Tag Archives: featured

PHOTO REPORT: JONATHAN HULTÉN and HÄLLAS


October 19, 2022 was a night of otherworldly music at Olympia in Tampere, Finland. Jonathan Hultén (formerly of Tribulation) opened the night with a highly anticipated show. His music and live performance is truly a work of art, and it is easy to believe his artistic abilities span many mediums. “Dark Folk” would be the most generic way to describe his music, though it is hard to label as there are so many unique elements. Hearing the music live was completely different on its own, almost as if just listening to the album was not meant to be the full experience. The sound, accompanied by Hultén‘s presence, aesthetic and stage decor made for an inimitable performance. There was a constant stream of nature/bird sounds in the background between songs that gave off a sense I had never experienced at a club gig, playing tricks with the mind as to where exactly you were standing. Hultén‘s presence was typically quite stoic, almost meditative, which enhanced his every movement and facial expression, giving them so much more meaning and power. At times it felt he was performing his own personal ritual. My only complaint was that it was too short! I could stand there and watch for hours more.

Hällas continued the night with quite a special performance in a very different way. They quite authentically give off a 70’s prog rock vibe. They have nailed everything from the sound to the shiny space boots. It truly felt like a shift in space and time to experienced their music live. Although it is easy to see where they get their inspiration, they do it justice!

photos and review by Serena Solomon

PHOTO REPORT: MELANCHOLY MASS


Melancholy Mass 2022: Red Moon Architect, Kaunis Kuolematon, Marianas Rest, October Tide and Swallow the Sun at Olympia in Tampere, FI

What better way to welcome the beautiful gloom of Autumn than with the masters of melancholy and doom? Friday, September 23, 2022 was the Autumnal Equinox and Melancholy Mass hit the stage in Tampere, Finland.

Marianas Rest opened the mini festival with their usual presence that is almost viscerally tragic. Melancholic with a touch of extreme.

Red Moon Architect continued with their huge sound and amazing stage presence, probably the heaviest sound of the night balanced with the delicate vocals of Anni Viljanen.

The night continued with Kaunis Kuolematon endulging the audience in their own brand of melancholic metal. The contrast between Olli and Mikko’s vocals never ceases to bring chills and a unique feeling of strength and powerlessness.

October Tide blew me away. They were the only band on the bill that I had not seen before and I truly hope they make their way back soon. They added a raw heavy twist to the mix, still doom as hell but some got under your skin in a deeper and dirtier way than the other bands. Love their stage presence too, Alexander has a snarky dgaf attitude that keeps things light but heavy at the same time, i.e. (to the audience) “Are you happy?” -audience cheers- “why are you happy? We’re trying to make you sad.”

And the highlight of the evening, Swallow the Sun. I can never praise this band enough. They are always a pleasure to watch and shoot, even when their performance is a little off, it makes it all the more of a unique experience, as each show of theirs is.

REVIEW: Behemoth – ‘Opvs Contra Natvram’


by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

The mighty Behemoth continues to push boundaries and innovation on their twelfth album ‘Opvs Contra Natvram’. Poland’s extreme metal heroes have set such a high precedent with their past releases and achieved soaring success in the genre, almost unparalleled, which is quite something. Fronted by Adam Darski, aka Nergal, his vision has earned this statute and expanded their sound, and this new opus adds new layers being their most extensive and mature.

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REVIEW: MEGADETH – ‘THE SICK, THE DYING…AND THE DEAD!’


by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Thrash metal legends Megadeth return with their sixteenth album, ‘The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!’ which is the follow-up to 2016’s ‘Dystopia’. This album marks the longest gap between releases for the band and the first album to feature drummer Dirk Verbeuren and bassist Steve Di Giorgio from Testament following David Ellefson’s dismissal last year. Steve re-recorded Dave’s bass parts, but he is not their new bassist; he just featured on the album. The new permanent bass player is James LoMenzo, who was previously in the band between 2006-2010 and rejoined fully this year. For guitarist Kiko Loureiro it is his second album with the band.

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LIVE REVIEW: BLOODSTOCK FESTIVAL, CATTON PARK UK – 11-14TH AUGUST 2022


LIVE REVIEW by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

UK’s heaviest metal festival, Bloodstock, returned to Catton Park during a heatwave, but that didn’t stop thousands of metal heads clad in primarily black clothing. The festival keeps getting bigger and better, initially starting as an indoor event, and now it’s an open-air event with a capacity of 20,000. 2022 was hot as hell, both in terms of the impressive line-up of big well-known acts to upcoming rising stars of metal and, of course, the scorching temperatures.

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REVIEW: MACHINE HEAD – ‘ØF KINGDØM AND CRØWN’


by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Machine Head are back with their tenth album, ‘ØF KINGDØM AND CRØWN’, their first concept album loosely inspired by the Japanese anime series Attack On Titan. Set in a futuristic wasteland where the sky is always crimson red, the album tells you the tale of two characters who believe they are doing good. Still, both sides are committing atrocities, and as the story unfolds through the music, their paths become more heavily and dangerously tangled, which is reflected in the sound. This concept has fuelled some of their most devasting and innovative work.

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