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Schattenreich-Stage, Bochum, Germany
13th and 16th July 2006
Saturday, 15th July: Eisheilig, Jesus on Extasy, XPQ-21, Melotron

From 13th to 16th it was time again for Europe’s biggest music festival in the heart of the Ruhr district: “Bochum Total”. Four days provided magnificent live music through all genres – with free admission! National acts met international ones; newcomer met top-acts. The festival area was as always located in the famous “Bermuda-triangle” where you can find more than 40 pubs and restaurants to party until late night. About 900.000 people celebrated this 21st “Bochum Total” with about 70 bands on four stages. The weather seemed to love the festival too and provided four days of sun and blue sky. The date for next year’s festival is just set: 21st to 24th June 2007.

The “Ring-stage” – also called “Schattenreich-stage” – was the place for dark music on Saturday and Sunday. So we took our chance again to be part of the festival. Saturday on 17.00 it was time for the first band to enter he stage. All in all four bands were presenting their program on the “Schattenreich-stage” on Saturday in best weather – even though the direct sun did not really fit to the dark music.


Gothic darkness and Metal sounds – ‘Eisheilig’ came together in 1998 and present atmospheric Gothic rock with German lyrics. The band has quite a steady fan base and toured in the past with ‘L´Âme Immortelle’ and ‘The Vision Bleak’. Some weeks ago, the band released their third album ‘Elysium’. Mystic and deep German lyrics meet gothic darkness with metal sounds. ‘Eisheilig are: Dennis Mikus (vocals), Dominik Sapia (drums), Niklas Peternek (bass) and Till Maiwald (guitar). /  

The set was starting with the intro ‘Es wird einmal ein Wunder geschehn’ sung by chanteuse Zarah Leander. After the intro had faded, the band entered the stage. Due to the fact that the recent album has just been release, the set consisted mainly of songs out of ‘Elysium’. Since ever, the play with religious elements belongs to ‘Eisheilig’ as well as deep guitars, orchestral elements and the sonorous chant of singer Dennis. The actual album documents the musical development of ‘Eisheilig’. The band worked towards more musical diversity as well as dynamic and clear song structures. Presented songs like ‘Fährmann’ or ‘Märchenreich’ are able to carry people away due to the stronger orientation. Even though the temperatures were quite high on this Saturday afternoon, the band sounded fresh and clear. Dennis’ voice was immaculate as was the play of his band mates. Hard to believe for such a public event the sound was very good too. This show was just the right start of a dark weekend.

‘Eisheilig’ were just the right choice to open the day on the “Schattenreich-stage” in their hometown. From the beginning they showed what power they have on stage. Drummer Dominik was sunk deeply into his play and putting all his power into it – what you could also see in his face. Bass player Niklas was constantly moving and moshing while guitar player Till presented the cooler part on stage. Singer Dennis was in good contact with the audience, pleasing them to clap along. Especially the first rows were moshing during the whole show. I wonder how they could stay that in the direct sun. The band also had to suffer from direct sun which was heating up the stage and blinding the musicians. But they dealt really well with those circumstances. Well done boys.

01. Intro
02. Elysium (Elysium)
03. Flug der Möven (Elysium)
04. Die Kraft (Die Gärten des Herrn)
05. Vater unser (Eisheilig)
06. Fährmann (Elysium)
07. König der Planeten (Elysium)
08. Wahntrieb (Die Gärten des Herrn)
09. Märchenreich (Elysium)
10. Schrei (Elysium)
11. Sturm (Elysium)
12. Morgenrot (Outro)

Music 8
Performance 8
Light – (daylight)
Sound 8
Total 8

Jesus on Extasy

This band was playing on short notice at “Bochum Total” because the planned act ‘Zombie Joe’ had to cancel due to a broken arm. The look is not everything but it’s also no secret that Dorian and Chai make women’s hearts beating faster. But that’s only a positive side effect – ‘Jesus on Extasy’ are an insider tip regarding Industrial-Rock. Roughly the band’s style is a bit like ‘Nine Inch Nails’ and ‘Marilyn Manson’. ‘Jesus on Extasy’ are: Dorian Deveraux (vocal X-tasy, synths, samples), Chai (6-string X-tasy, backing box, synths, programming), Ivy (deep space-bass X-tasy), Mira (synths) and Kenda (drums, percussions). /

This band was a real surprise – musically and performance wise in a positive way. As singer Dorian stated they more or less met one year ago at “Bochum Total” so this was some kind of birthday celebration. When Dorian and Chai met before, they wanted to start a musical revolution by creating an industrial Rock’n’Roll band far away from rusty old confessions. After their first appearances the band was called young, sexy and loud. Well, that describes it quite well. Heavily distorted guitars are mixed with synthesizer sounds. Sweet melodies full of melancholy and pain meet destructive beats. I liked the presented mix a lot – it was so fresh and old-school at the same time. I was also very happy about the presented ‘Chameleons’ cover ‘Second skin’.

When the two boys and two girls entered the stage women’s and men’s hearts were probably beating faster at the same time. Eye catcher was of course Dorian who had this special charm. He was really expressive on stage, singing and shouting with full passion. To all those people who said that the band would never be on a stage he screamed a “Fuck you!” out of his heart. And yes, good that this band found the way onto stage. Even though they had not that much live experience before the show was very solid. Only guitar player Chai seemed a bit static from time to time and they girl behind they keys was a bit too far away. But that’s only negligibility within a very cool show that also was welcomed quite enthusiastically by the audience.

