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ennlfrdeitrues
Stadthalle, Chemnitz, Germany
25th December 2006
Darkstorm Festival: Eminence of Darkness, Welle:Erdball, Tanzwut, Implant, Diary of Dreams, Agonoize, Blutengel, De/Vision, Covenant

hearing that one of my most favorite bands ever – COVENANT – will be playing at the Darkstorm Festival and knowing that I’ll spend Christmas not too far away I made the decision to attend the festival, taking place on the Christmas day, very fast. The Darkstorm Festival was celebrating its 10th anniversary with a very nice line-up. When we arrived at the Stadthalle just at the time when the doors opened, a huge mount of people was already waiting to go in. Entrance procedures went quite fast and soon we left the cold outside and entered the warm venue. Inside, there was a big hall with the main stage and a smaller one with a second stage where later on IMPLANT, AGONOIZE and DE/VISION were playing. In the foyer you could get food and beverages for very reasonable prices. The festival was perfectly organized and we had a great evening in Chemnitz. http://www.darkstorm-festival.de


Eminence of Darkness

EMINENCE OF DARKNESS (EOD) exists since 1997 and is now signed at the Fear Section label. Their recent album ‘Displace the Trace’ was released in 2006. After three own produced CDs the band decided to work together with well-known producers such as Ron Thiele or Carlos Peron. They helped producing the first official album ‘Raindrops’ which was released in 2004 and was well acclaimed by music lovers and press. Besides the studio work, also live performances are very important for the band. The band gained experience as support act for bands such as BLUTENGEL, ZERAPHINE or THE CRÜXSHADOWS amongst others. The recent album was produced together with Kolja Trelle (SOMAN). This album laid the cornerstone for the cooperation with Chris Pohl (BLUTENGEL) and his label Fear Section. EOD are Mario Bergmann (keyboards, programming, vocals), Juliane Richter (vocals, bass), Lars Schulz (vocals, guitars, programming) and the guest musician Enrico Bergmann (live keyboards). http://www.eminence-of-darkness.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/eminenceofdarkness



Music
EOD are trying to work up their emotions and experience as well as to touch their audience with their modern Electro-Wave-Rock. Electronic elements are supplemented with melodic guitars. No drums are used on stage. Additionally, the pleasing and sometimes melancholic chant of Lars and the high voice of Juliane are important elements of the songs. The set in Chemnitz contained three songs from the first official release ‘Raindrops’ – ‘Blinde Wut’, ‘Pet’ and ‘Flow away’ – as well as two songs from the current album – ‘Crystal Image’ and ‘Return’. Furthermore EOD played the very new song ‘Plastic Movies in my Dreams’ which has not been released yet. The direct and clear lyrics of all songs deal with different emotions, dreams, longings and losses. Also social topics – like in ‘Crystal Image’ – have their place and make listeners thinking. During their show in Chemnitz the band was in very good vocal condition; the chant of anyone – even from Mario who took over the microphone for one song – was very clear, different to the sound which was not perfect and in my opinion much too loud during the whole evening – on both stages.



Performance
EOD had the honor – and duty – to open the evening in Chemnitz. This is not always an easy job, but the band did well. The main hall was filled up very well, when the quartet entered the stage. But I must say they looked a bit lost on that big stage. There was so much unfilled room. The two keyboards were put far in the back of the stage. In front on the left side was Juliane standing, on the other one Lars – with a big distance to her. The room in-between was mostly empty because no one really left his/her position. Just when Mario took over the microphone, there was some more action in the middle. But however it looked on stage, the audience was celebrating the evening from the very first song and EOD were credited with quite some applause. The light show during the EOD show did not show yet what was possible during the later evening. It was quite reduced, but luckily not too dark so you could see the expressions of the band members quite well.

