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BlutengelStadthalle, Chemnitz, Germany
25th December 2017
Dark Storm Festival 2017 with Blutengel, Leaether Strip, Project Pitchfork, Lord Of The Lost, Solar Fake, Hocico, Grausame Töchter, She Past Away, Erdling, Faderhead, Destin Fragile, Palast

Incredibly, it is Dark Storm Festival's 21st year. As every year, it provides a wonderful opportunity to escape from the family and Christmas parties. And as every year, it attracts many black dressed Gothic and Dark Electro fans. Due to the mild weather, there was no problems getting to the festival - in fact, the waiting fans in front of the venue enjoyed six degrees and sunshine! The audience was offered a successful mix of Electro, Aggrotech, Dark Rock, Alternative and Post Punk this year. Headliners were the German bands BLUTENGEL and PROJECT PITCHFORK.

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The Berlin band PALAST opened this year's Dark Storm Festival. Their first EP ‘Hush’ was released in autumn 2016. This year they toured Germany with their first album which was released in spring 2017.

Music & Performance
Because the doors only opened half an hour before the appearance of PALAST, the hall was unfortunately still very empty. Nevertheless, according to the schedule, the Berlin band was due to enter the stage at 16:30. Immediately after the first song they encouraged the audience to clap along, but only a few took part. Probably they were still full from their Christmas meals! The band used two electro drums and a guitar in the style of the 80s. It was a wonderful journey back through time to the past millennium. The band is characterized by outstanding vocals and well-produced songs, but the audience could not really deal with it. Not even with their hit ‘Mirror Mirror’ the band could carry the audience, but at least there was the first applause of the evening. It was a great performance, but unfortunately at the wrong time.

01. Shut The Door
02. Just Friends
03. She Can Dance
04. Get Me
05. Strong
06. Mirror Mirror
07. Hush

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Destin Fragile

The Swedish trio DESTIN FRAGILE offers fans a mix of Synth Pop, Dancefloor and Electro. The current album is called ‘Halfway to nowhere’. The band made their first musical steps in the 90s. However, only demo cassettes and sampler contributions are available from this period.

Music & Performance
The opener of the festival on the Second Stage was DESTIN FRAGILE. The small hall was about half-full for the appearance of the Swedes. Equipped with two keyboards, they delivered the usual good Electro sound. The 8-title set was a good start into the evening for the numerous electro fans.

01. In Your Eyes
02. Alive
03. April Light
04. Do You Remember
05. Worlds Apart
06. In Plain Sight
07. Change
08. Run Away

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The band ERDLING is enjoying a successful period in their career. Although only founded in 2015, they already have one EP and two studio albums. They are under contract with the well-known Berlin independent label Out of Line and already had a celebrated performance at the M'era Luna Festival behind them.

Music & Performance
The audience was now showing signs of life and the Stadthalle finally rocked! Singer Neill constantly engaged the audience, which really helped. The songs of ERDLING have totally catchy and rousing melodies. The audience has awakened from their Christmas sleep!

01. Mein Element
02. Aus den Tiefen
03. Es gibt dich nicht
04. Soldat
05. Absolutus Rex
06. Frei wie der Wind
07. Phönix
08. Blitz und Donner

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For more than 10 years FADERHEAD has been in the Electro scene and it is hard to imagine life without them. The style of the band ranges between Electro-Pop and Aggrotech. They were already guests at the big scene festivals, such as Wave Gotik Treffen, Amphi Festival and M'era Luna Festival. Last month the current album ‘Night Physics’ was released.

Music & Performance
The smaller of the two halls was now almost completely full. And no wonder, because FADERHEAD is one of the highlights of the evening for the Electro fans. As always, the hairstyle of singer Sami Mark Yahya fits perfectly. And musically you cannot perform Electro music much better live. For the first time this evening there was a great atmosphere in the small venue.

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She Past Away

Hailing from Bursa in Turkey, the band SHE PAST AWAY moves between Gothic Rock and Post-Punk. After their successful European tour in 2017 and appearances at the Kasematten Festival and M'era Luna Festival, this celebrated band consisting of Volkan (vocals) and Doruk (keyboard) returned to the Dark Storm Festival for their last appearance this year on a German stage.

Music & Performance
The are in front of the Main Stage was now almost completely filled. This is no wonder as the fan base of the Turkish exceptional band SHE PAST AWAY is constantly growing. The stage was wrapped in wonderful colourful lights at the beginning of the performance. Electronic drums and a hypnotic guitar dominate the band’s sound. Even though, of course, almost nobody understands the Turkish lyrics, the atmosphere at the concert was great. Everyone danced from the first to the last song. A great concert!

