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LKA Longhorn, Stuttgart, Germany
May 26th 2006
Dark Fortress, Morphia, Eluveitie, Royal Anguish, Taketh

This Friday evening in the last days of May, the Longhorn (LKA) in Stuttgart had opened its doors to the 'Fear Dark Festival' tour. 'Fear Dark' is a Dutch metal label, which was founded in 1998 and began organizing metal festivals in 2002. This year, they came to the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland for six gigs in total, featuring 'Taketh' from Sweden, 'Royal Anguish' from the US, 'Eluveitie' from Switzerland and the Dutch band 'Morphia'. There were also different headliners during the small tour; this evening I looked forward to the German Black Metal guys from 'Dark Fortress', whose latest album release was praised in the press. I arrived at the venue shortly after the Longhorn had let the first visitors in, and I was surprised to see that there were only about 50 people inside. And it should remain like that until the fantastic performance of the folk metal-heads from 'Eluveitie'.


'Taketh' are a Swedish Melodic Death Metal band. Their debut album "Freakshow" was released in 2005 via Fear Dark Records. Line-up: David Dahl (vocals), Mikael Lindqvist (guitars), Atahan Tolunay (guitars), Lars Walfridsson (bass) and Johan Dahl (drums).

The vigorous, sometimes groovy and rather melodic Death Metal of the Swedish guys from ‘Taketh’ is not bad for sure, but after a few songs you get the impression they repeat themselves a little too much, and so their set was a little prosy in the main.

‘Taketh’ surely had the hardest job to do this festival evening, as they were the first band to perform at the LKA, which at this time was only scantily filled. They tried to get some more people in front of the stage and vocalist David talked a lot to the audience, but it was just too early. Nevertheless they delivered a decent set and would have merited some more fans.

01. Freakshow
02. Consequence (of abusing human weakness)
03. Mind Numbing Crap
04. Your Master
05. Flaws (part of the beauty)
06. Paths and Crossroads

Music: 6
Performance: 5
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 6

Royal Anguish

This evening's second act was 'Royal Anguish', a Death/Gothic-Metal band from the United States. Founded in 1991, they released their first full length album "Mysterion" twelve years later. Their newest release is the album "A Journey through the Shadows of Time" via Fear Dark Records (2006). Line-up: Matt Knowles (male vocals, rhythm guitars), Katy Decker (female vocals), Marius Kozlowski (lead guitars), Sean Tibbetts (bass) and Asgrim (keyboards).  

‘Royal Anguish’ play an ordinary melange of Gothic and Death Metal, not bad, but not very impressive. Unfortunately, they had a pretty bad sound this evening, and Katy's voice was nearly inaudible at times.

Their stage performance was nice to watch. Matt, very tall and with a strong presence, and by his side the tiny female vocalist Katy, wearing a nice white dress - they make a pretty couple. They tried really hard, but did not manage to enthral me. 

01. Intro
02. Shadows of time
03. One last time
04. Playing god
05. The tale of sullen eyes
06. Pitch black
07. Frozen
08. Tortured visions
09. Twisted angel

Music: 4
Performance: 6
Sound: 3
Light: 7
Rating: 5 (4.9)


In my opinion, ‘Eluveitie’s’ performance was by far the best one on this festival evening. With their tremendous enthusiasm this congenial band from Switzerland really managed to impress me. The band's name is a word in a certain form of Gaulish, once spoken by the Helvetian, a Celtic tribe at one time living in Switzerland and Southern Germany; ‘Eluveitie’s’ lyrics deal with the history and everyday life of the Helvetian, and some of them are written in this ancient language, too. The Swiss band has been founded in winter 2002 by Chrigel Glanzmann and was originally thought to be a studio project only. Their first MCD "Vên" appeared one year later and was very well received by the music press and the audience. In the following year they got signed by the Fear Dark label and 2006 they released their first full length studio album, "Spirit" (Fear Dark). Line-up Chrigel Glanzmann (vocals, mandolin, tin whistle, low whistle, uilleann pipes, acoustic guitars), Sevan Kirder (vocals, Irish flute, tin whistle, low whistle, gaita), Siméon Koch (guitars, vocals), Rafi Kirder (bass, vocals), Meri Tadic (fiddle, vocals), Sarah Kiener (hurdy-gurdy, vocals), Ivo Henzi (guitars) and Merlin Sutter (drums).

