(MS) = Main Stage (PS) = Pain Stage (PAS) = Party Stage (CS) = Camel Stage
15.30 (PAS) TORTURIZED
TORTURIZED from Magdeburg were in charge of kicking things off on the still slightly rainy Wednesday. Unfortunately not too many festivalgoers had found their way to the beginning of the NEW BLOOD AWARD playoffs at the Party Stage, which had been made bigger for this year's festival. However, more and more people arrived as time passed, which boosted the quintet's enthusiasm and gave their death metal songs an extra kick. Inspired by the driving sound, the first few heads started rotating, quickly making the Party Tent into a worthy setting for the NEW BLOOD AWARD. Self-confident and aware of their own strengths, the five-piece led the audience through a well-balanced set of old and new songs. Especially the songs “Conquering The Throne” and “Gallery Ov Blood” – from the EP with the same title – sounded convincing and already set the bar high for the following acts. TORTURIZED put on an entertaining show and warmed up the crowd nicely in the early afternoon. Well done!
16.10 (PAS) A.O.D.
After TORTURIZED had already made the tent fill up gradually, A.O.D. and their charismatic frontwoman Feben were received with open arms. Halfway into the opening track “Hardline” the initial nerves had already disappeared. Without a breather, the band seamlessly continued with an absolutely tight rendition of “With Fire”. Visibly elated by the lively singer, the crowd started the first and initially timid chants. Unfortunately, Feben's committed stage acting didn't transfer to all the rest of the band, yet the audience still celebrated the young band's performance. There were even a few declarations of love written on cardboard raised up in the audience. Impressed by the pretty busy tent, A.O.D. even stepped up a notch, closing their not-so-silent set with “Times In Silence” and recommendations for all label scouts. The audience acknowledged the show with – now very loud – chanting, sending the band off to a well-deserved rest.
16.50 (PAS) LEVIATHAN
The third NEW BLOOD AWARD candidates approached things in a much more melodic fashion. LEVIATHAN are devoted to melodic death metal with a clear accent on catchy hooks. Drenched in red light, the kids from Bonn delivered their extra-long songs with a clear inspiration from the Saturday headliner. Much to the crowd's chagrin, however, with growing speed the guitarists started playing less tight. In light of an otherwise solid performance, this can probably be excused with nerves. Over the duration of the set this initial faux pas was quickly forgotten as the five-piece convinced with well thought-out song structures delivered on some apt background keyboards. On top of this, the stage acting was definitely worth watching in its own special way. When the final “When Only Despair Remains” started, one could only assert that the band was able to win over more and more fans during the course of their set, and that some more live experience will definitely make them ready for bigger things.
17.30 (PAS) PARASITE INC.
PARASITE INC. from Aalen were right on time to compete for the NEW BLOOD AWARD. The likeable quartet, who went on stage all dressed in black, were obviously highly motivated. Especially bassist Patrick, who apparently was following a plan to headbang for 20 minutes solid – which he managed, albeit without neglecting his playing, competently done with his fingers. His drumming colleague had to struggle a bit more when at first the snare was completely buried in the sound and later he had to face little problems here and there. By the way, all the bands playing the NEW BLOOD AWARD had apparently agreed on using Flying Vs! The crowd seemed to enjoy the band's agile performance and their grooving melodic death metal and was willing to participate in some band-crowd interaction. A solid gig and strong final applause.
18.10 (PAS) KADAVRIK
After a short pre-recorded intro the band vehemently started their set with a style somewhere in between melodic death metal and symphonic black metal. Although the preceding bands were by no means unimpressive, these guys really raised the bar, as they delivered an almost perfect performance. Tight playing, confident stage acting, crowd interaction, lots of enthusiasm and massive power. Visually they were already quite imposing, all five members with long hair and headbanging, black stage clothes and green armbands. The dominant keyboard sound was another thing that set them apart from the competition, and the band knew how to get the crowd to participate. That's how the drummer got the whole audience to clap before they started their last song. An impressive show.
18.50 (PAS) BLEEDING RED
The four extremely young kids (the drummer is just 17) from the posh town of Spraitbach already scored before the actual show with the very cool mic check of their singer/guitarist Timo. He just walked up to the mic and growled “Summer Breeze!” into the crowd before telling the soundguy “Passt scho!” (“that's fine!”). Only seconds later he was back at the mic with his guitar, kicking off the band's set – which was about to become a real triumph – with a part which was slightly reminiscent of Iron Maiden. From the very first note it was a lot of fun watching the guys play – and the fun they were having quickly transferred to the audience. Considering the band's pretty heavy sound, there were quite a few ladies cheering them on, maybe due to the guitarists' impressive hair. It almost seemed as if the band members were used to play in such a setting, at least it was a very professional show and an obvious decision for the judges, a decision that was met with frenetic applause when it was announced.
Oh yes, and the guitarist was obviously playing a Flying V!
The newly instituted NEW BLOOD AWARD proved once more what a high level the newcomer bands have reached in 2010. After a pretty much unanimous decision from the jury, BLEEDING RED will be the first band to receive the NEW BLOOD AWARD on Thursday. We'd like to mention the no less than 2,500 entries, for which we would like to thank everybody on behalf of the contest, which was carried out in conjunction with metal.de and Hellfest
19.40 (CS) SMACK BALLZ
Only since last year there is a fourth stage at the festival. It is called Camel Stage and here the bands play three short 20-minute sets each while there is changeover in the Party Tent. This way, the crowd can carry on partying without interruption, a concept that has obviously proved successful. Armed only with a guitar, an accordion and a wooden box for percussion named cajón, the band from North Rhine-Westphalia presented classics from the annals of rock and metal such as “Ace Of Spades”, “Holy Diver” and “Smoke On The Water” in a stripped-down rock'n'roll sound. However, they didn't fail in delivering what was expected of them, pure party atmosphere. The singalong-friendly audience was more than up for it and loudly accompanied songs like “I Was Made For Loving You” and “Long Live Rock'n'Roll”. All in all it was much more than a stopgap, but the perfect background music for a well-deserved beer break.
20.00 (PAS) SUICIDAL ANGELS
Greek thrashers SUICIDAL ANGELS opened the label night on the Party Stage. The tent was pretty full at prime time and the crowd was more than up for the four-piece's old-school sound, so they went time traveling together to the glorious 80s. The band's tight jeans and high-top sneakers gave their outfit the classic thrash look. And of course the sound couldn't be any less old-school, so it was a real joy watching them shred through their set. More than once one was reminded of thrash legends like Kreator and Slayer, but the band was much more than a mere copycat. Two new tracks from the upcoming album (“Bleeding Holocaust” and “Dead Again”) melded into the setlist seamlessly, which provided some friendly action with thrash diamonds such as “Bloodthirsty”, “Vomit On The Cross” and “Inquisition”. Circle pits, wall of death, crowdsurfers, raised fists and banging heads were the outcome of the Greeks' more than entertaining show.
21.05 (PAS) SUFFOCATION
In a live setting SUFFOCATION are a force to be reckoned with. This gig impressively cemented their status as legends of US death metal once more. Without much fuss the five-piece fired “Thrones Of Blood” and “Liege Of Inveracity” into the packed tent. As soon as singer Frank Mullen raised his hand to make the famous sharkfin, the audience – already warmed up by Greek thrashers Suicidal Angels – went collectively bonkers. Also two of the first walls of death of the festival didn't take long to happen. The only short breathers were during Frank's cool stage raps. Other than that, the well-oiled and arse-tight death metal machine just crushed everything and everyone in sight. At the end of the set “Infecting The Crypts” took the intensity level to vertiginous heights again, before the 45-minute demonstration of the old – but not tired in the least – guard of death metal was finished.
22.10 (PAS) RAGE
On paper, the Teutonic metal institution from Herne might have been the day's softest band, but made up for this supposed disadvantage with a more modern, heavier set than usual. And they also proved that you don't need three guitarists on stage in order to generate a thick wall of sound. Guitar wizard Victor Smolski can easily be considered one of the masters of his craft, and this evening he provided impressive proof of his abilities once more. At the side of band leader Peavey – who drew people's attention with his distinct gesture and unusual vocal technique – the Belorussian played the riffs and solos from songs like “Soundchaser”, “Hunter And Prey” or “Drop Dead!” with surprising ease. The show's highlight was obviously the classic “Higher Than The Sky”, which raised the temperature in the already tropically hot tent even more. “Down”, “Set The World On Fire” and the closing “Carved In Stone” weren't received any less enthusiastically. Superb sound, a perfect choice of songs and crisp heaviness – like this, RAGE can easily stand their ground in between all the thrash and death metal.
23.35 (PAS) UNLEASHED
When Swedish death metal veterans UNLEASHED took the tent stage just past half eleven the audience became a little less active, but was still willing to have a good time. The area facing the Party Stage was still quite full anyway. Johnny Hedlund and his cohorts launched a brutal set, which featured material from almost every decade in the band's existance, with “Winterland”. The group was very active on stage, and especially guitarists Tomas and Fredrik were headbanging permanently. The crowd raised their fists to songs like “Shadows In The Deep” and “Hammer Battalion” and was prompted by Hedlund to scream along to “Wir Kapitulieren Niemals”, the hit off their latest album “As Yggdrasil Trembles”. With “Into Glory Ride” from the 1991 album “Where No Life Dwells” the band paid their tribute to the late Pete Steele and Ronnie James Dio, obviously hoping to see them again in Valhalla. “Legal Rapes” was dedicated to their mates from Suffocation, and the band went into the home stretch with the mid-tempo stomper “The Longships Are Coming” and the pragmatically titled “Death Metal Victory”.
01.00 (PAS) EQUILIBRIUM
When EQUILIBRIUM stepped on stage at 01:00am sharp to the sounds of the intro “In Heiligen Hallen“ the party tent was absolutely packed, countless fists were raised and the crowd cheered the band on. The Munich band presented themselves in professional and enthusiastic form, every note was perfect and also the new frontman Robse has perfectly adapted to the band, prompting the crowd to participate and even calling for a wall of death during “Unter Der Eiche”. The band played songs from all of their three albums, and singalong greats such as “Met” and “Snuffel” were obviously received with open arms. But also tracks from their current album “Rekreatur”, for example “Die Affeninsel”, enjoyed a great reception, so much so that at the end of the show people didn't want to let the band go, drowning them in calls for an encore. EQUILIBRIUM didn't need to be asked twice, firing the crowning “Unbesiegt” into the partying crowd.
02.20 (PAS) ANNOTATIONS OF AN AUTOPSY
Well past witching hour, ANNOTATIONS OF AN AUTOPSY took the tent stage and made a clear statement right at the beginning: “We want some fucking violence!” And the Britons' breakdown-heavy death metal was perfectly suited for just that. From the first second, fists and other body parts went flying through the pit, which was still extremely busy even at this late hour. The five-piece seemed to be quite popular with the hoody and new-era-type cap wearing audience. No wonder, since ANNOTATIONS OF AN AUTOPSY made quite a mark in the scene with their last album “The Reign Of Darkness”. Visibly impressed by the good reactions, the band delivered songs like “Born Dead” and “Bone Crown” in an agile, tight fashion. An exceptional live show from these young Brits!
