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tiamat anne5Leipzig, Germany
9th to 13th June 2011
Wave Gotik Treffen Day 3: Empyrium, Eyes Shut Tight, Barren Earth, Vinterland, Helheim, Dornenreich, Girls under Glass, Lake Of Tears, Tiamat

The WGT Saturday was totally standing under the metal banner for us with highlights like TIAMAT headlining the evening in the old exhibition hall 15 or the very first live show of EMPYRIUM, opening our day in the wonderful Pantheon. There was just one exception in the full metal experience, the “all-stars” show of GIRLS UNDER GLASS at Parkbühne…


Empyrium - Pantheon [Florian Schürmann]

EMPYRIUM started as a symphonic folk doom metal band from Franconia founded in 1994 by Markus Stock and Andreas Bach, but later Markus separated from Andreas Bach and took Thomas Helm as his partner. Their first two albums, ‘A Wintersunset’ and ‘Songs of Moors and Misty Fields’, can be considered doom metal with folk and symphonic influences. EMPYRIUM combine harsh and operatic male vocals with deep slow guitar parts and atmospheric keys. On their next two albums, ‘Where at Night the Wood Grouse Plays’ and ‘Weiland’, they turned to a different sound. Instead of keys they use acoustic instruments and choirs. The band has turned to a genre that shows close links to Neofolk, but is much more diverse and melancholic than most bands in that genre. After ‘Weiland’, Schwadorf (Markus Stock) wanted to return to metal and disbanded EMPYRIUM to focus on THE VISION BLEAK. In 2010, they reunited. http://www.empyrium.de / www.myspace.com/empyriummistyfields

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Music & Performance
For me and definitely a lot of visitors of this year’s WGT, the highlight of 2011 was the long-awaited reunion, first and maybe only concert of the legendary EMPYRIUM, which influenced the German folklore metal and Neofolk scene maybe like no other band. Not only for the audience but also for the band this was a special occasion for which they exclusively produced merchandise with this exact date printed on the front underneath their logo artwork. In addition to that several video cameras were set up and handled, so obviously we also can look forward to a recorded version of this amazing concert to be hopefully released on DVD in the future. An amazing concert it was indeed. Since EMYPRIUM is mostly consisting of two members, additional musicians were necessary and prior to the gig the line-up for that special occasion had been published - which blew me away instantly: Besides Markus Stock’s (guitar/vocals) band mate Allen B. Konstanz (drums) from THE VISION BLEAK, the guitar section featured Eviga (guitar) from DORNENREICH, Neige (guitar) from ALCEST and Fursy Teyssier (bass) from LES DISCRETS. Wow! The left side of the stage was reserved for the large keyboard, handled by Thomas Helm (also vocals), and an additional string section consisting of Aline Deinert (violin) from NEUN WELTEN and Christoph Kutzer (cello), who enriched the line-up beautifully. With the Pantheon as the location, the band chose a atmospherically very fitting venue, which added an extra touch of magic to the concert, that filled the room when the musicians entered the stage.

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From the first song through to the end you knew they had prepared themselves well for that day. The sound was as professional executed as you would expect from one of Germany’s most renowned producers in this genre. Every look between the sound engineer and Stock was to make sure everything would be as perfect as planned. The sound overall was phenomenal, each instrument was distinctively audible and the mixing was great, especially dynamic wise when distorted met acoustic guitars and singing, screaming and whispering alternated. Every single one of the musicians was convincing in performing the set, putting all of their hearts into it. The set itself was, as anticipated, a journey through the history of the band, covering each record with at least one song, with the majority of them taken from ‘Weiland’. However, there were unfortunately some difficulties regarding the pick-up of one of the acoustic guitars, which hopefully can be fixed in post production/recording for the DVD. And apparently even a Markus Stock still is a human being, because - as far I can tell - during the performance of their recent post-split-up song ‘The Days Before the Fall’ his guitar wasn’t audible at all, apparently due to the closed volume pot on his guitar. I’m not completely sure about this and it doesn’t matter at all, because EMPYPRUM played an absolutely great concert, which hopefully won’t be the only one of the band’s career.

