DARK MALTA FESTIVAL MONTE KRISTO ESTATE 5th April 2019 DAY 1

Festival review written by Marko Jakob
translated by Judith Reumont

2019 saw the second Dark Malta Festival taking place. When we arrived at the location, we were speechless, and not for the last time – a festival was to take place here? The location and surroundings were breathtaking – the festival tent was built on the roof of a beautiful building, from which there was a fantastic view. The festival location had everything – the beer was perfect, with prices are similar to those in Germany. Foodwise – one of the festival goers told me they had eaten the best pizza they ever had. Also the festival merchandise, shirts, hoodies, etc had great designs, super quality and top prices – I reckon almost everyone took a piece of clothing home as a souvenir. The only thing that did not exist were ashtrays in the smoking areas, but it always looked clean. The toilet facilities were almost continuously cleaned by diligent helpers. The openness and friendliness of the whole crew made the Dark Malta Festival an unforgettable concert adventure.

Viper Soup Complex

The first day of the festival started at 17.00 and local band Viper Soup Complex had the privilege to open it. This Maltese band specializes in unconventional music that is difficult to pigeonhole and they put on an unorthodox stage show. Singer Annemarie drew everyone’s attention with her crazy performance, dancing barefoot to the music. Throughout the concert she played with and lifted a red heart and a skull. In the end, this very likeable singer was also smeared with blood. Particularly striking was the length of the songs – in the 45 min Viper Sound Complex played just 5 titles. It was a great opener for the Dark Malta Festival, and they received a lot of applause for his show.

Setlist Viper Soup Complex

01. The Warped Logic of Dr. Pain
02. Morse Code
03. Tetrahedron Paradise
04. Good Man
05. Vertebra

Rising Sunset

At 6 pm the next local band entered the stage. Strikingly, Rising Sunset has two singers who alternated regularly – using both growls and screams. There was another peculiarity that is not typical for symphonic gothic bands – Rising Sunset played live without drums – the band only had two guitars, a bass and a keyboard. Nevertheless, the sound was refreshing, even though live drums would have brought something even more dynamic. These men from Malta offered a good mix of hard metal and catchy tunes and band and audience really enjoyed the gig. The band thanked the fans and asked, ‚Are you having fun? If so then go and buy our Merch!’ Their songs were quite long, in 45 minutes, they played only six songs. All in all, cool music for Metalheads.

Setlist Rising Sunset

01.Storm Over The Citadel
02. Gluttons Of The Prediluvian
03. The Harlot Riding The Beast
04. The Book Of Enoch
05. The Behemah’s Agony
06. Serpent Of Eden

Psideralica

A journey from one island to another brings us to the band Psideralica. This Spanish band is from Mallorca and the band attracted the audience immediately close to the stage with great outfits and a cool performance. In the beginning there were a few sound problems, but they were fixed quickly. ‚Malta jumps!‘ screamed singer Lady Marian right at the beginning into the microphone and finally, the fans really responded, they were really infected by the band! On stage the Spaniards gave everything – great poses from guitarist Toni and the bassist Silvia made their appearance a visual highlight. ‚Thanks for being here,‘ said singer Lady Marian before the last song. The mood was absolutely great and the band said goodbye with the song ‚Disturbing Dreams‘ and a threefold ‚Thank You‘.

Setlist Psideralica

01. This Is My Life X
02. Reevolution
03. In A While
04. Toxic Skin
05. Trinitite
06. Like A Shark In Black Waters
07. Omen (The Prodigy)
08. Get Out Of My Life
09. My Toy
10. Disturbing Dreams

MartYriuM

Now it was really dark – there was no light left in the festival location. Now it was the turn of industrial black metal band MartYriuM from Luqa in Malta – for me, the discovery of the festival. The band was founded some 20 years ago and has played concerts and festivals all over Europe. They delivered a perfect metal show in their home country – great songs, amazing sound and female-fronted-metal – more is hardly possible! The audience was by now crowded in front of the stage, everyone wanted to see the performance up close. Singer Mikaela initially wore an extravagant mask and a very eye-catching outfit. Now was the time for extreme head banging – and the band and audience gave it all! The 45-minute show went by in a flash. This is a band to remember and will definitely find its place in my concert planning in the future.

