at Wärchhof - Luzern     - 15/06/2002
links related to this review:
www.waerchhof.ch        www.swissmind.com    www.cre8ive.nu     www.fleshcrawl.de      www.thecranium.com
www.suddendeathmetal.com      www.disinfect.de
review by Dalia "Gryphon_spirit"
What a nice day today in Luzern: eh yes it's summertime in Switzerland too, finally!, and the weather is really good with extremely agreeable temperatures, for many people even too hot! So Wärchhof team, together with swissmind and cre8ive managements, are really lucky to have organized for today a kind of cool celebration, before summer pause, for their great work done during the last 5 years
So doors for concert will open at 20:00, but already during the afternoon it is possible to stay in the garden in front of  the venue and have there a drink, a snack, to meet one another, to buy CDs and to have a good time in full relax. People are really interested and good mooded, and , from the moment that also many members of the bands who will play this evening are here in this green place under the  trees, it was an occasion both for fans and artists to speak, discuss and change opinions each other
For Stefan and me, it is really cool to meet friends, to speak with them with calm about so many things, to buy the swissmind cool t-shirt, and...to interview singer Sven of Fleshcrawl (thanks to Sven, Fleshcrawl and Fabio of swissmind !).
When passed in a very agreeable way , time is running in a moment, and evening comes so quickly, and with it the beginning of the concert. The venue is good crowded for this pure Death event. Today  The Cranium, Sudden Death, Disinfect will play, and "dulcis in fundo" Fleshcrawl, who have finished a tour with Bolt Thrower, Benediction and Disbelief. Damn, I'm very interested to see live all these "Death ministers" , I was already here when Purgatory played and I was not disappointed at all. The confrontation with one of the purest metal genres and the enthusiasm of its fans it's a thing that enriches my taste, my metal knowledge and that I appreciate more and more. So you can imagine how much interested I am in seeing Fleshcrawl, whose successful album Soulskinner has been indicated as one of the best German Death metal productions ever, and the other bands too, for sure!

And here we go: The Cranium are on stage: pizzicato bass, growling, power aggressive guitars and drums, cymbal crashes and the audience doesn't need much time to start headbanging and enjoying the music. Here no one, though really good connoisseur of the genre, is waiting for the big headliner in order to show a sign of life. If music and feeling are ok, let's go banging heads, and applauding warmly already the "opener" of the gig, and guys...I like this mentality so much! 

After the intro The Cranium are presenting "The God Storm", "Maze", "Secret Clasping", "Rapture", "All ends", "Call of Madness", "Daemonia", "Ritual Kill", which is interesting me particularly for its many cool tempo changings, "Murder Panic" and "Sound of Massacre", which is showing a great bass work, a guitar solo and an almost melodic refrain, if I can trust my ears after so much headbanging! Ehi but please tell me if it's possible to remain motionless and cold like stone with such a power and terrible rhythms coming from the stage. Damnation , in front of you there are musicians who play hard and with so a conviction, for the pleasure they have to share the spirit of the Death with the audience, who could be able to convert even some ancient patriarch. 

I noticed among the headbangers a beautiful pregnant girl. I told to Stefan "her child must be getting a metalhead when he/she's born!". of course! From the moment he (or she who cares?) is the child of one of the member of The Cranium, as I have discovered later...Particularity of this band is a second voice  who increases the hardness of the music. Though only with 2 "guitars" (one rhytm and lead, the other bass guitar) this Swiss band can put on the stage so much energy and precision.

I realize very soon that all this "Sturm und Drang" is only the apéro! Fresh like roses the Death metallers,  me included, I hope to be adopted soon!, are ready to push themselves in a real sound vortex when Sudden Death appear! 

Frenetic drums, 3 ferocious guitars, athletic energy, cool vocals, fast tempos. During their performance Sudden Death are acclaimed like Vader were at Z-7. "Sudden Death- Sudden Death!- Sudden Death!". Implacable they shoot "Terror", "Observer", "Words in an everfalling Scream", "Through 2 Dimensions", "Bloodhound", "Sun", "Ballistic", "Black Pieces", "Germ under God", "Cutter", "seas of Grave"....and all this without a written setlist! The setlist is in their minds; what I have listed here was given to Stefan and me later on, by a member of the band! Gosh I'm without words...who knows why I'm thinking now of zeromancer's  aseptic plasticized setlist, that fans (and I'm saying really fans of the band, not exactly me) only hardly can get? Sudden death are practically singing by heart à la improvvise  with absolute self-confidence and if one cannot get the setlist (at least this evening) it's not cause it has to be re-used a certain "n" number of times.

