• Concerts witnessed in MMXIV

    12 Feb 2015, 0:14 de haadeus

    I will list here the concerts I attended during 2014, and once the list is ready I will add some recollections and moods according to my limited memory. I am writing this in February 2015, and it is interesting to notice how much memories twist, change time and place and how much is thrown in the sewers of the mind. Oftentimes, when purchasing a ticket, one tends to think "well, it's a lot, but I'll see the band(s) x on top of the band I'm really into" but you'll just end up socialising with people, drinking, smoking, gazing at the Moon while the bands play, or just downright forget after a month that you even saw the band x play.

    Køpi-Hausfest: Ruidosa Inmundicia
    at Køpi, Berlin on Friday, February 21st

    Køpi-Hausfest is a yearly week-long celebration of the existence of the oldest house project in Berlin, and a major den of all things punk and DIY. On this particular date I recall seeing some German hardcore and punk bands play on all three stages, but the only band I went to see on purpose was Ruidosa Inmundicia. They rocked in a regular fuzzed-out no-nonsense fashion, as expected. After the concerts there was also a minimal-electro party in true Berlin style, with a dance floor crowded with cross-dressers and wild Polish punks.

    Satanic Assault Division, Galadriel, Grimegod and Negură Bunget
    at Blackland, Berlin on Wednesday, March 26th

    First time for a concert in the infamous Blackland in Prenzlauer Berg. The place was a bit more put-up than the regular places I go to, and actually doesn't differ much from many metal bars in the Nordic countries. Run-of-the-mill extreme metal blasting from the sound system, and moderately expensive beer with a deposit that one seldom remembers to cash in by the end of the evening.

    I don't have concrete recollections of the opening bands, apparently they were not worth of any redeeming nerve connections. Grimegod were supposedly a long-running band from Romania and they did indeed have a sound that reeked of the glorious nineties.

    The renowned Carpathian fiddlers of Negură Bunget were, simply put, excellent. Proper black metal fused with dark folk atmosphere and traditional instrumentation – and without even a hint of the redundant "battle metal" that many Finnish bands end up sounding of. The crowd that was present was rather modest, but apparently the band has gained more popularity during the last year, and in Spring 2015 they will play in the more mainstream locale of K17 with a lot higher entrance fee.

    Gomora, Grime and 16
    at Køpi, Berlin on Friday, April 11th

    This event was a full-blown night at the AGH stage of Køpi. Gomora opened the evening with their occasionally slowed-down brand of punk. Grime from France continued with a sound that went very much according to their name. By the point 16 hit the stage I was mentally and physically ready to receive the live sound of probably my favourite sludgy band. 16's music is slowed-down dirty hardcore, relentless pummeling without much of the long dragging dirges that most bands of this style tend to do. Slow enough to follow, fast enough to not get carried away – perfect for a stoned-out drunken Friday evening. In a hindsight, easily one of the best concerts I witnessed during the year.

    Graves at Sea and Sourvein
    at Lovelite, Berlin on Saturday, April 12th

    After still being stoked by the 16 concert the night before, another evening of sludge ensued. The venue was Lovelite, a locale I seldom hear any good bands playing at. It's a regular rock-oriented club in a more hip part of F-hain. Both bands sounded great, while you could still hear and see the mileage on these weathered touring artists, for better and worse. Graves at Sea offered the doomier side of the craft that Sourvein gave a more groove.

    Dark Easter Metal Meeting 2014:
    Wraithcult, Fäulnis, Eïs, Sear Bliss, Thulcandra, Agrypnie, Negator,
    Root, The Ruins of Beverast and Triptykon
    at Backstage, München on Sunday, April 20th

    This really interesting mini-fest was part of my spring backpacking journey through München, Switzerland and lake Konstanz. Root, The Ruins of Beverast and Triptykon shared my main interest, and shook my bones as vigorously as expected. The rest of the bands were quality too, but a bit too generic to get me excited. Mad props for cheap vegan burgers sold at the venue and the renowned Bavarian beer culture. München is also one of the few cities I know where one can enjoy quality Vöner, right next to the main train station.

    at Bi Nuu, Berlin on Saturday, April 26th

    I went to see this cult dadaist -trash group sober, down and with mixed feelings of fear and anticipation. The mascot, the diaper punk, had some baboon-shouting meditation rite before the show, and the "songs" played were brought forth in a way that reminded more of shouted drunken karaoke most often witnessed on a ferry ride in the Baltic Sea. Quite an experience on its own right, but with the salty price of the ticket I'd rather put my money elsewhere.

    Cro-Mags and Terror
    at outside of Core-Tex and Trinkteufel, Berlin on Thursday, May 1st

    Cro-Mags and Terror playing on a street fest for free, quite a treat! The concerts, especially the latter, were riotous and violent. Actually the situation in the neighbourhood eventually progressed into an actual riot, and after checking the situation I stumbled to the shadow fest nearby, that stands as a protest to the main street fest. I recall the protest was about the commercial, tame and un-anarchistic nature of the main one, but there might've been more to that too. A really wicked Russian slam hardcore band played there.

    The Gash and Natural Born Grinders
    at Sama-Keller, Berlin on Xday, May XXnd

    Proper underground show, literally underground in the cellar of one of the seediest kneipes, Sama-Café, that I still frequent regularly. Dirty, dusty cellar laden with candles and trash from earlier nights of excess. Both bands were stellar. The Gash played old-school, rocking and furious . Natural Born Grinders were, on the other hand, / band with an insane drummer – insane both with the relentless pummeling of his kit and excessive weed consumption – while the rest of the band also professed in the latter. Easily the best small-scale show I went to in 2014.

    at Postbahnhof, Berlin on Thursday, May 22nd

    Motorpsycho was a sort of boring and clean modern rock band from Norway, but since this was my first flyer-tossing stint I was glad to attend.

    Merrimack and Mayhem
    at C-Club, Berlin on Wednesday, May 28th

    This gig was a follow-up to the previous flyer duty. Merrimack didn't move me much, but they were not wholly crap either. Mayhem was the reason I was here anyways. Their sound was fuzzy, loud and relentless, as it should be. Csihar Attila's stage antics were deadly serious and kitsch at the same time. Good times were had with music that encompasses very essence of the bad times.

    Carneval of Subculture 2014
    at Strassenfest Köpenicker Straße/Schillingbrücke on Saturday, June 7th

    I was here, but I can't recall seeing any bands play. I was too busy with downing red wine, smoking the good stuff and meeting people. The weather was nice and sunny. Totenwald apparently played in the evening, but luckily I ended up seeing them on two occasions in the following autumn.

    Goatblood, Horrid, Satanize and Mystifier
    at Blackland, Berlin on Friday, June 13th

    Mystifier is a cult band for real cultists, a macabre Brazilian cousin of Beherit. I'm talking about high-pitched synth-laden bestial black metal of death here. Excellent show and cool, down to earth lads, none of that rock star cockiness.

    Mülltüte, Piss and Tragedy
    SO36, Berlin Wednesday, June 18th

    Tragedy were, once again, great. The location was the famous SO36, actually a very regular small rock club that has a long history in the underground rock music.

    Under the Black Sun Festival – Part XVII:
    Thursday: Nunslaughter
    Friday: The Committee, Voidhanger, Plaga and Mgła
    Saturday: Countess, Corpus Christii, Inquisition and Belphegor
    at Reiterhof Helenenau, Börnicke on July 3th-5th

    I plodded our way with Scottish comrades to the camping grounds in the darkness of the night, after a variety of events that can only be filed under Murphy's Law. After putting our tents up and doing the necessary rites to elevate the festive mood we headed to see if we're still able to hear some of the bands. The ticket booth was closed, but eventually we got in without tickets because the bouncer was a fan of Finland and Moomins in particular. Nunslaughter was the last in line with their brand of horror-movie death metal. Topped with the hilarious stage patter and vigorous moshing of the mascot guy, this was definitely the most fun show of the festival.

    Friday, just like rest of the weekend, was sunny and scorching hot. Most of the day was spent at the camp, which we relocated to the shade of the trees, nearby a colony of Polish maniacs and a couple of Dutch die-hards. Concert-wise Plaga and Mgła were definitely the highlights of the day.

    The next day I looked forward most for the cult act Countess, since Inquisition I had already seen once before. Countess pounded their barbarian tunes of Hell's rock and roll to a scarce yet devoted crowd under the midsummer sun. Inquisition had a neat light show projected to the spruce forest behind the stage that complimented the solemn mood of the music.

    All in all, UTBS was an excellent small festival in the woods, devoted to the black arts.