Setlist MartYriuM

01. Intro
02. Serpents
03. Dear Death
04. Betrothed to Damnation
05. Betrayal
06. Vital
07. Unhallowed Witchery
08. Outro

SadDoLLs

The first festival day slid into its final phase. Now came the secret top-tip of my Finland trip from a few weeks ago – Greek Gothic rock band SadDoLLs. They were also one of the reasons for my festival trip to Malta. They had brought a great cross-section of their over ten-year band history to Malta and played straight into the hearts of the fans. Pretty much every one of their songs has absolute hit potential, so it’s hard to pick the highlights. But of course, Terminate Me ‚, the HIM Cover, Your Sweet 666‘ and ‚Cold Blood Inside‘ are hard to top. The atmosphere in the audience was fantastic and the song ‚Jigsaw‘ – a tribute to the film series ‚SAW‘ – really went down a treat. There was a lot of applause for the Greeks after each song. They said goodbye with the song ‚Lady Cry‘ from the album ‚Grave Party‘. Take a look at the band’s videos on YouTube – you won’t regret it. The band’s merchandise also looks great and is especially popular with female fans. Overall, an unbelievably great band that a promoter should definitely get back to Germany soon – their last gig here is already some years back.

Setlist SadDoLLs

01.Intro
02. Bleed All I Can
03. Terminate Me
04. Criminal Of Love
05. Your Sweet 666
06. The Last Valentine
07. Watch Me Crawl Behind
08. Cold Blood Inside
09. Jigsaw
10. Lady Cry
11. Outro

Lord Of The Lost

Headlining the evening was German dark rock masters Lord Of The Lost. In Germany, almost every rock and gothic fan knows them, but in Malta the Hamburger band was not known to everyone. However they soon won over everyone with a great show and have certainly found some new fans on the Mediterranean island. The festival set included almost all the songs that were played on the ‚Thornstar Tour‘. The festival started like the first part of 2018 tour with ‘On This Rock I Will Built My Church‘. Singer Chris has a special relationship with Malta – here in 1998, parts of the lyrics of the song, Prison – the song had a different title at that time – Chris wrote for his old band. Chris always wanted to return to Malta, and now he’s finally back here. He had visited so many places in Malta that were magical for him. Like everywhere they play, the headline of the song ‚What Is Heaven For …‘ was also sung along loudly here too. Another connection to Malta can be found in the song Naxxar, which is named after a city on the island. (The band also used their free time to take a photo at a road sign with this city’s name. They were escorted by a friendly local who showed them the way to the sign.) The set continued with the band’s first big hit – ‚Dry The Rain‘. Today, in contrast to their recent concerts, there played ‚Bad Romance‘ instead of ‚It’s A Sin‘ as the cover song of the evening.

The atmosphere was great – members of the SadDoLLs were in the audience jumping to the music together with the fans. Lord Of The Lost said goodbye to the fans and promised to be back on Saturday during the after show party. Chris came back to the stage and threw his shirt into the crowd, making a fan from Poland very happy. On the following day, the band did indeed fulfill its promise, and to the fans’s delights, they hung out for hours at the festival. Lord Of The Lost also used their stay in Malta for a collaboration with the band Lolita Komplex, whose latest album was produced by Chris Harms. In Malta they shot a video together.

Talking of videos … there are some new videos from Lord Of The Lost – a cover of the over 40-year-old hit ‚Y.M.C.A.‘ titled ‚L.O.T.L.‘ and the song ‘My Better Me?‘, which is now called ‚Matt Bellamy ‚ (a not very serious homage to the singer of the band Muse.) The band have been playing with these ideas for quite a long time – the lyrics were apparently written down on an Edeka bag during a car journey from Hamburg to Berlin. You can find the videos on YouTube.

The next Lord Of The Lost concert will take place on 11.04.2019 in Bremen.

Setlist Lord Of The Lost

01. On This Rock I Will Built My Church
02. Loreley
03. Morgana
04. Full Metal Whore
05. Black Halo
06. Drag Me To Hell
07. Prison
08. Under The Sun
09. Haythor
10. Naxxar
11. Dry The Rain
12. Six Feet Underground
13. Bad Romance
14. Blood For Blood
15. Doomsday Disco
16. Die Tomorrow
17. La Bomba
18. Lighthouse

Gallery Viper Soup Complex

Gallery Rising Sunset

Gallery Psideralica

Gallery MartYriuM

Gallery SadDoLLs

Gallery Lord Of The Lost