at Gaswerk! -  WINTERTHUR - Switzerland 












review by dalia di giacomo

all photos © by Stefan W. Vogelaar

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



ZATOKREV (main stage)

CENSORED (foyer)

UPPERCUT  (main stage)


CATARACT  (main stage)

REQUIEM (foyer)

PUNGENT STENCH  (main stage)




If i am not wrong this is "just" the second edition of this event propelled by the major Meta Portal of Switzerland, right?, but whatever, 'cause it seems already a cult.  Most part of the metal scene from the German Switzerland (and not only) is here, the venue is properly  crowded, yet  everyone still have  a kind of vital space where to breathe and move around. The venue is quite big and the communication doors with the external road are accessible, ensuring fresh  air, and total freedom of meeting and smoking (finally) a cigarette with  outside the venue. And this  is a real pleasure, being the weather today really fine, sunny in full spring fascination. In few words: the visitors  feel at complete ease in enthusiastic metal spirit with that sane  underground attitude. The festival is organized through  an attentive running order  and through an ideal articulation between the wide main room with the big stage, and the foyer, a smaller pit room downstairs, equipped with a smaller angular stage where nothing technical is missed. In fact, both rooms have been perfectly prepared for the occasion by a well experienced Gaswerk! and by a punctual organization. Headliners are Pungent Stench, a band that needs no presentation, Nonetheless  I  never was  much attracted by Pungent Stench. Already in September last year i surely knew that reviewing their Ampeauty promo would have not been stuff for me personally. Nonetheless here they are, playing in Switzerland after eh..how many years? 10 or something so? It is an event, isn't it? To tell the truth I am very interested in this festival cause i like to observe  Zatokrev, Uppercut and Cataract in action this evening, but consequently  i have no escape. I must measure myself with the Trinity though i would gladly "leave" it to our Artur Felicijan again. And from the moment that they will "soon" headline  that event i love, The Metal Forces , which  will celebrate  its IX edition on next 26 November, it is shining clear that is  better to have a "close encounter of the -second- ( ;P ) kind" with the Trinity already right now....and we will see that, all in all, i will not be disappointed. Stop with introductions.  It's metal time \m/





ZATOKREV     www.zatokrev.com




Zatokrev is a Swiss band from Basel that has grown up and improved enormously in these years. Still i don't go crazy for their music. In fact, though they play mainly Doom with elements of Hardcore, they use many psychotic/nightmare intermezzos  that really go into the brain, and psycho material is very rarely  something i can stand. Zatokrev mix anger and heaviness together with fragility and desperation but somehow they add a that touch of neurosis and hysteria which  is interesting but not for me.  And this is the point: it's much  matter of taste here! 'cause damnation, they believe in what their do!  What i want to see today is  the temperament of this emerging band on a big stage, as opener of such long concert. How they impact.  And the answer is yes: they are definitely a band  with temperament impacting very well on a large crowd . Their stage acting is more and more self -confident and matured into an  unmistakable style of their own. This band has become more and more magnetic along the years. And definitely: Zatokrev are filled with  Hate . How many times we metallers speak loud about our bands manifesting Hate.  Hate is no immediate angriness, is no fury, is no brutality, hate is a more subtle feeling , a more subtle mood, is a kind of Rasputin-ian light, is an inner conviction through which you fly high and sinister.  Zatokrev tall, long haired blonde mainman and guitarist Frederyck Rotter leads its band perfectly today and on the other hand is perfectly supported by his mates. A bit of theatricality yes, in particular during the final burst of the concerts when the string -men lie and stretch out on the ground, letting  their psychotic fears free. Their desperation and sorrow, their protest is free. Free yet very equilibrated, never kitch, never hurting. Frederyck's  charisma is out of doubt. Out of any doubt is the expressiveness stressed by guitar and bass. I also notice a detail which should be obvious for any band but , at the end of the story it is not so obvious: Zatokrev manage to integrate very well singing and playing with breathing. Though it can seem that i have discovered nothing else that hot water, a proper breathing is essential always, and even more for a band  that must be able to  "jump"  from the deep dungeons of doom to loud and screaming schizoid rage, and this is valid for all members and not only for the vocalist.  Zatokrev, whose body involvement is also required in their show, makes of this rule an open mark, the pause and the bursts, the calm and the tempest are highly correlated with breathing. Insanity, exhaustion, and electrifying energy are flowing the one into the other like in a circle. Walls of riffs and explosions of wrath alternate with long slow doom-y  chords and more delicate melodies. Breath in, breath out, but Hate remains stretching out its wings. Very appreciated by the crowd, Zatokrev have truly  done a good job.




