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Castle Party 2011

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However indistinctive a town Bolków might appear to an ordinary Pole, it is by all means a meaningful place for each fan of dark independent music, bringing a direct association with a festival called Castle Party. Every year, crowds of enthusiasts of more or less dark tunes are lured to Bolków in order to participate in a great feast of music, gloryfing slightly more alternative sounds; this year's edition of the festival was no exception to the rule - people from the whole Poland, as well as Europe, attracted by the lure and extraordinary atmosphere of the event, arrived to Bolków in great numbers so as to give in to the relishments of that four-day feast, consisting of a range of highly acclaimed artists like Suicide Commando, Diary of Dreams and Project Pitchfork.

Thursday marked the beginning of the splendid celebration, taking a form of the series of parties in the clubs of Bolków. Probably, the club that was most over-crowded with black-attired people at the times was Hacjenda, where Polish representatives of the dark scene were given the chance to present themselves. Upon filling every nook and cranny with their agressive beats, Wrocław-based H.exe marked an adequate level of the event, stimulating almost every body cell of the ones who gathered to experience their show. The performances of both Lecter and Synchropath permeated the club's specific atmosphere with highly electronic sounds, while Monstergod, managed to run down all energy supplies of each attendee of that exceptional demonstration of sound of the greatest of our domestic dark scene.

With regard to adverse weather conditions, all concerts which were to be held on Friday, were called off. In order to partially minimize the grief and frustriation caused by such misfortunate cancellation of the concert, festival attendees resorted to dancing in the filled-to-the-rim clubs. As usual, a group of gothic emcees took care of a proper level of fun, serving the music of every genre possible, starting from those highly popular (dark electro), ending with those a bit more deviant, drifting from the canonic ones (electro-folk).

Freakangel turned out to be both the greatest discovery and surprise for many people. Electro served by Dmitri Darling and his bandmates set the audience dancing, which, according to many attendees, qualified Freakangel's performance as one of the liveliest of this year's edition of Castle Party.

During a short break, the organizers kept on asking to take all the children away from the stage's surroundings, as a performance which was about to be given, was not suitable for the underaged. That commotion was heralded by the fact that Umbra et Imago themselves were to start their show. Nonetheless, it turned out that the warnings were highly exaggerated for the show was not particularly enticing, nor blasphemous, leaving the audience, which was expecting a bit more liberal approach, slightly unsatisfied.

At the end, the headliner of Saturday concerts - Diary of Dreams -gave its show. It was indubitably very professional and proper. The tracks from the latest records were prevailing, the older ones were played in more rock-oriented arrangements. Opinions regarding such innovations were divided: to some people they appealed to, while they did not suit the tastes of the others.

The commencement of Sunday concerts was marked by Reactor7x. With their debut album Disorder, the group has succeeded in winning the support and recognition of a substantial number of listeners, hence their performance on the festival did attract quite an audience. Such hits as "Burn In" or "Bloody Dreams" featured on their release, distinguished themselves with unusually stimulating sound, which obviously positively inclined the gathered. However, the party was set in full motion when Łódź-based Controlled Collapse came on stage. This project, liked and rather acclaimed, not only in Poland, but also foreign lands, gave a concert of the highest-quality level, presenting everyone, without exception, with quite a dose of energy, which was constantly on the increase in proportion to a number of tracks played by the band. Amongst the compositions, which the group treated us to, one was able to hear "Trust", "Liar", "Inject" or disturbing "Halloween". Performative skills of Wojciech Król, exemplary- awakening medleys of sounds, which definitely gained a new view of clarity thanks to the presence of live musicians, rendered the show of Controlled Collapse one of the best of the whole festival, placing the band at the top of the ladder of the alikes.

No sooner had Controlled Collapse had finished their concert when Dope Stars Inc. took the stage over by electronic storm, about to perform for the very first time in front of the Polish audience. Outstandingly energetic, truly rock'n'roll show met with numerous ovations on the side of the gathered Poles, undeniably craving for a substantial dose of electro-industrial sound in the best edition. The set was oozing with a range of tracks promoting the latest release of the group - "Ultrawired", that is "Banksters" or "Get Young" but the lovers of the previous records were not dissapointed in the slightest, for the set was intertwined with a bit older compositions such as "Bang Your Head" or "It's Today". An exemplary interaction of the guys with the audience deserves an exceptional recognition. This outstandingly captivating concert will surely go down in history and in memories of every festival attendee, letting us build our hope on a quick return of Dope Stars Inc. to Poland.

Another concert acoording to schedule was the one of Diaroma. They perfectly continued with what DSI had commenced, adding a portion of their greatest hits and a couple of the latest ones. The vigor of Torben was highly contagious.

The Sunday performance of Johan van Roy's Suicide Commando was an undeniable highlight. Very distinctive beats, overwhelming in their unspeakable power, whose energy was additionally reinforced by means of live drums, accurately intermingled with suitable melodics, completely got the audience, continually vibrating to the rhythm of hell anthems, carried away. Charismatic Johan van Roy totally mesmerized and ruled the attention of the gathered, taking the pose of somewhat a prophet, making the people aware of the world's cruelty, emphasizing the message with drastic, yet suggestive visuals. The setlist could not lack the standards like "Love Breeds Suicide", "Hate Me" and "Bind Torture Kill", as well as "Hellraiser", splendidly performed as an encore in an acoustic version. No wonder that the concert of Suicide Commando, which is a well-acclaimed brand after all, managed to attract a mass of sensation-seeking festival attendees, satisfying and living up to their expectations.

At the end Project Pitchfork appeared in a bit reduced line-up, because one of the members got unwell and was hospitalized, turned out to be neccessary. Unfortunately, the band gave rather a mediocre show, even tiring the audience with their set of standard hits, instead of liberating new supplies of energy in them. That certain lack of liveliness rendered the show stupefying, the atmosphere that was numbing the senses ruled. The audience almost seemed to be awaiting the end of the performance. The only point really worth of attention was the classic "Timekiller", during which a moderate liveliness among the gathered was discernible.

Despite misfortunately called-off Friday's concerts, adverse weather conditions and still difficult-to-be-handled problems of technical and organizational nature, Castle Party constitutes an event which overshadows all the other concerts of unconventional music with its particular allure, for, apart from the performances of many eminent acts of dark independent scene, it is the only opportunity to present your image to the world, which is obviously a chance that a majority of attendees eagerly jump at, presenting more or less hackneyed interpretation of the gothic style or/and its variations. I personally appeal to everyone for more originality and proper level of kitsch in general kitsch. What will Castle Party surprise us with next year? Lots of assumptions may be made on that issue, one thing is certain, however - that particular atmosphere will remain invariable, giving the festival irresistible allure, which have been tempting crowds of its enthusiasts for years.

Translator: murd
Add date: 2012-02-18 / Live reports

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