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Live-Music-Hall, Cologne, Germany
04th December 2006

My last visit to the Live Music Hall in Cologne has been quite a while, but for one of the four CRADLE OF FILTH concerts in Germany a two-hour-trip over the rocky freeways was a matter of true loyalty. Exactly at 8 pm we were waiting in a mob of Goths and Metal heads to get into the concert hall. It had been a predictable fan base, because the artists who were going to perform this evening are having a reputation.


INCUBATOR was founded in 1989 in Oldenburg and got some attention in the category of “technically brutal Death Metal”. Then they broke up with getting singer/ Enfant Terrible Chris Mummelthey into some trouble with the Instrumental fraction of the band who released the Album “Divine Comedy” in 2001 now calling themselves INC. After this album their second CD named “Moribund” followed. During this time Chris called himself the SIXTH INCUBATOR, a very strange project, which he is still working at with guitarist Stefan Schunke. But obviously he got back into the mood for original incubation and put up a team under the name of his former band on which he got the band name license: INCUBATOR! But there is still the question how they got on the wanted first support slot on this tour. Money? Acquaintances? Bookers with feelings of nostalgia? No matter how they did this, their new topic is “cold coast on a foggy morning“. East coast feeling - German style.

With their music they were referring to their early work. Brutal, technical Death Metal with a little bit of Avant-garde. But I have to admit: What used to be Avant-garde is now an anachronism - the wrong party because the make-upped audience was absolutely not in the mood for this kind of rough sounds. But Chris stayed cool, roared like a moose and put up some nice ironic comments (referring to the plants that were part of the setting – “Is this some kind of greenhouse?”) When he asked if there were some old fans in the audience a young woman outed herself, but told us later that she was acting out of pity... The setlist consisted of seven titles like “Nightmares from the Past” or “Puppenmord” (They were playing for nearly 30 minutes and except of “Prisons of Gore” all songs were from their album “Symphonies of Spiritual Cannibalism”). Old School Death metal fans would have been smiling but not this kind of audience.  The only true applause came when Mr. Mummelthey announced the last song. And he announced it several times in a very cool manner. INCUBATOR should concentrate on true Death Metal Supports then they’ve got chances to get back on the top.

The strange guys on stage couldn’t be the DEATHSTARS. These are quite strange fellows, but no mixture of Fisherman’s Friend and GI-Joe. Or had FEINDFLUG a sudden change of mind? Despite the nice costumes, the show had a little lack of action. Standing still may look cool (or at least makes you feel so), but it takes more to get a lot of attention. The light during the show would have made an epileptic collapse: The fluorescent lights mixed very well with the drums and produced the feeling of not just listening to the music but actually seeing it.

01. Pseudo Call
02. Prisons of Gore
03. Chemical Experience
04. Puppenmord
05. Stop the Madness
06. Symphonies of Spiritual Cannibalism
07. Nightmares from the Past


After a short break, there was a great show getting up. But this time it was more for the taste of the several people wearing black because when the mist swayed the Swedish “Industrial Metallers” called the DEATHSTARS started their part of the evening. Mr. Bergh called the German fans the “sixth member of the DEATHSTARS”. It doesn’t wonder if you know that a great part of the DEATHSTARS fan base is German and so it wasn’t a problem for them to make their fans freaking out. At the end the contact with their fans was getting very close: The last song was dedicated to the Merch-guy from CRADLE OF FILTH and after they finished, a fan of unknown sex got the opportunity of kissing Mr. Whiplasher’s sweaty nipples. After 40 Minutes of playing the Dark-Metallers said goodbye and left a bunch of people hungering for the Headliner of this evening.

Already with the opener “The Last Ammunition” front man Andreas “Whiplasher” Bernadotte Bergh put his grasp on the audience. Wearing some very, very tight pants and a feathered scar he was walking up and down the stage, while chanting in his low, dark voice. He was supported by Emil “Nightmare Industries” Nödtveidt and Eric “Cat Casino” Cat on their guitars. The last of the two belong to the team since last April and worked their self up from a mere live support to steady band members. On the bass plus some backing vocals, Jonas “Skinny” Kangur did a very good job at “Synthetic Generation” from the same named debut album.

