21 July 2001
La Sarraz Castle
Le Château de La Sarraz, Suisse

The first edition of this festival organised by Yann of Abstract and a handful of volunteers took place under the good omens of a majestic sun. Placed under such a patronage, the festival could only be successful.

At 19h30 the castle gates opened for those who had been waiting patiently on the parvis. Under the rays of declining sun, the festival-goers discovered the fabulous settings of the Castle La Sarraz. It was time to enter the castle cellars to cast an eye over the various stalls, offering an interesting selection of records, clothes and books. The other chambers were reserved for the bar and the neofolk, medieval, post-industrial party. Just the time to pick up a few items, to meet new faces and the concerts began.

The stage was set-up in the old stables, a room a bit too small to accommodate the 350 strong audience. But, this proximity instilled a warm atmosphere that no doubt contributed to the artists’ excellent performances.

Ostara were the first to take the stage to play a rather short but inspired set, despite the fact Richard had to buy a new guitar the same afternoon. Accompanied by a mysterious reader, they opened their concert with Operation Valkrie before presenting a set comprising new and old songs. Ostara’s music always takes a more heroic dimension live and in this context the new songs such as Overworld and Bavaria took on an unsuspected fullness. They played a few classics such as The Reckoning, The Force of Truth and Lies and Waves of White Horses, which they dedicated to the locale. As a conclusion to their performance, Richard and Timothy traded their guitars for percussions to offer an apocalyptic version of The Marble Cliffs, played under the rays of a dying sun…

Richard Leviathan

Then it was Forseti’s turn to occupy the stage and present their dark and melancholic folk music. Once the first notes rang out, time ceased to exist... Andreas Ritter and his six young musicians offered a simple but sincere performance that created a strong intemporal and nostalgic atmosphere. During the concert, Andreas altered between the guitar and the accordion to present some new songs of fragile and timeless beauty and some classics such as Heilige Welt, Erlkönig and Jenzig. As a finale to this performance, after playing an inspired version of Abschied, Andreas joined the percussion section to conclude the encore on a more martial sounding piece, waking the audience from it’s sweet dreams…


Andreas Ritter

Just the time return to a certain reality, that the members of LJDLP were already setting up the stage. Once the banners were hung and the old archive film launched, the two members of the band settled behind the percussions and began the first part of their performance; a tribute to the editorialist P.H.. This short but intense tribute composed of tracks drawn from Douce France and Aux petits enfants de France ended on a EK’s stirring lecture. No sooner was this lecture finished, than Albin and Martinya, torches in fist, stormed the stage to play a surprise Der Blutharsch concert. Assisted by EK on percussions, they played three songs before a sound cut suddenly stopped their performance. The incident repaired, Albin resumed the set from where he had left it and furiously finished the last song. But the surprises were far from over… As a third and final part, EK and Albin interpreted some tracks from Östenbräun and Die Weisse Rose, a real pleasure for the audience. Albin’s voice replacing marvellously those of Douglas and Alzbeth…
The time lost repairing the technical incident obliged LJDLP to cut short their performance. A pity they didn’t have the time to present their new work : Absinthe Project. Another time, maybe?


Les Joyaux de la Princesse
Les Joyaux de la Princesse / Der Blutharsch
Les Joyaux de la Princesse / Der Blutharsch

The highlight of the evening was, without any doubt, the Camerata Mediolanense concert. Despite the late hour, they offered the audience an exceptional performance of a rare intensity. The opened their concert with an instrumental piece before presenting the main title from their new 10” L’Alfiere. The impassioned interpretation allowing the song to show its’ full potential. For over an hour, the band played crescendo the best songs from their repertoire, such as Der Tod, Balcani in Fiamme, El Lupo and L’Homme Armé. Their martial percussions pounding the rhythm for songs graced by the beauty of Daniela and Trevor’s magnificent voices. Through out the performance, Daniela focused most of the audience’s attention by the crystalline beauty of her singing and her sensual stage-play. Touched by the audience’s enthusiasm, brought to a trance by the percussions devilish rhythms, the band played a second encore.  Their inspired interpretation of Lili Marlene calling a close to a breathtaking performance…


Camerata Mediolanense
Camerata Mediolanense
Camerata Mediolanense

But it wasn’t the end of the festivities. It was time to descend into the castle cellars where the neofolk, medieval, post-industrial party, hosted by DJs Antz and Alex, was in full swing. It was also the occasion to meet the bands, present at this occasion. Only with the first light of dawn, did the last revellers, reluctantly leave the castle grounds…

Despite the few (inevitable) mishaps, the festival was an overall success. All the bands gave their best to offer a superb show to the audience and all the festival-goers had a good time. Yann and his team can be satisfied and proud of their achievement. With an eye on the future, the organisers are already thinking about next year’s edition, which will be hosted in another exceptional location.


Sol Veritas Lux
You can find more pictures on our gallery of the Sol Veritas Lux festival