubts were unfounded, so much the chemistry between Kelly and Eline is intense! The mixture works perfectly well. However, still at the level of voices, I do not change my opinion of Eline’s voice over the years: her notes deserve to be better «posed». As for the rest of the gang, it’s always as good and accurate! Perhaps a small regret: the set loses consistency and energy in its second half.

Damned Soul Fest III : an eclectic poster
Anwynn

My discover

It is in front of Dysrancor that I take a slap ! I’d heard of them before, but I didn’t expect my eyes to be taped to the scene from A to Z. I’m more of a distracted type. So, if the band that plays doesn’t transport me, I hang up and never pick up back. That’s not the case with Dysrancor! Not much to say about their set, more than mastered. With a good interaction between musicians and an overflowing energy, the band offers a very original and convincing mix of brutal death and black sympho. And, to say the least, it’s working!

Damned Soul Fest III : an eclectic poster
Dysrancor

I have only one regret: not being able to attend the concert of Fractal Universe, which benefited from very good echoes. Overall, the sound and lights were very good. And the prices of drinks and snacks were more than reasonable. In summary, a successful third edition! In total, almost 500 people made the trip this year.

To conclude with a word from Matthieu Addonisio, the organizer: «My expectations are met, and at the financial level, it is a more than successful edition». It will still be a few weeks before we know if a new edition will take place in 2021. But we hope so!

Valentine Cordier


Ategnatos European Tour

Ategnatos European Tour : From Moldova to Switzerland via Italy

November 10 2019 : Ategnatos European Tour @ Trix with Infected Rain, Lacuna Coil and Eluveitie

 

It was a productive weekend! After two intense evenings at the Birthdeath in Tohogne, then at the Blood Upon The Castle in Anthisnes, it’s time to go back to the other side of Belgium for a much awaited event at the Trix. Tonight, three emblems of the current scene are playing in  a sold-out venue. Although those three bands are very different in their styles, by uniting in this way, they offer us an ideal line-up.

Once is not usual, I had never personally seen this at the Trix before, but the access is complicated. The doors open at 6:30 pm and the first band starts at 6:45 pm… But at 6:20 pm, the line is long in front of the venue and we think we will never get in on time. But all’s well that ends well, I end up reaching the pit during the first track of Infected Rain.

Infected Rain, therefore, opens the ball by mainly presenting its new album, “Endorphin”, with tracks such as “Passerby”, “Black Gold”, “The Earth Mantra” or “Lure”. We will also have access to old songs like “Mold” or “Orphan Soul”. Anyway, the band’s fans are there, they sing every chorus and don’t have to be asked to move. The set is relatively short, but of good quality. Wherever they are, these Moldovans definitely know how to set the mood!

Ategnatos European Tour : From Moldova to Switzerland via Italy

The stage change is quite fast and it is Lacuna Coil‘s turn to own the stage. If Lena of Infected Rain has a certain power of attraction, Cristina Scabbia has nothing to envy her! This one, ignited by the music, is hypnotizing. Even if her folks defend themselves well with their creepy clown makeup, it is very difficult to focus on someone other than her. In short, from the first track the tone is set: the presence, the energy, the songs, everything is planned to have a great time. The setlist is well balanced, although the Italians are promoting their latest album “Black Anima” from which they present “Layers Of Time”, “Reckless”, “Sword Of Anger” and the superb “Veneficum”. Of course, the band’s hits are not neglected and we are entitled to “Our Truth”, “Heaven’s A Lie”, “The House Of Shame”, their emblematic cover of Depeche Mode “Enjoy The Silence”, as well as “Nothing Stands On Our Way” to finish the set nicely and leave the conquered audience with a message of hope. For me, it was THE performance of the evening!