    / / /

    Church of Misery played in Cassiopeia, Berlin on July 21st. I was handing out flyers outside the venue as usual, downing a couple beers and maybe smoking a small one, amped up to see these Japanese hessians again. At the door, however, I was treated really snobbily by a young blonde to whom speaking English was apparently such a straining effort. The doorman basically forced me out and I was denied entry and any possibility to explain myself. At the Conan concert later that year, a friendlier member of the staff came to apologise about this incident (and to toss me some more flyers).

    Slave Hands, Kaleidobolt and woodrue
    at Vapaan Taiteen Tila, Helsinki on Saturday, July 26th

    First (and eventually, only) time visiting Finland in 2014. I flew to Tampere from Bremen on Saturday morning, strolled around in the sunshine and reminisced on the time I lived in this fine town. Most of the people I am in still in touch with were spending this weekend in the legendary punk festival, Puntala Rock, and hence I decided to take a bus to Hel-sink-i. I met up with an old friend from the infamous Northern-Northlands where both of us grew up, and headed for an outdoor punk happening by the seaside at Konttipiha, but eventually we only ended up seeing one complete show of hardcore and part of another, more -oriented band.

    But the main treat I was looking forward to followed after this outdoors side-route. An evening of sludge in a bomb shelter. While this country is constantly narrowing its citizens' freedoms, it is curious how such an "important" government location can be used for "free arts" as the name of the locale says.

    Slave Hands and Kaleidobolt were mid-paced 101-sludge. The sound in the venue was not the optimal, but improved by the point woodrue hit the floor. I recall this was a record-release party for a split with SemTex, and a track by them was performed by Woodrue. I think it still sounded pretty much of a Woodrue song. After the show I met up with a bald-headed gent of the local stock who kindly offered me his home-grown and told me of the times he spent in the French Foreign Legion. Good times in the summer of nightless nights.

    Jalometalli 2014:
    Friday: Speedtrap, High on Fire, Dark Angel, Loudness and King Diamond
    Saturday: Ranger, Behexen, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, Samael, Triptykon and Testament
    at Ouluhalli, Oulu on August 8th-9th

    After being some summers away and unable to enjoy the previous yearly tradition of attending Jalometalli, I was really looking forward to this weekend, and High on Fire and King Diamond shows in particular. High on Fire was the epitome of post-Motörheadian , basking in the summer heat. King Diamond had the classic stage antics and props, and also an actual magic trick with a furnace in a coffin. Was it real or just a dream? It was magic, i know!

    impivaara, Tungsten Tungsten, Sottaaja and Laitos
    Oulun Taidemuseo and Kulttuuribingo, Oulu on Thursday, August 21st

    These shows were part of the annual "Oulu Night of the Arts" happening. impivaara had in the backyard of the art museum their dadaist performance that celebrated femininity and freedom of expression. I appreciate the Pussy Riot-esque attitude they had going on, but musically they left a lot to hope for. Afterwards we visited a Viking camp and historical museum, and finally ended up to Kulttuuribingo for the closing party of my friend's art exhibition Uutisista hyvää iltaa and the accompanying and artists.

    Unclean, Pain Nail, Fleshpress and Pyhä Kuolema
    at Veljesiltamat, Oulu on Saturday, August 23rd

    Veljesiltamat has been a special almost-annual event since its foundation, and as I recall I've had the fortune to attend all of them. A stellar evening of , , and played in an old mansion with a sauna and a small river to plunge into. If pre-natal soundscape has an effect on an unborn child, for better or worse, mine had a strong dose of harsh electronic noise before his birth.

    This was the second time seeing Pyhä Kuolema play. The first time was a hazy noon in an Estonian countryside church the winter before. On this occasion the man behind the sanctified name had company, and the resulting sound waves were more atmospheric and full, beautifully complimenting the noble mood of the locale. Stoned-out midnight sauna rituals followed. Eventually the attendees slowly retired to the night that hinted of end of summer in these northern latitudes, and for this migratory bird to return to more hospitable climates.

    Rainmaker, øjne and Glances
    at Ligera, Milan on Thursday, September 4th

    Because I anyways had to do one or more detours to reach Berlin, I decided to have a quick trip to Italy. While there, I checked the local underground shows and ended up to Ligera in eastern part of Milano, in the same neighbourhood where also my hostel was located. The bands I saw play, øjne and either of the other two, played hardcore with youthful enthusiasm.

    At some point around the turn of September and October I attended a tattoo fest at New Yorck in Bethanien, Berlin where I witnessed Totenwald first time. Cold, old-school, -fused with intriguing stage attire (or lack of it). Needless to say, I really liked them. After the show my Aussie bud finally surfaced from his lair nearby and we decided to escape the chilly autumn drizzle to Køpi, where an unknown female-fronted -tinged band, much in the vein of Blood Ceremony, played to an almost empty AGH hall (the bigger stage in the Køpi complex). They had their moments, but apparently not enough to make me look them up in the interweb afterwards.

    [a couple crust bands] and Nuclëar Fröst
    at Køpi, Berlin on Xday, September XXnd

    A regular evening in Køpi. The Brazilian Nuclëar Fröst stuck to my head the most with their dis-first wave black metal punk.

    Mantar and Conan
    at Cassiopeia, Berlin on Tuesday, October 14th

    As a devoted fan of boring drone, I can safely say Conan is boring drone done wrong. It's not complete crap, it's just redundant and dull. Luckily I didn't need to pay for this trifle. Regardless, I had fun times with an old Lithuanian bro who was visiting the town.

    Nawaharjan, Temple Desecration, i i and Darkmoon Warrior
    at Blackland, Berlin on Thursday, November 6th

    Nuclear War Now Festival's warm-up gig. Fun and hectic evening, even if the bands were forgettable . II, i i or whatever you call it created the thickest atmosphere in the crowded bar.

    Einstürzende Neubauten
    at Tempodrom, Berlin on Tuesday, November 11th

    I know Einstürzende Neubauten has a special place in the hearts of many. Therefore I am sorry to admit that the concert left a lot to hope for. Considering that people (except me, since I was handing out flyers) paid over forty euros for the ticket, the lack of dynamics and sound that would fill the stadium was unforgivable sin.

    Goatwhore and Dying Fetus
    at Lido, Berlin on Friday, November 14th

    Another flyer stint, and once again I had problems getting into the venue, but eventually iron will triumphed and I got through. I also managed to get in with me an American music biz veteran who's ego seemed to take a slight blow when he wasn't let in on guest list – supposedly he was old friends with Goatwhore guys.

    ]Goatwhore played energetic with a contagious groove. Dying Fetus played a steady set of hit songs of their brand of that slams like a rhino in heat.

    Ast, Ancst and Thränenkind
    at X-B-Liebig, Berlin on Thursday, November 20th

    First bands to see in this house project in Friedrichshain. The bar side there consisted of two small rooms and no actual stage, so during this sort of hip show the place was packed full. I don't have much of story about these bands, y flannel shirt black metal all the way. Ast, the starter duo, were cool with their stripped-down approach. Ancst were more crusty and forgettable, albeit I only listened to them from the back of the crowded room. Thränenkind were once again one of those bands that worked really well live, vivid and rocking, but for some odd reason their records didn't make any lasting impression on me, before or after the concert.

    Totenwald and Dividing Lines
    at Køpi, Berlin on Friday, December 12th

    Both played neat old-school post-punk, Totenwald from Berlin and Dividing Lines from Leipzig. A basic damp cellar show with an audience of introverted blazed-out crusties.

    Morbus Chron, Triptykon and At the Gates
    at Postbahnhof, Berlin on Saturday, December 20th

    This was another concert I got in in exchange of my time handing out flyers to other concert-goers. I took the aforementioned Aussie bud to be my aide and companion in this task. We were treated politely by the staff at the door (for once!) and listened a bit of Morbus Chron's sound check with the singer of At the Gates. We didn't see the actual show, because we had to go to the door to toss our junk (the flyers, duh), down a couple beers and to call those who didn't accept the flyers posers.

    By the point we were about finished, we popped some acid and went in to witness the mighty Triptykon. Their sound was huge and clear, and I could imagine a cool Alpine wind sweeping over me. After seeing them the fourth time, I have spent about same time listening to them live as I have by listening their records. We were also catered some slowed-down Hellhammer and Celtic Frost gems too as usual.

    I lost the Aussie culprit and socialised with the local German stock before heading back to the show room for At the Gates. I haven't been much into them before, but they really sold their craft to me that night. Some of their more preppy songs were a bit too much, but the overall atmosphere was grand. There was even a wedding couple doing some spins along a more up-beat instrumental moment. My heart melted a bit at the sight of their overwhelming joy.

