Finally I come to witness a life ceremony of The Devil’s Blood. Tonight they play at Festsaal Kreuzberg, Berlin, along with record label comrades Urfaust. The concert starts around 21.00, when I am still outdoors, standing in a waiting line to get a ticket for the show. Luckily there are still some left and I miss just the first two songs.
Once inside, the location gives a very good impression both regarding sound and atmosphere. Passing the bar in the back, steps lead upwards to the wardrobe and a gallery that can be entered after a photographer has finished taking pictures and removes the cordon. From there I enjoy a splendid view towards the stage where the black metal duo Urfaust, known for their minimalistic yet heavy approach, impress with how a mere two musicians can deliver such massive sound wall. With Urfaust you should not expect anything spectacular but you might quickly find yourself nodding your head and fascinated by singer-guitarist XI’s charismatic voice. I return to the audience downstairs and move towards the stage in order to get some closer shots when they already finish the last song for tonight. Once in the Urfaust mode the abrupt ending of their playing leaves the listener confused. But that might be Urfaust typical as well, no extras. At least not this evening. [Edit: I learn the short playing time of ca. 35 min is owed to a strict schedule.]
So I move to the bar with the intend to buy a beer only to find myself being sponsored a free one and saying hallo to a familiar face. I meet JP, who has brought his professor along and a couple of other – new to me – faces. We chat a bit so that the break is over really fast.
Entering the venue again the musty scent emitted by bundles of burning incense sticks immediately is spreading, soon to be followed by the smell of fresh blood. The Devils Blood step on stage and greet with symbolic gestures the spirits that guide them to bestow upon the listener a wonder-work of musical brilliancy. I am glad and honored to be here tonight and to be able to pass on this visual impression. The photos were taken, when not headbanging, from show beginning to show end. The band’s music, composed by Selim Lemouchi, and the singing of his sister Farida Lemouchi are magical and moving. During slower parts fans stand in front of the stage with eyes closed, others seem to be caught in a trance until drums and guitars kick in all the heavier again. There are parts where I drift into contemplation on the lyrics, only to find my thoughts being washed away again by the music, like a stranded token in the sand on the shore of the ocean is taken back again by the waves before one can grab it. I figure I do not want to think thoughts. I just want to enjoy this evening, take photos and perhaps let some of the impressions flow into new artworks of mine.
Urfaust on Van Records
The Devil’s Blood website