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ennlfrdeitrues
Zitadelle Spandau, Berlin, Germany
31st May 2008
Zita Rock Festival: Down Below, Zeromancer, Eisbrecher, Dreadful Shadows, Unheilig, ASP and Subway to Sally

It was a real hot morning when we took off for Berlin. After travelling for about 1.5 hours, we finally got there and already a lot of people were waiting to get in. It didn’t matter where you were looking at, everywhere you could see people dressed in black. With bands like EISBRECHER, UNHEILIG and ASP it was promised to be a great day!




Down Below

DOWN BELOW is a rock band from Dessau / Roßlau which was formed in 2003. They combine Alternative Rock, Dark Rock and Metal. In the last couple of years, they played at the Rock am Ring and other festivals and concerts. In June 2007, they released the single ‘From the highest point’ and soon, they became famous. In February 2008, they won 3rd place at Stefan Raab’s “Bundesvision Song Contest” with their song ‘Sand in meiner Hand’. http://www.downbelow.de/



Music & Performance
After placing 3rd at the “Bundesvision Song Contest”, DOWN BELOW became a little arrogant and that is what they delivered on stage if you ask me. Their songs were just too easy and every song sounded like the other one. The guitars were lame and the drums were, too. The vocals weren’t very good either. I guess everybody could have sung the parts of the songs. Their performance was boring because they were just standing on stage not looking really interested in this whole thing. Basically, if you didn’t see this concert, you didn’t miss anything.

Rating
Music: 5
Performance: 4
Sound: 8
Light: - (mainly daylight)
Total: 6






Zeromancer

The Norwegian band ZEROMANCER was formed in 2000 after the split of the band SEIGMEN. After that has happened, Alex Møklebust (vocals), Erik Ljunggren (programming), Kim Ljung (bass) and Noralf Ronthi (drums) joined forces with Chris Schleyer (guitar) and released their first album ‘Clone your Lover’. After that they released two more albums ‘Eurotrash’ and ‘ZZYZX’. The new album name is ‘Sinners International’. http://www.zeromancer.com/ / www.myspace.com/zeromancer1



Music & Performance
I didn’t really know this band up to that day and to be honest, I now know why I didn’t know them: they were not really good in my opinion. Although Alex had a nice voice, the whole setting of the music was just bad. The sound wasn’t that good either and all in all, they weren’t anything special. Alex Møklebust (vocals) didn’t wear a shirt and so, the girls were all on his side but that didn’t make it any better if you ask me. Although the music wasn’t that good, at least the performance was pretty ok. They showed some interest in the fans and you could see a lot of people dancing in the crowd.

Rating
Music: 6
Performance: 7
Sound: 6
Lights: - (mainly daylight)
Total: 6.5






Eisbrecher

The project EISBRECHER was started on a mild summer evening in 2002 by Alexx Wesselsky (lyrics/vocals) and Noel Pix (composition/keyboards, guitars, programming), both having already been successful before EISBRECHER with the rock group MEGAHERZ not only in the German-speaking world, but also abroad (above all in the USA). The desire for something new, for hard music without the ordinary metal clichés brought Alexx and Noel back together after all their fights during the MEGAHERZ period. The charismatic, impulsively perverse, 6-foot provocateur Alexx and the sensitive, super-disciplined, charmingly cheeky music genius Noel have taken everything apart and put it back together, they've fought, avoided, and tolerated each other. http://www.eis-brecher.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/eisbrecher1



Music & Performance
Before this concert, I only knew the band MEGAHERZ and I didn’t know that EISBRECHER was a side-project of them. They started playing and right from the beginning, I loved that band. They were a real surprise to me! The sound was great, the guitars were hard. And, what didn’t really make it any worse, those guys looked pretty good on stage! After playing the first two songs, I was surprised by his awesome voice! It was a pleasure listening to him. And looking in the crowd, I wasn’t the only one who liked that band! The crowd just loved it. There were a lot of people standing around me singing the songs and dancing and doing other stuff.



At the end, they played the song ‘Miststück’ (originally from MEGAHERZ) which is my favourite song of MEGAHERZ. This was just the perfect ending to this great concert! And besides the great music, they did a really good show. You could see that they loved what they were doing. And a special thing about Alexx Wesselsky was his sunglasses. In them, you could see the whole crowd. It was just the perfect detail!

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 9
Lights: 8 (and daylight)
Total: 8.8






Dreadful Shadows

DREADFUL SHADOWS were a German Gothic Metal band, formed in 1993 in Berlin. Initially part of the Gothic rock and Dark Wave movement, the band had developed considerably by the time of the release of their debut album, incorporating metal elements and modern electronics, causing the band to be considered part of the Gothic Metal genre. DREADFUL SHADOWS' last studio album, ‘The Cycle’, was released in September 1999. The band embarked on their final tour of Germany in the year 2000. DREADFUL SHADOWS disbanded in 2000 to work on separate projects. In 2007, several concerts were taking place with DREADFUL SHADOWS performing together as a group again. The band is keen to stress that this is not a reunion, as nothing new is being performed or recorded. http://www.dreadful-shadows.de/



Music & Performance
DREADFUL SHADOWS started out with their song ‘Futility’, the opener of their great album ‘The Cycle’ which was released in 1999. Since they are not actually a real band that is producing new songs, they played a sort of Best-of show that day. After being that successful with ZERAPHINE, Sven Friedrich (vocals) came back with his old band. And that day they were at their best! All the guys looked great, just like always, and right from the beginning they had a lot of fun being on stage again.