‘Eluveitie’ can be attributed to the Pagan Metal scene and their sound is a mixture of authentic Celtic folk music and modern (Göteborg) Melodic Death Metal. The band consists of eight musicians using instruments typical for the metal genre as well as traditional folk instruments. This evening, they had a really good sound and their music managed to just make you smile and want to dance and jump around having a lot of fun. Not at all prosy, their songs were sung along enthusiastically and you could see how much fun the band had while being on stage.

The band came on stage dressed in middle-age rags, besmeared with something looking like mud, very much like the bands on a typical middle-age market. It took them some time to prepare their different instruments, but then they unleashed a storm of folk metal over the audience, which had up to then become pretty numerous in front of the stage. I guess, ‘Eluveitie’ had gathered most people in front of them this evening, and justifiably so. The interaction between the band members worked out very well, and some of them played several instruments, like vocalist Chrigel - a performance to remember.

01. Intro
02. Spirit
03. Your Gaulish war
04. The song of life
05. The dance of victory
06. Of fire, wind & wisdom
07. Aidû
08. Tegernakô
09. Andro
10. Lament

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 6
Total: 8 (7.7)


‘Morphia’ from Holland was founded in 1995 as a Death Metal band. As time passed, they have changed their style to something between Symphonic Doom Metal and Gothic Metal. In 1999 their first album was released, titled "Unfulfilled Dreams". In the following, they played some festivals, among others they were continually featured at the 'Fear Dark Festival' tours. Their latest studio work, "Fading Beauty", appeared last year. Line-up: Jasper Pieterson (vocals), Roger Koedoot (guitars), Martin Koedoot (guitars), Bert Bonestroo (technic), Eric v. Tulder (bass), Peter v. Tulder (keyboards) and Ernst-Jan Lemmen (drums).

‘Morphia’ play a melange of Doom and Death Metal with some shades of Gothic Metal. They delivered an experienced performance, but the only highlight was their song "Emptiness" which really enthralled me and seemed to be their most popular one.

Vocalist Jasper, who also played the bass this evening, was running around on stage indefatigably, and seemed to have much fun posing for the audience. Temporarily, the two guitarists got completely lost in their music, and they also seemed to enjoy themselves. All in all a good stage show.

01. Again
02. Of Stars and Flowers
03. Fading Beauty
04. When silence fell
05. The Sound of Violence
06. Emptiness
07. Ithinielle

Music: 6
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7 (6.6)

Dark Fortress

‘Dark Fortress’ are a Black Metal band from Landshut, Germany. They have been founded by guitarist Asvargr (former 'Carnage' member) in 1994, and two years later they released their first demo, "Rebirth of the Dark Age". After completing their line-up, their first label release appeared 1998 via 'Fog of the Apocalypse' Records, a split-CD with 'Barad Dûr', featuring two 'Dark Fortress' songs. Their first full length album, "Tales from the Eternal Dusk" (Red Stream Records), was released in 2000, containing a melange of Black and Death Metal. In the meantime, a few line-up changes had occurred. After their greatest success so far, the 2004 album "Stab Wounds" (Black Attakk) the guys from Landshut released their fourth studio work this year, "Séance", which was very well received by the music press. Line-up: Azathoth (vocals), Asvargr (guitars), Santura (guitars), Draug (bass), Paymon (keyboards) and Seraph (drums).

The German band 'Dark Fortress' were this evenings' headliner. They play some sort of melodic Black Metal, very fast and harsh. Their sound was quite bad this night, the melodic parts got nearly completely lost and Azathoth's growling was hardly audible at times. At the beginning of their show they managed to impress me with their all out relentlessness and appropriate light show (though this one made it hard to get good pictures). But during their set I got somewhat bored, they lacked diversification.

The guys came on stage with corpse paint, and Azathoth wore black leather gloves and a stained white shirt as usual, looking just like a butcher directly from the slaughterhouse. Though looking really spooky, much like the living dead, they did not offer a very impressive stage show. And the decimated crowd in front of them was a reaction to that. At my opinion, they have much potential, but should show a little more effort when performing. 

01. To harvest the artefacts of mockery
02. Iconoclasm omega
03. Self-Mutilation
04. Poltergeist
05. CataWomb
06. Shardfigures
07. Stabwounds
08. Like a somnambulist in daylight's fire 

Music: 6
Performance: 6
Sound: 4
Light: 6
Total: 6 (5.7)


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