03.20 (PAS) MILKING THE GOATMACHINE
MILKING THE GOATMACHINE had the honorable task to close the first festival day. Despite the late hour, surprisingly many fans made their way to the Party Tent, and when the musicians – obviously wearing their stylish goat masks – entered the stage, greeting the audience with a rain of mud while firing their grind salvoes into the audience, there was a great atmosphere one last time on this day. It was especially impressive seeing drummer Goatleeb Udder in charge of the vocals as well, although being more than busy with the kit. And, even though the figure of a vocalist was missing on stage, there was not a boring moment at all, as the rest of the goat herd performed in an impressively dynamic and varied fashion, constantly animating the audience, who in turn celebrated the band euphorically. A fitting closure for today's proceedings!
13.00 (PS) BLEEDING RED
Shortly before the show there was a little ceremony to honor the winners of the NEW BLOOD AWARD. Jury member Marcus Schleutermann (Rockinvasion / Rock Hard) was in charge of presenting the award and also to wake up the rather tired audience. SUMMER BREEZE organizers Achim Ostertag and Michael Trengert, Norman Sickinger (jury member / metal.de) and Andreas Schulz (jury member / Legacy / Musikreviews.de) each handed over one of the impressive (and heavy!) awards to the smiling musicians. BLEEDING RED didn't laugh for long though, as Manuel Waible's guitar dropped out right during the first song, which they had begun playing enthusiastically. The guys bridged the forced gap professionally though, simply bringing forward the thank-you speech for their supporters, until the problem was solved and they could go back to work. In contrast to the previous day, the sound was much clearer today, which meant an additional win for the band. At the start, the room between the stage and the sound desk wasn't exactly packed, but during the course of their set more and more people arrived, most of whom got into the band's melodic death metal sound. Singer Timo Joos once again appeared as a cool and liekable frontman, asking the same question again while introducing “Calling For Your Downfall“: “Do you want some high speed?” - he might as well have asked if the Pope was catholic... Anyway, BLEEDING RED can see their appearance at the festival as a complete success, will probably be watching Children Of Bodom with a big smile on their faces on Saturday, and will hopefully – and deservedly – leave behind their current status as a demo band.
13.35 (MS) BARREN EARTH
This band's position on the billing alone was proof of what a high standard the festival had this year, up to the opening bands, because the prominent line-up was really something special. (Ex-)members of Kreator, Waltari, Moonsorrow, Amorphis and Swallow The Sun were on hand to do the honors. However, the band didn't have a rockstar attitude at all, as they went to work in a down-to-earth, sometimes almost reserved fashion. Just one of the guitarists seemed more extroverted with his unbuttoned shirt, naked chest and sunglasses. They chose a rather slow, atmospheric start for their show, captivating the aucience from the get-go. BARREN EARTH managed to perform their rather complex material perfectly, convinced with triple harmony vocals, and managed to set a completely different tone with their almost psychedelic keyboard sounds. The stage acting was quite standard, yet the drummer impressed with perfect and creative drumming and top-notch backing vocals. The intense, moody sound didn't exactly fit the bright sunshine, but the Finns made the best out of the situation and surely won over many fans with their dark metal sound, which was somewhere in between the members' other bands.
14.15 (PS) DREAM EVIL
After Rage the previous evening, there was another bite for the hungry power metal fans in the form of DREAM EVIL. Think what you will of their sound, at least the guys really know how to entertain an audience. In front of a massive backdrop, which they claimed they hadn't been able to use for the past six years as it was just too big for the stages they played, they really went for it. The singer was a real god of stage raps and vocals, and actually asked the audience to raise their lighters during a ballad-like intro – under bright sunshine and strong winds! He kept going with his funny stage banter, even stuff out of (homoerotic) porn magazines! In their song titles and lyrics they really had every imaginable true/power metal cliché, including the slaying of dragons! Summing things up, a very cartoonish affair, but combined with the extremely tight performance it was an entertaining performance well worth watching. And who knows who out of this band we may find on bigger stages with a more prominent band in the future, as ex-guitarist Gus G. is now employed by Ozzy himself!
15:00 (MS) NAPALM DEATH
At early afternoon NAPALM DEATH stepped on the Main Stage. Without much hesitation, the British gods of grind sent one blast beat after the next into the ever growing audience. After “Strong Arm” from their current album “Time Waits For No Slave”, the older fans got their money's worth with “Unchallenged Hate” and “Suffer The Children”. The band presented a perfectly balanced best-of set, consisting of new material and classics, which went down a storm with the audience. Frontman Barney's on-stage antics (running around in circles, twitching like a spastic and looking like a psycho) was hilarious and awesome at the same time. In between songs he kept explaining the socially-conscious lyrics to their songs, gaining the crowd's approval. Actually, the fan reactions at such an early hour was pretty impressive, with several mosh and circle pits. The obligatory “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” obviously couldn't have been left out, rounding up a successful performance.
15.00 (PAS) FEUERSCHWANZ
At 3pm the action started in the Party Tent: First on for a little over half an hour were gleemen FEUERSCHWANZ, who had made it their goal to give the audience some fun. With a colorful mix of tracks from their discography the sextet didn't have a problem doing so. Despite the early hour, many festivalgoers had already made their way into the Party Tent, so FEUERSCHWANZ played in front of a sizable crowd that followed the band's every command, be it the traditional conga line, which was led by Prinz Hodenherz himself, or the so-called “health dance” to introduce the song “Hurra, Hurra, Die Pest Ist Da!” The 35 minutes of stage time just flew by, and the party-hungry mob didn't want to let the band go.
15.45 (PS) ILL NINO
Latin metallers ILL NINO took the Pain Stage after NAPALM DEATH's all-destroying performance next door, to prove that new metal is far from dead and that they could definitely hold their own next to the long-established grindcore masters. With them they brought a setlist full of hits, half of which consisted of songs from their first album “Revolution: Revolución”. Those who didn't tap their foot, sing along or join the pit to tracks like “I Am Loco”, “God Save Us” and “What Comes Around”, was almost forced to do so (verbally) by singer Christian Machado – with excessive use of the evil F-word. And the energy actually translated from the six-piece to the audience as one wall of death followed another. The mostly dreadlocked group from New Jersey hadn't lost one bit of their sweeping power, and the percussion section and sporadic use of acoustic guitars provided some welcome variation. Another positive surprise!
15.55 (PAS) SIDEBLAST
Next on were death thrash metallers SIDEBLAST. Unfortunately the tent emptied abruptly during the changeover, so there were only a few people in front of the stage when the band started. Unimpressed, SIDEBLAST played an absolutely tight and professional 35-minute set, presenting the audience songs from their current album “Flight Of A Moth” as well as a few new ones. The Frenchmen were extremely agile and energetic on stage, quickly winning over the – admittedly few – people in attendance. Unfortunately, at the end of the set, SIDEBLAST didn't get more than polite applause. A shame really, as the four-piece tried hard and would have deserved a bigger audience.
16.40 (MS) PARKWAY DRIVE
Following on the Main Stage, PARKWAY DRIVE even managed to top it, drawing the masses of moshing fans with their powerful, breakdown-heavy metalcoe. The Aussie surfer boys are simply popular, and those who've heard their new album “Deep Blue” know the reason why. Guitarist Luke Kilpatrick had an injury on his right foot and could hardly walk, but the rest of the sunnyboys more than made up for it – the drummer even playing barefoot! The first highlight of the setlist was undoubtedly “Romance Is Dead”. The middle section with the infamous line “So cry me a fucking river, bitch!” was sung so loud by the willing crowd, probably Hans the baker in nearby Dinkelsbühl could even hear it. As if that wasn't enough yet, the band delivered one hit after another from then on, the grand finale with “Carrion” and “Boneyards” deserving special mention. Cool, agile, simply good: PARKWAY DRIVE at the afternoon under bright sunshine!
16.50 (PAS) GRAILKNIGHTS
Already during changeover the masses came back to the Party Tent, not to miss the following band by any means. Styled as super heroes, the four-piece from Lower Saxony had no problem in getting the crowd on their side with their cool attitude, their jokes and poses in between songs, and especially with their incredibly catchy songs. During the following 35 minutes it was an easy feat for them not only to hold the good atmosphere, but to step things up more and more. The four GRAILKNIGHTS led by Sir Optimus Prime had the battle choir firmly in their grip, as every one of their singalong anthems had exactly the desired effect. Fitting with their band name, the GRAILKNIGHTS obviously based their stage show on the quest for the Holy Grail, and its find, representing the triumph of good over evil, was the grand finale of a show that went much too fast. A GRAILKNIGHTS show is and will always be a great experience!
17.25 (CS) TIEFLADER
In the meantime, something got in directly from Stuttgart without stops: TIEFLADER. Three times, twenty minutes each. Not only did the band led by (ex-?)Farmer Boys guitarist Alexander Scholpp convince the fans that were there anyway with their mix of German-sung, catchy lyrics and massive, meaty neo thrash riffs a la Pantera, they surely made a lot of new fans with a very impressive performance. At least song titles like “Hier Kommt Der Hammer” (“Here Comes The Hammer”), “Lauter” (“Louder”), “Durch Die Wand” (“Through The Wall”) and “Strom” (“Electricity”) reflected exactly what was happening on stage: Full power until blowing the fuses! Singer Patrick Schneider was especially convincing with his smoky voice. All in all, a pretty heavy affair what the Stuttgart band served the listeners. There will definitely be a lot of talk about TIEFLADER in the future.
17.35 (PS) THE 69 EYES
Just before half five, the female fraction in the crowd had grown rapidly. The reason why hails from Finland and is called THE 69 EYES. And the girls greeted the charismatic frontman Jyrki 69 and his band with enthusiastic screams. The band enjoyed the female praise and thanked the girls with a show well worth watching. In blackened glam outfits, the group presented their songs with professional rockstar poses and especially Jyrki 69 impressed with his expressive gesticulation, stage action and a dark voice. The sinister performance started with “Back In Blood”, and during the following “Never Say Die” the atmosphere got even hotter. The ladies danced devotedly to the darks sounds in between sleaze and gothic rock. When “Devils” was played, horns were raised on command, and also the new single “Kiss Me Undead” was well-received. The melancholic “Wasting The Dawn” was a dark highlight, and the audience clapped along in delight to “Framed In Blood”. The energetic rocker “Dead Girls Are Easy” led the way into the closing part of the show, and the following hit “Brandon Lee” was introduced with a quote from the cult film “The Crow”: “The weather is always good when we play because it can't rain all the time”. Since the late afternoon was firmly in female hands there were only girl crowdsurfers too. With the second big hit “Lost Boys” things started drawing to a close, but not before Jyrki 69 shook his arse lasciviously one more time, standing on the drum riser. As a thank you, he whispered “You guys rock – ohne Scheiss!” into the mic, leaving many a broken heart behind.
17.45 (PAS) DEW-SCENTED
After the colorful and opulent GRAILKNIGHTS show it was time for a contrast – visually and musically – as Northerners DEW-SCENTED, led by frontman Leif Jensen, took the stage. From the opening notes of “Arise And Decay” it was clear that DEW-SCENTED would have a firm grip on the audience. The likeable shouter and his cohorts were as fit as a fiddle from the get-go and got the crowd going. DEW-SCENTED crashed around like a wrecking ball to the delight of the packed tent, up to the very last rows. Tight as hell, the thrashers delivered one hit after another to the raging crowd. With some fitting melodies added, the guys grooved through their perfect choice of a setlist. With the new album “Invocation” under their belts, this evening DEW-SCENTED celebrated a triumph like they hadn't seen in quite some time. Those familiar with the band's live qualities know that this is meant as a total compliment. If the band stay in form, the other bands on their upcoming November tour will have to work hard to rival them. Once more, DEW-SCENTED were great and got people in the right mood for the rest of the evening.