Looking into the crowd, you could see a lot of DREADFUL SHADOWS t-shirts which showed that they are still a very famous band in the Gothic music scene. Sven’s voice was as remarkable as ever and the guitars just set the right frame for the concert. Listening to them, you thought you were in a different world. The voice, the sound, the mood…it was just perfect! And of course, Sven showed a lot of feelings in his performance and you could see that he felt what he was singing about... just lovely!

Rating
Music: 10
Performance: 9
Sound: 9
Lights: 8 (and daylight)
Total: 9






Unheilig

UNHEILIG (Unholy) is a band with a firm place in Germany's musical history and its roots in Electro-Rock. The band combines German lyrics with the distinctive bass voice of singer “Der Graf”. The album 'Moderne Zeiten' (modern times) was released in January 2006, an EP ‘Astronaut’ and the MCD ‘Ich Will Leben’ followed in 2006. The most recent album is called ‘Puppenspiel’ and was released in February 2008. The appearance and charisma of “Der Graf” give a special touch to the live performance of UNHEILIG which is a solo project of “Der Graf”. On stage he's supported by Licky and Henning. http://www.unheilig.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/unheilig



Music & Performance
They began the show with a real long intro and for a couple of minutes, you couldn’t see the Graf (vocals) on stage, just the other members of the band. And then, suddenly, he jumped on stage. He was running around like crazy, smiling all over his face. He looked really happy. After hearing that UNHEILIG might have to quit because of the Graf´s voice, you could see that he was enjoying being on stage pretty much. He smiled all the time. And at songs like ‘Mein Stern’ he almost started crying. It was just beautiful!



The guitars were great because the sound was really good during the concert. His voice was just as great as always and everybody was disappointed when they had to end the concert because there wasn’t enough time to continue. There were a lot of UNHEILIG fans in the crowd and with that, you had a special feeling during the whole concert. It was great.

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 10
Sound: 9
Lights: 9 (and daylight)
Total: 9.2






ASP

ASP is a German Gothic band from Frankfurt / Main. The band was formed in 1999 and named after its lead singer Asp (short for Alexander Spreng). ASP on stage are Asp (mastermind, songwriter and singer), Matthias Ambré (producer, guitar player, backing vocal), Tossi (bass, backing vocal) and Oliver Himmighoffen (live drummer). In the last years ASP evolved into a shooting star of German gothic scene and they were one of the headliners at several big festivals like the WGT. http://www.thetalesofasp.com/ / www.myspace.com/thetalesofasp



Music & Performance
Just like they did at the “Horror Vacui Tour”, they started out with the song ‘How far would you go?’. Alexander Spreng (vocals) came on stage with his make-up and was starting a huge party right away. He was jumping around looking all crazy and stuff. As soon as he entered the stage, the crowd just freaked out. During the whole concert, he was smiling and the show was just great. He used the fans to sing some parts of the songs and they did. Playing songs like ‘Ich bin ein wahrer Satan’ and their hymn ‘Ich will brennen’ they played two of their most known songs ever and everybody was singing with him.



During the song ‘Schwarzes Blut’ they had the passage “Vorwärts! Abwärst!” and everybody was singing and dancing and just freaking out. He joked around and talked to the fans all the time. You could really see that he had a lot of fun being on stage. And although you might think ‘Ich will brennen’ is a song they personally can’t hear anymore, they had a special energy playing this song. The concert was just unbelievable!

Rating
Music: 10
Performance: 10
Sound: 9
Lights: 8 (and daylight)
Total: 9.2






Subway to Sally

SUBWAY TO SALLY was founded in 1992. The seven musicians from Potsdam/Germany are considered to be a great live band. Trademark of the band is heavy rock and metal supplemented with mediaeval sounds that are integrated by bagpipe, hurdy-gurdy, lute, mandolin, shawm, violin or flute. The lyrics are exclusive in German and mostly deal with romantic, love and living in mediaeval times. SUBWAY TO SALLY are Eric "Fish" Hecht (vocals, flute, bagpipe, shawm), Silvio Runge "Sugar Ray" (bass), Ingo Hampf (guitars, mandola, lute), Silke Volland "Frau Schmitt" (violin), Simon Michael (drums, percussions), Michael "Bodenski" Boden (acoustic guitar, hurdy-gurdy, vocals) and Simon (acoustic guitar, vocals). http://www.subwaytosally.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/subwaytosally



Music & Performance
I was always a big fan of SUBWAY TO SALLY but after they won the “Bundesvision Song Contest” they became that arrogant that it was really bad looking at them. And they even started talking about winning that contest again and I just thought “Come on, just shut up and play!” and then, they did. The sound was good and the lights were, too. Eric Fish (vocals) did a good show and was singing really good. During the song ‘Kleid aus Rosen’ he had a bundle of roses which he was giving to the fans and they had this one girl coming up on stage. It was really cute to see how he acted like he was just singing for her.



With songs like ‘Sag dem Teufel’, ‘Henkersbraut’ und ‘Eisblumen’ they showed a big variety of their later albums which was perfect because the new album isn’t really that great if you ask me. All in all, they had a good show, and of course, they used a lot of fire like they always do. And I can only say what I said before: SUBWAY TO SALLY doesn’t need that much show on stage. Their music is great and that’s enough!

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 9
Lights: 9
Total: 8.8





All pictures by Anne Kuhfuß and Grit Rümmler
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