Darkmoon - A Decade Of Darkness (Darkmoon Anniversary)
|Event:||Darkmoon: A Decade Of Darkness Anniversary Show|
It seems kind of weird to me that it is possible to look so forward to a band that I've already seen three times anyway, yet I've been extremely impatient for this show since the day it was announced. Darkmoon is kind of the epitome of good extreme metal to me. Their discography, of three demos and an album, contains quite a few different genres in the extreme field but despite sometimes being extremely different from each other there isn't a single song in it that I don't like. Serpent Soul would be the supporting band of this evening; I already saw these six dudes from Germany (from Sauerland to be exact) before at the CD release party of Darkmoon's debut album. Thusly I knew that I wasn't in for only one treat tonight. The third band Dark Age were fully unknown to me, never heard of them before, but I was looking forward to them anyway; can't be too bad if they play with two other such high quality bands, right?
I will also implement something new in this concert review: while ratings are actually only usual for CD reviews I'll give the shows of these bands a rating too. The rating consists of: Music, the quality of the songs played on stage; Atmosphere, the atmosphere the band can invoke among the crowd; Crowd Interaction, how much and how good the band communicates with the crowd; Miscellaneous, the venue, the lighting, sound quality, etc; and Overall Impression from my point of view. OK, enough meta- information now, time for the review.
I always enjoy it when a band proves to me that it's possible to be a "fun" band but make serious music at the same time. Serpent Soul made quite a laid-back impression on stage, frequently making jokes and putting on quite a show sometimes during the pauses between songs. For example the vocalist announcing "OK, the next song is Journey…" only to be interrupted by the guitarist who wants to play another song, after a short debate the band then democratically decided for the song the guitarist wanted to play. They were able to entertain the band a couple of times in this fashion throughout their set, at one point the vocalist decided that from now on the guitarist will do the song-announcing now, he seemed to have forgotten this after one song though and continued to merrily announce them himself. They also made us laugh with a couple of jokes about the age of the members "The beards are only glued on our faces!"
Although it was probably this entertaining factor that made them the most enjoyable it would still have been a good show without it I think. More specifically, their music rocked the hell out of us too! The music was mainly Gothenburg-styled melodic death metal a la Arch Enemy. Although Serpent Soul doesn't have a pretty front woman ( ) they certainly have some other seductive stuff. For example the occasional thrashy riff and the occasional hyper-melodic passage in between the extreme killer riffs. The guitar work was very good throughout the show but then again I don't expect much less from a band with three guitarists. The vocalist said he was having some minor problems with his voice but it wasn't really audible in the music so thumbs up. The bassist was perhaps the most calm of the group, playing his stuff and occasionally happily slapping away at his bass guitar.
The crowd wasn't too impressed at first but after the vocalist broke the ice a bit after the first song (he said they'll continue directly with the second song to which the drummer said that he needs some water first. The vocalist replied to this with "Oooooh, the poor old man needs something to drink ") Still it took a few songs more until the crowd was fully on the band's side. But after that the crowd loved them. In my opinion the last songs they played were definitely better then the first ones, so maybe that's the reason, maybe it was just that the crowd needed to be warmed up a bit. Serpent Soul gave us a great show and some great music - a big horns up to the German melo deathers!
Set list: Bloodgod, Serpent Soul, Beyond Humanity, Darkness rising, Journey of no return, Revenge, No way out, No more again, Deep deeper dead, Madness, Doomsday, Raining Blood (Slayer cover)
Music - 8
The first few songs weren't quite as good but the middle/last ones were awesome!
Atmosphere - 7
The atmosphere was a bit comme ci comme ca at the beginning but got much better afterwards.
Crowd interaction - 10
This is a really easy 10 to give, the band was extremely entertaining.
Miscellaneous - 8
The venue was very enjoyable, enough space, very good lighting and most important it had an awesome temperature! It wasn't as hot as in all other venues! The sound however wasn't so good.
Overall impression - 8
It was a quite good show, the band was entertaining and the music was good, keep it up!
Total rating: 8.2
Second in line were the main attraction, Darkmoon, who were celebrating their ten year anniversary in this night. Like I already mentioned at the beginning of this article I was looking extremely forward to seeing this band for the fourth time. The lights went out, the crowd became quiet and a tranquil intro began to play; then to pyros, one on each side of the stage accompanied by a loud bang and the set began with a blast! (Just listen to the song, it really does "blast"! ) The speakers were trembling, the guitars were crushing and the hair was flying, exactly what a metal concert is about!
