Umbra et Imago

Wave Gothic Treffen - 14 2005

Agre Hall: Leipzig, DE

Umbra et Imago represent an iconic stature in the German Gothic Metal scene. Under the geise of Dracul, Mozart and Lutz put out more dance-floor friendly music where as Umbra et Imago has always been a heavy hitter in the guitar based metal sub-genre of Goth music. It most definitely is not your typical metal or even commerically viable cross-over fare.

While based on the driving guitar it also utilizes electronics and synths to build up a powerful atmosphere and Mozart has a truly unique voice and vocal delivery that really has no parallels.

We have seen Umbra et Imago two previous times here in Leipzig but this concert was by far the most entertaining.

The Papacy had just been taken over by a German pope and Mozart came out dressed in an evil chariacature of this with long papal robes, a huge curly grey wig and the appropriate head piece.

He carried with him a matching bible that sported a vampire-demon's face drawn up in an evil clown-like expression, spewing its message upon the masses.

Umbra et Imago is known for the supporting women that sing and perform on stage during the shows and this one was no different.

The set opened with two scantily clad women entering the stage, each carrying a massive open book from which a hiddeous black cloud of acrid smoke billowed forth.

As the dark smoke began to clear, the musicians entered the stage. Mozart, the last to appear, made his way to his candle-adorned pulpit to begin preaching his message in song.

"Momento Mori" was the latest album to be released by Umbra et Imago and they did some of the best known songs off of it such as "Sweet Gwendoline", "Schlag Mich", and "Ein Letztes Mal" as well as the title track itself which had to be one of my favorite songs of the entire set.

A female singer came out and accompanied Mozart on tracks that featured a feminine touch and through out the performance other women would come out and add dramatic touches in Umbra et Imago's now infamously sexually charged methods.

Umbra et Imago sport an enormous back-cataloge of material, having released albums for well over a decade, and they chose many favorites from this massive selection to play on this day such as "Lieber Gott", "Mea Culpa", and "Goth Music".

They were given a prime headlining spot in the biggest venue of the Treffen which is at the main base of the festival itself, the Agra Mesa and the entire hall was packed.

Not only are they an icon in the German scene for their music but also as a supporter of the club scene itself. Mozart runs the world reknowned club Kulturuin in his home town of Karlsruhe.

He also has brought numerous celebrity guest artists into his projects including Peter Heppner of Wolfsheim, the entire troup of Tanzwut, Felix of Crematory, and Alexander Frank Spreng also known as ASP. Each of these really come from a different sub-genre of underground music but all share a commonality in their exceptional talent and intelligence as well as a dark outlook of life on this earth. They also see the beauty in life and what we as humans are capable of as well as that dark side to our plight. I personally identify with this mentality and this is what draws me to this music in the first place. Umbra et Imago have become the epitomy of this idea and are fitting of the term Icons. I highly recommend seeing them live at any opportunity.

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