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Live-Music-Hall, Cologne, Germany
17th December 2008
Septicflesh, Moonspell, Gorgoroth, Cradle of Filth

It’s Metal Time! On 17th December I went to the Filth Fest and five bands were on the agenda. Besides CRADLE OF FILTH also ASRAI, SEPTICFLESH, MOONSPELL and GORGOROTH were supposed to perform. Unfortunately, the band ASRAI had to cancel their performance on short notice. Turns out it was for the benefit of the four remaining acts. When I arrived, I spotted a queue of freezing and soaked people in front of the entrance. One of the bands arrived too late and so the sound check was still ongoing and admission was delayed. The Live-Music-Hall eventually opened its gates with a delay of 1.5 h and when 2/3 of the attendees finally got in, the time had already come…


The band’s inception dates back to March 1990. In 1991 they pulled out their first demo ‘Forgotten Path’ followed by an EP, called ‘Temple of the Lost Race’ in December of the same year, which brought them deal with Holy Records. They debuted with ‘Mystic Places of Dawn’ in 1994, followed by the album ‘Esoptron’ (1995) and ‘Orphidian Wheel’ (1997). After the band integrated neo-classical elements into their music, it became more theatrical and technical.

In September 1998, the band released their first video clip ‘The Eldest Cosmonaut’ on the limited release ‘The Eldest Cosmonaut (D.N.A. Chorozone)’. After the release of ‘Sumerian Daemons’ in 2003, the band breaks up to re-unite in 2007 under the slightly changes SEPTICFLESH, releasing the most recent album ‘Communion’ in 2008.

Music & Performance
The Greek band SEPTICFLESH opened the fest and initially started rolling. While the lads, Seth Siro Anton (bass/vocals), Christos Antoniou (guitars/orchestral), Fotis Benardo (drums) and Alex Haritakis (guitars) performed songs like ‘Persepolis’, ‘Anubis’ and ‘Lovecraft's Death’, the Live-Music-Hall filled gradually. The band combines Death Metal with atmospheric Gothic Metal elements. A pretty felicitous mixture, rewarded with a great reception from the audience.


The band was founded as MORBID GOD in 1989 by Fernando Ribeiro. Until 1992 they recorded some demos and then decided to change the name to MOONSPELL. After the release of mini-album ‘Under the Moonspell’, the band signed with Century Media for six albums. Their debut ‘Wolfheart’ initially received only sparse attention but later it was to be considered as a milestone in the history of Portuguese Metal. Simultaneously it was the springboard for an emergent career. The second album ‘Irreligous’ came out in 1996 and sold over 10,000 copies and that only in Portugal. The band entered a rather experimental path with their following albums ‘Sin/Pecado’ (1998) and ‘The Butterfly Effect’ (1999) to return into more confided but matured territory after that period. ‘Memorial’ (2006) is their most recent album and once again managed to crack the mark of 10,000 sold copies. /

Music & Performance
Because of the immense delay, the sets of the other bands had to be shortened a little and so it wasn’t long until the second band of the evening MOONSPELL entered the stage. Now it turned out as lucky break that ASRAI cancelled their gig. Besides songs from the current album ‘Night Eternal’, of course an evergreen like ‘Opium’ couldn’t be missed. Fernando Ribeiro (vocals), Ricardo Amoium (guitars), Pedro Paixao (guitars/keyboards) and Miguel Gaspar (drums) performed their Dark Metal. For the song ‘Scorpion Flowers’, guest musician Anneke van Giesbergen (AQUA DE ANNIQUE / THE GATHERING) joined the band. A successful performance in every respect that would have been even nicer with an encore, but there wasn’t enough time, so this show was over as well.


GORGOROTH is one of the oldest and most-known Norwegian Metal bands, which was formed in 1992. Soon after the releases of two demos in 1993 and 1994, the band signed a record deal with Embassy Records. Their debut ‘Pentagram’ saw the lights of day in 1994, which is considered the foundation stone for the second Norwegian Black-Metal generation. To this date, this band has released a total of seven albums with ‘Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam’ as the latest being released in 2006. In October 2007, founding member Infernus announced on the band's official Myspace page that "a decision to split up the band" had been made with him on one side, Gaahl and King on the other. In December the label said that it "recognizes Infernus as the rightful owner of the band’s name, logo and trademark, and is prepared to take any legal steps necessary to prevent any third part from exploiting it, artistically and commercially". /

Music & Performance
Swiftly, the stage was reconstructed for the upcoming band GORGOROTH, built up 4 huge crosses and replaced the equipment of the bands. You could spot huge question marks in more and more faces of the ‘non-fans’ of the band. And then it was already time. Gaahl (vocals), King (guitars) and his fellows entered the stage. 2 Men and 2 Women, all naked except for a black cloth above their heads took on a crucified posture on the aforementioned crosses. Now, the lights went down as it was about time for the Black Metal band to hit the stage. The name GORGOROTH refers to J.R.R Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ where it describes the wastelands in the lands of Mordor. The word signifies ‘Valley of Horrors’. And really, it was finest Black Metal. It seemed like a good Horror movie. Brilliant!!! But also this show came to an end and the fans of CRADLE OF FILTH changed places with the ones of GORGOROTH, while the crew was rebuilding the stage.

Cradle of Filth

The British CRADLE OF FILTH emerged in 1991 and initially recorded 4 demos under a constant line-up change before signing to Cacophonous in 1994 and releasing the debut ‘The Principle of Evil Made Flesh’, the following years were marked by many line-up changes corresponding with a steadily growing following on the other hand. Since ‘Dusk…and her Embrace’ from 1997 reproaches hailed down on the band for conducting a sell-out and commercialization of the Black Metal scene. These accusations got louder and louder with the following releases ‘Cruelty and the Beast’ (1998) and ‘Midian’ (2000), musically becoming more and more mainstream compatible.

‘Damnation and a Day’ marked their first and only release with Major label Sony as the next album ‘Nymphetamine’ was already released on Roadrunner like all their following albums would be including their most recent release ‘Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder’ (2008) /

Music & Performance
A visually impressing scenario was created and sharp at 11:00 PM, they finally stood in front of the audience. Dani Filth (vocals), Dave Pybus (bass), Paul Allender (guitars), Charles Allender (guitars), Martin Skaroupke (drums) and Rosie Smith (keyboard) entered the stage. Supported by a beamer show, the charismatic voice of singer Dani showed to advantage thanks to the great sound mix and well-done sound check.

The overall sound mix on this evening at the Live-Music-Hall was pretty good again. COF laid down a show which no one who attended it would forget for a damn long time. The show presenting their Black Metal with influences of the Doom Metal, electronics and the distinct vocals of Dani Filth was way too short for my taste, even with the encore, which simultaneously sounded the bell for the finale of the festival which ended right after the performance at midnight. But what can you do about it?! Contented, I left the Live-Music-Hall because of the great evening and hit the road back home .I’m already looking forward the next show of one of these 4 great bands.

All pictures by Marcus Nathofer

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