Gallery/Live Review: Autumn Moon 2016
Way back in October, just about before he joined our ranks, Rainer attended the Autumn Moon festival in his native Germany. This one may be a few months old, but it’s better late than never when it comes to recalling a great show.
Written by Rainer Kerber – Photos by Rainer Kerber
Venue: Land around the Rattenfänger-Halle (Pied Piper Hall) Hameln on the banks of the river Weser
Date: 14./15./16. October 2016
Hameln – a city with a history and about 56,000 inhabitants, was the venue for the Autumn Moon Festival for the second time. The town is embedded on the banks of the river Weser in the picturesque Weser Hills. First of all, the very well-preserved Old Town core with winding streets and many half-timbered houses invites you to stroll.
The Pied Piper Hall, south of the old town, as well as the area around the riverwalk, are the venue for this autumnal spectacle. Embedded in a medieval Halloween market, more than 40 bands play in the four locations: Rattenfänger-Halle, Sumpfblume, MS Hameln (a ship of the Weser fleet) and the nearby Papa Hemingway. And there is a lot to offer, singer / songwriter, folk, electro and also heavy metal. With the variety of offers my report is limited to a few concerts.
Xandria opened the festival in the Rattenfänger-Halle. After several changes on the microphone, the band from Bielefeld seems to have found their ideal cast with the Dutch artist Dianne van Giersbergen. Pop-hard Symphonic Metal is paired with excellent female vocals. Even in the highest pitches, Dianne knows how to convince. Unfortunately, Xandria had to play a shortened set at such an early hour. Immediately after the show, the band had to rush to the airport to fly to Sao Paulo, where they had to hit the stage at the Epic Metal Fest the very next day, followed by a short Latin America tour.
A little later in the Sumpfblume. Again Symphonic Metal was presented, this time from Visions Of Atlantis from Austria with the French singer Clementine Delauney. In 2013, Thomas Caser (dr), who was the last founding member of the band, had made a drastic change of the lineup. On the instruments are now his former colleagues from the VoA-beginning days. In addition to Clemi, Siegfried Samer (Dragony) was introduced as a new singer. However, they travelled to the festival without keyboardist, so that all keyboard passages were performed by the computer. Hopefully, the band soon finds a new man at the keys, because the fact that on “Winternight” Clemi was almost only “accompanied by samples”, is actually a no-go. Apart from that, this was a great show. Now the band would only have to record a new album.
Short detour to the ship stage. Magda Andersson, who otherwise is on the road with the pirate band Ye Banished Privateers, presented her debut album, singer / songwriter meets Swedish folk music. Magda tells stories that are taken from life and are often provoked by thought.
And with Folk it went on then. Folk Noir, the band around Oliver SaTyr (Faun) and Kaat Geevers (Leaf), played slightly gloomy breathed-on Folk-Rock in the Sumpfblume. Apart from keyboards, guitars and e-bass, instruments such as lyre and flute were also used. A melange that simply inspires to dream.
The contrast came with Moonspell from Portugal. For almost 25 years they have been carrying their Dark Metal out onto the stages of this world. And on their Road to Extinction tour, where they present their 13th studio album, the band also makes an intermediate stop at the Autumn Moon in Hameln. Melodic guitar and keyboard play accompanied by thundering basses – the subwoofers had to do heavy work. Better could the first day actually not end.
The second day started quietly. In the ship, songwriter Sarah Lesch from Leipzig presented excerpts from her stage program. Together with Bastian Bandt, she told and sang stories from her life and life in general. Partially thought-provoking, partly hope-awakening and often extremely sarcastic. In many of them one could find oneself again.
Sarah Lesch wrote on Facebook: “I play today at the same festival as #crematory! How cool is THIS? “And that was exactly my next stop. So quickly changing from the MS “Hameln” to the Rattenfänger-Halle. Germany’s leading Gothic Metal band cannot be impressed by any major changes in the lineup. New bass player, two new guitar players. But that worked like a fresh-cell cure. With “Monument” an amazing album was released in April. The band from Rhineland-Palatinate also presented themselves in the best condition on the stage of the Autumn Moon. The only flaw of the show, too early in the day and too short.
Subsequently, The Moon & The Night Spirit kidnapped their listeners in the Sumpfblume into the vastness of the Hungarian Puszta. The enchanting voice of singer and violinist Ágnes Tóth made pure goosebumps. The music simply invited you to dream.
In the smallest of the four venues, the Papa Hemingway, just a few minutes’ walk from the Sumpfblume, Elvellon from Moers presented themselves. In 2015, they were awarded the best newcomer of the year at Mera Luna. The symphonic metal of the band combines skillful orchestral sounds, hard guitar riffs and powerful drumming. And Frontwoman Nele enchanted with her clear soprano. For me the absolute highlight of the one-hour set was “Shore To Aeon”. Nele is first accompanied only by acoustic guitar and e-piano. In the end, the song becomes a great power ballad. Despite its length of more than eight minutes, the song captivates from the first to the last note. So one can only look forward to the debut album the band is currently working on.
After the first edition of the Autumn Moon Festival 2015 was a complete success, I was very excited about the event this year. Also in 2016 there was a wide mix of different music styles: songwriters, singer / songwriter, folk, industrial and also heavy metal. With the addition of a fourth location, smaller bands could be given a larger playing time. The sound was good in front of all four indoor stages, only the light in Papa Hemingway is in need of improvement. The mystical Halloween market was again designed with love this year. So let’s do it again in 2017.