WALDENBURG - Switzerland 





review by dalia di giacomo

all photos © by Stefan W. Vogelaar

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


Darkmoon in Little Creek Studio
Darkmoon live Deathwish 2005
Darkmoon live Gryphonparty II
Darkmoon live Deathwish 2004
Darkmoon live MetalForces VI
Black Domain


DARKMOON   Black Domain  www.darkmoon.ch   




This is Switzerland! what do you think the name Waldenburg means? It means Burg der Walen, more or less we can translate it as Castle of Celts. This village in Canton Baselland was grounded in full Middle Ages: 1244 and till today is a good preserved valley closure settlement. Following Darkmoon, the melodic death/black metallers from Basel whose debut album "...of Bitterness and Hate" will be released this next September through CCP Records, i have the occasion to make acquaintance of this Open Air and of this village. It is like in the classic postcards: high hills, green fields, woods, chalets, cows, pastures: everything is frame of a romantic , at times narrow at times wide, valley. The Waldenburg Open air  takes place  at Waldlichtung "Gerstel" ob Waldenburg located under the castle ruin Waldenburg: it is a mix of picturesque pre-alpine scenery and efficient organization. So, isn't it Switzerland? From Waldenburg a non-stop (every 5 minutes) shuttle- mini-bus service brings people from the village (where cars can be parked) to the festival area (which is reachable from Waldenburg by feet too), and this costs only 2 Swiss Franc (CHF) per person, trip back included. Actually a short drive which  makes people avoid  to walk up the hill for around 2 km's. The festival area is well equipped and enough rich in stands and stalls;  restoring stands,  where people can  eat comfortably and drink some nice beer , are not missed for sure. Various merchandise is available, obviously you can buy studded belts and  spiked bracelets too,  but you cannot anyway wear any article that could be supposed to be dangerous. A very friendly but inflexible security takes care of the safety of the many metallers who join already through attentive controls at the entry. All prices are absolutely affordable and reasonable. Considering how much expensive are some well world-known mega festivals, here, in this bucolic corner of Jura, you can find on the contrary an intimate,  friendly , familiar and, all in all, cheap place. As far as i understand The Waldenburg started in 1994 giving then hospitality, year after year,  to  well established  bands (among others Destruction, GurD, Krokus), but never loosing this image : a little niche to be discovered by those who love nature as much as they love music. Articulated in two nights, which are  characterized by different genres of music, the Waldenburg starts off with the Metal Night.  J.B.O. Ektomorf and Darkmoon are in the line up. Waldenburg: well worth a recommendation.