18.30 (MS) DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER
If there was one band deserving the title “secret headliner” today, it was DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER. It was absolutely packed in front of the Main Stage, and the security staff were faced with a real tide of crowdsurfers, which didn't let up until the end of the show. The rest of the audience was slamming, jumping, banging and bouncing to the band's catchy songs, and the band also had quite a few surprises in the visual department. At the beginning of the set, for instance, a giant black balloon had been placed on stage, from which suddenly emergend vocalist Fuchs. During “Wir Sind Das Licht”, the bare-chested frontman lit an atmospheric Bengal firework, and keyboardist Dr. Pest kept slipping down a slide which had been set up on stage especially for him. Sometimes he jumped around on stage dressed only in his pants and a leather mask cracking a whip, while guitarist Ady and bassist Volk-Man headbanged furiously. The first part of the set gladly consisted of heavier songs such as “Revolution”, “Unter Der Asche” and “Friede Sei Mit Dir”, and after the singalong in “Es Wird Schlimmer”, the band presented a brand new song titled “Boten Einer Neuen Zeit”. After “Adrenalin” things quieted down a bit for “Nach Der Ebbe”, before going into the final spurt with “Der Adler” and “We Will Never Die”. And, as usual at a REITER show, during the closing “Seemann” singer Fuchs jumped in a rubber boat to be carried over the audience. This was just perfect festival entertainment.
18.40 (PAS) TRACEDAWN
What followed was the triple Finnish treat. Probably not many in the audience were familiar with the band's material, but this didn't turn out to be a handicap. Always expect the unexpected, as they say, and that applied totally to the band led by founding member Tuomas Yli-Jaskari. Fresh, melodic death metal with typical Finnish keyboard accompaniment blared through the tent, striking a nerve with the audience after the thrashy Dew-Scented. On a high technical level, the youngsters presented a fireworks display of music to the poisitively surprised audience. With an extremely likeable frontman who was always good for a joke, the rest of the band seemed to be on kilometre allowance. Add to this the equally fantastic sound, which further underlined the perfectly tight performance. The audience got some extra applause from the band for a proper circle pit. It was really a pleasure to watch these young savages this evening. The end of their captivating set was marked by the guitarist jumping into the crowd to enjoy the fans' admiration first-hand. Great show by a young band who will make some jaws drop in the future.
19.35 (PS) AGNOSTIC FRONT
With AGNOSTIC FRONT, Summer Breeze had booked THE legend of New York Hardcore. Mr. Vinnie Stigma and Mr. Roger Miret may have aged visiby, yet on stage they were mobile as always. Especially Stigma is an eye-catcher with his wild poses and gestures. In a professional manner, the old hands – formed in 1981, they were probably one of the oldest bands on the bill – delivered their set to the crowd. Surprisingly, the setlist included many songs from recent albums such as “Another Voice” and “Warriors”, but classics such as “Friend Or Foe”, “Victim In Pain”, “Crucified” and “Gotta Go” were obviously in there too. Especially the latter was loudly sung along by hundreds of voices. The three times Miret demanded a circle pit it unfortunately didn't work, but the crowd reactions were extremely positive. A surprisingly cool show by a band that might be old, but far from a thing of the past.
19:40 (PAS) INSOMNIUM
Fitting the impending nightfall, it was time for the second Finnish band in a row. INSOMNIUM attracted the headbangers like a magnet and filled the tent to capacity even before playing a single note – which probably no one had expected beforehand. When the band finally launched into the superb “Equivalence”, they immediately had the crowd firmly in their grip. Perfectly rehearsed, the Finns virtually celebrated their show. The crowd soaked each of the songs up like a sponge. Aided by a powerful sound, it was a potpourri of razor-sharp guitar riffs, dream-like melodies and metallic rhythm parts. Vocalist Niilo Sevänens stage banter – again in German – was especially cool. The clean vocal parts also worked perfectly, giving listeners the goosebumps again and again. Even though the songs on offer were mostly from the last two albums, “Across The Dark” and “Above The Weeping World”, there was hardly anything to criticise this evening. At the end of the set, INSOMNIUM had conquered the hearts of their fans and surely made a few new ones. Already an absolute highlight of the festival and a mark by which all following bands would be measured.
20.20 (CS) JOHNNY & THE HOT RODS
JOHNNY & THE HOT RODS had also been booked for the Camel Stage to play three 20-minute sets during changeover in the tent. The Neuss band couldn't really draw a massive audience for any of their three apearances, but their rockabilly/country versions of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Soundgarden and Judas Priest songs provided for the optimal variety and entertainment in between the shows next door. JOHNNY & THE HOT RODS were far more than a stopgap though, as the four cool blokes led by the outstanding frontman Johnny Yuma really excelled at their respective instruments and knew exactly how to win over the metal crowd and how to keep it interested. This way they had no problem in creating a great atmosphere, delivering a professional, well-rounded, successful show.
20.30 (MS) OBITUARY
A real death metal legend had been booked for Summer Breeze with OBITUARY. The band led by the Tardy brothers showed how it's done. With guitars downtuned to Z and the typical OBITUARY killer groove, the band destroyed everything in their path. To replace Frank Watkins, who had defected to Gorgoroth, they brought Six Feet Under bassist Terry Butler on board, who provided the rhythm foundation alongside drummer Donald Tardy. As always, frontman John Tardy shone with his animal-like grunts, hiding behind his hair as usual, and sometimes leaving the stage for the longer instrumental parts. At least when he wasn't busy supporting his drummer with additional percussion. The band was visibly enjoying the show, and if you looked closely, now and then you could see the band members smiling mischievously. The setlist didn't leave anything to be desired, as, besides a few new songs, it consisted mostly of classics. After the closing “Slowly We Rot” the band handed out a few plectrums and thanked the audience profusely.
20.40 (PAS) SWALLOW THE SUN
Attentive audience members probably wondered what was going on more than once during the Finns' set. That keyboardist there.. didn't he look a lot like the one in the preceding Insomnium!? That's right, today Aleksi Munter had exceptionally filled in for Insomnium, but at least had changed stage sides not to make it all too obvious for the audience. Singer Mikko Kotamäki had purposely changed his shirt after the Barren Earth show in the afternoon and was now sporting a red Type O Negative one. Musically, Barren Earth admittely have quite a similar style as SWALLOW THE SUN, but the latter largely profited from the atmosphere and darkness in the tent. To the sound of a quiet intro the band members stepped forward, strapped on their instruments and stood there like frozen for a while, until they finally started with the first two tracks from their current album “New Moon”. Besides their passionate performance, one thing was really striking: The band members were all extremely skinny! All the more surprising what impressive melodies and screams were produced by such a lank guy as Mikko Kotamäki. During the quiet parts, the five-piece was able to create such a spellbound concentration in the tent, it actually wasn't even interrupted by some out-of-place bawling. During the heavier parts (with sporadic blast beats even!) the tent crowd let themselves go and even clapped along here and there. In closing, let's just have a look in the dictionary under “perfect show”... yep, it's synonimous with SWALLOW THE SUN!
21.35 (PS) DARK TRANQUILLITY
This evening DARK TRANQUILLITY demonstrated the importance of having a good frontman. Singer Mikael Stanne jumped, ran, kneeled down, stood up, gesticualted, headbanged, laughed, fired up the audience and enjoyed the reactions coming back from the crowd. His expressive poses underlined the lyrics he intoned with his inimitable voice, gripping the audience from the very first second. But it wasn't only due to a good show and extensive crowd interaction, but also due to the Swede's song material. “At The Point Of Ignition” started the melodic death metal masters' set, which was accompanied by interesting video projections on a big screen behind the drums that fitted each song. As expected, “The Fatalist” and the opening track from their current album, “We Are The Void”, turned out to be great live numbers, and “Focus Shift” further heated up the atmosphere. Three older tracks followed in the shape of “The Wonders At Your Feet”, “Final Resistance” and “Therein”. Guitarists Niklas Sundin and Martin Henriksson and bassist Danel Antonsson formed a musical and visual wall behind their singer and delivered the perfect foundation with a perfect sound. “Germany is the place to be for metal”, he declared, and when he announced the hit “Los To Apathy” the fans went completely mental. And the red-headed frontman capped it all off as he jumped into the photo pit and started hugging the fans in the front row. Funnily enough, one of the security guards mistook him for a fan and pushed him aside, until he noticed and helped the singer back up. Stanne then proceeded to help security to pull crowdsurfers out of the crowd before returning to the stage to sing the catchy “Misery's Crown”. The thrashy “Punish My Heaven” from the 1995 album “The Gallery” was a little present for the band's long-time fans, before the atmospheric “Iridium” signalled the beginning of the end of an impressive show, which came to a close with “Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)”.
21.45 (PAS) TRIPTYKON
TRIPTYKON, the new band led by ex-Celtic Frost frontman and mastermind Tom Gabriel Warrior, were next in the tent and delivered by far the darkest, most atmospheric and powerful performance of the festival so far. And this was already clear when the four musicians, shrouded in thick fog and cold blue light, stepped on stage and started playing the first crushing riffs of “Procreation (Of The Wicked)” after a short intro. The thick, pitch-black walls of sound virtually steamrolled the audience, who were more interested in watching the show as if in a dark spell and let themselves be engulfed by the grim atmosphere, rather than cheering and headbanging. TRYPTIKON's set was comprised of tracks from their debut album “Eparistera Daimones” as well as further Celtic Frost classics, which seamlessly melded with each other. Only seldom did Tom Warrior utter a few words in between songs. The following 45 minutes just flew by, and when TRIPTYKON finally thanked the audience and left the stage, they received loud, appreciative applause yet strangely no calls for an encore.
22.40 (MS) SUBWAY TO SALLY
Potsdam folk metallers SUBWAY TO SALLY were headlining the Main Stage and have always been a guarantee for great live shows. This wouldn't change this evening, as everything about the gig was absolutely perfect. From the uniform red and black outfits (with the exception of Frau Schmitt's dress) to the literally hot stage show and the instrumentation typical for this genre with violin and hurdy-gurdy to a setlist covered in hits, the band absolutely enthralled the audience. The start alone with “Henkersbraut”, the evergreen “Kleid Aus Rosen” and “Feuerland” was already superb. Especially during the latter there was an impressive display of fireworks and pyro effects. One could almost fear frontman Eric would suddenly catch fire as he danced through the flames, unimpressed. It was also great to see the audience waving their arms during the song's verses. Naturally, the blond frontman demanded the typical scream again this evening, which he got back from thousands of throats. But there wasn't only action in the crowd, but also on stage, as the band members interacted according to the title of the song on offer. An ocean of clapping hands accompanied “2000 Meilen Unter dem Meer” before the first break in the form of the quiet “Maria”, which was sung along by the audience. Fitting the title, there was a lot of fire on stage again during “Meine Seele Brennt”, and Fish was swinging a burning stick. His cohorts – no less active than the frontman himself – probably had cold sweat running down their necks. During “Falscher Heiland” the phrase “Genug ist genug!” echoed through the festival site, before the singer invited everybody to the St. Vitus dance, “Veitstanz”. The crowd didn't have to be asked twice, immediately joining the dance to the hit from the “Herzblut” album. Then the show was over, but SUBAY TO SALLY obviously weren't let go without an encore, so the band delivered “Sieben” before “Julia Und Die Räuber”, sung along by the audience, formed the blistering finale. This is what a real headliner looks like.
