Dark Mental Festival - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

As I have mentioned before, on day 3 of Dark Mental Festival the festival had a lot more international names on the billing again, and the one furthest from home was definitely TamuAmen, a black/hardcore hybrid all the way from Israel.
The only band I knew from Israel was Orphaned Land, but I would soon find out that this was pretty far away from the proggy folk metal boys of that outfit.

During the day, the members had either been hanging at the merch table, where they were selling their 7” EP Tamutamenkind, nicely pressed on either gold or grey vinyl, or they had been hanging out at one of the tables in the yard outside the venue, where they smiled and weren’t shy to speak to people who addressed them; but now, when it was stage-time, things were looking quite differently…
All of the members had donned long black robes with large hoods which completely covered their faces. It didn’t exactly improve the visibility that they were all hanging their heads low, staring at the floor throughout the gig.
The vocalist actually started out on the floor in front of the stage, with his back turned towards the audience, and stayed like this for a long time before he also stepped upon the stage, still with a bent neck and often with his back or side turned to the audience. The whole thing would have given off a very sombre image, had it not been for the harsh and furious music they were producing all the time.

As you may have figured out by now, this was far from your everyday, easily accessible party music, and that was clear to see in the audience.
To begin with, there weren’t many people who had entered the venue for this band (which is sad, because you should always keep a door open for new experiences), and the ones who had braved the room were keeping a respectable distance to the stage and band, and were looking rather coolly on as the band played, and didn’t give much sound either in the songs or between them.
After a while, there were a couple or (just barely) more who took the courage to come closer for a bit of headbanging, and even though the band initially looked quite indifferent, one of them was suddenly rewarded by the vocalist ruffling through his hair in a friendly manner. Quite out of character, but fun to see.

It was very hard, not to say impossible, to get a feeling of what the band thought about the show. Throughout the entire thing, not a single word was uttered which wasn’t part of the lyrics, and when the show was done, they left quickly and again, without a word.
After speaking shortly to the band earlier in the day, I admit I was intrigued and curios about that they would bring to the festival – I also admit that whatever expectations I might have had, they had in no way come even close to the reality of things! This was so different from anything else I had seen at the festival (and many other places for that sake), but even as I applaud their inventiveness and personal style, I must also confess that the show did not grip me, and as all the weirdness, compelling in its own offbeat way, felt like it lacked substance, it became a mere façade which made it even harder to get to the core of what TamutAmen was really like…

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