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Hüttikon/Hüttikerberg  - September 10, 11 - Switzerland


Review and photos by dalia di giacomo   


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Ein Beitrag geteilt von Meh Suff! (@mehsuff)


Part 1 - The Festival 
The two days of the Meh Suff Metal Festival 2021 have been fantastic, or, better said, even memorable! The Meh Suff Metal Festival has got a perfect come back after the stop in 2020, after the covid crisis that sadly we all have experienced. The light after the tunnel has become reality also thanks to a good political and organisational job done in Switzerland. Indeed the Meh Suff is one of the few Festivals that took place in Europe this Summer. It has been a "back to normal" - Metal  - event in the fullest meaning of the concept. I would like to thank the whole Meh Suff Team for the awesome hospitality, for the first class organisation and for all controls concerning covid: a big amount of work done in order to let people enjoy the Festival sound and safe, a Festival that has become more and more important, bigger, without losing its identity, without losing that familiar and intime touch that has been always its "trademark". That said, let's speak about bands and music, and  about fans too. Because posers are an almost unknown species here at Meh Suff. The audience, is warm, dedicated AND competent. Fans come here from many corners of Switzerland and from many parts of Europe  for the bands and they expect  stunning shows. The musicians at Meh Suff have always done their best, because the warmth and love of this audience is everything worth. And this year was no exception!


Part 2 - Hunting the "Beasts"

After months I took again my camera, knowing the challenge in front of me. I knew I had to "hunt" the "beasts" of Death, Black, Dark Metal. We all photographers had this challenge, the only difference I just have an humble  Canon Eos 450 D with a Sigma Zoom 28-300 mm. And if you think that the pandemics have somehow weakened those bands, you are very wrong: they were determined, energetic, stronger.

Swiss Death metallers Mnemocide had the honour and challenge to open the whole Festival. Frontman Matthias, his guitarists Chris and Richy, bassist Denge and drummer Laurent have truly warmed the atmosphere with tracks like Crash & Burn, To The Nameless , Pawns, Collapse and Soul Collector among others . Born on the ashes of previous projects, Mnemocide keep together heaviness with unexpected melodies and postapocalyptic visions. And their show at Meh Suff has perfectly mirrored this concept.  The result has been a very attractive bridge between old school Death and modern Death. Enthusiast fans were there in the first row to follow the quintet from Basel and the whole band  found the time to greet  and thank them from the stage. If you love Death Metal you have to check out their 2020 debüt album "Feeding the Vultures"!

The ice was broken and the stage ready for another Swiss band: Irony Of Fate that  plays melodic Death Metal. Their lovely  frontwoman Cveti Stojmenova anyway is not Heidi, she has  such mighty vocals able to growl like a man indeed, and  listening to her live I immediately was thinking of Arch Enemy. The band is very interesting and focused on nice melodies and heavy riffs. Check out their album "Wicked & Divine".

I was particularly impressed by the band that followed: the German Debauchery, whose new album is out now and is called (not by chance) "Monster Metal". Their demonic masks are an eye catcher, yet the whole stage kept the complete attention of the audience, because of the skulls and the creepy  life sized monster figures. The guitarist and vocalist Bloodbeast , the bassist Bloodpriest  and the drummer The Bloodhammer killed it. They have opened with a mid tempo and bone crushing Death Metal that immediately slayed. 

Another great surprise have been the Swiss Bolzer, a blackened Death Metal duo. The first impression I got was to be transported into an ancient world of runes and shamanism. Their music is not easy yet you cannot escape the enchantment that is falling over you. There is a touch of psichedelic and spirirual vibe in their paganism and though apparently simple, their concert is unique, if you think that, drummer HzR (Fabian Wyrsch) apart, the  show is brought by only one man: KzR Okoi Therry Jone , vocals and ten-string guitar, who sings, plays, marks the force of the music, lets emotions rise  like a storyteller or a preaching druid. And the evoked energies truly get a formidable impact on the audience.

The Greek Thrashers Suicidal Angels were an unstoppable force that merciless brought us back from  the mythologic and pagan dimension. This is the aggressive band of songs like Born Of Hate , Years Of Aggression, Eternally To Suffer, Seed Of Evil. The evening at the Hüttikerberg wood takes definitely fire.

And with Insomnium the first Day of Meh Suff is almost reaching its peak.  I waited so much for this moment because Insomnium are fantastic. I love almost all of their songs, I cannot say I am a fan of them because of my personal interpretation of the meaning of the word "fan', but Insomnium are one of my fav bands. Absolutely. And the fans of Insomnium were many, so many, the craziest among them were already in worship mood in the first row. Darkness, sorrow, pain, Insomnium have been acclaimed as if they were the headliner of the day.  They were the gods and when they announced the new single The Reticent, the audience was on cloud nine. Other songs in the setlist were Karelia/Valediction, Revelation, the new  The Conjurer, Twilight Trails, The Primeval Dark and the wonderful While We Sleep. Yes, Insomnium have been real and mighty, able to play multi-layered music live, melodic, heavy and kings of the Finnish melancholy . And if some songs were  a bit longer than the average, you really didnt care because time seemed to run so quickly . And yes, we were able to enjoy   both those clean and harsh vocals, so typical for Insomnium.

Asphyx , the band of The Nameless Elite, Westerland of Terror and The Last One on Earth didnt disappoint the fans thanks to their great experience and  a very dynamic stage acting. Dutch Death Metaller Asphyx have proved to be a well- oiled machine. Great has been their performance of The Rack.  Some years ago dusbanded and then reunited under the lead of Martin van Drunen, Asphyx have taken no prisoners. Long live the Legend!


