Infected Rain Reign Europe
Maundy Thursday, four-days-off time and Good Friday is one of the holiest holidays in Germany. No music, no dance, no fun allowed because nearly 2000 years ago Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross and sented to death which seems to make any joy improper. What’s better than visiting a metal concert the day before instead to remember him? So tonight I’m going to watch Moldavian Infected Rain with French Dagoba and Norwegian Once Awake at Mergener Hof in Trier.
Black Metal Stones
There is time left for a little sightseeing and historical Trier is worth the while. Apparently I am not the only taking a pre-show stroll. Whilst my buddy Martin and his company Mirka, Lena and her little Luna head for a coffee and the Cathedral, I walk on towards the Roman Black Metal Stones round the corner.
Friends and more friends
Funny enough, we arrive back at the venue at the same time. Lena rushes to change and prepare for the show, while we take a breath at the gate of Mergener Hof. Mirka and Martin have become close friends of Infected Rain over the time. Actually Mirka is unofficially signed to the most important job on tour: she is the personal assistant to furry Luna and lending a hand where she can. What a lovely possibility to support your favourite band. Climbing down the stairs to the vaulted cellar I notice there are more old and new friends to greet. One of them is Carlos who seems to fly from Spain to Germany every weekend to see a show, what a surprise!
There is a lot of talking to do but we need to stop it for Once Awake. They describe themselves as: “We are a four-piece metal band from Bergen, Norway. We play the kind of metal that really slaps you right in the face, it’s really up to you to label it any further”. These four are Ørjan Paulsen on drums, Andrè Solberg and Hans Petter Solen on guitars, last but not least, vocalist Frode Hennoe, no bass player. Their sound is rough and harsh as the Norwegian winters. Their set contains eight songs, a good mix of their three already released albums. Frode has an impressive growling voice. I hope he will not pay a price for his style by the time as so many other skilled singers before. I wonder who his singing teacher is to improve and develop his technics further more.
- Last Days
- Bury Your Soul
- Blinded To Remind
- Listen To Yourself
- Meet The Maker
- Becoming Alive
- Life Live On
The Sound Wizard
Before the second band of the day I find time to strut around and have a look at the audience. Long haired young metal heads, middle aged silver hairs, men and women, even in business suit make it a cross-section through the generations and society enjoying the metal way of life. I stumble over Simeon Panov. He is a super nice, always friendly guy. I first met him when he was in charge for the sound of Dust In Mind during their tour a month ago. He is the sound wizard of Infected Rain, indeed Dust In Mind wanted him because they were so impressed by him when they toured with Infected Rain. Of course he is busy but nevertheless finds the time for a short talk.
Dagoba, by Recommendation
Soon it is time for the second band of the evening, none less than Dagoba. I had them on my “To See-list” for quite a while. Additionally, Jen of Dust In Mind personally recommended them during the interview with me. Being inspired by bands such as Pantera, Machine Head or Fear Factory during their earlier years, Dagoba developed their sound spectrum incorporating more dark, symphonic and industrial elements. The result can hear on their later albums “Black Nova” or the 2022 release “By Night”.
Groove Unleashes the Moshing
Dagoba are Shawter on vocals, Richard de Mello on guitars, Kawa Koshigero on bass and Theo on drums. They make it short, climb the stage and let their Groove Metal reign. Dagoba proof once again that there are more excellent French metal bands to discover than just Gojira. The sound of Dagoba is rough, fresh and entertaining. It is time for the first mosh pits by at least three to four metal heads. The slot is long enough to keep the audience interested and exited and short enough to be hungry more.
- The Hunt
- Black Smokers (752° Farenheit)
- Inner Sun
- The Last Crossing
- City Lights
- The Sunset Curse
- Stone Ocean
- From Torture to Enslavement
- The Great Wonder
- The Things Within
Back in the Crowd of Friends
Finally back in the crowd after the wracking pandemic, I am getting aware how much – beyond the live music – I missed just being in the crowd, being among us so to speak, running into familiar faces at every show, having chats and drink together. All the more I am really happy to run into Daniel “themetalinspector” at the bar. Usually we communicate online in the Patreon group of our common friend Mara Lisenko and now finally in person. for the first time. Soon we find ourselves in discussing album and concert reviews and nearly miss the opening of the headliner tonight. Only nearly! But it was a too interesting conversation to stop it on the spot.
