As I get to the tent on the second day of the Festival, I see Auger, a relatively new and Young band from England take to the stage. In 2018 they released their debut album, The Awakening ‘ and the same year they played in 7 European countries and even supported Lord Of The Lost at the end of 2018 in the UK. Their music is a unique combination of Industrial, N.D.H., Electronic and Metal. The festival tent in the afternoon was pretty filled up and the mood was really good. You might think that as a duo consisting of only vocals and guitar, they would be lost on a festival stage – but this was not the case with Auger – the band has enough charisma and presence to entertain a festival audience. Their cool electro / guitar mix was well received by the Dark Malta Festival audience. One of the highlights in the set was undoubtedly the Gary Numan cover, Are Friends Electric? ‘Auger are currently on tour and will be playing some concerts and festivals in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

Setlist Auger

01. Don’t Look Back
02. Substance
03. I Declare
04. Right Here Right Now
05. Monster
06. End Of Our World
07. Find My Own Way Out
08. When We Are Apart
09. Outcast Boy
10. Are ‘Friends’ Electric?
11. My Guardian

Aesthetic Perfection

Shortly before this festival, the new Aesthetic Perfection album was released – titled ‘Into The Black’. One of the songs is a collaboration with Richard Kruspe from Rammstein. The music of this American band and its charismatic singer Daniel Graves is hard to beat in terms of variety and versatility. Aesthetic Perfection was an absolute crowd puller today. They started with one of the big hits from 2014 – ‘Antibody’. Singer Daniel is made for the stage – complete with his hat and hooded jacket, as well as the many great poses – he had the audience on Malta firmly under his control. The audience included, among others, the band members from Lord Of The Lost. It was getting dark outside – that made for a real club concert feeling in the tent. The sound was very good – Aesthetic Perfection performed completely live with keyboards but there was also some fat drum sounds from Combichrist drummer Joe. Daniel thanked the Maltese audience and the audience cheered the Americans warmly. The band’s energy undoubtedly reached the audience – it was really fun in the crowd. ‘I want to hear you scream, Malta,’ said the singer. I can well imagine that some of the numerous German speaking viewers will soon scream again as Aesthetic Perfection undertake a ten-concert tour of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Some of the concerts are already sold out so be advised to snap up your ticket soon!

Setlist Aesthetic Perfection

01. God Is Old
02. I’m Human
03. The Siren
04. Antibody
05. Wicked With
06. Can’t Control
07. Just The Right Amount
08. I Love Pies
09. The New Black
10. The Other Half
11. The Great Depression
12. Spit It Out

Clan of Xymox

Just before the next band take to the stage, the festival tent became full of dry ice… it was now the turn of no lesser than the dark wave legends Clan Of Xymox. The beginning of their set was delayed slightly and the band did not start until 9pm. Their performance began with a classic from the now 35 -year-old band history – the song, ‘Stranger’ opened the 60-minute show. ‘I speak English, and guitarist Mario speaks Italian – these are the languages you speak here in Malta,’ said singer Ronny. Later he asked who in the audience is actually from Malta, and who is a visitor – the response seemed to be about half and half. Now they followed with ‘Jasmine & Rose’ a hit of the band from the 90s. In fact, it felt like time had gone back a few decades into the big time of The Sisters Of Mercy. Singer Ronny spoke a lot to the audience during the concert, this Dutchman living in Germany told, for example, what the word Malteser in Germany means (the Maltese relief service – Catholic aid organization).
There was a wonderful atmosphere during the concert – nice sound, a constant change between red and blue light and still a lot of fog. On the backdrop behind the band, the song titles were shown during the concert. After the last notes of the song ‘Back Door’ had died away, Ronny said, ‘We’ll see you at the Merchandising Stand in fifteen minutes – and of course the band kept their promise.
Clan Of Xymox play next in the spring of 2019 in Germany, Finland and the Netherlands. Later in the year they have planned a tour in the USA.