 Another cool moment was when Sudden Death have given hospitality on the stage to Fabio , Sigi and other members of Wärchhof and Swissmind team, in order to celebrate all together, band and audience, 5 years activity of Swissmind and of the venue. Blessed by beer and music, all we are! 

And what does it happen now? Sudden Death are changing drummer. The first malicious thought is "ohibo with their high-voltage energy they have simply melted  the first one!!" Beh well, jokes aside, from their official website I will find out that their drummer Mathias (which is really good indeed!) will be replaced during live performances by Sascha , who will help the band till Mathias, who is contributing also in writing songs, will be fit again 100%. More I don't know, and I'm not here for investigating but for having a cool time with so many people. The embrace at the end of gig between the two drummers and the applause they are getting it's answer enough for all bloody gossips.

A little bit more severe are, on the contrary, the German Disinfect, that are coming on the stage in a moment where the audience has already given so much of its energy and attention with the previous bands and events. Anyway they are followed by many and no one is forgetting that Fleshcrawl spirit is "in the air". Though the late hour it's still not time to be tired.  Disinfect are hitting me, cause they seem to me not so explosive as Sudden Death, but not for this less interesting or brutal. A lot of bass sounds, unusual tempo changings. But from the moment I'm only human (maybe), I really need to drink something and sit down for a while, so unfortunately I don't see the whole Disinfect performance and I know it's a pity. I hope to see them live again soon, cause they have a sinister gravity that is really attractive. So don't be angry with me Disinfect, if I say "it will be for the next time", better to be sincere and honest than to "invent" the review of a performance I've not followed till the end, and not because you were not good. On the contrary!
 Refreshed by the break, I know it's the moment of "Soulskinner" in person: in the stage room , the air temperature and head fever are really high. Fleshcrawl are here, and the power bursts again. But the power of Fleshcrawl is not (surprise surprise ) in their brutality but in the heaviness of their sound, this is to say that ,well made up in canonic Death metal schemes , one can find some passages that sound in heavy metal direction. Also well hidden are melodies. Everything is matching very good: tempo changings, rhythm, chords, in order to create a perfect and in a way  obsessive Death, that can be heard by a wide range of people. The real thing that is absolutely brutal in the more typical meaning of the world is the voice, my god what a statuary violence in these vocals. Congrats! Like Disinfect, Fleshcrawl too are not so "mobile" as on the contrary Sudden Death were, consequently they are attacking in another way: with their "panzer " precision, giving as well a sensation of movement which comes directly from the behaviour of each single member, who is extremely vigorous, even though they don't jump here and there. Under this point of view, we are  more or less in Vader direction: in particular the drummer is reminding me that one of Vader for his way to be behind their drums, though the music is rather different. 

Among full power riffs and almost hypnotic loops, Sven lets his voice free without any problem, like it were the more natural thing for him, and from his height is observing the pandemonium in front (and around!) him. He looks more like a terrible judge than like a rock star singer, observing quite satisfied the countless crowd surfing, stage divings and headbangin orgies. "Fleshcrawl-Fleshcrawl-Fleshcrawl". The crowd is acclaiming. Without any perturbation the band goes on, from the intro till "The Day Man lost" passing through "Embraced by Evil", "As Blood rains from the Sky", "Carved in Flesh", "Soulskinner", "Dark Dimension", "Under the Banner of Death", "Dying Blood", "Legions of Hatred", "Tomb of Memories", "Breeding the Dead", "Rotten", "Forced to kill". 

I wouldn't forget to mention the great work done by the sound engineer of the Wärchhof venue that has permitted us to enjoy the sound without problems and in high quality!

No, no, definitively no mercy for the weak! Guys! we are at the top of the Metal here. Thumbs up and hats down! My beloved ethereal Gothic Force (always so seductive, but sometimes so unfriendly) can wait. Yes, sometimes it can really wait... 

review by Dalia "Gryphon_spirit" Di Giacomo 
pics by Stefan "Absolut_evidence" Vogelaar and Dalia "Gryphon_spirit"
Niederrohrdorf - Switzerland Impressum