22.50 (PAS) MACABRE
Chicago's MACABRE had already played Summer Breeze before. The old-school death metal veterans had also drawn quite a big crowd into the Party Tent. The trio has a humorous take on the many serial killers in history. Frontman Corporate Death, using a headset to growl into again, also had a fitting story to tell when introducing each song. Musically, the band delivered an original mixture of old-school death metal and technically complex passages. The band quite obviously don't take themselves too seriously, as evidenced in some rather obscure songs combining death metal with snippets of melodic pop/rock. The band plan to release a new album before the end of the year, so they already played a few new songs. After the show, the crowd kept demanding an encore, but their wish couldn't be fulfilled due to time restraints.
00.00 (PS) RAISED FIST
Sweden's RAISED FIST arrived quite late at the festival site due to the traffic, and looked pretty tired even shortly before their stage time. However, as soon as the intro stopped, a lot of action started on and in front of the stage. At least nothing of the preceding problems shone through in the show, and the whole band went to work in an energetic fashion, making their show a real recommendation for hardcore starters. Singer Alexander Hagman stood out with some martial arts moves and screamed his soul out as always.With a cross-section of all their creative periods, RAISED FIST delivered a set that was admittedly 20 minutes shorter than originally scheduled, but had a level of intensity that only few bands possess, to a still numerous audience despite a noticeable drop in the temperature. It was also a bit frustrating that the front of house engineer only managed to reach the Swedes' full sound potential halfway through the set – from then on, the audio coming from the speakers finally matched the action on stage. Despite all the setbacks: RAISED FIST were absolutely convincing.
0.00 (PAS) ENDSTILLE
Summer Breeze, Party Tent and ENDSTILLE? Is that a conflict? It definitely is. When the band – with new singer Zingultus for the first time – took the stage at midnight in the – by then only half-full – tent, the atmosphere was quite contained. Contained wouldn't be the right desription for the sound though, as this was rather washy. Admittedly dark, yet somewhat powerless, this may have been the ideal sound in ENDSTILLE's opinion, but could definitely not be described as pleasant or impressive after twelve hours of loud music. However, the four-piece bravely fought their way through a 45-minute set, consisting of a handful of highlights from their already quite extensive discography plus one new song, sounding pretty tight despite minor technical problems. The crowd reactions were appreciative and content, but nothing more. Already during the second song whole groups of people were seen leaving the first rows. During the last song, the title track from their fourth album “Navigator”, Luguburem, who sang on the last ENDSTILLE tour, came on stage to do a duet with Zingultus, before the latter smashed a cross onto an ENDSTILLE logo on black paper to end the show. The meaning of this action remains unknown. So ENDSTILLE left the stage after a not entirely satisfactory performance – without using up their allotted stage time. Despite a solid show, this was probably just too much (or too little) for the tired Summer Breeze crowd.
01.10 (PAS) NECROPHAGIST
Due to some technical problems, NECROPHAGIST took the Party Tent stage quite late, resulting in the band skipping a song on their setlist. But when the four-piece started with “The Stillborn One” from their 2004 album “Epitaph”, it was received with loud cheers by the waiting crowd. And what the musicians created on their instruments could only be described as superhuman. As expected, a master class in technical death metal took its triumphant course. Complex, technical, but always tight and never losing focus on the song, the Karlsruhe band delivered songs like “Only Ash Remains”, “Extreme Unction” and “Fermented Offal Discharge”, a great experience for eyes and ears. At any rate, the crowds jaws went further and further down during the set, and a potential pit was sacrificied in favor of just watching the band play. One thing was clear after the show: NECROPHAGIST are a band you must see at least once in your lifetime.
02.15 (PAS) THE DEVIL’S BLOOD
Late at night it was time for a band that polarizes the metal scene: THE DEVIL'S BLOOD. For some, the Dutchmen are a sensation, for others they're just overrated and hyped-up. As always, the truth lies somewhere in between. However, it is fact that the band is able to produce a hypnotic wall of occult rock with their three guitars. And they managed to do it again this evening, although, at the end of the day, the music became somewhat of an accessory. The six-piece took the stage after a 10-minute delay, and it was immediately apparent that the volume level was more bareable than usual. As expected, they started their set with “Come, Reap” and “Rivers Of Gold”, and by the time they played “House Of 10,000 Voices” the magic was right there. “Rake Your Nails Across The Firmament” was presented in an extended version as compared to the album track, and by “The Heavens Cry Out For The Devil's Blood” they had played themselves into a trance. A look at the clock made it clear that the band would have a hard time cramming their full setlist into the assigned stage time. After the more straight-ahead “Graveyard Shuffle” they still played “Voodoo Dust” in a quiet version, but at that time they were already past their curfew, which the stage manager pointed out more than once. But the band either didn't get it or just didn't care and carried on playing, so during “Christ Or Cocaine” the monitors were switched off and then the whole PA. When frontman Selim Lemouchi noticed this he completely lost it, stormed to the side of the stage and attacked members of the stage crew. Furious, he came back on stage while the band kept playing just through the backline. Then the power was cut altogether, and Selim confronted members of security first and his own tour manager next. These were unpleasant and especially unprofessional scenes that overshadowed a good – but not great – show by THE DEVIL'S BLOOD.
03.20 (PAS) AHAB
Due to the delay caused by The Devil's Blood, Southern Germany's funeral doomsters AHAB also went on stage roughly ten minutes later than scheduled. Surprisingly, the room in front of the Party Stage was still nicely filled by a few hundred fans, even as late as it was. Fitting the band's maritime theme, the stage was drenched in blue light when the dark nocturnal music was introduced with “O Father Sea”. On the one hand, the four-piece's songs were incredibly heavy and slow, but at the same time quiet and fragile, creating a truly captivating atmosphere, which was rewarded with loud applause from the audience. Singer Daniel Droste intoned the vocal parts with either deep growls or a really good clean voice, while his cohorts made even the densest parts sound powerful. The haunting “The Divinity Of Oceans” turned into a true master class in intense, atmospheric doom, and with “Old Thunder” the band went back to their debut album “The Call Of The Wretched Sea”. AHAB sent the crowd off into the cold night with “Redemption Lost”, the last song of the day, or rather of the night.
11.00 (PS) CUMULO NIMBUS
It needn't necessarily be a storm cloud – incontinent clouds are not really a welcome occurence at a festival – but the bright midday sun was burning down mercilessly on the crowd, which had a respectable size considering the early hour, in front of the Pain Stage. The bands catering to the medieval rock audience were a minority this year anyway, so the few who played enjoyed an ever more frenetic response. So the beautifully dressed gleemen in CUMULO NIMBUS had it easy, and the two attractive ladies playing the violin, viola da gamba and flute were probably one more reason, besides the catchy songs, for the band's success. The band was extremely enthusiastic, jumping up and down in synchronicity, and especially Erik der Müllermeister did his best to animate the crowd – and, in addition, played guitar, sang and even played the lute here and there. As an icing on the cake, there was a guest appearance by two masked fire jugglers during the closing “Aderlass”.
11.35 (PS) INME
When the four skinny Brits INME took the Main Stage shortly past half eleven, there was – in relation to the total attendance figures – hardly anyone there. But those who were witnessed a band perfomring with incredible virtuosity, a band that bust their collective arse to leave their mark. The guys had driven (not flown!) down all the way from Brentwood, Essex to Southern Germany just to play this one show, and didn't regret it for one second, despite the poor turnout. Singer/guitarist Dave McPherson and his colleagues were visibly enjoying the show, and he even threw in a few German sentences. There's no other band able to mix such catchy, almost pop-like melodies with such complex “background noise”. Alternative meets mathcore, and this intense encounter bred a kid named INME. The six songs on offer were taken in equal number from the band's last two albums, and more than a few Summer Breeze fans will probably acquire one of them after this show – therefore: mission accomplished!
12.10 (PS) DEADSTAR ASSEMBLY
“Hello Germany, where we come from it is just 6am! Anyway, a dream has just come true for us!” The extroverted and highly motivated Americans proved to be another real find of the booking department. Their dark metal with a slight electro/industrial influence went straight into the crowd's hearts and legs. This was especially something for the ladies who had died for the Deathstars at last year's edition of Summer Breeze. The US five-piece also gave it their all in terms of outfit and posing. An absolute eye-catcher was the keyboardist with his power socket hairdo, who was constantly grimacing and gesticulating; and the singer was obviously happy about the partying crowd at the stage, as he was permanently throwing free shirts into the audience. During the second half of their set they threw in a neat cover of “Send Me An Angel”, which was also received with open arms – this band deserved a much bigger crowd!
12.50 (PS) MONO INC.
During the intro, the cute drummer was the first to enter the stage. She went straight to the front and prompted the crowd to clap along – and from then on the band had the audience firmly in their grip. Their sound may have been a tad more “sunny“, but they still fit the preceding Deadstar Assembly pretty well, so a lot of people just went straight from the Pain Stage to the Main Stage. Until 2006, vocalist Martin Engler was still the band's drummer, but by now he is completely confident in his role as frontman – and the vacant spot behind the drums was filled by the charming and competent Katha Mia, who contributed some excellent back-up vocals on top. Engler was visibly at ease with his new role as he posed, grimaced and gesticulated like a pro, looking somewhat like Uncle Fester with his black eye-make-up. Towards the end, the band provided the icing on the cake with a great cover of “Sleeping My Day Away” by Denmark's D.A.D. - this show will definitely remain a positive memory for all in attendance.
13.35 (PS) LETZTE INSTANZ
A bright blue sky made this a great early afternoon. Not necessarily the most appropriate setting for LETZTE INSTANZ's rather dark sounds, but neither the band nor the crowd had a problem with it. Hordes of fans of the Dresden band had arrived at the Pain Stage and were already having fun before the show even started. Mostly barefoot, the band members finally took the stage and launched into “Mea Culpa” with a seamless transition into “Mein Engel”, the first highlight of a very strong gig. With the rhythm talents of ex-Subway To Sally drummer David Pätsch, who had joined the band just recently, LETZTE INSTANZ fired up the audience until the security had to start spraying water into the crowd through big hoses. There were also numerous crowdsurfers doing their thing, which seemed rather unusual for the band's more rock-oriented sounds. The likeable frontman Holly brought the atmosphere to boiling point with various little games that gave the fans just what they wanted. As a special bonus the band played a song from their new album “Heilig”, which will be released in October. After the last song there were such great reactions that LETZTE INSTANZ had to return for the encore “Rapunzel”.
14.25 (MS) FIDDLER‘S GREEN
“Folk's not dead!” was the only possible conclusion after Letzte Instanz's sweat-drenched show. And thousands followed this call to the Main Stage to be entertained by FIDDLER'S GREEN. The band has been around for 20 years now, and the experience shows. Despite their rather un-metal sounding folk rock, the band had an easy time from the beginning – not for nothing does Summer Breeze have a long tradition of exotic or even completely different bands. Decisive for FIDDLER'S GREEN's succes was the fact that they didn't take themselves too seriously. So it was the perfect party thing to form a wall of death to Irish folk sounds. Did it work? You bet it did! On five came the big clash of the two fractions that had split all the way to the FOH tower. Inspired by this success, even a few circle pits were started. Once more, the tolerance award goes to the fantastic Summer Breeze audience, who gave FIDDLER'S GREEN the same respect and approval as the metal bands on the bill. An upbeat gig and the perfect thing for this time of the day.
