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Hamburg Prog Night. 23 February 2024. MarX, Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg Prog Night. 23 February 2024. MarX, Hamburg, Germany

I’m stepping into Marx, which is the small venue within the legendary Markthalle in Hamburg, to hopefully enjoy a night of quality prog. The event promises a healthy blend of atmospheric/cinematic fusion, classic prog rock and even some metal thrown in for good measure. In charge of tonight’s entertainment are Ignes Nova, Civic Soma and Yuval Ron Trio, and Yuval also happens to be the event organizer.

Ignes Nova opening the Hamburg Prog Night

We start the night with Ignes Nova, a 3-piece ensemble from Hamburg whose music can best be described as atmospheric progressive metal (for fans of VOLA, TesseracT and Leprous). The melodic yet restrained voice of Benjamin Mundigler (guitar, vocals) is an excellent contrast to Timo Belitz’s drumming, which was the highlight for me. A couple of songs brought some of the metal influences I was expecting, such as ‘Misled’ and ‘Bad Advice’, and even some growling with ‘wHole’. An overall good show, even when the band as a whole sounded a little thin and relied rather heavily on backing tracks, which leads me to think that they would benefit from extending beyond 3 members. Bjarne Meyn fills a lot of space with the keys, but I’m still missing an actual bass and backing vocals. What is it with modern prog bands not having a bass player? All in all a good show to start the night with.

Civic Soma getting everybody dancing at Hamburg Prog Night

Next up are Civic Soma, also from Hamburg, who play an energetic, psychedelic rock reminiscent of 1970s Deep Purple. Marc Borchert‘s voice really drives the songs and he pulls off some impressive highs. Martin Schulz on the guitar has that classic rock sensibility but with rawer, thicker sound, which I enjoyed during the solos from ‘Manic Peace of Mind’, of which there were many. These guys did bring a bassist with them, and Dimas Faleileiev lets himself be heard, even having a short solo on ‘Medusa’s Lips’. The band really hit their stride with ‘See The Masses Break’, and if anyone wants to get to know this band, they should start by listening to this song. The psychedelic moment of the night came with a jam during ‘Cosmic Office of Coincidence’, with Marc Rinderspacher setting the beat fiercely and Dimas ripping an unexpected (for me at least) bass solo. A solid band with great songs and the stage presence to back them up. As encore they played ‘Cave’, a new song, for the first time live, which has a looped vocal intro that most bands would have as a backing track, but Marc did it live and it was trippy as hell.

Yuval Ron Trio simultaneously confusing and enticing the audience at Hamburg Prog Night

Closing the night is the organizer himself, Yuval Ron, with his trio and his cinematic fusion rock extravaganza. Astronaut suits up, it’s time to get weird. Everyone in the trio is on top of their game as they blaze through instrumentals that are very much inspired by and made for movies. Yuval’s charisma, virtuosity and nerdiness are all on display as he shreds on the guitar and jokes with the audience. Victor Nissim on the bass is a more relaxed presence on stage, like an anchor to the chaos, but his playing is immense, taking the melody on spacey parts like in the middle of ‘Kuiper Belt’ with ease. And Yatziv Caspi on drums is a beast, beating the shit out of his drums with jazz-inspired fills everywhere. There’s even some audience participation with a clapping section during ‘I Believe in Astronauts’, which everyone did their best to follow along. As you can imagine it wasn’t a simple “clap on 2 and 4”. This is prog after all. Yuval & Co give us an excellent display of musicianship to close a great proggy Friday night in Hamburg.


About the Author

Luis Gerardo

Luis Gerardo is a Venezuelan-born German who enjoys playing guitar and bass in his bedroom, and going to any concert or festival happening anywhere near wherever he happens to be at the time. He occasionally writes concert reviews, and occasionally records half-assed covers of metal songs to put on his Facebook page. His biggest fan is his mom.

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