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Setlist
01. The Days Before The Fall
02. The Franconian Woods in Winter's Silence
03. Where at Night the Wood Grouse Plays
04. Heimwärts
05. Mourners
06. Die Schwäne im Schilf
07. Dead Winter Ways
08. Der Weiher
09. Many Moons Ago
10. Das blau-kristallne Kämmerlein

Rating
Music: 9.5
Performance: 8.5
Sound: 9.5
Light: 8.5
Total: 9 / 10

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Eyes Shut Tight - Alte Messe Halle 15 [Florian Schürmann]

The Hamburg based industrial rock formation EYES SHUT TIGHT was founded end of 2007 by singer Trashed Soul and guitarist Kris. In the meantime, the band consists of five band members and in June 2010 they released their debut album. The band is influenced by the late 90s and bands like MARILYN MANSON, NINE INCH NAILS, KORN and RAMMSTEIN. Their current release is titled ‘Fairground Zero’ and is available since May 25th 2011. http://www.eyesshuttight.com / www.myspace.com/eyesshuttight7

Music & Performance
After EMPYRIUM finished, we rushed over to the nearby Halle 15 to stay there for the remaining day. Maybe it was the grandeur of EMPYRIUM’s music I was exposed to during the last hour and the total musical turnaround for the following EYES SHUT TIGHT, but I can’t help myself: In my humble opinion I formed during their gig I have to say: They sucked ass. However, I was taught to say some nice things before I go into ranting mode, so I will. Visually the things happening on stage were a lot more interesting than the most performances at the WGT - I give them credit for that. Artfully painted but intentionally disturbing mannequin parts were laying all over the stage, giving it a nice scenery supporting the band’s music and message as well as the band’s front man Trashed Soul, who was also partially painted black - which actually looked better than most paintings I’ve seen on musicians so far. He was throwing himself into his music, by jumping, crawling and performing with the mentioned props. The other member’s appearances were not as flamboyant as his, with the exception of Sasquatch, who happened to play the keyboard.

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Music wise every now and again EYES SHUT TIGHT had quite good choruses when the keys kicked in and enriched the sound broadly. I think that is enough appreciation. For every good thing I’ve said so far, there are at least 2 other things that bothered me. The performance was fine, but the whole gig mostly was a one man show for vocalist Trashed Soul, who looked and sounded like Jonathan Davis’ and Marilyn Manson’s bastard child, which is okay, I guess, but he acted like he was it for real, making some self-confident announcements and rampaging over the stage while intentionally breaking drinking glasses. Where did he get these from? In the second half of the set two relatively attractive gothic babes stepped onto the stage, ought to jiggle their asses (which were the only covered parts of their bodies) to the music. The next song they spent seducing a bottle of clear alcohol and inflaming it while trying to look kinky. I can’t help myself, my jaw didn’t drop, but I thought of them as a compensation for the band’s music, which, mildly said, I didn’t like. I can’t blame anyone that I’m not into this kind of music, at least the band. But I really tried to get something out of the tunes hitting my ears, but at best I consider them boring while well executed.

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As I said, there were some actually good parts in the songs, but the song is still bad if the rest consists of three power chords and some lame chugga-chugga riffs and nothing else is happening. With that less effort one guitar can’t carry the song, while the keyboard is barely used. It is not that I don’t get the music they want to play; I can give i.e. DROWNING POOL credit for doing so, because they succeed, but I can’t do this for EYES SHUT TIGHT. Please consider the rating below as generous. Thank you.

