When we neared Het Bos, we saw what seems to be left from the once thriving gothic & new wave scene in Belgium. Ten people dressed in black were smoking a cigarette outside of the venue and inside another twenty were browsing CDs or enjoying a conversation with another old school EBM survivor. The allout black and leather dresscode had been replaced by black jeans and bandshirt, except for one or two die-hards who desperately seemed to hold on to the over-the-top gothic style. It was weird to see. Once there were hundreds, if not thousands of us, gathering in old factories, meadows or underground clubs. The only constant nowadays seems to be WGT in Germany, a massive festival that still goes strong. But here, the new wave scene seems to be a dying breed.
Swedish one man act Trepaneringsritualen had the opportunity to wake up the sleeping crowd. Armed with a bunch of effects, pre-programmed stuff and his deep, growling voice, Trepaneringsritualen threw a massive array of misantropic emotions into the audience. It reminded me a lot of Deutsch Nepal, only darker, heavier. At one point I heard someone say that Trepaneringsritualen sounded like Deutsch Nepal on crystal meth. I giggled, but then I realized that I could actually hear that person saying that, over the music. Once again, a support act had to perform with a lower volume than the headliners. That is cheating. Nonetheless, I think Trepaneringsritualen did a very good job. For me, it was the first time I saw him perform. His harsh, relentless power electronics were pitch black and his guttural growls rolled over the audience with sheer precision. So yeah, this was an excellent gig, some minor technical issues aside.
Author & Punisher
This was the third time I watched Tristan and his machines perform live. The first time, at Incubate, I was completely blown away by his industrial doom. The second time, in Scheld'Apen, I was completely blown away by his industrial doom. Now, in Het Bos, I was completely blown away by his industrial doom. This act is just so impressive, so mindblowing that you have to witness it to understand.
I remember thinking, "He can use some help with songwriting". With that I mean, Author & Punisher is awesome, perhaps one of the most unique and captivating acts in the slow and heavy regions, but today his songs sound like lengthy experimentations with his machines. That sound is massive but perhaps it would be cool to do a cover or something. Imagine Author & Punisher performing a Type O Negative song, that would be the coolest thing ever. Anyway, I'm just complaining because I'm angry. Early into the gig, a sharp pain in my right foot appeared and threatened to shorten my evening. It wouldn't go away and it made standing up increasingly annoying. So I decided to enjoy the rest of this gig sitting on the bench. The short version is: this was fucking awesome. All hails to Author & Punisher.
Crash Course In Science
With Crash Course In Science an electro-EBM legend appeared on the stage. You would expect the venue to be full by now, but no. There was plenty of room to dance, which most people also did. Unsurprisingly, of course, since Crash Course In Science delivers such immersive and infectious old school electro. It's hard to sit still, even if you only know their smash hit 'Cardboard Lamb'.
I'll let you in on a little secret. Somewhere in the next few days I'm publishing my review for the new Lords Of Acid album. It's not a bad album but everything I heard from Crash Course In Science was better than everything on that Lords Of Acid CD. This was absolute fun. It felt like the eighties (frankly, it looked like the eighties too, but let's not complain about that). I mean, I enjoyed this gig more than the previous two, and those were already close to "gigfection".
Yet, still, that damned foot eventually made me decide to take the shortest route home, which is a nearby tram. So after shaking a bit of butt on 'Cardboard Lamb' I left the building with both a painful grin and a bright smile on my face. It must have looked weird, judging from the looks on passersby's faces. Next time, I'll leave my foot at home and dance the night away with this massively enjoyable act and with DJ Borg.
Bands & Festivals