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Diary of DreamsKulttempel, Oberhausen, Germany
1st June 2018
Diary of Dreams & Noire Antidote

When DIARY OF DREAMS, masters of Electronic Darkwave and beyond, announce another exclusive “hell in Eden” show, there’s no pondering or checking dates - it’s a must go! After last year’s a super successful tour in celebration of their latest and thirteenth sonic treat – ‘hell in Eden’, a milestone in the band’s history since their debut ‘Cholymelan’ in 1994 - the combo around Adrian Hates gathered the their devoted tribe at the Kulttempel, Oberhausen’s cosy and cult-y venue, for an intimate and unbelievably intense musical evening. They brought along the Dutch project NOIRE ANTIDOTE to get a darkly atmospheric celebration started. Both acts had already shared the stage in Russia earlier this year.


Noire Antidote

Witch House inspired Post Industrial act NOIRE ANTIDOTE is the solo project of Benjamin Schoones (BENJAMIN’S PLAGUE) from The Netherlands. His debut record ‘I Know Where the Wolf Sleeps’ came out in December 2016 via French label Audiotrauma. It is a “representation of getting tricked by the illusions found into our daily lives. There are many things in this world which are unknown to us, we’re getting tricked by the ones who seem good in our eyes. Hypnotised by the stories, forced to blindly follow. To live a life which seems all perfect to us.” I came across NOIRE ANTITODE for the first time when hearing Benjamin’s truly amazing remix version of ‘Age of the Disposable Body,’ GRENDEL’s killer title track from the outstanding 2017 record. Needless to say, that AOTDB is a masterful tune in the first place, but Benjamin successfully managed to transform it by weaving in NOIRE ANTIDOTE’s “hex spirit” making it another enjoyable track. So, if you are into the Industrial sound and love some voodoo vibes, this rising act is definitely a must-hear. // https://soundcloud.com/noire-antidote / https://noireantidoteaudiotrauma.bandcamp.com / https://www.facebook.com/noireantidote

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Music & Performance
At nine o’clock sharp the lights were dimmed and with the atmospheric blackness of the new tune ‘Obsidial Smile’ leading into the haunting ‘Slow Macabre’ Benjamin introduced us to the spine-tingling world of NOIRE ANTIDOTE. The slowly moving animation representing the debut’s cover art, which Benjamin also created himself, served as an effective backdrop behind the artist’s “desk” contributing to the cinematic and mysterious vibes of his sinister music full of suspense. Being a fan of not only electronic music, but also the soundscapes of movie scores, I was full of expectation hearing NOIRE ANTIDOTE live for the first time. Standing up front at the side was the perfect spot to witness his fingers controlling all the keys, pads, and buttons to make the magic happen. Next to the darkly ambient sound the tracks are also powerfully beat-driven, especially the minimal and droning ‘I Know Where the Wolf Sleeps.’ This title track was up next and someone in the audience standing nearby dropped the comment: “Kinda like DANIEL MEYER...” Personally, I have to say that the live version played its trick even better for me.

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Most of the crowd though, seem unfamiliar with NOIRE ANTIDOTE and rather listened curiously than giving in into a sombre rave. This changed soon, however, as the set evolved. From the second half of the show on, there was clearly more and more body movement and rhythmic nodding from the crowd’s side. One highlight was ‘The Comfort of Not Breathing’ with its lovely synth line winding its way through a truly wicked and dramatic tune. The neoclassical piano melodies made also tunes like ‘And the Rain Falls Straight Down’ a winner. Moreover, NOIRE ANTIDOTE also gave us a taste of four yet unreleased tracks: ‘Obsidian Smile,’ ‘Negative Etiquette,’ ‘The Nearness of...,’ and the darkly compelling electro choral ‘Funeral in the Botanical Garden’ which ended Benjamin’s intriguingly absorbing set. He took off his black hood for the last few tracks and when making his bows the audience gave him a warm applause.

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Currently, NOIRE ANTIDOTE is putting the finishing touches to the second record and we are looking forward its release around fall.

Setlist
01. Obsidian Smile
02. Slow Macabre
03. I Know Where the Wolf Sleeps
04. Negative Etiquette
05. The Comfort of Not Breathing
06. The Nearness of...
07. And the Rain Falls Straight Down
08. Bitter Solace
09. Funeral in the Botanical Garden

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 9
Light: 9
Total: 9 / 10

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Diary of Dreams

It’s been for 24 years now that Adrian Hate has been sharing his masterful compositions under the name of DIARY OF DREAMS with us. Dark music lovers from all around are enjoying the band’s melodic melancholia next to the music’s brute force listening to their vast discography of “chapters”, all incredible sound-spaces one can escape to and get lost in. DIARY combine beauty and bombast, the atmospherically cinematic with in-your-face electronica, enrich their tunes with energetic live drums and powerful guitars, and deliver spine-tingling vocals presenting meaningful and poetic lyrics. Countless club shows and festival gigs in Germany and overseas have proven that this exceptional band is stunningly amazing not only on disc, but also on live stage. // https://www.diaryofdreams.de / https://www.facebook.com/officialdiaryofdreams

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Music & Performance
Like during the last shows, the dramatically tense and sinister ‘hiE’ opener ‘Made in Shame’ and the hammering, fierce and epic ‘Epicon’ made for an overwhelmingly awesome concert beginning. While the first held the audience captive, the second tune knocked one off ones feet like a boisterous storm. But getting run over by the marvellous music and amazing live sound of one of your favourite bands is of course a good thing. The demanding “Tell me, tell me now!” screams resounded and the growing drums filled the air. May I call ‘Epicon’ a DIARY showpiece? Dejan on the drum-throne in the middle of the stage, Hilger with his guitar on the right, Max behind his keys on the left, and Adrian at the mike centre stage impressed their listeners from the first sounds on as their music tends to take you over at a glance.

