25th December 2015
Dark Storm Festival 2015 with Unzucht, Tanzwut, Eisfabrik, Beyond the Black, Noisuf-X, Lord of the Lost, Faderhead, Welle:Erdball, Agonoize, Goethes Erben, Eisbrecher
When arriving in Chemnitz there were less people at the street than I expected. First I thought I was in a false town. It was quiet silent on this December day and cold. But that would change in less than one hour. The place in front of the Stadthalle filled up with many, many people who found the way to this event from the farthest corner of this country and maybe from other countries too. The Stadthalle was not very far from the main station and so I could walk this way in a few minutes. When I finally found my way and the building with a huge “Stadthalle” sign on it, I was waiting with many other people to get in.
In the year 2015, the Dark Storm Festival celebrated its 19. birthday and it tempts since its beginning dark music freaks. The festival is a real Christmas highlight and crosses several fields of dark music: from Electro to Gothic (Rock) and Industrial. For the latest edition of the event, the Christmas show of EISBRECHER was a special attraction and the reason for many fans to travel to Chemnitz. But the fans of EISBRECHER had to wait long for their band to enter the stage since they were the headlining act of the festival and entered the stage very late. But as a present for the fans, EISBRECHER played nearly a full-time show with ninety minutes stage time.
Unzucht - Headquarter
UNZUCHT must be the most productive group these days and its performance is more than remarkable. While they were still performing together with others, like at the Eisheilige Nacht, last year, this year the number of solo-gigs with respective support as well as of various festival performances has considerably increased. The fact that UNZUCHT still profit from their third album titled ‘Venus Luzifer’ does not affect their audience. There is always something new to discover. And that this music can sometimes sound pretty harsh while pushing you to the very limits of your own ideas is unusual, too. Music is art, and UNZUCHT is perfecting this art and presenting it stylishly in the genre of Gothic Rock. UNZUCHT play and produce harsher sounds sometimes resembling electronic music. Their deep lyrics are best expressed in the song ‘Zeit’ from April 2012 reaching their full potential but not limited to this song. The next hurdle for UNZUCHT will be to support EISBRECHER during their “Volle Kraft voraus” tour in 2016. UNZUCHT have richly deserved to be part of this and in Chemnitz, they played a rousing show. // http://www.unzucht-music.com / http://www.facebook.com/unzucht-music // Setlist: 1. Unendlich / 2. Zeit / 3. Unzucht / 4. Seelenblind / 5. Nonne / 6. Engel // Rating 7.5 / 10
Tanzwut - Headquarter
TANZWUT have a two-pronged approach to music. Type one is tuned to instruments of the Middle Ages; type two to Middle Age Rock Music. Thus, they have an alternative to fall back on with their first music type and it is not beneath them playing it on Medieval markets. Here, at the Dark Storm Festival, the band grouping around vocalist Teufel were playing an energetic rocky version. The fact that this band has integrated electronic sounds in their approach renders them unique in this musical spectrum. The gentlemen still show the flair and origin of typical Middle Age musicians. The way they celebrate their music, with power and meticulousness, is their natural way of talking: They have the gift of the gab, are boorish and flippant, typical of musicians of the Middle Ages. It would be boring to see both, music and band, dressed up as petty bourgeois. This simply wouldn’t work as there is too much life contained within. Still, they are no big mouths, for a big mouth doesn’t keep his word and often exaggerates, rarely sticking to his promises or putting them into practice. TANZWUT, however, are quite different. This band acts out on stage what others wouldn’t dare to tackle in normal life. With their song ‘Ihr wolltet Spaß, TANZWUT remains unforgettable to me. // http://www.tanzwut.com / http://www.facebook.com/tanzwutofficial // Setlist: 1. Brot und Spiele (long) / 2. Ihr wolltet Spass / 3. Meer / 4. Freitag der 13. / 5. Spiegelkabinett / 6. Das Gerücht /07. Brüder im Geiste / 8. Nein Nein // Rating 9 / 10
Beyond the Black - Headquarter
The band BEYOND THE BLACK is still quite young, but it is really making waves these days, creating unheard-of repercussions. Can a 2-year-old band still be called a newcomer band? Surely not, considering how edgy this music sounds. Jennifer Haben’s well-trained voice is remarkable, though it is no surprise, for she earned her first prize during the “Best voice of 2007” competition at the early age of eleven. Now is its time… i.e. BEYOND THE BLACK is popular now, for this band is pulling out all the stops. With closed eyes, you may think that old hands are playing on stage. But considering their age, the performers could be children of some of the audience. The overall impression of this band is convincing: vocalist Jennifer has a clear, strong voice, full of feeling, and the guitars harmonise well, especially during the difficult head-banging parts played by guitarist Nils Lesser. BEYOND THE BLACK will support THE SCORPIONS next year during their 50th anniversary tour through Germany according to the web. This will be the next milestone reached by BEYOND THE BLACK’s musical ambitions. Our expectations remain high! // http://www.beyondtheblack.de / https://www.facebook.com/beyondtheblackofficial // Rating 7.3 / 10
