I have never witnessed the Backstage concert area as busy as yesterday afternoon. All three venues were housing shows: Tarja played in the biggest venue, the “Werk”, Equilibrium played a sold-out show in the “Halle” and Negură Bunget and Waldgeflüster had a lot to celebrate in the club, the smallest venue of all. Metalheads ranging from symphonic to black metal lovers all gathered to enjoy their Saturday night, and the ones who decided upon attending the shows in the club from the beginning got to see five extreme metal bands in a row.
Ossific (5:30-6:00 pm)
The young atmospheric post black metal band Ossific is supporting Negură Bunget on their European anniversary tour. It is the band’s stage presence and “outfits” that were the most prominent. While the keyboarder painted herself ghostly white for the gig, the drummer opted for black face paint for the lower part of his face, and the bassist covered up his entire face and body. And it doesn’t stop there: The vocalist/guitarist was wearing black contact lenses, which did look slightly scary. Their music sounded quite diverse, but not very spectacular in my opinion. I am sure that their performance would have been better if the vocalist hadn’t lit incense sticks and other fuming things as part of some kind of ridiculous ritual. That came across quite wannabe-diabolic. I did see worse, though, and musically, Ossific did sound quite good.
Ars Irae (6:20-7:00 pm)
It was now time for a couple of local underground bands to play. Ars Irae is a blackened death metal band from Rosenheim which I really enjoyed watching and listening to. They play very good death metal with progressive and black metal influences, which really got people to bang their heads to the music. More people seemed to enjoy themselves by now and the club started to fill up. There is not much to say about Ars Irae but this: They play well live and put up a really enjoyable show.
Wolves Den (7:20-8:00 pm)
The death/black metal band Wolves Den from Munich was next to play their set and their show turned out to be a highlight: Top-notch performance, high-quality and music and last but not least, a show that was a real pleasure to watch. Vocalist and (guitarist) Helge’s vocals sounded particularly powerful. Frontman Winterherz of Waldgeflüster even joined Wolves Den on stage for one song. All in all, this is a band I can wholeheartedly recommend.
Waldgeflüster (8:20-9:50 pm)
This evening, the first headliner of the night, Waldgeflüster, celebrated their 10 year anniversary as well as the release of their new record, “Ruinen”. The black metal band from Munich presented a varied set compiled of tracks from their new album like “Weltenwanderer” and “Graustufen Novembertage”, “Erster Schnee” from their very first demo and some classics like “Wotan sang”. Wolves Den vocalist Helge also joined Waldgeflüster for one song. In my opinion, Waldgeflüster is one of the best underground bands – their music is very powerful and yet full of emotion. They delivered a vigorous and stunning performance throughout and unsurprisingly, the venue was full of people at this point. What an experience!
Negură Bunget (10:20-11:50 pm)
The Romanian folk black metal band Negură Bunget played for the first time in Munich since 2013 and they also had many events to celebrate: Their 20 year anniversary, the 10 year anniversary of their circularizing record “OM” and the release of their new album “ZI” (part two of their Transylvanian trilogy; read my review here). They started their set with “Tul-ni-că-rînd“, then followed through with „Grădina Stelelor“, both off „ZI“. During their 90-minute-set, Negură Bunget played classics like “Cunoaşterea Tăcută“, “Norilor”, “Hora Soarelui” and „Dacia Hiperboreană“ as well as the track “Tesarul De Lumini”, which they don’t play often live. With the aid of three traditional instruments (a “tulnic” and traditional percussion instruments), they have been able to present a broad spectrum of sounds on stage, but unfortunately, they had to play without flutes and keyboards. Overall, their performance felt spontaneous and genuine – just how you would expect from a unique band like Negură Bunget, and the audience’s response turned out accordingly.
All in all, this was an enjoyable evening with many highlights. Not only black metal fans surely got their jollies last Saturday, but also everyone who is into fast, heavy music to bang one’s head to. Great evening!
Check out the bands:
Ars Irae: www.facebook.com/ArsIraeMetal
Wolves Den: www.facebook.com/wolvesdenband
Negură Bunget: www.facebook.com/negurabunget