Desertfest Berlin, Friday, 05-24-2024

praise the plague

A black metal band opens a desert festival with Praise the Plague, perhaps because there are also cold deserts? In any case, a very bad choice for the start, because this kind of music doesn't really get you in the mood to party. Okay, many stoner fans come from all kinds of heavy metal and over the course of the concert around a third of the audience liked it. I can't understand how such joyless, static music could move an audience.


I was particularly looking forward to the band Néander because their promo material made me curious as to how it would work live with 3 guitars. And how well it worked; the different sounds of the guitars were supported by a constant groovy tribal drumming and the whole thing would have been a great rollercoaster if the inappropriate stage announcements hadn't interrupted the flow. A great, very impressive concert. The light was only red and unfortunately didn't match the music at all.


The smallest and heaviest symphony orchestra in the world effortlessly filled the huge stage in the Columbiahalle. The intro "Welcome to the Machine" by Pink Floyd was too long for my taste, especially as it also wasted playing time and GEMA fees. After that, the stage was bathed in predominantly blue light so that the projections could be seen better. Of course, because Monkey3 have had a foot in film since the beginning of their career and a feel for movie soundtracks. And yes, after hearing "Icarus" live for the 10th time, this song still overwhelms me so much that I have to cry at the beauty of this composition.


Thronehammer was the next doom metal act to come on stage and hit the audience's nerve. I don't understand why this kind of acoustic auto-aggression appeals to so many people. This band was permanently bathed in blue light, so they couldn't be seen unless the band members stood in front of the monitor speakers and got some limelight.

kombynat robotron

As a prelude to the storm, the German trio hypnotized the audience, plunging them into a black hole with their captivating kraut rhythms and cosmic psychedelia. A band that continues to grow and that is no longer a surprise to anyone. A surprisingly good concert from a band I never heard before. Yes, there is a lot of moving in ze German underground.

acid king

Lori Joseph has the fattest guitar sound to date, stands at the very edge of the stage, surrounded by 6 monitor speakers and moans to us about the depths of human nature. Considering the battle of materials on stage and after 30 years of stage presence, some of them as headliners, something like this is in my opinion quite strange and inappropriate. It doesn't matter, the band is not visible in the blue light and was celebrated anyway.

black pyramid

Black Pyramid, the sludge and doom monster incarnate, was not allowed to be seen under either red or blue light, which did not stop the audience from standing and nodding along to the music. Somehow it was a déjà vu all over again.


Amenra would be surprising if their initial avant-gardism had not become the norm. It is no longer surprising or earth-shattering to release the acoustic wrecking ball after two minutes of sobbing and whispering and unleash a stage show based on strobe and black and white projection, and to accompany the whole thing with growls and lots of noise. The news was, that this performance touched me due the fantastic acoustic of the Columbiahalle, which provided numerous goosebumps moments between the loud and quiet passages of Amenra.