CENSORED    www.censored.ch

Let's hurry up to the entrance hall, where Censored have punctually begun their show when Zatokrev have finished their gig on the mainstage. The small stage-corner looks almost as a big shrine. It's good crowded here too, indeed Censored have a name  in the Swiss  underground and , why not, to a great degree in Germany too. Ok let's give a look to  Censored whom i happened never to attend. They play Death/Thrash, ergo you could think i am on cloud nine. Little technical problems are  quickly solved, so that vocals and music ,  cadenced  almost stop- starty and often directed into banging uptempo's and classical punishing drumming, can bless the audience very well. The question  is that though some riffing and loop are  really well composed ,  everything in puncto music remains confined to the usual  repertoire, heard so many  times. well i don't want to throw a general judgment on this band, i let a door "open", but Censored today haven't been able to catch me immediately. Anyway Censored's music is good stuff for the new generations that want to grow up in metal, it's a kind of training once you're into Death. In fact  many among their fans this evening are  young, the hope of tomorrow. I leave Censored when they play Reflected Insanity ...




UPPERCUT   www.uppercut-online.de


Back to main stage and let's Thrash till Death! . For me personally Uppercut is one of the highlights of this festival. I want to see Daniela behind the micro: this pretty singer and front woman, whose vocals sound so male, so determined so metalhead, and in the same time so graciously feminine. I am interested in the genuineness and credibility of the moment and in the enthusiasm  with which Uppercut are fronted by a Daniela who is still so  natural, so preciously far from any "make-up". Not many women can  walk the paths of Arch Enemy and Sinister nonetheless  remaining so spontaneous though professional. Like predictable, other bands too will gather a lot of success this evening, maybe even more acclaimed under a certain point of view, but no one is so sincerely and sparkling applauded  with such natural and spontaneous sympathy like Uppercut will be . Uppercut hit the main stage around 20:30: the festival is in full rhythm, the moment is the ideal cause the audience is still fresh despite the rising charge. And the vocals don't disappoint at all; though an obvious veil of female printing surfaces  in the timbre, the result, on the whole, is impressive. From the instrumental side, Uppercut are well mixed together, the coordination is remarkable, their music is "band" though  each member has a strong personality and a different  stage acting. Also as optic impact there is solidarity in the variety.  Bad asses drummer and bassist add unstoppable power and intensity while Dani's smile hides a lot of  determination:  you land into brutal riffs and grunts encouraged by a smile .  By the way bassist Ralf, he  plays both with fingers and plectrum,  his way of keeping high spirited the attention  of the  crowd is simply contagious and inexorable. Among the songs proposed Reanimation of Hate turns out to be a true killer. At the end of the show the encore is loudly asked and Uppercut shot Stick it out as last  song . Uppercut have proposed a quite long and very  enjoyable concert with skillfulness and a good interactivity. The band has taken  care of everything  music and politeness, among which of course the greetings to Heavymetal.ch   are not missing. Horns up!! \m/  



wrath of misery

the light

dead end

reanimation of hate

dying passion

supernova fake



massmurderers heaven

my alter ego

neighbour in hell


stick it out


uppercut_heavymetal05_03.jpg (37173 Byte)  uppercut_heavymetal05_04.jpg (37913 Byte)  uppercut_heavymetal05_05.jpg (42145 Byte)  uppercut_heavymetal05_08.jpg (52117 Byte)  uppercut_heavymetal05_09.jpg (46020 Byte)




