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What do Syndemic, Todtgelichter, The Bleeding and Dark Age have in common? The producer, Eike Freese, the singer from Dark Age -The Bleeding is still working on their first release, however. To celebrate the release of their latest album, Dark Age took the stage at Grünspan together with the three support acts. As the first band performed, there were perhaps 50 people in the audience. This may have had something to do with almost everybody standing outside as it was really stinky and sweaty indoors. Those who braved the stink and sweat and made it to the merchandise stand got a free poster.
Syndemic Melodic death metal made in Hamburg opened the show. Syndemic did a good job, though there wasn´t too much difference between one song and the next and thus they all pretty much sounded the same. The vocals from Boretzkis were nice, as were the rest of the instruments, which were in capable hands; even though the songs were easily forgotten, it would have been nice to hear more. The energy on stage was tangible and when Syndemic finds a few more good notes, they will surely be seen in the future.
The Bleeding The singer from The Bleeding stared nervously into the crowd and then pulled a face akin to someone pushing out a difficult turd. It should have been more like the appearance of vocalists like Nachtgarm, from Negator I guess, but it didn´t quite go the way he hoped. Maybe he should watch a video of himself performing and work on not forcing it. The fake blood added to the irritation, but enough of the looks. The Bleeding played some of their latest tracks from their album „Blood Diamond“, which goes in the general direction of deathcore and offered no great surprises. The guitarists overestimated themselves and set themselves so much up front, that it became obvious to see how unspectacular they are. In this sense less would have been more.
Todtgelichter The thing that worked for Trent Reznor in the 90´s and got him cool, didn´t work for this formation. Todtgelichter was misunderstood by me as Todtgelächter -which means laughing until dead- and as such I thought they are a satirical band. When they came on stage covered with wheat, parts of the crowd were grinning from ear to ear. When the first cords came, the sparsely filled venue got a bit emptier. The band gave their all and played what they call extreme metal. In me ears it sounded more like gothic pop metal with forced hardness, but I may be wrong. I have heard into their latest album „Apnoe“ as well as their other production only a bit, but live their are really weak -to put it mildly. The singer, Tobias Engelhard doesn´t have a bad voice, but not strong enough to hold up the power of the music as a whole. The singer Marta doesn´t only look bored on stage, but fails to reach any heights. Instrumentally there isn´t too much to criticize, but that couldn´t save the show either.
Dark Age When the Hamburg veterans of Dark Age took the stage and set off with „Out of Time“, the last of the outside dwellers got in to sweat along with the band. One can´t say that the band stays true to their sound, unless the style is defined as ever changing. As usual, there was no room to complain as far as the technical elements went and the solos from guitarist Jörn Schubert still shock you off your chair, but the style had changed quite a bit this time. There was nothing more left of the melodic death metal sound -or dark metal, as they prefer to call it back in those days. The wild guitar parts are toned down and there´s lots more keyboard and as a whole it sounds like it was made for alternative rock radio. Eike sings mostly with a clear voice in the new parts and there are few accents of growls and screams fit in. Can Eike then really sing with a clear voice? Not really, at least not live.
As it was a release party of „A Matter of Trust“, I was surprised to see that they played only five songs from the new album and ten tracks from „Aceida“ and „Minus Exitus“, like „Zeitgeist“ and „Dying Art“. Towards the end the fans who were shocked about the new direction of their latest album were reconciled with „Suicide Crew“ from their evergreen album „Silent Republic“. Dark Age surely broadend their fan base with their new direction, as well as set the stage for getting more international success -just no longer with metal.