Setlist

01. Crystal Image
02. Plastic Movies in my Dreams (new song)
03. Blinde Wut
04. Return
05. Pet
06. Flow Away

Rating
Music 7
Performance 6
Light 5
Sound 6
Total 6.3




Welle:Erdball

Second band on the evening – also on the main stage – was WELLE:ERDBALL which could be seen live quite often during the last months. The imaginary radio program WELLE:ERDBALL is sending since 1993 and released the first album ‘Frontalaufprall’ the year after. 2006, the recent album ‘Chaos Total’ was released and presented live in various cities. WELLE:ERDBALL are Honey (sounds, lyrics, vocals), ALF (planning, concepts, programming), Fräulein Venus (vocals) and Plastique (vocals) plus the C64 (strange noises). http://www.welle-erdball.info/ / http://www.myspace.com/funkbereit / http://www.myspace.com/welleerdballde



Music
Musically, the band moves in the fields between Neuer Deutscher Welle (New German Wave), analogue electronic music and New Wave. They produce a new cosmos and the background music for the coming future. Besides different (analogue) synthesizers, the music is mainly generated with the Commodore64 (C64) which is also used as a full band member. WELLE:ERDBALL go further from the point where bands like KRAFTWERK, DAF or IDEAL started. This might sound a bit antiquated and indeed this is really retro – maybe a bit too retro? The set started with ‘Tanzpalast 2000’ from the homonymous album (1996) and went on with ‘Wir wollen keine Menschen sein’ from the 1998 album ‘Der Sinn des Lebens’. With ‘Mensch aus Glas’ they moved forward in time to reach the present with ‘Das Souvenir’ and ‘Das Alpha-Tier’ from the current album ‘Chaos Total’. During the song ‘Der Telegraph’ the two girls took over the microphone and added more to the vocal performance than only the backing voice. Also the all-time hit ‘Arbeit adelt’, ‘Starfighter F-104G’ and ‘Monoton und Minimal’ were part of the set. But the band also had a little surprise in stock. With ‘Deutsche Jugend’ – that started to the sounds of the former East German national hymn – a quite old song (1995) was taken into the set. This one has not been played live for a very long time and so, it was a real goody for the fans.



Performance
When the stage was set up for the WELLE:ERDBALL show I recognized that it was the same as during the just ended tour. On both sides, there were rotary podiums for the two ladies, other podiums for them set a bit back on the sides where also two screens were built up, and in the middle of the stage a huge screen has been placed. Loud “Welle, Welle…” yells sounded through the venue even before the show. There were really quite a few fans of the band. When the first song started, ALF and Honey were hidden behind the lateral screens while their pictures were projected onto the huge screen in the middle. Ms. Venus and Plastique – in teetering petticoats –were standing like statues on the rotating podiums. Honey welcomed the audience with “Good evening Karl-Marx-Stadt” which is the former East German name of the city. The mood in the hall was pitched up and people were screaming and clapping a lot. During ‘Mensch aus Glas’, the ladies held up the well-known "Konsumieren”  (consume) and “Kaufen” (buy) banners. The obligatory C64 was thrown into the audience during the set where it found a lucky new owner. During ‘Arbeit adelt’, I was a bit surprised that Honey did not hit a barrel as usually – I wonder what happened… did they destroy too many of them during the time and did not get a new one? ;) After ‘Der Telegraph’, both ladies changed clothes and returned for ‘Starfighter F104G’ in tight black leather suits. During that song, some of the known paper planes flow from stage.



As mentioned before, ‘Deutsche Jugend’ was a nice gimmick for the fans and was celebrated befitting. The ladies waved big flags with the WELLE:ERDBALL logo during that song. The last song faded away in frenetic applause. The highly demanded encores sadly could not be given due to the tight time schedule. The WELLE:ERDBALL show was real eye candy too. Not only because of the pretty girls, but also because of the nice light show and the used video projections. The band in fact would have deserved a later place in the festival setting and afterwards I had the impression they drew more people into the main hall then the following TANZWUT.