From Zero to Hero
Nevertheless, I’m right in time at the very last second. As Dagoba, Infected Rain simply join the stage, no big intro artificially delaying the start. Nothing like that. Simply five musicians grabbing their gear and jump-start from zero to top speed within an eye’s blink. Infected Rain present their new album “Ecdysis” released in January 2022 and a fine selection of previous songs. Infected Rain are Vadim „Vidick“ Ozhog and Sergey Babici on guitars, Vladimir Babici on bass, Eugene Voluta on drums and Elena Cataraga on vocals. Most people would know her by „Lena Scissorhands“.
Black and Other Colours
The four instrumentalists dressed in black make Lena’s colourful outfit shine even more. With her impressive tattoos, outfits and hair style she makes a strong role model for people, not only who like to fiddle around with styles. Lena has a strong stage presence, making her focal point on stage. She wraps the audience around her little finger with ease.
Live is Life
The band plays very precise. Lena has increased her singing skills and range with the help of Melissa Cross even further. The perfect wall of sound mixed by Simeon contributes its part. It makes the live versions of the songs sound even sharper than we know from the studio tracks. The skills as dedicated live musicians are undeniable. Infected Rain definitely is a band which belongs to the stage. That is what metal is about. Live your life, live it loud and proud. Live it fast because maybe there is no tomorrow. It is the metal way of life – a vibe found in each tone delivered on stage tonight.
More and Bigger Mosh pits
I turn around and realize the mosh pit which doubled the size meanwhile. Five to eight, maybe ten metal heads in friendly contact-combat-dance. Others happily make enough space for them so there is no risk to crash against someone uninvolved.
A pros pos crash, the ceiling of the vaulted cellar is relatively low to the left and right. Placing the stage pedestals under the amps doesn’t help much to improve the height. I wonder and start counting the minutes when the first of the four front musicians would bump the head into them. Either the musicians read my mind or they most certainly realized the danger themselves. After a while they move the pedestals a bit away from the edge for a saver stage show.
Dance and Jump
That’s really needed because Infected Rain is not a band which stands still on stage anyway. Vidick, Sergey and Vladimir jump, jump, jump, speed around, switch positions from left to right, back and forward like crazy. Only Eugene on drums remains fixed behind his double-bass drum kit. Lena dances on the stage dreamy at one moment, expressive and prompting at the next.
A New Neighbour to the Left
If you think you had already met all people you know at the show you detect another one. I find myself with none less than Fabienne Erni, vocalist of Illumishade and Eluveitie next to my left side. Dressed in a beautiful skirt she doesn’t really look like the metal head and close friend to Lena that she is. After the show I had the chance to exchange some words with her. She visited a friend nearby and took the chance to combine it with a day out and evening with Infected Rain. We will meet again at Rock Harz Festival this year.
Too soon we come the last song but not very surprisingly there is an encore. More of a surprise is that Lena outruns her fans and arrives at the merch stand before most others do. She is very fan affine, enjoys a shorter or even longer talk, is happy to sign everything, and takes a pic with everybody. Infected Rain will continue touring Europe by early May and jump over the ocean for the North American leg from May 10th on.
For me, however, it is time to part and for a long drive home after the intensive show night. Mirka’s and Martin’s voluntary work deserves more than a simple thank. Their dedication to Infected Rain is extraordinary. Bands even need more supporters like you! So you deserve being publicly acknowledged. You are what the Metal Way of Life is all about. I know there are many more like you. But those I did not mention, don’t worry, I still love you!
- Black Gold
- The Earth Mantra
- The Realm of Chaos
- Postmortem Pt. 1
- Everlasting Lethargy
- Orphan Soul
- Fool the Gravity
- Encore: Sweet, Sweet Lies
Infected Rain: https://www.infectedrain.com/
Once Awake: https://www.once-awake.com/
Mergener Hof e. V.: http://mjctrier.de/events/
Please buy physical music or download it from the bands official sources and don’t stream it for free because it steals your artists’ income
All photos taken by Friend X aka Mr. Deep at the show in Trier, April 14th, 2022 and edited by Mummi-Katja