:Concert Review: Die Sektor with Prognosis at The Crack Fox

Die Sektor and Prognosis
September 3, 2011
Saint Louis, Missouri, United States @ The Crack Fox

Review by: Michael Faries

I have to start this review by being honest: before I heard that Die Sektor was coming to St. Louis, I was only vaguely familiar with them. Other than their stand-out remixes of songs from other groups like Grendel, Dawn of Ashes, and DYM, I wasn’t very knowledgeable when it came to this band. I was just so happy that a decent show was happening in St. Louis that wasn’t Country music or whatever new offspring popular radio stations shat out that I knew I had to go see them live. And judging from the list of bands that are coming to the Crack Fox (where the show was held) soon, it seems I’ll be spending a lot more time there. Every first and third Saturday of the month the Crack Fox hosts Conspiracy, which describes itself as “Art, Music, Fashion, and a lot of Kink!” If this Die Sektor concert was any kind of preview to what the Crack Fox has in store, it’s about time we St. Louisans get off of our lazy, bulbous asses, and shake those things on this club’s dance floor!

I arrived early at the Crack Fox to do a video interview with the guys from Die Sektor with COMA’s token ‘goth girl’, the woefully adorable, Amy Reynolds. We were immediately greeted by Edwin Alter, the band’s lead singer, and couldn’t be more amazed at how grounded he was. When we eventually met up with the entire band, it was very clear to me that there were no prima donnas in this quartet; they’re just musicians dedicated to their cause.

Prognosis was the opening act and sounded disturbingly fantastic. Shane Wolfe, the band’s lead singer, belted out crazy, unprocessed Metal screams, while keyboardist Sidney Pirata had the weight of himself included and a four piece instrument section on his back. Had I not been informed ahead of time that Shane and Sidney were the only band members that could make the journey to St. Louis out of the five, total, that they have, I would’ve been none the wiser. The pounding beats, mixed with club-engulfing synths and passionate microphone antics make Prognosis a band well worth your checking out.

While these two members of Prognosis were tearing up the stage, Amy and I had the good fortune to witness Die Sektor preparing for their set. The basement of the Crack Fox, which doubles as the backstage area, had an odd odor that you would expect at a smaller venue such as this to have. [We were informed by one of the bartenders that the odor was an open container of fake blood that he found fermenting a little too long.] It’s amazing what a half of an hour, a little liquid latex, and baby powder can do to turn (seemingly) average people into the juggernauts of an industrial stage. They looked a bit like dead victims of a coal mine disaster, with Edwin, and keyboardist and backing vocalist, Daniel Gant, offering a tinge of glamor.

Soon after Prognosis sufficiently pumped the crowd up with their set, Die Sektor emanated from the smelly basement that was their holding cell, illuminated ever-so-slightly by the stage lights, which showcased their aesthetic appeal quite exquisitely. As Edwin grabbed the microphone, some sparse drums, synthesizers, and flat-out noise started to fill the room, and bodies in the crowd began moving. As the steady, marching drum beat of “Warsong” started, the band’s bodies were triggered as well. The slow tempo of this song was remarkably full of energy, as, from the crowd’s left-to-right, Scott Denman beat the Hell out of his drums, Edwin screamed as his body flailed across the small stage, Alan Smith tweaked programming knobs from behind a monitor, and Daniel violently messaged his synthesizer keys. [This song was featured on a Noitekk compilation, called United Vol. 2 for those who don’t own this song, it should be given a proper listen.]

“Mother Hunger”, from 2006’s To Be Fed Upon, followed, stepping the tempo up a notch, but keeping the same intense energy. I didn’t need to see the crowd that was developing on the dance floor to know this, but I’m sure it reassured the band. “Corpus Accido” came next, keeping a similar tempo, with the end of the song packing a punch that anyone familiar with this one knows all too well: the vocoder-sounding vocals and blip and synth atmospherics flying you, explosively, right into the wall in the final chorus.

Before Die Sektor gave the crowd any more familiar material to bounce to, they slid in an-as of yet-untitled song, which nicely fit in some slightly off-key piano as the drums crashed and screams of despair came striking out of the speakers. I was left craving more new material, to say the least. After the “First Murder after the Flood” came rushing in, Daniel Gant took to the mic to test its vibration tolerance. “Scraping the Flesh”, from the band’s early, self-released album of the same name, showed no dated sound as Gant ferociously displayed what fueled Die Sektor’s earliest sounds. Alter took to the keys for this song with enthusiasm, truly showing off the diversifying ability of this band, making this extremely impressed reviewer scratch his enormous head and wonder, “How the fuck do they decide who’s to sing what song?”

“The Final Electro Solution”, the title track from their third-and upcoming-release erupted off the stage next, lending credence to the future strength of this group. The band impressively tests the waters of Dubstep’s harder edge on this song without making it a ‘Dubstep song’. The bass will make your body wobble, so those of you that have little control of your bodily functions should take the necessary undergarment precautions before listening to this one.

The “last song” (according to Edwin’s announcement), “Accelerant”, wasn’t their last song. “Deathkill” was the last song, though, to my own personal excitement. Both songs were amazing finales, and they wrap this review up just as well. The fake last song sounded as good-or better than-the recorded version from Applied Structure in a Void, while the actual last song slowed the speed of the set down properly, without taking any aggression out of the band.

The explosiveness did not fade throughout the entire set, making Die Sektor a must-witness for any industrial fan within a 100-mile radius. And, if you recognize the members of Die Sektor at a show, talk to them. These guys are extremely approachable and would gladly hear fan feedback and have conversation with anyone who takes the step on over to do so. Hell, even a theatrically-trained (or so it seemed) homeless guy wasn’t beyond the scope of an interesting conversation with these guys. Just make your move now before their popularity mushrooms, because then you’ll be fighting the crowd to talk to them. And you don’t want your overpriced boots stepped on, now do you?

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