17th - 20th May 2013
Wave Gotik Treffen Day 3: Solar Fake, Fjoergyn, Nomans Land, The Birthday Massacre, Welle:Erdball and Lacrimosa
Saturday promised to be one of the best days of the WGT 2013. The weather was great and so was the mood. The day began in the Kohlrabizirkus which was already nicely filled and continued at the picturesque Heidnisches Dorf. Different styles of music awaited us: from electronic beats to rock and metal… everyone’s desires could be fulfilled. Therefore, we happily took one of the filled trams and drove around Leipzig to dance, sing along and enjoy some great music.
Solar Fake - Kohlrabizirkus [AK]
The German electro act SOLAR FAKE, created by Sven Friedrich (Dreadful Shadows, Zeraphine), presents a really extraordinary work with their new album, ‘Frontiers’. Though three years have passed since the debut album ‘Broken Grid’ was released, followers of Sven’s musical activities have pleasantly eased their waiting with the ‘Resigned’ E.P. (2009), by SOLAR FAKE, and the album ‘Whiteout’ (2010), by ZERAPHINE. Due to SOLAR FAKE supporting VNV Nation on their last tour and playing several festivals, they have attracted great attention, constantly increasing their number of fans, and not only amongst ZERAPHINE’s audience. The latest output titled ‘Frontiers’ was released July 2011. www.solarfake.de / www.myspace.de/solarfake
Music & Performance
Sure, an electro-based band which only has two people standing on stage always seems a little strange when it comes to stage performance. Sven (vocals), however, knows how to deliver a great stage presence. Although being the first band to play that day, it was quite full in the Kohlrabizirkus. However, this didn’t really surprise me since Sven is well-known with his other bands ZERAPHINE and DREADFUL SHADOWS. The band played some rather new songs but also classics like ‘Here I stand’. Also, a cover version of TALK TALK’s song ‘Such a shame’ made it on the setlist. Unfortunately, this version couldn’t really live up to the original (which is quite common among cover versions), although being quite danceable. There were also some quite emotional moments during the concert, especially during ‘Where are you?’ which is dedicated to a beloved person. The song was really touching and showed a great variety of the band’s repertoire.
Summarizing, SOLAR FAKE really did a good job opening the third day of the WGT and everyone is looking forward to a new record!
01. Under the skies
02. No apologies
04. Here I stand
05. More than this
07. My Space
08. Where are you?
09. Reset to default
10. Such a shame
11. The rising doubt
Total: 7.5 / 10
Fjoergyn - Heidnisches Dorf [FS]
FJOERGYN was founded in 2003 by Stephan L., intended as a solo project. At that time, he wanted to work without any impact on his producing. In 2004, the debut album ‘Ernte im Herbst’ was recorded and released in 2005. This album attracted lots of interest, since it was totally unique, a mixture between Metal and Classic, an epic masterpiece with focus on the revenge of the nature towards the human beings. FJOERGYN’s second album ‘Sade et Masoch’ was released in 2007, joined by Martin L., who made the former use of drum-computers redundant, so that by then also the first live shows could be played. After having released ‘Jahreszeiten’ in 2009, FJOERGYN recently returned with their new output ‘Monument Ende’, which was released on May 31th. FJOERGYN are Stephan L. (vocals/guitar), Martin L. (drums), Marcel W. (guitar), André B. (bass). http://www.fjoergyn.de / http://de-de.facebook.com/Fjoergynofficial / http://www.myspace.com/fjoergyn
Music & Performance
It is always a crux to rightly judge bands you absolutely love. Not only do I find FJOERGYN merely great, no it is one of my favourite bands for many years by now. With each release they prove to me that they can forge some of the most eclectic material when it comes to combining symphony and black metal. But, and that’s the drop of bitterness, FJOERGYN aren’t a declared live band, like those who only write simply structured songs only to be performed in front of people a few hundred times over the following years. FJOERGYN much more create art that is ought to last in its ingenious setting in recorded form. Having witnessed the band perform over the course of the last years in quite a few more or less well attuned constellations in which front man Stephan (and drummer Martin for a while now) remained the only constant, gladly they seem to have found a line-up to stay. FJOERGYN had gathered a considerable crowd in front of the stage, maybe because the Heidnisches Dorf is open for non-WGT visitors as well. So a few metal heads, which are not particularly into the gothic scene, used the opportunity to visit the gig.