EX-ORTATION   www.ex-ortation.ch



Very different from the last time i  saw  Ex- Ortation. It was in Zürich, at Dynamo, The Hellfire Metal Festival on 07 September 2002. That time i saw a rather good band whose singer unfortunately seems apathetic and cryptic. Now i hardly recognize that singer: today i realize that, in the meanwhile, Marco Böhlen  became pure dynamite. So he is today. The band is more lively, less static and Marco is now an undisputable protagonist who is radiating mobility, agility, tons of tenacity and, above all, histrionic rage. Another case in which i don't like very much  the music, but however i must admit that  the stage acting is of a certain striking effect.  Anyway the singer i see today is no longer indifference but sweat and lungs spitted out from the throat . A combination of New/thrash/Hardcore? Still wondering  about the genre to which their  music could belong. Among the song presented:  You can't feel the Breath, Borderline, Bulletproof.  The only really easy expedient is the helmet worn by  Marco during the last part of the  concert . Hopefully it is bulletproof.  


CATARACT   www.cataract.ch 




Cataract: "the Swiss Hardcore/Metal monsters". Cataract are the new rockets, rising high in the metal firmament. Recently in the bill of the No Mercy Festival 2005, they land here, on their home ground, with friendly flair  in front of a crowd in rapture whose response is a dreadful mosh and countless non- stop headbangings . Strangely, the final hosanna is not so acclaiming like i was thinking it should be but , during the concert, Cataract were praised like they were Slayer or very closely to that. Ok, my opinion is that Cataract is a mega "macho" band, let's take the temperament of Anthrax and then let's simply multiply, and multiply  it again. Their music is of course different, and this is the trick, cause their musical contents are not that noble nor that interesting but they are able to mix Hardcore with a bit of Thrash and Death -attitude through powerful, muscular, and so  catchy riffs that it's too easy to fall into their trap. Undoubtedly they look mighty yet well down-earthed, and this is much of a compliment. These kind of green berets from Switzerland impact like hell, absolutely and period. But anyway i would like to understand how is it possible to  produce such  "quantity" of sound as if they were a  15 piece band? Not the volume, but the density of the sound is incredible. How is it possible, sorry. Are they geniuses or what? In any case  i can say that the union  metal/ hardcore in Cataract is done with astute ability and discernment.  What  more? Their logo is very beautiful but doesn't match their music, and the very large mosh i see on my left  is really gorgeous. 


cataract_heavymetal05_01.jpg (47280 Byte)  cataract_heavymetal05_02.jpg (43839 Byte)  cataract_heavymetal05_03.jpg (39393 Byte)  cataract_heavymetal05_04.jpg (38757 Byte)  cataract_heavymetal05_06.jpg (46821 Byte)


cataract_heavymetal05_07.jpg (39486 Byte)   cataract_heavymetal05_08.jpg (49539 Byte)  cataract_heavymetal05_09.jpg (49412 Byte)  cataract_heavymetal05_10.jpg (48109 Byte)



REQUIEM   www.requiem-net.com


Requiem are damned good as always, furthermore the "new"  (at least for me) presence of Ralf Winzer at the bass improves their energy enormously.  They even make progress in binding heaviness with pathos, nonetheless their Death/Thrash is heavy pounding and riffing, enriched with guitar tremulous effects. They are always able to win over the scene: the coordination among all members of the band is always tight and solid, the result is a Death/Thrash that conquers every ear and every neck. It is not only my personal opinion, it's fact: everytime i have attended one of their concerts, i have always found a lot of emotional support around them. Michi's vocals are great as we expect to be, he suffers again every song inside himself.  The key of Requiem's integrity is that each member  is humble enough to contribute to the good result of the whole soundscape without being any primadonna. At the end, not the single tracks, but every single concert of Requiem is a grower. And this evening  is no exception. Only thing,  i don't know how much Requiem believe in themselves, paradoxically i have my doubts on that,  but their concert today is again very-tension -filled, very significant, every tempo change is a trigger to pleasure and  Michi's skin over flooded with rivers of sweat . Both guitarists are very concentrated, while bass player Ralf , after the brilliant performance with Uppercut, is a guarantee again for an overdose of powerful mood, like mentioned above. You really wonder from where Michi finds the force to grunt so mighty all concert long and to make such impressive wind mills, when you almost get the impression he is so suffering like a Christ  under the weight of the cross. On the contrary, he is unbreakable.  


