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DSC08736Rattenfängerhalle and area, Hameln, Germany
18th to 20th October 2019
Autumn Moon 2019 Day 1 with Nachtsucher, Frozen Plasma, The Dark, Unzucht, Merciful Nuns, Coma Alliance, Lord Of The Lost and many more

For the 5th time the beautiful Autumn Moon in Hameln invited to spend the weekend mid of October with a wide variety of music, a lovely market with many different stands of jewellery, clothing, gifts and delicious food and beverages and many other hidden gems. The Autumn Moon Festival itself is still a bit of a secret recommendation, and we highly recommend you to use the chance to visit it next year if you haven’t done so yet.


The first day started as usual for Fridays here with some traffic jams. I guess we hoped to be early enough on the Autobahn, but I guess we weren’t. At least we arrived almost on time when the first bands were about to start performing. There was a bit of confusion just at the beginning. ILLUMINATE had unfortunately to cancel a few days before the festival and their slot was taken over by SYSTEM NOIRE who now had the honor to play at the Autumn Moon Festival for the 3rd time. Right when we arrived, a really heavy storm appeared which was not the thing you hope for when you just came to a festival that is at least partly open air. Luckily it calmed down a lot after about 15 minutes and a bit later even the sun came out through the clouds.


Nachtsucher - Moon Stage (Nastja)

The first walk around the area led us to the Moon Stage - a white tent a bit hidden behind the market. NACHTSUCHER had the honor to open the festival here. The band from Hanover was founded in 2011 and is creating in Neue Deutsche Härte style. Their lyrics are in German and straightforward. In December 2019 they will be back in Hameln for the release show for ‘Wenn Seelen sterben’. This time the guys from Hanover convinced with their honest Rock and woke successfully the audience up for the first day of the festival. The set included nine songs and was welcomed warmly by the crowd despite the almost early hour. // / // Setlist: 01. In Dir / 02. Such nach mir / 03. Angst / 04. Komm mit mir / 05. Was Du willst / 06. Diese Nacht / 07. Wonach Du suchst / 08. Helden / 09. Lach mich aus

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Frozen Plasma - Rattenfängerhalle (Nastja)

Our next act and festival opener at Rattenfängerhalle which you can also call the main stage as it is the biggest venue of the festival was FROZEN PLASMA. FROZEN PLASMA was founded in 2005. Both, Vasi Vallis and Felix Marc are no unknown names in the scene and even if you have no idea who FROZEN PLASMA are, when you hear the beginning of ‘Warmongers’, you will recognise the song immediately. Actually that one wasn’t played this time, but a diverse set of 11 other songs. Right from the start the duo animated the audience that just arrived at the festival to dance, sing along and let the work week fade away in no time.


Felix Marc singing, dancing and jumping around, spreading good vibes all over, Vasi a bit more in the background, focused on magically letting the music enchant the hall. The party started right away here and now - how could it now with the mix of ‘Murderous Trap’, ‘Tanz die Revolution’, or ‘Safe. Dead. Harm.’? Felix announced a new album for spring, one of the songs on it will be ‘Gefühlsmaschine’ that was also played at the festival. Thoughtful Future Pop, light melodies, critical lyrics, strong vibes and beats - the Friday started awesome at the Rattenfängerhalle. // // Setlist: 01. Age After Age / 02. Foolish Dreams / 03. Crossroads / 04. Gefühlsmaschine / 05. Irony / 06. Memories / 07. Safe. Dead. Harm. / 08. Crazy / 09. Tanz die Revolution / 10. Murderous Trap / 11. Living On Video (Cover)

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The Dark - Moon Stage (Eva)

Just a year ago, THE DARK released their debut album ‘Live. Create. Destroy.’ and yet they are far from being the unknown newbie. Based in Brighton and Berlin, though founded in Los Angeles, they have already been very active in the USA performing with PETER MURPHY, WEDNESDAY 13 and many more. So now it was just about time that they finally brought their beautifully dark yet catchy kind of Alternative Rock to Germany. THE DARK definitely did not have an easy job. It was still quite early and as there was a lot of space left, the audience still kept a 2m distance when they entered the Moon stage. The band did not let themselves be confused by the quite reserved audience and gave everything to catch them. And they definitely had everything a good live band needs to convince a new audience. In particular, singer Brandon Ashley proved his excellent abilities as front man. I was impressed by his wide variety of vocal styles, from his warm and melodic voice to energetic screaming.


