Summer festival season is over but there’s still an important event on my list: The Convention. This year it’s organised with several other bands at the Kulttempel in Oberhausen. I’m especially looking forward to seeing Lapis Exilis and The Devil & The Universe.
Around 10 am we leave to Oberhausen after picking up a friend at the station. We’ll be at the meeting point in time (4.30 pm, Im Centro). It’s always great to have a few drinks in advance with the Nunhood, before leaving all together to the venue.
For many of us, this is the first time we are seeing the N.E.O.s Artificial Intelligence broadcast.
We arrive at the venue at 7.15 pm and we hear soundscapes from Artaud Seth. The soundscapes put us in the right mood. I hear pieces of N.E.O. and A-U-M. This brings me to Frater Fidens. I’m pleased to be with him again in thoughts (rest in piece my friend). We continue talking with friends and take a look at the merchandising.
Lapis Exilis (stage time 7.45 pm)
Lapis Exilis does not belong to the record label, but it’s great he is opening The Convention. Lapis Exilis has released 2 albums: Hexagram (Oct. 2017) and Nihil (Aug. 2019).
The lights go out, fog is on. Lapis Exilis is on stage. It always takes a number of songs to get in the atmosphere of Lapis Exilis: dark repeating sounds and sharp guitar chords with minimal lights on stage. The singer always wears a mask during the performance. The mask lights up together with the stage lights. I have no idea about technical issues, but playing the 8-string guitar and making loops of drumbeats and guitar riffs at the same time, is something new for all of us.
The performance starts with ‘Black Star‘ and the beautiful ‘Butterfly’. There are lots of blue lights and there’s also some smoke on stage. The mask lights up. He builds his set beautifully. The climax is built up songer after song…. The man is focused on playing his guitar, barefoot, to keep in touch with the earth, while the audience goes into a trance. Psychedelic guitar, bass loops, distortion,…. all in perfect harmony.
After 6 songs, a woman comes on stage: the beautiful Marijana with her beautiful voice. The lady brings us 2 songs: ‘Into The Night’ (Twin Peaks, Angelo Badalament) and ‘Derniere Danse’ (Indila). There can be no doubt that this is the highlight of the performance. An angelic voice brought together with the guitar. Her voice fits the music perfectly. The public enjoys it and many pictures are taken. There’s no doubt we’d like to see them perform together more. She leaves the stage under big aplause and we continue in our musical trip with the classic songs ‘Falling Star’ and ‘Run Away’, taken from the first album.
Respect for the man who plays alone and is completely dependent on himself. Respect and support for the dark project called Lapis Exilis.
This was my third performance of Lapis Exilis and by far the best. Creating a doom atmosphere on a large stage is not that easy!
Setlist : Black One / Butterfly / Crimson Wings / Storm / Cold Light / Here Comes The Night / Into The Night (cover) / Derniere Danse (cover) / Watcher / Falling Star / Run Away
The Devil & The Universe (stage time 9.00 pm)
My first live contact with the new album: Endgame 69. I am really looking forward to it and everybody is close to the stage to see the visuals and hear the drum sounds of Ashley and Stefan.
The lights go out and the show starts with ‘Gimme Shelter’ (Rolling Stones audio), as an intro. ‘War Children’ plays loudly through the boxes (the song refers to the Altamont Festival & the docu Gimme Shelter).
The Goatpower starts with the new songs ‘Orange Sunshine’ and ‘Satanic Don’t Panic’: true dancefloor killers. Perfect visuals in cooperation with the drum sounds. Goatwave, dark tribal sounds take over the Kulttempel. The new show starts perfectly for me. Many new songs are alternated with classic songs like ‘Black Harvest’ and ‘It Is Our Will’. Ashley plays the guitar and takes over the entire stage. He performs at his best. Stefan plays the e-drums fully concentrated.
“What Is Happening To Us” Ashley’s shouting…. He plays the drums, the guitar and even the synthesizer. David is not on stage because of recordings in the studio of his own band.
The song ‘1969’ is the reference to the 50th anniversary of the theme of the new album. During the song we hear Ashley say some words like: “I am a fire starter…”
‘The Church Of The Goat’ is the next song and we even get the KLF-song in the setlist. It’s a fantastic experience with a lot of new and hidden visuals that refer to the new album. They have proven that they can also create a fantastic atmosphere and sound with the two of them. Well done, guys! I describe the new show as an electronic beast with hard guitars and trance drumbeats. If you get a chance to see the new show, don’t hesitate and do it!