01. Berlidi Gece
02. Sanri
03. Katarsis
04. Ruh
05. Ritüel
06. Kasvetli Kutlama
07. Bozbulanik
08. Insanler

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Grausame Töchter

When it comes to the music, very diverse and varied elements from the genres EBM, Industrial, Punk and Techno mix together to form the live performances of the German band GRAUSAME TÖCHTER. Due to BDSM elements in their shows, the concert goers must be at least 18 years old at their concerts. The current album is called ‘Vagina Dentata’.

Music & Performance
Today, young concert goers were also able to see the performance of GRAUSAME TÖCHTER. This means that the show was different, of course, than when the band goes on tour alone. Nevertheless, singer Aranea Peel was pretty naked, with a big pink heart on her chest. The stage was completely dark for the song ‘Angst entstellt den Menschen’ and looked very impressive, and the band had flashlights in their hands all the time. Otherwise, the ride was accompanied by great lighting effects. The cello was also perfectly accented by beautiful lighting. For those of you who saw GRAUSAME TÖCHTER for the first time, not only the performance will be remembered but also the sometimes very direct lyrics...

01. Zerbrochenes Spielzeug (Remix)
02. Lust und Tod
03. Glaube Liebe Hoffnung
04. Angst entstellt den Menschen
05. Tränen in einer toten Welt
06. Fette Katzen
07. Liebe will Beweise
08. Tor zur Hölle
09. Wie eine Spinne
10. Mensch und Tier
11. Ich darf das!

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HOCICO is one of the most popular bands in the Electro and Industrial Scene. After more than 20 years of band history, the Mexicans released a surprise of a special kind this year for their fans. In 2017, the HOCICO Best-of album ‘The Spell Of The Spider’ was released. It is available as a limited, red double-vinyl in a gatefold sleeve, as a deluxe double-CD in digipak with the bonus disc ‘The Dark Side Of The Spider’, which contains rare and out-of-stock songs, as well as compilation-contributions, as well as limited 3CD-Fan set in a noble digipak longbox, which additionally includes the exclusive EP ‘Spider Bites’, with new and unpublished titles.


Music & Performance
On both the right and left of the stage sat a large bespoke drum. In the middle stood the recognisable microphone decorated with the skulls. The stage was prepared for the Mexican Electro heroes HOCICO. The drummers had angel wings on their backs - a really great look. The fans greeted the band with great applause even before the beginning of the gig. The concert was marked by thunderous drums and stamping rhythms. Unfortunately the sound at the beginning of the concert was very overdriven due to the strong vibrations from the speakers. Fortunately, that changed quickly. The festival mood had now reached a new level and the temperature in the hall was constantly increasing. To the delight of the fans, the band did not exclusively play songs from their latest best-of album.

01. Relentless
02. Sex Sick
03. Bite Me!
04. I Abomination
05. Poltergeist
06. Dead Trust
07. Forgotten Tears

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Solar Fake

The fan base of SOLAR FAKE is growing constantly and fast. Four albums have already been released by the Electro-Pop band from Berlin. The next album will be out next year. The ever-young multi-talented Sven Friedrich really does not seem to tire and continues to hit the current taste of music with his band. They have just released their acoustic DVD from their successful spring 2017 tour this month.

Music & Performance
But this evening isn't about acoustic sounds and SOLAR FAKE came to Chemnitz with other Christmas surprises up their sleeves. The first of these should have been noticed by everyone before the beginning of the concert, as on the stage was a drum kit with the SOLAR FAKE logo. And this was a surprise not only for the audience, but also for the band, as the sound was even more lively and powerful.

Solar Fake

Singer Sven was as always friendly and in a good mood. He greeted the audience after the first song with the words: “Nice that you also don't like Christmas”. The audience was really excited about the performance and danced and sang along almost continuously. But then came yet another surprise; SOLAR FAKE actually played the song ‘The Pain That Kills You Too’ from the upcoming album - it made the audience crave for more. A perfect performance in a bulging venue!

01. Not What I Wanted
02. Under Control
03. Here I Stand
04. All The Things I Say
05. I Don't Want You In Here
06. Reset To Default
07. More Than This
08. Parasites
09. The Pain That Kills You Too
10. Papillon (Editors Cover)
11. Observer
12. Where Are You

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Lord Of The Lost

After their sold-out ensemble tour and the release of their ‘Swan Songs II’ album, LORD OF THE LOST arrived in Chemnitz for Christmas 2017. For more than 10 years now, the dark rockers from Hamburg have graced the stages of the world and it is impossible to imagine musical scene without them. Grandiose live shows and spectacular stage outfits are among their trademarks.

Music & Performance
This performance will become a special memory for the band and the fans. First of all, of course, was the oversized Iroquois haircut by vocalist Chris Harms. LORD OF THE LOST set off with the heavy song ‘Drag Me To Hell’ and the audience felt like part of the show right from the beginning. The stage technician also had a lot more work to do today than usually as right on the first song, Chris' guitar failed and had to be replaced.