The band opened with the song ‘Wie Jahr um Jahr’ from their third album ‘Jahreszeiten’. Generally speaking the sound was good, although Stephan’s guitar fell behind a little and the bass drums could have benefited from more kick – but details. While the orchestrations or course came canned but integrated well into the mix, FJOERGYN successfully were concentrated to put a good metal show onto the stage without any fancy and attitude what makes them so sympathetic. Manager and long-time friend Ivo Raab, who already joined the band for a couple of times in the past to deliver some guest vocals, again did the honours on ‘Katharsis’ and ‘Am Ende der Welt’. I’m not saying it is getting old but I think the songs do not benefit much from his performance, for which he always gives 120% and a lot of energy but there are no alternating vocals or fast parts to be split into two vocal lines that Stephan couldn’t deliver himself. But it is always a nice gimmick to shorten the time till the next Ragnarök Festival.
Besides the mentioned tracks of course there were songs from their kind-of recently released record like ‘Betonlethargie’ and the title track ‘Monument Ende’, which proved to be an epic finale of a well done show before the band came back once more for the encore with ‘Antimensch’ taken from the same album. FJOERGYN played an enjoyable show without any surprises (at least for me) and managed to deliver the emotions and force of their music very well. But for me I think FJOERGYN will remain a band to enjoy best with your headphones.
01. Wie Jahr um Jahr
03. Katharsis (with Ivo Raab)
04. Am Ende der Welt (with Ivo Raab)
05. Ich bin der Frost
07. Monument Ende
Total: 8.8 / 10
Nomans Land - Heidnisches Dorf [FS]
NOMANS LAND was formed in Saint Petersburg, Russia in spring 1996. Initially the group focused mostly on Doom Metal but in the course of its formation the concept underwent a big change and became Viking Metal. The group starts its intense performing activity in Saint Petersburg clubs and takes part in big variety of local music festivals NOMANS LAND starts looking for the label for releasing their new album ‘Hammerfrost’ and in the course of negotiations arrives to an agreement with German based label Einheit-Produktionen. Shortly after the completion of the recording the band loses Torvald. However, they commenced the works for their next record ‘Far Nord’ which was released in 2009. NOMANS LAND are Sigurd (guitars, clean vocals), Hjervard (bass, harsh vocals) and Ainar (drums). http://nomansland.ru
Music & Performance
A long journey from the depths of Russia to relatively mild Leipzig brought the pagan horde of NOMANS LAND. Although their last release is dated a few years back, they pleased the Viking metal loving crowd so far with a hand-full of albums of high quality. That was enough to get me to the stage of the Heidnisches Dorf once again to enjoy some pagan tunes. Packed with great songs like ‘Shield of Northern Fjords’ or ‘The Last Son of the Fjord’ they opened their show unfortunately for a widely spread audience who seemed restrained. Therefore the request to come to the front followed promptly, which a few followed. However there was no reason for holding back since NOMANS LAND delivered seriously great music to which I’d have liked seeing some more flying hair. Instead some people were dancing during the first songs which turned more and more into a mosh pit consisting of a few fellers in the course of the following songs.
Meanwhile the band played a probably great rendition on a Russian traditional (which was unknown to me), spiced up by their own way of nailing double bass and greatly shredded melodies and riffs. The keyboards, they (used to) make use of on their records ware cut for a more metal approach, which worked well, while the sound came along beneficial. The audience was evolved once again to provide some choirs which gave the clean vocals more depth. More and more the people of the WGT grew on the Russians and got invested in the show. So did I as I enjoyed the show very much. NOMANS LAND are a very likable band which who are more than worthwhile to catch if you have the occasion.