Setlist Clan Of Xymox

01. Stranger
02. Your Kiss
03. Love Got Lost
04. Loneliness
05. Jasmine & Rose
06. Louise
07. Emily
08. Moscouviet Mosquito
09. A Day
10. Going Round
11. Back Door

Suicide Commando

Now the time had come for the Electro Fans. The penultimate band was the Belgian long-running hits of Suicide Commando. The story of the band around singer Johan Van Roy goes back to the 80s. Their fan base has grown steadily over the decades, as you can see from the fact that the band now has over 100,000 followers on Facebook. The concert started with the nearly 20-year-old song ‘Mindstripper’ – and you immediately noticed how the Maltese audience could party with this great electro-music! The fans in the front row were going downright crazy as singer Johan’s great mood infected the rest of the audience. Crashing bass roared through the tent and the complete festival audience danced. The fans were still in good shape after two exhausting days at the festival and held up right to the last song, ‘Die Motherfucker Die’. This summer, Suicide Commando will play a North American tour and later, they will play at the M’era Luna Festival in Germany.

Setlist Suicide Commando

01. Mindstripper
02. The Pain That You Like
03. Raise Your God
04. Schizotopia
05. God Is In The Rain
06. Cause Of Death:Suicide
07. Devil
08. Bind Torture Kill
09. Love Breeds Suicide
10. We Are Transitory
11. Die Motherfucker Die

And One

The last band at the Dark Malta Festival can be described as a perennial favorite. Recently they celebrated their 30th anniversary. At midnight singer Steve welcomed the fans – ‘We are And One from Germany’
With their catchy Synth Pop, they are almost indispensable on the festival stages of the world. In Germany, they have even had numerous chart successes. Tonight And One played a wide range of their hits, and pretty much perfectly hit the spot for the fans. Some people had now literally taken up residence in the front row in order to see all the bands up close. This was especially rewarding during And One, as Steve was constantly on the move, and also enjoying the closeness to the fans, even shaking hands with many during the concert. The big hits like ‘Metallhammer’, ‘Deutschmaschine’ or ‘Techno Man’ were really great. And One showed that you can also score success with German-language songs abroad. He even thanked the fans once in German – in the moment he had certainly forgotten that And One were not playing to a home audience! ‘Killing The Mercy’, probably one of the most beautiful And One songs was also included in the setlist. Later, there were even ‘encore’ shouts in German.
Finally, drummer Joke Jay also participated in the singing and then allowed the microphone to be passed around through the audience. It was a great end to an extremely enjoyable and successful festival.

Setlist And One

01. Krieger
02. Get You Closer
03. Bodynerv
04. Back Home
05. Für
06. Traumfrau
07. Unter Meiner Uniform
08. Love Yo To The End
09. Metallhammer
10. Deutschmaschine
11. Killing The Mercy
12. Most Of The Tears
13. Second Voice
14. Steine Sind Steine
15. Panzermensch
16. Sometimes
17. Techno Man
18. Military Fashion Show
19. High
20. Shouts Of Joy

A few days have passed since the Dark Malta, and I’m not sure if I should be happy – or if I’m sad. I look back to a beautiful, unforgettable festival – with many new faces, new friendships made, the Maltese warmth – what a wonderful little country. But actually I’m sad too – because everything was over too fast. As with all the beautiful things in life, time flew by at the Dark Malta Festival – I would have liked to discover so much and want to see from this beautiful island. The only thing missing from the Dark Malta Festival was even more spectators. This is a call to all Electro-, Gothic- and Metal fans in Europe – come to Malta and let’s celebrate a great party together in 2020 – there is space in the concert tent just for you!

For me it is clear – I WILL return to the Dark Malta Festival and even plan to stay a few days more next time. But maybe there is even a reason to return sooner…!

Malta – I miss you already. Grazzi ħafna, Malta <3 written by Marko Jakob
translated by Judith Reumont

Gallery Auger

Gallery Aesthetic Perfection

Gallery Clan Of Xymox

Gallery Suicide Commando

Gallery And One