Festival report of Fall of Summer Festival 2017

Festival report of Fall of Summer Festival 2017 –  Torcy, France; 8-9th of September 2017

Report by Estelle on the 12th of October 2017

foslineup.jpgIn spite of last-minute band cancellations as well as some unpleasant weather conditions, Fall of Summer turned out to be again one of the most varied and quality festivals of the year. It seems that more and more metal enthusiasts recognize this fact: Not only attended this year markedly a lot more fans of black, death, thrash, heavy and doom metal than in the previous years, but the visitors’ scene also got much more vivid and international.

FRIDAY, 08.09.2017

Broken Hope, starting at 14:15, showed us into what we can expect from the festival death metal-wise with some serious massive riffs and rotten, pestilent growls. Their setlist was very diverse consisting of songs off their older as well as newer titles; all played with violent energy.

German speed/heavy/power cheese-kings Grave Digger took over. Starting with the title track of their newest (and most definitely not strongest) album ‘Healed by Metal’ from 2017 I was already considering leaving, and merely with two songs off their 80s’ classics, Witch Hunter and Heavy Metal Breakdown, they did not come close to convincing – not to speak of Boltendahl’s non-consistent voice and the “clap your hands”-style encouraging. They are trying, which is undeniably respectable, even though one sometimes wishes they didn’t.  

Fortunately, the unique experience of witnessing a (Tribute to) Sortilège show among the French not only eased my misery but also gave back my enthusiasm for the rest of the day: One could not extract themselves from this huge French karaoke nor from acquiring a part of the warm, collective feeling coming with it.

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(Ttribute to) Sortilège| Photo: Estelle

Vocalist Alexis d’Hürlement accomplished the effortful task of having to take the place of genious starting Sortilège singer Zouille with ease and joy, stealing the show even from the three original members showing up on stage for the single closing song, Marchand d’hommes. It can be contemplated on why the long-announced three original members (drummer Jean-Philippe Dumont aka ‘Bob Snake’, bassist Daniel ‘Lapin’ Lapp and guitarist Didier ‘Dem’ Demajean) only made an appearance for one song at the very end, on why it seemed like it was simply a duty for them or on why the group did not play ‘seen-as-obligatory’ titles such as Chasse Le Dragon or Mourir Pour Une Princesse; however, I was personally so amazed by being able to hear the well-composed setlist live with Hürlement’s fitting voice that I rather concentrated on enjoying the moment.

(Tribute to) Sortilège’s setlist on the 8th of September 2017, Fall of Summer festival, France:

  1. D’ailleurs
  2. Progéniture
  3. Métamorphose
  4. Quand un aveugle rêve
  5. Messager (w/ Gil Di Bravo)
  6. Gladiateur
  7. Sortilège
  8. Délire d’un Fou
  9. Marchand d’hommes (W/ Bob Snake, Daniel ‘Lapin’ Lapp and Didier ‘Dem’ Demajean)
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Merciless | Photo: Estelle

My cheerfulness boosted as after the last notes of (Tribute to) Sortilège I again became conscious of the fact that I am going to catch Merciless for the second time: The Swedish death/thrash veterans have reformed last year for a handful of dates across Europe before splitting definitively at the end of 2017.
How their show was? Nothing but Pure Hate. Regarding their energy and the quality of their performance, they gave a show that was comparable to the one given at the Swedish Muskelrock with nonstop savagery, insane speed and not a moment to breathe. On a side note, even though the audience seemed to be more into the show as on Muskelrock, the pit still didn’t turn into the biggest one on the festival – which I did not let distract me from how I personally enjoyed the show. A chain of cruel shows like that for a year before saying goodbye to the industry: real tricky, Merciless, real tricky!

Getting into the crowd of the French progressive rock group Magma after a Merciless gig is like slipping into a pot of warm, steaming, whirling soup as a portion of carrots after already being peeled and chopped.
Magma, reflecting my expectations, completely hypnotised: it is not every day you have the chance to see a symphonic rock band with jazz elements, singing most of their lyrics in a constructed language, Kobaïan. Eerie, impressive and engaging enough to get you completely forget about the rain.

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Île de loisirs de Vaires Torcy | Photo: Estelle


Meanwhile we were spending a bit of time in our tents trying to (unsuccessfully) dry ourselves off, Blasphemy took over, not giving a damn about the pouring rain nor the audience’s religious views, managing to attract and override many enthusiasts with their unmistakable, profane music, lyrics and attitude. Studs, bullet belts, inverted crosses, corpsepaint and the obligatory evening-hour sunglasses highlighted the experience of seeing the satanic Canadian death/blackers live.

Blasphemy’s setlist on the 8th of September 2017, Fall of Summer festival, France:

  1. War Command
  2. Blasphemous Attack
  3. Gods of War
  4. Darkness Prevails
  5. Desecration
  6. Nocturnal Slayer
  7. Emperor of the Black Abyss
  8. Hording of Evil Vengeance
  9. Goddess of Perversity
  10. Weltering in Blood
  11. Blasphemy
  12. Fallen Angel of Doom
  13. The Desolate One
  14. Demoniac
  15. Atomic Nuclear Desolation
  16. Empty Chalice
  17. Ritual

The celebrated Canadian speed/thrash group Annihilator followed with a rather typical but not in any way dull festival setlist with lots of old-time classics such as Set the World on Fire, W.T.Y.D., Alison Hell, Phantasmagoria and Human Insecticide, besides the characterless newer titles. I am curious if Jeff Waters ever gets to the idea of playing the whole ‘Alice in Hell’ record live within a (festival)tour, much to the delight of the long-term fans; until then we ought to content ourselves with their (still decent and very much enjoyable) current shows.

