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Airport Drispenstedt, Hildesheim, Germany
14th August 2005
M´era Luna Festival Day 2: Amduscia, The Birthday Massacre, Trisomie 21, Zeraphine, Flesh Field, Lacuna Coil, Melotron, Diary of Dreams, Deine Lakaien, The Klinik, The Sisters of Mercy

After a long sleep in the hotel, the Sunday started with rain. Everything was grey and wet. Seeing this, we were really happy about our hotel room and a hot shower. Sorry for all the camping people who might have had a terrible wet and cold night. We had a nice breakfast with some friends and arrived quite late at the festival area.

As we arrived at the parking were feared the worst that everything would turn into mud and we’ll get stuck at night… and exactly that happened after the festival. On the way to the festival area we had to walk through some “lakes” of water; the pants got totally wet and later on the festival ground we were messed with mud. Due to the heavy rain we directly went into the hangar to see Amduscia. [DV]

Amduscia – Hangar [DV]

Besides Hocico who played a day before, Amduscia are another well known Electro act from Mexico. In their music, the band transmits the dark side of existing in human being and reflects the everyday chaos we’re in. The band’s music is totally electronic using samples too. They move somewhere between Techno and the aggressive of Electro and Industrial. Their influences vary from dark ethereal, dark wave, gothic, cyberpunk, old school EBM, to newest or more recent beats such as synth pop, future pop, etc. Line-Up: Edgar Manuel Acevedo Garcia (Synths, Sampling, Mix), Marco Polo Acevedo Garcia (Voc, Sampling), Karlos Hernandez Cordoba (Mix).

When we arrived at the hangar, it was quite filled up and due to the rain outside it became packed for the Amduscia gig. All the electro heads came together to see the hard, dark gig of the Mexicans. Right from the start there was a lot of energy in the music. Hard fast beats together with a distorted voice made the people move. For the electro bands, the sound in the hangar was much better than for the others. So it was quite ok with Amduscia too. They are compared with bands like Leaether Strip. But they cannot reach the high level of these old heroes though.

After the band entered the stage the two keyboarders took their places behind their instruments on both sides of the stage. Most of the attention was on singer Polo though. He is very active on stage and point of view due to his haircut and the camera lens he’s wearing in front of his eye. Through the smoke on stage, he’s moving from one end to the other, shouting his messages into the air.

Music 7
Performance 7
Sound 6
Light 7
Total 7 (6.9)

The Birthday Massacre – Main Stage [JU]

The Birthday Massacre are definitely one of the up and coming bands in the Goth/Electro scene. Formed under the name Imago in 2000 in Ontario, Canada, by Chibi (vocals), Rainbow (rhythm guitar), Michael Falcore (lead guitar), Aslan (bass guitar), and Dank (keyboards) they soon relocated to Toronto, changed the bands name to The Birthday Massacre and added new member O-En (keys). 2002 saw their first release, a self-distributed album called “Nothing And Nowhere”, with the “Violet” EP following in 2004. The EP was re-released in Europe with four bonus tracks via Repo Records and especially in Germany a huge hype around the band began via the biggest alternative magazines like “Zillo” or “Sonic Seducer”. But it’s not a hollow hype, The Birthday Massacre earn all the attention they get!,  

The Birthday Massacre
is an eclectic mix of captivating hybrid of 80's Synth Pop and aggressive guitars, curiously fused with a cinematic quality of melodic progressions. No surprise that their sound mix appeals to so many different people. The Birthday Massacre manage to master the various influences and make it sound as a unity. While many young bands sound too much like their idols, The Birthday Massacre managed to create their own identity. And they know how to write a great song and never forget about a hookline that won’t leave your ears for a few days. Best preconditions to make a few more steps up the career ladder…

While I really like their studio releases I was pleased that The Birthday Massacre sound even better live. Some of their studio stuff tends to sound a bit muddy, which may be due to the limited potential production wise that a young band has. Live it was crystal clear and it was obvious that the members of the band are no beginners at their instruments. Unfortunately it was heavily raining during The Birthday Massacre’s gig so if you are rather smallish all you could see was a sea of umbrellas. Fortunately I’m a tall boy (and I don’t care too much about rain, heh!) so I could watch the performance without any problems. And it was worth watching! Vocalist and frontgirl Chibi did a great job, and didn’t care too much about the rain, too. The whole band was dressed in black suits and white shirts, which looked great and made them also visually a unit. With an excellent band in the back and a charismatic singer in the front they will make their way, for sure. Can’t wait to see The Birthday Massacre at a club show!

