KNÜPPELNACHT organized by







25 February 2006







review by Boris Witta




The Knüppelnacht seems to become an obligating date for Swiss metalheads. After the sold-out show with Equilibrium & Co., it’s again a “German night”: The avantgarde Black Metallers from Hidden In The Fog who are on tour with the Prog Death Metal-troops Deviated Presence are supported by the well-known and well-liked Darkmoon-horde. And the phenomenon happens again: This is now my fifth time in the Dynamo Werk 21, and hell, there’s always such a great atmosphere, this location is truly very kind and likeable.

Today, not as many people crowd the cellar of the Dynamo, but after the chaotic circumstances of the last time, today evening is very familiar, cosy and just the way it has to be.


DARKMOON                darkmoon    

9pm, first station, all passengers have to leave: It’s Darkmoon-time. I don’t know why, but every time I see Darkmoon (and I saw them very often), I’m excited like it would be the first time. Is it the way the quintet serves their riffs, again and again “disturbed” by fantastic hooklines and melodies, then again brutal in the way of Swedish maniacs like Amon Amarth (“The Bitter End”) or even with influences of melodic and emotional Black Metal (the hymn “Evil Goddess Of The Night”, ladies and gentlemen, please start a riot), is it the way, frontman Matthias perfomrs in his characteristic, charismatic way, with his deep growling voice and the gentle and smart announces, always with a little smile on his face, is it the way the quintet Darkmoon shows his abilities as a true unity, a perfect team, also when there are some technical problems (feeping guitars, and like Matthias told me afterwards, he didn’t hear too much of his vocals)? I don’t know, but fact is, that the crowd gives massive support, and after two minutes, it gets hotter than in a Finnish sauna. Laurent Strack is already a real part of the Darkmoon-universe, plays some parts in another way than his predecessor Hubi, and when Matthias introduces him to the audience, warm applause is coming back. Another new point in Darkmoon’s sound: Very often, bassist Pascal comes up with hysterical background-screams in the way of pure Black Metal, best to hear in the great chorus of “Evil Goddess Of The Night”, which gets even more catchy with this element. It’s also time for a première: For the very first time, “My Misery”, a brand new track, is played, and it fits very good to the rest of the setlist, it’s kind of Swedish, but with the typical Darkmoon-riffing and some overtaking melodies. Because the playing time is very limited, Darkmoon concentrate on the actual album “…Of Bitterness And Hate”, and of course, the five guys have to play an unplanned extra song, guitarist Gianrichy already switched off his amp and remarks this after the first verse of the Hypocrisy-cover “Roswell 47”, so Matthias and also Pascal can’t hold their smile. The fans want even more, and loud “Zugabe!”-screams peal through the cellar, but unfortunately, Darkmoon have to leave now. Impressing, catching and exciting again. I’m very sure that this is never gonna change.


Setlist Darkmoon

The Damned

Lost Soul

Bitter End

Evil Goddess Of The Night

My Misery

Dust In My Eyes


The Fallen One

The Cell

Roswell 47 (Hypocrisy-Cover)




DEVIATED PRESENCE        deviated presence      

Then Deviated Presence rise up. I didn’t know anything about the German band until now, and so I’m quite tensed. And yeah, I like surprises like that. Deviated Presence, this is progressive Death Metal on the highest level. I tried to count the riffs per song, but no chance. The song-towers are at least six minutes long, there are thousands of breaks, changes of atmospheres, first straight forward, then jazzy-proggy, deep growling, suddenly double-clean-vocals-attack, furious and virtuous twin-guitars, solo-parts, emotions like hate, aggression, sadness, duality, schizophrenia, well, you see, it is not very easy to describe the art, the being of Deviated Presence. The trio doesn’t have a drummer, but the computer is very well programmed, I wouldn’t have wondered if someone would have sat behind the kit. But “…we didn’t find a drummer who was able to play our songs!”, singer and guitarman Felix explains smiling, and he keeps pushing and thanking the crowd, because Deviated Presence (and also Hidden In The Fog) had a gig in Bayern last night which was obvious a real disaster, because of the sound technics and also because of the boring audience. So although the reactions of the crowd are not as enthusiastic as when Darkmoon were on stage, the three German warriors are very very pleased and absolutely engaged. The band calls themselves “Unstraight Melodic Death Metal”, and I have the opinion that this is the perfect description of Deviated Presence. Some people stand in front of the stage with eyes wide open and unable to believe what they see, others try to bang (that’s not easy at all, because a part only lasts for a few moments), some leave the hall, but most stay and are part of a very inconformable Metal-show of a band, which is as individual as a band may be. If you like exacting Death Metal with tons of influences and elements, with a very own note, you HAVE to listen to Deviated Presence! Well done guys, you may come back again!



HIDDEN IN THE FOG        hidden in the fog      

And finally, the Underground-Avantgardists from Hidden In The Fog. I knew the band would be good, but I would never have expected what comes now. Hidden In The Fog, these are the true successor of almighty Emperor, progressive Black Metal art, fascinating and dominating. Singer and guitaris Sid, in a white dress, a true leader of the horde, sometimes possessed screaming, then fragile clean voice, and a sensational mimic and gesture. Hell is open, people are banging in ecstasy and celebrating this genious band. Songs from all periods are played, of course from the fantastic new album “Damokles”, but also very old stuff like a song from the first demo, which is pure devastating old-school Black Metal with freezing riffs and hateful verses. But back to the present: Like Deviated Presence, Hidden In The Fog have a very own nature, a very own way of writing, of performing, of living songs, the best thing is to listen to them and think about it. Gorbag, second guitarist, is the grim part, while bassist Draug Carcharoth seems to be drowned in the Black Metal-inferno. Hidden In The Fog take the crowd to a new galaxy, a new empire in mind. And like Deviated Presence before, you can see how the fantastic reactions give power to the band, they really enjoy, they epicure to stand on stage, to be one with the fanatic fans. Bizarre keyboards, hypnotic rhythms and structures, impressing guitarleads and an indeed very touching voice, these are the trademarks of Hidden In The Fog. And goddamn, these blast, I never heard blasts in this perfection, this fast, this furious. Loud cheering is the answer, and Hidden In The Fog are forced to play an extra-song. And what comes now is the highlight of the evening and one of the greatest things I ever lived to see: A fantastic, an ultimate cover of Emperor’s “I Am The Black Whizards”. Everyone in front of the stage bangs and screams like there would be no tomorrow, the energy in the air is sensible, and the concert could not have found a better end than this. This is one of the reasons I live for Metal: concerts like this one from Hidden In The Fog.


This great evening ends with a big party with friends and members from Darkmoon and Hidden In The Fog, and again, the travel to the Knüppelnacht in Zürich was very rewarding. See you next time when Hellfire calls…



Boris Witta



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