Summer Darkness 2009 - Saturday with Front 242, Brighter Death Now
Summer Darkness is Holland’s main event for all fans of gothic and industrial music, plus all its related dark electro and underground metal styles. During the 5 days of this fest, the city of Utrecht offers multiple concerts and dance nights, as well as a gothic & fantasy market. Metalrage visited this festival on Saturday, checking out what’s going on in the venues of Ekko, Tivoli Oudegracht and Tivoli de Helling.
At 6 o’clock we were immediately confronted with one of Summer Darkness’ most interesting artists: Brighter Death Now. BDN is the personal project of Roger Karmanik, founder of long-lasting label Cold Meat Records from Sweden. He started this label back in 1987, which became known for its experimental and industrial influenced ambient/noise releases. Brighter Death Now is the perfect reflection for the sound of his label. Harsh industrial noises and frightening atmospheres combined with gruesome visuals of dead human bodies and babies created the ultimate death ambiance - in which I rather sat on the ground instead of being derived from the videoscreen. Awesome music, yet a strange moment, this early at the evening.
A couple of hours later we arrived at the Tivoli Oudegracht, for witnessing Front 242. Another long-time running act that was very influential back into time. For those who are not known with this band; Front 242 formed in Belgium in 1981 and were leading in electronic body music (EBM), also known as industrial dance. They are even considered as precursor of the techno sound. Even though Front 242 played on Summer Darkness 2007 as well, the Tivoli became quite crowded - but for some reason the audience never really went crazy on their performance. Everything seemed to go well, good sound and good show, but they just never got the whole dance floor on the move. It kind of amazed me, while the band played a varied set. The only reason I could think of why it didn’t became such a success is the fact that the audience already saw a lot of acts operating in their genre. Bit of an overkill maybe.
After Front 242 we went to Tivoli De Helling to party ‘till the morning. When we entered the venue, we could just see the last couple of songs from Klangstabil, an industrial electro act. No really harsh stuff, but nice nonetheless. After this the Noise Central Festival co-organizers/DJ’s took over the turntables and during the pause the BPM suddenly raised to about 180 - industrial hardcore was the style we heard and earplugs were definitely needed.
Then it was time for the last act (5F-X was unfortunately cancelled due to illness). With MS Gentur from Germany on stage we witnessed a one-man act that delivered some fine danceable yet heavy industrial music that made the remaining attendees lift their feet from the ground. Yet the heaviest music was saved for last. The Noise Central Festival DJ’s (DJ Distortedchaos and one other guy) played till nobody was left, and made us crazy with again heavy industrial music, digital hardcore, some breaks and even happy hardcore (Dune - Hardcore Vibes and two tracks from Scooter). How I just love nice musical twists at unexpected places. Glad we stayed till the end.