If anyone wants to clap, now is the time to do it!
Aeon Sable (stage time 10.15 pm)
A week before the performance we saw a nice poster/flyer made by Nino: ‘The Hand Of Glory’ show, will only be shown once at The Convention. No idea what to expect.
Nino starts the gig with the words: “This will be a gig with a lot of songs never played live before and maybe not even heard yet.”
The show starts with the ‘Pharao’ (hidden track, Aether album) and ‘Exodus’ (taken from the first album). Nino is dressed in black with black stripes on his face. He’s dancing mysteriously on stage. Back to the old days, I thought to myself.
We get a gig with 9 songs combined with a perfect light show and beautiful riffs on Din-Tah’s guitar. We still get Quoth on the bass and Jo on the guitar. The drums are very loud during the old songs and it took a while for me to recognize the songs. I hear Nino shouting: “Visions!” … ‘Visions’ is the next song they play and probably also the most well-known. The audience dances along with Nino and sings the chorus. The next song is ‘Secret Flower’. The song has a beautiful guitar riff and drum sound and we see Nino dancing in the strobe light with a glass of absynth in his hands. The setlist is nicely constructed and as a highlight we get the song ‘O Senhor do Medo’. A very nice song played by the band at its best. Nino brings the song like a real poet with the book in his hand. 10 minutes of poetry. I didn’t expect this to happen.
From each album 1 or 2 songs are taken. ‘This was an amazing trip the light fantastic.’ While we’re waiting for the next one to arrive ….
It’s nice to see that after the performance the band takes time for a chat and drink with the fans.
Setlist : The Pharao / Exodus / Algorithm Of None / Fabulous Land / Visions / Secret Flower / O Senhor do Medo / Agnosia / Procession
Near Earth Orbit (stage time 11.30 pm)
This is the 3rd time I see the new N.E.O. broadcast and I am still impressed.
The broadcast starts with quotes made by Elon Musk, Yann Lecun, Stephen Hawking… For example: ‘The development of full Artificial Intelligence could spell the end of the human race’. This broadcast is a lecture by The Director Of Ceremonies about the danger of Artificial Intelligence in the near future.
The broadcast starts with the track ‘Deus Ex Machina’. The song is played tightly with Artaud on the bass, Jawa on the e-drums and Ashley on the guitar. “Surpase the limitation of mankind” The Director Of Ceremonies is shouting. ‘Singularity’ and ‘IRIS unveiled’ is coming up next.
We are staring to the wide videoscreens showing us autonomous killer drones: “Your kids probably have one of these drones, right? No, not quite! That skill (drone) is all A.I.“
This video still leaves a deep impression on me and I realise what the world will be in our near future: “How safe are global supplies?“, “The world is sinking in quick sand”. This broadcast is so much more than music.
The next track is ‘Humanoid’ with Artaud on the synths and the hall is completely silent when Artaud is playing the last chorus. Impressive! The industrial part comes with the track ‘Neuromancer’ when Ashley plays the perfect guitar riff very loudly.
The message is clear: Stop Artificial Intelligence to become more intelligent than us, however: We Can Not!! The broadcast of A.I. ends with the track ‘The Ancestors’. Mr Seth leaves the stage with the message: “Thank you very much and please be aware of A.I.”
The encores start with ‘Trans Neptunian Objects’. Time to dance to the dark and industrial raw sound of the ‘End Of All Existence’ trilogy.
This broadcast is at its best with the new visuals and yes, I feel the danger of advanced technology in our near future. Transmission ended!
Setlist : Deus Ex Machina / Artificial Intelligence / Nine Billion Names Of God / Singularity / Iris Unveiled / Humanoid / Lucifer Rising / ATOM / Neuromancer / The Ancestors / Trans Neptunian Objects / Planet X / Abandoned World
The Convention II is a wonderfull event. It’s worth travelling that far and being with our brothers and sisters. It was a kind of Belgian invasion. For the people who weren’t there: You have missed a perfectly organized Convention. I hope to meet you next time.
The afterparty was perfect for talking about the beautiful dark evening we had…
After a short night: time to travel home, tired but satisfied!