Darkmoon gave us a great set list. Next to killer live songs from the album, like Damned and The Fallen One we also got a few classics like Far From Heaven and Last Kiss Final Embrace from the Remains demo-CD and Black Domain and Winds Of Death (my favourite) from the Black Domain demo-CD. There were also a couple of songs from the upcoming album, maybe it was just the live-atmosphere but they sounded quite a bit thrashier then their debut album, I'm definitely looking forward to this new album in any case, though! I quite missed the song The Cell, but oh well, the band has so many great songs now it must be becoming hard to choose which ones to play!
Christian, Gianrichy and Pascal
Extreme metal has seldom been so catchy, either; even now, the day after, I can barely talk in more then a hoarse whisper due to screaming along to Darkmoon's catchier choruses and phrases. "The winds of death are blowing, to wipe us out!" The one thing I enjoy most about their concerts though, is how extremely headbangable their music is. It seems nearly impossible to me to be able to not windmill at full speed to "Damned" and co. so this is what I and many others did throughout the whole show. Scream along until our voices were dead and then continue with killing our necks. The band was very active on stage and motivated us to destroy our neck muscles by leading the way.
On a couple of songs the vocalist was helped out by the bassist who contributed a few screams. He quite surprised me though; his screams were pretty aggressive and very good actually! After the band left the stage and came back for an encore they had a surprise for us though. Hubi, the former drummer, came on stage to play the last song with the rest of the band. After the band thanking a couple of people (Metal Storm included ) the band left, thusly ending an awesome but all-too short concert experience.
Damned, Dust In My Eyes, Caravan Of The Dead, Winds Of Death, Lost Soul, I Will Be The Last, Drowning, Last Kiss Final Embrace, Falling Down, Bitter End, My Misery, Evil Goddess Of The Night, The Hate Still Burns, Black Domain, (encore) Far From Heaven
Music - 10
Great music, rich in variation and always catchy and very enjoyable.
Atmosphere - 10
Like I said it's almost impossible to not headbang to this music from my point of view, I definitely wasn't the only one who thought so.
Crowd interaction - 7
The crowd interaction was clearly not as good as that of Serpent Soul, but quite good nonetheless.
Miscellaneous - 8
Same as for Serpent Soul, enjoyable venue, enough space, good lighting, great temperature and moderate sound quality.
Overall impression - 10
Last time I saw them I decided that they are my favourite live band. They were able to claim this title anew.
Total rating: 9
Gianrichy and Pascal
Dark Age were the last band of the evening but not the highlight. They definitely played good but well, after an absolute killer show of the likes of Darkmoon it's hard to really convince an audience. Thusly the front few rows were much thinner then during the former band's set.
The band played melodic death metal, but a bit different then most bands that do so. They have a keyboard, used for atmospherical purposes. And the vocalist (doubling as guitarist) switches between growls and clean vocals. Although this sounds like a very promising mix it didn't really convince me. I'm not saying they were bad, they certainly weren't! so if this sounds like your kind of thing you should definitely check them out, but they just weren't my thing. Their musical approach was much less aggressive then that of the two other bands, yet their sound was a lot heavier and it had a much darker atmosphere. At times it sounded quite technical but during other passages more like pure noise. I have to say that although their music failed to captivate me I did think of it as quite interesting.
I can't say much more about them though because after a few of their songs I had to leave to be able to catch the last bus. Because I didn't see a bit part of their set and because they simply weren't my cup of tea I won't give a rating. But I'll just say that if very heavy but not at all aggressive melodic death metal with a dark atmosphere and occasional clean vocals sounds interesting to you, then you should definitely check it out, if it doesn't, then don't.
This might well have been the best concert I've been to since a long time. In any case it was a totally awesome one. Although there were quite a few people coming to see Darkmoon's tenth anniversary there was more then enough room for standing or headbanging, due to the surprisingly big venue. The venue was overall very good anyway, despite the fact that the sound quality was a bit lacking. This was easily made up for with the fact that the lights were extremely good and most of all that the temperature was extremely nice. In all other venue's I've been it was quite hot during the shows, but here it was exactly perfect. The concert was in the city and not in the middle of nowhere so it was easy to reach and find. The pink bracelets we got at the entrance were the cause of quite some discussion, but oh well, you can't always have black, right?
This might well have been the best concert I've been to since a long time. In any case it was a totally awesome one and I really can't wait to have another evening with Darkmoon and/or Serpent Soul.
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| Baz Anderson
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