01. Intro
02. Blue
03. Happy Birthday
04. Horror Show
05. Violet
06. Play Dead
07. Lovers End
08. Video Kid
09. Under The Stairs
10. The Dream
11. Nevermind
12. Broken

Music 8
Performance 9
Sound 9
Light - no rating due to daylight
Total 9 (8.53)

Trisomie 21 – Hangar [JU]

With The Neon Judgement playing on Saturday, Trisomie 21 performing on Sunday at the second stage of the M´era Luna were some more forgotten heroes from the EBM & New Wave era in the 1980s grafted the bill of this festival. I’ve never seen Trisomie 21 live on stage before. I actually wasn’t aware that they are still active. So of course I happily went to see their show on Sunday afternoon.  

The French band Trisomie 21 are the brothers Phillipe Lomprez (voc) and Herve Lomprez (keys, composition). Since 1983 they have implemented their personal vision of music which is – in contrast to contemporary EBM bands like Front 242 or The Klinik – more on the mellow, melancholic side with many Pop influences. Perhaps you can somehow compare Trisomie 21´s works to those bands of the legendary 4AD label like Cocteau Twins, at least when it comes to the ethereal, atmospheric melancholic quality of their music. The title of Trisomie 21´s most recent album, released after a 7-year silence in December 2004, describes their music quite perfectly: “Happy Mystery Child”. Indeed Trisomie 21´s sound has not only a dark, mystic feel but also a notion of happiness and playfulness – a strange but fetching combination.

Trisomie 21 are a quartet live, backed up by guitar player Bruno Objoie and keyboarder Martin Blohorn. This makes them a bit more interesting to watch compared to The Neon Judgement’s gig the day before, although singer Phillipe looked totally bored, indifferent and disinterested throughout the whole gig. Did he have just one of those days or was this some sort of fake coolness? I don’t know. After a few technical problems the band finally entered the stage and began their show with “Red or Green”, a track of their above mentioned 2004 album. While not too spectacular to watch the music was simply beautiful! Quite early in the set came the 19-year-old “The Last Song”, the band’s biggest hit to date which still gets some play at Goth clubs which do not rely on the most recent fashion-of-the-week Top10 only. Later all musicians left the stage except Herve Lomprez who then performed the instrumental “La Fete Triste” on his own. One man alone on stage just twiddling some knobs and pressing some keys on his gear but the result was quite astonishing. The track was audibly different from its studio version, a bit beefed up and this solo showed the sound wizardry of this man. Performing a seven minute long instrumental might not seem like the cleverest idea at the end of a show, in such a short one anyway, but the result worked greatly! The other band members returned for one song and after a short 7-song set Trisomie 21 left the stage. I had a feeling that they had to shorten the set because of the delay due to the technical problems. Anyway, it was great to finally see those heroes back from the good old days live on stage but I’m not quite sure if it was enough to make me want to see another show of them. But I can highly recommend their records, especially the wonderful album “Chapter IV” from 1986!

1. Red or green
2. Personnel feelings
3. The last song
4. Missing piece
5. Sharing sensation
6. La fete triste
7. Forsaken mysteries

Music 8
Performance 5
Sound 5
Light 5
Total 6 (6.2)

Zeraphine – Main Stage [NK/DV]

After Sven Friedrich suspended his band The Dreadful Shadows, he formed a new one: Zeraphine who lately released their third regular studio album “Blind Camera”. With their dark music and the deep lyrics in German or English they reach the hearts of their fans.

Sunday began exactly the way how you don’t want to have a festival day – with pouring rain. It’s still worse when you want to see bands that play on the main stage and not only on the stage in the hangar. However I wanted to see Zeraphine, if it rains or not! It was still early when they started at 3:25 pm on the main stage, but it was quite full and a lot of people wanted to see this great band from Berlin. It was like a little wonder, that it stopped raining when it was Zeraphine’s turn! We were all very happy about that. It was a fantastic show, full of energy, powerful guitars and a setlist mixed by German and English songs, though there were more German songs played. The band combines the heaviness of Gothic Rock with very calm composition. Together with Sven’s deep and charismatic voice it creates a very harmonic atmosphere.