And as if this was not interesting enough, he added further variety by using a megaphone from time to time. The intriguing outfit fitting perfectly to the dark yet glamorous music and him constantly encouraging the crowd did the rest and soon more and more people were seen nodding their heads and dancing to the driving guitar riffs. I am sure, we will hear a lot more of those guys during the next years. Indeed, they are already working on the next album called ‘Hostile Gospel’. I sure am curious where their journey will lead them. // / // Setlist: 01. Life Create Destroy / 02. Black Flag / 03. Where’s Your God / 04. Superficial Love / 05. They Stole My Anarchy / 06. Savior / 07. Bleeding Black / 08. Halo / 09. Bad Gentleman / 10. Dirty Girl / 11. Hostile Gospel / 12. Lost At Sea

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Unzucht - Rattenfängerhalle (Eva)

Just seven years ago UNZUCHT released their debut album ‘Todsünde 8’. Since then a lot happened. Next year they will already release their 6th album called ‘Jenseits der Welt’, they played innumerable tours and festivals and quickly built a reputation of delivering an unusually energetic and authentic show that easily captivated everybody. With all this they made sure that they became an essential part of the dark rock scene within a short time. So, when they entered the stage, a huge crowd was already waiting excitedly for their performance. Unfortunately, the sound felt quite odd. In particular during the first songs Der Schulz’ voice was just way too low. But that didn't spoil the enthusiasm at all. The band gave so much energy and proved again why they are known as being close to their fans.


Der Schulz spent most of the time at the extra-attachment of the stage which lead into the audience, often standing partly on the barrier to get even closer to his audience or altogether jumping into the pit to sing together while making eye contact with all the fans that came to celebrate their music. Finally, he asked the crowd to carry him and let himself glide trustingly unto the hands of the audience. The rest of the band did an awesome job as well. It’s just so much fun to watch DeClerq, Don Canone and Fuhrmann as they are visibly enjoying immensely what they are doing. While they encouraged the audience even further, Der Schulz adding their trademark “Macht mal Krach!” [Make some noise], they were duly rewarded with a full hall of celebrating people.


While the first part of the set started with songs from their current album ‘Akephalos’, the end went back to older songs until finally ending with ‘Engel der Vernichtung’ from their very first EP, creating a great arc throughout their creations. And the fans were singing along all the time, to the new as well as to the old songs. The band was visibly happy and moved. They invited everyone to the end of the year show on the 20th of December close by Hanover before they finally had to leave the stage. The crowd definitely would have liked to go on partying. UNZUCHT’s energy is simply contagious! // / // Setlist: 01. Verbotene Frucht / 02. Nela / 03. Der Tod in mir / 04. Ein Wort fliegt wie ein Stein / 05. Lava / 06. Der letzte Tanz / 07. Kettenhund / 08. Unzucht / 09. Nur die Ewigkeit / 10. Deine Zeit läuft ab / 11. Engel der Vernichtung

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Merciful Nuns - Rattenfängerhalle (Eva)

This sure was a gig I awaited with mixed feelings, on the one hand looking forward to a trip to their very own music that they describe fittingly as “Occult Post Goth”, on the other hand knowing well that this was to be the very last gig of MERCIFUL NUNS. Founded 2008 as the successor of GARDEN OF DELIGHT by Artaud and Jawa Seth as well as Jon, 10 years later the album ‘Anomaly X’ should mark the end of a fascinating era - though not without adding an EP called ‘Black Halo’ just shortly before the final gig. Playing right after UNZUCHT, MERCIFUL NUNS was quite a break, leading us to darker and much more mysterious worlds. The characteristic voice from Artaud Seth was accompanied by low, almost ethereal guitar lines and atmospheric projections, rich with symbols e.g. from the area of Freemasonry and Thelema.