15.00 (PAS) DESTINITY
France's DESTINITY had the ungrateful task to open proceedings on the Party Stage on Friday. As the five-piece started, the tent was only partially full, but more and more people came in during the course of the set to have their ear canals cleaned by the band's heavy sounds. The Lyonaise delivered their death metal with a mixture of groove, melody and technicality, and especially singer Mick was extremely active on stage. He jumped all around the stage, played air guitar, took off his shirt after the third song and headbanged in unison with his band mates, who also shook their heads as often as possible. To his question how many people in the audience were from France numerous hands were raised, and there was even a French flag in the front row. The not too numerous crowd was visibly impressed by the band's performance, and especially a punk rocker wearing a Borat costume made for some entertainment. A special mention goes to drummer Morteüs, who delivered some excellent clean backing vocals on top of his main activity. All in all, a good show by this rather unknown band (at least in Germany).
15.15 (PS) THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER
In the early afternoon, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER were the first real wake-up call for all the pit fanatics. Those who wanted to run around in the circle pit had many chances to do so, and those who preferred to headbang on the spot were also able to. Singer/entertainer Trevor Strnad kept driving the audience to their limit, while the band worked their way through their catchy melodic death metal monsters with the utmost precision. Considering the band has a back catalogue full of hits, choosing the songs for the set must have been a difficult task, but at the end of the day it was the tried-and-tested stuff like “Statutory Ape”, “Deathmask Divine” and “Elder Misanthropy” that made it onto the list. Those who weren't soaking with sweat after the first few songs, got wet by the time the security brought out the firehose to provide some well-deserved and much-needed refreshment. THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER have always been known for their intense shows, but what they did this afternoon was nothing short of amazing! No wonder their band shirts could be spotted all over the festival site later on.
15.55 (PAS) PANTHEON I
After a dark intro Oslo's PANTHEON I started their set. The music on offer was mean black metal traditional style. Buzzing guitars and lightning-fast drums formed the foundation for frontman André's raspy vocals. To further underline the dark atmosphere, the band had a female cello player on board, who complemented the brutal sound with a melodic component. And not only the lady, but also her cello were an absolute eye-catcher. The tent wasn't completely full yet, but a sizeable crowd had already gathered, hanging on the band's every word and loudly demanding their favorite songs. Thankfully, the band avoided all the black metal clichés and just played without any special make-up or costumes. This further underlined their cool stage presence, but in no way diminished the effect of their sound, which was bad to the bone.
16.05 (MS) ENSIFERUM
Sword-wielding – a translation for the band name ENSIFERUM – the Finns weren't today. And it wasn't necessary either, because they had weaponry enough with them in the form of a bunch of hits from their discography. The start of a bombastic set was – as usual – the aptly-titled “From Afar”. With this, the area in front of the stage was ready for the first real air show, as the fans moved along above the crowd by the second, much to the band's excitement. Countless heads were rotating, massive drinking horns were raised and each song was sung along vehemently. For a grand finale, “Iron” could obviously not be missing at this festival afternoon. There's not much more to say about the show. ENSIFERUM as strong as ever – in top form, experienced and professional. ENSIFERUM have always been and will always be a great live band, and this Friday afternoon absolutely cemented that status.
16.50 (PAS) WE BUTTER THE BREAD WITH BUTTER
At the beginning of WE BUTTER THE BREAD WITH BUTTER's set, the Party Tent was bursting at the seams. Many fans coudln't actually get in and had to listen to the band from outside. Inside, there was a big party going on. The electro-deathcore band don't take themselves too seriously and have a humorous side to it despite the brutal sound. And they obviously had the crowd firmly in their grip from the get-go. Stage banter such as “Who likes potato salad?” were received with loud applause. The guys were quite active on stage, moshing in synchronicity. The security guards had a lot of work as they had to fish crowdsurfers out of the crowd, one after another. As an icing on the cake there was a massive wall of death. The deathcore cover of the Deichking hit “Remmi Demmi” obviously couldn't be missing either. The band itself was visibly overwhelmed by the great atmosphere in the tent and thanked the audience profusely. A worthwhile and extremely entertaining show.
17.10 (PS) ANATHEMA
The weather was actually much too nice for a show by British melancholic rockers ANATHEMA. However, taking into consideration that their last album “We're Here Because We're Here” has a much more positive atmosphere than their previous efforts, the sunshine seemed more fitting. Also fitting the weather was singer Vincent Cavanagh's sunglasses, while his borther Danny was wearing a strange, towel-like headpiece. Anyway, ANATHEMA are not a band that relies on visuals, although Vincent's charisma is an integral part of their stage show. The set started with two older and rather heavy songs, “Deep” and “Empty”, which were well received by the crowd. The depressive “Lost Control” provided the starkest contrast to the weather. The second half of the set consisted of more recent, complex songs, such as “A Simple Mistake” with its constant build-up of energy and “Closer” with effect-ridden vocals and Vincent's striking kneeling pose. The quiet “A Natural Disaster” was singer Lee Douglas's big moment, while the next song “Sleepless” provided a trip into the past, as it was part of the band's 1993 debut album “Serenades”. The jump to “Universal” couldn't have been more abrupt, since it's a song from their last album. The celebrated finale was a song which ANATHEMA will probably have to play at every show until the end of times: “Fragile Dreams” - simply fantastic!
17.25 (CS) DOWNSPIRIT
In order to shorten the wait for the Summer Breeze crowd during changeover in the Party Tent, DOWNSPIRIT arrived at the Camel Stage next door as a replacement for The Mean to play three short sets of 20 minutes each. Unfortunately, none of their three appearances really drew a big crowd, but DOWNSPIRIT didn't let this dishearten them as they played the energetic songs from their upcoming debut album “Point Of Origin”, giving it all to present the – admittedly few – people in attendance a good show. With an interesting mixture of metal, blues and southern rock they pretty much succeeded in doing so, as, even though the crowd reactions were altogether timid, the cool and groovy compositions made a few heads bang, and the rest of the public couldn't help at least nodding to the rhythm. DOWNSPIRIT would have dfinitely deserved some more attention from the Summer Breeze crowd, but at least they gained a few new fans with this show.
17.45 (PAS) WAR FROM A HARLOTS MOUTH
Berlin's WAR FROM A HARLOT'S MOUTH had come to destroy the Party Tent. The band fired their ultra brutal techcore into the audience and still found the time to move around a lot on stage. Especially frontman Nico drew a lot of attention with his agile performance. He used a shirt someone had thrown on stage as a mosh implant and obviously also went into the crowd for some face-to-face interaction. Apparently he was having such fun doing this that he sang a whole song from the audience. As a tribute – and warm-up – for the later Heaven Shall Burn show, the band also organized a circle pit around the FOH tower. The songs on offer were culled from all of the band's previous releases, from the debut album to their new EP. With this gig WAR FROM A HARLOT'S MOUTH caused a lot of dropped jaws, big smiles and probably a fair share of bruises too.
18.05 (MS) CANNIBAL CORPSE
There couldn't have been a bigger contrast in between ANATHEMA and END OF GREEN than the grand masters of US death metal, CANNIBAL CORPSE. In just about an hour the band blasted out 15 songs on the Main Stage, impressively demonstrating how to deliver one ultra tight and mega brutal riff massacre after the next. Bull-necked front growler George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher had fun during his in-between-song banter, daring the audience to windmill as fast as himself – or at least to try. When announcing “Make Them Suffer” he prompted the fans to drag the person standing next to them into the pit, and dedicated “Priests Of Sodom” to all the bitches in the audience. The punk rocker who had already drawn some attention during the DESTINITY show – by now apparently naked – raised a laugh and the frontman's mockery. The mostly male audience arranged a wall of death, circulated in big and small pits and loudly demanded the hit “Hammer Smashed Face”, which was played towards the end of the set while the security cooled down the audience with a fire hose. Musically not exactly varied, the band was still impressive (and entertaining!) in their consequence and relevance for the genre.
18.40 (PAS) KYLESA
KYLESA were surely one of the more exotic bands at this year's Summer Breeze, as the band plays with two drum kits and two singers (one male and one female) who both play guitar on top. The Savannah-based band are one of the (ex-)insider's tips in the currently booming stoner/sludge/psychedelic revival. And there's two main things that belong in this sound: 1.) dust-dry fuzz guitars weaving a dense wall of sound and 2.) a big pile of effects pedals to provide the spherical elements. The drumming duo's various escapades were that powerful one could wonder why there aren't more bands in this configuration. But also the rest of the band managed to deliver riffs from the Kyuss school with a lot of charme and unbound energy, and to adorn them with psychedelic soundscapes that created a very special atmosphere in the – sadly only half-full – tent. An outstanding show by an outstanding band!
19.10 (PS) END OF GREEN
After the midnight sale of the new END OF GREEN album “High Hopes In Low Places“ at the metal.de booth had become a great success, the goth rockers were now standing on the Pain Stage. A big crowd had gathered, which gave singer Michelle Darkness “hard nipples”, to use his own words. And, even though the band has a lot to offer in the visual depratment with their frontman and guitarist Sad Sir, it was someone else who drew all the attention at first. On a corner of the stage, producer Arni Bartel's son was rocking out like the pros to the first few tracks with a cool kid guitar, monitor and mic stand. The band started their set with “Weakness” and immediately stepped things up with the heavy “Dead City Lights”. The girls who had been sorely missing in the crowd suring Cannibal's set were suddenly all there, at the charismatic frontman's feet. All the more action was provided by Sad Sir with his flying dreads, second guitarist Kerker and basist Rainier Sicone Di Hampez, who had fun jumping around the stage. However, the energy didn't really transfer to the audience at first, as there was a lot of clapping along and applause, but no real party atmosphere. END OF GREEN's fault it wasn't though, as they rocked on with “Killhoney” and the dark “Drink Myself To Sleep”, during which the ice was finally broken; from then on, there was a lot more movement in the audience. There were also a couple of songs played from the brand new album, namely the single “Goodnight Insomnia” (where Michelle smugly apologized for the video which had been playing nonstop on the video creen in between bands) and the mighty “Tie Me A Rope... While You're Calling My Name”. As expected, a great show from Germany's best dark rock band.
19.40 (PAS) DISBELIEF
DISBELIEF are certainly one of Germany's death metal institutions and therefore always a welcome guest at local festivals. So it wasn't surprising the Hessians made it onto this year's Summer Breeze bill. At 19:40 sharp, the band led by cult frontman Jagger entered the stage in the half-full tent and, after a short intro, dropped the first death metal bomb with “A Place To Hide”, which had its desired effect as countless heads started to windmill, people shouted along and DISBELIEF gained a fanatic response. Thanks to an extensive discography Jagger & Co. had a lot of song ammunition to turn their 40 minutes of stage time into a best-of barrage of death metal hits. Killer upon killer, the set was also varied enough thanks to all the different albums the songs were culled from. One could have wished the band an even bigger crowd, but the Hessians made the best out of the situation and delivered a top performance. In hindsight, none of the fans in attendance would have answered the main question “Do you really feel sick?” from the fourth-from-last song with a yes.