Sometimes frontman Sven Friedrich was more shouting than singing; it was like he wanted to fight against the rain and his wish was order – there was no drop at all. Also their big hit “Be My Rain” couldn’t change that. We were thankful about that. The set ended with “Deine Welt” and when Zeraphine left the stage it was raining again – as if they had a contract with someone above. Who knows? Now we are looking forward to the new tour dates in autumn this year and be sure that we will be there for you.

01. Flieh mit mir
02. Die Macht in Dir
03. No more doubts
04. In der Tiefe
05. Jede Wahrheit
06. Schreit dein Herz
07. Die Wirklichkeit
08. Be my rain
09. Kaltes Herz
10. No Tears
11. Deine Welt

Music 8
Performance 7
Sound 7
Light – no rating due to daylight
Total 7 (6.6)

Flesh Field – Hangar [JU]

“Electronic Body Music Is Dead” is a slogan by German Electro project Neuroticfish, and looking at the quality of many (so-called) EBM releases over the last couple of years you feel like answering “Yes, it is”. But wait! There are some bands and musicians which still hold up the candle and keep the spirit alive. So forget about those wanna-be bad boys from hell with synths and turn your attention to one of the few bands who understand that once EBM had nothing to do with Goth clichés and pretending being evil as f*ck but rather with loads of energy and challenging, straight in-yer-face music: Flesh Field!  

Flesh Field
was started in 1996 by Ian Ross in Columbus, Ohio, as a solo project. Soon singer Rian Miller joined the project as the female counterpart and to this day female vocals are one of the distinctive elements of Flesh Field. 1990 saw the release of their debut “Viral Extinction” which offered harsh EBM/Industrial influenced by acts like :wumpscut:, Numb or Nine Inch Nails but also by film music and composers like Hans Zimmer. Being quite a success, the album still had a few weak points but nevertheless you could feel that there are trained musicians behind the project and not only a few nerds programming away their frustration (like in so many other cases). After their second album “Belief Control” (2001) there was a long silence until Flesh Field came back in 2004 with a new Album “Strain”, a new musical concept and new singer, Wendy Yanko.

Backed up by Mathias Ewald from German Electro band Plastic as an additional keyboard player, Flesh Field jumped on stage and started their show with the heavy “Prising” of their latest album. The hangar, place of the second stage of the M´era Luna, was pretty packed; a nice sign that the new direction and quality in Flesh Field’s music is much appreciated by the audience. New singer Wendy did not only impress by her good looks but also by her vocal performance, which is a bit more aggressive and variable than the voice of former singer Rian. She shared vocal duties with mastermind Ian who sometimes seemed to be virtually exploding on stage – this guy is full of energy. The acoustics in the hangar were pretty shite, as usual, but this sonic storm was the best way to deal with it. Flesh Field presented five songs off their recent album “Strain” and only one each of their two earlier albums “Viral Extinction” and “Belief Control”. At the end of the set Flesh Field had a little surprise in store and played a cover version of Nine Inch Nail’s “Heresy”. Cover versions are often kind of tricky and double-edged sword, especially when a band covers a song of their heroes. But hell, this worked! Especially the female vocals gave the song a new dimension. The crowd really went wild so that Flesh Field were allowed to play an unplanned encore with “Cyberchrist” from their debut. It was an excellent and energetic show; so thumbs up and check them out when Flesh Field come somewhere near your town!

1. Uprising
2. Reflect the Enemy
3. Overload
4. Recoil
5. Epiphany
6. Serene Image
7. The Collapse
8. Heresy (Nine Inch Nails cover)
9. Cyberchrist

Music 8
Performance 9
Sound 7
Light 6
Total 8 (7.9)

Lacuna Coil – Main Stage [MN]

Lacuna Coil is a six-member band with a genesis traced back to Milan, Italy. Their music is usually lumped into the category of “Goth Metal”, but they've developed their own unique sound by using heavily distorted guitars overlaid with melodic keyboard arrangements and a powerful blend of both male and female lead vocals. The name Lacuna Coil means “empty spiral” and is said to represent the band's life philosophy. The eagerly awaited successor to their praised album “Comalies” is in the pipe, to be released in the first quarter of 2006.

