A massive success!
After a rather tired Sunday spent cleaning and a holiday celebrating German unity on Monday later, it is about high time to take stock and to look back at Prophecy Fest 2022. To cut a long and happy story short: First feedback from guests, bands, and crews indicate that this year's celebration at the Cave of Balve was a huge success.
Martin Koller comments: "We are all most grateful and glad that Prophecy Fest 2022 again turned out to be a happy family gathering where bands, friends, and label could meet, enjoy, and celebrate a wide range of dark and emotive music together", the label founder states. "A giant thank you from the bottom of my heart to everybody involved: the fans, the bands, the hard working crews and all helping hands, and of course to our gracious hosts, the Festspiele Balver Höhle and Schützenbruderschaft St. Sebastian Balve, too! It has been a blast! Currently, we are taking stock and weighing our options for another edition. Please watch this space for future announcements."
Of course, all the bands performing on that grand finale on Prophecy Fest Saturday are most deserving of a short summary as well. DOLD VORDE ENS NAVN opened the day with a harsh and impressive demonstration of true Norwegian black metal, which is hardly a surprise from a band featuring current and former members of such defining acts as DØDHEIMSGARD, SATYRICON und ULVER. Although the following league of extraordinary gentlemen and a lady from England grew from roots in black metal as well, A FOREST OF STARS have evolved into their own more flamboyant style. The Northern troupe surprised literally everyone with an unannounced presentation of their full 2008 debut album, "The Corpse of Rebirth". The difficult task to play in the wake of such an amazing stunt fell to SATURNUS. The Danish doom dynamite solved this conundrum perfectly by delivering a most remarkable show that saw jaws dropping and t-shirt sales hitting the ceiling. Time for a beautiful musical contrast courtesy of CAMERATA MEDIOLANENSE. The magical Italians arrived in their "small" set-up without a huge choir, but presented big music with two excellent singers, keyboards, and multiple percussionists. A most appreciative audience gladly received another tasty treat from ANTIMATTER. The melancholic Northern English rockers were in splendid shape and focused on their more upbeat material. Back to black metal: with their second live show ever, AUSTERE were enthusiastically received by another huge crowd that made the long journey more than worthwhile for the Australians. If they are that great on stage after only one show raises the questions, if they can get even better with more experience? Just when more female-lead contributions were overdue, DARKHER came to the rescue. With her dynamic performance ranging from fragile moments to energetic outbursts, spectacular red-head Jayn Maiven proved once again that her live show can easily match the stunning beauty of her albums. English witchcraft met American witchcraft back to back. The grand lady and originator of occult rock, Jinx Dawson, brought her hard rocking COVEN to Balve and the audience paid more than just the due respect to this artistic pioneer and role-model to so many musicians around the globe. Playing in the wake of this legendary co-headliner, presented the perfect opportunity for EMPYRIUM to present their album milestone "Songs of Moors & Misty Fields" in its entirety to a worshipping crowd. Despite a very strong and varied billing, Markus Stock's triumphant show was for many the crowning glory of the festival. Whatever the favourites of each visitor on Saturday might have been: the nearly sold-out and once again incident-free Prophecy Fest 2022 was objectively a massive success in all respects.
The complete billing of Prophecy Fest 2022 (in alphabetical order): ALCEST, ANTIMATTER, ARTHUR BROWN, ARÐ, AUSTERE, CAMERATA MEDIOLANENSE, COVEN, CRONE, DARKHER, DOLD VORDE ENS NAVN, EMPYRIUM (Songs of Moors & Misty Fields Show), FIRE + ICE, A FOREST OF STARS, IMHA TARIKAT, MOSAIC, NEUN WELTEN, OF THE WAND & THE MOON, SATURNUS, THE VISION BLEAK, THURNIN, VRÎMUOT, WINTERFYLLETH, and ZWISCHENLICHTEN.