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Expo, Waregem, Belgium
2 6th September 2009
15 Years Black Cave: Rosa Crvx, Sol Invictus, Madre Del Vizio, Leaether Strip, Corvus Corax, Suicide Commando

One wondered if the 15th anniversary show of The Black Cave would not be a "Gothic Festival Leftover show" or "This is what we could not fit in" performance but with the same organisation and venue one thing would be certain: This was going to be good. You could comment on the line-up being a bit of a mixed bag of everything but this was a birthday party, put together by the birthday boy Bernd - the same guy who puts the entire summer festival together. So comments should not be in place and the enjoyment could begin.

Rosa Crvx

French band ROSA CRVX opened walking from the audience onto a stage filled with electronic percussion systems, an at first sight old piano, a stage for the choir and a miniature - but still 10-bell-carillon joined by the choir singers after some flag-waving during the second track. The performance sure was strong and energetic as the band went thru the setlist and grew even stronger once the heavy bells of the carillon joined in together with the smaller versions for that little extra ting every now and then.

The final atmosphere was topped off with a set of candles left and right of the stage, being it a bit to the back due to the limited space on the stage - or was it the amount of stuff already in place? All in all ROSA CRVX opened very strong and set the stage for the rest of the bands - and they all had to follow.

01. Vielles
02. Invocation
03. Adorasti
04. InTenebris
05. Terribilis
06. Hel Hel
07. Ante-A
08. Tonitrvi
09. Aglon
10. Venite
11. Incorrupti
12. Svrsvm Corda
13. Omnes
14. Eli-Elo
15. Vil

Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 7.7 / 10

Sol Invictus

Second band of the evening, SOL INVICTUS - Latin for Unconquered Sun by the way - is built Tony Wakeford as only permanent member and has left a lasting influence on neo folk with recently returning to a sound that includes some electronic influences such as loops and electronic string instruments. As full as ROSA CRVX filled the stage, as empty was it when SOL INVICTUS stepped on it with the band members being meters apart all remaining very static on their spot as if a bucket of superglue was emptied over the floor.

The band started off on a slow pace with its neo-folk slash classical music and never really sped up. A small number of fans enjoyed it and stayed for the entire show but this was something just for the fans.

Music: 7
Performance: 6
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 6.7 / 10

Madre Del Vizio

Back after stopping by on the 2008 edition of the Gothic Festival, MADRE DEL VIZIO re-ignited the hall with its energetic guitar player, Italian screaming singer and sure got the "older" generation among the on looking people to take its first rhythmic steps across the concrete slab that makes up the floor of the Waregem Expo hall.

Ok the atmosphere was dark and the light was well... blue with only a single change towards the greenish part of the spectrum about two thirds down the performance but it all combined extremely well making this a very nice gig - even nicer for those who understood the Italian lyrics and in-betweens no doubt.

Setlist (incomplete)
01. Trivialita Intro
02. Trivialita
03. Paura
04. Magico
05. Madre
06. Amore, Fede, Sperenza Intro
07. Amorz, Fede, Speranza
08. Pordenone
09. Stanza
10. Visione II
11. Sudore e Sangue
12. Beste Metalliche

Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: 6
Total: 7.2 / 10

Leaether Strip

Although grounded way back in 1988, Claus Larsen, the man behind LEAETHER STRIP, never came to Belgium before in this form. Being currently signed to Belgian label Alfa Matrix no doubt helps here. Question was if the first gig in this little country was going to make a bang or just go out with a fizzle, never to be mentioned again. There was some confusion with the stage guys as one-man-band LEAETHER STRIP hooked up his laptop among a huge drum kit that clearly belonged to the next band - Corvus Corax - and quickly had the two extra microphones on stage removed so he had the entire area for himself.

And boy did he use it. As "lost" and "tiny" as it looked on the big stage at Amphi Festival just over six weeks ago as energetic, floor filling and uplifting it all was on the smaller stage and more confined location that the hall provided. The screen projections matched, the light technician did a more than adequate job and the audio was on par. The evening was shot into action and was now climbing towards the headliner, but we were not there yet.

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7.7 / 10

Corvus Corax

With the "percussion kit" already present on stage when LEAETHER STRIP performed tripled in size, CORVUS CORAX put an amount of hardware on stage in an amount that I have not seen quite that often. Manned by three percussionists for the intro, the remaining members walked on stage in their robes, skirts, leather ornaments, pointy-toed-shoes and of course - bagpipes.

As the stage erupted in a bunch of sounds and rhythmic thunder from the percussionist and moving musicians, the crowd could do little else then just follow as the band went on from "beer drinking song" to "beer drinking song" onto the next "beer drinking song". And let that be the comment I'd like to vent. After 5 or 6 songs you get the idea that it all sounds the same, the flute-tunes get repetitive and the only variation you see is the order in which the guys on stage walk back and forward - being it still extremely rhythmically of course.

Music: 8
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 9
Total: 8.5 / 10

Suicide Commando

Time for the headliner and the people were waiting. Unless some late schedule changes this was going to be the only show of SUICIDE COMMANDO in Belgium for the year 2009. As the firth tones of ‘Bind, Torture, Kill’ boomed thru the speakers the people in front of the stage veered up as Johan Van Roy ran onto stage, grabbed the microphone from its stand, threw it to the side, knocked out a stage light, hit the audio mixer full force and effectively killed the audio in the hall. This was not a good, as the sound technicians tried to fix it but even after a total restart of the show the microphone refused to communicate any sound towards the audio system and was therefore thrown onto the floor as a reward.

But the third time proved to be the right one with the microphone working, the music getting to the speakers and Johan actually getting on stage knocking of a stage monitor into the front stage at the same time. Anyway, the show was off with its usual strong visuals, loud beats, up-and-down running front man and grew up to the point where the new single ‘Die Motherfucker Die’ was officially launched but then anyone with a small amount of Google and YouTube skills already heard the new single. So not really special but nice anyway!

01. Bind, Torture, Kill
02. Menschenfresser
03. Conspiracy with the devil
04. Dein Herz, Meine Gier
05. Hate Me
06. One nation under god
07. Come down with me
08. Raise your god
09. Love breeds suicide
10. Cause of death: suicide
11. Die motherfucker die
12. Save me
13. Hellraiser

Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 6
Light: 7
Total: 6.9 / 10

And after all of this it was time for those 2 kegs of beer Bernd announced just before SUICIDE COMMANDO hit the stage and start the after party. We went home with a feeling of "good". The band line-up was strange, unexpected but it was a nice combination. And I certainly hope to see some of the bands back on the "big" festival in 2010.

All pictures by Peter Smets

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