22nd to 24th April 2022
Dark Malta Festival 2022 Day 2 with Covenant, Agonoize, Solar Fake, Leaether Strip, Alien Vampires, The Arch, Pretty Addicted, Irrlicht, Cyberia
The second day of the very special Dark Malta festival had a lot to offer. Headlined by Swedish COVENANT, who anyone was eager to see, there were the harsh sounds of AGONOIZE or danceable SOLAR FAKE. But also, the bands playing earlier that day were worth to check out…
CYBERIA are a Post-Industrial Rock band that I wasn’t very familiar with until Dark Malta. They provided an interesting set bringing some grooves that were instantly appealing even with unfamiliarity. I’ll be checking them out further.
IRRLICHT are a band I was more familiar with, but never seen play live. There were one or two songs played that I was unfamiliar with, I imagine these are new tracks and this was a treat for me. They are a very pure live act - clean electronics with super clean, razor sharp characterful female vocals. IRRLICHT are an impressive dark electronic act that captures the beauty and poetry of their thought process impeccably. A seriously impressive performance, even if it was just for Daniela’s ability to perform with such dizzyingly high boots…
PRETTY ADDICTED are an English full on electronic band that have every ounce (and more) of energy of their influences THE PRODIGY and MARILYN MANSON. Lead member Vicious Precious provides the most extreme form of dynamism tonight, this is a serious assault to the senses. Searing vocals delivered with roaring power that would leave MARILYN MANSON running for cover, combined with real emotion and feeling. They have taken the scene by storm in the UK and deserve to be on more stages across Europe and the world.
Next on stage are THE ARCH, boy tonight’s line-up is difficult to fault! A faultless performance showcasing the bands fine electronic darkwave sounds. A completely mesmerising mix of atmosphere, great guitar work and EBM basslines - they delivered a truly high-quality set.
ALIEN VAMPIRES arrived next with their usual flamboyancy! They provided a stunningly energetic set, in their usual style of black electro. Hugely danceable with imprinted harshness, this set was blistering and they sent the crowd in a seething mass of movement! Deliciously dark, and surprisingly melodic - good stuff.
LEAETHER STRIP, the ever-gorgeous Claus Larsen graces the stage of Dark Malta! As usual a spectacular mix of songs and tracks that leave you wanting more. The man fills a stage so easily - and I don’t refer to how tall he is - I mean sheer stage presence. A perfect set that is delivered so effortlessly that merges power, atmosphere, darkness and beat driven melodies. This is why a festival line-up with LEAETHER STRIP is so eagerly awaited - we all salute you, kind sir!
Since appearing on the scene some years ago SOLAR FAKE has become a firm favourite, not only of mine, but many within the scene. Their catchy melodic style is infectious to say the least. I’m sure this comes as no surprise but their performance at Dark Malta was no less than scintillating. Sven Friedrich moves around the stage, delivering his characteristic strong performance that keeps you fixated - only outdone by the energy of keyboardist Andre Feller! I’ll never not enjoy a SOLAR FAKE live show, that I am sure - tonight concreted that opinion. Stunning, no other word.
Now it’s time for a bit of Aggrotech with AGONOIZE! From start to finish the whole festival crowd was dancing! Infectious beats powered through any worries about illness within the band. Yes, there was no blood spraying for this show, but Chris L managed a powerful energetic performance that I was very proud to witness. Having gone through a similar health experience I can easily imagine what he went through and it was all the more powerful and impressive for me. He strutted his stuff several times along a wall from the stage into the crowd creating a frantic buzz. It was a seriously memorable gig, an inspirational moment - I’m still buzzing now thinking about it.
To finish the night coming out quite late at a scheduled 12.35, which turned out to run even later, COVENANT didn’t take no prisoners. As hypnotic as ever this performance was mind blowing. How does a band reach this level of quality performance? Answers on a postcard please, I think it’s alchemy. Much more than a musical experience, COVENANT move you inside, deep into your soul and seriously if you are not moved to a special place during one of their gigs you are dead. It’s a cliché, I know, I make no apologies. Brilliant and effortless. Oh, but please just a few more lights on so I can get some atmospheric images please - just one gig one day please.
All Pictures by Kevin Stevens