20.15 (MS) HYPOCRISY
For 20 years now Sweden's HYPOCRISY have been an integral and irreplaceable part of the international death metal scene. And the trio led by cult frontman Peter Tägtgren showed the reason why at this year's Summer Breeze with an insane show. During changeover before the show a huge crowd gathered in front of the Main Stage, and when the band entered the stage and launched into “Fractured Millennium” without warning, more and more people were drawn to the stage, the atmosphere reaching boiling point in record time. During the following tour of their discography, the Swedes demonstrated in an impressive manner what has gained them co-headliner status this year, as HYPOCRISY belong to the very few bands who manage to captivate an audience and not let go, without a big stage show and visual effects, but rather through pure presence and charisma. An elementary part of the excitement the band cause are obvously their fantastic compositions, which were presented with enthusiasm and in an absolutely tight fashion, gaining an awesome response with no exception. Through his funny in-between-song banter Peter Tägtgren scored a lot of points with his low-key and somehow simply likeable persona. It was almost unbelievable how quick their stage time had gone by when they left the Main Stage after “Warpath”. But the fans wouldn't have any of it and loudly demanded an encore, and the Swedes didn't need to be asked twice. With “Roswell 47” they played their absolute über-classic before it was sadly all over again. To ear-shattering applause and further never-ending calls for an encore HYPOCRISY left the stage.
20.20 (CS) DAS PACK
DAS PACK provided further entertainment on the Camel Stage on Friday during changeovers in the tent. The Hamburg-based band delivered punk with German lyrics and a slight leaning towards thrash metal. Their affinity with Slayer was also hard to overlook due to the shirts they were wearing. With cool northern charme and smart wordplay the Hamburgers started a big party – and there wre only two of them! Like the Ärzte drummer, Flozze played stood up, while his “partner in crime” Pensen played guitar. The lyrical spectrum ranged from lost girlfriends in “Du Bist Eine Nutte” (“You Are A Whore”) to the compulsion to constantly clean oneself with soap in “Waschzwang” (“Compulsion To Wash”) to strange fetishes in “Fass Mir An Die Füsse” (“Touch My feet”) up to puberty and one's own penis in “Mein Schwan” (“My Swan”).DAS PACK drew several hundred people to the stage, who were even quite familiar with the lyrics and gave the duo big applause.
20.40 (PAS) ORIGIN
The members of ORIGIN must already have learned at the high academy of techinical death metal in their youngest years, and even then they probably skipped a class or two and graduated with honors. There is no other way to explain their technical abilities. As fast, playful and technical they played it was impossible at times for the eye to follow the musicians fingers. The exuberant instrumental rendition almost bordered on stimulus satiation, and the muddy sound in the tent often laid an impenetrable veil over many of the details which became pretty much inaudible. Considering that the songs themselves were already difficult enough to digest, this was an additional cause for stomach ache. But ORIGIN have been around the block, and especially singer Mica Meneke compensated the weakness in the sound with an overwhelming stage presence. Special highlight: The title track from their latest album “Antithesis” shortly before finishing. After this gig the break was more than welcome, as the ears really needed something different to listen to.
21.35 (PS) GORGOROTH
After HYPOCRISY's triumphant gig on the main stage things became even more extreme on the Pain Stage. Norwegian cult black metallers GORGOROTH stormed the stage for a one-hour show (at least on paper). The only problem was that by the time they got started with “Bergtrollets Hevn” and the new track “Satan – Prometheus” they wer already ten minutes late. The big crowd seemed to resent this a little, as the atmosphere was a bit subdued from the start, the spectators reactions were quite restrained and there were less and less heads banging, until in the second half of the show most people were just watching and following the show passively. This was also due to the fact that it was quite obvious GORGOROTH weren't exactly prime examples for motivation. Admittedly, the five musicians played their set in a technically flawless manner, yet they seemed completely lethargic and slack. The choice of songs left nothing to be desired, but even the best of songs isn't fun if it's played with absolutely zero enthusiasm. And when, to top things off, the Norwegians left the stage after only 40 minutes, they lost whatever little support they had left in the audience. Only a few people asked for an encore, most just left in discontent, and by the time GORGOROTH actually came back on stage for a short encore it was too little too late. A shame really that the band made so little out of a gig that could potentially have been a great one if the band had shown a bit more fire in them, because the crowd was obviously up for it.
21.45 (PAS) DESPISED ICON
The interest in DESPISED ICON was understandably huge and the crowd packed the tent tightly, as this appearance at SUMMER BREEZE was their penultimate on German soil for the time being. The band was going to call it a day after this tour. Accordingly, the crowd was highly motivated, and there was no doubt which band had been eagarly awaited for all of this Friday. DESPISED ICON kicked off their show in style with “All For Nothing” and for the rest of the evening just had to enjoy the fruits of their great show. There were mosh pits as far as the eye could see, and each line of the lyrics was accompanied by hundreds of screaming throats. The band was vidsibly touched and sometimes even at a loss for words in between killer songs such as “A Fractured Hand”, “Day Of Mourning”, “Retina” and “Furtive Monologue”. The last song was announced much too soon with “MVP” before one of the most popular deathcore bands took their hat and said goodbye – probably forever.
22.40 (MS) HEAVEN SHALL BURN
The Thuringians can easily be called SUMMER BREEZE veterans by now, as this was already their fourth time on the Main Stage. After their triumphant show in 2008, which many fans probably still have fresh in their minds, the band took on a deserved headliner position on the Main Stage, trying the difficult task to top their last appearance at the festival. After a short intro they launched into “Architects Of The Apocalypse”, which was immediately followed by the hit “The Weapon They Fear”, and the audience was on their side from the very beginning. “Hello, it's us again” is how frontman Marcus greeted the crowd. During the whole show the band members were constantly in motion, visibly enjoying every minute of it. No wonder, as the crowd supported them to the best of their abilities, constantly forming circle pits and walls of death. Also Marcus' demand for many small pits – he mentioned “olympic wrestling” - was happily fulfilled. This made him even more confident, and instead of further directing the dance he later just called for anarchy by saying “do what you want”. The band didn't just limit themselves to a musically outstanding show, they had also put some thought into visuals as a headlining show demands. Behind them there were giant video screens that visually accompanied the theme of each song. Besides some cool lighting effects there were also critical statements regarding modern nutrition, factory farming, war and child soldiers. One of the humorous highlights was certainly the turd that morphed into liberal politician Guido Westerwelle. The set included all their hits, from recent smashers such as “Counterweight”, “Endzeit”, “Voice Of The Voiceless” and “Lie You Bleed For” as well as classics such as “7th Cross”, which hadn't been played live much lately. After a short break there were three more songs as an encore, among them the Edge Of Sanity cover “Black Tears”, durihng which – fittingly – black tears of oil dripped down on BP logos. At the end there was a massive wall of fog with a rain of glitter (!). With this show HEAVEN SHALL BURN once more proved their outstanding qualities as a live band – even though the wave breakers in the crowd made the same overwhelming crowd reactions from last time impossible. Once again, an absolute highlight of the festival.
22.50 (PAS) WATAIN
It seems like anticosmic clocks tick a bit differently, because WATAIN, much like their kindred spirits THE DEVIL'S BLOOD, didn't make it on stage in time. Unlike the Dutchmen, however, WATAIN made the right decision and just deleted the last song from the setlist. And it was a master class in black metal for the tent audience. Starting with the stage set-up, with burning band logos left and right of the drum kit, two inverted crosses also on fire in the front, and four banners with band artwork that decorated the stage. The band outfit was also exactly what the fans wanted – corpse paint, stage blood, spikes and studs. The lightshow was also fitting, as most of the time the light came from the background, making the musicians look like dark shadows. After an intro, the band launched into an impressive “Malfeitor”, closely followed by “Sworn To The Dark”. Singer Erik kept striking dramatic poses, which looked a bit over the top here and there. However, his grating vocals were perfect and, all in all, he makes a great frontman. The show reached its musical climax with the über-song “Reaping Death” and the anthemic “Legions Of The Black Light”, yet the closing “Wolves Curse” and the ultra-brutal “Total Funeral”, during which Erik threw a cup of blood into the audience, weren't bad either. Fantastic!
00.00 (PS) GWAR
After a long time, GWAR were finally back again to conquer Planet Deutschland. In full body armour adorned with spikes, skulls and especially penises, the band from out of this world went into battle. The bouncers and photographers in the photo pit had had the good sense to wear rain capes, fully aware of what was to come. Unfortunately the fans hadn't – although the die-hard fans in the front were quite obviously wearing clean white shirts on purpose. The music was quite irrelevant, as the visual aspect was clearly what mattered during this show. The overblown mix of violence, obscenities and subliminal social commentary kept putting smiles on people's faces. The show basically consisted of different characters being dragged on stage by slaves, then having their limbs severed and being penetrated by some rather unpleasant artifacts. Loads of stage blood and other fake body fluids sprayed from the wounds into the audience. Amon the victims were Hitler, a cop, Pope Ratzinger, the president of the GWAR fan club and finally Osama Bin Laden. Even Satan himself was slayed after frontman Oderus Urungus refused to give him a blowjob. The grand finale consisted of loads of differently-coloured liquids being shot into the audience from a cannon and Oderus Urungus' humongous penis. GWAR's show was perfect to finish the evening on a slightly different note.
00.50 (PAS) DYING FETUS
This year's edition of SUMMER BREEZE was again studded with high-profile death metal and grindcore bands, so all friends of the extreme really got their money's worth. DYING FETUS are not only one of the most veteran bands in this genre, they are also one of the most influential and most copied. But in terms of power and tightness, the Maryland trio still beat most of their imitators easily. Guitarist Jon Gallagher and bassist Sean Beasley traded vocals on hate tirades such as “Kill Mommy”, “One Shot, One Kill” and “Justifiable Homicide” in a professional and varied manner. All of the band's creative periods were included, just the new, extremely recommendable album “Descend Into Depravity” was only represented with one song. With the best soud so far on the tent stage, the massive guitar riffs and insanely fast drum beats were crisp and clear, being met with a lot of action in the pit. Bottom line, DYING FETUS simply plowed through the Party Tent.
01.10 (PAS) HAIL OF BULLETS
Late at night, the Dutchmen led by Asphyx frontman Martin van Drunen unleashed their merciless war machine in the Party tent. The sound of HAIL OF BULLETS overran the numerous audience members like a tank. Massive riff walls and thundering drums dominated the sound, and van Drunen's hoarse vocals fit in perfectly. By the way, his in-between-song banter was in excellent German. Right in front of the stage people were still moshing like crazy, even at such a late time. Unfortunately the show was a true attack on people's hearing, as it was really insanely loud. As a special treat the band even played a song from their brand new album which was to be released later in the year. Playing “Operation Z” was also a first for the band themselves, as it was the track's live premiere altogether. Unfortunately the band couldn't fulfill the calls for an encore due to time restraints.
02.15 (PAS) ORPHANED LAND
When ORPHANED LAND took the Party tent stage at 02:15 sharp, the Israelis were already facing a sizeable crowd considering the time of night. Visually, the band members appear in garments typical for different religions, so to underline their message of freedom among diverging faiths. And their enthusiastic appearance and emotional performance proved how firmly ORPHANED LAND believe in this message, which in turn garnered them the crowd's immediate support. During the following 45 minutes, the Israelis played a varied set with songs from all of their albums, prompting the audience to participate, who in turn followed the band's, and especially their charismatic frontman Kobi Farhi's, every command. Their 45 minutes went much too quick, and when ORPHANED LAND left the stage there was ecstatic applause and screams all around. However, they couldn't come back for an encore due to the time limits – but their second appearance at SUMMER BREEZE can easily be described as a complete success.
