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  • Writer's pictureArta Gailuma

Out Of Line Weekender 2019, 04.-06. April, Astra Kulturhaus Berlin, Germany

Out Of Line Weekender 2019 edition was taking place on 04.-06. April at Astra Kulturhaus Berlin, Germany. The three day affair was covering electronic, techno and various heavy metal genres.

Thursday was completely under the sign of electronic music. Friday was unifying both worlds and hosting two headliners. And Saturday was a metal day. On each night after the headliner set there was an after show party with changing DJ sets.

Not knowing anything about the venue, I arrived on Thursday afternoon at an area full of derelict buildings and was amazed to find out later that it is one of the few remaining alternative compounds in Berlin and used to be until 1994 a train repair yard. Since 1999 the structures have been converted into cafes and bars; beer gardens, flea- markets, artist work spaces. The graffiti covered grounds are also home to the venue Astra Kulturhaus where Out Of Line Festival was taking place.

The first day of Out Of Line Weekender was featuring techno and electronic music with some industrial influences. The festival openers were Belgians Motor!k. Bands frontman Dirk Ivens is already a regular guest at the festival and while hypnotizing images were projected on the stage backdrop, the trio were captivating their audience with psychedelic sounds.

Local Berlin three- piece Any Second were on stage next. Any Second started out as a duo and when Oliver Senger from German aggrotech band Agonoize joined, the group became what they are today known for delivering body trembling heavy industrial sounding electronic beats.

Classed as one of the most important rejuvenators of the classic electronic body music sound, hiding their faces under helmets with large dark visors next on stage were The Juggernauts. The Belgian trio has been busy touring Europe last couple of years and it was a pretty easy task for them to get Out Of Line Weekender crowd moving in the rhythm.

Next set was featuring heavily synth pop infused melodies. Swedish trio Priest featuring ex- members of Ghost is a mystery wrapped. According to themselves, their goal is to "safely guide humanity unto the next evolutionary step- the merging with machines".

Now the stage was taken by Chrom- very popular electro- pop duo in Germany. Their quite heavy club beats well combined with soft vocals sound very melodic and are very easy to dance and sing along. And dancing and singing along was exactly what the crowd was doing.

Born in 1985 as a solo project of Mark Ickx and adding later two other members, Belgian electrowave group A Split Second is a big fish and highly respected within the genre. Not afraid to experiment with different sounds, they were delivering tonight at Astra Kulturhaus exhilarating yet very danceable beats.

Tonight's headliners Kirlian Camera are no newbies to the genre. The project founded in 1979 has had a turbulent past and was pioneering act of Italian synthpop scene. But the early days of experimentation and line-up changes are history since the entrance of vocalist Elena Alice Fossi in 2000. These days Kirlian Camera is a frequent guest at European dance floors and festivals with their melodic and catchy synth arrangements.

Friday night started with Incubite DJ set performed by producer and Erdling frontman Neill Freiwald. Incubite was a German techno project and a brainchild of Neill. Even though the band does not exist anymore, their songs are still part of worldwide club playlists and performed by Neill.

The Swedish band Rave The Reqviem was created in 2011 with idea to combine metal with modern electronic- industrial, dubstep, drum'n'bass and melodic, gothic elements with adding female soprano voice.

They were greeted on stage with loud applause and cheering and playing for the first time in Germany, I think, they did feel very welcomed.

Bands female voice The Seraph unfortunately was not able to make the show and Swedish musical theatre actress Saga Björklund Jönsson did do a great job standing in for her at the festival.

Marketed as melodic/industrial death metal band, Fear Of Domination label themselves as shock metal. Even though the previous bands were well received from fans, these Finns, known for crazy live shows, started the real madness here tonight. People were headbanging, fist-pumping, hair was flying and somewhere in the depths of the crowd a moshpit was building. Energy, that this band was able to create amongst themselves and pass it over to fans was just unbelievable.

Another band with staggeringly energetic live performance was Finnish five piece Blind Channel. The young men, all dressed in white, were jumping around the stage like crazy and the crowd was following their example.

Next ones up on the stage were German industrial metallers, ex Stahlmann members Erdling with their heavy, yet very danceable melodies.

First headliners tonight were German metalcore act Eskimo Callboy. It seemed like this band is steering their boat direction pop metal, but nevertheless, the crowd was enjoying their fancy smoke and confetti displays and the boyband style catchy sing- along choruses.

Than a massive skull head appeared on stage followed by a pair of skeleton hands and it was time for the last band of the night and the second headliner- Mexican dark electronic duo Hocico. The two cyber- punks were doing what they do best and twisted synth melodies were filling the room.

The last day of Out Of Line Weekender was a pure heavy metal day started with Italian symphonic death metal band Genus Ordinis Dei taking the stage.

Danish progressive thrash/ death metal band Xenoblight is a relatively new band to the scene and have brought out their first record Procreation only in 2018. At first sight it seemed like yet another female fronted band, but, oh boy, they were hitting us hard with their heavy riffs and the throaty vocals of bands frontwoman Marika Hyldmar were incredibly brutal and more black metal like.

As next we saw Finnish melodic/folk metallers Frosttide. With their melodic, yet heavy sound these guys have been on my radar for some time and live they did not disappoint.

Another Finnish band on the line up were melodic death/thrash metallers Bloodred Hourglass. Splattering all over the stage the water being poured over their heads after every few songs and eager to let the energy wild, they delivered quite an intriguing set.

Next we had Swedish progressive metal quintet Evergrey taking the stage. They kicked off with the beautiful 8 minutes long "A Silent Arc" from their latest record The Atlantic which was released in January 2019. The rest of the set focused mainly on previous albums and we were treated to some fan favourites like "A Touch of Blessing".

It seems like Die Apokalyptischen Reiter, generally speaking, have been quite a German affair, but I am glad, they are getting the popularity outside the country's borders. The German quintet is known for creative, colourful and wild live shows. The frontman Fuchs was changing the outfits during the show and jumping around and at some pint gigantic inflatable balls started to glide above our heads.

Melodic death metallers Dark Tranquillity did close Out Of Line Weekender 2019 in style. Considered by many as one of the pioneering acts of Gothenburg metal scene, the Swedes nailed down another amazing show. One of the most anticipated acts of the night did not leave us disappointed- these guys are a real powerhouse and the over an hour long set consisted of pieces from most of their discography. Mikael Stanne has to be one of the most charismatic frontmen in heavy metal world, he was tirelessly interacting with the crowd and didn't need to lift a finger for fans to go wild.

If this seemed like something you'd be interested to catch next year, save the dates in your calendar: Out Of Line Weekender 2020 will be taking place on 14-15 May at Astra Kulturhaus Berlin, Germany.

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