Indeed, this was no music to party, but instead to let yourself drift away into their enigmatic realms. So, it was probably not surprising that the audience wasn’t very loud as well. Instead, there were people seen following the music with closed eyes, slowly swaying their body. They definitely enjoyed it a lot and when MERCIFUL NUNS left the stage, they were cheering until they got two more songs. Maybe it was just me, but those felt particularly melancholic and wistful. With the last notes the screen showed the line “every start is an end, each arrival a departure”. After all, it was time to say goodbye. //

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Coma Alliance - Rattenfängerhalle (Nastja)

COMA ALLIANCE as the joint music project of Adrian Hates (DIARY OF DREAMS) and Torben Wendt (DIORAMA) and the debut ‘Weapon Of Choice’ that was released on 16th November 2018 exceeded all expectations and received great feedback across media and fans. While having two songwriters in it who have a strong signature in their compositions, Adrian and Torben were able to create something absolutely new and different in the dark music scene. The first tour that followed in January 2019 was truly a success. COMA ALLIANCE filled venues that are usually way too big for debut projects, even when their members are already known. The gig at Autumn Moon Festival was luckily announced just on the morning of the last gig of the German tour leg - on the morning before tour finale in Dresden.


The long awaited performance at Autumn Moon was everything - beautiful, exhilarating & various music, intelligent, also politically and socially critical lyrics, signature voice and musicians in the best mood. Unfortunately at the beginning of the gig, the sound was not on point and especially the vocals very quiet. While Torben’s mic could be adjusted, Adrian’s was obviously not okay and so he got a cable mic to continue. The cable mic didn’t make him very happy which he, jokingly, also explained to the audience. All the inconveniences didn’t disturb the show, as the trio showed the best possible mood and humour. At some point, when Adrian complained about the cable once again, someone from the audience called “I hear just mimimi (like, complaints)”, while Adrian reacted a bit cheeky as well, Torben came to end the discussion with the most lyrical announcement of the whole weekend - “apropos mimimi - now we are going to play Miracle”. We laughed so hard about that comment.


Also there was a comment about pickles, I kinda missed the point, if there was one, but the guys on stage talked about pickles. Why not. Despite all those little jokes, the performance itself was magical. Torben switched between the keyboard and keytar, Zura also between many different instruments, especially the Theremin enchanted once more on stage. And also Adrian did not just use his perfect voice. Torben’s and Adrian’s voices are so different and outstanding each for their own, yet they create something so unique and beautiful when they sing together. There would be so much more to tell about that performance - for sure COMA ALLIANCE once more proved their uniqueness with charm, talent and that feeling, that here we have the living example for - it comes together, what together belongs. // / // Setlist: 01. Unusual / 02. Royd / 03. Butterfly:Dance / 04. Buttons / 05. Trembler / 06. HLA / 07. Miracle / 08. Kein Mord / 09. Traumtänzer / 10. Coma Supreme / 11. CA2

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Lord Of The Lost - Rattenfängerhalle (Eva)

Bad news at the beginning: SÓLSTAFIR had to cancel Autumn Moon as they got the great opportunity to play in the USA instead. Good news: Instead LORD OF THE LOST were confirmed as headliner of Friday. As much as I would have loved to get to know SÓLSTAFIR live, LORD OF THE LOST were a more than worthy substitution to me as I have been following their musical journey closely for nine years by now. And what a journey this was! Not just that they all are indeed excellent musicians, also they kept working tirelessly, developing and reinventing their music again and again, touring in countless countries and using social media and special events to connect to their fans. To me their success is clearly deserved as they are one of the most professional bands of our scene right now. But what I like even more about them: With all that professionalism and determination, they are obviously having an immensely good time!


