03-05- 07.11.2005











intro - Atritas - Serpent Soul - Darkmoon





review by dalia di giacomo

all photos © by Stefan W. Vogelaar

[The public use of these photos  is strictly prohibited without written permission]




Of Bitterness and Hate...or Of Good Vibes and Brilliant Concert? Today is the great day of the official baptism  of Darkmoon's album "of Bitterness and Hate", the cd release party. I could say that for  all Darkmoon's fans from Switzerland (and in particular Basel) this is The party of the year. After the deal with Austrian CCP Records, Darkmoon's album begins to receive many very positive critics from half Europe, we will soon realize that  the number of Darkmoon's addicts will grow and grow, of course this is a major satisfaction for fans and band. But tonight it's Basel, where it all started, Darkmoon's  hometown,  the mirror and flag of this satisfaction. The venue of the celebration is a crowded Sommercasino, the most important venue in Basel i think, with a capacity around 400 persons. Beautiful venue, and big stage in the frame of a building which is now an important  point for cultural activities, but that has an historical background  that goes back to 1823. Originally a kind of public villa, the Sommercasino has always lived among concerts, balls and meetings...but was also  place of help and shelter during the II WW. Still it maintains that  dignity and fascination of the nineteenth century. Still it shows that spell to my eyes tonight. Perfect  as metal venue, accessible, smart but easy going and not luxurious. I see it very suitable for Death, Black  and Gothic concerts . It is the case to  say loudly Black, cause Darkmoon, who have much of Black technique in their music, are supported today by Atritas, one of the most known  and impressive Black metal bands of the Swiss scene. If we add that Atritas come from Basel too, and if we add that Lörrach in Germany  is only few meters away, you can imagine that Darkmoon will be warmly embraced by that faithful base of fans and friends who have always loved, supported and believed in them since years, sincerely and beyond any label deal.  Matthias Borer and his band mates have surely not forgotten. Related to this,  i would like to add my personal greetings to Mr. V.O Pulver (GurD) producer of Darkmoon's album, to Daniele Milizia of Metal Forces Festival, Boris Witta colleague of Taste of Black,  to Desiree "Shagarth". It is not by chance that we catch us all here tonight. 

By the way Germany, also  the German  band Serpent Soul will support  and play, though  they come from a part  of Germany much  far instead. Serpent Soul had to face many hours of travel by car, which were anyway worth to be spent. Horns up and let's go on with the celebration of ...Bitterness and Hate! 


ATRITAS   www.atritas.ch   
Interview with Atritas (part I)
Where Witches burnt Release Party
Where Witches burnt
Atritas live in Freiburg 2004
In Regressu Diaboli

Melodic Black metallers Atritas hit the stage around  20:40 after a short,  last sound check . They open directly with My mortal Flesh (from album "Where Witches burnt") and  it's immediately ravenous yet enchanting mysticism. Atritas is a  talented band that truly believes in Black metal philosophy and  its essence;  from the moment that Atritas' Black is a Melodic one, we will also be delighted by good taste  and elegance. Apart the celebration  for Darkmoon  debut album, this is  an important moment for Atritas themselves too, who have a personal debut to propose : finally they have a new bass player in their line up, P. Magick , who performs his  first  concert  with the band.  Consequently the problem "bass" is solved and the band tonight can offer the best  in full and serene completeness. Moreover bassist P. Magick seems already  totally integrated and properly acquainted with the band's style, and i don't refer only to chords or corpse paint but to the whole Atritas scheme. 

