RoD header


holygram Matrix (Rockpalast), Bochum, Germany
9th February 2019
Holygram - “Modern Cults” Tour 2019 - Suport: Traitrs

HOLYGRAM do the splits between wavy Post-Punk and industrial Krautrock: driving, dark and full of catchy moments. The different influences of the five band members who gathered in the vibrant music landscape of Cologne in 2015 are unmistakable: NEW ORDER meets NEU!. Skillfully incompatible merges to form the soundtrack of a city that looks threatening in the dim light. Music for the lost… The debut EP, ‘Holygram’, which was released on October 12, 2016 on a limited edition cassette and in digital format, was recorded and mixed in their own studio in Cologne over a period of several months. The five songs demonstrate the bandwidth of the band without wandering on beaten tracks or being caught up in genre clichés. Now, the band’s first album is out and of course the band is presenting it live on stage.


Long-time friends Shawn Tucker and Sean-Patrick Nolan founded TRAITRS 2015 in Toronto. One year later the EP ‘Rites And Rituals’ was released and in the year before last the single ‘Speak In Tongues’. The duo recorded their debut album, ‘Butcher’s Coin’, in the winter of 2017/18 and it was released last year.

traitrs D4S6977 klein

Music & Performance
At the beginning of the concert the Rockpalast was already well filled and the two protagonists Shawn (vocals and guitar) and Sean-Patrick (synthesizer) put on a passionate show. The music is a terrific mix of Post-Punk / Cold Wave and shoegazing elements, which has become a real listening pleasure. In general, you have to give the sound an award at this point. Clear, differentiated and even the volume matched. The songs sound harder live, which made the audience dance fast. And again the sound surprises, especially when you look at the age of the speakers… The bass lines provide the typical sound you like to hear in this genre and somehow expect, but here is something different, it sounds fresher and still enough 80s to fit into the concert.

traitrs D4S6978 klein

The sound was supported live with the SH synth series of Roland which simply never can disappoint sonically, but the mix is still always what matters, and here everything interlocks perfectly. In ‘The Lovely Wounded’, the hymnal and haunting synth strings, the echoing sounds from the drum box and everything else is in tune with the mystical vocals.There are faster, rougher and more Punk songs; ‘Thin Flesh’ moves in the Shoegaze genre and with further songs the musicians enchanted the euphoric audience. Above all is the slightly stirred up and desperate singing of Shawn. The reference to the Gothic bands of the first hour is unmistakable, but also the influences of today’s time are clearly recognizable. The musicians created something great and so the opening act tonight also was forced by the audience to an unplanned encore.

traitrs D4S7024 klein

01. Pale
02. Still From Her Sores
03. Skinning
04. The Suffering Of Spiders
05. Witch Trials
06. Thin Flesh
07. The Lovely Wounded
08. Hand Of Holy Fingers
09. Youth Cults
10. Omen

Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 9
Light: 5
Total: 7.3 / 10

traitrs D4S6987 klein


Concert visitors already know that the spectrum of HOLYGRAM is far from exhausted. The songs ‘Hideaway’ and ‘Acceleration’ show the atmospheric side of the band and clearly demonstrate the aspect of contrariness that resonates subliminally throughout the entire production. Sluggish drums meet impulsive bass lines and synthesizer melodies and reflect the turmoil in the lyrics. Themes such as alienation in the city or depression are explored here as a unity of word and music. ‘Daria’, ‘Still There’ and ‘Distant Light’, on the other hand, inevitably require the listener to dance in the mist and strobe light of their favourite club and make no secret of the fact that the band does not just want to stimulate melancholy musing. The band presents the sound recorded in the studio live on stage, without resorting to the usual practice of the backing tracks. /

holygram D4S7092 klein

Music & Performance
There were some technical problem and it took a bit longer to get ready. After an announcement by a staff member of the house, HOLYGRAM started with a short second soundcheck, in which the musicians, Patrick Blümel, Sebastian Heer, Marius Lansing, Pilo Lenger and Bennett Reimann, came individually on the stage. Fortunately, with lighting, so that the first photos were taken where you can recognize the musicians as well. The second check was done quickly and so, shortly afterwards, the set began with ‘Into the Void’, while the stage was mostly in dim twilight and covered with a lot of smoke, just as you know it from HOLYGRAM shows. This first song was followed by ‘Modern Cults’ which strongly reminds me of THE CURE. Similarly, ‘A Faction’ joined in, before the next songs were presented more driving and made you dance. HOLYGRAM were still quite reserved and there was little interaction with the audience. Only the sentence that otherwise you would have to pay for a VIP soundcheck 100 euros, but today got for free, seemed misplaced.

holygram D4S7099 klein

The sound in the venue in general had the same charm as with the opening act and was nearly perfect. In general, the whole performance was just presented too cool and built a certain distance to the audience. This fits basically to the style, but seemed a bit forced and the blue and red dipped backdrop would have been enough. The stage was generally too dark in, my opinion, too. To walk in any direction during the show was almost impossible. Of course, I understand that the songs need a certain mood and that the band wants to emphasize their sound through the light, but damn, I’m going to a concert to be able to SEE the band, otherwise I can stay at home and that listen to the CD. Despite the adverse circumstances HOLYGRAM ensure a grandiose concert. The mood jumps to the audience and the people danced and sang along. In the front row, some of them just raised their arms during the whole show. HOLYGRAM are a great live band and an absolute recommendation.

holygram D4S7107 klein

01. Into The Void
02. Modern Cults
03. A Faction
04. Signals
05. Dead Channel Skies
06. Hideaway
07. Daria
08. Acceleration
09. Still There
10. Odd Neighbourhood
11. Distant Light
12. 1997
13. She’s Like The Sun

Music: 8
Performance: 6
Sound: 9
Light: 2
Total: 6.3 / 10

holygram D4S7133 klein

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( /

Comments powered by CComment