Total: 8.5 / 10
The Birthday Massacre - Agra [AK]
THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE is a synth-rock band formed as IMAGICA in 1999 and based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 2002, the band adopted the name THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE. Their sound is mostly a fusion of alternative rock, new wave, industrial, and synth pop. The current line-up consists of Chibi (vocals), Rainbow (guitars and programming), Michael Falcore (guitars), Owen (keyboards), Nate Manor (bass) and Rhim (drums). www.thebirthdaymassacre.com / https://www.myspace.com/thebirthdaymassacre
Music & Performance
Playing after such a band like END OF GREEN, the next one always has to follow some big footsteps. THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE, however, really filled up the Agra and played their exclusive concert in Germany. The Canadians filled their 90 minutes stage time with loads of power, fun and enthusiasm. Chibi (vocals) and her ally delivered nice electro rock with a darker edge to it. From time to time, also some pop influences came through which didn’t slow down the band’s stage presence whatsoever. The members of THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE have quite significant look: white shirts, sometimes black suspenders, always decorated with a little blood. Only Chibi stands out with her black clothes and little pigtails. Just to see this cute band on stage, many made their way to the Agra this night. The crew from Toronto had no problems to fill the hall. For one and a half hours, the band gave everything they got and were completely smashed, yet played an encore that wasn’t really planned in the beginning.
Song-wise, the band focused on the rather new stuff which didn’t bother me since I haven’t followed the band’s history and had never seen them before. However, some people would have liked to hear some older stuff which was quite obvious during the song ‘Red Stars’ which was welcomed with loud applause and singing. However, THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE really convinced the many people who came to see them perform and surely gave their only performance in Germany the credit it deserved. Can’t wait to see the Canadians perform again!
01. Night Shift
05. Red Stars
06. Video Kid
07. Lovers End
09. Pins And Needles
12. In the Dark
14. Leaving Tonight
15. The Long Way Home
Total: 8.25 / 10
Welle:Erdball - Kohlrabizirkus [AK]
WELLE:ERDBALL is often credited of being the pioneers of bit-pop. Their sound is reminiscent of electronic music pioneers KRAFTWERK. The heavy use of the Commodore 64’s SID sound chip makes their sound instantly recognizable. In the early days they went under the name FEINDSENDER. The name literally means "Wave: Earthglobe", and in fact comes from a German radio play called "Hallo! Hier Welle Erdball!" Their logo is a rotated logo of VEB Sachsenring, which built the Trabant. WELLE:ERDBALL’s front figure Honey is also well known for his involvement in the C64 movement. WELLE:ERDBALL are Hannes ‘Honey’ Malecki, Alf ‘A.L.F.’ Behnsen, Fräulein Venus and Plastique. www.welle-erdball.info / www.myspace.com/funkbereit / https://www.facebook.com/WelleErdball
Music & Performance
One of my all-time favourite bands also made it to the WGT 2013: WELLE:ERDBALL! The band played this festival before and always filled up the locations they performed at. This was the case again this year. The Kohlrabizirkus was filled up with so many people that it was quite some work to make your way through the crowd. This year, however, was something special: the band had its 20-year-anniversary and celebrated it with everyone who showed up. Honey, Alf, Fräulein Venus and Plastique put up a great performance (like always) and underlined it with a well-chosen setlist including hits like ‘Der Telegraph’, ‘Ich bin aus Plastik’ and, of course, ‘Starfighter F-104G’. The stage was filled with instruments and other requisites like big drums, moving platforms and a huge screen which showed Honey performing on stage at the same time.
In order to celebrate their anniversary, the band threw huge balloons in the crowd. Some of them were filled with little hearts. If you found one of these, you could go to the front and get something for free. Although the idea was quite good, it didn’t really work out due to the heavily filled location. It was almost impossible to move. Of course, the girls put a special touch to the concert. Their look is always a sight for sore eyes. The men find them sexy and the women adore their style and choice of clothing. The outfits also changed during the concert from white to black which underlined the well-wrought performance.
However, there were also some negative points. Plastique’s and Fräulein Venus’ micros didn’t work properly at the beginning and one could barely hear them which was a shame. Also, Honey’s huge drum created a huge reverberation in the big Kohlrabizirkus. Nevertheless, a WELLE:ERDBALL concert is always a pleasure for eyes and ears. Don’t miss the next tour!
