Unconquered Darkness Festival, DUBLIN – Pt 1. (29th, 30th April 2016)

For the first time in Dublin‘s history the local promoter Invictus Production and an American label called Dark Descent Records joined their forces and organized a weekend long concert series for their most favoured bands. In the heart of Ireland‘s capital where the air is filled with the smell of Guinness and the streets are always packed with tourists, you can find an underground shelter called Voodoo Lounge where the bands had the opportunity to increase their reputation. I’m not telling a secret; all the performers represented the most extreme forms of metal. Constant brutal atmosphere reigned the venue for longer than two days and it had a significant effect on body and soul. Let’s see what happened within those dark walls.

The event started Friday afternoon with Apostate Viaticum. They made a dynamic but still a bit slow paced opening of the weekend. The members seemed to work well together as they played in a close to perfect sync. It was literally good to watch them perform. However it is difficult and sometimes takes long to set the right mood and turn the crowd on, they did their best. Vircolac (IRL) had to deal with some technical issues but after they could force the bass to sound, the local metal-beast gave a forecast of what could be expected during the weekend. Their performance was fast and evil and also the sound was already thick. The front man ruled the stage and the whole band was pretty much stage-compatible so to say.

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To be a bit different, Craven Idol (UK) has a bit of rock ‘n roll feeling in their otherwise aggressive, furious and chaotic show. Unfortunately close to the stage the sound was just an incredibly loud cacophony; the bass clattered as hell and the front-guy’s solos remained mute but they still managed to convince me. Definitely worth hunting them down again and give them another chance. As the last  (but definitely not least) performer of the warm up day Undergang (DK) dazzled us with a beautiful concert, as long as you can call a psychopath gore-grind show beautiful. It wasn’t meant to be offensive but their primitive and cruel musical approach gave us some good moments and brought smiles on many faces. There wasn’t much that you had to understand in their music; just like a good soap series; no need to think on it just bang your head. I would say the amount of bands and metal was more than enough to evoke the barbaric spirit that dwells within us and we could unleash it during the next two days.

The first full day kicked off full steam by Obscure Burial. The Finnish horde provided a  furious carnage that put us back on track again. Unmeasurable amount of negative energy was directed upon us as we were watching them desecrate the stage and venue, although it is always a pleasure to see a band to play with such a passion. Such a shame Obscure Burial came without any available material. Mandatory to the fans of KTHRSS. The performance of Head of the Demon (SWE) was interesting and also unusual within this environment and scene, so to say. The way they played and performed reminded me a nice flowing jamming session performed by ‘good old friends’ instead of a frantic rage. Nice tunes kneaded into depressive lullabies but still their intention to pull us down and their roots that reach deep down in their dark influences can not be questioned.

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After the slowing down we were lead back to hell by Qrixkuor. The London based relatively fresh death metal formation have been marching on their path with confidence since they came to exist (2011) and they have already built a strong reputation within the UK underground scene. They managed to create the heaviest sound of today so far and gave us a massive set that literally hurt right in front of the stage but from a bit of distance they had a great effect on the audience. Hopefully their discography will grow fat.
Apparently the fast/slow alternation could have been the original idea of the organizers when they set up today’s lineup. Anguish (SWE) from Uppsala made once again slow the riff-flows down a bit. Not a hurricane fast performance but relaxing to listen them right there and then. I bet many of us who were there would agree with me. Once and for all Zom (IRL) dragged us back from our deep ‘zen phase’ and put the day into the right and final pace. Their set was a fine mixture of different genres such as intemperate punk and sadistic grindcore. In addition to these, the reverberated vocal made their show even more special. To sum it up what I saw, Zom played the background music for apocalyptic mosh pits.

Later on when we finally stepped over the imaginary frontier between warm up acts and headliners, Possession (B) was the first band that entirely won my attention and didn’t let me go before their show ended. The old school atmosphere always has the same effect on me. They had a huge potential in their unworldly death metal and absolute competence how they acted on stage, but their first full album is still on its way. Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long. Possession’s gig ended quite suddenly as their drummer literally exploded out from behind his gear and disappeared before his drumstick dropped onto the floor. What happened to him?

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One of the highlight of the evening was the Canadian Adversarial’s appearance on European soil (if I’m correct it was the first time). Incredible is not even the right word to describe their performance but those who are familiar with high leveled, extremely dark and complex music will have a clue what I’m talking about. After that what we received from them, we must grade all three members’ performance with the highest rate, especially the way how the bassist played was the most remarkable for me. I was honestly amazed how focused he was while he was playing on his instrument. Despite the aggressive nature of their music, from the first note to the last he reflected infinite self-control and absolute calmness. Adversarial is one perfect example why we travel hundreds of miles to attend a gig. Not long after Adversarial abandoned the stage that they just ruined completely, Lvcifyre (UK) provided a perfect follow-up to their fellow Canadian destroyers. Since the first time when I encountered them at last year’s Brutal Assault in Czech, I promised myself I will watch them every single time when I can.
We can easily consider Lvcifyre’s latest full album titled ‘Svn Eater’ as an unprecedented release of the next generation of extreme death metal. I hope they realised what they did with the genre and how high they raised the bar. In my opinion the strongest element of their massive sound is the way the drums sounds. Lvcifyre once again raised the hell and with the album titled song ‘Svn Eater’ they rummed the audience deep into the ground.

With an appropriate amplification, the combined power of this lethal union of Adversarial and Lvcifyre would even sway mountains and cause earthquake. With these thoughts I called it a night and let my soul rest before next day’s rampage.

Info and contact: Invictus Production, Dark Descent Records.

For news and updates please head to the bands official sites: Apostate ViaticumVircolac, Craven Idol, Undergang, Obscure Burial, Head of the Demon, Qrixkuor, Anguish, ZOM, Possession, Adversarial, Lvcifyre, Morpheus Descends (last performer on the first day – not mentioned in the review).

Stay tuned for the second part of the report!

For the full photo gallery for the first part head here.

A live report by LGH – MMXVI.

SVPPORT THE VNDERGROVND!!!

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