Due to a car accident happened on the motorway Zürich - Aarau - Bern/Basel and to the polite but severe control at the festival entry where i took my pass too (no bracelets, no spikes, no dangerous object and... no fingertip- rings!) i arrive under the stage when Darkmoon begin to play their second song: my beloved Dust in My Eyes. Already a well numerous group of fans are supporting the band, and many more are coming. It is few minutes after 20:00 and it begins to rain: a light August rain that refreshes the warm evening. Who would have imagined the copious rainfalls and floodwaters that would have damaged so much Switzerland few days afterwards? From dusk to night, Darkmoon deliver almost 45 minutes of overwhelming show. The band around vocalist Matthias Borer has always provided top quality shows for years in the Swiss underground, but this evening is special: Darkmoon can present its first show after the label deal with serenity and self confidence. Supported here too by a good stage and by the warmth of their enthusiast fans, Darkmoon appear here dominant and irresistible. The first headbangings, the applauses and the involvement for their music start during the first songs, pretty damned good! It is no rhetoric if i say that, for me, this  is one of the best concerts i  attended  this year  till now. And the intense awesome response of the crowd is general: Darkmoon steal again our hearts and necks with their sinister, mighty, blood boiling and damned catchy songs. Matthias' menacing and roaring voice is awesome, the backing vocals provided by bassist Pascal Rechsteiner, like happened at the Deathwish 2005, give a sense of echo and multi-line when needed. But the things i appreciate the most is the amazing work of both guitarists Gianrichy Giamboi and Christian Waltert. Gianrichy's solos and the virtuoso tremolos of both guitarists sustain melody and enhance the rhythmic session. Hubi's drumming is pretty impressive, and much appreciated is its short but thundering solo at the end of the set, just before the well deserved encore. Songs like Drowning, Dust in my Eyes, Bitter End, The fallen One with its beautiful arpeggio intro, and Lost Soul, with its outstanding bridge,  are a real pleasure for ears and  veins. Huge riffs, aggressive groove. But it is so fucking excellent to see how much enthusiast is the crowd when Matthias announces Far from Heaven, an older song from the CD "Remains". Together with Drowning, the songs Terror and Black Domain are perceived like they were hymn and law. These songs own the crowd. The propelling force of the attacks complete the melodies and vice versa, one killer track after the other. Darkmoon own the crowd, yes, and the crowd wants more. The moments of entertainment between Matthias and the fans are deep and sincere, Darkmoon are true metalheads who sing and play for metalheads, full and uncorrupted underground generosity. I like bands like these. Oh well , as Matthias tells us from the stage, there is a difference between he and us, anyway: ...we are wet under the rain while he is sheltered under cover! Naughty Matthias eh! Satisfactory their stage acting, junkies us who will end up totally Darkmoon addicted sooner or later, i just wait eagerly for the moment when this deadly virion,  blessed by obscure moon rays and subtle perversion, will spread its sinister assaults: let's just wait the upcoming full length and , i hope, the first tours. Fully useless to pray your doctor for an improbable antidote. You have been warned. So nice, so natural, so unstoppable and so refinedly  tremendous are these handsome and skilled, talented five guys, who are applauded called and acclaimed at the end of the set. Already when Matthias announces Black Domain as last song,  the first dissidence arises firmly. To be honest, in spite of the turn -over and of the well known bands that are awaited on the stage later this evening, no one would let Darkmoon go (though i can underline that with Ektomorf the crowd will go simply nuts jumping and banging in high spirits) . After Black Domain, "Zugabe! Zugabe! Zugabe! Zugabe!" is the request! People dig their music and their being a BAND, a compact band, though the personality of each member is different. Darkmoon are , or better said, is a band, and this evening they prove it once more. So, before we can realize, Patric "Hubi" Hubacher surprises us with a short intense drum solo, and then the band gladly makes us totally happy returning back on stage for another song, which is yes the last song, the Hypocrisy cover Roswell 47 . Darkmoon often propose Roswell 47 during their encores, so it is actually no news, we can only say this is really a cool cover-version,
moreover Roswell 47 is an undisputable flag of the metal scene in general. But today, for the first time, i don't feel happy about this choice, this time, i would have preferred to bang on and for another Darkmoon's virion instead. Darkmoon have so many formidable songs of their own, why to leave the Waldenburg with a cover? By the way, where the hell is "Winds of Death"? have you forgotten it guys? But the truth is that Darkmoon are super! A band to respect, to fear, to follow, to die for, to love! This is Switzerland too. 

dalia di giacomo






DarkmoonWaldenburg05_03.jpg (35720 Byte)  DarkmoonWaldenburg05_04.jpg (42422 Byte)  DarkmoonWaldenburg05_05.jpg (40030 Byte)  DarkmoonWaldenburg05_a1.jpg (77149 Byte)


DarkmoonWaldenburg05_25.jpg (56425 Byte)  DarkmoonWaldenburg05_22.jpg (44131 Byte)  DarkmoonWaldenburg05_23.jpg (48124 Byte)  DarkmoonWaldenburg05_24.jpg (47890 Byte)


DarkmoonWaldenburg05_a.jpg (59973 Byte)  DarkmoonWaldenburg05_b.jpg (66557 Byte)  DarkmoonWaldenburg05_d.jpg (53802 Byte)  DarkmoonWaldenburg05_14.jpg (48134 Byte)













































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