Location: Underwerket, Copenhagen (Denmark)
The second day of Dark Mental Festival promised to be a long and wild one. Nine acts are scheduled and the opening is taken care of by Kasper who gives the audience a peaceful and serene start with his acoustic guitar. Singer/songwriter style covers are easy to start the day with, especially for those who enjoyed the first day until the early hours. Would be great for a Sunday fade out afternoon as well.
Mental Coma was the up next. The Thrash formation has been around since 2012 and about three year ago the guys released their first full length album.
The band recently changed their frontman and when reading that my first thoughts of them were confirmed, it is not at its max yet. The guys seemed to be searching a bit, in the way that they are looking how to utilize their skills best. They try to make themselves a statement, but the identity of the band is not so solid yet. However, it is visible that they got an idea of where they want to head to and with some more time this will grow. Some good riffs were on board so it is just a matter of time now.
The Finnish Medeia is making their entry and we were looking forward to see them. Our last gathering with them was many years ago, when Finnish Tuska Festival was still in its old location. This year they will open Tuska, so there is some more ahead. But luckily the band is back in full.
Here on the stage it is bit of a full house. Not only are there 6 people to fit on the small stage, they also are quite active, so they require some more space. Not too much of a shocker to see them utilize the space in front of the stage as well. Their energetic performance was perhaps a bit too early and it took a bit before the audience would warm up to it, but the persistency of the Finns pay off eventually.
Besides the new songs of the recently released album “Xenosis” the guys also cared to give us a few older songs, which we appreciate. Good to see them back active and looking forward to their show on Tuska.
Saxtorph is one of that many Black Metal formations that would enter the stage tonight. Active since 2008 there has been two full length releases, the last one dating back to 2015.
With their ropes around their waste and the clothes they took place behind the altar. The ritual begins. A hand goes up once in acknowledgement of their audience and then we sink into their rite. Never a happy one, the icey cold darkness you can feel upon your bones. The band got that under control.
The songs that are played are a bit too much in one line though. Halfway their set it feels like you found their template. Some say to never change a winning factor, but a bit more variation would spice it up wildly. Furthermore the guys did well in setting down the show as a whole. Just that one thing would make it stand out stronger.
To see a band from Turkey on the bill has certainly caught our interest. The guys are called Moribund Oblivion and they have been around since 1999. They have released already six full length albums and are therefore not to be underestimated. The guys are making Black Metal and are having diverse influences on their hands.
It seemed that the band has raised curiosity as the place was quite full when they were on stage. We had not been able to see all of the show, but when dropping in the guys were having the audience along already. The slight melodic side to them makes it easy to get the feel of their sound. It listens relatively easy for a Black Metal formation and when seeing the guys around it is clear they are confident of what they bring and what they want to bring across. An interesting act that we certainly would like to see cross our path again.
Chronicle is a band from Denmark who chooses to mix their genres in an interesting way. There is some Black, there is Thrash, some Death and yet there is place for some Melodic parts as well. A wild mix that creates a solid and unique face to the band. They have their fans on board tonight, that is obvious as we spotted quite some band shirts with their name around.
It has been a while since their album came out but the first album still impresses here tonight. Advantage of that is that the songs that the band has are familiar. Must be said that their show is quite impressive. They throw themselves all over you when watching you, the vehemence is taking you while watching them and makes you become a part of it.
One of the highlights are the vocals. Vocalist Lars has a powerful throat and does not hold back with it at all. The question that leaves us is after their show is mainly: When is that new record coming out?
The Norwegian band Djevelkult was on our wishlist to see, the word goes round fast under the music journalists so we were tipped quite a while ago about them. Always interesting, because with the expectations being set so clearly the band must deliver to live up to it. Now, the guys don’t have too much problems with that.
As a whole the Black Metallists bring some vibrant songs, with a lot of detail which makes you want to observe carefully as the fear of missing out is haunting upon you. But looking at the individual elements the guys certainly score as well. The big spotlight is upon their drummer. He brings up the tempo, strays as far away from a cliché as he likes to and takes everything along with it. It is the basis for these playful tracks that they have. Laying on top of that some riffs that seem somewhat catchy in their own sinister way and you understand why they have been mentioned to us. Well, let’s now continue the favor we had by tipping you to put them on your live-wishlist as well. They delivered!
Khroma has played the festival before and it seemed they left a good memory back then as quite a bunch showed to see the guys play. With the electronic elements in their music they are perhaps a bit of a stranger in the festival, but the guys take their most vehement songs to the stage tonight and that works well with this audience.
“The Push” sets it in motion, headbanging people and a band that lives the music right in front of them is contagious and contributes to the good vibes that are reigning there at this point. Where their guitarist and bassist are working as twins, the vocalist gives a unique touch to the sound. Backed by their drummer who completes the picture with an intense way of playing the band is definitely an act that energizes the night.
The guys were one of the highlights of the evening, seemingly effortless in getting their audience on their hands.
Sarkrista is a German formation that plays Black Metal. Formed in 2011 they appear to have chosen a quite traditional approach with their sound. Two full lengths and a handful of smaller releases came already from their hands. The tracks never seem to fall short, the lengthy epistles are brought with dedication and a rather eerie atmosphere.
Looking at what we heard earlier today we are not impressed at the same level as we were with Djevelkult. The surprise element is not quite there and although the guys are skillfully performing their show it just does not hit ground as much. A bit of preference perhaps, the purists will more lean towards Sarkrista on this topic. Yet, the guys don’t score too bad at all. They provide a fine ending of the evening with their show.