Primordial are a band that consistently manage to give back the atmosphere and spirit of their records live while also retaining the quality of their sound. As the last act, the Irish group gave this particularly bleak and wet day a graceful and pleasing end with a well-chosen setlist together with their perceivable dedication. Always a pleasure.

Primordial’s setlist on the 8th of September 2017, Fall of Summer festival, France:

  1. Intro
  2. Where Greater Men Have Fallen
  3. No Grave Deep Enough
  4. Babel’s Tower
  5. As Rome Burns
  6. Gods to the Godless
  7. The Coffin Ships
  8. Empire Falls


SATURDAY, 09.09.2017

As Saturday’s first, I went to see Toxik in the foreday’s mud. Expanded with their three new tracks off their 2017 EP ‘Breaking Class’ we got all the relevant 80s’ songs delivered, played decently but not as enthusiastically that I would have felt the need to get myself further into the crowd. It was, however, certainly heart-warming to see that after years and years of a break the US thrash band enjoys being on stage so much and that frontman Charles Sabin cannot thank the crowd enough for coming – Not to mention their action of inviting a French fan onto the stage to help them with the guitars on False Prophets.

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Count Raven | Photo: my good friend Gábor Oláh

I did not exactly know what to expect from Count Raven’s live performance. So what did I get? Surprisingly engaging, gloomy, harmonized riffs with not at all banal or worn-out lyrics, coupled with the feeling of tranquillity and the sand below my feet standing at the Blackwaters stage on the lakeside. Everything they do feels real: with a presence and setting much less theatrical than by bands of the same genre (see: Candlemass), the Swedish Count Raven managed to both convey the message they meant to through their music and show us how sincerely they mean it. Anytime again!

 


Moving on to Bulldozer, one of the groups from the high-class lineup that I was hoping to see live for years already, I found myself standing on side of the stage-separating hill in the drizzling rain, staring at A.C. Wild and his group from underneath a yellow bin liner-like raincoat and being mesmerised. A strong, fierce performance with engaged people moving around, where fortunately even the weather did not succeed to make it difficult to interpret A.C.’s words “It’s fucking whiskey time!”, AS IT WAS ALREADY FREAKING WHISKEY TIME. Show: 9.5/10, Weather: 3/10, People who gave a damn about the weather on average: 1/10.

Bulldozer’s setlist on the 9th of September 2017, Fall of Summer festival, France:

  1. Neurodeliri
  2. IX
  3. Desert!
  4. Ilona the Very Best
  5. The Derby
  6. Impotence
  7. Minkions
  8. The Final Separation
  9. Ride Hard – Die Fast
  10. Whisky Time
  11. Willful Death
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Demolition Hammer | Photo: my good friend Gábor Oláh

Always tearing every stage and crowd apart, Demolition Hammer did not let us down this time either. Overwhelming power and tight thrash riffs at lightning speed with corresponding (but mostly moshing and fighting) fan-reaction: the old school US-thrashers once again managed to become the most impressive act of a festival, leaving absolutely no chance for the nomination for the upcoming bands.

 

 

Demolition Hammer’s setlist on the 9th of September 2017, Fall of Summer festival, France:

  1. Skull Fracturing Nightmare
  2. Carnivorous Obsession
  3. Hydrophobia
  4. Neanderthal
  5. Omnivore
  6. Infectious Hospital Waste
  7. Aborticide
  8. Human Dissection
  9. .44 Caliber Brain Surgery
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Morbid Saint | Photo: my good friend Gábor Oláh

As the first notes of the starting Destruction System could be heard, we were hurrying to the Sanctuary stage to get our heads ripped off by another American thrash-pioneer group Morbid Saint. As after the introduction of two decently written new songs (Flesh of the Disease and Daku) recent vocalist Cliff Wagner announced that they are about to play the whole ‘Spectrum of Death’, I was blown away, I thought they bought me and that there would be no place for critique in the concert report afterwards. I was wrong: The fact that the only original member who partook in the makings of their demos and ‘Spectrum of Death’ is guitarist Jay Visser, has its strong effect not only on the band’s image but also on its sound, together with the members’ engagement. As I see it, Cliff’s hardcore appearance and vocal-style does not fit the fans’ idea of 80’s Morbid Saint either, which results that one of the most brutal thrash metal records of all time played in its entirety live sounds ungenuine and flat.

Due to the hustling-bustling audience, Coven’s show showed an utter contrast regarding the attitude and overall feeling to their gig on Muskelrock. On Muskelrock every single bystander-listener behaved themselves quiet, engaged and observant and so not only they, but also the band was able to empathize the theatrical obscure, ritual-like mood that is relevant for a Coven show. On the contrary, at Fall of Summer the audience was loud and chatty, not giving the band the chance to deliver a spirit of obscureness. Uncommonly, vocalist Jinx was even talking, storying, introducing the band and thanking the audience for coming between the songs, which absolutely contradicts one’s expectations of a show of the American psychedelic rock band.

