Sonic Havoc Festival, Stockholm University - February 3, 2007

By: Aimée Kreuger
Photos by: Daniel L/skelett.nu

We all know that concerts are just as much about the atmosphere and mood as they are about the actual music. Luckily, I'd say, because the atmosphere was the strong point of Sonic Havoc 2007.

The line-up included Run Level Zero, Feindflug, Tyske Ludder, Cyborg Attack and Supreme Court, but the number one highlight of the night was the audience. This wasn’t the usual mix of rivetheads, goths, synthpoppers, and the occasional confused indie rocker. This was hardcore EBM fans, there to do some serious stomping. And they sure were dressed for it. Some looked ready for war, others as if they just came back from it. Some looked like they were an extra in a Mad Max-movie and some looked as if they were the executers of an evil regimes oppressing of the innocent people. Noone looked innocent though.

Most were there for the night’s main attraction, Feindflug. Last time I saw them was a few years back, on a small stage in a packed venue. I was at the front, with my knees grinding against the stage, and the bruises stayed for weeks. I could barely move, but what a show! The downside of impressing someone is that they expect more from you next time around, as I certainly did from Feindflug this time. They didn't deliver on that. Neither on my admittedly unreasonable high expectations, nor on their previous level. They are still a top act though, and delivery or not, they will stick to that title for the foreseeable future.

Tyske Ludder.

The trademark of good music is an original sound. Look at the stars of the EBM scene and you'll see that they all have it – their own sound. You wouldn't confuse Hocico or Suicide Commando with each other, would you? The lack of orginality was what signified the rest of the line-up. Not even the musicians' parents would be able to tell if it was their offspring up on stage, if we blindfolded them first. OK, so the parents probably can't tell Hocico from Feindflug either, so that’s kind of an irrelevant example. The point is that this was mostly run of the mill, non-confronting EBM. A few things stood out however. I've seen Run Level Zero a few times before, and they have always left me unimpressed. This time they had taken a step up, and were second best of the bunch.

Even though the music left me fairly indifferent most of the time, the enthusiasm coming from stage did not. Nothing is worse than a half-assed performance. If I look at people screaming about blood, hate and terror I want them to think about the same thing. Not the grocery list for tomorrow.

Most front men of the evening, with Supreme Court's singer Kay Härtel in the lead, were clearly thinking more evil thoughts, which lifted the focus from the middle-of-the-road EBM that was played.

The line-up, except for Run Level Zero, was part of the "Wintergewitter Tour 2007".