Talking about having a good time… The whole gig started with a very serious and truly Goth intro: ‘Knightrider’ playing while there was an explanation that their “Tastenficker” (‘key fucker’) Gared Dirge would be missing this show. He had the honour of playing keyboards at the current DAVID HASSELHOFF tour, for the second time already. Instead there was a huge cardboard display of a Baywatch DAVID HASSELHOFF with Gared’s face photoshopped on it. Then, with loud cheering from the crowd, the other band members entered the stage and started with ‘On This Rock I Will Build My Church’ which truly is an explosive opener. They continued mostly with songs from their current album ‘Thornstar’, which delivers an amazing range from raw and loud just like the opener to delicate and melodic like the amazing strings at ‘Black Halo’. A special goose bump moment to me was ‘Voodoo Doll’, one of my favourite songs of ‘Thornstar’ which - though being an almost quiet song - manages to give such a strong sense of empowerment and resolution.


All that time, I was busy watching the stage, turning my head from left to right and back. There is just so much happening on stage with all four band members interacting with each other, truly giving the feeling of unity (Gared instead was sent crowd surfing during ‘Full Metal Whore’). LORD OF THE LOST are nothing less than friends sharing their music and vision together! And all of them were doing an amazing job encouraging the crowd. There is just so much energy and joy coming from the stage. And I think, this is a mutual thing. Because the audience was amazing as well. Jumping, shouting, singing, cheering… Obviously, both sides were energising each other strongly and built a close bond.


The second part of the setlist was reserved for a journey through the older creations of LORD OF THE LOST, starting with their classic hymn ‘Dry The Rain’, going over to the “true Heavy Metal hymn” (as Chris announced it), the brilliant cover of LADY GAGA’s ‘Bad Romance’ and finally to ‘La Bomba’, the best Samba Metal song that was ever written (honestly, this song is amazing and a wonderful symbol for how much LORD OF THE LOST dare to do the unusual and thereby create something that is as crazy as it is brilliant!). After that, they ended their set with the more than worthy final song ‘Lighthouse’, creating a positive and truly emotional moment while asking the audience to use their phones or lighters to be “light a candle in the dark”. Such a beautiful view!


The whole band thanked again and again and promised to head out to the crowd after the show. Then we bid farewell to the first day of the Autumn Moon festival. I think, we could not have wished for a better headliner. Seriously, I just can’t wait until December when LORD OF THE LOST will celebrate their 10 years anniversary with four (!) unique shows in their hometown Hamburg. Such a special occasion with a truly unique and amazing band! // / / Setlist: 01. On This Rock I Will Build My Church / 02. Loreley / 03. Morgana / 04. Full Metal Whore / 05. Black Halo / 06. In Our Hands / 07. Voodoo Doll / 08. Drag Me To Hell / 09. Under The Sun / 10. Haythor / 11. Dry The Rain / 12. Six Feet Underground / 13. Bad Romance / 14. Blood For Blood / 15. Doomsday Disco / 16. Die Tomorrow / 17. La Bomba / 18. Lighthouse

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After the show there was a Meet & Greet with some bands who played on Friday. Therefore some tables were put in the middle of the hall along with some snacks. Though not all bands took advantage of this, it was a great chance for many to take a picture with the favourite musician or have a little chat. Also outside the party was not over yet, though most of the stands selling clothing and accessories closed by midnight, some food & drinks were still offered and people were sitting around a fire pit and listening to a guy playing guitar. Also during the whole day, there was always something to discover indoor and outdoor. The Autumn Moon Festival is really something special in between all of our events that we should take care of. The next day we got to see even more of its beauty and so - tired, but happy we went back to our tent - camping in October was actually more comfortable than expected despite the rainy weather every then and now and the morning view over the foggy river remunerated in a second.


All pictures by Nastja Iz

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