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Castle, Bolkow, Poland
24th to 26th July 2009
Castle Party: Variete, Psyche, Vic Anselmo, Indukti, Spectra*Paris, Dreadful Shadows, Covenant, Head-less, Solar Fake, Deathcamp Project, KMFDM, Diary of Dreams, Front 242

I must admit that every year as I pass the city board with the signature 'Bolków' on it, watch the black-clad crowds walking through the streets, hear the ubiquitous music and see the big 'Castle Party' banner hanging on the Castle's Tower that overlooks the town, the sentimentalist in me raises the head and wakes up.

Surely there are bigger, better-organized festivals in Europe, but there's something about CP that makes me want to come here every year: perhaps it's the music, the tradition, the people, the atmosphere, the club Hacjenda always packed to its limit, the ever-present problems with equipment, the locals, the castle, or perhaps the nasty beer? I don't know, but one thing's sure - just like in previous years I came in 2009 and I'll keep coming simply because the event offers fun that is incomparable to anything I know.

The Festival shook the town off lethargy once more and filled it with the fans of 'dark independent' music - the year 2009 was exceptional as far as the number of visitors was concerned: the amount of tickets sold exceeded all expectations! Actually, it's not that surprising if you take the line-up into consideration - it was marvellous indeed. It consisted of both the giants of the scene like (dreamt of, begged and asked for by many for years) Front 242, Covenant, Crematory or KMFDM, always warmly welcomed Diary of Dreams, highly favoured Dreadful Shadows or Psyche and the newer projects like Spectra*Paris, Solar Fake, Vic Anselmo or Head-less and the Polish reps (e.g. Indukti, Variete or Deathcamp Project) so one could say the combination was diversified enough to suit any tastes and to encourage people to come.

The line-up was thundering and so was the weather: as a result of storms that took place in Bolków on Thursday, the main stage was ruined and therefore most of the time that was left till the commencement of Saturday concerts had been spent on repairing the damages. Luckily, everything ended up with success so the concerts could start with no delays. /


The number of bands performing on the Small Stage was a kind of a novelty in 2009 - one could say the festival had extended from 2 to 3 days. The bands to perform on Friday were e.g. Moon Far Away, Irfan and Aesthetic Meat Front (and presented both musically and visually attractive programs), however, I managed to watch only two: those of Variete and Psyche.


The band was formed in 1983 under the name ZYZYZY, which then was changed to VARIÉTÈ EST MORTE (French: variety is dead), and then to VARIETE. The first line-up included Grzegorz KaŸmierczak, Wojciech WoŸniak (bass), Jacek Buhl (drums), Rados³aw Urbañski (guitar) and S³awomir Abramowicz (sax). The band debuted in Jarocin in 1984, getting a special prize there presenting the music of widely understood cold wave enriched by original, poetic lyrics created by KaŸmierczak. The band has been active ever since. /

Music & Performance
VARIETE presented a deep guitar / keyboard sound which combined with calm, appealing, hoarse vocal made an incredible impression. Balanced, rather frugal music built the atmosphere of an intimate concert that got a very positive reaction from the audience. The band's comment was: “great, a bit posh festival, the extreme outfits, the spirit of tolerance, as to the music - it's hard to say - we participated on the first day only, but in spite of half-professional sound we enjoyed playing there. We presented a short, strong set”.

01. Farby
02. Punkt
03. Dryf
04. Last minute
05. Anio³
06. Manhattan
07. Andy kolor¹
08. Niedziela

Music: 8
Sound: 6
Performance: 5
Light: 6
Total: 6.7 / 10


PSYCHE is an enduring legend of independent electronic pop music; from cold harsh industrial, through warm Synth Pop, Dance floor minimal, Dark Wave, and beyond, from ‘The Brain Collapses’ and ‘Unveiling the Secret’ through to ‘Goodbye Horses’, ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘15 Minutes’. It all started at the end of 1982 as brothers Darrin and Stephen Huss together with Dwayne Goettel performed for the first time in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada under the name PSYCHE. The combination of horror and electronics was in the area of Western Canada completely unheard of and would continue to be quite shocking for some time. 1985 saw their debut album ‘Insomnia Theatre’ unleashed worldwide through their own label and licensed to New Rose Records out of Paris, France. After underground success with ‘The Brain Collapses’, the big Euro hit ‘Unveiling the Secret’ followed in 1986. Psyche has since then continued to release a variety of songs and albums enveloping every facet of the electronic pop music genre. Various members have collaborated with Darrin and continued the cult following right up to ‘The 11th Hour’ and now they are ‘Unveiling the Secret’ once again. The DVD ‘Imaginary Life’ documents just over 20 years of their existence in visual performance. /