    After the show the DJ, a middle-age forever-teenager, started playing some of the worst dance floor pop imaginable. I went to the set to talk to him but he responded coldly and called security to drive me off. The place emptied double-fast but we stayed for a beer and a joint. Soon the 50's dad hair jocks with glossy puffy vests poured in. Apart from some odd smirks and ironic Dio horn signs, the air, especially outside, started to reek of hostility. I can't recall how many times we were called Assi (basically a fuck-up, drop-out) and other things, but eventually we shouldered ourselves out before anything worse happened, and shouted some offensive nonsense to the huge queue outside the venue. All in all, a great success.

  • Concerts witnessed in MMXV era vulgaris

    11 Feb 2015, 23:00 de haadeus

    Introduction & Disclaimer

    Hello dear reader. I am glad that you made it to this side of the internet. Some might even refer to this as to the very fringe of it. A place of wonder where non-Euclidean calculus is applied to reach the utmost pits, Darwinian evolution is defiled with putrid subterranean mutations and the common morals of society are cast aside and spat upon, while the Lady Justitia, that wretched skank, writhes in the gutter with torn garments, begging for next hit and further debauchery. But I digress. I think I know why you are here. You would like to read about a particular Artist that I have tagged to this post. Well, you're in luck today, since I like to write. I see an immediate, reciprocal relationship manifesting here between the two of us. I will cherish this beautiful moment until the day I hit the big sleep... or at least until when the nerve connections hosting the said memory are reduced to mere cinders. Which is, apparently, just a matter of time. Anyways, I've been pondering upon the prospect of writing a blog on a variety of musings – including music, of course – but for now I will settle with trying out the practicality of the journal feature of this fine, fine website service that I have been using somewhat regularly since November 2007. I will start with the most recent events I have attended, but depending on inspiration I might reminisce all the way down to my first metal festival in 2005 when I witnessed live the mighty Dissection. At the end of the day, I write for myself, but I do wish like-minded people (read: metal nerds) find my rantings enjoyable.

    Blackdeath, Ondskapt, Archgoat and Inquisition
    at K17, Berlin on Tuesday, January 20th

    First concert of the new year was one that I had been waiting for a couple months with growing anticipation, mainly because Inquisition had been one of my favourite "new" or "more modern" (read: active) black metal bands for the past odd-five years. K17 is far from an optimal location for this kind of line-up – instead of an underground metal den, the place is actually more of a rock-oriented night club in the northern Friedrichshain. I hadn't been to a concert at K17 before, but I have fond memories of downing cheap shots of spicy Mexicaner and dancing to DAF and other infamous Härte hits with a Swedish friend some time ago.

    By the way, going to a show sober, ordering alcohol-free beer, dreadlocked and not wearing a single black piece of clothing, topped with a khaki Om shirt can give you some odd looks from uninitiated Amon Amarth fans. I might have gained some questionable credibility back by speaking Finnish to Archgoaters and -goatesses, and by finally purchasing my very own Inquisition swag.

    Blackdeath had a properly raw and menacing sound. The vocalist, wearing a Laibach-esque headgear and Immortal-tier spikes, produced vocals that reminded of raking nails over a chalkboard. The drummer seemed to be pummeling through the set with the exact same beat over and over – and that's how their songs ended up sounding, too, for the uninitiated. I do have one LP, "Bottomless Armageddon" by them stashed in a safe location in the cold north, so that at least some droning will be preserved for the post-apocalyptic generations.

    Ondskapt sounded modern Swedish, looked modern Swedish, felt modern Swedish. They had the whole kit; skulls, capes, candles, ash/flour scattered all over. I checked most of their set and went to have a coffee and coke at a nearby Turkish Späti.

    Archgoat delivered again exactly what was expected. Relentless, lo-fi, rather droning black metal, very much in the vein of the first Beherit LP. The low end was now more audible than last time, and the smell of blood was less prevalent. The high and low points of bigger stages – apparently you can't have both. I liked the sharply pronounced and no-nonsense stage patter "Vokal. Up." and "Peer. Peer." that echoed of my past life elsewhere. I cannot say that I recognised any pieces from their recordings, but that kind of things are anyways secondary when witnessing an Aural Assault. After the concert I met a 20-odd year-old guy from Helsinki who told me how Archgoat was the band for him. He was following the band to their next concert, too, and told that his first tattoo would be an Archgoat one. I support the devotion.

    Inquisition conquered the stage around midnight. I thought beforehand that the wait for the headliner would turn out to be strenuous, but the time passed effortlessly. The sound was clear enough and the duo played a good mix of old and new songs. Even one track from the dark nineties was played as an encore, but I cannot recall which. The stage's lighting work added a trippy effect to the already astral mood of the concert. Seldom do I feel after a show that I could easily have the same again tomorrow – or at least the next week. And this was already the third time I had the privilege to witness them play. Good times.

    Chamber and Antlers
    at Kastanienkeller, Berlin on Friday, January 30th

    Kastanienkeller is a nice crammed cellar underneath a posh pseudo-leftist café in the heart of Prenzlauer Berg. Every time I have visited the place, they've been blasting quality stuff from Melvins to Bathory. The beer is cheap, too.

    Chamber was a rather modern-sounding, slightly fuzzy, somewhat atmospheric black metal band. Actually they didn't stick to my backbone that well, but I'd dare to say they were influenced by . The audience was really not much into it either, and I found the vocalist's learned, stiff stage mannerisms rather out of place. Him taking his shirt off, with the audience still standing around in slightly chilly room with their overcoats on, was a bit cringe-worthy. Cool hardcore tattoos, though. During the concert it occurred to me strongly that "that guy could be me." There was none of the otherworldliness many artists are able to create around themselves, but this might have been also due to the inadequate setting.

    Antlers had a good dose of in their black metal, without being too punk instead of metal. At times they even had a very first wave sound to their songs. Even if I had no expectations for the evening, this kind of captivating, nicely repetitive, no-nonsense metal is exactly what I want to hear for my few euros spent when I decide to attend an event on Stressfaktor that mentions black metal. I found it a bit amusing that Antlers was once again one of those bands that have various shirt designs available before any records are out. Supposedly an album is coming out during summer. Or maybe I just remember wrong, I might have enjoyed some Friday air. I'll be looking forward to their future endeavours with interest.

    Monowelt and Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat
    at Urban Spree, Berlin on Friday, February 6th

    Urban Spree is a club in southern Friedrichshain. I think most of the time it's more of a dance hall, and this night the parts apart of the concert room were off-limits. Outside, a couple of quirky specialist kind of guys were spilling gasoline recklessly without managing to properly set a fire in a barrel.

    Monowelt was a young duo from Berlin, playing rather minimalistic type of and with an emphasis on the electronics. The resulting sound was fuzzy and loud, and the vocals and guitar were too silent in the background. Maybe this was done on purpose, but I would have liked to hear a bit more variation, both in sound and in material.

    Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat had a quite lengthy, yet very enjoyable show. I dare to say their brand of worked a lot better in live setting than on record. There was more air, feel and grit in the compositions. After the show, outside by the aforementioned barrel-fire I got harassed by a Russian girl whom I might or might not have said something inappropriate in my broken ру́сский язы́к. Eventually she tore off my Nasum's "recycled all-seeing eye" pin that had travelled with me in over ten countries. She did return it, but apparently on a whim I decided to give it to a goth maiden who managed to make an impression on me.

    Sunshine & Lollipops, Backstab Legends and Dismembers
    at Das Edelweiss, Berlin on Friday, February 20th

    Just hearing of a concert taking place in the infamous Görlitzer Park raises some curious eyebrows. I've personally had my run-ins with the night (and day) life of the seedier parts of Kreuzberg, and therefore have learned to tread carefully in these parts of the German capital. I stumbled to the location slightly late, and listened to the first couple tracks by Sunshine & Lollipops from outside, quickly downing my regular travel beer. A young junkie tried to sell me heroin, which I actually found to be rather shocking in all his bluntness. Weed and speed dealers to whom I just give a polite "nein, danke" are a staple in this neighbourhood, but heroin? come on, I am not that desperate to kill the pain. The guy had the cheek to ask for a cigarette, and upon hearing me not having any, he lighted one behind my back. A gent, I tell you.

    Sunshine & Lollipops was a self-confessed duo from the very Hauptstadt. They had a proper sound going on with a couple neatly slowed-down pieces that I enjoyed the most. It might have been because of the overflowing sex appeal of the band members, but I think I've never seen this many girls in bright lipstick and retro skirts in a black metal concert. After the show I took another step towards being a cautious adult, when I cracked open a pack of active carbon filters and a bag of Knaster herb mix. While doing this and chatting with the doorman, a fellow immigrant, we heard raging insults and shouting from the park. A moment after, a crazed-out lad charged towards us with a thick piece of a branch, but luckily he was enough in this world to notice that we were not the culprits he was after... soon enough the Polizei arrived to the scene and I headed back indoors for the next band.