03.20 (PAS) LONG DISTANCE CALLING
The finale of this festival Friday was in charge of post rock shooting stars LONG DISTANCE CALLING from Münster, who had made a name for themselves as support for Katatonia earlier in the year. The tent wasn't exactly full any more – unsurprisingly considering the time – but when LONG DISTANCE CALLING started their set with “I Know You, Stanley Milgram!”, more and more people started coming in. Without a singer the band don't have it easy at live shows, but the Westphalians had no problem in captivating the audience through their atmospheric compositions alone, and the following 40 minutes weren't in the least boring. The set was comprised of early tracks such as “Metulsky Curse Revisited”, recent material and even two brand new tracks which enjoyed a great response. One would have wished them a better stage time and therefore a larger crowd, but LONG DISTANCE CALLING still did their best and sent off the crowd to sleep with a passionate performance.
11.00 (PS) BE‘LAKOR
Australia's BE'LAKOR had probably made the longest journey out of all of the bands at the festival this year. And if you're traveling halfway around the world to play on the SUMMER BREEZE Pain Stage, you might as well bring your family and friends along too. These were all gathered behind the stage enjoying the show, same as hundreds of early risers and fans who were looking foward to seeing BE'LAKOR. Despite the early hour, a few heads were already banging to the quartet's melodic death metal, which is the best way to shake off a hangover. Fact. The band made great use of their half hour stage time with songs from their current album “Stone's Reach”, and during the obligatory group photo from the drum riser there were even loud chants of the band name, which put a big smile on the band members' faces. The long journey definitely paid off for Aussies BE'LAKOR.
11.35 (MS) THE FORESHADOWING
Italian goth/doom metallers THE FORESHADOWING on the Main Stage were the second band of this last festival day. The crowd at this time wasn't very big yet, most people were just strolling towards the stage, and maybe the band's slow, depressive sound wasn't exactly the most fitting wake-up call into this hot summer day. However, the band members were in a good mood and gave it their best shot. Perhaps some of the atmosphere they could have created in a club was lost due to the daylight, but the songs still worked well. Especially the title track of their latest album, “Oionos”, turned out to be really catchy. Singer Marco Benevento's voice was in top form, his musicians really tight, and the crowd slowly realized it was worth to risk an ear, and so the concert area started filling up more and more. THE FORESHADOWING's half hour set was definitely entertaining.
12.10 (PS) UNDERTOW
On the Pain Stage, a band always welcome at SUMMER BREEZE followed: UNDERTOW. With their new album “Don't Pray To The Ashes”, which had been highly praised by press and fans alike, under their belts, and a back catalogue spanning many years and numerous outstanding songs, the three-piece was in for the win. In his typical likeable manner, singer Joschi led the way through their set, which started with an aggressive “Bitter Taste”, before “Crawler” further raised the energy level. “Threedouble Chime” and “Ashtray Memories” kept it up while the heat was really getting to the crowd. But just at the right time, during the slow, doomy “Smoke Garden”, a big cloud obscured the sun creating the perfect atmosphere. As a grand finale, Björn Goosses, current THE VERY END and former NIGHT IN GALES vocalist, came on stage to end an already strong show by the Southern Germans in style.
12.50 (MS) VAN CANTO
For many, a capella heavy metal band VAN CANTO was obviously the first highlight of the day, as the area facing the stage filled up for the first time today. And the sextet's style is not exactly everyone's cup of tea. No guitars, no distortion pedals, no giant amp stacks, just pure vocal power and a drummer who hits so hard it's almost frightening. And the vocalists sing all the parts that would normally be played on instruments. Add to this the distninctive voices of Philip Dennis “Sly” Schunke and his female counterpart Inga Scharf doing the lead vocals. Besides a few original compositions, they also delivered covers of metal classics such as Metallica's “Master Of Puppets” (in an abbreviated version) and Iron Maiden's “Fear Of The Dark”. The whole crowd was obviously singing along, while the band members were constantly in motion, probably covering a half marathon each, and were simply overwhelmed by the extremely positive response. VAN CANTO were the first big winners of the day.
13.35 (PS) PSYCHOPUNCH
There are some bands who have found their own style, bands who don't need to experiment any more. A few that come into mind are perhaps Bolt Thrower, Bad Religion and AC/DC, and also PSYCHOPUNCH. The Swedes are always great at SUMMER BREEZE and this year JM, Joey & Co. rocked the place once more. In between the metallic offerings on the big stages, their snotty rock'n'roll felt like a shot of liquor in between beers or a good belch during a meal. With catchy tunes such as “Misunderstood”, “Overrated” and the popular ABBA cover “SOS” the punk rockers had the audience on their side and convinced with tons of enthusiasm. The fact that Joey, a walking minibar and Keith Richards' lost siamese twin, is still able to deliver such cool solos borders on a medical miracle. But also the rest of the band was comfortable with the great crowd response, and they didn't spare the audience at all, as there was action at the Pain Stage from the first to the last minute.
14.25 (MS) FREI.WILD
Despite some heated discussions previous to the festival regarding the South Tyrol band's brand of Deutschrock, a huge crowd was something to be expected. At the best afternoon time FREI.WILD took the stage under loud applause, being the first in a series of bands whose lyrics were loudly sung along. The whole crowd area was constantly in action, and a few fans had to get back in line after surfing the crowd. Already a few songs into the set the atmosphere reached boiling point and didn't ever really cool down again. The wild ones provided a mix of party-tested anthems and fresh rock songs, which was literally absorbed by the crowd. At the end of the set, there was one united crowd calling for an encore while FREI.WILD left the stage. On this last festival day, FREI.WILD were like a much-needed dose of energy drink for the partly still aching crowd.
15.00 (PAS) FEJD
In the tent, Sweden's FEJD started with a mix of Swedish folk and rock that one would normally only expect at medieval markets. A few interested fans had already found their way into the tent at the start, and there were more and more to follow during the set. What was especially interesting was FEJD'S instrumentation, as besides bass, drums and keyboards they had a moraharpa, which is a mix metween a lute and a fiddle, as well as a bouzouki, which is actually a traditional Greek string instrument. Electric guitars were nowhere to be seen though. The songs were completely sung in Swedish, so not many understood the message on offer. The atmosphere in the tent was quite slow at first, but in the course of the show more and more fans let themselves go and soon there was a lot of clapping and dancing going on.
15.15 (PS) LEAVES EYES
As if programmed, the sun hid completely just in time for LEAVES' EYES' show, so that singer Liv Kristine didn't need to worry abut her pale skin as she walked on stage in a dress with a two meter long train to join her band mates, who had already started the set. For the brutal shouts, Liv has her husband Alex Krull by her side in this band, who we obviously all know from Atrocity, same as the guitarist. Long-haired Krull also pointed out the “home game” character of this show during one of his stage raps. Liv hit notes in a range rarely heard during these days, delivering a perfect performance and even thanking the crowd for holding out in such extreme temperatures. And the fire hose brought in by security to cool down the crowd gained the biggest applause – not to say that the band didn't get any, as much the opposite was the case. Alex Krull proved to be a smart entertainer as he called for a competition between the British crowd, where the band had played their last show, and the SUMMER BREEZE audience. The back of the stage was decorated with a huge banner and the missing backline was replaced by some sidedrops next to the drum riser. The last song was “Froyas Theme”, before the outro “Mot Fjorne Land” ended the show.
15.55 (PAS) HACRIDE
France's HACRIDE had the ungrateful task to bring their rather complex sound to the mostly unprepared SUMMER BREEZE crowd under the smoldering midday heat. They delivered modern metal with a very technical side to it and peppered it with dark atmospheric parts on top. The band switched between pumping grooves and deceptive quite parts, only to explode again the next second. The protagonists on bass and guitar kept windmilling, so there was at least a little air in the stuffy tent. Frontman Samuel did his best to build up an atmosphere, but only succeeded partially. Four days of festival were obvioulsy taking their toll on the crowd's bones and skulls. At least it wasn't the band's fault, although their sound wasn't exactly made for an afternoon exercise routine, but was rather lying heavy in the stomach.
16.05 (MS) EISBRECHER
Those who were inclined to hope for a bit of a chill due to the band's name EISBRECHER (= ICE BREAKER) were soon taught better, because the “Checker” Alexx Wesselsky and his band had nothing better to do than heating up the atmosphere even more. And the premise couldn't have been better: a perfect entertainer, mega-catchy songs and a crowd that let itself be entertained and proved to have humor too, as evidenced by a sign held up in the crowd that read “I want to have your car!” From the very first song “Eiszeit” the mob was raging, the girls were screaming, countless crowdsurfers were in action and the audience was clapping along up to the very back of the crowd. Besides the show, the crowd was especially elated when the bouncers repeatedly sprayed them with water. Due to the fact that EISBRECHER were playing a metal festival today, they played heavier songs such as “Angst” and “Phosphor” quite early on, going on to score with hits like “Leider”, “Schwarze Witwe” and “Heilig”. For the song “This Is Deutsch” Alexx put on a typical Bavarian hat and a goatee as well as a matching vest to play the new national anthem on a melodica: the nursery rhyme “Alle Meine Entchen”. During “Amok” four of the band members were drumming on tin barrels and before the last song Alexx scored by holding up a Bavarian flag. As usual, the hit “Miststück” of his old band Megaherz was played last, during which the frontman climbed down into the photo pit to hold the mic into the crowd. To sum it all up, EISBRECHER were spot on.
16.50 (PAS) CALLISTO
Just before five o'clock it was time for another exotic band on this year's SUMMER BREEZE bill. Finland's CALLISTO tried their best to summon up a bit of atmosphere in the tent at such an early hour and with so much (day)light – and they succeeded pretty quick! When the six band members took the stage, it didn't take them long to change from relative motionlessness at the beginning of the perfectly chosen opener “Insession” to collective headbanging by the end of said track. In between songs, singer Jani Ali-Hukkala was often stood in front of the drum riser with his back to the audience, headbanging until the beginning of his vocal parts. Only after thre songs he addressed the crowd with the words “thank you!”, so it's safe to assume he's not a man to mince words. And that's completely fine, as the show was carried exclusively by the musicians' interplay and the alternating between quite parts with clean vocals which suddenly exploded, climaxing in shouts and growls. After the song “Providence”, all but the drummer, one of the guitarists and the keyboardist left the stage, and the remaining musicians carried on improvising, providing another unusual moment in this great show. For all fans of the band (of which there's probably quite a few new ones now), we have some good news and some bad news for last: The bad news first: Unfortunately CALLISTO won't be playing any headliner shows in Germany in the foreseeable future. The good news: They will soon be taking four months to record their new album!
17.10 (PS) POISONBLACK
Finland's gothic metallers led by ex-Sentenced singer Ville Laihiala had a hard time keeping up the atmosphere when they went on afterwards. When POISONBLACK started, the area in front of the stage was all but full, probably also due to the extreme heat. And even though Finns aren't exactly fans of summer and sunshine, the band made the best out of it, which also had to do with the fact that the people at the stage were in a great mood and applauded vehemently. The band played nine songs, making it clear that gothic doesn't equal whining gloom. Their heavy guitars kicked some major ass, making up for the fact that the band is still missing one really big hit in their discography. And it's always a pleasure listening to Ville's characteristic voice. The crowd seemed to agree and welcomed songs like “Love Infernal”, “Left Behind”, “Buried Alive” and “Bear The Cross” with open arms.
