18+24/12/2002 + 10/01/2003
review by Dalia "gryphon_spirit",   pics by Stefan "absolut-evidence" The public use of OUR fotos ( by Stefan "absolut-evidence" Vogelaar)  is strictly prohibited without written permission.

X-MASS FESTIVAL 2002 AT Z-7 IN PRATTELN (CH) - 16/12/2002   with
Could we be content with one only No Mercy Festival? No, indeed . And i can notice it this evening at the Z 7 in Pratteln which i find really crowded, full of  lots of metalheads welcoming this X-Mass 2002 Euro Tour festival like the winter edition of one of the hardest and aggressive shows in the metal scene. And giving a look to the bill i bet that it will be a really merciless one. Unfortunately we of gryphonmetal can join the venue rather late, so around 20:20. But this mega show already began in the afternoon with Ragnarok opening the aggressive assaults at 17:00, followed by Antaeus, Macabre, Impaled Nazarene and Hate Eternal. And exactly under the whipping notes of Hate Eternal we enter the Z7, undisputed reign  today of all who demand nothing less than metal and hardness raised to the n-th power. I was personally really afraid at the idea to lose Kataklysm, one of the reasons which pushed me here. But wooow! the metallers' dark angel has fulfilled my wish ! We're here in time for attending the gig of Iacono , Degenais & co., just a questions of minutes and i will be able to admire the band of Beyond Salvation in action! At least i hope to admire them , and to interview them too. As far as it concerns Marduk , well it's a funny story: we have lost  their show 2 times in more or less one year, always here at Z7, maybe tonight is it!

KATAKLYSM         our album review     www.kataklysm.net         
20:20 the stage is prepared and around 20:25 the lights are switched off: Kataklysm appear on the stage and under spotlights, sharp like a knife, after the short intro , Maurizio Iacono starts with the unmistakable In Shadows & Dust, opener of their last release. Incredible energy: vocals and instruments are perfectly balanced and Maurizio's voice is strong enough to emerge above the relentless soundscape. The work done by the guitarist and by the bass player is very good, supported by clear drums. Iacono is even  successful to give now live the sensation of hearinng 2 voices, that one gets when is listening to the last album: it's incredible how Kataklysm vocals can range from deep death  grunts  till cleaner screams in seconds, only adjusting timbres and microphone. The bands gets a lot of applauses when Beyond Salvation is proposed , it's impossible standing there and remaining indifferent, it's simply an outstanding involving song which is proposed in a brilliant way , not very different from the record, so one can imagine the very good level Kataklysm has reached in playing.  The crunching "up- and down" passages so typical of this track are powered by  simply electrifying drums beats,  while the melodic moments are proposed very well supported by good guitar timing and rhythmic structure. The band showcases also a good mobility, underlined by synchronous headbanging and specific changes of placement between bass player and guitarist, while Iacono face the audience with emphasis and self control. Particularly interesting is the moment  when Iacono holds his guitarist using the microphone like a leash, or when he sings knelt down. Unfortunately there is a little technical problem which force the band to stop for a couple of minutes its performance, but ehi..it's live and i've seen that such problems can happen to everybody.  The problem is quickly solved indeed,   and noone among the audience is annoyed, on the contrary the crowd supports the band even more. And though Kataklysm don't perform any somersaults or hyperjumps are succesful in thrilling the crowd anyway. And the rest is done by that internal combustion engine which is their music.  So I'm really enthusiast that Kataklysm have not disappointed any expectations showcasing very well the new tracks from Shadows & Dust together with the older ones.  By the way new tracks: also Illuminati and Where the Enemy sleeps are presented. And Where the Enemy sleeps is played even better than Illuminati. Kataklysm have brought to Z 7 too their mixture of aggressive heaviness ,  dark melody and killing riffs in a cool way. I was hoping for that and i'm fully satisfied:  me, together with some other hundreds of people here. Congratulations, applauses! 
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IMMOLATION      www.immolationdirect.com  
A short but rigorous drums  and guitar sound check announces the show of Immolation, that can present a big black drape with their logo . The quartett from New York begin its show at 21:08, and one understands at once that we are really  brutal oriented. In a way, they remind me Harmony Dies, though the kind of metal they play is rather different. But not different is the same brutal attitude.  The very long haired singer Ross Dolan hits immediately  the attention of the crowd due to his throaty vocals and due to the dynamic way with which he plays his bass. The first impact is difficult enough cause one gets a little bit time in order to understand the spirit of their music, that it can seems repetitive enough but the more they play , the more this brutal death opens up in with interesting facettes showing dark influences and doom heaviness. And the band plays well, concentrated and with a certain amount of humility
. Ross Dolan'stageacting is worthy to be seen and one should go to a Immolation gig even  just if it was only for looking at him. But all in all the style of the whole band is interesting, though unfortunately this evening the vocals are  a little bit overwhelmed by the instruments and the sound is sometimes a bit confused and undefinined. Obviously  all this spoils the performance. Fast passages are mixed anyway with crunchy and  melodic chords, which convince the audience that  likes a lot the show . Immolation can be slow-paced or speed but always their is a great work of both guitars and drums. Doom epic tones are present, as well as tempo changings and loops, that give a diabolic and sinister paint to the general atmosphere . Among the songs proposed Unholy Cult , Bring them down and No Jesus, no Beast. Moshing , headbanging and occasional crowdsurfings are not missing. In spite of  the intense headbanging the applauses are not very lively and the show ends at 21.40 when  Ross Dolan thanks the Swiss audience saying "See you next time! thanks Switzerland from Immolation from New York".
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 MARDUK   www.marduk.nu          WORLD FUNERAL  will be out 24. 02
22:30 it seems it's the time when i finally succeed in attending a Marduk gig. The crowd is shouting "Mar-duk-Mar-duk - Mar-duk...!" red light : the drummer takes its place behind the drum-kits. And immediately afterwards the rest of the band on the stage. With agility and energy the gig begins and the classic "Hallo Switzerland!" is not surely forgotten. Legion is in perfect form, like an angel of the hell he is welcomed warmly. Fantastic his headbanging and his stageacting, and well calibrated is also his hoarse but mighty voice. The more the performance goes on , the more the instruments increase their rhythm and their expressive capacity . Damn, i think that Legion is simply a cool frontman, he is aggressive, agile, but also agreeable, still enthusiast to sing for his fans. And with the famous Jesus Christ the enthusiasm of the audience bursts out  and finally a sea of  hands and a lot of headbanging and acclamations are supporting a band that is giving so much , even without being headliners (ehh yes headliners are Six Feet Under, but you will not find reviews or pictures cause we will be busy with the interview to Kataklysm). The music sometimes solemn, sometimes, speed, sometimes melodic, sometimes hypnotic, always heavy enriched by tremolos and tempo changings  is finally winning the not easy Swiss crowd and Legion seems to be very, very  satisfied and above all "grateful" for every applause he receives.  The bass strings are explored with much more intensity, catchy riffs and good bass lines alternates and emphasize a killer gig. The encore is certain,  obviously, and  with Baptism by Fire. 

And at the end of the gig, Legion performs a great and totally unespected stage diving,

When the gig is finished he walks in the fotopit, shaking hands to a lot of persons, me included. And not only i receive a handshake, but also  two small cuts done by the spikes of his bracelet causing to me  a short but sharp pain. Ohhhhh  happiness is....to be slightly wounded by Legion!! Mega!!

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our interview with Maurizio Iacono of KATAKLYSM  

Niederrohrdorf - Switzerland Impressum