    Backstab Legends had the floor full of the aforementioned crowd with their brand of nihilistic . Their style is really difficult to pin-point for me, but let's just call it a merit of creativity. I think I spotted some leanings to nineties punk scene and . Oddly enough, some slower intros to songs reminded me of epic 70's metal bands. The Texan-led wolf pack did not let the audience to take the easy way by spewing forth insults between songs and poking out some tacky and/or well-placed middle fingers.

    By the point the Dismembers duo hit the stage and started blasting their barbarian tunes of Venom-esque dis-punk'n'roll, a great deal of people had already left the venue. I think the herbs in liquor and in smokes I had consumed along the evening might have played a part, but their primitive aggression really hooked me in. A proper soundtrack for the apocalyptic hordes.

    at Abstand, Berlin on Monday, February 23rd

    A proper classic jazz orchestra playing in a crusty squat on a Monday night? Count me in! I wanted to attend at least one of their weekly shows in February after seeing their poster on the street, but only managed to attend their last one in this venue. The following month of March they'll play a variety of places in Kreuzberg, and if my daily schedule allows I might attend another of their shows. Their music was, simply put, celestial. The orchestra, armed with drums, classic double bass and various blown instruments, played a variety of apparently well-known seventies tunes, including Sun Ra and such, with enthusiasm and vigor. The songs and the band was introduced by ragingly theatrical gentleman who shouted political polemics, joked around, and occasionally completely lost himself into dance. Excellent show with small entrance fee, and Astra beer served for one euro. This is what Mondays should be made of.

    Nekyia Orchestra, Boden and Bait
    at XB-Liebig, Berlin on Saturday, February 28th

    Nekyia Orchestra played straightforward modern with an uniform low grunt. No big atmospheric interludes, no classic doom or southern rock influence, just a steady tread of negativity.

    Boden blew me away with their unfortunately short assault of searing, -y sludge much in the vein of Burning Witch, but with otherworldly morbid, screeched female vocals and spacey interludes. Great band, have to look up their records sometime.

    Bait was not the Deviated Instinct member's side-project I expected it to be, but a German modern mid-paced band with some occasional moments that reeked heavily of melodic black metal. Their dark and desolate tunes, not that far from Tragedy and their ilk, were a pain/pleasure for my ears.

    The next day, Sunday, I went with my partner, son and mother-in-law to a political music event in Theater unten Dach, Prenzlauer Berg where old proles played their leftist folk/schlager ever-greens and reminisced on the turbulent times in the German Democratic Republic. In total it was rather lukewarm man-and-guitar music, but the final geezer had a pleasant pacing in his story-telling, and a nice nasal vibrato in his voice that he could have emphasised even more for maximum impact.

    Cinema Cinema and Dead Sentries
    at Schokoladen, Berlin on Monday, March 2nd

    I agreed ex tempore to a friend's invite to check out what this joint in seldomly visited Mitte has to offer. Supposedly the place has been previously known as a smaller hive of local underground rock culture, but nowadays the place has a bit too commercial aura to it. I visited this place a year earlier, and would have gotten in for free(!/?), as a guest, to Islaja gig, but sadly she had already finished her show and I headed elsewhere.

    Cinema Cinema were a seasoned two-piece band from Brooklyn (I think nobody in the room missed this fact) that reminded me of Clutch at times. A prime pastiche of nineties American rock'n'roll.

    Dead Sentries played a more timeless form of American . Simple, loud and entertaining like a Kreuzberg metro tram around midnight.

    Nekyia Orchestra, Chambers and Whorls
    at XB-Liebig, Berlin on Saturday, March 7th

    I caught the final death grunts and instrumental fadeout of the familiar Nekyia Orchestra. It seems to me they're becoming somewhat of a house band for XB, and any house could do a lot worse than that.

    Chambers and Whorls played -fused (or the other way around, your choice), very much in the vein of the bands that played the week before. Albeit relentless, captivating and emotional, I might have had by now a bit too much of this style and crave for something else.

    Ravencult and Drowned
    at Cortina Bob, Berlin on Sunday, March 15th

    I was invited by a friend to check this gig out. I was planning to go to Cortina Bob already earlier for a High Spirits show, but eventually decided otherwise. C-Bob is a crammed metal pub near the aforementioned Görlitzer Park with moderate price beer, house-made liquorice shots and stellar King Diamond blasting loud from the speakers. Outside the lot I struck a lively conversation with a couple of southern German businessmen, and garnered attention from a reporter who was immensely curious of these gentlemen's craft. I am yet unsure if we ended up on tape or not.

    Ravencult played their morbid metal with an utmost regard to the dark forefathers of the first wave. Oftentimes their uniform pummeling was more in the strictest sense of the term, than some of the recent shows I've witnessed at the local house projects.

    Drowned continued the spirit of purity in tradition and poured forth the most rancid old school I have heard in time that seems like ages. I particularly enjoyed their occasional, yet brief, descent into slower dirges, but in general the hammering remained very much mid-paced.

    NOSK, Schürhaken Körner and Convulsif
    at XB-Liebig, Berlin on Wednesday, March 18th

    An event on a grey Wednesday evening titled 17th Irreversible Brain Distortion Night is a sure go-go. The first band, NOSK, I believe, played what I'd call with drums, contrabass mistreatment, and blown instruments. Occasional distorted, inhuman screams in the vein of Xasthur were layered on top of the loud experimentation. First time in a while when one needed earplugs, which a fellow Finn at the bar counter was kind enough to provide.

    Schürhaken Körner was a quirky keyboard-laden rock band with enthusiastic, rather high-pitched singer. They label themselves as and , but according to what I heard I'd also add that they might've been the closest thing to I have heard live in this country.

    If an artist doesn't define themselves with a genre, but mentions a band as their genre, especially when the band in question is the mighty Darkthrone, my interest has been awakened. The masked hoodlums of Convulsif, however, didn't sound even remotely of Darkthrone, even if their occasional, more metal-oriented moments in-between the droning free jazz were those of the blacker kind. Once again I might add that drone is a difficult craft, and requires proper build-up of atmosphere to endure longer dirges. While this band might've not developed their sound to that extent, in total their show was positively interesting. Probably due to the theme of the night, after the concert I had some of the more memorable bar-counter encounters and conversations in the recent while with some travellin'-ramblin' freemen.

    Ära Krâ, Downfall of Gaia and Der Weg einer Freiheit
    at Bi Nuu, Berlin on Thursday, March 19th

    Finally, a new flyer-tossing shift that I caught on less than a day's notice. The early evening hours passed surprisingly well, greeting people in the brisk wind while dodging dealers and bottle-collectors, and smoothening my slight hangover with a flask of Weinbrandt. I caught a bit of Ära Krâ's show from the door. They sounded like decent dark with some interludes. It would be actually cool to see some small-time band play in the vein of Shadows Fall and Killswitch Engage, but I quess that style is not so hip anymore...

    The place was super-crowded when Downfall of Gaia, the only band in the evening I knew beforehand, played. I went in too late and wasn't enthuasiastic enough to elbow myself rudely to the front like I normally do, so eventually I just chilled in the bar-lounge. They sounded cool and bass-heavy, but for some reason I wasn't in the zone at that moment.

    Der Weg einer Freiheit took me by surprise. I had never even heard the name, but apparently people in the front of the stage even knew some of their lyrics and basically everyone I spoke to before the show gave a lot of hype on them. Der Weg played modern, atmospheric with nuance, beauty and contrasts. The very first song with eerie clean vocals, along the lines of Urfaust at their more sane moments, stuck to my head the most. While this band is rather far from something to slam dance to, there was a guy next to me air-punching his imaginary foe with extreme intensity, occasionally beating him/her in the floor on his knees. I tried to steer clear of him, since even one elbowful of that ferocity in the face would end me up with broken teeth. Kids/jocks living their extended puberty: leave the meth out of my metal shows.

    Malthusian and Altar of Plagues
    at Tommy-Weisbecker-Haus, Berlin on Thursday, March 26th

    On a dingy, drizzly Thursday evening I decided to embark on checking out this joint, located in the deep bowels of Kreuzberg. Tommyhaus is a modest place with a big hall for a larger audience and a neat front yard to spend the down time. No Sternburg served, but cheap and hoppy Wicküler as a nice alternative. Surprisingly, the evening was sold out, but I managed to purchase a ticket outside (on a lower price, even) from a seasoned gent and offered the remainder of the price to him in beer while he vividly reminisced on the times past.

