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02/08/2012 :  - Review of the Summer Darkness festival (DAY ONE) with Diary of Dreams, Suicide Commando,.. (Utrecht, 27 July 2012)

Review of the Summer Darkness festival (DAY ONE) with Diary of Dreams, Suicide Commando,.. (Utrecht, 27 July 2012)

Concert


[90/100]   
02/08/2012, Philippe BLACKMARQUIS

The best way to describe the "Summer Darkness" festival is to say it is like a "little WGT". Like in Leipzig, the festival includes a number of different venues across the city and during the three days of the festival, Utrecht wears the colors of the dark culture.

This year, the festival celebrated its 10th anniversary, with numerous special events. It also corresponded to the 25th anniversary of Suicide Commando, our Belgian band, which celebrated the event by giving two concerts, one "Best of 25 Years set" and one "Vintage set". Belgium had a strong presence with additional bands like Vomito Negro, Sonar, Empusae, Monolith, Parade Ground, etc.

Day One (Friday)

The first major show on Friday was Diary of Dreams. Adrian Hate and his team seemed to be in great form and happy to be there. The song "The Wedding" started the setlist, followed by the beautiful "Lebenslang", "Butterfly Dance" and "Chemicals". On "MenschFeind", Adrian asked the audience to clap their hands and the tension rose. After "King of Nowhere", the band played "Undividable", a superb track from the band's last album. Finally, they closed the show with two classics, "The Curse" and "Kindrom". A great show, filled with melancholy but with pulsating beats and strong guitar lines. As usual, Adrian Hates had a very strong presence, walking all across the stage and engaging fans to sing along in choruses. And his voice.. what a voice: dark and deep like a screaming fallen angel.

The opening night also offered an exclusive 'vintage show' by Suicide Commando, the first of two 25th anniversary shows. The Tivoli-Helling venue was packed with fans eager to witness this unique moment. No need to present this band, which was created by Johan van Roy in 1986 and became the godfathers of Electro-Industrial / Aggrotech. Some of you might remember the time when Johan was selling his tapes at concerts and parties in Belgium in the late 80s. It was not until 1994 that he managed to publish his first CD, "Critical Stage", and that the club hit "See You In Hell" launched his successful career.

During the vintage set in Utrecht, Johan was accompanied by Gert Haelevoet (from Frames A Second), who played with him earlier, a first element of retro! The setlist revisited some of the best songs from the first period of Suicide Commando, songs which were characterized by mid tempo's and dramatic, melancholic horror soundscapes. From "TV Obsession" and "Traumatize" to "Sheer Horror" and "The Ultimate Machine", we were transported in a nostalgic, hypnotic journey with distorted vocals exploring the darkness of the human soul. Suddenly, during "Where Do We Go from Here", Dirk Ivens (Sonar, The Klinik,...) joined Johan on stage to sing the lead vocals of the song! It was a great surprise to see those two Belgian legends of dark music together on stage for such an exceptional anniversary! It was also a way for Suicide Commando to recognize the heritage of The Klinik... A great moment...

In the second part of the show, the band made the link between this first period (more introspective and "ambient") and the next period (more extrovert and dance-oriented), especially in "Never Get Out", "Fate", "Save Me" and of course, the iconic "See You In Hell", which closed the show. As a whole, the audience's reaction was very enthusiastic and an encore was claimed with screams and noises. The band came back to play "The Mirror" and "Necrophilia". In a nutshell: it was an amazing concert that gave a perfect start to the festival!

After this, there was a "Storm - Industrial Revolution" night, mainly featuring Dirk Ivens' project Sonar. This exclusive show marked the presentation of the band's new album: "Cut Us Up" and proposed a unique blending of rhythmic industrial with electrifying noise and droning soundscapes: definitely one of the most biggest acts in the industrial / noise scene!

Check the review of Day Two.

Check the fantastic pictures by our photographer Xavier Marquis in the Photos area!!
 

A big 'Thanks' to Summer Darkness, Marc X-Pulsiv, Dirk Ivens and Johan van Roy

Philippe BLACKMARQUIS
02/08/2012


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