Setlist
01. Apocalypse Generation
02. Cabinet Of Mirror
03. G.O.D.
04. I.R.I.S.
05. Ordeal
06. Gone
07. Night Without An End
08. Useless
09. Childlike Face
10. Mother Darksome And Divine

Rating
Music: 3
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: 6 (and daylight)
Total: 6 / 10

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Barren Earth - Alte Messe Halle 15 [Florian Schürmann]

BARREN EARTH was formed in Helsinki in the autumn of 2007. It is a Finnish progressive death metal band with a line-up consisting of former members of AMORPHIS as well as current members of SWALLOW THE SUN, MOONSORROW, RYTMIHÄIRIÖ and KREATOR. The music of BARREN EARTH combines elements of modern and traditional death metal with 70’s prog rock and folk. Among the band’s influences are artists such as AMORPHIS, DAN SWANÖ, OPETH, PINK FLOYD, JETHRO TULL and also some pioneers of Finnish prog. Their first full-length record ‘Curse of the Red River’ was released on March 31st, 2010. www.barrenearth.com / www.myspace.com/officialbarrenearth

Music & Performance
Finally good music was ahead with Finland’s BARREN EARTH, a super-group in some way of experienced musicians, which was obvious from the first minute. The band members were very energetically performing their set and apparently enjoying it to do so, while a lot of movement could be seen on the stage. The sound was very good and I noticed the first use of a drum trigger on that venue, which enhanced the drum sound dramatically, but, as mentioned on the day before, the cymbals were still put out very tame. Sometimes the keyboards, while playing melody segments, could have taken some withdrawal as well, but that was not a major issue - that was the melody segments on the lead guitar. These were absolutely of high quality in the matter of song writing like the whole compositions themselves, but they were everywhere.

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Don’t consider this a complaint, since I know the songs are working great on the record, but one melody driven part was following the next, which made the whole gig a little bit hard to follow music wise. As I said, this is less a complaint than an observation, because otherwise I was enjoying the concert very much. From time to time the song material reminded me of a fresh version of old AMORPHIS, in spite of the fact that with Kasper Mårtenson (keyboard) they actually do have a member of that band in their ranks. Each member performed at his best. Vocalist Mikko Kotamäki could not often be seen since his head wear and high microphone stand covered his face entirely but gave a solid performance, as well as Olli-Pekka Laine (bass) and Marko Tarvonen (drums) by backing him, especially during ‘Deserted Morrows’ which featured great clean vocals. Overall BARREN EARTH played a very enjoyable gig on that third day of the WGT.

Setlist
01. Jewel
02. Our Twilight
03. Flicker
04. Forlorn Waves
05. The Leer
06. Cold Earth Chamber
07. Deserted Morrows

Rating
Music: 8.5
Performance: 8.5
Sound: 8.5
Light: 7 (and daylight)
Total: 8.2 / 10

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Vinterland - Alte Messe Halle 15 [Florian Schürmann]

VINTERLAND is a Black Metal band from Kvicksund, Sweden, formed in 1992. During November 1995 the debut album ‘Welcome My Last Chapter’ was recorded in Dan Swanö's (EDGE OF SANITY) Unisound Studios. It was released in September 1996. Unfortunately it would be the first and last VINTERLAND album as the band broke up shortly after its release because of internal problems between the band members. Since the band gathered again in autumn of 2005, they decided to make a re-release of its first album and began writing songs for a second. For their first gig in 15 years with original line-up they chose this year’s Wave Gotik Treffen. www.myspace.com/vinterland

Music & Performance
When seeing EMPYRIUM performing that day was a rare occasion, then seeing VINTERLAND is at least as equally rare. With only one record so far that was released one and a half decade ago, and nearly to none sign of existence since then, VINTERLAND’s fans (if there are any) are maybe the most loyal ones. The greatest mystery for me about that upcoming appearance is why of all possibilities they chose the WGT as the festival for their (maybe even only) comeback gig. They could have easily obtained a very good position on any black metal festival around and have more than 400 people in front of the stage, from which a decent percentage surely was on site accidentally. I did even hear several people complain about that (kind of) music outside. Somehow ironical seemed the question “Do you remember us?” asked by vocalist D.F. Bragman to the audience in that context.