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Coven | Photo: my good friend Gábor Oláh


Even despite the fact that Jinx with her 67 years is understandably not able to sing the higher tones anymore, her presence on stage can by no means be overlooked: Stepping out of her famed-for coffin; wearing her glimmering masque and scenically getting rid of it after the first few songs; tenaciously standing in one place for the whole concert-duration with no sudden moves, just the slow, gentle, (Wicked) Womanly hand-movements.
Even though the show was not free of defects and mistakes (e.g. error message at the screen at the back of the stage displaying rituals), hearing this top setlist – from where the only song that I personally missed was Lost Without a Trace – and going through the Coven-experience live still made me feel it was magic.

Coven’s setlist on the 9th of September 2017, Fall of Summer festival, France:

  1. Out of Luck
  2. Black Sabbath
  3. Coven in Charing Cross
  4. White Witch of Rose Hall
  5. Wicked Woman
  6. The Crematory
  7. Choke, Thirst, Die
  8. Black Swan
  9. Dignitaries Of Hell
  10. F.U.C.K
  11. Epitaph
  12. Blood on the Snow

Marduk‘s setlist on the 9th of September 2017, Fall of Summer festival, France:

  1. Frontschwein
  2. The Blond Beast
  3. Of Hell’s Fire
  4. Materialized in Stone
  5. The Levelling Dust
  6. Throne of Rats
  7. Cloven Hoof
  8. Wartheland
  9. Legion
  10. Wolves
  11. Panzer Division Marduk

To my sadness, the festival ended for me with an exceptionally disappointing Venom show.

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Cronos | Photo: my good friend Gábor Oláh

Not only did Cronos have constant problems with the sound, but he even let the audience have a look behind the scenes by behaving himself extremely unprofessionally. Whispering something to the soundman every two minutes, changing bass guitars three times, making perplexed announcements like “As you can see we have some problems here *hehe*”: Am I the only one who does not feel any Satan or black metal here?

Comical, out-of-context fire effects, the abuse of the original lyrics, unenjoyable dull singing, puzzled faces and the feeling of disappointment. The man of the show who even managed to ‘save’ the situation to some degree was drummer Danté with his overwhelming energy, showing he is having fun at what he is doing, making crazy faces at photographers and simply trying to distract our attention from Cronos’ obnoxious unprofessionalism.

 

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Danté | Photo: my good friend Gábor Oláh


Surprise of the day: The fire effects without proper music are apparently not enough to satisfy the needs of thousands of Venom- and evil-hungry people.


And now, to sum up…

Strongest standout bands: Demolition Hammer, Bulldozer, Merciless, (Tribute to) Sortilège

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Île de loisirs de Vaires Torcy | Photo: Estelle


Main impressions:
+ still an excellent location; high-class lineup; no delays; decent sound; a great variety of genres; open-mindedness
– pricey and not-that-tasty beer; no shelter from the storm; music genres in the after parties ranging from 80s pop to Rammstein

Recommendations: Go!

Find more information at: http://fallofsummer.fr/
Photos were used by ‘Estelle’. Special thanks for his generous help with the photos to my good Hungarian friend Gábor Oláh.

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TRIBULATION. New album out Jan 26th!

tribulation-downbelow

Swedish progressive death/black band Tribulation‘s new album ‘Down Below’ to be out on the 26th of January 2018! Forerunner of the album, their two-track EP ‘Lady Death’ is going to be released on the 22nd of December 2017.

Watch the video clip of the first teaser track titled The Lament here:


TRIBULATION – Down Below
(out January 26th 2018, Napalm Records)
Pre-order the record here,
or visit their Facebook page for more information here.

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  1. The Lament
  2. Nightbound
  3. Lady Death
  4. Subterranea
  5. Purgatorio
  6. Cries From The Underworld
  7. Lacrimosa
  8. The World
  9. Here Be Dragons

Happy 35th!

Happy birthday to one of the most significant basics of the genre metal in general.

My lungs gasp for air, my eyes scream for sight 
I promise the rise of my body this night
Summon the dead…
Baphomet’s call…
Blood on my hands…
Screaming in torment

Festival report of Chaos Descends Festival 2017

Festival report of Chaos Descends Festival 2017 –  Ferienland Crispendorf, Germany; 21-22nd of July 2017

Report by Estelle on the 2nd of September 2017


Dreamlike location, prominent lineup, pleasant mood, killer afterparties, Cuba Libre and a children’s railway. What more could you possibly want?

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FRIDAY, 21.07.2017

The first band I decided to see on the festival were the death metal band Vorum playing on Friday from the Åland Islands (belonging to Finland). Their crushing 30-minute full-length Poisoned Void from 2013 already got my attention a few years ago from which I got the chance to see songs live for the first time. Just as expected, Vorum played hard and with defeating energy, creating a base cheer for me that never went away ‘til the moment I arrived home after the festival.

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Attic | Photo: Estelle

After Vorum came the German King Diamond-worshipping Attic with their live ritual. To my surprise their well-composed, high-standard live performances authentically give back the feeling and also the quality of their albums. Attic continuously receives critique about their base idea being unoriginal and simply a replica of both the King Diamond style and sound however, in my personal opinion, as they model King’s approach on such a high standard, one can simply be pleased to hear more of a style that not every band would be able to recreate.
Order Attic’s new album ‘Sanctimonious’ here.