When I arrived in the photo pit the band had already entered the stage. The energy projected by the six band members, was however already transmitting to the audience. Cristina Scabbia's captivating voice was the first thing that hit me as she immediately caught my attention, sitting somewhat crawled up at the edge of the stage. The duets with her male vocal counterpart, Andrea Ferro, were joining in a synergy that made a nice change. The Italians were really putting on a good live show and I was happily surprised to see how many people that had decided to defy the pouring rain for them.

Mainly Scabbia and to some extent, her male vocal counterpart Ferro were the ones moving around and adding to the live experience. Although since this was at the main stage even the other members weren't as fixed in their positions as they otherwise would have been at a smaller stage. Every now and then all six members joined in on quasi synchronised hair spins, apart from the usual head banging.

Music 8
Performance 8
Sound 7
Light – no rating due to daylight
Total 8 (7.8)

Melotron – Hangar [JU]

Melotron are contrivers, Melotron are dividing people’s minds. Some love them for great synth pop, some hate them for playing “Schlager” music. Anyway they are just back with their new album “Cliché” and will be on tour in autumn this year. 

To be honest, I’m not quite the biggest Melotron fan around. Actually a lot of the Melotron stuff gives me a hard time, almost a bellyache. For me most Melotron stuff is too shallow, too cheesy, too chanson-esque so too speak. But one has to be fair: While Melotron may be not my cup of tea you have to give Andy Krüger, Edgar Slatnow and Kay Hildebrandt, the three guys behind Melotron, some respect! Despite the fact that Melotron have always been met with criticism and even with animosity by parts of the scene, especially in their home country Germany, they nonetheless have always done their own thing and hold on to their way. Melotron seem to NOT care about all the accuses they were too cheesy, too flat or too camp. Hate them or love them – and it’s quite clear that more and more people love them. Melotron have a loyal fan base, as you could see at the packed Hangar stage at the M´era Luna.

With keyboard players Edgar and Kay in the back, vocalist Andy gave his best to impersonate the perfect. I got the impression that he tried to impersonate Dave Gahan (of Depeche Mode fame) but this is no news to people who saw Melotron live before (which I did). A few guys had a giggle at Krüger´s pair of trouser – a bit too close, wonder if the shop where he picked them really didn’t have them in his actual size. ;-) Anyway, that’s just a side note, the most important thing is the music. Thankfully Melotron set aside some of their cheesiest songs (like “Kindertraum”) and relied more on the upbeat, dancy tracks. The audience was quite thankful for that and celebrated the trio. After a good mixture of old and new tracks Melotron surprised everyone with a cover of Abba´s “Thank You for the Music” as finale. Didn’t we just talk about “too camp”…? ;-)


01. Intro
02. Halt mich fest
03. Der Anfang
04. Der blaue Planet
05. Wenn wir wollten
06. Folge mir ins Licht
07. Gib mir alles
08. Wohin?
09. Kein Problem
10. Brüder
11. Thank you for the music (ABBA Cover)

Music 4
Performance 5
Sound 3
Light 7
Total 5 (4.6)

Diary of Dreams – Hangar [NK/DV]

Diary of Dreams is mainly the project of Accession Records head Adrian Hates. The Diary of Dreams sound is easily described as archetypal Dark Wave with many classical / baroque / cinematic elements.

Luckily Diary of Dreams played in the hangar. So it could rain outside like hell – I didn’t mind. I was trying to get somewhere at the front already when Melotron played to have a good view later. For me time was running not fast enough. When Melotron was over Adrian and his mates brought their instruments on stage. Every time one of them was on stage the crowd rejoiced. Torben (Singer of Diorama), the keyboard player, took the time while he made a quick sound check to sing a little bit for the audience. He got a huge applause. Once the music of Diary of Dreams has caught you, it won’t let you go again. They chose a very good setlist for the festival with highlights like “Giftraum”, “Chemicals” or “Traumtänzer” and the girls´ eyes were shining when frontman Adrian opened his pony-tail during “Soulstripper”. His voice sounded fantastic as always even though the sound in the Hangar was not the very best.