Setlist

01. Tanzpalast 2000
02. Wir wollen keine Menschen sein
03. Mensch aus Glas
04. Das Souvenir
05. Das Alpha-Tier
06. Arbeit adelt
07. Der Telegraph
08. Starfighter F-104G
09. Deutsche Jugend
10. Monoton und Minimal
 
Rating
Music 7
Performance 8
Light 8
Sound 6
Total 7.3




Tanzwut

Contrasts seemed to be the motto of the evening and so, after the retro electro sounds of WELLE:ERDBALL it was time for the medieval formation TANZWUT. TANZWUT consists of the same members as CORVUS CORAX but they add electronic and guitar elements to the medieval music. The band started in 1996 while the first album was released in 1999. Lots of CORVUS CORAX fans did not like this new direction, but the band gathered several new fans with their music. The album ‘Labyrinth der Sinne’ was released in 2000 and furthermore the third album ‘Ihr wolltet Spass’ in 2003 where the importance of the medieval instruments was set back a bit. A tour followed where the live DVD with the simple title ‘Live’ was recorded. The latest Album ‘Schattenreiter’ was released in spring 2006 was also followed by a tour. TANZWUT are Teufel (vocals), Wim (bass), Patrick (guitar), Norri (drums), Hatz (e-drums), Castus (bagpipe) and Ardor (bagpipe). http://www.tanzwut.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/tanzwutmusic



Music
The Berlin situated Medieval-Industrial-Rock band TANZWUT combines electronic beats with guitars bagpipes, drums and quite deep chant of singer Teufel (devil). The musical stage setting is quite impressive with Castus and Ardor back in the middle playing the bagpipe. Both are framed by Hatz on one side playing the electronic drums and by Norri on the other side hitting real drums. The front like is taken over by the singing devil in the middle and Wim with bass and Patrick playing the guitar on his sites. The whole set was quite up-tempo. With songs like ‘Lügner’ or ‘Ihr wolltet Spass’ the band pushed the audience. After a few songs, also Teufel, Patrick and Wim took over some bagpipes and all 5 bagpipe players presented an impressive solo on stage.



Performance
TANZWUT performances are always a pleasure for the eye. A nice light show illuminates the artists wearing fantastic medieval costumes. TANZWUT are always full of ideas to create new stage outfits or decorations. Even though the decorations at the festival stage were not as impressive as during the tour, you anyway had fun watching. The band acts really powerful. On a big stage, the combination of modern and medieval instruments works pretty well. Singer Teufel was whirling across the stage with his bare chest and red devil horns. He always pushed the audience forward which celebrated the band. It was really a nice show even though this kind of music is not my cup of tea.



Rating

Music 7
Performance 8
Light 8
Sound 6
Total 7.3




Implant

IMPLANT started in 1992 with their electronic project influenced by bands such as FRONT 242, KLINIK and even FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY. Four years later, the first single ‘Fun’ was released and was followed by the debut album ‘Soft flesh - hard steel’. After being signed on several labels they found their final home at the Belgium label Alfa Matrix where the bands fourth album ‘Planet Euphoria’ was released featuring singer Jennifer Parkin (AYRIA) throughout the whole CD. 2003 saw the release of the next album ‘Horseback Riding through Bassfields’ which was an album that turned back to the band’s darker roots. Through remixing several big artists – within them ANNE CLARK – Len Lemeire got in touch with her and they started collaborating. The sixth album ‘Self-Inflicted’ was released which featured ANNE CLARK as vocal guest on two songs. The most recent and seventh album ‘Audio Blender’ saw the daylight in September 2006 where Len Lemeire teamed up with Jan D'Hooghe (ex-VIVE LA FETE drummer) who also is present on stage together with him now. This new album again features several guest vocalists like FRONT 242's Jean-Luc De Meyer, ANNE CLARK, Erica Dunham of UNTER NULL and Jennifer Parkin of AYRIA. IMPLANT currently are Len Lemeire (vocals, electronics) and Jan D'Hooghe (live drums). http://www.implant-music.be/ / http://www.myspace.com/implant



Music
What can you expect when seeing IMPLANT live? You’ll dance your feet off! The roots lay in dark electronic music. It is dance orientated with influences of goa and trance amongst other genres. The two guys on stage presented intelligent electronic music with a solid dance edge. I did not know much of them before and I was totally impressed. Great stuff! It is a perfect mixture of modern electronics, upbeat rhythms, computer generated melodies, samples and good chant. The different electronic influenced make IMPLANT’s music to something very special. The set in Chemnitz was mainly based on the current album ‘Audio Blender’ from which the songs ‘You push me’, ‘Fading Away’, ‘The Creature’ and ‘Murderous Thoughts’ had been presented. The opener ‘You push me’ is some heavy industrial electro track and was a perfect opener for the evening. ‘Fading Away’ – which also is sung by Len on the album – has some kind of rock’n’roll feeling within the electronic sounds. Besides the new tracks, the set consisted of ‘Drugs vs. Violence’ and ‘Tune up your Chips and circuits’ – which is a bit goa influenced – from the previous album ‘Self-Inflicted’. Remaining and oldest track of the set was ‘Flash’ from the 2001 album ‘Unidentified Flying Frequencies’. As for the sound on the second stage: it seemed to be a bit better than in the main hall what I really appreciated. But anyway it was equally loud.