    Malthusian played a very fuzzy and trance-inducing form of which reminded me of Portal and their ilk. Really cool unknown band with a huge sound, but apparently just one demo out. After the show I unintentionally managed to piss off a bunch of local urban breed populating the bar counter. Probably I was being too casual and in a too preppy mood for such gloomy fellows, but by luck I only ended up with verbal threats in slurred Berlinisch, topped with a couple of poignant fuck off's. Luckily rest of the people I encountered that night were in higher spirits.

    By the point Altar of Plagues started and I stumbled back indoors, the air was extra-damp with perspiration and moisture, and one could almost see the abundantly lingering herbal smoke fall flat on the floor from the weight of the air. Since the place was crowded full, there was no room to mosh – and since the statue-like Germans tend to be shy on moshing, I didn't want to end up in another battle that evening. The band sounded very much to the point, and I would have definitely enjoyed a slightly longer set. Afterwards I ended up talking about British doom metal with a lad from Wreck of the Hesperus, whose album has one Albert Witchfinder in vocals that I ought to check out. I might have also learned some Italian along the span of the evening but the knowledge seems to exist only on a more subliminal level now. Clandestine, subliminal, occult Italian to top off my previously known curses and culinary items.

    at Abstand, Berlin on Sunday, April 5th

    I was inspired by the old records by Discharge, Poison Idea, and their ilk to go and witness some no-nonse, back to the core values -d-beat. I missed the first band, aptly titled "Shitcharge", by a hair. The Swedish band, Crutches, was very much what one could expected. I enjoyed the show. Balding, bearded punks in heavily studded vests paying their homage to the dis-forefathers and shouting incomprehensible lyrics in Swedish. Good soundtrack for celebrating the eve of one's own aging, and exhausting one's stash with a Texan buddy in the early morning hours.

    Rhythmic Ceremonial Ritual and Ania
    at XB-Liebig, Berlin on Thursday, April 9th

    Two bands, out of which Ania blew the bank. The first one was once again more black metal -influenced act, this time from Glauchau. Ania was from Leipzig and managed to inspire a pit of elbowing, crazed-out disco girls.

    Ich Bin N!ntendo and Margaret Unknown vs BEEATSZ
    at XB-Liebig, Berlin on Sunday, April 12th

    We wanted to go for a couple beers with a fellow dragonaut after coming down from a meandering day trip, and decided to stop by at my favourite house project. Two bands played there, other being (!), and while I found them to be merely decent, my friend was in flames with the shows they pulled.

    Treedeon and Eyehategod
    at Cassiopeia, Berlin on Monday, April 13th

    Treedeon opened the show with their brand of utterly mediocre . Their sound consisted of groovy fuzz topped with a raspy female singer that probably satisfies the die-hard stoners, but personally I seldom venture beyond the compulsory nods to Kyuss and the doomier side of fuzz, such as Acid King. That's the thing, they were too upbeat for me, totally out of my zone. I almost regretted rushing to the spot from my voluntary work duties, but better early than Too Late. I went to the venue sober and wanted to stay so, firstly because the last time I saw EHG play in Ghent, Belgium I indulged in excess, and secondly because I was still enjoying the afterglow from the day before. However, I left the opener to finish their set, and treated myself to a ritualistic Southern (dis)Comfort, a drink previously known to me only through this band. Surprising, a bit too sweet, sunny, smooth. As if someone distilled a stronger drink from Club Mate.

    I conquered a spot in the very front of the modest stage with my bourbon and chatted with fellow devotees until the band members appeared. Mike stumbled to the scene last, throwing his backpack and other belongings around and started the show. The pit started immediately behind my back on the first song, and remained active, yet relatively under control the entire duration of the jam. Jam, indeed, since while the noise these fine lads pour forth is violent, raw, and uncompromising, it is the laid-back groove that keeps everything together and makes this band a living legend. The stage patter and odd jokes, mostly by Mike and Jimmy, added to the weirdly positive mood of the evening. I definitely felt that I was among my kind of people, for good and bad. The band played a lo)))ng set with a good mixture of songs spanning their entire career, including Sister Fucker parts one and two played back to back. It was especially nice to hear some tracks from the less-popular(?) Confederacy of Ruined Lives LP, like 30$ Bag and Revolution/Revelation.

    Hell Nation Army and Poison Idea
    at Wild at Heart, Berlin on Friday, April 24th

    I went to check out this legendary band after, once again, a night of proper debauchery. While downing my hormone-equalizing, prescriptionary loippari/smoothener I checked Hell Nation Army for a short while before retiring to the side aisle to chat with Russian travellers. The place was already crowded full, and apparently people like this kind of mediocre waste of breath and effort. Wild at Heart itself is a rather regular punk rock oriented club – painfully upper-class, but very much in the vein of earlier mentioned Cortina Bob that is situated right next door.

    Poison Idea has had its share of changes in the crew, but the band sounded like an unit and very much like it was the furious eighties all over again. Their punk attitude had not dropped along the mileage and with some sarcastic stage patter it was pointed out that supposedly people don't buy their new albums at all, only the classics, and because of this they wouldn't know their newer songs. I checked the final couple songs in the front row, when the pit had mellowed down, and encountered one brat hailing from Portland who was supposed to get me in to this concert on the guest list... I guess this geezer is just hot air altogether – albeit an intriguing character, nonetheless. He disappeared to the shadows upon our encounter after a couple of friendly words, as expected.

    Sunshine & Lollipops and Blast Injury
    at Café Köpenick, Berlin on Saturday, April 25th

    Pandas statt Braunbären was the name of this evening extravaganza, that included two live bands and a couple of lectures about , racism, misogyny and homophobia in extreme metal. I only listened the second lecture with my staggering German skills, but according to what I heard the person in charge seemed to know what she was talking about. Outside the lecture I got some direct feedback about my Inquisition shirt, from a guy who seemed to be knowledgeable of metal trivia, but sadly had problems expressing himself in English. Later on I also heard how Judas Iscariot is such a horrible band to be a fan of because of Akhenaten's affiliations with the Polish scene. I do appreciate that some people pay attention to these things, the ideological backgrounds of artists – unlike all the pathetically "apolitical" metalheads out there.

    Sunshine & Lollipops, the Simon & Garfunkel of , were as cool as the previous time. Their sound was a bit clearer this time around and I managed to recognise more than just a couple of songs from the previous concert. I regretted the decision of not taking my son out to see these guys play, since hearing this kind of bands play must be essential for the growth of an infant.

    Blast Injury was a ferocious band formed by enthusiastic local youngsters. While the audience was modest in size, a great deal of them seemed to be familiar with the band, and formed a hectic pit early on. I recall someone even attempted on some sort of stage diving antics, but shyed out eventually.

    Punx 'n' Parasites: Antibastard and The Gash
    at Wagendorf Wuhlheide, Berlin on Thursday, April 30th

    Wagendorf Wuhlheide is an extensive trailer park village in the outskirts of the capitol, neatly hidden in the midst of the woods. They celebrated the first of May with a two-day punk festival which I visited on the firs day. I was unsure of my direction when arriving to the train station, but by luck I spotted a bunch of post card punks and inquired their direction in German, only to find out their lingua franca was UK82 and that their direction was indeed the same as mine.

    After a ten-minute trek on meandering footpaths we reached the turf, and amongst semi-feral dogs and Woodstock-esque mud spillage I was welcomed by a fellow dragonaut and a couple shots of rancid moonshine. The earlier bands had a rather amateurish and/or light-weight approach to their punk, but when Antibastard took the reins, the shit hit the man. Their solid and effective working class hardcore street punk rose to the head and set the things inside afire – just like the aforementioned moonshine.

    I saw The Gash slay the year before in the putrid candle-lit cellar of my regular pub, Sama-Café, and they were the main reason I dragged my sordid bones into this forest where moisture in air and pants started to exceed sub-tropical levels. Their excessively headbang-inducing ranged from classic metal punk to full-blown 90's blackness. When the drummer and vocalist changed duties for the last songs, they took a classic direction with utterly high-pitched vocalisations.

    Sunshine & Lollipops and Der Feind
    at K19, Berlin on Saturday, May 9th

    Earlier this day I went with my family to celebrate the Victory Day at Treptower Park where, apart from hearing some modern and schlager tunes, I witnessed one stellar group playing Russian folk and leftist songs. The group was dressed in beautiful folk attires, and the singer, who did parts of the international songs in impeccable French and German, struck me especially with her voice and ladylike grace.

    When the dusk started to descent, I headed to good old Friedrichshain for the Der Feind record release party. I missed the first artist because of the faulty map in the Facebook event, that showed the location of the electro-club R19 (this city and its endless amount of locales with abbreviations as names!), but the girl at the door assured me that they were just an uninteresting modern rock band. Comforting words indeed.