Music & Performance
The project of Darrin Huss PSYCHE had visited Poland many times before and had always met warm welcome did not disappoint expectations. And these were high. This time, Darrin appeared in the company of a band: two musicians of the German band GOJA MOON ROCKAH (Daniel Jahn on keyboard and Tobias Rutkowski on bass) and Volker Rabura on guitar. The concert was smashing and diversified enough to move in many ways. Actually it was Darrin himself who said “I wanna dance tonight”, so the only thing we could do was to applaud and keep up with him. The presented songs included dynamism and lyricism, the note of nostalgia and a ravishing power plus mesmerizing vocal that left not even a soul indifferent giving us thrills when reaching the higher pitch.

But as I've already mentioned, PSYCHE's set was above all danceable and included a fair dose of humour. I guess all the fans appreciated both Darrin's special Emo T-shirt which he was putting on while playing slower songs and his excellent contact with the audience, which - to be frank with you - was so good that rarely had I seen a better one. It was as if he and his fans understood in half-words; the jokes were caught in an instant, it was great to watch such an understanding. All in all the concert made the people feel so good that they were leaving the castle warmed-up in spite of rather unfriendly temperatures.

Darrin commented after the concert: “My impression was very good to be back at the Castle Party. Last time was 9 years ago!! We have a very great fan base in Poland, and played in Warsaw two times last year. The show at Progresja was quite nice too. But the Castle Party is really special, and I am glad I had some time to meet people before our show. I think the organization could be a little better, but the sound was ok, and the audience was fantastic. Hope you liked it too.”

01. The Quickening (Club Mix)
02. Snow Garden
03. Murder in Your Love
04. Unveiling the Secret 2.0 (Christian Piotrowski Version)
05. Eternal
06. Disorder
07. Sanctuary
08. 15 Minutes
09. Gods and Monsters
10. Tears
11. Misery
12. Goodbye Horses
13. The Hiding Place
The Outsider 2001

Music: 10
Sound: 10
Performance: 10
Light: 10
General: 10

The after parties INDUSTRIAL NIGHT in Old Cinema and UNITED COLOURS OF DARK in the club Hacjenda started just after the concerts were over.


Saturday at Castle Party was more like a 'Kalte Sophie' than a July day: the changeable weather pestered many guests, but there was nothing we could do - the bands managed to keep up with it, so did we (somehow ;-)). I was most impressed by the concerts of COVENANT, DREADFUL SHADOWS and SPECTRA*PARIS, and of the newer bands: - VIC ANSELMO and polish INDUKTI.

Vic Anselmo

VIC ANSELMO is a Gothic / Alternative singer and songwriter. A great invention, stunning voice and wide musical horizon let her find her own special ways in creating music. Her songs sound like a soundtrack to dreams. They are very sensual and would amaze you with their dynamic contrasts and sound variety. All that comes together with an impressive onstage image. VIC ANSELMO is bound to be the first Latvian alternative lady to be known outside the Baltic States. Her debut album ‘Trapped in a Dream’ was released in Europe on October 10th 2008 and is being distributed by the German label Omniamedia. /

Music & Performance
VIC ANSELMO evoked the associations with Emily Autumn, The Birthday Massacre and to some extent with Björk almost in an instant. The most beautiful, powerful voice moving freely and unconstrained between the styles of a lost elf-girl (a kind of “Alice in Wonder-underground” ;)) emotional poet and an uncompromising, strong vamp really made a big impression. So did the style: colourful, theatrical and visually consistent with the power and emotional richness of the music. By all means it was an interesting concert combining vocalic power and variety (including gentle incantations, cabaret manner, scream, ballad mode and heart-rending motives) with catchy electronic/guitar melodies. I'd take a music-vocal co-operation as an advantage too - a situation when voice and melody coalesce and not competing onstage give a very good effect and so was it in this case.