Lord of the Lost

The audience was totally captivated by the rousing show and everyone joined the song ‘Fists Up In The Air’. Then, the highlight of the festival came. When singer Chris went to remove his jacket during the song ‘La Bomba’ in the now warmer hall, it did not go as smooth as planned and help had to be called in! But even that did not bring success at first. The fight between Chris and his jacket lasted at least two minutes. Chris said afterwards: “Now we finally get into the YouTube Hall Of Fame of the biggest stage faults.” The conclusion of an unforgettable performance was ‘Dry The Rain’ from the debut album ‘Fears’ from the year 2010. To all who have missed this appearance, take a look at the recording of ‘La Bomba’ on YouTube. A must!

01. The Love Of God
02. Drag Me To Hell
03. Miss Machine
04. Black Lolita
05. Die Tomorrow
06. Six Feet Underground
07. Fists Up In The Air
08. La Bomba
09. Dry The Rain

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Project Pitchfork

At the beginning of the 1990s, PROJECT PITCHFORK was already one of the most important representatives of the Electro music scene. Some years later, they even hit the charts and received nominations for the famous German music award Echo. At the end of the 90s there was a change of style to Electro-Rock, which makes the live concerts an absolute experience. The current CD ‘Look Up, I'm Down There’ was released in 2016.

Music & Performance
For several years, the motto at PROJECT PITCHFORK is: why only one drummer, if you can have three? This was also the case in Chemnitz - and what a view - as the stage was raised in the back and with three drums standing on it. Below the drums were some brilliant lighting effects. Most visitors this evening seemed to have been waiting for this performance.

Project Pitchfork

The venue was now completely full, even the exits were crowded with people. PROJECT PITCHFORK started their set with their 90s hit ‘Alpha Omega’. It was now really warm in the hall and singer Peter Spilles removed his coat after only a minute. The mood of the festival was now at its climax. The band presented one hit after the other and the audience got exactly what they wanted: A journey through three decades of the history of the German Gothic scene.

01. Alpha Omega
02. Beholder
03. Conjure
04. Rain
05. Timekiller
06. Titanes
07. Souls
08. Human Crossing
09. Volcano
10. The Queen Of Time And Space
11. I Am
12. Endzeit
13. Onyx
14. Blood-Thirst

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Leaether Strip

LEAETHER STRIP is an electro band from Denmark, founded in the late 80s by Claus Larsen. They have already released nearly 20 LPs and CDs in their long history.

Music & Performance
Unfortunately, LEAETHER STRIP's appearance was not well attended as most of the visitors attended the PROJECT PITCHFORK show who played almost simultaneously on the main stage. With only one keyboard and one singer, the two musicians seemed a bit lost on stage. But the good stage presence of singer Claus Larsen proved that this was no problem in the end. A thunderous bass and perfect electro sound ensured a successful festival on the smaller stage.

01. Don't Scream At Me
02. White As Chalk
03. Civil Disobedience
04. Black Gold
05. Strap Me Down
06. Adrenalin Rush
07. Body Machine Body
08. I Am Your Conscience
09. Japanese Bodies
10. Evil Speaks
11. Kiss My Deutschland

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The band BLUTENGEL from Berlin is one of the most successful and popular bands of the German Gothic and Electro scene. BLUTENGEL have released more than 15 CDs in their almost 20 years of band history and even hit the top 10 of the German charts with some albums. The current album of the band built around singer Chris Pohl is called ‘Leitbild’ and was released in February 2017.

Music & Performance
Shortly before midnight the headliner of today's festival day appeared. BLUTENGEL started the set with the song ‘Black’ which should also describe the motto of the day: “Everything is black”. As always at BLUTENGEL concerts a lot was happening on stage.


It was a perfectly planned show with torches and great costumes. During the song ‘Engelsblut’ almost the whole audience was singing along and a great mood ensued. Since BLUTENGEL use instruments in live performances, the sound and the feeling reached a new level. And it's not just the bands’ fans who recognise how cool the guitar sounds are on the song ‘Say Something’. Finally, they played the wonderful song ‘Monument’ from the eponymous 2013 album. Chris realized that they had forgotten a song, and although the time had already overrun, they continued playing the title ‘Reich Mir Die Hand’ to huge applause. At exactly 01:00 a great festival came to a perfect end.

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More is not possible at Christmas - great music, happy fans and satisfied musicians. This is how a big black family celebrates Christmas! Most of the bands enjoyed meeting and greeting the fans extensively after their performances for photos and autographs. The only criticism of the evening is perhaps that the doors opened only 30 minutes before the first concert started.

All pictures by Anastasia Filippova

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