Ategnatos European Tour : From Moldova to Switzerland via Italy

Then it’s time for the Swiss of Eluveitie who are in charge of crowning the evening with their wild folk. The concert begins with an original touch with a simulated celtic celebration where three members of the band dressed in white chant at the front of the stage while others play percussions, placed behind a white sheet. After this gentle mystical start, it is the breakaway with the sequence of “Ategnatos” and “King”. Fortunately, these pieces are long, which allows the photographers present in large numbers to capture as much as possible of what is happening on stage. Indeed, the musicians are numerous and restless and personally, I don’t know where to put my eye. I’m a little disappointed, then, when Chrigel announces “The Call Of The Mountains” and leaves the choice of the version to the public. So it will be “De Ruef Vo De Bärge”… Either the show is very good, the band plays well, the singers are in voice and smiling, nothing to report in terms of quality. Also, the atmosphere is very good on the public side: people are pushing themselves and surfing in joy and good mood. For my part, I have trouble getting into the dance, even if I love Eluveitie and I am happy to hear some of my favorite songs (“A Rose For Epona”, “Ambiramus”, “Helvetios” or even “Rebirth”), the ultra folk and/or acoustic parts bore me and I dare to find the concert quite long. Finally, after nearly an hour and a half of show, the Swiss close the evening under a standing ovation with their anthem “Inis Mona”.

Ategnatos European Tour : From Moldova to Switzerland via Italy

After all this, it’s time to debrief at the bar and eventually go say hello to the Infected Rain guys who are never stingy with their fans. So we conclude a nice evening with a few beers and one or two selfies!


Report Night Fest X - bandeau

Night Fest Metal X: Let there be black !

“Let there be black (& blood)”! That sums up pretty well the tenth edition of the Night Fest held Saturday October 19th in Arlon. Organized by the non-profit association Cronos and the Durbuy Rock Festival, we can say that the event was a great success considering the number of spectators who came for the occasion.

The poster of this edition was rather varied. From doom/sludge to black metal to a more “folk” or “atmospheric” black metal, we can say that there was something for everyone. In general, the echoes of the public collected on were rather good.

Lethvm opened hostilities and gave us a great performance, rich in emotions thanks to their frontman, Vincent, who embodies and lives his songs to the fullest. If you do not know them yet, it’s time to go discover them with their brand new album, Acedia.

Night Fest Metal X: Let there be black !

© Picture all rights reserved LauPi Photo

Wyatt E., it’s unfortunately the band that I liked the least. Although excellent in its genre, I was not seduced by the music. I recommend you to listen to them, because this could be a great discovery, as it was for many spectators of the Night Fest X. I propose their latest release Exile To Beyn Neharot (2017).

Night Fest Metal X: Let there be black !

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From a personal point of view, 1914 was a beautiful discovery. A Ukrainian band that offers us a universe related to the First World War mixed with “blackened sludge death / doom metal” (according to their Facebook page). The singer really embodied his music and expressed quite faithfully the trauma of this period of our history. The musicians took us straight back to 1914 with their soldiers’ suits and a microphone stand made from a weapon. I really recommend that you listen to their album The Blind Leading The Blind (2018).

Night Fest Metal X: Let there be black !

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The Germans from Ultha gave us a nice concert that did not transcend me, but as probably you know the live conditions are different from the studio album. I recommend you to discover them thanks to their album The Inextricable Wandering, album that I liked very much. Also note that they released an EP named Belong. This will allow you to forge your own opinion about the band.

Night Fest Metal X: Let there be black !

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Then, it is Imperium Dekadenz who walked the boards of the Entrepôt in Arlon. I loved their latest album When We Are Forgotten. The live performance pleased me while being, to my taste, very different from what I had heard in the album. I would say that the live version is more, let’s say, raw. In my opinion, the album gives the listener access to an extra dimension. This can be explained by the fact that behind Imperium Dekadenz hides the Vespasian and Horaz duo for the studio albums and they are joined by other live musicians. Which can explain the difference between live and album. Although different, both experiences are worth living. Stay tuned if you like this band, because an interview at the event will be published very soon on our website.

Night Fest Metal X: Let there be black !

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We then moved to the “folk” or “pagan” side of the force with first of all, Winterfylleth, who conquered the crowd with their songs. I recommend you their album The Hallowing Of Heirdoom (2018) that I really enjoyed.

Night Fest Metal X: Let there be black !

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Saor has bewitched us with their atmospheric black folk/pagan style. Although I enjoyed the live as a whole, I found that the voices and the violin did not stand out enough from the mix. In my opinion, we lost some of the subtlety of the rather rich music that the band offers on the albums. If you’re hungry for discovery, you can go listen to their latest album Forgotten Paths  released this year.

