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W2, Den Bosch, The Netherlands
April 29th 2006
The Dreamside, Dark Sanctuary, Encryption

This was a night I had been looking forward too, a Dreamside performance and in addition the first Dutch performance of Dark Sanctuary. I didn’t know Encryption yet but it turned out to be a great match with Dark Sanctuary… the only thing that kept me wondering was the combination between those two bands and the main act of the evening, what a difference in sound, and yet they can both sound intense.


This Belgian band had the honour of opening this evening. It was not that busy yet in the venue, maybe people were still celebrating queensday elsewhere.

The show started with long soft tunes. The vocalist sung long high notes, they could have been words but they weren’t audible. The second song ‘Requiem’ was guided by an acoustic guitar in addition to the electronic tunes. After this it was time for the men to perform together. The guitarist now sung and so did the keyboard player, it was an impressive song with a medieval sound to it, especially because of the rattling chains, creaking doors, screams and the “guilty” which you heard during the song. It seemed as if medieval law was practiced. Their voices sounded good together, a warm and deep sound. The singer was sometimes hard to understand due to her articulation. When the two ladies sung together it sounded a bit dissonant at times, which was not a bad thing.

The red curtain in front of the stage opened and immediately the music started. During the performance little happened on stage. Most movement were the band members which walked on and off stage. The main vocalist stood in the middle of the stage and she moved a bit to the music. When she was supported by the other female vocal it was nice to see they both had their own way of moving. The keyboard player stood still most of the time, and so did the male vocalist who occasionally came to support the band. So performance wise the band was not that strong, there was no contact with the audience, only when a song was announced there was minimal contact. The lights hardly moved either but different moods were created for the different songs.

Music 7
Performance 5
Sound 7
Light 6
Total 6 (6,1)

Dark Sanctuary

Dark Sanctuary is a French band which originates from 1996 and this was their first performance in the Netherlands, what happened? Maybe this was the first of many more. During their performance more people had entered the venue and it was quite busy.

Some musicians had two functions. One of the keyboard players for instance also played guitar and the bass player also played a singular drum which had a military sound to it. They played many songs from the latest album ‘Exaudi Vocem Meam - Part I’ but also new songs. For instance ‘D’une Mère à sa Fille’ which hasn’t been released yet. During ‘Des Mortis’ the violins seem to tell a story, at times they don’t seem to match even though they play the same tune. The violins sound better when they are playing together with the rest of the instruments. Their vocalist has a great voice, she can sing quite high but during ‘Garden of Jane Delawney’ you also get to hear a lower more emotional side of her voice.

Dark Sanctuary has quite a full stage; 2 violinists, 2 keyboard players, a bass player and a vocalist. The stage looked alive because of all these people but unfortunately not a lot happened. Their vocalist was dressed in a dress which had a renaissance look to it, the rest of the band however was dressed in simple black. The vocalist was constantly singing to the audience, she made contact. On a standard she had her lyrics, which she never looked on, they were just there for certainty. She also had a microphone standard which she hardly used, only to take a sip of water, pity it was right in front of the stage. Again the stage was quite static. The only movement came from people playing their instruments. Both violinists stood still and looked straight ahead when they weren’t playing. Their show could be improved on this point. At the end of the show the got a big applause, to which they bowed, very shy and modest.

01. Ouverture
02. Línconnue
03. Memento Mei
04. Dies Mortis
05. D’une Mère à sa Fille
06. Elle et L’aube
07. Creuseur de Terre
08. Cet Enfer au Paradis
09. Garden of Jane Delawney
10. Anathème

Music 7
Performance 6
Sound 7
Light 6
Total 7 (6,5)

The Dreamside

Then it was finally time for the main act of the evening. For those who had drifted away into dreams during the first two bands it was time to be shaken to the core and wake up. The fact that I can’t even read back my own notes say enough, I was looking at the show and not at my note book.

As of the first song the Dreamside played with full power. It was overwhelming. This sounded even better than on the album. Everything just seemed to fall in to place. Many songs of the latest album ‘Spin Moon Magic’ were played. Such as the soft but intense song ‘Somewhere Before’ which is on the soundtrack of ‘Dark Kingdom’. The show seemed to be over in about 15 minutes while they had been playing for an hour. Luckily they played an encore. Roman came to announce it. We didn’t have to wait long for as he said “I never liked to wait for a band to come back either” The show was closed with an older song ‘Nuda veritas’ which made me decide to go and buy the older albums as well.

What a great performance. During the first song they wore their masks, then it turned dark and they took them off, only the light technician forgot to put the light back on during the start of the second song but the band played on. Kemi is real show woman. As she sings you can see she knows exactly what she is singing. You can also hear it in her voice of course but she acts on stage, she doesn’t just sing her songs and that shows. The men on stage are enjoying themselves. You can either see the smile or enjoyment on their face or their full concentration. Merijn is an animal behind his drum set, his hair and arms are all over the place and he is constantly singing along to the songs. The only time I saw him take it more easy, though more concentrated than ever was during ‘Somewhere Before’ when he is in the front of the stage drumming with two torches. Fried and Roman stood behind Kemi with each a torch in their hand as well.

01. Symbol
02. La Tempesta
03. Joyfire
04. The Feast is set
05. Spin Moon Magic
06. This quest
07. Dreaming all of you
08. Somewhere before
09. Open your Eyes
10. Into a frenzy
11. Die Hoffnung
12. Foresaken
13. Nuda Veritas

Music 9
Performance 9
Sound 7
Light 7
Total 8 (8,4)

More photos on page 2

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