Day 2

Day 2 (Saturday,  September 11  2021)  is even more extreme: it `s the Day of Nifelheim, Rotting Christ, Kataklysm and Belphegor and  therefore it perfectly squares with the temperament of this festival.

After Comaniac and Wolfchant, Sillbirth hit the stage.  German Stillbirth has been a surprise to me.  In their career Stillbirth shared the stage with acts like Vader, Krisiun, Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse and many more and therefore they were totally at ease on this evening..All members of Stillbirth appeared in light beach clothes  as if they were surfers on vacancy in an exotic place.  As counterpart of the funny look came the music: an absolutely  brutal Death/ Grindcore.  They define their music "brutal Surf Death Metal or Surfgrind indeed. Stillbirth, founded in 1999 by frontman Lukas Swiaczny, is an energetic, interactive band. Lukas' vocals are incredible, as much as incredible is his enthusiasm for the music, he looked for a  direct contact with the  fans. During one of the very first songs he left the stage in order to create a great circle pit in which he himself was moshing together with the crowd and singing at the same time, returning then on the stage with the same inexhaustible energy. 

Swiss Black/Doom Metaller Schammasch,  have been impressive. Their name refers to Shamash ,  the Sun God from Babylonian mythology. Their stage acting has been extremely serious, inspired by ethnic, spiritual, traditional, psychedelic themes;  They were ieratic, like high priests of the Dark, nonetheless they were able to put on the stage a sick performance because of the fast way to play guitars, because of the robust drumming, because of the evil vocals. I would prefer less "immobility" from the band,  but I totally get that a dynamic staging would hardly  fit to such a leaden and almost occult ambient that fascinates me anyway. Their fans say they are genius and better than many famous Black Metal bands. They may be right.

Swedish Black Metal Nifelheim, the band around the brothers Erik and Per Gustafsson, have proved to be an amazing live act: here they are , with  spikes and  leather and black make up. Their music is labeled as Old School Black Metal, but I truly prefer Black Speed Metal and I underline the word "speed"! I found  them  totally abrasive and without compromises! They played unrelentlessly songs like 'Sodomizer, The Bestial Avenger, The Final Slaughter. Frpontman Hellbutcher , bassist Tyrant , guitarists Savage Aggressor and Blackosh,  drummer  Genocidor have brought both old and fresh air into a fierce show that fed the hungry audience. Yes, times are changing. Dont you all perceive it? At least in Europe (but not only) Black and Death and Gothic are "in" again, while other genres like Nu seem to climb down off their big horse. Welcome back, Black Metal!

Beware! If you speak of Black Metal maybe Rotting Christ appear! Greek Rotting Christ are another fave band of mine! It's not classic Black Metal, it's more a kind of Gothic/Black with great pounding rhythns and unmistakable riffs, and very good melodic passages too, tempo changes and chants. Supernatural becones mystic, atmosphetic, mysterious. I love almost all albums from them. This is not the first time I see them, years ago I had the honor to interview Mr. Sakis Tolis. But this time is somehow different because the band   around the brothers Tolis have a fresh dynamism, an active stage acting thanks to the new members in the line up: bassist Kostas "Spades" Heliotis and guitarist Kostis Foukarakis. Among the songs I like to remember Athanati Este, Grandis Spiritus Davolos, Under The Name Of Legion.

If Rotting Christ's concert was "hellish", the concert of mighty Kataklysm was hyperblasting and brutally stellar. Kataklism has set  the stage on fire, they killed it, they slayed the Festival. Period. Maurizio Iacono pushed his band to the top of the top, propelled by the new drummer,  James Payne (by the way, as  die hard fan of Kataklysm I welcome Mr. Payne  as the man behind the skins, although I still  remind Mr. Oli Beaudoin). The performance of guitarist JF Dajenais and bassist Stéphane Barbe has been breathtaking  I ve attended  Kataklysm since years , I was never disappointed, but I can say that on  this evening they have surpassed themselves, they have forged ahead their own mighty presence. In my opinion the lightshow during the first songs has been too nervous, for the rest the gig was a blast. Maurizio thanked the Meh Suff Team and found words for the crowd: he said that we are heroes, (and indeed we were there in spite of everything and of every virus,) and he added that no war can be won staying at home. The audience was in rapture and the crowd -surfings that ended in the photopit and in the arms of  a very attentive yet not invasive security were numerous.
Kataklysm's gig has been a true massive celebration of Melodic Death Metal. with  an impressive set list that includes songs like Thy Serpent's Tongue, Crippled & Broken, Narcissist, In Shadows & Dust, Underneath The Scars, As I Slither, The Ambassador of Pain, The Awakener (special gift for Old School Fans from the Sylvain Houde era) , Like Angels Weeping (The Dark), The Black Sheep.  Death Metal is alive!

Note: I could not remain for Belphegor, but I will  add  videoclips from the net.




day 1 Gallery MNEMOCIDE

day 1 Gallery IRONY OF FATE

day 1 Gallery DEBAUCHERY

day 1 Gallery BØLZER


day 1 Gallery INSOMNIUM

day 1 Gallery ASPHYX

day 2 Gallery STILLBIRTH

day 2 Gallery SCHAMMASCH

day 2 Gallery NIFELHEIM

day 2 Gallery ROTTING CHRIST

day 2 Gallery KATAKLYSM

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