25 May 2024

11-05-2024 Dark Troll Festival

Location: Bornstedt (Germany)


The last day of this festival would start with the formation Norest. The Black Metal formation has released their album “Herbst” just a few weeks ago, having something new to present their audience. The moment the band enters the stage there is one thing that draws the attention from all the people around us, it is the colorful guitar that brings in a nice contrast with all the black. But above all, it is not the looks that need to impress us, we want to hear what comes out of it and with skillful hands playing it we come to a steady sound. The band surely seems confident with what they bring, here and there a bit experimenting as it seems. Sometimes we think they can challenge themselves more. One to watch.


Sagenbringer is a German formation making Folk. That is hard to miss seeing how they dressed up the stage with a ship, (faux)animal furs and such. The atmosphere is set already before the band entered the stage. The guys have released their second full length “Zeit der Geschichten” about a month ago and so we get to hear some of that here today. The whole makes for a full stage and a lot to look at. Vocals are quite in the spotlight while the other members stay a bit in the shadows, but in the sound it works. It is good to see that they manage to captivate a substantial audience already early on the day. We have seen a complete show from these guys where attention was put to the details and the music and scenery are leverage to eachother.


Up next was Thorondir, a German formation that has some Pagan Black Metal to present. They have been founded in 2007 and since then three albums have seen light. It has been a while since the last one, 2019 that came out. Interesting enough the band has a diverse range of sounds in their music. Sometimes it has a more melodic edge and on other moments they go a bit heavier. All never straying too far from eachother so the whole stays in good line. The band performs rather energetic which helps to enjoy them, but perhaps after the scenery of the band before them they appear a bit plain. Contrast is there, but for the music you might find these guys a bit more diverse.


We are staying with the theme a bit with Gwydion, a band that originates from Portugal. They have been around for almost three decades and five studio releases are on their name. The last one is some years back. Even though the theme is close the previous formations here, the band is genrewise going more to Melodic Death and have a more heavy approach. Now we did not see all of their songs, after the halfway mark we went to get some dinner, so we can’t write more than that.


After dinner things turned around, a change of theme with Antrisch was going on. A band that not only impresses with their theatrical wasy of performing but also with the music itself which is Atmospherical Black. But have no illusions, in all the songs the band played there is an icy cold undertone, one that no iceage can beat. The guys are not super active in movement but it is not needed for their show has all it takes to keep one looking. And listening. Some great moments created by the guitars, but they are strongly supported by the bass for impact. For a non-German the lyrics are one to take some time for, the band has a somewhat poetical way of putting these words together and aren’t taking streetlanguage for it. Altogether a band that sparked our interest enormously, they know what they want to do and give it an unique twist. Well done!


2024 seems the year of Sylvaine. A name we see on countless bills this summer and a new album on the way make sure that this lady and her band are hard to miss this season. Not that you should even attempt to do that, for we can tell you that this lady knows what she is doing. With small details in a serene voice she makes her enchanting songs lay over the audience. Sometimes giving it a bit of a rought edge but never going to sharp. Always a mellow and nice feel to it. Performance wise you could argue it is maybe somewhat static sometimes but for the music she makes it is exactly what you need. No distractions while you have your focus onto these fine little details that she puts into her sound. What a fine addition to this festival!


During the changeover we suddenly spotted some guys running around with pinbags and tape to cover up some equipment. Now, no rain to be seen so that can only mean one thing. Some substances are expected to be moving into the direction of the audience. Blood in this case, for Drudensang is about to play. A stage built with a pig head and other attributes you can imagine the scene to be brutal. A classic sound and a discography of a lot of small releases and a full length studio album in 2022 are on the basis of these guys. For the sound they have it is good to have some of that on the back for it is not something we have not heard before. Some entertainment value is there to make the experience come alive. But we pass on the flying blood and such, off to spatter free zone!


Finsterforst is a band that is seen regularly on the festival and clearly the band has a steady fanbase visiting their show. Soundwise they are having the Folk close to heart and now the band haas twenty years on the counter and five full length albums out. Most recent is their EP called “Jenseits” which saw light last year autumn. The guys are cheerful and talk a lot with their audience. A bit about the songs, about the festival and how much they enjoy playing their show here tonight. Not a lot of bands on this festival have this kind of interaction going on so it is nice to see this talking place. Audience seems appreciative of each song the band plays, not perse having a crowdpleaser that jumps out over all, but a set of about an hour full of easy going metal tracks brought with passion.

Wolves In The Throne Room

Wolves In The Throne Room are a good closure of the evening for sure, the Americans are around for over two decades and have built themselves a reputation as a band with an overwhelming live sound so we are always eager to see the guys cross our path. They start their set with a lot of darkness but slowly the band drags you into the light where the most atmospheric moments are creating a highlight on a dark soundscape. Last year the guys released “Crypt of Ancestral Knowledge” but the set has much more to offer obviously. The band plays some material of “Celestial Lineage” which hits well here in Bornstedt. The dark sky and the tunes of the Wolves are rolling over the town and with some colorful lights the band makes the atmosphere be so enchanting. A wonderful closure of the festival.


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