What Vic said about the festival was: “The festival was absolutely awesome! The combination of so much beautiful place, amazing people and powerful atmosphere gave the feeling of getting to another dimension. I brought home lots of positive emotions and hope that it will be possible to come back to Castle Party next year, if not as a performer, then at least as a spectator.  And I very much enjoyed the performance of Crematory.”

01. Intro
02. The flight
03. Beverly
04. Open Wide
05. World from here
06. Before I could breathe
07. Bus stop
08. Deadman walks

Music: 10
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 8.8 / 10


INDUKTI is a way to experience a sonic projection of a state and content of project's authors' minds. It roots back the early 90ties - to the project Vein that explored psychedelic and progressive atmosphere. It was the band that first got successful while giving concert in Warsaw and winning several music contests. At its current line-up INDUKTI have been playing for three years. /

Music & Performance
The instrumental project INDUKTI set out a truly magnificent composition that made use of variety and magic of melodies created by violin, guitar, bass and drums. Their music brought some exotic motives to my mind, a journey, a dance, a change, energy, momentum, silence and outburst, dynamism and soothing. The combination of hard, even rock/metal elements with the 'classic' ones gave an intriguing, captivating effect, whereas the loads of rich, intensive, energetic, emotional sounds echoing anxiety or even anger made me want to delve into their music more.

The project's guitarist - Kociam - commented upon the festival: “Wonderful atmosphere, interesting people and a fine, intriguing place plus perfect organization. These are the words we'd use to describe what we experienced at Castle Party. We had mixed feelings while going to Bolków: on the one hand we've heard a lot of good things about the festival and we've always wanted to play there, but on the other we were aware that we were going to present the music that has not much to do with the widely understood gothic. Our doubts were soon resolved. Castle Party is a unique event attended by positive people expressing their passion freely, open to new experience. The concert was very energetic, the audience - full and responsive to what was happening on the stage”.

01. Freder
02. Sansara
03. Tusan Homichi
04. ...And Who Is God Now?!
05. Indukted

Music: 10
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 8.4 / 10


Elena Alice Fossi, co-leader of KIRLIAN CAMERA, has given life to a brand new entity, SPECTRA*PARIS, definitely replacing Siderartica. Elena, with a help from her all girl team and featuring guests Dope Stars Inc. & Punto Omega, comes out with her debut album ‘Dead Models Society (Young Ladies Homicide Club)’ on Trisol Music Group (1st edition late 2007 - 2nd edition early 2008). Classy noir-glam atmospheres, echoes of Kraftwerk / Roxy Music / Human League combined with futuristic powerful techno-rock strategies, roaring tech-guitars and erotic + murder nightmares, Hitchcock movies soundtracks meeting the ghost of Donnie Darko into a "chic" sequel to Blade Runner filmed in a 'unexpected' nocturnal Paris filled with obscure labyrinths... all this goes to get mixed up with those cynical funny comics Elena gave life to throughout last months... /

Music & Performance
The impatiently-awaited concert of [SPECTRA*PARIS took place in a nasty weather: lashing rain and the sea of umbrellas made any vivid reaction to the concert impossible (after all how could anyone dance or clap hands in such conditions?) hence the impression that the reception was not as enthusiastic as it should have been. Despite all odds I could notice some positive reactions among the audience who appreciated both Elena's stunning voice and the vibrating, energetic music. Unfortunately one can't beat the weather, it's just pity it had to worsen so dramatically during that particular concert. Still, the energy and dynamism of the presented songs were smashing and the power and charm of the ladies - absolutely incredible. Aside from the songs known of the album ‘Dead Models Society’ the setlist also included some unreleased versions or new songs (like, e.g. ‘License to kill’ of the upcoming single).

Elena Alice about the festival: “In spite of some problems occurred before the show (our sound engineer was ill so he could not come with us, for example... etc...) I really must say without any hesitation that I (and 'my' girls) found a great enthusiasm coming out from the audience, giving us real strength and same enthusiasm from our side as well!!! I guess organization did the best to fulfil our requests, so... our first polish experience ever is here, in our heart. Saying something bad about the festival it'd be but a useless lie!!! Really, I we hope to see your country again (very) soon...”