01. Liebe der 3. Art
02. Wir wollen Keine Menschen Sein
03. Des Wahnsinns fette Beute
04. Der Telegraph
06. Super 8
08. Ich bin aus Plastik
10. Arbeit Adelt!
11. Deine Augen
12. Schweben, Fliegen und Fallen
13. Und es geht ab!
14. VW Käfer
15. Hoch Die Fahnen
16. 8-Bit Märchenland
17. Deutsche Liebe
18. Starfighter F-104G
19. Feuerwerk (Stephan Remmler Cover)
20. Ich bin nicht von dieser Welt
21. Monoton & Minimal
22. Es geht voran (Fehlfarben Cover)
Total: 9 / 10
Lacrimosa - Agra [FS]
LACRIMOSA was established in November 1990 as an alternative band featuring rock music with poetical lyrics, mixed with classical influences. Since over 20 years now the band releases their music through their own record label HALL OF SERMON. LACRIMOSA became a pioneer for several music styles, such as German Alternative and Symphonic-Metal. As the first independent band with German lyrics LACRIMOSA visited Mexico back in 1998, followed by South America, Russia and China. Meanwhile LACRIMOSA play concerts all over the world, worked with the world famous LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios, and reached top placements in the charts in over 25 countries worldwide. Their latest record “Revolution” was released in September 2012. http://www.lacrimosa.ch / https://www.facebook.com/LacrimosaOfficial
Music & Performance
After spending several months on an expansive tour throughout South America, Asia..., on the finishing line of their journey they found their way back not only to Europe but to Germany. In fact they came back to the place where it all began. 20 years ago, the ones who forgot or didn’t know, LACRIMOSA played their first concert ever on that very event called Wave Gotik Treffen at the Werk II. Two decades later they have fans all over the world, celebration the deeply emotional music they shaped so matchlessly. Appropriately their started their show with a quick ride through their history, with songs every fan grew to love like ‘Ich bin der brennende Komet’, ‘Schakal’, ‘Alleine zu Zweit’ or ‘Not Every Pain Hurts’.
The band, obviously in a good mood, instantly threw themselves into their performance. Front man Tilo Wolff as always mimicked the little drum-fills und thought-through moments precisely, which the band performed to the highest standards. The sound did the rest, which left little to desire with a phenomenal drum sound and the guitars and bass transparent and well-mixed. Needless to say the last of the above mentioned songs was performed by Anne Nurmi, with whose singing I had some issues in the past, but not tonight – I enjoyed it very much and she received well-deserved applause from the audience. Tilo on the other hand took over the part on her instrument and handled the keyboard well. After that he felt the need to thank the people who held up the faith in the band over that long time of their existence. For that they were rewarded by an over 2 hour show with the best of LACRIMOSA.
To define that, of course, is subjectively. For me these songs were definitely the heavier ones like ‘Liebesspiel’, ‘Ich verlasse heut dein Herz’ or the latest ‘Revolution’. The latter one (like some others) was enriched by the use of a third guitar, which was handled again by mastermind Tilo and made a great early conclusion before the encore consisting of more hits. With sing-along parts (‘Irgendein Arsch ist immer unterwegs’) and the little stories behind the songs (‘Revolution’), that anniversary show of LACRIMOSA has been an extremely successful entry in their long history of live gigs and always will be remembered as that by me.
01. Ich bin der brennende Komet
03. Alleine zu Zweit
04. Not Every Pain Hurts
06. Ohne Dich ist Alles Nichts
07. Weil Du Hilfe brauchst
08. If the World Stood Still a Day
09. Alles Lüge
10. Ich Verlasse Heut' Dein Herz
11. Der Morgen Danach
12. Irgendein Arsch ist immer unterwegs
13. Liebesspiel / Fassade - 3. Satz
14. Rote Sinfonie
16. Stolzes Herz
Total: 9.1 / 10
All pictures by Anne Kuhfuß except Lacrimosa by Saskia Pompe
Written by Anne Kuhfuß [AK] and Florian Schürmann [FS]