    Sunshine & Lollipops had a significantly more norsecore sound this time around, increasing gradually towards the end of the show to trance-inducing heights. The venue was a crammed cellar with supporting pillars sort-of forming a square inside which the bands played in.

    Finally, the main treat of the evening, Der Feind, was a thrashing, gritty, pissed-off hardcore punk band that pulled an energetic show. I decided to stumble homewards at the point when some local "punks" started to manifest their xenophobic sensibilities, only to end up chatting a while with an ex-con Jewish Yugoslavian-war veteran on the steps of the Rathaus. Out of the frying pan, into the fire they say, but the latter one's violent tendencies I can at least try to comprehend.

    Motorama and Delusive Utopia
    at Magnet Club, Berlin and Abstand, Berlin on Friday, May 14th

    After a rather long break I did a flyering shift to see this Russian band. I was unaware that they are so ragingly popular – the queue was rather long the hour plus that I tossed about by the door, and the club was packed full when the concert started. I neatly dodged the main crowd and situated myself by the side passage, to a somewhat secluded VIP position where I still had a clear view to the entire stage. The show itself was neat, but for me their music was missing the utter peaks and dirges – especially the apathetic monotony of the singer started to be a bit of a trifle towards the end. Overall their sound was good, but it seemed a bit that they had the same bitter-sweet synth melody and drum beat repeated with slight variations – eventually sounding like they'd be playing the same song over and over again.

    Afterwards I decided to find myself some more affordable beer and to see what's what at good ol' Rigaer Straße, and while there I eventually decided to step into Abstand, where Delusive Utopia were about to start their blasting. The band is a common sight on Stressfaktor (or Stressi) concert announcements and enjoys a strong following amongst the local grassroots punks, so it's a wonder that I haven't managed to see them any time earlier. Their popularity is not all hype, and I found their slower-mid-tempo with a heavy influence very pleasing. Extra mad props for the lead singer's blonde ankle-length dreads and big The Legend of Zelda belt buckle that created an image of a video game heroine gone crust.

    Subhumans, Doom, Weak and Meth Drinker
    at Carnival of Subculture, Berlin and Kastanienkeller, Berlin on Saturday, May 23rd

    My brother and his girlfriend came over to visit my family unit, and what better initiation to the Berlin air than a street fest outside the most notorious squat in the city? We strolled about a while and checked only a couple songs by the stalwarts Subhumans, since the hungry travellers demanded me to locate themselves some grub. Eventually, after some affordable Mexicanesque food and cherry schnapps we were back to hear the final beats of the crust legends Doom. Such is life.

    Since I missed my required dose of noise, I suggested we'd head northwards to Prenzlauer Berg to witness some proper . Weak from Denmark was definitely not a weak act with their brand of pessimistic pummeling, but Meth Drinker was the main treat of the evening. Old school sludge metal from New Zealand – no stoner or psychedelic tendencies served. A guy in front of me took out his glass pipe on the first drum beats and spread the indescribable chemical fumes in the already smoked-out room – something one doesn't see in public bars that often. It did suit the name of the band, though.

    The next day we went out to the actual Carnival of Culture, for which the Carnival of Subculture is a reaction to, where I saw a middle-eastern folk orchestra inside the church. The music was splendid, melodic, beautifully melancholic folk played with a kantele-like instrument, synth, and simple drums very similar to the ones Sámi witches of the north use – echoes of mutual cultural origins, perhaps? There were also appropriately dressed traditional dervishes spinning forth at the foreground their trance-inducing dances, and I would have stayed for the entire concert if my companions wouldn't have had such a short attention span...

    Lucifer, The Order of Israfel and Pentagram
    at SO36, Berlin on Thursday, May 28th

    This was my second time witnessing the glorious forefathers Pentagram – last time was the long-awaited European tour four or so years ago, and then they ruled. SO36 is far from being a favourite venue for me – service there is unfriendly and the overall mood of the place is a bit cranky.

    Lucifer was a Berlin-based band with a wicked female singer and decent tunes to boot. Good vibes, but nothing new under the sun. The Order of Israfel sparked my interest a bit more with their epic folk-tinged doom rock, and it came to me as no surprise when I heard these guys were from the motherload of the best modern doom rock – Sweden.

    Finally Pentagram took the stage and cranked out a long set of mostly classic material that has stood the test of time. So has Bobby Liebling: although, when I saw him last time he already looked ancient – now he looked almost mummified, but his sleazy mannerisms and rabid energy hadn't mellowed out the slightest bit. Also, I was so sure that it wasn't Victor Griffin on guitar this time – I've seen him once with Pentagram and once with Place of Skulls – but apparently the younger-looking fellow at the axe was him. Perhaps it was his new hair detergent and cross-fit trainer that made the difference? Go figure.

    Weedruid, Dis Disaster, Meat, Krautstomper and Düb
    at Bunte Kuh, Berlin on Saturday, May 30th

    Bunte Kuh is a cool house project complex near Weißensee, just a stone's throw from my place. I've been bringing food donations and downing some beers there a couple of times, but never for a concert.

    When I got around to the back room of a crammed cellar, Weedruid was chugging an instrumental stoner doom jam with a few old audio clips thrown into the mix. Dis Disaster was apparently a Polish-German-Israeli d-beat alliance. Very faithful to the originators of the style, and fun as hell. Meat was an unpolished old school death metal act with crust and death-doom influences that heated up the room to even greater heights than the previous band. Definitely worth checking the next time they're around. Krautstomper played an instrumental psych-krautrock jam that slowed things down a bit too much after the high-energy madness, and after checking a few funk-infused hardcore songs by Düb I finally decided to call it a day.

    Torkel T, Boykott-Der neue Norden, Jennifer Gegenläufer, Meesu, Yansn, Mpnz and Antinational Embassy
    at K9, Berlin on Saturday, June 5th

    I had school-friends staying over and they wanted to see some underground action, so I took them down to K9 in Friedrichshain. K9 (not K17, K19 nor R19, mind you!) is a basement complex behind/under the bar Revolucion, and rather difficult to locate for the first time. Torkel T had his record release party there, an energetic lad that I was surprised to find out to be a familiar face from political circles, but he was in the end the only performer who we didn't see at all since my friends lack the endurance that the Berlin lifestyle requires...

    The style throughout the evening was . For the uninitiated, it's the label used in Berlin and roundabouts for leftist anti-racist . I won't get into evaluating the performances separately, due to my lack of knowledge of the scene and staggering understanding of rapped German (or Berlinisch), but I can say they ranged from really good to rather forgettable. Yansn was a local female rapper that I've seen once rapping in a park the summer before, and she was my definite highlight of the evening. In a park she was more reserved and seemed to rap mostly for herself, but in a club environment she was in flames, and so was the audience.

    MOTOR and Speedtrap
    at Bei Ruth, Berlin on Saturday, June 6th

    Bei Ruth is a bar in a grey industrial hall, in a grey industrial neighbourhood in Neukölln. When I arrived to the spot I waited a while at the main street because a bunch of muslims were having their evening prayers in the middle of the pathway... soon they finished and I headed onwards with a pack of familiar die-hards to see MOTOR play. They were a Venom-esque outfit of sloppy, drunken fun.

    I've lost count of how many times I've seen Speedtrap play. Something close to ten times – let's say eight then. They've always ruled the night with their turbo-packed, over-the-top , and this time was not an exception. Two new lads have joined their ranks along the way, and the original bassist Markus is nowadays behind the drum kit. The show was sweaty moshing madness through and through. The first times I saw them live, they covered the classic anthem "Moottorilinnut" by Kimmo Kuusniemi Band, and I've been ever since been looking forward (and demanded!) them to play it again. Maybe one day.

    After the show I raced to Abstand to see if I'd manage to see Stolen Kidneys play, but the guys were already packing their van for an all-night ride to Rostock. The lads were not so amused that I preferred heavy metal over their brand of sludgy punk, but it was nice to catch up with the fellow northerners nonetheless.


    Since I head for an extended holiday in the north, this is a good point to conclude this journal and continue in an another entry once I see something worthwhile. Not sure if I'll see any bands play while away – it pains me that St. Vitus with Reagers will be playing in Helsinki, but I am elsewhere in that wretched country. So ist Leben.

  • In_zekT - Industrial-Scale Murder review 2015 industrial metal djent

    22 Ene 2015, 11:06 de fabrykamagazine

    In_zekT - Industrial-Scale Murder |self-released, single, 2015| 5/5 industrial metal djent

    After their successful release of the Artifex album in 2013, In_Zekt had come up with another idea. The newest, over 20 minutes long extended single is made up of various compositional parts. It's an avant-garde suite, which technically could be compared to those better known from classical or progressive tracks, though In_zekT's music is definitely much more 'bratty' yet disciplined than these.