01. Futurintro
02. Size zero
03. Glittering bullet
04. Mad world
05. License to kill (forthcoming new album’s single - unreleased)
06. Explosive die
07. Falsos sue?os
08. Antland (new version - unreleased)
09. Brother and sister (erasure cover version - unreleased)
10. Spectra murder show

Music: 10
Performance: 8
Sound: 6
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 8.6 / 10

Dreadful Shadows

DREADFUL SHADOWS was 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 disbanded in 2000 to work on separate projects. /

Music & Performance
DREADFUL SHADOWS concert could undoubtedly be taken as one of the 'must-see' points of the festival. Some people were recollecting their concert of 2000 willing to compare the band's past and current shape, but most was probably above all counting on a good wave / gothic gig. I guess neither was disappointed. Apart from some sound difficulties (common to almost all bands playing on that day) the show was a really fine spectacle. Starting from the fact that the songs chosen for the festival were almost all well-known (and anticipated) hits that simply must have worked, to the incredible energetic and emotional load of the music and the power of vocal - all the elements fitted perfectly and with no discrepancy whatsoever.

What's most characteristic, appealing, impressive and fascinating about DREADFUL SHADOWS’ music is the combination of hard, harsh dazzling guitar sounds and a slightly rough, rasping, deep voice which - when reaching higher pitch, almost a scream-quality (like in, e.g. ‘Twist...’ or ‘Chains’) - makes such a great impression that the only thing left to do is hold your breath, enjoy the strike and let the thrills run down your spine. One could notice it at the concert just fine. Luckily enough, in Bolków Sven Friedrich wasn't saving his voice for the better times, so there were several such splendid moments. Generally speaking - though their music is very much of Goth style, it does not fall into the trap of an exaggerated melancholy, and then even though the gloom lurks in almost every song, the guitars and the vocal - to follow those gothic comparisons - will raise someone from the grave rather than bring him to it. All in all, their music is stylistically consistent and strongly addictive so I may justly say that the force of strings and cords gave an audio-knockout of a huge power. Among other songs the band presented were ‘Futility’, ‘Chains’, ‘Dead Can Wait’, ‘True Faith’, ‘A Sea of Tears’, ‘Burning the Shrouds’, ‘Craving’, ‘Desolated Home’, ‘New Day’ and cover versions ‘Twist in My Sobriety’ (T. Tikaram) or ‘Ashes to Ashes’ (Faith no More).

Sven's comment after the festival: “Just as back in 2000, when I've been there for the 1st time with DREADFUL SHADOWS, Castle Party in Bolków has been an incomparable experience. I think it's really a very important event for Eastern Europe. I've been talking to many people from Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Germany and even the US. The atmosphere was great and the audience for both, DREADFUL SHADOWS and SOLAR FAKE was absolutely perfect. We've had a great time and our respect goes to the organisers and the technical crew who had to go through many adversities (thunderstorms), but really did a great job.”

01. Futility
02. Chains
03. Dead Can Wait
04. The Drowning Sun
05. Sea Of Tears
06. Burning the Shrouds
07. Condemnation
08. Ashes to Ashes
09. Craving
10. Desolated Home
11. New Day
12. Twist
13. Vagrants in Space

Music; 10
Performance: 9
Sound: 6
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 8.9 / 10


Eskil Simonsson, Joakim Montelius and Clas Nachmanson, three school friends from Helsingborg, Sweden, officially founded COVENANT in 1992. The name refers to the Old Testament, meaning “alliance” and “solemn agreement” - a symbol of the friendship between these three and their common goal of producing good (electronic) music. 1994 saw the arrival of COVENANT’s debut album, ‘Dreams of a Cryotank’, on Swedish independent label Memento Materia, and the track ‘Theremin’ with its harsh EBM sound soon become a hit on the electronic music scene. Their ‘Figurehead’ EP followed in 1995, and its title track keeps filling the dance floors to this day. More about the band here /

Music & Performance
COVENANT - the band invariably (or should I say: against all odds :-)?) liked in Poland - played as a headliner. Surely one could rant about many things connected with the concert, but I guess the “critic-mode” is hugely related to the expectations connected with particular bands - an average group will get away with just anything whereas the high-class one will be picked on and evoke more comments and debates dissecting even a minor mistake. What to do - fans' love is not blind and definitely not deaf. Actually, the more popular the band is, the higher expectations it raises - I guess any artist knows that all too well. But I'm not going to criticize anything this time, because it was COVENANT who warmed the audience up at the cold festival night and they did it so well that at some point nobody paid attention to low temperature, wind and tiredness, let alone wild distortions and front man's not-fully clear texts “beautiful” and “I love you now” said here at there - just everyone let the music take control.