Performance
IMPLANT was the band to open the second stage. The stage setting was simple: side by side in the middle of the stage there was first the drum set where Jan was standing behind and second there was the electronic equipment and microphone for Len built up. Both men started really energetic being deep into the music. Especially Jan was hitting the drums quite crazy. The power on stage was directly transported to the audience where anyone was dancing. It was just bit sad that not so many people did find their way to the second stage. But I guess lots of them just wanted to finish watching the band on the main stage. I rather went to the second stage to dance my feet off during IMPLANT. I was also surprised about the good lights on the second stage. When I first just saw some light stands built up at the sides of the stage I thought it will be quite dark and un-varied. But it turned out much better.



Setlist

01. You push me
02. Drugs vs. Violence
03. Fading Away
04. Murderous Thoughts
05. The Creature
06. Flash
07. Tune up your Chips and circuits
 
Rating
Music 9
Performance 8
Light 7
Sound 7
Total 8.1




Diary of Dreams

Two days earlier, I just had seen the band at the Accession Festival in Krefeld. And still I was looking very much forward seeing them again. After the release of the latest album ‘Nigredo’ the band went on tour where they recorded the live DVD ‘Nine in Numbers’ which was released in November 2006. This DVD tries to capture the feelings you experience on the band’s live concerts. Today it was time to get those feelings live. DIARY OF DREAMS are Adrian Hates (vocals, guitar), Gaun:A (guitar), D.N.S. (drums) and Torben Wendt (keyboard, second voice). http://www.diaryofdreams.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/diaryofdreams



Music
Compared to the show two days before, the set in Chemnitz was much shorter and was basically a best-of set from newer releases. Without any intro, the band started with ‘Giftraum’ from the latest album ‘Nigredo’. Adrian intonated this song in the soulful way as we love it. With the following songs ‘The Curse’ and guitar based ‘She’ the band moved back to the album ‘Freak Perfume’ – to the excitement of many fans. Two songs from the album ‘One of 18 angles’ followed: the club hit ‘Butterfly:Dance’ and ‘Chemicals’. The next song was the dark ‘Kindrom’ from the ‘Nigredo’ album which caused shivers to one or another. After the danceable ‘Panik’, ‘Traumtänzer’ was the highlight at the end of the show and again people were singing along when Adrian reached out the microphone towards the audience. Again, there was sadly no time for an encore. 



Performance
During the first song, the band – one after another with Adrian being last – the band entered the stage and took its place. DIARY OF DREAMS received a very warm welcome right at the start. There were lots of people just waiting for their show. Just during ‘The Curse’ you could see lots of dancing and singing people. Adrian, again dressed up with a long black coat, moved across the stage – partly with guitarist Gaun:A – and animated the audience to clap along. And people did during the following songs. It was again a great atmosphere. The band again was perfectly acting together, Adrian walked over to the other band members more than once. You feel that they love what they do. D.N.S. from Chemnitz had a home match and put extra effort into hitting his drums. Torben behind the keys impressed with his great second voice. Gaun:A is impressive in his appearance himself with the big Mohawk and some kind of war paint. Again charismatic front man Adrian gained most attention – mainly from female admirers. Last song ‘Traumtänzer’ was again a highlight and a loved favorite of the fans who gave everything at the end again singing the refrain on their own as a big choir. It was a great show again. DIARY OF DREAMS really never disappointed me so far. :)