    The first five minutes of the suite is built upon all-engaging dynamics. Ferocious arrangements were written for vocals, guitars, bass, drums and synths. All sounds are digitally altered however, which gives them a cybernetic-quality. The mood is aggressive, raging yet haunting and the inclusion of an EBM-like rhythm mixed with chunky guitar riffs will easily turn you into a headbanger in this pat.

    Since it's also industrial, you should expect machines - their silent or very loud sounds such as clicking, buzzing, whizzing, hissing, humming etc. are a significant ingredient of In_zekT's music. These, along with saturated, dark ambient backgrounds become welcomed breaks between more turbulent arrangements. And so, the next few minutes of the single will turn your imagination on.

    Then again, around 11th minute of the single, hell breaks loose again with uttermost intensity. Dense arrangements are expressed through a collaboration of heavy screams, digitalized drums, bass and chopped guitars. There's no place for spontaneity here, only discipline and order. Metal/djent fans will go crazy about the ultra fast tempo, atonal rhythm and violent formula which this part of Industrial-Scale Murder is made of.
    Don't be fooled though when the follow-up comes out softer, melodious and even sentimental, thus letting the heart slightly drop its heightened beat. In_zekT knows how to shock a listener with a sound, therefore you'll definitely witness it while listening what's next.

    The final portion of the single is 'the music of a vehicle', probably a bulldozer or excavator. If you enjoy environmental sounds so called 'field recordings' which are not synchronous, harmonic or pleasant for the ear, then you won't skip this part.

    Technically speaking, the sound quality, the mastering and production of Industrial-Scale Murder are all brilliant - the bass is deep, the riffs are scalpel-sharp and omnipresent industrial samples are crystal clear. The separate parts link very smoothly. Yet, the arrival of a new arrangement is usually unexpected, so this should keep your ears and brain fully attentive.

    The band members - Kjetil Ottersen (vocals, guitars, bass, synth, programming and sampling) and Peter Vindel (lead vocals, guitars, bass, synth, programming and sampling) admit to be inspired by works of Merzbow and other extreme noise-experimental artists, as well as hybrid metal bands such as Meshuggah.
    To me, fans of djent style, or the likes of Strapping Young Lad, Devin Townsend, and Fear Factory may find Industrial-Scale Murder a must-have release. In addition, there are scarcely any new genres being coined these days but with this single, In_zekT is undoubtedly stepping into something new. Should it become mainstream? This is up to you, the listeners, to make it more known through your support.
    Finally, according to the musicians, the concept of the single is based on a contemplation of events that unfolded throughout 2014 - a divide caused by conflicts between scarcely compatible societal models and civilizations.

    (Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, January 20th, 2015. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)
    Source: http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/articles.php?article_id=525


    Buy on:

  • Industrial field recordings - Pilbara, Australia

    28 Nov 2014, 16:15 de fabrykamagazine

    Field recordings of Rio Tinto trains transporting Iron Ore in The Pilbara, Western Australia, 2014.
    Recordings taken from near the switching yard, behind Cape Lambert. Copyright - recorded & owned by Australian sound designer Jeremy Silver.

    Listen to these12 tracks at: http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/news.php?readmore=529
    Share & comment (SoundCloud player).

    Follow Jeremy: http://twitter.com/baronwasteland_ & https://soundcloud.com/baronwasteland
    Thank you for your time! :)

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    Image source: Internet. All copyrights belong to image respective owners.

  • Godflesh returns with a new song 'Ringer'

    25 May 2014, 15:35 de fabrykamagazine

    British industrial metal band Godflesh returns with a new Decline & Fall EP to be released through Broadrick's own Avalanche Recordings on 06/26/2014. One of the songs, 'Ringer' is available for streaming on SoundCloud.

    "Decline & Fall" track listing & preview: on Fabryka Magazine at http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/news.php?readmore=498
  • Crash-Scan - Repeat Until False review metal experimental 2014

    25 May 2014, 10:45 de fabrykamagazine

    Crash-Scan - Repeat Until False |self-released, 2014| 5/5 metal experimental industrial

    1. Choke, 2. Pure, 3. Ohm, 4. Desolation, 5. Senescence, 6. Chrome Lies, 7. Chronic Atrophy, 8. Plans For Winter, 9. Tentacle Vortex, 10. An Eye For A Tooth, 11. Subduction, 12. Out Of Reach, 13. Under The Dirt

    Crash-Scan is a heavy yet innovative band from that formed in 2008. Repeat Until False album was released 5 years after the band's debut album Catalyst and is written, performed and recorded by Ron Nobbs (vocals, programming), Bryan Tabuteau (programming, synths), Vivian Stewart (guitar, bass) along with Brad Gallen (additional percussion).

    The music presented on the latest release is inspired by a variety of and bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Fear Factory, Meshuggah, and Gojira. Crash-Scan however, have taken the industrial metal genre to the next level. There are no melodies, rather pure torment expressed through machines and guitars. They took the core of what heavy steel industry is all about and transferred it into music - repetitions, noise, weight and all the impact you can imagine. The music on the album is about 'processing', 'making', 'transforming' and other associated activities. The atmosphere in all songs is comparable to that on Godflesh albums, though the sound is more modern.

    Let's look into the following 13 songs, with average track length varying between 3 to 6 minutes. The tracklist begins with "Choke", which will give you a taste of things to come. It sounds like a slower and distorted sound of the late 90s Ministry and Fear Factory, but flavored with Crash-Scan's own ingredients. It gets even noisier with experimental add-ons but the repetitions and heavy guitar riffs (cut with lighter motifs in a few spots) make the track as memorable as a mantra.

    "Pure" involves a bigger share of electronics, reminiscent of Frontline Assembly, but mixed with guitars and beats. The contrast between verses and choruses is accented better than in the previous song, but still almost lacks any melody. Distorted whispers add a sense of thrill.

    "Ohm" begins with a set of structured rhythms that are then followed by chunky guitar riffs. A variety of additional effects creates an experimental feel, with the vocal style similar to that of digitized black metal compositions. Heavy guitars create an interesting wall of sound near the end. Since they are digitally processed, there's a strong sense of higher mathematics flowing throughout this track.

    "Desolation" involves tuned down guitars and a very contrasty world music motif, as if it was derived from Turkish or Middle Eastern music. The sound may be irritating at first, but at the same time it sticks to your ears and underlines the verses. It is as if a painter splashed a natural color image with neon paint with equidistant spots. Angry, digitally processed vocals, looped effects (used so often by Fear Factory) and the overall sequence of sounds make it a memorable composition. In fact, it could gain even more attention with a matching music video.

    Now it’s time for the best track on this album. At first, there’s a creepy, piano-based intro enriched with a digital, gloomy follow-up. Then, it's transformed into amazing arrangements accompanied by a heavy load of guitars and distorted, hellish vocals that you'll love. The composition is complex, but this speaks for the band’s song-writing skills - and Crash-Scan are definitely proving theirs here. Less deformed guitars appear a bit later, and the overall feel of "Senescence" is that of shifting dynamics.

    The songs seems to be carefully put in order on the tracklist, and so those heavier are intersected with slower but equally dark moods. This applies for instance to "Chrome Lies". It sounds like it could have been developed better, however. The drums sound a tad too simple and repetitive, with the vocals falling into the background and almost gothic melodies coming out in some parts as well. Fortunately, the end of the track brings an intriguing heavy guitar arrangement.

    "Chronic Atrophy" brings atonal, broken rhythms and has quite an experimental feel, still being supported by healthy metal riffs and factory-like industrial tunes. The beat and the drums are perfectly set up for this composition, which is alive & kicking (or even stinging) inside of its dark meaning. You'll probably sense a bit of Ministry's Filth Pig and The Darkside of the Spoon albums in this song.

    Likewise, the next track "Plans For Winter" sounds like a mix of "Chronic Atrophy" and "Senescence" in terms of the composition complexity as well as general heaviness. The load of low tuned guitars and altered vocals are what Godflesh fans will enjoy here. If you like sounds accompanied by matching visuals, you may imagine a mining drill or any heavy gear making its way slowly through rather inaccessible terrain.

    "Tentacle Vortex" sounds like a heavy take on impressionism mixed with a complicated device manual - open to interpretation despite initial definition. Arrangements here are based on very heavy, tuned down guitars, noises, repetitions and distorted screams. They appear only in the background, so that they are not overwhelming. Besides, "Tentacle Vortex" is a very cool title; not only does it suit this track but also a book, movie or painting.