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Venenum | Photo: Estelle

After Attic came some long-awaited rigid German-style cruelty with Venenum, creating a frore atmosphere. Just as the last time I saw them, the German death metallers concentrated on their new album ‘Trance of Death’ filled with all this ugliness; these atmospheric solos, melodic riffs, unexpectable breaks and tempo changes, driving the audience into madness. To my sadness, they have not played anything from their world-class EP ‘Venenum’, even though their song Bewitched Craft could be the best death metal song written in the 21th century until now in my personal opinion.
Don’t think the new album is not worth investing in, though: Buy it here.

Later came the Polish death metallers Mgła, who I have never seen before and from whom I was expecting a lot, partly based on the everlasting hype surrounding them. Unfortunately and rather surprisingly I could not get myself engaged with the band and was not moved by their music nor by their sound.

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Chaos Rising during Cirith Ungol at Chaos Descends | Photo: Estelle


Luckily and this time not to my surprise, right after them we got to the highlight of the festival in form of the USA heavy/doom band Cirith Ungol
. Cirith Ungol’s show was far more collected and composed than at Keep It True this year, the band members were in sync the whole time and one could just see the excitement and joy on their faces on stage. I lost my mind over how Tim Baker’s voice and energy level does not seem to lower since the 70s and my face was all upon the grin about all the band’s classic songs coming after each other, all getting delivered in album quality live.

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Cirith Ungol’s setlist | Photo: Estelle

Their setlist was diverse and contained indeed every classic that one could expect from them, including the 3 encores Master of the Pit, King of the Dead and Cirith Ungol. Unbeatable.

Afterwards, before getting lost among all the people and cuba libres in the afterparty-tent, we had the chance to hear some raw black metal tunes from the Canadian Sortilegia, pounding us completely into the ground.

 

 

 

SATURDAY, 22.07.2017

The first band I got to see on Saturday were the alternative A Dead Forest Index from New Zealand on the Nature stage. Alternative has never been my thing, the whole thing seemed simply too artsy to me, making me unable to identify myself with the music or the feeling the members wanted to transmit through it. However, it still was a pleasant feeling to chill at the side of an abandoned toilet-blue pool in the sun, in the woods, listen to the two classical guitars and experience something I have not experienced before.

They were followed by the Norwegian black/sludge band with hardcore punk elements, Okkultokrati, who played on the main stage. To be honest I expected some more from them and found them rather mediocre live, leading me to the uncomfortable situation of choosing booze over a band.

Right after them I looked into Night Demon – even though I’ve never been a huge fan of them, I got to understand why others are. It shows just as well from the way they present themselves as from their stage properties that they know how to sell the band. Vocalist “Jarvis Leatherby” [Jeff Hershey, new bassist of Cirith Ungol since 2016] is one of the few people by whom I feel like they were directly born for the stage: he’s absolutely energetic, has fun at what he’s doing and has something in his attitude that attracts the audience. The huge death figure walking up and down on stage was thought to be contributing to attracting attention.

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Dread Sovereign | Photo: Estelle

I walked into the crowd of Dread Sovereign with no expectations previously only hearing their first album some time ago, and was pleasantly surprised by how fast they got me engaged. Just by looking at the crowd one could have thought Dread Sovereign belong to the first wave of doom bands from the early-mid 80s – it shows how authentically they play their music as a doom band formed in 2013 if they are able to get the attention of the older generation who could have been among the crowd on an early Saint Vitus or Candlemass gig.

I was then ready for the savagery of Deathhammer. I got exactly what I wanted: pounding energy, brutality, speed and drunkenness; just as usual from frontman Sergeant Salsten [watch my video interview with him on the festival coming out in a few days]. Besides the strong, varied riff-flow and the incredible amount of devastating power it was entertaining to see how Salsten just does not seem to give a damn: After introducing the following song he started to doubt/question himself and was not afraid of also expressing these doubts toward the crowd by the gentle question “What the fuck?”.

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Deathhammer | Photo: Estelle


As the next act I got to see the USA death/black/thrash band
Absu. They provided us with a combination of catchy thrash riffs, rotten blackened vocals and Proscriptor’s insane, bestial drumming, not leaving us any time to recover from the previous Deathhammer’s fierce effect on us.

I did indeed try to understand something from the music of the upcoming German ambient black ( D O L C H ) until I left with the thoughts of “Okay one doesn’t have to understand everything”.

Despite my expectations, experiences and the previous band, I was really much able to get myself engaged with Sunn O))) this time. I have already seen them at Brutal Assault in 2015 where I left with no traces of the band’s impact on me, however, I was curious how a small(er) festival and two years’ time can change the experience of seeing them live.
Even though the drone/noise/black metal/doom metal/dark ambient band’s insane frequencies reach as far as you can see, one gets so much more in contact with them right before the stage as one is also able to observe their movements and the lighting; and where the frequencies are so strong you feel them throughout your whole body and get an ear-pain after 30 minutes.
It contributed to getting involved that I could not leave the dark, gloomy, haunting lyrics out of consideration as Hungarian vocalist Attila Csihar [see also: Tormentor & Mayhem] sang, muttered and moaned in all possible tones and pitches in our mother tongue, Hungarian for the most part.