Drummer Ole “Bone W Machine” Öhman was a little out of line because his drums stood at the side of the stage, but the audience’s attention belonged definitely to the exhibitionistic singer. He was sweating like hell, especially after “New Dead Nation”. Whiplasher likes it very much to play with personal remarks. Perhaps he put on an extra one for the show in Cologne. While greeting the audience he especially greeted the handsome boys and threw kisses. In the meanwhile he got so hot that he put off his jacket and his scar. After getting rid of the accessories, the posing got even better. Hard guitar riffs supported by synthesizers, just as Scandinavians love it followed through their program. A highlight of the gig was “Blitzkrieg Boom”, a single from their actual album “Termination Bliss”. The people loved it and, as it seems, already knew it.

It wouldn’t fit to call the mood during the performance “cozy”, but the dim red light made a relaxed atmosphere. The comments from Whiplasher caught the ear of the audience. “Your mother was very quiet this morning when I left your house” – Did he just say what I think I heard him saying? Whiplasher used provocative comments like this as excellent openers for the songs, but he did so with seeming more disturbed than an ass so nobody could be angry about him. I, for myself, found it very entertaining.

01. The Last Ammunition
02. New Dead Nation
03. Trinity Fields
04. Motherzone
05. Synthetic Generation
06. Tongues
07. Blitzkrieg
08. Play God
09. Virtue to Vice
10. Cyanide


The Roadies put up a great job, and so even before 10pm the British giants of Black Metal stood on stage, except Dani Filth. The stage setting seemed a little odd. Were the two trees and the plants on the drum kit referring to the album “Thornography”? But even more exciting was the question who was sitting behind the drums, because Adrian Erlandsson was removed from the line-up right before the tour. The bald guy with the drumsticks could have been a wonderful Nick Barker-double, but it was the Czech Martin Škaroupka already known as Felldrescher from MANTAS.

When you were watching to the right side of the stage you could see another nice morsel: a young Lady in black named Rosie was the mistress of the keys and making a nice show of moving her precious body to the music. A pity she couldn’t be photographed correctly. After a while the photographers had to leave the photographers area so there weren’t further chances to try it. They had to leave backstage, but there we met someone we weren’t expecting at a Black Metal concert: The front man from IN EXTREMO Micha was passing our way. Respect!  It was also very nice to watch the audience from the other side of the location. The nearly 800 visitors gave the event a solid surrounding. Meanwhile another lady took her place on the stage.

Sara Jezebel Deva appeared on the left side of the stage and gave her voluminous voice to classics like “Dusk and Her Embrace” and “The Forest Whispers My Name”. But also the new material (“Tonight in Flames”, “I am the Thorn”) was convincing. The guys from CoF have always been friends of cover versions, but I wondered how a typical pop song like “Temptation” from HEAVEN 17 would sound like. I would say it sounds tough and hard without letting the melody of the original suffer. But the voice of Dani Filth gave the evening a very special note. His ability to change the height of his voice suddenly from a deep grunting to a nearly deafness provoking screaming is more than impressive.

The drummer did his work not very spectacular but did a very good job and was formally introduced to the audience. They weren’t talking a lot during the concert, they preferred letting their music do the talk. The same was with the movement. Dave, Paul and Charles put their positions in the background letting Mr. Filth do the sporty part. The agile mixture of “Robin Hood” and “Rumpelstilzchen” (a character of a German tale) was walking around and climbing to the drum kit. Watching him was quite impressive. The Setting with the two old trees at the side of the stage was quite impressive and put a dark, sinister mood upon the stage. The infernal note of the Black Metal performance was produced by several red lights that gave the whole setting an infernal touch.

In the end it was a tightly organized evening without long times of waiting with a very wacky opener, and androgyny middle part and a bombastic brutal ending. Light and sound were ascending from act to act. CRADLE OF FILTH could show in a very impressive manner why they are called the masters of dark and sinister show elements. I was a little disappointed by the audience. Too many people were standing still. Perhaps they didn’t want to ruin their styling....

01. Under Pregnant Skies She Comes Alive Like Miss Leviathan
02. Dirge Inferno
03. Tonight in Flames
04. Dusk and her Embrace
05. Her Ghost in the Fog
06. Nymphetamine
07. The Forest whispers my Name
08. I am the Thorn
09. Rise of the Pentagram
10. Cruelty brought thee Orchids
11. Temptation
12. Under Huntress Moon
13. Gilded C***
14. From the Cradle to Enslave

Pictures by Sandro Griesbach (

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