MJÖLNIR AND ENIGMATIK at Kulturwerk 118 - Sursee - 08 June 2002
review by Dalia "Gryphon_spirit"
The "black-blonde" dark evening.

After the cool private party at home till very late at night, finally the moment for me so much awaited: the concert for celebrating more than one year activity of our webzine, dedicated to all who have been supporting Gryphonmetal and/or working for it during this very intense year. A dark evening with one band playing black and the other one playing dark atmospheric. It is nice to meet in the venue other dear friends and the time is passing in a so agreable way. Moreover I am thinking how amazing is to see how a venue can change atmosphere and face accordingly to the genre of the bands. It seems yesterday that I was here to see Pure Yeast, or Maja, or Pro-Pain and every time the venue seems completely new and different...But here we are!! A very dark and gloomy music combined with the classical smoke effect is telling us that Enigmatik will be very soon on the stage and indeed, all in black with face paintings and black hair,they are really interesting to be seen and as first impression, they are not disappointin me at all. Already from first song, it is confirmed for me that their "black" is absolutely atmospheric, with a mystical touch, gloomy and severe, not always so speed because of the slow intervals and suggestive moments. Hysgarth's voice sounds really demonic like I was hearing from CD and alive is really impressing. 
But what is it happening unexpectedly? Oh no, problems with sound. Oh damn! The band stops playing. There is something is not going perfectly. In particular keyboarder seems to be very irritated asking for less battery and more keyboard power. Indeed keyboard is not working any more and also monitors are down. Even bass sound was becoming less definite. What a pity really. The audience is a little bit astonished, but the many diehard and very competent metallers of the Luzern scene that I have already seen at the Wärchhof of Luzern following with extremely passion bands like Purgatory , are not complaining about. Everyone has understood that such things unfortunately can happen. Indeed I am very honoured to see such a competent audience here tonight, real metalheads in front of whom even bigger bands have to give their best. Such people has come here trusting Enigmatik and these mysterious Mjölnir from Holland , (still) completely unknown here,and it is more than I was expecting and really I would thank every of them for their presence here, and though the venue was surely not crowded like it was for the Pro-Pain night, it is the quality of the audience, that is impressing me so much. Oh God I'm thinking Mjölnir don't have to make mistakes ...ah what stupid, surely they will not!! Falling Silence singer Loredana is telling me "Eh but let's give an encouragement applause !"... and yes! From our corner is starting an applause for Enigmatik! Soon the applause bursts out from all audience and the cold moment is broken. The fact that this kind of supporting for a black metal band is started from a "post(after)- metal/hardcore" band who likes very much Godsmack, is a thing that makes honour to Falling Silence as artists, cause music is music, and a band with problems is a band with problems, nevermind the genre is playing. In metal united we stay! Now Enigmatik feel better, maybe some monitor too, though keyboard problems are still present the show must go on and Enigmatik propose a cover of the mytical Fear of the Dark, yes that cool song that Iron Maiden themselves are workin hard in order to render it sometimes boring (at my opinion), played by Enigmatik transformed under a black contest is looking great. Audience begins to headbang hard. The atmosphere is up again and Enigmatik, applauded many times, can finally go on to propose again their cool music from "where evil is cloistered" CD and also proudly present every member . The spirit of black is in the air,even some Mjölnir member go in front of stage and are dancing and headbanging on the wings of this so particular black music , so well suited to open Mjölnir I imagine. 
Severe like they appeared, French Swiss Enigmatik leave the stage in the same severe way. Audience is good mooded, though I don't think Hysgarth is. But Loic, Hysgarth and Co. don't have to be downhearted! Ehi here there is people able to understand a band beyond technical accidents and your gig was good without doubt! 
And after the regular break,here it is the mysterious band! The "clou" of the evening: Mjölnir on the stage! The audience is very careful, demanding but already hit by the first impression. Frontman Jarno looks at once absolutely charismatic, with a fascinating deep voice he simply says "Hi Sursee we are Mjölnir from Holland". More than from Holland they seem come down directly from Asgard Realm. Well united and fascinating, 7 members are lined up on the stage. Blond and dressed with good taste, they are offering also before beginning a sensation of beauty (and not only because they are indeed really beautiful and in particular the 3 girls) so rarely to be seen. 