Some new versions of the songs (traditionally: some people liked them, the others couldn't - and probably will never forgive ever creating/performing them) one hit song played after another, Eskil - seemingly hyper-happy and relaxed - running and dancing all over the stage, jumping into photo pit and farther onto the bars and among the audience, singing with them, plus harsh, smashing, ravishing sounds and masses of catchy melodies - well, whatever your reservations might be I'll say it was a good concert, let's not over-analyze it. Three encores, the audience leaving the battlefield with their bodies tired of dancing, the throats - of screaming and the hearts - of emotional outbursts: don't tell me just any band can achieve such an effect. COVENANT can and so may God give them good health for it.

Daniel Myer commented about the festival: “Since I don't play too often in Poland it is always a big pleasure for me to return to this country. I love the people and I love the enthusiasm they have for music! I wish I could come more often. It was my first time at the Castle Party and it’s almost as good as my other favourite place in Poland, which is Krakow! Thank you for having us, see you again soon!”

01. Intro
02. Come
03. 20hz pgr
04. Bullet
05. Stalker
06. Speed (club)
07. If I would give my soul
08. The men 2009
09. We stand alone
10. Ritual noise
11. Improvisation
12. Brave new world (rmx)
13. Call the ships to port
14. Babel
15. One world one sky
16. Dead stars

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

Having seen all the concerts some people traditionally decided to take part in the after parties: DARK EAST DJs MEETING in Hacjenda and DE::COMPRESS::ION NIGHT in the old cinema.


On Sunday we finally saw (nomen omen...) the sun, so in spite of the fact that we were a bit exhausted at that time, the life-giving sunbeams strengthened our life energy and let us enjoy the program freely and without any bothersome battle equipment such as umbrellas, coats, galoshes, sweaters, firewater and other such paraphernalia.


HEAD-LESS is the bands name from the Lausitz, Germany, whose members have set themselves the goal to produce their own version of electronic pop music. In their songs head-less attach importance to a high degree of danceability and contemporary electronic sounds. Concerning the realm of music they are most likely to be classified to Electro / Future Pop with influences by different forms of electronic music. In the late nineties they had their first musical attempts and decided to found a band. After a few re-castings, the line-up has been consisting of René Hentzschel (vocals, lyrics), Matthias Marko (programming, synths) and Markus Otto (samples, management). /

Music & Performance
The first onstage HEAD-LESS are not that unfamiliar to the Polish audience (they performed at Gothic Festival 2006 and in Stettin). The concert was relatively short; still it included all what's good and characteristic about the band: danceable and catchy melodies, dynamism, positive attitude of the musicians and loads of good energy. Markus's comment: “From our side we can say that we've been very surprised by the audience... in a very positive way! We didn't expected that so many people will show up for the first band and even start to clapping and enjoying the show so much... and when they were shouting for an encore... we couldn't ask for more :-) We have rarely seen that on a German festival before. So it was perfect for us and we had a great festival Sunday watching all the other great bands (and of course our heroes FRONT 242 ;-) and met all these nice people we know from past concerts in Poland or just came to us for a little chat, autographs and photos. so thank you for your support! CP is really an exciting and special festival for the alternative scene.”

01. Seelensturm
02. Noize
03. You
04. It's Enough
05. Ship of Agony

Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 6
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 7.3 / 10

Solar Fake

In the year 2007, Sven Friedrich, the singer of ZERAPHINE and the legendary DREADFUL SHADOWS, brought his solo project SOLAR FAKE into being. Here the charismatic front man, who is mentioned in several lexica and reference books as the outrider for the combination of rock and electronics in dark music, can live his penchant for electronic music perfectly. SOLAR FAKE is a pure electro-project and there are synthesized sounds only, except for his incomparable voice. /