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Sunn O))) | Photo: Estelle


After around 1,5 hours as everyone gradually came to the feeling that this gloomy, oppressive atmosphere never ever goes away again, Attila winded Sunn O)))’s performance, all the emotions and concerns one developed during the show, as well as the experiences of the previous festival-days up with an indescribable, bloodcurdling screech.

Sunn O))) is definitely not a band preparing one’s mood for the last night’s afterparty. In spite of all my expectations, in my case the band carried out the effect they are making music for: I felt myself far too emptied, weakened and disturbed for some time to get myself together and carry myself over to the afterparty tent.
Even though I still can hardly imagine myself listening to Sunn O))) at home, I indeed gained respect toward and got curious about them and I can only recommend giving them a chance as soon as you have the opportunity to hear and observe what complete darkness and eeriness sounds and looks like.


And now, to sum up…

Strongest standout bands: Cirith Ungol, Sunn O))), Venenum, Attic, Deathhammer

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Ferienland Crispendorf | Photo: Estelle


Main impressions:
+ dreamlike and kind of easy-to-find location; smooth organisation & communication; prominent lineup; pleasant mood; great people; decent sound; decent food; killer afterparties; CUBA LIBRE; children’s railway going around the festival area
– for the first time ever: nothing mentionable

Recommendations: Go! Go! Go!

Find more information at: http://www.chaosdescends.com/
Photos were used by ‘Estelle’.

“Everyday was bitter cold”

Here you can read my interview done with Infernäl Mäjesty vocalist Chris Bailey revealing background information for my first video album review, concentrating on the band’s first cult album ‘None Shall Defy’. In case you missed it, watch the album video review here!

Interview with vocalist Christopher Bailey from Infernäl Mäjesty

Interview for Darkness Unseen by Estelle on the 20th of July 2017

11200889_1417535335231992_3281858844037743033_nHi Chris, thanks a ton for doing the interview for Darkness Unseen! You were a confident standout band from the Canadian scene back then besides the big thrash(/speed) bands like Exciter, Razor, Anvil, Voivod or Sacrifice on account of your more brutal sound and salient engagement with satanic themes. Did you guys know any other band nearby with a similarly more violent approach as yours that you could even share ideas or jam together with?

Back then when we started writing the music for None Shall Defy we were really isolated. Our rehearsal space was out in the North West corner of the city and we met there regularly to rehearse and write music. Everyday was bitter cold. We had friends in other heavy bands but we never jammed together. Before I joined Infernal I used to go see all the bands you mentioned play live at clubs, they were a big influence on me. Steve and Kenny used to play in a band with (Sheep Dog) before he joined Razor but other than that we never really hung out with other bands in the area. The atmosphere back then in Toronto was competitive.

Even if it happened 30 years ago, can you recall any interesting, memorable or funny stories from the time of the recordings of None Shall Defy? Could you just describe the feeling that surrounded you every time you got together and the goal you had in front of your eyes with the music you were creating?

InfernalMajesty_liveOne of the most memorable experiences recording the album was walking through the front door into the lobby of Metal Works Recording Studio in Mississauga, Ontario owned by the great Canadian Heavy Metal band Triumph. It was a combination of elation and nervousness. I had never played in a band before Infernal and now we were in the studio with a lot of people expecting results. It seemed like one minute you’re answering an ad in the Toronto Star Classifieds, then the next minute you’re standing in a state of the art vocal booth. It was a world I had never seen before. My world until then was a smoke filled rehearsal space, the walls lined with egg cartons, recording on a 4 track portable studio while we jammed, which we did a lot. We also met regularly to discuss band business and shit. We all had the same common goal and worked well together. That’s why to this day its still a mystery as to why Psyco and Nemes just disappeared shortly after the release of the album. Before I finish writing the book [about the story of Infernäl Mäjesty] I’ve started I hope to have more insights into this.

Did you notice any band(s) that formed after your release ‘None Shall Defy’ that might have got either their music or their habits/practices influenced by you guys? For example I’m thinking of them also doing frequent readings of the Satanic Bible, taking over elements from your imagery, etc.

Over the years we have been humbled and grateful  to hear the great tributes from the album. We hope that the younger generations of metal maniacs discovering their call for the first time are influenced by our works and inspired to write music. Like those before us we are driven by the same instinctive passion and creative nature that leans to the dark side of life. To be inspired in each owns unique way from the gift of our forefathers. We are creatures of the world we live in and exposed to. I was 17 when I joined Infernal Majesty. I was influenced by many of the greats back then in their infancy. Slayer, Venom, Manowar, Exciter, Bathory, I can go on and on. This was already embedded in my brain when I added my contribution into the creation of None Shall Defy. Satan has always been a powerful subject that fascinates me today as much as back then. Now it’s a historical exploration that keeps me up reading at night.

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Christopher Bailey (Infernäl Mäjesty)


Your lyrical themes are based on satanic imagery, occultism and horror (films) and they all convey a strong message against the vision of God. You also stated in one of your earlier interviews for example, “
I believe that until all religion is abolished or reduced to small pockets of insignificance, there is no future for mankind”. How old were you when you first discovered you possess these views and what made you start thinking this way, if I may ask?