government denies knowledge

inconsistent consequences


extinct by evolution


murder usa

signal zero

sentenced to death


setting the score

two sides within

diary of a damaged brain


sonderkommando 12


PUNGENT STENCH   www.pungentstench.net   






This is the  core  of this great metal celebration. How will react the crowd which is seemingly satiated after the long and relentless metal immersion? No problem at all, here none can't get enough! There is still energy to invest on Pungent Stench, who are much awaited, to say the least. In front of the main stage the pit is filled. Sound check and drum setting are made meticulously, there is  some problem in order to add a second bass drum to the drum kit of the main stage.  The Trinity finally unleashes its attack among the applauses. Though less than Cataract, the 3 piece cult band from Austria is able to animate mosh and groups of enthusiastic bangers. The best  thing i can see in this band  is the  wonderful bass support and a very concentrated hyperserious drumming (ehi!! take it easy man!)  In few words: Pungent are able to match  perfectly the fiesta -atmosphere. In spite of a veil of arrogance, the Trinity still knows the meaning of paying for the pleasure of doing it. Concerning  the stage acting i think that Pungent Stench are enjoyable, though i was expecting something more provocative, not that much, let's say just like it was at the concert in Tel Aviv done in 2003?? No priest clothes - no  much  skin free! Oh it cannot be!  what is such  pruderie in Switzerland eh?  Where is the band in elasticized boxer shorts? O, no problem. Do you know what is the authentic problem? yes? The authentic problem with me is another, i don't like the way their music is put together, this is also  the problem which i personally detect in  Ampeauty. The impression i get is that they want to be very clever and very eclectic, but imo it often comes out nothing than pieces not always well bound together, this makes their music quite angular instead of fluent. It lacks in fluency. Let's just take  Lynndie as example, it is  articulated in different  pieces in such a rigid way, without any harmonic adhesion.  Consequently all the concert is a mixture between fantastic passages and angular jumps.  Our Artur might not agree, but he will do on  the following point: there is much Rock in Pungent Stench music, and many times you pass from rock to  metal just like a doll in their hands. We are  gifted by  many solo's too , in my opinion not always perfectly played, but...ok, this evening  almost everyone present here seems an ambulant encyclopedia and a worshipper about everything in Pungent Stench-ology , and if the crowd  feel happy, it is fine with me too. In any case, on the whole, the concert was anyway well worth to be attended and has crowned  properly the evening. The rest is always matter of taste. By the way personal taste:  the real  blasphemy, in my personal opinion,  is when  audience and band are one heart and one soul at the sound of "La Bamba"! Please let me cry bitter tears, but the fiesta surrounds me contagiously so that  i cannot but smile. However, NO , La Bamba no, they really play it, no, damn, better to see them in  shorts instead of listening to La Bamba!! Achtung, Alarmstufe Rot, heresy heresy, but... i could expect it...

All in all, it was a fantastic evening in the spirit of extreme metal, congratulations to heavymetal.ch and to the bands. 

The festival for me ends here, cause it's really quite late.  Eyes See Red must still play but there will be another occasion to see them, cause Metal is 4 EVER!

dalia di giacomo



pungent_stench_heavymetal05_02.jpg (31505 Byte)  pungent_stench_heavymetal05_03.jpg (36175 Byte)  pungent_stench_heavymetal05_4.jpg (44304 Byte)  pungent_stench_heavymetal05_05.jpg (47938 Byte)


zum Seitenanfang top - inizio pagina

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

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


[I Despair]

© GryphonMetal.ch   2001-2005Niederrohrdorf - Switzerland               contacts