Music & Performance
The project SOLAR FAKE showed the audience a bit different face of Sven Friedrich, who - together with the band DREADFUL SHADOWS - enchanted hearts and ears of the audience with the gothic music on the previous day. SF is electronic, far more balanced as far as emotions are concerned and highly dynamic. Roughly speaking - its danceable dimension locates it closer to a discotheque than to a ruined chapel or a cemetery, but I must say the songs presented were really fine. When first released, the album ‘Broken Grid’ (of which most of the songs played at the concert comes from), evoked mixed reactions: the fans of DREADFUL SHADOWS were slightly taken aback, but, on the other hand, those fond of electronic music took liking in it. Well, I guess exploring the new genre with the new project is only natural and so we can appreciate the new form the artist's talent is now making use of. But back to the concert - I had a really good impression of it. The presented songs such as ‘Here I stand’, ‘Creep’, ‘Sometimes’, ‘Shield’, or on a special request ‘Hero & Conqueror’ base, as I said, on electronic melodies, distortions and sound rather than on emotions.

If the latter are present at all, they're definitely not that intensive and soul-shattering like in case of DS (or for that matter ZERAPHINE); they are as if 'hypodermic', kept on a leash and they're only released at times to hit like a punch when Sven rises his voice to reach a high pitch touching scream. In my opinion, collating cold electronics with emotional vocal is a fine technique indeed: it 'cools' the voice down a bit and moderates both means of expression: music and vocal. Not to mention that on the more frugal 'canvas' the vocalic complexity may reveal fuller than it would in the case of rich instrumental background. To recap: it was a good concert, consistent, dynamic and well-balanced and yet leaving room for an unexpected vocal extravagance that added some diversity to the show.

01. Hiding Memories
02. Stigmata Rain
03. Hero & Conqueror
04. Sometimes
05. The Shield
06. Creep (Radiohead Cover)
07. Here I stand
08. Lies

Music; 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 8.3 / 10

Deathcamp Project

DEATHCAMP PROJECT was formed in October 2001 as a direct reaction to an obvious lack of Goth-Rock sounds within Polish dark, independent music scene. During the last 8 years Void and Betrayal have created their own, intriguing mixture of sounds taking their inspiration from Goth-Rock of The Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division, The Cure and Fields of the Nephilim, Deathrock of Christian Death, electro sound of Clan of Xymox as well as murderous sound of a drum machine (a nod towards industrial group Laibach). The combination works well with a polished, dark image the band presents on stage. /

Music & Performance
The Polish representation of DEATHCAMP PROJECT came across some unexpected sound problems, which, in their case, unfortunately worsened the overall impression, but then again I think it was more troubling for the band (known as being the gang of perfectionists :) then for their fans. Definitely, it's always better when the sound is flawless, but I guess it was clear to everybody that when it comes to open air events, anything (including some poor chap's arrogance/ignorance?) might happen and ruin even the best-prepared concert. But this one was quite good anyway - the changes in image (dreadlocks?), pink smoke, re-arranged backgrounds, wanton guitars, velvety and rocky vocal plus fine contact with the audience - DP are known for the aforementioned treats, so even some skirmishes with the sound technicians won't ruin it too much.

Void's comment was: “I can only say that our fans are wonderful people who - in spite of the problems we had on stage - gave us an incredible amount of energy and support. It was a hard concert for us. We'd prepared the show, the equipment and the scenario in 100%. We'd been prepared for anything, unfortunately the stage team failed us and the person responsible for our backline went to have lunch... during at our performance... I don't want to get back to it; it was a huge stress and enormous disappointment we'd been waiting for a year. The only thing I'm happy about is the fact that the feedback after the show was positive :) We feel like playing next concerts, and like a payback! In autumn...”

01. Predestination
02. Dead hours
03. Venomous edge
04. Fuckin' deathrock
05. Behind
06. Through the fire
07. Cold the same
08. Another
09. Rule and control
10. k³amaæ

Music: 10
Performance: 8
Sound: 4
Light: - (daylight)
General: 8.2 / 10


KMFDM was founded in Paris, France on February 29, 1984 as a joint effort between Konietzko and German painter / multi-media performer Udo Sturm to perform for the opening of an exhibition of young European artists at the Grand Palais. Sturm had no lasting musical aspirations, and Konietzko was more interested in studio recordings than the occasional art performance, so he began collaborating with then-Hamburg-based studio owner Raymond Watts and drummer Klaus Schandelmaier, who adopted the stage name En Esch. After working the Hamburg underground music scene and releasing three albums on European labels, the band began its long-standing relationship with Wax Trax! Records when their 1988 album ‘Don't Blow Your Top’ was licensed to the label for US distribution. After touring with Ministry in 1989-1990, they signed directly to Wax Trax! and quickly became a part of the industrial music scene in Chicago that included Ministry, Front 242 and My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult. Konietzko then moved to Chicago in early 1991, and Esch followed a year later.