I’ve always been a big fan of science and nature. It is just natural to me to ask why. At a young age I began to question the existence of a god. Through my late teens I was Agnostic which lasted until my late 20’s when I realized this is all cookoo bananas. I became a believer of nothing but the physics of the natural world. I don’t believe there is a god of the bible. It requires a complete separation from reality and common sense to believe in its words. Leviticus seems to have conveniently been ignored. It’s all illogical. There has not been any ocean’s parting lately or video of bushes spontaneously combusting. It seems in biblical times this was a normal thing, but now god decides to keep his great powers on the down low. Good grief. There has never been a time more important than now to focus on preventing people from dying.

How important is it for you that fans of your music identify themselves with the views Infernäl Mäjesty is spreading in their lyrics?

It’s a bonus if they can relate to our lyrics but it’s more important they just like the songs. We spend a lot of time and energy agonizing over lyrics so it would be cool if people like the message, but not mandatory. We are into getting out and having a good time, bottom line.

bandphoto2.jpgAs we can notice from your band photos from your early period and also on your tour in 1998; besides the spikes, chains and bullets you had such hairstyles that can remind us of glam, causing an interesting contrast between the music you played and the way you looked like. Do you think an explanation is necessary for the hairstyles or did you not purposely want to deliver us a message with your looks at all?

I think it’s a reflection of the era. We wanted to stand out and let our personalities shine. Kiss was the flame when it came to our appearance. When you 10 years old listening to the Love Gun album, staring at the cover for hours it has a lasting impression.  We came from different musical backgrounds but all under the Heavy Metal tent. We had a common goal at the time to write the heaviest, satanic thrash metal music known to humankind.

If anything, probably the only aspect that got a little critique about ‘None Shall Defy’ was the album cover and we can’t deny it surely catches one’s eye; in my personal opinion to the band’s advantage. What is your own opinion on it?

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None Shall Defy (1987)

You are exactly right, it catches the eye. This was the intention. We wanted it to stand out. When we commissioned the artwork we described to the artist, Fred Fivish, that we wanted an image of Satan tearing through the fabric of space revealing hells inferno on the other side. Everyone really liked it. Admittedly I was a little disappointed, but overtime I began to change my opinion. Looking back now I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

How satisfied are you with the reactions on your new album released this year, ‘No God’ so far?

We are thrilled with the reaction its receiving. The reviews have been excellent. Honestly we did not expect this strong of a reaction. We anticipated the worst and hoped for the best. It’s so difficult to know what will happen with reviews.  We didn’t try and break any new ground, we just wanted to bring back some of our roots into the music and focus on a dark heavy atmosphere and flow.  Its out now on High Roller Records. They are awesome to say the least. We new we were in good hands when they chose Good Friday to release the album worldwide.

If I know it correctly you had your last live concert in 2011 in Canada, performing ‘None Shall Defy’ in its entirety with Corpsegrider from Cannibal Corpse. Now that the new album is already out I’d like to ask, is there ANY chance of us being able to see you guys somewhere in the near future?

Its one of our highest priorities. We are working everyday trying to get things figured out, to bring our show on the road. I will have some major announcements soon. Everything we do is up on our Twitter feed, Facebook Page and Instagram or you can sign up to our newsletter for the latest info. Now you mentioned Cannibal Corpse, yes indeed the Corpsegrinder showing up to do a set with us was phenomenal. There is lots of video up on YouTube if anyone hasn’t seen it yet and the entire show will be up on our YouTube Channel soon.

Is there anything else you would like to tell me about?

Just to say thank you, I really enjoyed this and a shout out to Hungary. When we toured with Malevolent Creation and Vader in 97 we fell in love with you. We can’t wait to return.

Introduction + Infernäl Mäjesty video album review

Dear people,

I finally have my first video out where you can get to know me [in case you didn’t] and what you can approximately expect from me to do – this time in the form of a review of Infernäl Mäjesty’s cult first album ‘None Shall Defy’.

My cutting skills still surely need some polishing but everything will hopefully just get better as I’m also getting new ideas every day. :) Please feel free to let me know what you find interesting to see and what could be changed on in your opinion; or if you have any subject in mind you’d like see a video of.

Contact me at: darknessunseenblog@gmail.com

Have the best Monday that’s possible to have!

Darkness Unseen video blog

I am just about to transform Darkness Unseen into some kind of a video blog with live interviews, video album reviews and recorded festival/concert reports – I’d keep some written content but I also make the first steps towards trying myself out in the video-field. So what you can expect in the next few weeks:

– My introduction video and first video album review
– A live video interview made at Chaos Descends
– A fan-footage from Chaos Descends as well as a written festival review

Stay tuned! :)

Festival report of Fall of Summer 2016

Festival report of Fall of Summer 2016  Torcy, France; 2-3rd of September 2016

Report by Estelle for Metalegion Magazine on the 7th of Januar 2017

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In the beginning of September 2016 I visited the Fall of Summer festival near Paris, France. Because of the exquisite lineup and also because of paying a fortune for the whole trip regarding that it out of many reasons turned out to be a last-minute decision for me, I had high expectations towards the bands expectations that, as luck would have it, proved themselves true on the whole.

Even though the fest is called ‘Fall of Summer’, personally it belongs among my most “summery” experiences last year due to the stunning location on a sunny beach right next to a lake and with sand below our feet at one of the 2 stages. Fall of Summer in France is thus not a festival one should miss who has an affection for dreamlike places with the comical twist of being able to see a large number of appealing bands from the most various genres of metal on the spot.

