Unconquered Darkness Festival, DUBLIN – Pt 2. (1st May 2016)

After the first day, a sleepless night in a not really comfy hostel in the near and a morning spent with discovering Dublin’s crypts and dungeons, the gate of Voodoo Lounge opened. Once again it provided us a shelter to hide from the cruel daylight and let us descend into the depths of the underground musical world. Let’s see.

Not long after doors Malokarpatan (SK) got prepared to kick off the day. These guys surprised me to be honest. Don’t get me wrong, they were very talented and well skilled musicians, also the show they performed perfectly fitted to the festival’s atmosphere but if I meet these guys in a non-live-metal situation I wouldn’t expect to hear aggressive music from them at all. Extremely regular but cool guys from Slovakia didn’t look too extreme but they enjoyed playing as much as we enjoyed their drunken barbaric rock ‘n roll ritual. It was a very remarkable start of the second day. I need to highlight the vocalist’s performance. His commanding-typed voice was confident, furious and mournful at the same time, even if his presence on stage didn’t reflect the same confidence.

Lucifericon from the Netherlands slowly but surely brought back the previous days’ whirlwind pace. Lucifericon is a pretty promising new formation with only two EPs under their belt but both releases are forceful enough and contain plenty of aggression for a proper gig. The latest 7” EP titled ‘Brimstone Altar‘ came out right on the date of the festival thus it was freshly available from first hand, straight from the band. Not just the mentioned two mini albums were performed but they also played the track ‘Omega Therion‘ from the  rare ‘Vestibule of Hell‘ compilation LP, so we have to nail it down they were well prepared with a damn good track selection.

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The ‘Total Vacuum’ (also the title of their demo) that Antiversum (CH) created drew our soul out and let it drift away into the nothingness. I’ve known this (anti)material since it came out last year. According to their deep and heavy concept and musical approach I was surprised how early they were scheduled to play, nonetheless the experience they gave was the same I expected. We all know it now, the sound of Antiversum is incredibly thick, loud, distorted and powerful. Around the middle of their set I felt like it’s better if I step back a bit and try to enjoy it from a safe distance where it doesn’t hurt that much. The members remained faceless as they rejected to use front lighting but in their case it’s perfectly understandable. I assume the original concept was to let the audience focus more on the music rather than those who performed it, as the music itself is way more important. True, isn’t it?

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Comparing them to the previous performers, Sheol from London gave a short and slower set so we could breathe again a bit. Although Sheol doesn’t belong to Dark Descent Records nor to Invictus Promotions it doesn’t mean they were off-topic in any way. Not in the least. Down tuned guitars with massive sound and hammering blasts accompanied their gig. Previously we posted a report about one of their show in Hungary so it can be stated; despite their not so long discography Sheol is already a well demanded band with a good reputation. They presented us their otherworldly musical spawn and we have to admit it is hostile and restless. Just like a never ending nightmare haunted by our own demons, that’s how I can describe their music. Hopefully their first album will come out soon.

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Just like many other bands over the weekend, the guys from Lantern (FIN) found the nearly perfect balance between each instruments. There were no guitar or bass that would ruled the whole show. Each string and note was clearly audible and no members tried to take over each other. The band’s first album titled ‘Below’ came out three years ago with an infernal, dirty and raw sound, which could describe their show tonight as well. Chaotic themes and solos were separated sometimes with short, more melodic sessions. They wasted no time to express their fury and aggressive intentions to destroy the world. I can only recommend it to everyone who prefers the modern-old school scene. With Lantern’s deep dark performance we arrived to the section of today’s headliners, however I would still keep my previous statement; there were no real lead performers during this weekend as most of the bands represented the same high level of skills, abilities and talent. Interestingly the closure section of today consisted of  three bands (including Lantern) from Finland.

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As putrid stench of death ascends from rotten soil, that’s how Krypts (FIN) built up piece-by-piece, their sepulchral concept on the stage. Proper eerie atmosphere straight from hell was raised. To put their music in a nutshell: incredibly heavy death metal narrated by the screams of the dead, accompanied with drums that sounded like if the deceased were knocking the lid of their coffins. This type of performance surely sends a slowly-crawling chill down on your spine, that’s exactly what you can expect when you listen to the music of Krypts, especially in a live situation. They gave a monumental sight in the imprenetable blue haze that filled the entire venue reinforced and made the whole experience even more mysterious and deadly. Pretty amazing gig that was!

The last performer of the weekend was Corpsessed (FIN) and they had the honor to make the exhausted crowd move one more time. Of course they were successful with this task. The Finnish horde absolutely ruled the place as they kicked off with sinister guitar themes which was followed by raging drum beats and tearing guitar riffs. The bold vocalist’s low pitch roars and threatening behavior matched perfectly to the music. Despite the tiredness, during the fast parts no one could resist to take the advantage and enjoy the show properly. Why won’t you crush some more skulls if you know this is your last chance for quite awhile? Those who missed their gig, just give a spin to their album titled ‘Abysmal Thresholds’. It pretty much reflects the lunatic attitude they represented on stage but it is always better to witness a miracle with your own eyes and not just hear about it.

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Corpsessed gave a gig that was a proper closure and left everyone behind with impatient lust for a future festival with similar atmosphere. Here or somewhere else, it doesn’t matter as the most important factor is the music anyway. Huge hail goes to Darragh from Invictus Productions and Matt from Dark Descent records for putting together the Unconquered Darkness festival. It was well-organized and had a familiar atmosphere during the whole weekend, although there were some moments when I felt the fest could have been a bit more diverse in terms of genres. Most of the bands played under the banner of death metal and sometimes I missed the atmosphere that only a proper good black metal act can deliver, even if the lines between the two extreme underground genres are often faded these days.

For news and updates please head to the bands official sites: Malokarpatan, Lucifericon, Antiversum, Ellorsith (the fourth band of today – not mentioned in the review), Sheol, Lantern, Krypts, Corpsessed

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

A live report by LGH – MMXVI.

SVPPORT THE VNDERGROVND!!!

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