After close friend and president of Wax Trax! Records Jim Nash died of an illness complicated by AIDS, KMFDM relocated to Seattle, Washington. The current line-up of KMFDM consists of Sascha Konietzko (vocals), Lucia Cifarelli (vocals), Andy Selway (drums), Steve White (guitars), and Jules Hodgson (guitar). En Esch, Raymond Watts, and guitarist Günter Schulz are notable key members in the band's history. Although Tim Skold took part on KMFDM's new album, ‘Blitz’, nothing has been stated on the band's website that he has returned to the band. Other notable musicians that have contributed to KMFDM projects include Bill Rieflin of Ministry/R.E.M., Nivek Ogre from Skinny Puppy and ohGr, John DeSalvo of Chemlab, F.M. Einheit of Einstürzende Neubauten, Nina Hagen, and spoken word artist Nicole Blackman. Additionally, Chemlab, Die Warzau, Nine Inch Nails, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, and Giorgio Moroder have remixed music for KMFDM. /

Music & Performance
At the very beginning I must say that the intro that proceeded KMFDM show was unbeatable. Aside from the fact that it was a fine way of manifesting (venting?) their - gently speaking - irritation with the sound, a merry chap running here and there chatting (to himself? to the audience?), uttering some longish speeches (by the way: we wish Caroline Adamski all the best, so to the man - at the reefs of being single of course) was a great way of drawing audience's attention. And then the concert began and what can I say - the only thing we could do was to fasten the seatbelt and let it carry us - the band's energy was smashing. Aggressive, slashing pieces that were completely crushing with their power and speed, making the audience move in an instant, brilliant lyrics, hoarse, a bit rough voice and incredible vocalist / dancer Lucia Cifarelli plus a disarming relaxation of the whole team in which you wouldn't notice even an ounce of pose / pretence or a big way acting - yes the concert was really mentally refreshing (or even - I'd say - detoxifying).

Well, taking all the stylistic, musical and technical aspects into consideration I should say that the concert was like a strong kick in the balls, but I realize that would define only half of it, so I shall say: my muscles were dead, throat ruined and my eyes fed. It was something good, VERY good! KMFDM setlist included e.g. ‘D.I.Y.’, ‘Bait & Switch’, ‘Tohuvabohu’, ‘Son of a Gun’, ‘Looking For Strange’, ‘Potz Blitz!’, ‘Attak-Reload’, ‘Godlike’, ‘Megalomaniac’ and ‘Hau Ruck’.

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

Diary of Dreams

Adrian Hates initiated the DIARY OF DREAMS project in the late 1980s, taking the name from one of his early classical guitar compositions, 'Tagebuch der Träume'. The first album, 'Cholymelan', appeared in 1994 on the Dion Fortune label. Encouraged by this success, Adrian formed his own label Accession and released a string of albums over the following years, building a loyal fan base each step of the way. The second album 'End of Flowers' was released in 1996, expanding on the Dark-Wave sound of the debut. 'Bird without Wings' followed a year later, whilst the more experimental work 'Psychoma?' arrived in 1998. The first sign of consolidation came in 1999, when a compilation album 'Moments of Bloom' appeared, containing two reworked tracks from each album. The next two albums 'One of 18 Angels' and 'Freak Perfume' (plus its companion EP 'PaniK Manifesto') made greater use of electronic rhythms, resulting in greater club play and wider recognition for the band.