The band that I first got to see from the incredible lineup right as I arrived to the venue were the old French heavy/speed heroes, ADX. Even though one can and should still appreciate the enthusiasm they themselves still possess and gladly show to the fans on stage, it does unfortunately already show that we are not writing 1985-86 anymore. The two new songs from their newest album they started their set with (‘La Mort en Face’ and ‘La Complainte du Demeter’) did not manage to establish the mood and feeling one needs to hold at an ADX gig, and unfortunately I had the feeling they were not able to do that afterwards with their old classic songs either. The passion would still be there, however, the physical part the voice and the speed are not able to support the mental section anymore.

Manilla Road, on the other hand, did not disappoint this time either: they brought us the expected level even despite the little ragged beginning which was the effect of the absurd heat and the band being anyways somewhat tired. After getting even more heated up and getting to the ‘feel’ through the interest of the fans they with no doubt always call forth; with the classic Crystal Logic songs Manilla Road permanently managed to focus on the mood that actually they themselves created and so the band’s and the fans’ energies moved along hand in hand afterwards, complementing and expanding each other.

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Manilla Road – Photo: Estelle


Mark “The Shark” Shelton’s solos are still just as sharp-edged and beautiful sounding as ever, and as expected he took over the microphone for a few parts this time on stage as well. Despite the years’ strong effect on the 58-year-old founder & guitarist and his voice; we can still recognize the incredible high-level commitment, engagement and “let’s-do-it”-attitude on his face paired with his tender yet majestic glance which shadows it out how important Manilla Road and the fans for him are, and which makes him an uncommonly lovable and honourable musician.

After Manilla Road Polish death metal band Vader started literally in 5 minutes on the Blackwaters stage and showed us they are still after so many years right on track and ripped our heads off with some real death metal tunes.
Their setlist was particularly mixed: they presented us a group songs from their early era like “Dark Age” from the classic The Ultimate Incantation and songs from the following De Profundis, giving us the strong old school core of their performance. They didn’t leave neither the popular Litany nor the 1997 record Back to the Blind out, and picked songs from their newer releases Impressions in Blood (2006), Welcome to the Morbid Reich (2011) and Tibi Et Igni (2014) as well. We also had the chance to already hear the two newest songs from their album The Empire released in November 2016, ‘Prayer to the God of War’ and ‘Parabellum’.
They still have the dynamism and are in control of themselves on stage; I did not expect much at first but was positively surprised by Vader’s performance.

We once again did not have any chance to recover as my personal largest surprise of the festival, the impressive Riot V kicked off at the big Sanctuary stage. They presented us in honour of the passed away guitarist & main songwriter founding member of the band, Mark Reale a perfect oldschool setlist with each one of the classic songs one is eager to hear on a Riot (V) concert, including a lot from their evergreen record Thundersteel. Even though the two elderly members, bassist Don Van Stavern and guitarist Mike Flyntz just hit 51 & 53, completed with “girls-dreams” vocalist Todd Michael Hall the guys showed how astonishingly fresh, youthful, catchy and tight they are just as much on their newest neat 2014 album ‘Unleash the Fire’ as live. They simply know what the fans want and also give that to them without a hint of artificialness; being committed and respectful towards the old lineup of Riot and towards the crowd the whole time and also representing that by not wanting to shove the new record down our throats but instead concentrating on what people from Riot actually want to hear. Admirable.

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Riot V – Photo: Estelle


Riot V’s setlist on the 2nd of September 2016, Fall of Summer festival, France:

  1. Narita
  2. Ride Hard Live Free
  3. Fight or Fall
  4. Johnny’s Back
  5. Bloodstreets
  6. Angel Eyes
  7. Flight of the Warrior
  8. Metal Warrior
  9. Road Racin’
  10. Warrior
  11. Swords and Tequila
  12. Thundersteel

A complete turnabout and a full switch of genres: Samael came onto stage. I would rather describe the Switzerland black metal band’s performance as interesting instead of good as they even brought the electronic instruments into their older black metal songs. They had a flawless oldschool setlist though consisting of songs picked only from their first 3 albums, what the fans also welcomed and appreciated on the gig.

As the last act of the night again from a contrasting genre, American thrash group Whiplash were about to pound us with aggressivity into the ground. If they succeeded?
The guys possessed the right amount of energy & raw aggressivity as well as a perfect sound for a thrash gig and still, maybe because of the lack of communication between the band and the crowd both regarding talking/encouraging between the songs and the way of behaving on stage, or maybe the formal conventionality of their way of playing, Whiplash’s gig did not come through perfectly as expected. One (as I would usually expect it) could not lose his/her mind completely over the few tight and thrashy best-of songs they could scrape together from Whiplash as the band simply played them casually, routine-like with the rightly measured amount of energy, which unfortunately took a little bit away from the experience.

Compensating that as well as deducting the stress of having to see such an amount of bands on one day (poor us), we went and showed the French how to drink.

– – –

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Grim Reaper – Photo: Estelle

The second day started for me with a sunny Grim Reaper. I could have barely imagined the amount of energy Steve Grimmett and the whole band of his actually still have and similarly could I have barely imagine a more classic setlist including really every classic track from the early albums one is eager to hear on a Grim Reaper gig. Even in spite of the somewhat unnecessary Dio-cover (‘Don’t Talk to Strangers’) that they apparently can never leave out, and even in spite of the exaggerated encouragement of the crowd that occasionally did get a smile onto our faces, I can say I was positively surprised on account of Grim Reaper’s live performance. Steve has tons of experience, he knows how to handle the fans and last but not least: finally a veteran group where we cannot complain about the lack of vitality when it comes to playing as speedy as they should!

