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LIVE REVIEW: DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL, DONNINGTON PARK UK – 10TH-12TH JUNE 2022


Download Festival –LIVE REVIEW by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

KISS – Photo credit:
 Matt Eachus

The UK’s biggest rock and metal festival returned to its full glory with its first full-scale event three years after the pandemic following the historic pilot event last year. It was a surreal and joyful feeling to be back at Donnington for festival goers and bands alike and was the sentiment of the weekend. We have all waited so long for live music to return, and it was worth the wait. The variety and calibre of music, the atmosphere and unusually stunning sunny weather made this anticipated return even better.

Continue reading LIVE REVIEW: DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL, DONNINGTON PARK UK – 10TH-12TH JUNE 2022

REVIEW: THE RASMUS “RISE”


First listen:

The intro guitars remind a bit of old HIM distortion, but then silence comes and Lauri’s voices is accompanied but strings…. and aside from being reminiscent of all the collaborations with Apocalyptica, my mind went straight to one of my all time favorite songs of theirs dating back to the album Into, “Last Waltz”. But as the song flows on, there are also heavy vibes from their album Black Roses and those words, “black roses” are even entwined in the lyrics. The song is a bit fragmented in my opinion, stops and starts, heavy distorted guitars that fall off abruptly into the delicate gothic victorian strings. I like all the elements and am really happy to hear the whole band again (after the last few albums that seemed to drag Lauri’s solo electronic pop album out and out). That dark gothy vibe that drew many of us in and held fast through at least three albums (not to mention the similarity of the music video to the US verison of In The Shadows video…. the one that personally started me on this journey)… but also this newish raw, heavy, almost metal sound that you can hear in fits and start (also here and therein their Eurovision single “Jezebel”). I feel like the band has new life blown into them, and I am very eager to see what else is coming!

REVIEW: IANAI – “Sunir”


by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

IANAI is a mysterious multi-instrumentalist project from Jaani Peuhu (Swallow The Sun), which includes collaborations from members of HIM, Massive Attack, Sisters of Mercy and The Rasmus. Through Jaani’s vision and the impressive array of guests, it is no surprise this debut album ‘Sunir’ embodies many sounds and influences, taking you on a beautiful, transcendent journey. ‘Sunir’ will take listeners through the instrumentation of Scandinavia, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America and beyond. 

Continue reading REVIEW: IANAI – “Sunir”

Brutal Assault #25 info


Summer is close and with it , at last, anniversary Brutal Assault in Jaroměř, Czech republic. The festival located behind the walls of the old fortress will offer to you not only music but quite a bit of other amusement as well.

Thirst and hunger is going to be satisfied by various stonewall pubs and bars, so you you can have a bit of rest under the roof, guarded against hot sun or the opposite – rain. There are lot of places to rest in in dungeons or grassy chill zones as well. Movie fains will be happy for horror flick cinema, too.

http://brutalassault.cz

PHOTO REPORT: SWALLOW THE SUN, KAUNIS KUOLEMATON AND EDGE OF HAZE


Swallow the Sun played at Pakkahuone in Tampere on 27th of May. It was the second date of their Finnish tour promoting their new album Moonflowers which was released last year. Kaunis Kuolematon and Edge of Haze were the opening acts (for only two of the seven dates in Finland). It was a solid lineup. Edge of Haze opened with energy and heaviness, and Kaunis Kuolematon brought it down to a more melancholy yet powerful level. Then, Swallow the Sun hit all of the above, including songs from their first few albums that they haven’t played live in a while. From the more melodic “Stone Wings” to one of my personal favorites, and heaviest song off the new album “This House Has No Home”. So heavy in fact, that a mosh pit broke out! I don’t think I have ever seen a pit during a Swallow the Sun gig! It was great to see all three bands at a bigger venue. I don’t believe this gig was sold out but it was pretty well attended. I, like many others, cannot get enough of Moonflowers and it is just magic to see live. I wish I could say more, but this band always leaves me speechless. Let the photos speak for themselves…

EDGE OF HAZE:

KAUNIS KUOLEMATON:

SWALLOW THE SUN:

Photos and review by: Serena Solomon

PHOTO REPORT: KÆLAN MIKLA AND KANGA


Kanga (US) and Kælan Mikla (IS) graced Tampere’s Klubi with their ethereal and mystifying presence on May 4th  . I was introduced to  Kælan Mikla the last time they were in Finland, opening for Alcest right before the lockdowns in 2019. One of those bands who were way off from what I typically listened to but stuck with me afterwards and ended up being one of my favorite gigs of the year. They released a new album Undir Köldum Norðurljósum later that year, which turned out to also be one of my favorite albums, so it was needless to say I would at least attend one of the two gigs they had in Finland (though I actually ended up attending both, so I may sneak in a few comparisons).

Kanga, much like Kælan Mikla the first time around, was not music I would typically find myself searching out and getting into. It was also quite a different style gig than what I would naturally attend or write about. From what I’ve gathered, Kanga is an accomplished producer and remixer who has worked on many well known films, and is quickly gaining popularity in the darkwave and electronic scenes. My interpretation of her music would be, kinda…West Coast Pop meets the grittiest corners of dark industrial. Her performance conveyed just that. Dark, mysterious and almost melancholic while also constantly emanating the pulse of both the trendiest night club and most raw underground rave. I did enjoy the the vibe of the gig and the audience (more so in Helsinki, since the floor was packed and it contributed to the dance club vibe vs. Tampere where people were still very slowly trickling into the venue) though, at times I got more DJ vibes than performance, as if I should not really be watching her, but focusing on the music and dancing, which is a bit unfamiliar to me.  

My first thoughts of Kælan Mikla’s gig was that they had matured so much in their performance from the last time I had seen them. More polished, more in sync and seemed more confident with themselves as musicians and people. Of course, their newest album is quite a bit darker than their previous music, which was also prevalent in their stage presence, attire, and the whole atmosphere of their show.

If you aren’t aware of the meaning or source of the name “Kælan Mikla”, it is the Icelandic name for the Moomin character Jäärouva or The Lady of the Cold. This knowledge tinged my perception of their gig with a touch of frost. Laufey (vocalist), moved around the stage at times, as if she was skating on ice (and only when I got closer did I realize she was barefoot in stockings, which totally fit with the witchy aesthetic they had going on!). Her nails were also long and clear and, when caught in the light, resembled icicles. Her presence, stoic and queen-like, otherwise perfectly portrayed the mystical yet powerful essence their music provides.

The performance of “Sírenur” particularly stuck out to me, the mood and the lighting made you feel as if we were all swimming underwater, peaceful yet melancholic (not to mention the sound of waves in the background  and the fact  that the song is indeed about, you guessed it, the Sirens of the ocean). The other most memorable moments where during “Sólstöður”. There is this intense guttural, banshee type screaming on the album and honestly didn’t expect them to do it live but they did and it was soul shattering and inspiring all at once. As exhausting as it must be to do that night after night, I truly appreciated it and was in awe by its affect live! The other thing that stuck out was Sólveige (synth/keys) playing flute live during “Stormurinn”. That also gave me chills and went beyond expectation. Margrét (bass) was also incredibly inspiring to watch. I can’t really put it into word but she seemed to really connect with the music and put great energy and emotion into playing, as well as when she sang backing vocals, or contributed to screaming. I kind of wish these two would be highlighted a bit more though they all have their spotlight moments. They are all incredibly talented and passionate musicians and I am super eager to see what they do next and catch them live again!

Photos and report by Serena Solomon