Noisuf - X - Second Floor
NOISUF-X is a satellite project of X-FUSION frontman Jan Loamfield. This is optimal music for Harsh Electro fans and friends; it’s another word for Rhythm'n'Noise or as I would put it for Aggro-noise. What could be more delightful? This music portrays a hopeless, cold and not only frosty atmosphere. The sounds created by synths and the light vanishing together with the singers into the fog suggest nothing else. The simple sounds come across monotonously over time, making it hard to retreat from this atmosphere. The name NOISUF-X suggests to me that I should consume music with Ecstasy to give up my will in order to abandon myself to the music. // http://www.noisuf-x.com / http://www.faceboo.com/noisuf-x // Rating 7 / 10
Lord of the Lost - Headquarter
LORD OF THE LOST are doing a show which hasn’t met its match. The mix of Gothic Rock and Metal Rock goes down very well with the audience. From a visual point of view, one may think MARILYN MANSON is performing on stage. But he isn’t it. The music sometimes sounds like MANSON or RAMMSTEIN, however, without losing their own identity. It doesn’t sound cheap nor copied but accessible and authentic. This music is not a reinvention, but still, LORD OF THE LOST have much to tell. Their music is carefully composed, creating very nice sound combinations which are pleasing to the ear and readily transferred to the brain. Thus, it is no wonder that due to or despite the real harshness of their songs; they are not overshot from the start like an ignited rocket. Still, it’s entertaining, although it may sound a bit boring to some over time; however, boredom does not mean lack of creativity. They sound very creative, though complicated sound images would be unsuitable for them and cramp their style. To my astonishment, the sound pattern of each song fits from the start, just like comfortable old clothes. That’s how it is with LORD OF THE LOST. // http://www.lordofthelost.de / http://www.facebook.com/lordofthelost // Rating 8.5 / 10
Faderhead - Second Floor
FADERHEAD is playing catchy sounds of Electronic, EBM and Future- and Synth Pop music, even though on that night the Synth Pop flashed up only every now and then and remained rather ineffective. EBM and Electronic Music were predominant and Sami Yahya, who was playing the synth almost hectically, wasted little time with musical rests, no wonder with this propulsive music. The audience really enjoyed the music and the atmosphere it created by supporting the stage sound and fully keeping up with its pace. Unlike the usual mainstream event, the music was really refreshing. FADERHEAD is well known in the, I would say, EBM/ Electronic scene with two powerful worldwide club hits, ‘Dirtygrrrls/Dirtybois’ and ‘TZDV’. From stomping techno to synth-pop to dirty grooves of electro reaches his repertoire. // http://www.faderhead.com / http://www.facebook.com/faderhead // Rating 7.3 / 10
Welle:Erdball - Headquarter
The garments of WELLE:ERDBALL are a work of art in the classical sense of the 1950s. There is, however, not much similarity between the music of the band and that of the 1950’s. It’s oriented in the gothic scene towards NDW (Neue Deutsche Welle) and EBM, combining these two types of music. The performances of WELLE:ERDBALL are very distinctive, although their music is very minimalistic and synth-oriented. It’s reminiscent of the 1980's, because the Synth Pop musical style originated then and has found its way into the ears of audiences ever since. The “Neue Deutsche Welle” was around in this epoch. The extent of these two musical styles can still be felt today. This band has its appeal and took a musical direction at some point. This, of course, has nothing to do with getting caught up on a wave, i.e. one musical direction and its interpretations. It is rather the consistent extension and perfection of this genre. The music played by WELLE:ERDBALL called up old, forgotten memories within me, and I felt I’d been taken way back into the past. The feelings in regard to developing ideas were also touched by the dark, cool and subliminally aggressive electronic music. It doesn’t need saying that WELLE:ERDBALL master this especially well. Their style, their poise is perfection, just like a tailor-made suit. Perfect belongs to the word stem “finished”; this band however is far from finished. This becomes evident in this appearance.