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However, there were indeed some fans of the band on site, maybe threatened by the announcement on the band’s official MySpace page: ‘don’t you dare to miss this; it might be 15 years until the next time!’ I have to say that the overall performance was very good and the band seemed like they never stopped playing live, but considering that fact, somehow underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, VINTERLAND played a great concert and I don’t know what exactly I was expecting, but the gig was nothing more than a good concert after all. The sound was crisp and transparent, the keyboards were supporting the great riffs subtly, but audible. The guitar work was very solid, while the compositions live up to legends like DISSECTION. There is in fact nothing to complain about for me. Even the new bass player integrated very well into the line-up. Okay, optically they don’t look much like black metal musicians anymore and the coherent necklaces with a large silver ‘v’ hanging down from their chests in my opinion was not one of their best ideas, but that is not supposed to be an accusation. So what’s the point? VINTERLAND played a very good reunion, reformation, reappearance concert, which made a lot of heads rotate in the audience and apparently left a lot of satisfied fans. Despite the unfortunately chosen venue, they did nothing wrong - quite the opposite: I am very lucky they are back and hope we do not have to wait another 15 years.

Setlist
01. A Winter Breeze
02. A Castle So Crystal Clear
03. As I Behold The Dying Sun
04. Vinterskogen
05. I'm An Other In The Night
06. Our Dawn of Glory
07. Wings of Sorrow

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 7
Sound: 8.5
Light: 7 (and daylight)
Total: 8 / 10

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Helheim - Alte Messe Halle 15 [Florian Schürmann]

HELHEIM is a Viking black metal band from Bergen, Norway founded in 1992. The band began performing at local Bergen festivals, and in 1993, the band released their debut demo, HELHEIM, distributed only within Norway. The band signed to the label Millennium Music and released their debut album ‘Jormundgand’, followed up by a European tour. With the release of the second album ‘Av Norrøn Ætt’, the band's contract to Solistitium Records was fulfilled, and the band was without a label for two years. Despite these troubles, the band began working on their next album, ‘Yersinia Pestis’. Massacre Records took the responsibility of releasing and distributing the album, which was well-received by both critics and fans. HELHEIM’s latest album ‘Heiðindómr ok mótgangr’ was released on April 1st, 2011. http://www.myspace.com/helheimnorway / http://www.helheim.com

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Music & Performance
The second black metal band of that day followed right away with HELHEIM. Although the band also exists for nearly 20 years, in comparison to VINTERLAND they had a constant record output so far and were always active throughout their existence. Nevertheless, they still have a kind of underdog position in the genre. That is presumably the fault of the various record labels they were signed to in their career, which put very little effort into publishing them to an audience outside of Norway. Anyhow, in the last years they made themselves a name in the genre, receiving overall good critics. So the most people who came for VINTERLAND stayed at the venue for HELHEIM (or the other way around), who, once the folkloric percussion heavy introduction was over, immediately came down to business, which HELHEIM played a little bit rougher than their predecessors. But as well as the band is able to write aggressive parts, they are also capable of mellow and groovy sections, which interact greatly for the songs.

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In the beginning the audience showed their appreciation by clapping and occasional head banging, but there was very little interacting with the performers. Even as H'grimnir (vocals/guitar) mentioned that it’s ‘awfully quiet’ down there, there was nearly none reaction to that. Maybe it’s because of the music’s cold attitude, but the people defrosted not until the second half of the gig. Or maybe they were just stunned by the redundancy of the projected video material. Since the venue was not actually darkened, HELHEIM performed nearly in daylight. Unfortunately the band decided anyhow to project some video clips to the canvas behind them, which turned out to be barely visible, unlike the guy who was sitting right on stage controlling the laptop. However, HELHEIM played a solid gig for a reserved audience, but with great music which spoke for itself.

