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ennlfrdeitrues
monoinc22Columbiahalle, Berlin, Germany
29th May 2022
Mono Inc. & Support: Manntra

The expectations were high before the long-postponed concert of MONO INC. finally took place. The concert hall was nearly full, and most people who were present seemed to be long-term fans of this Dark Rock ensemble. The mood was cheerful and many of the mostly middle-aged audience wore band shirts and sweaters and were joking and laughing, visibly enjoying being at a concert of their favourite band again.


Manntra

MANNTRA appeared punctually at 8 pm. The Croatian band performs an interesting mixture between Folk and Medieval Rock and entered the stage bathed in a powerful red light and with a rousing rhythm. The singer Marko Matijević Sekul appeared with his face covered with a mask depicting death, which he took off before the second song. The audience received them with enthusiasm, which was even more palpable when Marko greeted the public before the third song, saying a couple of words in German and encouraging them to clap hands.

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Their 5th song was a premiere, announced the singer, and performed a quieter and more ballad-like song partly on his knees. Also, the sixth song, named ‘Slave’, was quiet and rather sad, the same applies to the next one, ‘In the shadows’, whereas the last one, ‘Nightmare’, was a very rocking song and built a fulminant end for their energetic performance. The audience seemed to be enjoying their concert a lot. For my taste, their performance and music were playing a little bit too much with heroic male and Medieval music stereotypes, but if one is into this kind of Medieval Folk Rock, MANNTRA is for sure worth to visit.

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 8
Light:8
Total: 7.8 / 10 

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Mono Inc.

Founded in 2000 by Miky Mono, Martin Engler and Carl Fornia, MONO INC. have soon gained the hearts of the Goth and Alternative community with their epic and dark Rock music. From the original members, Martin Engler (vocals) and Carl Fornia (vocals, guitar) are still part of the band, Katha Mia, who joined the band in 2007, is responsible for drums and vocals, whereas Manuel Antoni was replaced by Val Perun (bass, vocals) in 2022.

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Music & Performance
Something which I always appreciate is a band appearing punctually, even more if they have already gained a certain popularity. I think it is a sign of respect towards the audience and I was surprised very favourably by MONO INC. starting their concert at 9 pm without any delay. That said, I think that the whole band has a very likeable attitude, not only towards each other, but also towards the public. During the whole concert, the genuine affect for each other was palpable, visible in little gestures like Martin drying Carls sweat with a towel and giving him a kiss on his forehead, or the band members joining in a long embrace after the show. The band was announce by sweet tingling sounds and a voice speaking about the raven, the band’s symbol. The drummer appeared dressed in black, with ravens’ wings on her back and a crown of black thorns, giving the public a moment of quiet admiration, before thunder exploded and flames erupted on the stage.

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Also the second song, ‘The Book of Fire’, was accentuated by flames and also, it must be said, by a lot of enthusiasm of the public, which acclaimed this song with fervour. Before MONO INC. played their third song, ‘The Funeral Song’, Martin greeted the audience cordially. ‘Symphony of Pain’ with its sad guitar accords was received with exultation by the audience, which was even greater when, at the sixth song (‘Right for the Devil’) the German Medieval band TANZWUT joined the stage, their singer wearing devils’ horns on his forehead. They only appeared for said song, but the performance of both bands together was very harmonic. Before the seventh song, Martin gave a short, but very emotional speech, talking about how long the absence of the stage had been and how they had missed the audience: “Wie Luft zum Atmen”, “Wie Schiffbrüchige das Land” (“as air to breathe”, “as shipwrecked the shore”). During ‘When the Raven Flies’, the banner of the raven was run up.

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The band made a short break after that song, and apparently, some members of the audience thought the concert finished and started yelling for an encore. But Martin joined the stage again and started speaking about the times of Covid-19, saying that not everything was bad, but some things were even very bad. He did not want to judge the measures, he said, but he still criticized the instructions how to wash hands (“I learnt that 47 years ago” he said) and said he would have wished for posters inviting to eat less meat or making more exercise. And also, he said, he would wish for the statement that love and tenderness are equally important. He told the story of Erna, the elderly relative of a crew member, who, after being isolated at a retirement home and not being allowed to receive visitors anymore due to the Covid-19 measures, died after three months. Martin’s statements were highly acclaimed by the public, interrupted only by one single “F* you”, and Martin dedicated his next song, ‘An klaren Tagen’ to Erna. Katha Mia joined the stage to sing, and someone covered with a monk’s cloak played flute.

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After a rather impressive drum solo (with Katha Mia’s drums glowing inside in white and red), two more songs were performed, before the official concert ended. The first encore consisted of two songs, and Martin requested the audience to sing the refrain of the second one, ‘Voices of Doom’, which at first did not work as he had expected, animating him to joke about the audience wanting to go home. At the first song of the second encore, ‘Kein Weg zu weit’, blue arrows of light appeared on the stage, and the singer made a “heart” with his hands, suitable for this melancholic love song. The concert ended with their famous ‘Children of the Dark’, during which big air-filled balls were thrown into the audience. A really outstanding concert for everyone who is into this kind of Dark Rock, so do not miss their next concert if you are able to go!

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Setlist
01. The Book Of Fire
02. Funeral Song
03. Symphony of Pain
04. Gothic Queen
05. Right for the Devil (with Tanzwut)
06. The Banks of Eden
07. Boatman
08. Arabia
09. Where the Raven Flies
10. An klaren Tagen
11. Das Boot / Drum Solo
12. Get Some Sleep
13. After the War
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14. Welcome to Hell
15. Voices of Doom
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16. Kein Weg zu weit
17. Children of the Dark

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound:9
Light:10
Total: 9.3 / 10

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All pictures by Stefanie Blaue

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