Setlist

01. Giftraum
02. The Curse
03. She
04. Butterfly:Dance!
05. Chemicals
06. Kindrom
07. Panik
08. Traumtänzer

Rating
Music 9
Performance 9
Light 7
Sound 6
Total 8.3




Agonoize

2002 established AGONOIZE have split the electro scene with their first release (the MCD ‘Paranoid Destruction’) like rarely a newcomer before. The second release ‘Open the Gate / To Paradise’ entered German Alternative Chars (DAC) on a top the position. The debut album ‘Assimilation: Chapter One’ was released in autumn 2004. In April 2005, the EP ‘Evil Gets An Upgrade’ followed as well as the full-time album ‘999’ in October 2005. The recent CD – a remix album - ‘Assimilation: Chapter Two’ hit the shops in April 2006 followed by the EP ‘Ultraviolent Six’ in June 2006. AGONOIZE are Chris L. (vocals), Mike J. (keys) and Oliver S. (keys). http://www.agonoize.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/agonoize



Music
The roots of AGONOIZE lay in the music of bands like KLINIK or SUICIDE COMMANDO. Somehow “Full in the face, full on the dance floor!” describes it quite well. Besides several “club hit” the band also has some atmospheric songs to offer. Throughout all their CDs, the musical output is hard stuff with fat beats, down milling sequences and provoking lyrics. The songs shall arouse and still they should get stuck on ones ear. This music is Aggro-Electro demanding to dance. The chant accompanying the music is quite distorted. Not something I like that much. The chosen setlist for Chemnitz was a selection of track from both full-time albums as well as the EPs ‘Evil gets an Upgrade’ and the most recent one ‘Ultraviolent’ six from which the songs ‘BängBäng Good Bye’, the German ‘Glaubenskrieger’ and ‘Koprolalie’ have been placed into the second half of the show.



Performance
The live performances of AGONOIZE are controversial. They are bloody – I mean really bloody – and show sometimes brutal scenes. For my taste it is over the edge. But there are lots of people who seem to like it and so the second hall was quite good filled up. Lots of sweating and twitching bodies moved to the aggressive sounds of club hits such as ‘D.M.K.’. The band really was celebrated. No matter if blood blisters were bursting in the Hand of Chris and blood splashed into the audience. And no matter of Chris was treating a metal plate on his leg with an angle grinder. Just before the last song ‘Koprolalie’ paused for a moment and dedicated the song to Orkus editor Marco Reich who assaulted the band in his review about this year’s WGT quite harsh. Chris just said: “Yes we are embarrassing, yes we are perverse and yes we are obscene. The next song is for you. Fuck me!” – and indeed there is lots of truth in his words. So, the show finished with ‘Koprolalie’ again with moving sweating bodies celebrating the band.

Setlist
01. Zölibat
02. To Paradise
03. Sacrifice
04. Eye on You
05. God for Sale
06. D.M.K. 
07. BängBäng Good Bye
08. Glaubenskrieger
09. Die For Blood
10. Koprolalie

Rating
Music 7
Performance 6
Light 6
Sound 7
Total 6.6




Blutengel

Chris Pohl – mastermind of BLUTENGEL – has founded the band in 1998 when he decided to burry his project SEELENKRANK. ‘Child of Glass’ was the first album of the band released in 1999. Two years later, the album ‘Seelenschmerz’ say the light of day and end of the same year, also the album ‘Angel Dust’ was released. Tour and appearances on big festivals followed and the following grew steadily. In March 2004, the next album ‘Demon Kiss’ hit the stores and entered German Charts at position 53. From the following tour, a DVD was released in April 2005. Following the DVD, the EP ‘The Oxidising Angel’ was released in the same year marking the latest release of the band. Over the years, the female members of the band changed and the line-up is set now as Chris Pohl (lyrics/vocals), Constance Rudert  (lyrics/vocals), Ulli Goldmann (lyrics/vocals) and Sonja Semmler (performance). http://www.blutengel.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/vampireromance



Music
BLUTENGEL use melodic electronic tunes combined with male and female vocals in the songs. The band can be placed into the wide field of Wave and Gothic sound where danceable electro songs are the trademark of BLUTENGEL. Lyrically, the band deals with topics from the wide field of love, death and romance. Critics often acclaim them to be kitschy with their clichéd lyrics. With their music they appeal to a wide range of listeners – often young gothic girls who especially admire Chris Pohl whom they count to be a very cool Gothic person. For the live performance, the complete music has been played from tape while Chris and Constance as well as sometimes Ulli were singing. The setlist contained mainly songs from the latest album ‘Demon Kiss’ and from the early album ‘Seelenschmerz’.