The attention  of the crowd is quickly captured both  by the music and by the self confidence. Self confidence of frontman Gier (not too dramatic and not too blaspheme just for the seek of being it)  and of the two guitarists Baal and Swart who appear  like two handsome evil and skillful angels . Atritas no posers but serious connoisseurs and composers of Black, with a solid background in Old School and classic metal. Gier's screaming is magnetic,  the general stage- acting of the band is not that transcendental , yet they conquer thanks to their dynamic music and a certain  solemnity of their behaviur. Black Sunday (always from album "Where Witches burnt")  follows My mortal Flesh, and though Black Sunday is afflicted by a short disturb due to  a couple of "teenies" who are then "booted out", the concert goes on without problems and with much pathos. The classic Thou shalt suffer  ( "Where witches burnt") already  impressed me so much when i listened to that album.  Tonight it definately enhances the empathic atmosphere. Energy runs like a river from the major beats (very good is Ork's performance behind the skins), the ardent vocals, the melodic variations. The piercing melodies and riffs, the discrete keyboards , the speed tremolo picking are all combined elements that surprisingly often fade into  Old School heavy breakdowns, and  appear so clear  and well played. It's bang or be banged but also "think or you will be a sheep". In fact Atritas lyrics are interesting, and though  you cannot say that during the concert  you  fully understand all texts, the impression of seriousness and intensity fully surfaces  from the whole behavior and band's look. In few words the more they play the more they mesmerize, the more you understand they have a message to transmit.  Though they are a technical band, they are very fluent and persuasive, they wrap up the audience in a very dark  and infernal enchantment. Mongrel Monument is proposed too,  another great song from "Where witches burnt"; obviously many tracks from Where witches burnt converge into the setlist, but bright new songs are presented as well like Earthbound Suicide. If i am not wrong also Black Dominian Era and Lunar Psychosis have been presented. Atritas get a lot of  banging, applauses and horns up. Gier also play keys during one song, the remarkable Narrow Refuge, while Baal goes behind the microphone always playing his guitar. For the rest,  the beautiful Hysteria adds a well balanced carpet of keys, only occasionally more bombastic,  which  don't steal the fire to guitars and vocals. The encore is out of discussion, it is loudly requested and awaited;  the title track of the album, Where witches burnt, and Das Tier are the two songs performed in this end of show. A very good concert of genuine Melodic Black Metal like i was waiting  since long. 

