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Die Werkstatt, Cologne, Gemany
19th November 2010
Zeromancer, Herzfeind

ZEROMANCER would do a little tour and it was clear as crystal we would be there on at least one of the dates. On that evening they were going to play at the little club "Die Werkstatt" in Cologne. When I reached the venue the queue was insanely long already and I started to wonder how all those people would fit in there.


HERZFEIND took shape in 2009, formed by guitarist André Feller, who felt bored by the formulatic stuff of popular music. The line-up is completed with former EMINENCE OF DARKNESS member Juliane Richter and a saxophone player. So far there seems to be no physical release out but a couple tracks you can listen to via the band website.

Music & Performance
After some waiting time, the band entered the stage to a well-filled club and after a short introduction to the audience they started right away with the track ‘Bulimieshow’, a hard-hitting compound of electronic beats wit harsh guitars and socially-aware lyrics. His vocals were kind of melodic, but mostly raw, while Juliane delivered the rather melodic parts without hitting every note exactly in my opinion. Over the course of the show, the audience would grow into it more while you could still feel very feel very well whom they were waiting for and for whom they’d come here in the first place. Yet some did dance a little and even screamed after a song, but clapping was mandatory after every of them. The set ended with a cover version of the TON STEINE SCHERBEN track ‘Macht kaputt was euch kaputt macht’ because, as Andre put it aptly, it’s still lyrically relevant to the current situation. The show was ok but not groundbreaking for me.

01. Bulimieshow
02. Bitter
03. Fort Von Hier
04. Sucht
05. Babel Brennt
06. Aufstehn
07. Macht Kaputt Was Euch Kaputt Macht

Music: 6
Performance: 6
Sound: 6
Light: 7
Total: 6.3 / 10


Rising from the ashes of their previous bands, Kim Ljung and Erik Ljunggren gave birth to ZEROMANCER in 1999 to create something that should be much more different. First time was spent with the composition of new songs. Soon the line-up was completed with a drummer, singer and guitarist and the search for a producer could start. Not as easy as you might think it is, but in the end they found the right one with James Saez and soon the debut ‘Clone your Lover’ was finished. In the following time they grew to a regarded live act with festival gigs at the M’era Luna as well as small club tours. After the less successful album ‘Eurotrash’, ZEROMANCER tried out a different path on their third album ‘Zzyzx’, playing with a more catchy approach. With their fourth album ‘Sinners International’ released in February 2009, they’re going back to their dark industrial rock roots and currently they are back in support of their latest album ‘Death of Romance’. ZEROMANCER is Alex Møklebust (vocals), Kim Ljung (bass, vocals), Noralf Ronthi (drums), Lorry Kristiansen (synths) and Dan Heide (guitar).  /

Music & Performance
The tiresome changeover followed before finally the intro started and announced the coming of ZEROMANCER, rewarded with loud screaming from the crowd when the band members appeared one after the other. The proper kick start followed only seconds later with the rattling ‘V’ and it might be hard to believe in Cologne, but the audience went from zero to hero in a heartbeat, just as the band released their charged energy wildly on a stage that was actually far too small for this lively band. The next treat was following with ‘Doppelganger I Love You’, seeing the crowd getting even more excited. Nearly as excited as the reaction to the first notes of ‘Clone Your Lover’, or the insane amount of dancing that began when ‘Need You Like A Drug’ droned out of the speakers alongside loud singing. With ‘Sinners International’ emerging we could witness Alex nearly kissing the ground when rocking at the microphone stand. It’s almost like what Dan frequently does with his guitar. Love that style of playing, did I ever mention that?

‘Ammonite’ turned down the tempo and emphasized the atmospheric side of ZEROMANCER - Of course the additional drum part was included again with Kim treating the instrumental part. A prime example of a boiling performance was given right afterwards with ‘The Hate Alphabet’, having Alex making the elevated drum pedestal shaking by his vibrant moves. So far that set has been a reunion with songs you have heard already on ZEROMANCER shows. Now we were in for a big surprise with all band members except Alex leaving the stage and me making a quite surprised expression as soon as I recognized ‘Mint’. Alex performed that song solely behind the microphone, was highly focused on giving a good vocal performance and he delivered greatly. Upon returning of the remainder of band members on stage, the rocking side took over again with anthems such as ‘It Sounds Like Love (But It Looks Like Sex)’ or the rarely heard ‘Houses Of Cards’. The now following set closer has become much of a regular in ZEROMANCER live shows: It was their take on DEPECHE MODE’s ‘Photographic’. Maybe you can picture yourself what happened just then.

There was, of course, no getting around an encore for the guys which held another surprise for the expectant and riled-up audience; a song that according to Kim and Alex hadn’t been played for about 8 years up to that point. It was ‘Famous Last Words’ whose poignancy was overwhelming. The surprises, however, didn’t end there. Right after ‘Doctor Online’, which was actually meant to close the set for good tonight, faded and the band left the stage, the audience didn’t cease to ask for more and so we were blessed with one more song that wasn’t even on the setlist for tonight: The melodious, balladry ‘Cupola’. Now under thunderous hails they left the stage for the last time this evening and released an overly content audience into the night. It was good to finally see the guys playing a headliner show. They never tired of putting everything into that performance and played some great songs you rarely get to hear live otherwise. So all that’s left to say is: All thumbs up and thanks for a fabulous show!

01. 2.6.25
02. V
03. Doppelgänger I Love You
04. Chrome Bitch
05. Clone Your Lover
06. Need You Like A Drug
07. The Pygmalion Effect
08. Sinners International
09. Ammonite
10. The Hate Alphabet
11. Mint
12. Mercenary
13. It Sounds Like Love (But It Looks Like Sex)
14. Houses Of Cards
15. Photographic (Depeche Mode Cover)
16. Fade To Black
17. Famous Last Words
18. Doctor Online
19. Cupola

Music: 9
Performance: 10
Sound: 7
Total: 8.7 / 10

All pictures by Dajana Winkel (

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