Performance
The BLUTENGEL show just fits to the kitschy songs. They mix dance and performance elements, video projections, pyrotechnics and even blood – uh, how Gothic! ;) When the show started, masked men in cowls entered the stage wearing burning torches. The true fans of the band occupied the first rows to celebrate their idols. Sometimes you even felt like on a concert of a teen idol with all those you girls in from screaming up to the band. Chris was all the time acting really cool and earned a lot of cheers. Constance in her bright red dress drew on the other hand the attention of the male audience together with the performance of the other both half-naked ladies.



Setlist
01. Oxidising Angel
02. Go to hell
03. Solitary Angel
04. Beauty of suffering  
05. Bloody pleasures
06. Die with you
07. My Saviour  
08. Seelenschmerz  
09. Angels of the dark
---
10. Vampire romance
11. Children of the night  

Rating
Music 6
Performance 7
Light 7
Sound 6
Total 6.5






De/Vision

Eighteen years of DE/VISION can be celebrated and accordingly the band released the second best-of album lately following the first one ‘Zehn’ in the tenth year of the band history including the early hits. After ten years with a constant line up, the band also split with former member Markus and from now on they worked as a duo consisting of Steffen Keth (composition, vocals) and Thomas Adam (lyrics, keyboards). Furthermore, the band moved to their current label Drakkar where they released the album ‘Two’ in 2001 followed by ‘Dovolution’, ‘6 Feet Underground’ and most recent one ‘Subkutan’. The newly released best-of compilation contains - additionally to the collected songs from eight years of DE/VISION- the very new song ‘Love will find a way’. http://www.devision-music.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/devisionmusic



Music
During the years, the band added more guitar sounds to the formerly pure electronic songs what was not appreciated by all fans. And also today – live on stage – the sound is more organic with added live guitar and live drums. Through their whole career, DE/VISION always had an unmistakable feel for great melodies that get stuck in the head. With the flow of time, the band did not stick with the pure Synth-Pop they started with. They added new influences such as the use of guitars (first being heard on the 1998 album ‘Monosex’) or even influenced from the dance scene which can be found on the latest studio album ‘Subkutan’. Even though the band just released a best-of album, the set was mainly based of the latest album ‘Subkutan’ with songs like ‘Subtronic’ that opened the set or ‘Addict’ at the end. Besides those songs from the album ‘Subkutan’ there was another new song in the set – ‘Star-crossed lovers’ – which is only available on the best-of CD as well as on MCD. In-between the new songs, several older hits – like ‘New Drug’ from ‘Monosex’ or the all-time favourite ‘Your hands on my skin’ from the band’s first album ‘World without end’ – have been placed. DE/VISION finished the evening on the second stage with a very nice intense set.



Performance
Because of some overlapping, lots of people were still watching BLUTENGEL when DE/VISION entered the stage. And so, the room in front of the second stage was not as much filled as during AGONOIZE. But anyway people there were true Synth-pop lovers and had a lot of fun listening to the soulful songs. For the live performance, the band again was extended by guitar player Lars and drummer Achim to a quartet. Illuminated by a varied light show, Steffen and the rest of the band presented the songs as experienced as we know it. Steffen was dancing a lot as usually and you felt again that DE/VISION fit much better to the intimate atmosphere of an indoor club instead of an outdoor stage.



