On Saturday March 2nd it was time for the
Five Years Of Total Darkness festival that Fear Dark organized in cooperation with
Peacedog. With this festival Fear Dark celebrated the fact that they started their company
in 1997. Four bands were scheduled to play for Five Years Of Total Darkness.
Natan from Belgium was the warm-up band
of the festival. Yet my bus was late so I had to miss the first couple of songs. I pushed
my way through the crowd to greet the people from Fear Dark first before paying attention
to the happenings on stage. Already a huge crowd had gathered to see the maiden enterprise
of this young black metal band. As it was their first gig ever so to some of the members
it was something to get used to. The show was a bit static. But especially their female
singer and keyboard player Claudia seemed to get used to it pretty easily as she moved a
bit more on stage than the others. Musically they brought atmospheric black metal with
violin solos played by the singer. The crowd responded eager to this band and demanded an
encore. The final song was a pretty cool instrumental played initially with violin and
drums only. Their singer certainly knows how to play violin! Everyone was impressed.
In the interval between Natan and the
next band there was some time to chat with people. This was going to be the returning
ritual in the intervals between concerts. I greeted some familiar faces and met some new
ones. Time was too short though to meet and speak with everyone. There were also some
booths where you could buy CD's and shirts. I can't remember checking them out properly as
I normally would have, browsing through the stacks of CD's. Well, that illustrates that
there were too many other things to see and do, hands to shake, people to greet or just to
look around to see people enjoy... Time goes too quick on such a night.
Next came Noiz, from Germany. Their set
was full of hard hitting old school death metal. The band was roaring on stage, banging
their heads as much as some people in the pit did. You might've started wondering when
someone's head was going to drop down on the floor... It was heads swinging all over the
place, hair floating in mid-air. The songs played by the band were mostly new ones full of
blasting rhythms. For someone who likes variety it was a bit of an overdose at the end
though. But Noiz enjoyed their playing much and so did many people in the warmed-up crowd.
Morphia, the third band, was presenting
their new album called Frozen Dust. They were the only band from The Netherlands. Through
previous gigs their atmospheric doom metal has become familiar to many of the metal fans
present. As I had seen them a few times last year I was wondering how their new songs
would be. Morphia's set consisted of old tracks from their 1998 album Unfulfilled Dreams
and half dozen new songs. The old ones sounded as good as ever and so did new songs like
The Forrest and When Silence Fell. However, to some of the new material I had to get used
as they sounded not as convincing as classics like The Day I Died. Nevertheless a great
Seventh Avenue was the last band.
Technically this band was the best band on stage. It was also a different band with their
melodic power metal and high pitched vocals by Herbie Langhans. Herbie also played guitar
while singing and did some classic guitar solos. The rest of the band had fun playing,
making some jokes with the crowd. The band-crowd interaction was coolest with Seventh
Avenue. They clearly enjoyed their time on stage, being entertainers. The set consisted of
songs from the different albums including an oldie like Rest In Peace. In this song, as
well as some of the others, the band tried successfully to get the crowd scream along with
the chorus. Some of the other classics they played were Southgate, Tale Of Tales, May The
Best One Win, Big City Sharks and Time. After the set was over, the crowd started
demanding an encore. Seventh Avenue came back and Herbie started introducing the cover
song they were going to play, the classic Iron Maiden hit Run To The Hills with its
galloping riffs! The crowd enjoyed each single note and so did I. One of the highlights
After the encore it was time to leave. I
had to loosen myself from the people I wanted to chat with. Ralf, one of the visitors, had
kindly offered me a lift on my way home. Our travel to the west was another highlight for
me. We talked about the festival and some other things and it was just nice talking with
him a bit more than I could have on the festival itself where there are always people you
want to greet and meet. Thanks Ralf!
So, to draw to a conclusion I can say
that it was a successful event. I arrived at home satisfied and with a mind full of
images, sounds, words and feelings that I need to chew upon.
A whole bunch of photos can be found on
the photo page of André J.C.