The heavy, black and death metaller are watching at them and in a way mesmerized, the gothic ones at once enaptured and conquered: some of them will headbang during the whole gig. Mjölnir open with Dragon Sword, from their CD "Whispering Sorcery", and the Mjölnir style is emerging: their music , inspite of the band name, has not the wild violence of "Thor's hammer" (maybe better to think of Amon Amarth in this case), but the beauty of Baldur and heavy severity of Odin. Mjölnir word is becoming this way a symbol, a symbol of nordic dark environments and myths in which lyrics writer Jarno is hidding his every day experiences and feelings. Heaviness of guitars (and they are really heavier alive than on CD) is flowing into the bombastic keyboard soundscape where they mitigate, it's not easy to compare this music to the one of some other band, cause they are really original and able to mix gothic atmosphere, black speed tremolos and keyboard sounds, with more typical heavy metal mid tempo passages. All tracks proposed and in particular the 2 new ones still not recorded ("Black Flame Warlord" and "Disappearance") show tempo changings like no one would expect in a metal song methinks, and are appreciated just some notes after they have been done. 
The 2 guitars exchange so many times their roles cause guitarist Wilfred and Jeroen can both become rhytmic and lead, important is the feeling. Bassist Bas is doing a great work playing up and down all strings, producing pushing notes. Very versatile are drums powered so well by Linda (it's very rare to see a woman-drummer and that's simply great believe me!) and, like already mentioned, the keyboards too cause they that can range from a piano sound till black soundscapes and fully bombastic backgrounds. Vera takes really care of the general background that is supporting the whole atmospheric part and is a kind of mastermind behind her keys. 
At least but not last the 2 vocals follow the gothic-like schema of a female voice + male grunt, but jarno has not to damn himself to grunt his throat out cause he can pass from a deep and seductive clean, till a severe grunt without disturbing no one's ears, without been excessive , in so a fluently way with an innate class that is simply extraordinary. Obiectively I have to say that Jarno is so professional and charismatic that is in his genre one of the best frontman I have seen. The beautiful Marijke has an angelic voice which doesn't sound fragile anyway. But attention: her part is not easy cause she must follow a melody that , if you don't make mistakes, will intensify the whole performance, but if some note comes out wrong ..ouch!! The setlist proposed is "Dragon Sword", "Bloomed with Withering", "Black Flame Warlord", "My sweltering Black Eyes of Innocence", "Moonlight the noctunal Serenade", "A wasted Journey", "Disappearance", "Whispering Sorcery", and my beloved "Times before the Past". And Jarno knows what this song means to me, and when he is presenting it , saying: "we dedicate it to Stefan and Dalia of Gryphonmetal", ...guys, I would shout at the top of my voice "thank you!" but a lump in in my throat is keeping me from speaking loudly a single word: Dalia "gryphon_spirit" is too happy and grateful...while Dalia "Times Before" is secretely the darkness of the venue and of Mjönir's music ...
Stefan, me, and the whole staff of Gryphonmetal thank: Kulturwerk118, G.M. the Krow of Profound, Jarno Wilde and Mjölnir, , Loic and Enigmatik, Limi and Fabio of Swissmind and Cre8ive managements, QD and Spiga of Profound, Roger Imboden and Vain, Sylvie, Maurizio Veri, Loredana and Sebastiano Moresi of Falling Silence, and all friends and audience for having had such a good time together and for having made this gig possible. You are simply great!

Dalia "Gryphon_spirit" Di Giacomo    pics © by Stefan "Absolut_Evidence"

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