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 8
Light: 6.5 (and daylight)
Total: 7.5 / 10

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Dornenreich - Alte Messe Halle 15 [Florian Schürmann]

DORNENREICH is a Melodic Black Metal band from Tyrol, Austria. Founded in 1996, the band has progressed in style from black metal to what the band describes as “a vision beyond (black) metal, Neofolk and ambient” on their latest works. The music on their second album, ‘Bitter ist's dem Tod zu dienen’, released in 1997, can be described as symphonic black metal with some folk and some gothic influences. After ‘Her von welken Nächten’, drummer Moritz Neuner left the band due to some differences with the two remaining members. During the track-writing for ‘Hexenwind’ the band’s progression took a new direction towards a more calm and mature approach. In 2006, Valñes left the band and Evíga found a new DORNENREICH member in 2006 in Inve, who had already contributed as a violinist on ‘Her von welken Nächten’. ‘In Luft geritzt’, released in 2008, shows a complete departure from previous styles, where DORNENREICH had chosen to play completely unplugged, with only acoustic guitars and violin as instruments and bells as percussion. For their latest release ‘Flammentriebe’, Neuner rejoined the band. http://www.dornenreich.com / http://www.myspace.com/mehralsdasein

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Music & Performance
After the last two relatively calm Neofolk-ish records, DORNENREICH’s last record ‘Flammentriebe’ directed the band back again into the black metal genre, reviving old strengths while sounding as inspired and intriguing as ever. Since I visited DORNENREICH’s recent tour in February, I’m happy to be able to draw some parallels to this gig, otherwise I would have been very disappointed with their concert at the WGT, but that happened to be a complete sound issue. First things first: The set they played was split into an acoustic and a metal part with ‘Jagd’, an acoustic song played as a metal version, as a transition. The acoustic set consisted of 3 tracks, after which the change-over was handled very quickly. For that I can say, I love the minimalist, but nonetheless atmospheric approach to that music, which invites you to close your eyes and enjoy. That was absolutely given, since there only can go few things wrong with the mix - unlike the second part. Where do I start? Evíga’s guitar sounded horrible, because it was lacking any high frequency in the mix. Since DORNENREICH is already walking a fine line with only one guitar and no bass, that circumstance can turn out to be terminal, which it did. The whole riffing came out very dull, bassy and quiet and had no crisp at all.

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That also was true for the bass drum, which had no sign of kick at all. Even the violin in ‘Flammenmensch’ was triumphing over everything, which can barely be made out on the record. That circumstance ruined the whole performance for me, although the band tried very hard on stage. As I said, I’m lucky to have seen them on tour with a sheer superb sound in comparison. The set served the audience’s wishes well, including songs as ‘Trauerbrandung’ (which’s trademark harmonic also wasn’t audible) and ‘Wer hat Angst vor Einsamkeit’ as an encore. Unfortunately such great music perished under a horrible sound that day.

Setlist
01. Intro
02. Freitanz (acoustic)
03. Meer (acoustic)
04. Jagd
05. Schwarz
06. Flammenmensch
07. Der Hexe nächtlich’ Ritt
08. Erst deine Träne löscht den Brand
09. Trauerbrandung
10. Wer hat Angst vor Einsamkeit

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 3
Light: 6
Total: 6.5 / 10

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Girls under Glass - Parkbühne [Daniela Vorndran]

The start of the whole story was made with the first album ‘Humus’, which sold out rapidly upon release upon its release in 1988 and drew first attention to the then-fresh band. Nowadays that album is a classic. The third album ‘positive’ brought a rapid stylistic shift, bringing in more, harder rock elements than before and the first one to feature Volker Zacharias on vocals who’s doing the job to the present day where the band’s hopefully preparing to getting a new release out to the fans, waiting ever since their last album ‘Zyklus’ saw a release in 2005. GIRLS UNDER GLASS is Volker Zacharias (vocals guitar), Axel Ermes (synth & digital treatment) and Lars Baumgardt (guitars). http://www.myspace.com/girlsunderglass