There were a lot Diary of Dreams fans filling up the Hangar and the mood was fantastic right from the start. People were singing the lines along with the band during every single song. The guys looked great and were wearing the same outfit as during their headliner tour at the beginning of the year. Of course they played professional as always. They enjoyed playing - you could see it because of their smiling faces. They got such a lot of applause; I guess they couldn’t believe it at all. The end of the set was “Kindrom” which is my absolutely favourite live song out of the new album. There are so much guitar sounds and it’s so aggressive somehow that you can rock your head of. All I can say is – guys stay as you are and hope to see you soon somewhere again.


01. Reign of Chaos
02. Butterfly dance
03. Panik?
04. Giftraum
05. Menschfeind
06. Play God!
07. Chemicals
08. Soul stripper
09. Traumtänzer
10. The curse
11. Kingdrom

Music 9
Performance 8
Sound 7
Light 4
Total 8 (7.7)

Deine Lakaien – Main Stage [MN]

I'm pretty sure that that this well known band from the German alternative stage doesn't need any particular introduction. Alexander Veljanov's fantastic voice coupled with the keyboard virtuoso Ernst Horn keeps captivating fans with their very special mix of acoustic and electronic music.

To my surprise it actually took quite a while until they finally got on stage and started playing. I guess they were experiencing some problems with the sound check, a thing that was otherwise going extremely smoothly compared to the hangar stage. Well, when they finally did appear I was at least totally satisfied with what came out of the speakers. I was very much looking forward to this gig, since I previously only had heard their acoustic set live. I must say that the addition of more instruments really added a lot to the show - excellent musicians!

What the acoustic set had in presence and intimacy wasn't all lost when adding several more musicians. In fact what was lost was more than made up for by every single added instrument and musician. Veljanov seemed to be in a good mood despite the sleight problems earlier, and they all put up a great show.

Music 8
Performance 7
Sound 7
Light 5
Total 7 (7.1)

The Klinik – Hangar [JU]

In December 2003 Marc Verhaeghen and Dirk Ivens had an unhoped-for reunion as the The Klinik for an one-off gig at the Belgian Independent Music Festival. After Dirk Ivens left the band in 1991 to continue his solo project Dive there seemed to be little chance for further collaborations between Verhaeghen and him; so the announcement of the show was quite an excitement for fans. Since then The Klinik performed less then a fistful of shows so seeing them listed for M´era Luna 2005 was more than a pleasure., 

1981 The Klinik was founded by Marc Verhaeghen and was soon joined by Ivens, Eric Van Wonterghem and Sandy Nys. The latter two left the band in the mid-80s, Nys to form his own project Hybrids, Wonterghem to gain some fame with his new band Insekt. Ivens and Verhaeghen continued as a duo – which introduced the most successful and influential period of The Klinik. From the debut album “Sabotage” (1985) to 1991´s album “Time” they had numerous albums, singles and 12” EPs. Their raw, minimal Electro/Industrial sound was unique and had a major impact on bands that followed. While Verhaeghen was mainly responsible for the sound and compositions, Ivens´ slogan-chanting rough voice became another trademark of The Klinik. There was no other group that was able to build such terrifying, dark soundscapes. The Klinik also had considerable success on the dance floors with tracks such as “Black Leather”, “Go Back”, “Sick in Your Mind”, “Memories” or “Moving Hands”.

As minimal like the sound of The Klinik is also the live presentation of the duo. Marc Verhaeghen far away in the back of the stage hidden behind his synths, and vocalist Dirk Ivens in the front – or rather all over the stage! While The Neon Judgement or Trisomie 21, fellow musicians from the same era, are despite great music a bit lacklustre to watch live, The Klinik give you the thrills and excitement. This owes to Dirk Ivens, one of the greatest frontmen of Electro/Industrial of all time! This man has a presence that is simply breath-taking! The show though started with Verhaeghen alone on stage, playing some sort of trumpet during the intro. Then Ivens took his place and immediately the whole venue was full of energy. “Cold as Ice” set the tone of the show, though not necessarily the tempo. The Klinik forced the pace and the audience knows what to expect – and demand – from The Klinik. In the first rows none stood still and Ivens, even though in his mid-40s, was energetic as ever. Somehow I had the impression that The Klinik also had the technically best sound of all bands playing at the Hangar, which is otherwise acoustically pretty much a pain because of its square and wide construction. However, “Moving Hands” and “Memories” were the climax and with the dark and haunting “Lies” the show closed. People of course didn’t have enough so The Klinik came back for a two-song encore including the upbeat “Go Back”.
Together with Skinny Puppy’s excellent show this was my favourite gig of the whole weekend! Simple and effective, simply brilliant! Definitely hope for more The Klinik shows in the future!