There is too much irony and provocativeness in their lyrics, which talk about and treat the topics of exaggerated and superfluous consumerism (the power of the media in particular) and people’s gullibility regarding technology. Why should one suddenly stop and abandon everything? These admonishers should not die out. // http://welle-erdball.de / http://www.facebookcom/welleerdball // Setlist: 1. 1000 Engel / 2. Wir wollen keine Menschen sein / 3. Re-Animierung / 4. Der Türspion / 5. Fanfanfanatisch / 6. Arbeit Adelt! / 7. VW Käfer / 8. Schweben, Fliegen und Fallen / 9. Ich Bin Nicht Von Dieser Welt / 10. Starfighter F-104g / 11. Monoton & Minimal // Rating 7.8 / 10
Agonoize - Second Floor
AGONOIZE, who must really be called "Aggronoize”, are a very special band because of their music thriving on aggressive beats and samples wrapped up in sometimes catchy melodies, and distorted sounds. Their lyrics can at least be understood acoustically unlike with other bands such as AMDUSCIA. Some other bands give you the feeling of being helplessly exposed to their sound while being unable to catch single words of their “singing”. You get stuck within the dark areas of your brain with really little to think about. With AGONOIZE you may enjoy the deep and demanding lyrics because you do hear them most time clearly. Their lyrics are crazy and, as already mentioned, also aggressive, completely unsuitable for weak nerves or borderline cases (auto-aggressive people), let alone their stage performance. The way their vocalist performs on stage obviously intoxicated by his own music: Slashing his wrists with a huge bread knife, causing the blood to gush out from the wound like a fountain, and creating the impression of someone committing suicide… It’s definitely unsuitable for ill and weak people inclined that way as it may provoke copy-cat behaviour. I don’t want to play the preacher here. The crowd tremendously enjoyed the atmosphere.
To the lover of electronic aggro beats or those who want to join the club, AGONOIZE definitely remains a hot tip. // http://www.agonoize.de / http://www.facebook.com/agonoize // Setlist: 1. Returns A King / 2. Glaubenskrieger / 3. Bloodqueen / 4. Schaufensterpuppenarsch / 5. I Against Me / 6. For the Sick and Disturbed / 7. Odium / 8. Deutsch / 9. Gottlos / 10. Koprolalie / 11. Bis das Blut gefriert / 12. Staatsfeind / Encore: 13. Dafür (Version) // Rating 7 / 10
Goethes Erben - Headquarter
It seems to be a matter close to Henke’s heart to repeat this motto mantra-like over and over again like an admonisher. And that is how it should be. But Oswald Henke is definitely not the Messiah but rather a prophet who has seen what has happened in and with this world. He is a sort of shaker into action for the sleepy person no longer able to see or listen carefully and who because of modern technology is no longer able to articulate himself. Henke and his band express these important matters of the heart in words and songs in a destructive context in extents of fear which are not just hyped-up but real. Only someone who has serious concerns about the future can do this. The band will certainly earn positive applause. But it’s macabre that the audience applauds their own fate, to which they have contributed themselves. This is the type of fate that Oswald Henke presents to his audience. GOETHES ERBEN don’t make just music alone. It’s rather a combination of music and theatre as is seen today. Everyone who knows this band is aware that music and theatre form an alliance (one does not work without the other). Music and lyrics here are not counterparts, such as a cat and a mouse, but form a symbiosis. // http://www.goehteserben.de / http://www.facebook.com/goetheserben // Rating 9.5 / 10
Eisbrecher - Headquarter
With their song titled ‘Volle Kraft voraus’ (“Full speed ahead”), EISBRECHER are heading in the direction of Stuttgart for their final annual concert and tuning in to the New Year, but first they stopped at the Dark Storm Festival in Chemnitz. As their tour bears the same title, it has a symbolic character. The music played by EISBRECHER is coherent in itself. Despite the portrayed intensity, the chemistry between the instrumentalists and the vocalist Alexx Weselsky works. Every detail has been finely tuned. This year, EISBRECHER will play their second last concert in Chemnitz with packed energy. The band shows no signs of exhaustion, as if it was playing on its last legs. The music’s pure, exuberant joy when playing is most often accompanied by a winning smile that comes into its own. It feels as if EISBRECHER are notching up their performance in order to create even more energy. The music is played breathlessly without giving the impression that the band is in a hurry. The music is fast, driving and harsh. Between the songs, things about Mr. Wesselsky’s life come up, such as: “I’ve quit drinking.
No more water, orange juice or coffee.” This is no invitation to copy him, for to me it sounds as if Alexx was a prankster, at least on stage... // http://www.eis-brecher.com/band / http://de-de.facebook.com/eisbrecher // Setlist: 1. Intro / 2. Volle Kraft voraus / 3. So oder so / 4. Willkommen im Nichts / 5. Antikörper / 6. Fehler machen Leute / 7. 1000 Narben / 8. Leider / 9. Himmel, Arsch und Zwirn / 10. This is Deutschland / 11. Verrückt / 12. Miststück / 13. Ohne Dich // Rating 9 / 10
All pictures by Fred Gasch