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Music & Performance
After the “inofficial part”, as Volker announced it, with two own songs, namely ‘Die Zeit’ and ‘Du Bist Das Licht’, the “official part” started. For this part, the band had invited a lot of guests, not only former member Hauke Harms, but also a lot of other musicians (Jay Smith – DeviantUK, Sven Friedrich – Zeraphine, Myk Jung – The Fair Sex, Peter Spilles – Project Pitchfork, Rascal – Rotersand, Lacasa Del Cid, Eric Burton – Catastrophe Ballet, Oswald Henke, Rodney Orpheus – Cassandra Complex). So, this “official part” started with Jay Smith and the GARY NUMAN classic ‘Cars’ since Volker and Jay are both big Numan fans. Together with all those guests, the band presented several own songs, but also a lot of cover versions (i.e. ‘Temple Of Love’ – Sisters Of Mercy, ‘Frozen’ – Madonna) as well as songs of the guests’ own bands (i.e. ‘Moscow Idaho’ – Cassandra Complex). During several songs, former band member Hauke Harms also joined the show. With a “nice song of AND ONE”, as Axel stated, the set ended and the audience got a fine version of PROJECT PITCHFORK’s ‘Timekiller’.

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Setlist
01. Die Zeit (Vocals Volker Zacharias)
02. Du bist das Licht (Vocals Volker Zacharias)
03. Cars (Gary Numan Cover – Vocals Jay Smith (Deviant UK))
04. When I Think About You (Vocals Sven Friedrich (Zeraphine))
05. Temple Of Love (Sisters of Mercy Cover – Vocals Sven Friedrich (Zeraphine) & Myk Jung (The Fair Sex))
06. Never Go! (Vocals Myk Jung (The Fair Sex))
07. Ohne Dich (Vocals Peter Spilles (Project Pitchfork) & Volker Zacharias)
08. Frozen (Madonna Cover – Vocals Rascal (Rotersand))
09. Exterminate Annihilate Destroy (Rotersand Cover – Vocals Rascal (Rotersand))
10. Reach For The Stars (Acoustic Guitar – Vocals Lacasa del Cid)
11. Feuerengel (Vocals Volker Zacharias)
12. Burning Eyes (Vocals Eric Burton (Catastrophe Ballet) &Volker Zacharias)
13. Humus (Vocals Oswald Henke)
14. Du Tier (Vocals Oswald Henke)
15. Moscow Idaho (Cassandra Complex Cover – Vocals Rodney Orpheus (Cassandra Complex))
16. Transmission (Joy Division Cover – Vocals Rodney Orpheus (Cassandra Complex))
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17. Timekiller (Project Pitchfork Cover – Vocals Peter Spilles (Project Pitchfork & Jay Smith (Deviant UK))

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

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Lake Of Tears - Alte Messe Halle 15 [Florian Schürmann]

LAKE OF TEARS is a Swedish band, generally considered to play gothic and doom metal. However, their sound has evolved considerably over the course of their career, expanding to include psychedelic rock and progressive metal. LAKE OF TEARS‘ 1999 album, ‘Forever Autumn’, did not follow the trend settled by ‘Headstones’ and ‘A Crimson Cosmos’, which were heavily influenced by bands like Pink Floyd, resulting in an intensely quiet and introspective album. By this time melody had effectively eclipsed all traces of their doom metal heritage. The band broke up in 2000 amid creative differences, but reunited in late 2003, releasing the acclaimed album ‘Black Brick Road’. Their new album titled ‘Illwill’ was released on April 29, 2011. http://www.lakeoftears.net / http://www.myspace.com/thelakeoftears

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Music & Performance
I have to admit that my experiences with LAKE OF TEARS mostly can be summarized by saying that in preparation for this concert I listened to the recent release ‘Illwill’, which under-whelmed me somehow. Not in the way that the music is bad, but not actually my cup of tea - at least I thought so. Anyhow in the end I found myself watching the whole performance and actually liking it very much. About the performance itself there is not much to say, nothing special was going on, but extremely thrilling heavy rock, which kept me grooving throughout. LAKE OF TEARS turned out to be a great live band, which is able to convince from the first to the last minute. Especially the fast, driven heavy metal songs like ‘U.N.S.A.N.E.’ from their last album grew on to me since then. For me Daniel Brennare’s (vocals/guitar) voice sounds even better on stage than on record, adding the adequately snotty touch the music demands. The guitars were clearly audible while the overall mix was head and shoulders better than the last band’s. '

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Since I don’t actually know the details that I may have missed during the show due to my limited knowledge about the band, I don’t regret any minute of it. When LAKE OF TEARS is on the line-up for any festival I’m attending, count me in.