Their 2004 'Nigredo' (a concept album inspired by a mythology the band designed themselves) saw a move back towards the more subtle, sparse concepts of old, but still featuring bursts of their more recent, dance-oriented sound. Songs from the Nigredo tour were later released on the live CD 'aLive' and the companion DVD 'Nine in Numbers'. The next Diary of Dreams album 'Nekrolog 43' was released in 2007, offering a greater variety of moods and concepts than previous works. Adrian Hates claims to be influenced, both lyric wise and artwork wise, by the German 1909-1935 expressionism and the "beauty of ugliness" in the course of his work. The ninth album entitled ‘(if)’ was released on 13 March, 2009. /

Music & Performance
Yet another long pause took place before DIARY OF DREAMS appeared. The first thing that came to my mind after their show had ended was something like: 'This band has really spoilt their fans'. I mean that - similarly like with COVENANT - DIARY OF DREAMS and are very much loved, cherished, appreciated, even idolized by a large group of people who feel emotionally attached to them. The same goes for the music, shows and for what's characteristic and specific for them: the scenic manner, the band's way of establishing contact with the audience, versions of the songs and the atmosphere of the concerts, aura and the 'legend'... so when one (or more) element lack - the dissonance appears. I realize that every artist (especially if present and active for several years in a row) will want to develop, renew or even change their sound and that's fine (for example I think playing old songs 'anew' was interesting, though surely it's better to simply record good new ones), but it may also happen that the routine will sneak into the music making process (not to mention concert performance) or that the emotional freshness or even the joy of playing will disappear. When such impression strikes the fans, just one question arises: how should they react? Cause in Bolków they reacted in many ways - not necessarily positive.

Surely the concert of DIARY OF DREAMS at Castle Party 2009 was different than usual - there were plenty of new versions of old songs (as some fans commented “some songs were changed to such an extent that it was hard to guess the original”), lots of new material of the latest album, new image and the new atmosphere of the show - much colder, more “distanced” than it used to be. I don't want to write that it was “soulless”, but... something very close to it. All the torturing thoughts aside - if you approach the concert without the (perhaps redundant) analyses, it looked stunning: crowds of people singing and clapping hands, well-organized stage, dynamic front man, smoking guitars, lights, stars in the sky, wind... but still the question remains: where the detail that usually made their concerts heart-rendering experiences had gone to? Is it all because DoD got us used to something more than just technically correct gigs that the feeling of certain “insufficiency” appeared? Adrian Hates commented: "It was a great pleasure to play at the Castle Party Festival again. The audience was great. We really enjoyed it. We can't wait to come back again..." Well... so can't we.

01. Intro
02. The Wedding
03. Chemicals
04. The Chain
05. Reign of Chaos
06. King of Nowhere
07. Soul Stripper
08. Butterfly:Dance!
09. The Curse
10. Poison Breed
11. Kindrom
12. MenschFeind

Music: 10
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 9
Total: 9.3 / 10

Front 242

Unfortunately I couldn't take part in the whole concert of FRONT 242 - a long (OK, very long) break before the show made me leave the show after the first song had ended. So I can say just this: the visuals were captivating, ‘Modern Angel’ sounded almost like an anthem and hit me like a punch in a head and the sound was stunning. The scene - rather frugal, which strongly contrasted with the crowd of people cramming by the bars to see the legends in action. From the comments I read I know it was a real knock out.

The after parties PULSE 2||6||9 and BATS NIGHT took place in the old cinema and Hacjenda respectively. To sum up briefly - in spite of some weather/organization problems, the Thursday catastrophe, the constant face-offs between the bands and the sound technicians or long breaks between the concerts the festival was just great. It's just as if you moved to a different dimension for three days: you let your mind relax, listen to what's the artists want to share with, meet people, talk to them, watch, get a distance to many things. I think most of those who have at least once visited the Festival already know it's one of a kind - as to all the rest - I wish you convinced of it as soon as possible (preferably next year).

To finish up the review I'll quote the summary of the Organizer of the Festival in a form of a short “telegram of the 28th July” - K. Rakowski: “Castle Party 2009 came to an end. Yet again the 3 days passed so fast, it was crazy... really crazy. For some there was too much electronic and too little guitar, for the others - the other way round. The bands made an effort and played really fine. [...] There were scandals, pissing in the changing room, the 'stars' tried to test our patience, but we have plenty of it. :) It was cold, windy; vodka did a lot of good to help. :) We already have the date of the next fest [...] perhaps next year the summer will be better, today, Lower Silesia was rainy again. [...] Currency stoppages, striptease, running up and down, lots of smiling faces, those who had always been unconscious did not let their livers rest again. Just pity the stage flew away from the castle:) Anyway: feel invited for the next year. :)”

No way we'll miss it!

All pictures by Bartek Sarama (
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