Report Night Fest X - Saor

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The festival ended with Endstille. The live performance of the band did not conquer me, unlike their albums that I love. Selon les divers retours que j’ai eus, Endstille n’a pas livré une performance remarquable aux yeux du public. According to the various returns I have had, Endstille has not delivered a remarkable performance in the eyes of the public. Maybe it was a bit late for everyone and too much alcohol had flown ? Despite this, Endstille is a band that is worth listening to and so I suggest you to listen to their album Kapitulation (2013) to get an idea of what they can do.

Night Fest Metal X: Let there be black !

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Concerning the organization, I would like to personally thank Cronos and the Durbuy Rock team for the welcome they gave me and for the quality of these concerts. Even for drinks, there was something for everyone, and they offered a huge variety of beers for the beerlovers among us. Concerning food, again, the organization wanted to make sure to satisfy its public by offering homemade paninis and croque-monsieurs (including a vegetarian version). In terms of tariffs, I think we can say that the whole was relatively reasonable. Thanks again to them for keeping the scene alive and for proposing great concerts like this.


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Oug’Rock XIII : black VS death ?!

Oug’Rock XIII : black VS death ?!

Although this is the thirteenth edition of the Oug’Rock Festival this year, it is the first time I have been there. This small festival organized at the Seraing Cultural Centre takes place over two days and, rare fact nowadays, it is free!

On Saturday 14 September, the second day of the festival, Sercati‘s black metal (read their interview here) is in charge of waking up the troops. Unfortunately, I will miss their performance, but the feedbacks I heard are positive. So I start in the afternoon with another black metal band: Absolutus. They are from Liège and they directly impose a dark atmosphere with rather rich compositions. However, the musicians seem reserved on stage, even if the lead singer still makes one or two jokes between the songs. Moreover, the exchange of roles between him and one of the guitarists is quite interesting.

Oug’Rock XIII : black VS death ?!

Knowing that summer is coming to an end, it is difficult to leave the heat of this radiant sun to listen to Ilydaen. Nevertheless, the effort is beneficial, because it is a pearl that is playing before us. Their music, partially instrumental, is original, thorough and superbly atmospheric. Having barely discovered this band, also from Liège, I am a little sad to learn that this is their last concert before a long time!

Oug’Rock XIII : black VS death ?!

If you didn’t know that Black Bleeding was playing next, it’s because you’re probably deaf, because a few seconds before the show starts, the inescapable Balmuzette comes out of the room, equipped with a bell and simply wearing shorts, to give the alert. Then follows a wave of riffs, blasts and howling. If you’re not used to it, this explosive cocktail can be surprising. Enemies of dubious humour: run away! Unfortunately, for medical reasons, the bass player cannot be present, but his colleagues have ensured his presence through an interposed screen.

Oug’Rock XIII : black VS death ?!

After this set flirting with the absurd, we return to something more serious in death metal with the French band Balance Of Terror. I had discovered this band in 2018, during the Dreamer Fest in Saint-Omer and I loved it. My feelings are similar tonight. Their sound is powerful, their riffs aggressive and precise and the musicians’ energy is communicative.

Oug’Rock XIII : black VS death ?!

Der Rote Milan creates a completely different atmosphere. The Germans take us to the depths with their ambient black metal. It’s powerful but dark, haunting, almost frightening. The darkness and smoke accentuate this effect.

Oug’Rock XIII : black VS death ?!

Now it’s time for a demonstration of old-fashioned technical death metal then with Pestifer who presents their new album, “Expanding Oblivion”, in its entirety. What a good energy: the musicians headbang in all directions to the sound of riffs of an almost surgical precision. The new songs are powerful and efficient, the last band from Liège of the evening offers us a superb performance. There is no official release date for this new opus yet, but I can’t wait!

Oug’Rock XIII : black VS death ?!

I found Der Rote Milan dark, but Cirith Gorgor raises the level of a few notches: make-up, incense, satanic altar, animal skulls, blood… The Dutch are fully in their concept. But the music is no less bad, it is the opposite! I am completely transported by their music and cannot take my eyes off the performance. Bewitching!

Oug’Rock XIII : black VS death ?!

As you will have understood, the results are still very positive for this event! In my opinion, the sound was very good and I have nothing to say about the lights. The atmosphere was great and it was really nice to see lots of little friends, as well as to meet new people. I love these kinds of festivals! Congratulations to the Oug’Rock for which I wish many more great editions!