Setlist
01. Taste Of Hell
02. Illwill
03. The Greyman
04. Raven Land
05. As Daylight Yields
06. U.N.S.A.N.E.
07. Boogie Bubble
08. So Fell Autumn Rain
09. House Of The Setting Sun
10. Out Of Control
11. Demon You / Lily Anne
12. Sweetwater
13. Crazyman

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 9
Light: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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Tiamat - Alte Messe Halle 15 [Florian Schürmann]

TIAMAT is a metal band that formed in Stockholm, Sweden in 1988. Initially, the band played straightforward black metal under the name Treblinka. After having recorded the album ‘Sumerian Cry’ in 1989, vocalist/guitarist Johan Edlund and bassist Jörgen Thullberg parted ways with the other two founding members, and subsequently changed the name to TIAMAT. The ‘Sumerian Cry’ album, as recorded by Treblinka, was released as TIAMAT’s debut album in June 1990. After the debut, Edlund's leadership would modify the band's style with influences ranging from MERCYFUL FATE, CANDLEMASS to PINK FLOYS. 1994's critically acclaimed ‘Wildhoney’ mixed raw vocals, slow guitar riffs and synthesizer sounds which sounded different from other extreme metal bands active at that time. Upon the release of ‘A Deeper Kind of Slumber’ (1997), Edlund relocated from Sweden to Germany and declared himself the only permanent member of the band; all albums that would follow would cement the band into a more gothic rock sound. TIAMAT signed to Nuclear Blast Records in June 2007, and released their latest album ‘Amanethes’ on April 18, 2008. http://www.churchoftiamat.com / http://www.myspace.com/tiamat

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Music & Performance
When it comes to heavy guitar music, that day’s headliner clearly was TIAMAT, a band that fundamentally shaped the genre of gothic metal throughout their career. For me it was the first time to see them. Downright casually dressed yet quite cheerful, the band stepped onto the stage and performing ‘Fireflower’ as their first song. The crowd instantly was with them and even kept cheering while Johan Edlund’s (vocals/guitar) amp conked out, supported by a rendition of ‘Tequila’ by THE CHAMPS from the keyboard section. After the problem was fixed, they continued with fan favourites like ‘Cain’, ‘Vote For Love’ and ‘Brighter Than The Sun’, whose vocal lines were beautifully supported by their second live guitarist.

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The encore delivered some more with ‘Wings Of Heaven‘ and ‘Gaia’, while in between the band had a surprise prepared for their song ‘Sleeping Beauty’. Michael Korr, a guitarist and singer from Pennsylvania, who could be seen beforehand helping to fix the amp issue, now officially was introduced by Edlund to deliver some guest growls on the mentioned track. Despite the amp breakdown overall the sound was solid and distinct. I had the impression that the vocal sound was a little bit too masked by delay/reverb-effects, but that could be a positional impression. However, TIAMAT satisfied old and new fans with their choice of songs, which they performed greatly on a very enjoyable last performance of that day.

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Setlist
01. Fireflower
02. Children Of The Underworld
03. Cain
04. Whatever That Hurts
05. Divided
06. Vote For Love
07. Brighter Than The Sun
08. Until The Hellhounds Sleep Again
09. The Ar
10. Cold Seed
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11. Wings Of Heaven
12. Sleeping Beauty
13. Gaia

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 7.5
Sound: 8.5
Light: 8.5
Total: 8.5 / 10

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Pictures by Daniela Vorndran (Empyrium, Lake Of Tears, Tiamat, Girls under Glass - http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.black-cat-net.de/ / www.myspace.com/vorndranphotography / www.facebook.com/blackcatnet) and Anne Kuhfuß (Empyrium, Eyes Shut Tight, Barren Earth, Vinterland, Helheim, Dornenreich, Lake Of Tears, Tiamat)

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