SERPENT SOUL     www.serpentsoul.de 

10 minutes to 22. Introduced by Darkmoon's singer Matthias Borer who shouts in the microphone "Viel Spass mit Serpent Soul!!" (have a great time with Serpent Soul!!), the German band from Hochsauerland take the stage after hours of travel and without having the time to do  a proper sound check, having reached the venue only when Atritas were already playing their concert. But Serpent Soul are really so glad to  perform their first gig abroad and to meet again with their friends Darkmoon, so they don't loose their good mode even if the very beginning of the show is clearly nervous and afflicted by a problem with  the amplifier of the bass after the first song. They are clearly impressed by the Swiss audience, while on the other hand the audience is curious about this band but also still under the "spell" unleashed by Atritas. It is not easy to jump "suddenly" from the evocative and diabolical atmosphere of Atritas' Melodic Black  to the rocking though  melodic Thrash/ Death of Serpent Soul. In spite of all good vibes and joy around, the classic "ice" must be broken anyway. And Serpent Soul choose the best way: to be natural and spontaneous.  Moreover Serpent Soul have in their rhythmic guitarist Mattes Rademacher, an unbreakable source of good mood and energy. Mattes never stops to work the crowd with good temperament and joviality . Singer Alex, whose vocal timbre lightly  reminds of  Matthias timbre, move back  and forth between  dark  growls and singing in clear, at times supported by backing vocals.  In few words Serpent Soul transform the first nervous and unquiet impact into a good concert ended with a warm appreciation. They begin with  the homonymous song Serpent Soul, characterized by a raw cadenced Death enhanced by a good melody, though a bit distressed concerning the rhythm. After  the problem  with the bass is solved (singer Alex says in humorous way "wir haben so  ein Pech! so eine Scheisse!), the second song  presented is Bloodgod (download it at the official website!!), an uptempo  Melodic/Heavy/Death bulldozing track, which becomes faster towards the final. The song, mistaken or changed  at the very beginning, is immediately stopped and restarted ( after 8 hours of travel!! says Alex)  But honestly this the last inconvenient, nothing more for  complaint. With friendliness but also tons of determination (thumbs up!) the six-piece band, who has  3 guitarists in the line -up plus bass player, goes on like a train . The crowd leaves Atritas' world, get nearer and nearer  to the stage again, while again the  pit is  well crowded; in Serpent Soul grows the courage and  self assurance. After  all,  Serpent Soul, grounded in 2001, have played with calibers as  Dew- Scented, Dark Age, Burden of Grief.  The gig , with tracks like Journey, Darkness rising, Beyond Humanity, No Way out, Revange, and Doomsday, goes in crescendo among Death/Thrash attacks but also  under the sign  of various rocking  and Heavy Metal influences (many of the songs are available for downloading at  the official website www.serpentsoul.de).  In particular, i have detected that the song  marking  the turning point is  Darkness Rising, presented as fourth track  of the set. Persuasive and with  guitar virtuoso movements. But also other tracks deliver a good guitar work both as riffs and arpeggios/guitar intros. Only  thing, the pizzicato  bass appears, at least in this concert,  generally   too delicate beside the 3 guitars and the fat drums. The songs that impress me the most during this gig,  are the very melodic , remarkable No way out, romantic though enough rocky balladesque,  yet powerful and heavy (give a try, go download it!!), played and interpreted very well.  And then Bloodgod and Revange, where Death is well combined with a good melodic touch. At the end of the story, Serpent Soul are rewarded by  the encore request. Very satisfied they ask "Dürfen wir ein noch?!" (May we play another one?!). Of course! 2 songs are played: Price of Freedom and Slayer's cover "Raining Blood". Bang or be banged and moshing included. And yes, they have surely not forgotten a big greeting to Darkmoon shouted  in unison  with the crowd. I can only express  to Serpent Soul best wishes for their upcoming full length, which will appear very probably in 2006. I will not miss them next time around in Switzerland.

DARKMOON   www.darkmoon.ch           
Of Bitterness and Hate
Darkmoon in Little Creek Studio
Darkmoon live Deathwish 2005
Darkmoon live Gryphonparty II
Darkmoon live Deathwish 2004
Darkmoon live MetalForces VI
Black Domain


22:45,  the stage is set  for the leading event of this evening. thereis much enthusiasm and expectation. Background sound of the moment is Character by Dark Tranquillity. Darkmoon take care about the last preparations and last  soundcheck without hiding   a certain tension due to the big emotion. Tight and excited we are all , we Darkmoon addicts and partisans, "Of Bitterness and Hate"- junkies who finally can admire the well deserved goal achieved: to celebrate together with the Death/Black metallers from Basel  this successful debut album. There is much expectation concerning the setlist too. We will see that the choice of the songs proposed is simply optimal. After the greetings and meetings that have welcomed Darkmoon already at the beginning of the evening, now is concert time. Fierceness, assaults, burning anger and melodies full of hooklines will creep and burst. The well known threatening, sorrowful, a bit mechanical Terminator 2 theme is the intro. I can understand this, cause i suppose that Darkmoon identify, in the alienation of this current age, the new Kali Yuga of our demons. The opener is suprising: Winds of Death! Finally Winds of Death again , taken from the mini CD "Black Domain", a surprising way of starting up the concert! The  dark flame gets its first combustion: Winds of Death is 100% awesome mix of crude Melodic Death with a torrent of burning, thundering Black vibrato. But the second song Damned opens the series of tracks included in the new album, tracks that, naturally, will dominate the setlist. Moreover Damned puts in evidence the good rhythmic precision. The followingDrowning, a song included both in "Black Domain" and in "Of Bitterness and Hate", is one of the most  known and appreciated works from Darkmoon: their fans know it by heart, we could "run the risk" of a massive sing along, but Matthias ferine grunts are commanding over a carpet of banging devotees. So what we can pronounce in chorus is the  title of the next song: Dust in my Eyes, one of the brand new songs in the album, and already an established must  in Darkmoon's repertoire.  Terror, Last Kiss, Evil Goddess of the Night, On her Grave, Fallen One arise strong pleasure and provide for the proper riffs'n moshing and sustain the attractive, energetic, dark, sinister- induced mood. 