    Then there's "An Eye For A Tooth", another slow'n'heavy composition in case you thought it couldn't get any heavier. The song is not as 'easy' to remember as "Desolation" however, even though a similar high-pitched sound appears in a few spots. Again, classical industrial attributes are treated with a modern approach and, of course, guitars.

    You'll relax when "Subduction" appears in your speakers. It's a purely instrumental composition and a short one at that - a dark interlude, one of those you may associate with science fiction movies like Aliens or Event Horizon. It fits here thanks to the silently droning, reverberated sounds which create an atmosphere of both mystery and anxiety.
    To trouble your balanced mind, "Subduction" is followed by another heavy song entitled "Out Of Reach", bringing a heap of distorted sounds, feedback and dissonances. There are random low tuned chunky guitars, sampled monologues and angry deformed vocals; things which can be found in Ministry music but ground a bit better.

    The 13th song, "Under The Dirt" is the most traumatizing, even brainwashing experience. Not literary, but your brain may feel overwhelmed when reaching just the middle of the track, regardless if you try to fish out separated instrument tracks or understand the entire composition. It presents a combination of everything heard so far on the album but kept even dirtier, noisier, tuned lower, chaotic yet technical at the same time. I'm not talking about diving into a symbolic 'hell', but something way more disturbing.

    Repeat Until False sounds haunting and grabs your attention as much as a trip down into an endless spiral, thanks to repetitions and guitar riffs, but also omnipresent atonal rhythms. The beat is not too intense or overused, otherwise the songs would sound too danceable and marching and thus, shallow. The tracks on the album express depth, darkness and gravity, instead. You may find them occasionally chaotic because of the extended use of noise & distortions but the range of chaos is narrowed down by mathematically precise arrangements.

    Finally, it is worth mentioning that the album is available as a simple digital download as well as a highly customized, sophisticated and limited version on a 4GB USB drive.
    Crash-Scan are planning a few more live shows around New Zealand and the release of a new EP with 4 new songs and remixes from Repeat Until False. I urge you to support this band, since they still care for what others have abandoned - creative ideas.

    (Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, May 23rd, 2014. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)
    This review on Fabryka Magazine: http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/articles.php?article_id=535


    Buy on:

    See also: 'Choke' music video

    'Game Over' music video (from Catalyst album) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdERa_lrrfA
  • Maximum Sexy Pigeon - Unfit For Human Consumption EP review industrial metal…

    5 Feb 2014, 21:01 de fabrykamagazine

    Maximum Sexy Pigeon - Unfit For Human Consumption EP v2 |NoiseBastard, 2013| 5/5 industrial metal grindcore

    01. Tunguska!, 02. Dave Unlimited, 03. Army Of Arseholes, 04. Mindless Life Siphon, 05. HeadKick, 06. The Pig Welder, 07. NSFM [Messenger Of Shit], 08. Wreck Everything

    Maximum Sexy Pigeon is an Australian band that has been active since 2004 thanks to the founders - Yok Rzeznic ('Rzeznic' could be translated to 'butcher' in some Slavic languages) and AD Millennium (also known from bands such as Dream Sleep and Viral Millennium).
    They make mixed with a bit of - music they enjoy listening to. Surprisingly for the genre, they put a bit of satire into it. You won't hear popular schematic themes made up to satisfy the masses on this EP. Instead, you'll remember key traits of Maximum Sexy Pigeon's music expressed through intense, mechanically repeating arrangements based on tuned down guitar riffs, groovy bass lines and distorted vocals kept in a rough 'I-don't-care' tone. In this case, their piercing performance can be compared to full force steam hammering.

    Tunguska is a place in Russia where extraterrestrial astronomical object fell in 1908, causing large scale destruction. The blast is compared to that of the Little Boy atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, but about 1.000 times more powerful. Inspired by that impactful event, Maximum Sexy Pigeon wrote a song which is arranged for heavy and vibrating guitar riffs, an ear-drilling bass and matching drums. Together, the instruments build up a mighty wall of sound. The song in not overloaded with lyrics, but you may become slightly chased by the chorus line "I remember Tunguska". The overall package is instantly memorable after the first listening - just like 90s Ministry songs.

    "Dave Unlimited" is based on a stretched bass line and an anxious mood, as if someone was locked in a loop of torment. Obsessive arrangements gradually step up or down. Vocals are adjusted to the bass while the slightly disjointed drums add another, deeper layer of rhythm. Heavy guitars are present only in parts of the composition. Finally, compulsive repetitions make this track another annoyingly memorable piece.

    The next song, "Army of Assholes" sounds even more intrusive, with tuned down guitar and bass combo attacking the listener from all sides. Hateful vocals highlight the ironic contrast with the line 'I don't hate you' repeating throughout the track.
    "Mindless Life Siphon" sounds like a jackhammer thanks to its density and speed provided by guitars. Harsh vocals and industrial noises of a shifting mechanism add a matching flavor. Something you won't hear on this EP too often - a groovy melody - arises from the overall turmoil, but it's cast back into the overwhelming sonic vortex quite quickly.

    A rhythm based on a repetitive beat and chunky guitar riffs begins the spine of "HeadKick", but the tempo changes quite soon. You may notice a familiar sham laugh mixed with non-intrusive screams. Maximum Sexy Pigeon seems to be inspired by the sound of several influential 90s acts such as Ministry, pitchshiter or Godflesh. Thus, this kind of sampling was most probably borrowed from Ministry's music and plays a big part in this song.
    Contrastingly, dark ambient moods open "The Pig Welder", but then are replaced by a grinding mix of guitars, bass, drums, and distorted vocals. Some arrangements may sound familiar if you've ever listened to bands such as Testify or Fear Factory. It's the longest song on the EP, with parts built upon heavy rhythms but also cold, ambient passages. Similarly to previous compositions, the bass stimulates the track.

    "NSFM [Messenger Of Shit]" starts with a hammering reminiscent of heavy industry; a sound straight from a steel factory. The song is full of buzzing bass lines and heavy metal guitar riffs supported by drum beats. At times it’s slower than other tracks on the EP which increases the 'weight' of its sound.

    Finally, creepy screams open the last, most chaotic and violent track here - "Wreck Everything". Low, aggressive vocals are tightly packed into recurring arrangements based on looped guitar riffs, groovy bass and less exposed drums. Listening to this song feels like being thrown into a fast rotating industrial mixer filled with bricks, metal rods and gluing concrete, with a 100% chance that you're going to be painfully hit by something.

    Technically, Unfit For Human Consumption EP is an extended version of Maximum Sexy Pigeon's same-titled (and free) release which appeared in 2013. The duo decided to include three additional songs to the final tracklist. Their "Tunguska! (Water Retentive mix)" was featured on an Aussie electro V/A compilation in 2011 amongst songs by Skrew, Collide, Dismantled or Psyche. The new version provides a slightly lower tempo, while sounding less rough than the older mix. Still, it remains a track you can’t resist headbanging to.

    If you enjoy true industrial metal or wish to learn what the genre used to be, grab this CD directly from Maximum Sexy Pigeon (preferably via their Facebook page). It'd be also wise to support the band so they'd come up with the next batch of simple, efficient and mighty tracks, just like the ones on this release.

    (Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, February 4th, 2014. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)
    This review on Fabryka Magazine: http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/articles.php?article_id=523


    Buy CD via: https://facebook.com/maximumsexypigeon (contact the band directly)

    Tags: , , , , , ,
  • Recommended dark animated movies

    1 Feb 2014, 15:20 de fabrykamagazine

  • Core Ov Chaos - "C:o:C"

    19 Ene 2014, 22:52 de ParaNoir23

    "Core Ov Chaos" is a band from Berlin, GER in 2014 .
    Members are Anonimo / Berlin & XLII / Berlin .
    Anonimo / Berlin & XLII / Berlin

    The music of "Core Ov Chaos" is some kind of .
    Most of the Lyrics of the band are about Chaos Magic and some other mystics.
    Till today the band published 2 Songs which are available also at Lastfm.
    To have a prelisten you can hit the Playbutton in this article.

    Both songs are able to download for free...

    "Inner-Eternal-Sunshine" = Inner-Eternal-Sunshine
    "Up And Down" = Up And Down

    The "Core Ov Chaos" album "C:o:C" is still in progress !

    Have fun and a nice listen to 2 songs from Berlin.
  • Para Noir - "Para Noiser"

    18 Ene 2014, 11:58 de ParaNoir23

    Para Noir - Para Noiser (2014) is the 3rd Release
    of Para Noir and another 1 track album of the artist.

    "Para Noiser" is a more much silent than the previous release
    "Noise Transfer" but still a very and
    sounding album, colored with some and dark sounds.