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“All the rebels in the world can’t bring me down! / All the psychos in the world can’t bring me down!” - The title ‘kindrom’ from ‘Nigredo’ (2004) followed and its over the years vamped up live version was greatly celebrated by the audience next to another classic: ‘the Wedding’ from ‘If’ (2009). Adrian’s dark vocals were supported greatly by Max’s higher vocals. “And now you,” Adrian said making the fans also join in calling out “the wedding!”. The incredibly powerful performance of ‘Charma Sleeper’, another tune from ‘Nigredo’, was mind-blowing that night and another highlight was to finally hear the newer ‘listen and scream’ since it wasn’t played on last year’s tour - a great stomper and Max barely needed to animate the crowd to clap along. Let’s hope this one will stay on future setlist for a while. Another tune from the latest album on Oberhausen’s setlist was the beat-driven yet nevertheless melancholic ‘decipher me’.

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With the heart-breaking ‘She and her darkness’ from the 2002 record ‘Freak Perfume’ DIARY brought on the first calmer moment - intensity of the other kind. And after a bombastic bundle of four forceful and apocalyptic smashers that brought the venue to the boil (‘the Plague,’ ‘Soul Stripper,’ ‘Malum,’ and ‘Giftraum’), it was time for the ballad ‘hell in Eden’, a wonderfully beautiful tune that Adrian sang soulfully. Obviously, ‘Traumtänzer’ (in English, “dream dancer”) also pulled at our heartstrings and Adrian, who commented on that night’s lively audience as being “most spectacular,” introduced the song by saying: “You have deserved this one.” The Kulttempel turned into a choir singing the German lyrics on loss, lack of understanding, and those glistering eyes.

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It was undeniable that ‘Undividable’, a favourite from ‘Ego:X’ (2011), was very well received by the partying crowd. And after the song, the fan’s thunderous applause made DIARY OF DREAMS come back for a much demanded encore. This made Adrian smile and of course he knew what the audience was after: “You want two full hours, don’t you?” After listening calmly to the touching title track from ‘hell in Eden’ predecessor ‘Grau im Licht’, the band initiated another ‘Freak Perfume’ escalation with another classic, the mighty ‘the Curse.’ The band left the stage again but the passionate audience called Hilger, Dejan, and Max back once more making some real noise. And though a girl in the front row was putting her hands over her ears, those around her kept whistling as loudly as possible. Max encouraged people to turn up the volume even more. “Or he won’t come out again,” he remarked jokingly meaning the only one still missing, Adrian. Fortunately, maestro Hates did hear us and joined the others on stage one last time thanking the audience. Thanks to ‘One of 18 Angels’ (2000) favourite ‘Butterfly: Dance!’ the gig ended with a bang. Not just the fans had a blast for two hours; but also the band appeared full of joy of playing, which they did masterfully.

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Did I just say, the band ended things with a bang? That’s actually not quite true. The band surprised their fans by giving yet another very special encore at the merch before taking some time for a meeting and signing session. Adrian and Max, both equipped with their acoustic guitars, performed the last song ‘Butterfly: Dance!’ again. In its unplugged guise and with Adrian singing in his higher register it was a really expressive and lyrical moment. The DIARY tribe got close together in front and around the merch table and joined in singing along the chorus: “Hello... Are you listening to me?” DIARY OF DREAMS offered an intimate, tranquil and reflective ending for the campfire gathering.

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After the show, DIARY-die-hards who know that the band simply cannot disappoint, were still impressed by how the quartet keeps on exceeding the highest of expectations and leaving you behind thunderstruck bereft of speech, no matter how often you might have heard them live. DIARY OF DREAMS are a must-hear, if truly exceptional electronic music of the dark kind is what you are craving, and their gigs, as we said above, a must-go. The upcoming festival dates all dreamers must have already marked in their calendars are: October 6th and 7th when the band will appear at the Gothic Meets Klassik Festival in Leipzig to play a unique show with the Zielona Góra Orchestra; and October 13th when they will ask their followers for a dance in Hameln at the Autumn Moon Festival. Thus, many more DIARY goose bumps are sure to follow. Thank you for that.

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Setlist
01. Made in Shame
02. Epicon
03. Kindrom
04. the Wedding
05. Charma Sleeper
06. Sinferno
07. listen and scream
08. She and her darkness
09. the Plague
10. Soul Stripper
11. Malum
12. Giftraum
13. hell in Eden
14. AmoK
15. deciper me
16. Traumtänzer
17. Endless nights
18. the Luxury of Insanity
19. Undividable
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20. Grau im Licht
21. the Curse
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22. Butterfly: Dance!
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23. Butterfly: Dance! (acoustic)

Rating
Music: 10
Performance: 10
Sound: 10
Light: 10
Total: 10 / 10

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All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)

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