Again, Darkmoon's songs live are both earworms and athame for our senses. But this time i want to focalise my attention on  the great work  done by the two guitars (Gianrichy/Christian), two Ibanez RG-7620 that   make this band really a two- axed one, in the mopst effective meaning of the term. The concept of putting in service  two guitars both  for rhythmic and lead is no new thing (but it's true that we are enough used to many groups that deliver a clear distinction), yet with Darkmoon this concept is somehow refreshing and allows intertwined embroideries together with  elastic and diversified solos and staccatos, arpeggios and breakdowns. When a guitar is about to end  a solo  or a riff, the second one can  go along proceeding with a lead melody, while the first one can support  the rhythmic or re-ignite another lead phrase or be the protagonist of a bridge. It is always interesting to see who is doing the main  solo/bridge in a song, for example, if i remember well,  Last Kiss bridge deliver a solo by Christian, while  the solo of The Cell goes to Gianrichy, but well it is actually a continuos transfer, a flow running from one Ibanez to its twin, and taking  place beside the rhythmic and tremolo picking. 

The fallen One (characterized by an harmonic unmistakable intro) is followed by The Beast, one of the faster and more aggressive songs ever composed by Darkmoon. "Are you ready for The Beast?" shouts Matthias. A lethal neck-breaking, but after all the banging done till now we don't want anything else. Hubi's drums are impressive, and many times they unleash sodomizing double bass cascades; Pascal's backing vocals are grown  concerning timbre and personality while his bass is a constant unstoppable  rhythmic pillar, Matthias's vocals remain up to the task  till the last second, Richy's style in playing  guitar gets more and more personal and distinguished. Though this concert is not so relaxed and effortlessly like the one performed at Waldenburg (August 2005), it is a fucking great  gig. It is a killer concert, no one had a single doubt. 

The  "official" moment  of the "baptism"  is no jet of champagne , no jet of beer on a CD copy: instead to offer a typical ceremony, Darkmoon prefer an  easy going , concrete acting: producer V.O. Pulver is invited on the stage for a big" thank you"! That's all, but it's significant,  cause it's under V.O.Pulver and Frankie Winkelmann's guide that Darkmoon gave their best  in the studio. Matthias also mentions and thanks for the support  following concert organizers and webzines: gryphonmetal.ch, taste-of-black.ch, schwermetall.ch, Daniele Milizia and Metal Forces Festival, and then , of course,  Atritas and Serpent Soul are given thanks too.

Midnight: the concert goes on with The Cell, followed by Lost Soul and Bitter  End. After Bitter End , the encore is requested among applauses and great appreciation. And in the encore Darkmoon propose the hymn Black Domain and finally, practically as second encore, Human Plague, an older track never published so quite rare to be listened to. No covers, all tracks presented were Darkmoon genuine. Ffor fans and band this is an unforgettable evening. All the rest is..Party!


Winds of Death



Dust in my Eyes


Last Kiss

evil goddess of the night

On her Grave

The fallen One

The Beast

The Cell

Lost Soul

Bitter End

Black Domain

Human Plague

Darkmoon guitarist Christian Waltert and dalia


Darkmoon drummer Hubi and dalia

Daniele Milizia of Metal Forces Festival and dalia

zum Seitenanfang top - inizio pagina


presentation|news|reviews|interviews|live reports|specials|f**king bollox|tours|dates

  upcoming releases|underground|artwork|videoclips|MP3's|venues


[I Despair]

© GryphonMetal.ch   2001-2005Niederrohrdorf - Switzerland               contacts