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Zeche, Bochum, Germany
7th February 2010
The 69 Eyes, Mandragora Scream

That Sunday was a bleak one. Something irreversible, happening earlier that day reminded me of how fleeting life is and kept my thoughts adrift. So a distraction was more than welcome and this one came in the form of THE 69 EYES and MANDRAGORA SCREAM who turned out being good means to do the job.

Mandragora Scream

Italian band MANDRAGORA SCREAM was formed by singer Morgan Lacroix in 1997. Two years later the band recorded their first demo album with 4 songs. In 2000, singer, guitarist and composer Terry Horn joined MANDRAGORA SCREAM and debut album ‘Fairy Tales from Hell's Caves’ was released in 2001. The second album ‘A Whisper of Dew’, published in 2003, bestowed the band appraisal critics from rock magazines worldwide. The next album ‘Madhouse’ was released in 2006 and the actual album ‘Volturna’ followed in November 2009. MANDRAGORA SCREAM is Morgan (vocals), Terry (guitar, vocals), Furyo (drums) and Max (bass).

Music & Performance

The mandatory intro preceded the entrance of MANDRAGORA SCREAM to a packed venue. Dark rocking, spiked with Metal influences and highly melodic was the music the crowd was confronted with on the opener ‘I’m Goin’Alone’. The vocals ranged from evil hisses to pretty clean deliveries. The next track made greater use of wide keyboard layers to contrast the hard guitar work. The band kept moving within their limited space, led by singer Morgan who did the best job for that matter. The audience, while all of that was going on, showed surprisingly little response, even when asked to clap along it was rather muted, and neither ‘Killin’Game’ with its catchy hook nor the urgent, distorted glockenspiel-like sounds of the pounding ‘Breaking Dawn’ would be able to change that. Close to the end of the set, guitarist Terry showed his true vocal skills and with that should have catered for one or the other baffled face in a crowd that was actually waiting for someone else. MANDRAGORA SCREAM did a good job anyway.

Music: 6
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 6.6 / 10

The 69 Eyes

The beginnings of THE 69 EYES are going back to 1990 when they were founded as a Sleaze and Garage Rock band in Helsinki. Through local gigs they earned a contract with a Finnish label, they’ve released their first albums on before getting signed to the renowned Roadrunner Records label in 1999, which also meant a huge step forward in their career with the first internationally released album ‘Wasting The Dawn’. The single, spawned from the record became an instant hit and brought another boost of popularity for them. Within the years to come, they’d be enlarging their fan base significantly, as well as expanding their touring schedule to countries such as the US, Mexico and even Japan. 2009 then was the year for them to release their tenth studio album ‘Back in Blood’. THE 69 EYES are Jyrki 69 (vocals), Bazie (lead guitar), Timo-Timo (guitar), Archzie (bass) and Jussi 69 (drums). /

Music & Performance

Word that CHRISTIAN DEATH wouldn’t be playing didn’t get around everywhere it seemed, so the organizers apparently delayed the start of the main act so that people who’d come later would still be able to see as much of the show as possible, or even the entire show if they’d just arrived. When the show started and the band members took positions, the crowd went mental, cheered and sang along to the words of the set and new album’s opener ‘Back in Blood’. Modern elements coupled with a latent, classic Rock’n’Roll stance, quite prominent in the vocals of singer Jyrki 69. The following ‘Never Say Die’ saw the audience shouting along to the eponymous catchphrase in the lyrics and waving the Finnish national flag. That’s real fandom! A crude groove was what made ‘The Good, the Bad & the Undead’ so infecting and Jyrki swirled around like a little hurricane, where others did sweat driving movements with their instruments.

A pining message to the ladies announced ‘Dance d’Amour’ and I take it the girls were more than ready to dance “ the night, to the serious moonlight.” But the band, particularly Archzie, also had some difficulties to overcome with his effect pedals which wouldn’t work as they should have and which had to be replaced by and by. Apart from that, the show went by flawless and the band blessed their craving fans with hymns from ‘The Chair’ over ‘Feel Berlin’ to the concluding act ‘Devils’. The fans, as hyped as can be, screamed loudly, so there favourite band would come back soon, and they did them the favour to showcase the yearning ‘Brandon Lee’ and the pounding spectacle ‘Lost Boys’. Definitely a great live band worth seeing again.

01. Back in Blood
02. Never Say Die
03. The Good, the Bad & the Undead
04. Dance D’Amour
05. Lips of Blood
06. Gothic Girl
07. Suspiria Snow White
08. The Chair
09. Kiss Me Undead
10. Perfect Skin
11. Dead n’Gone
12. Wasting the Dawn
13. Feel Berlin
14. Dead Girls Are Easy
15. Devils
16. Brandon Lee
17. Lost Boys

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8 / 10

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

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