01. Cold as Ice
02. Murderer
03. Walking with shadows
04. Hours and Hours
05. Quiet in the Room
06. Sick in your Mind
07. Black Leather
08. Obsession
09. Plague
10. Moving Hands
11. Memories
12. Lies
13. Pain and Pleasure
14. Go back

Music 10
Performance 10
Sound 8
Light 6
Total 9 (9.1)

The Sisters of Mercy – Main Stage [JU]

Andrew Eldritch, head of The Sisters of Mercy, is still quite active despite the fact that the last proper release of his band is a staggering 15 years old, 1990´s “Vision Thing”. Nevertheless The Sisters of Mercy are still milking the cash cow by touring and playing festivals – like the M´era Luna.  

Everyone knows Sisters of Mercy classics like “Temple Of Love”, “Alice”, “Marian” or “This Corrosion” and the older ones in our scene grew up with this band. Their 1985 album “First And Last And Always” is still one of THE classics of the dark music scene and influenced a myriad of Goth Rock bands that followed. The last couple of times I saw The Sisters of Mercy over the last years, mostly on festivals, they sounded frankly, quite horrible. I got the impression that The Sisters of Mercy live developed from excellent (back in the good old days) by rather mediocre (in the mid-90s) to plainly disastrous lately. Last time I saw them they sounded like Motörhead covering Sisters classics, and I even recognized some of their old gems only when the chorus came in. To be fair, a lot of water has been running down the river since the last time I saw Eldritch & Co. on stage as I literally avoided them live over the last one or two years.
At the M´era Luna, after the The Klinik show I stumbled happy out of the hangar and thought I could give the Sisters, who just entered the main stage, another try – and was stunned! It seemed to be the first time in ages that The Sisters of Mercy actually sounded like The Sisters of Mercy! Crystal clear old-school guitar licks instead of heavy guitar riffs which just ruin the old songs!

And what a set! I got the biggest thrill by one of my all-time faves, “Anaconda”, and the Sisters didn’t forget about their other classics. But they also performed a few yet unreleased songs like “Romeo Down”, “Crash And Burn” or “(We Are The Same) Suzanne”, which all are already a few years old and a regular part of the Sisters´ live sets but still unreleased due to the band’s clinch with their (ex-)record label.
Another surprise was that one could actually see the band. ;-) There were indeed the walls of fog as usual but thanks to the wind the fog disappeared mostly behind the stage. All in all a nice surprise as the finale of the festival, as The Sisters of Mercy were the headlining and closing act of this year’s M´era Luna Open Air Festival. We all had a great weekend with great music (and great drinks while the not-so-great music played +g+)

01 - Intro
02 - Crash & Burn
03 - Ribbons
04 - Alice
05 - Giving Ground
06 - Dominion/Mother Russia
07 - Summer
08 - First And Last And Always
09 - Slept
10 - Anaconda
11 - Temple Of Love
12 - (We Are The Same) Suzanne
13 - Romeo Down
14 - Flood II
15 - Lucretia
16 - Top Nite Out
17 - Vision Thing

Music 8
Performance 8
Sound 8
Light 6
Total 8 (7.7)

Unfortunately we cannot present you pictures of this band here because of a strange contract all photographers had to sign... or not.


DV: Daniela Vorndran
JU: Jörg Uhlenbruch
MN: Mattias Nordgren
NK: Nicole Kizina


Daniela Vorndran
Mattias Nordgren
Claudia Schöne

We’d to thank all the bands for their music and their support sending us setlists etc.

More pics on Black-Cat-Net
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