01. Drowning
02. Second skin (Chameleons cover)
03. Alone
04. Assassinate me
05. Puppet
06. Holy Beauty
07. Reach out
08. Neochrome

Music 9
Performance 7
Light – (daylight)
Sound 8
Total 8 (8.1)

‘XPQ-21’ that’s Electro-Punk-Alternative-Techno. In the 90s, the German nation is reunited and the music-world experiences the biggest revolution since Rock’n’Roll. House and Rave conquer the world. Different to other acts in that period, Jeyênne screams loudly into the microphone and terrorizes the audience with his Punk attitudes. He bears down the borders of the Dance-scene of that time. During that time of change he wrote a song called ‘XPQ-21’ which became the first Techno hit of a then new scene. Today, Jeyênne and his band ‘XPQ-21’ are still on the road of success and rocks like never before. He proves with his new album that sounds between ‘VNV Nation’, ‘The Prodigy’ and (old) ‘Chemical Brothers’ can be combined to a harmonic and driving overall picture. ‘XPQ-21’ are Jeyênne (vocals, keys, guitar, writing, production), Annelie (guitars, keyboards, additional vocals), Kebbasasch (drums, percussion) and The Mask (sequencer, sampler, synth). Band member Annelie, who also plays on ‘Cat Rapes Dog’, could not be on stage during the show at “Bochum Total” so she was replaced. /  

‘XPQ-21’ present a strange mix – uncompromising hardness, electro punk and techno beats, no dogma or rules, cynical lyrics, no hypocrisy. During their set they presented of course the first big hit as ‘XPQ-21’ – ‘A Gothic Novel’ out of the debut album ‘Destroy to Create’ – which was turning into a club favourite short after release. The use of live drums, contributed by Kebbasasch who joined the band in the beginning of the millennium, adds the right drive to the sound. ‘White and Alive’ out off the 2002 album ‘CHI’ – which was played as last song of the set – is still one of the most frequently played club songs. The recent album ‘Alive’ was released in March 2006 was of course presented on stage as well with songs like ‘Jesus was gay’, ‘Rockin’ Silver Knight’ or ‘Beautiful’. Originally Jeyênne was the man behind the turntables too but this job has gone to The Mask now. The recent album alive is rockier and groovier than the previous ones and that’s also presented on stage with Jeyênne’s voice more to the fore than in the past. The band – and especially the front man – bridges the gap between brutal and danceable electro punk and melodic and soulful sound lines.

The band entered the stage dressed up totally in white. Of course The Mask was wearing a white mask all over the show while the guitarist painted the whole head totally white. The most special look presented Jeyênne himself: the lower part of his face painted white wearing some kind of Chinese styled beard, dressed up with red tie and black hat and based on a walking stick. Even though I would have preferred to see Annelie on stage, her replacement was a good entertainer as well. Jeyênne is a real whirlwind on stage climbing up even the stage towers. It was real fun watching this expressive person with his grimaces, gesture and dancing style. Over and over again he was beating the bar with the microphone onto his body. He really was terrorizing the audience with the presented style mix and anyone in front was dancing. Too bad that the planned encore has not been played.

01. Gork Tut
02. Rockin’ Silver Knight
03. Beautiful
04. Everything
05. Dead Body
06. Jesus was gay
07. A gothic Novel
08. White and Alive

Music 8
Performance 9
Light – (daylight)
Sound 8
Total 8 (8.4)


The last band of the evening was the band for all the Synth-pop fans. In-between gigs in Moscow, Washington, Buenos Aires and Tel Aviv the trio from eastern Germany stopped by for a gig at “Bochum Total”. The career started as support of bands like ‘Front 242’ and ‘And One’, but nowadays ‘Melotron’ take in the headliner position. At the moment, the band is also preparing the follower of the recent album ‘Cliché’ which soon will be recorded near Cologne. ‘Melotron’ are Andy Krüger (vocals), Edgar Slatnow (keyboard) and Kay “Hilde” Hildebrandt (keyboard). Again one band member was not available for the show. It was “Hilde” who was replaced for the show by ‘Secret Discovery’ keyboarder Dirk Riegner. /  

‘Melotron’ always have to face lots of criticism and even animosity by parts of the “dark” scene. But they have always done their own thing and hold on their way what deserves some respect. They not really care about accuses that they are too cheesy or too flat. They just do what they want to do and they do it with success. Besides songs from the recent album the band presented two cover versions during the evening. The first one was the great version of  ‘Der Blaue Planet’ by Karat. For my taste the second cover – ‘Menschenfresser’ by ‘Rio Reisser’ – was not that good. The whole set was a mix between melodic ballads and danceable electro pieces. Andy’s voice sounded really good – better at the end of the set than in the beginning though.

When the band entered the stage – Edgar and Andy dressed in white – the two keyboard players just occupied their places behind the instruments. Dirk’s keyboard was set fat to the beck of the stage away from the others – maybe a sign that he just was replacement player? Andy was in a very good mood – as we know it – talking a lot to the audience and celebrating his expressive dance style. He constantly turned the audience up to dance – like he did on stage. Not taking themselves and the music too serious, he mentioned before ‘Manchmal’ that they would now play “one of their most shallow songs”. You “don’t have to think too much. Just dance!”. Also the men behind the keys had their fun joking and smiling a lot. For the end they had “a dance number. A very sweet song” for the audience – ‘Kindertraum’. Finally it also went dark enough to see something of the light show which was a bit decent though and missed some front light. Nice end of the first “dark” day in Bochum.

01. Brüder
02. Gib mir alles
03. Der Anfang
04. Wenn wir wollten
05. Welt, du bist so still
06. Maschinen aus Stahl
07. Der blaue Planet
08. Wohin?
09. Menschenfresser
10. Kein Problem
11. Folge mir ins Licht
12. Manchmal
13. Wünsch mich nicht zurück
14. Gläserne Zeiten
15. Kindertraum

Music 6
Performance 8
Light 6
Sound 8
Total 7 (6.9)

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