Grim Reaper’s setlist on the 3rd of September, Fall of Summer festival, France:

  1. Rock You to Hell
  2. Night of the Vampire
  3. Lust for Freedom
  4. Wrath of the Ripper
  5. Fear No Evil
  6. Liar
  7. Rock Me ’till I Die
  8. Don’t Talk to Strangers (Dio cover)
  9. Waysted Love
  10. See You in Hell
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Nifelheim – Photo: Estelle

No rest for the wicked – here comes Nifelheim. If I say they were the only band by whom I indeed entirely forgot about the fact that I am standing on a beach with sand gently tickling my feet, instead at some point simply realised getting lost in the tremendous, menacing obscure spirit that they created and that we all so craved on this shiny bright day…; I said enough. Terrific, pounding and shredding black/thrash brutality streaming right at our bodies without any break just how a Nifelheim gig shall be happening right from the moment the band gets on stage and plays the first note.

After this giant hit of cruelty I was still able to get myself together to curiously walk over to the big stage where Karl Willetts’ (singer of Bolt Thrower) newly founded death metal band, Memoriam gave their third concert ever. Thanks to Karl, ex-Bolt Thrower-drummer (1986-94) Andrew Whale, Benediction bassist (1991-present) Frank Healy and Benediction guitarist (2015-present) Scott Fairfax, they sound prominent and besides presenting us some good old BT-riffs and drum samples in the new tracks (along with 2 Bolt Thrower cover songs ‘Spearhead’ and ‘Powder Burns’), they assure us about having some new, catchy own ideas up their sleeves as well.
Karl still appears completely drunk on stage and still does not care about it, he does however very much care about the crowd and sings (growls) enthusiastically with love and respect towards the people who are curious about them.

During the following Dead Congregation I decided to take a little break finally as we still had Exciter, Unleashed and Tankard left for the day, but I still was listening while getting something to eat in the festival area: They played as always energetically and tightly with a few real catchy modern death metal riffs.

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Estelle doesn’t like waiting if it comes to Exciter

And now again with full-on power I was ready to cordially welcome the moment for which I was waiting and by reason of I decided at all taking the risk and travelling to the festival: Exciter was willing to tear my head off with nothing else but their over-the-top classic setlist from the ‘80s.
Incredible how physically fit vocalist-drummer Dan Beehler still is. I have always admired yet could never fully understand how one can have such a level of concentration and attitude to play the drums and keep his head straight while singing the ripping fast top-notch speed metal songs at the same time; however, Beehler manages that even after 37 years of playing without any problem. Only his voice started to give up and fade sometimes, especially for the end of the gig at the high-pitched notes, which for me personally still did not take from the experience of seeing the genre-creating speed metal gods playing with such dynamism, love and respect towards the people, towards each other and the whole industry live. Guitarist John Ricci and bassist Alan Johnson are similarly still particularly ‘on-track’, keen on playing while not being able to wipe the smile off their faces.

The most classic lineup and the most classic setlist ever matched with a huge amount of energy, enthusiasm and SPEED: Ladies and Gentlemen, this is what we expect to see from Exciter.

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Exciter – Photo: Estelle


Exciter’s setlist on the 3rd of September, Fall of Summer festival, France:

  1. I Am the Beast
  2. Rain of Terror
  3. Stand Up and Fight
  4. Iron Dogs
  5. Heavy Metal Maniac
  6. Pounding Metal
  7. Violence & Force
  8. Beyond the Gates of Doom
  9. Long Live the Loud
  10. Under Attack

After going into ecstasy over another band came the Swedish death metallers Unleashed. They, similarly to Vader, had an absolutely mixed setlist with a high level of variation and presented us songs from almost every album of theirs from the first until the very last 2015 one. Just as on Brutal Assault 2014, the gig was absolutely energetic again reaching its top with the two powerful ending songs, ‘Hammer Battalion’ and the obvious ‘Before the Creation of Time’.

As the closing act of the incredibly intense festival where I sometimes had the feeling with so many engaging bands we never get a real break, I went to see the old German thrashers Tankard. The crowd expectedly went crazy and started singing along and moshing right away to their classic opening track ‘Zombie Attack’ and did not finish until the band walked off stage. Vocalist Gerre showed great energies by running up and down the whole time, maintaining a pleasant vibe and topping that, later facetiously showing his (beer-)belly. The German beer-lovers kept going on with songs like ‘The Morning After’, ‘Chemical Invasion’ or ‘A Girl Called Cerveza’; they let us hear a bit from their newest album R.I.B. from 2014 and, giving a frame to their gig, they closed the show as well as the event decently with the strong ‘(Empty) Tankard’ from Zombie Attack.


And now, to sum up…

Strongest standout bands: Manilla Road, Riot V, Nifelheim, Exciter

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Blackwaters stage


Main impressions:
+ excellent location; prominent lineup; decent sound; a great variety of genres; open-mindedness
– pricey and not-that-tasty beer; location hard to find for French taxi companies in case you want to be at the airport by 5 am

Recommendations: Go!

Find more information at: http://fallofsummer.fr/
Photos were used by ‘Estelle’.