Setlist

01. Frequency – Intro
02. Subtronic
03. Star-crossed lovers 
04. New Drug
05. The End
06. Blindness
07. Love will find a way
08. Your hands on my skin
09. Still unknown 
10. Addict  

Rating
Music 8
Performance 8
Light 8
Sound 7
Total 7.9




Covenant

COVENANT from Helsingborg/Sweden was founded 1989 by singer and composer Eskil Simonsson, programmer and lyric writer Joakim Montelius and keyboarder Clas Nachmanson. The band still remains in the same line-up. Just for the Chemnitz show, Clas was absent and his place was taken over by HAUJOBB’s Daniel Myer. COVENANT’s first full-time album ‘Dreams of a Cryotank’ was released in 1994. The follower ‘Sequencer’ was accompanied with a German tour together with STERIL and HAUJOBB. The single ‘Stalker’ became a great club smasher. The third album ‘Europa’ saw daylight in 1998 and together with VNV NATION the band went on headliner tour. Afterwards, COVENANT is changing label to release the 2000 album ‘United States of Mind’ which was released as normal CD and as limited box set. During the following tour, the live album ‘Synergy’ was recorded and later released as box set including a live VHS tape. At that time, the band was living spread across Europe – Eskil in Berlin, Joakim in Barcelona and Clas still in Helsingborg. Anyway, the band recorded the album ‘Northern light’ which was released in 2002. It took quite a while until the most recent album ‘Skyshaper’ was released in spring 2005. http://www.covenant.se/ / http://www.myspace.com/covenant



Music

COVENANT were ending the evening with pure electronic pleasure. The intro was the same as during the ‘Skyshaper’ tour: a computer voice counting down from “180 Hertz” to “20Hertz” what is the limit of human hearing and then, the ‘Skyshaper’ song ‘20Hz’ started. The release of ‘Skyshaper is not that long ago, so it was just logical to put the main attendance onto this album with the chosen songs. But also the second latest album ‘Northern Light’ was well represented. The show continued with the club hit ‘Bullet’ from the mentioned second album and went on with the latest single ‘Brave New World’ with its cute keyboard melody a strong Synth-pop feel. Two more songs from ‘Northern Light’ – the dance number ‘We stand alone’ and the gentle ballad ‘Invisible & Silent’ – followed.



Then it was time for some Christmas feeling when Eskil started intonating ‘Stille Nacht’ (Silent Night). Sadly he did not know the complete lyrics and soon the song switched over to the very nice extended version of ‘The Men’ which was followed by another ‘Skyshaper’ song – the first single ‘Ritual Noise’. The main set ended with the all-time club hit ‘Stalker’. Just before the band left, Eskil announced that they will be back for ‘Happy Man’ which indeed was the first song of the encore. ‘Deadstars’ and ‘Call the shops to port’ ended the set. Sadly the planned encore ‘Figurehead’ had to be left out because there was no time left. All in all, it was a nice festival set. Eskil’s voice was in good shape as always but I must note that he seemed to mix the lyrics more than usually.



Performance
The last show of the evening was party time with energetic and mostly fast songs that made people dance and jump. There was a lot of energy on stage and in front. Daniel, who was this evening’s replacement for Clas, did a great job and was integrated quite well into the band. He just was a bit hesitant to Eskil’s permanent efforts to make him dance. Right for Christmas, Eskil was dressed in a red shirt that fitted him very well. He was really turned up, danced a lot, ran back and fort – in my opinion he even was a bit too energetic. He pushed the audience to extreme and those responded with cheering, clapping, jumping and dancing. Moving bodies just everywhere. For the last song, all were jumping in the same beat.



Eskil thanked the audience more than once. Also Joakim seemed to have lots of fun behind his keyboard or when he grabbed the microphone for some shouts at the stage rim. But anyway, after I have seen more than twenty COVENANT shows I must say that this one was not one of the better gigs. I had the impression that the band just overdid what they did on stage. Besides that, the light show was a great plus. A battery of spots has been placed short over the bottom of the stage behind the band what later created great effects.



Setlist
01. Intro/20Hz
02. Bullet
03. Brave New World (Version)
04. We stand alone
05. Invisible & Silent (Choir)
06. The Men (Extended IV2 Edit)
07. Ritual Noise (Full)
08. Stalker
---
09. Happy Man
10. Dead Stars (Edit)
11. Call the ships to Port (Edit)
---
Planned but not played: Figurehead (Long)

Rating
Music 9
Performance 7
Light 8
Sound 6
Total 7.8





Very exhausted we left the main hall and took some time at the merchandising stands for some chats. But soon we were too tired so we made our way home. Those, who were not as tired as we could attend an aftershow party in another location. It was a great and well organized festival. 

More pics at Black-Cat-Net
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