17.45 (PAS) SOLSTAFIR
Iceland's SOLSTAFIR, who were on next in the Party Tent, were probably one of the more “far-out” bands on this year's SUMMER BREEZE with their interesting mixture of black metal and depressive psychedelic rock. For 16 years now the band have been treading their very own musical path and can count on a big loyal following. So it wasn't really surprising that the Party Tent had filled up nicely for this time of the day, when SOLSTAFIR started the show with the title track of their latest album “Köld” after a short intro. Said song and the following, 20-minute long “Ritual Of Fire” were sadly the only two songs they were allowed to play. 35 minutes is just not enough for such an exceptional band, but SOLSTAFIR still provided the audience with an insanely atmospheric, emotional, completely overwhelming listening experience that sent one shiver after another down your spine. The musicians hardly seemed to take notice of the crowd, completely immersed in their music. Despite that fact – or maybe due to it – they were able to totally captivate the fans. SOLSTAFIR are just an experience in their own right!
18.40 (PAS) REBELLION
Obviously there was also something for fans of Teutonic steel at this year's festival. REBELLION, who were celebrating their tenth anniversary, were about to make the Party Tent crowd raise their fists heroically and sing along for 40 minutes. Although the power metallers were only facing a half-full tent, the fans who had made their way there immediately got into the opener “War” and celebrated REBELLION to the max. The band themselves were oozing enthusiasm, which was transmitted to the audience more and more with each song, while frontman Michael Seifert further ignited the atmosphere, animating the crowd until every last one of them felt compelled to participate. The icing on the cake was Grave Digger's “Rebellion”, which had the whole crowd cheering and singing along.
19.00 (MS) SEPULTURA
An appearance by Brazil's SEPULTURA at SUMMER BREEZE was long overdue. The band undoubtedly enjoys the status of a living legend, which was further proved by the massive crowd at the stage. After the intro “A-Lex IV” the band led by giant Derrick Green launched into “A-Lex I”, followed by “Moloko Mesto”. The sheer class of drummer Jean Dolabella was immediately made clear, although he will probably have to wear the “new guy” tag for a long time as the replacement for Igor Cavalera. The intensity and precision with which he worked his kit made jaws drop all around. With “Arise” the band played their first classic song pretty early on, and the following “Refuse/Resist” was the first to gain excessive crowd reactions. During the further course of the show SEPULTURA kept intertwining newer songs in their set, but it was obviously dominated by hits such as “Territory”, “Troops Of Doom” and “Inner Self”. Only towards the end of the show there were songs from the “Roots” album. Green provided additional percussion for “Rattamahatta”, but the climax was clearly the über-song “Roots Bloody Roots”. Green said he was happy to finally play here and that he'd heard many times what a fantastic audience there was at SUMMER BREEZE. After this show, SEPULTURA can really congratulate themselves.
19.05 (PS) KORPIKLAANI
After Sepultura there was quite a contrast on the stage next door. Hard drinking and always true to their monicker KORPIKLAANI (Finnish for “clan of the forest”), the Finns appeared in their usual rustic stage clothes, but also with their usual party mood. Before the show the area facing the stage was already surprisingly full, and it was even going to get better during the set, as the crowd grew so much, even parts of the Main Stage area were covered. The atmosphere was relaxed and the first few rows were brawling, moshing and singing along. The band's folk metal received a great reception with a lot of alcohol, as it was meant to be. The band themselves obviously didn't want to be left behind and took a few drinks on stage. Similar to their show two years ago, the band ruled and showed who's king when it comes to folk metal. A great show by a band that confirmed their status once more, finishing with the highlights “Beer Beer” and “Let's Drink”.
19.20 (CS) THE VERY END
Although this year it wasn't properly represented on the big stages, now it was time for the finest German thrash on the Camel Stage – although with a modern touch. Visually, the band led by frontman Björn Goosses stood out in their black clothes in front of the white background, but also their sound stood out – in a positive way. The two guitarists delivered great riffs on an extremely high level, yet never forgetting to move, the bassist with the cool beard laid down a massive foundation, and the varied vocals provided the icing on the cake. Despite the heat, the five-piece had no reason to complain about a lack of attention from the audience, as the people were moshing along in front of the stage. No wonder the band signed a contract with SPV shortly before the festival; however, the fans will have to be patient, as the new album will only drop in early 2011.
19.40 (PAS) MANEGARM
When the first chords of “Mina Fäders Hall”, the opener of MANEGARM's current album “Nattväsen”, started ringing through the PA at 19:40 sharp, there was already a sizeable crowd in front of the stage in the Party Tent waiting for the Swedish viking metallers, who presented a varied retrospective on their discography. Besides the opener, more material from the new album was played as well. The spectators were well into it from the very beginning, singing along to classics like “Havets Vargar”, “Sigrblot” and “I Evig Tid”, but also giving a warm response to the new songs and turning the Party Tent into a sea of banging heads for the whole duration of MANEGARM's set. The Swedes were visibly having fun on stage, firing up the partying crowd and posing enthusiastically. MANEGARM were just great fun!
20.10 (MS) Surprise Act BÜLENT CEYLAN
Attentive festivalgoers already knew who was the surprise act on the Main Stage after buying a festival shirt, as his name was printed alongside all the other bands'. So it wasn't really susprising that, minutes before show start, hundreds of voices were shouting “Wir wollen den Türken sehen!” (“We want the Turk!”) and signs were held up in the crowd with inscriptions such as “Der Türke muss schwitzen” (“The Turk must sweat”). Shortly past 20:10 the likeable Mannheim native stormed to the front of the stage and became visibly moved by the number of people waiting for him and cheering. “Ihr seid doch krank im Kopp” (“You guys are sick in the head”) was his very apt comment. The only German comedian with a credible metal background then proceeded to play some of his most popular characters (among other, Turkish greengrocer Aslan and caretaker Mompfred, who had forgotten once again to take is anti-racism pills), improvised a bit here and there and was completely overwhelmed by the crowd's crazy response, which included several circle pits and calls for a wall of death. Towards the end of his short set he even went crowdsurfing, and the crowd almost didn't want to let go of him. By the way, the guy now has a new name, so from now on please refer to him as Dinkelsbühlent. And he is bound to come back, at least the audience certainly wouldn't mind! To think that before his appearance he had serious doubts if the show would work...
20.20 (CS) BRESCHDLENG
It wasn't the first time the Swabian originals appeared in Dinkelsbühl – they had successfully taken part in the newcomer competition before – so it didn't come as a surprise that there were more people at the Camel Stage to see BRESCHDLENG than any of the other acts playing there. For days the band and their label had prepared the band's appearance with several promotional gags and advertising (there were freebies such as balloons with the band logo and a competition to find the most awesome strawberry camel), and when the band finally hit the stage there were no holds barred. With passion and fun – the frontman had even written “Baggana” (the dialect expression for his home town Backnang) on his belly with a black marker – they really went for it. The band combines metal and hardcore in a unique way, putting lyrics in the Swabian dialect on top. There were songs about the strawberry from which the band took their name (“Breschdleng”), overweight men (“Schdeffala”) and mind-expanding meat (“Roschdbrada”), and the fans loved it. During the last part of the show the best strawberry camel collected its award – it was the smallest that won – before the band revisited the song “Schdeffala” and “Seiferts Fritz” closed the show. Fantastic show – there were bands that played the tent to a smaller audience.
20.30 (MS) SICK OF IT ALL
After Agnostic front on Thursday, on Saturday SICK OF IT ALL were the second New York hardcore legend to grace the SUMMER BREEZE stage, and many fans had come to celebrate their faves. Without hesitation, the boys launched into the killer “Death Or Jail”, which opens their latest album “Based On A True Story”. The band led by the Koller brothers swept the stage as if there was no tomorrow. Especially guitarist Pete Koller jumped and ran around on stage as if to save his life, and the band didn't give the crowd – or themselves – a time for rest. Several circle pits formed very soon, and later frontman Lou Koller directed the biggest wall of death of this year's festival. The choice of songs appealed to both younger and older fans. New smashers such as “A Month Of Sundays”, “The Divide” and “Take The Night Off” were mixed with hits such as “Step Down”, “Built To Last” (which they dedicated to their friends of Sepultura) and “Busted”, and really old classics like “Injustice System” and “My Life”. For “Busted” bassist Craig took care of some of the vocals using a megaphone. With such an extensive back catalog it was obviously impossible to please everybody, and especially “Just Look Around” was missed by many. Wearing a neat black shirt, Lou Koller proved to be a great frontman and all-around cool guy, and he soon had the crowd eating out of his hand. With this show SICK OF IT ALL have cemented their position as leaders of the hardcore scene and proved that they perfectly fit on a bill like this.
20.40 (PAS) WARBRINGER
On Saturday evening it was time to summon up the last energy reserves, and what would be more fitting for this than a dose of old school thrash? This was provided on the Party Tent stage courtesy of California's WARBRINGER. Led by singer John Kevill, who looked a little like a young Gerre (Tankard) and proved his old-school credentials by wearing a “Crystal Logic“ shirt, the youngsters battered their way through a set consisting mainly of high-speed thrash grenades. Each second you could tell they were highly motivated and hungry, and this obviously translated to the audience, who were headbanging and starting circle pits and a wall of death. Meanwhile on stage, the agile frontman went wild, jumping on the monitor wedges and firing up the audience. His hearty “Prost!” was obviously answered by hundreds of throats. Among all the fast songs, it was especially the mid-tempo “Prey For Death” that stood out, but it has to be said that they have already developed their own sound, despite the Bay Area thrash influences. Who needs Red Bull when there's WARBRINGER?
21.35 (PS) DARK FUNERAL
It was a historic time for fans of Swedish black metallers DARK FUNERAL at 21:35, because vocalist Emperor Magus Caligula, the only founding member left in the band besides guitarist Lord Ahriman, had announced previous to the festival that he was leaving the band due to personal reasons and that the band's SUMMER BREEZE show would be his last after 15 years in the band. This gave reason to expect a huge attendance at their show, but that wasn't the case. Their show only had a regular crowd response, and there seems to be no good reason for this, as DARK FUNERAL celebrated their last show in this line-up and delivered a sensational show. Not only the perfectly chosen setlist, which equalled a complete tour of their discography, didn't leave anything to be desired, also the stage show, complete with several pyro effects, was simply amazing. Musically DARK FUNERAL were also in top form and played incredibly tight, and you could really tell how much they wanted to play this show (as much as the corpsepaint allowed, of course). The audience at the stage let themselves go and honored the band's enthusiasm, but it was sad to see that towards the back the crowd was rather scattered and passive. Fortunately more fans were drawn towards the stage during the show, so at least for the second half of their set DARK FUNERAL played to an audience that was fit for a gig like this. Insane show and definitely one of the weekend's highlights!
21.45 (PAS) MAROON
Nordhausen's MAROON have already provided a few highlights in the SUMMER BREEZE history. So in 2010 they were out to defend their good name, starting off with a slight Slayer reminiscence into the aptly-titled “Stay Brutal”. The tent was absolutely packed, and the band had the audience in their grip in no time. Their uncompromising metalcore beat any traces of tiredness out of the crowd, and frontman Andre directed the audience in a professional and entertaining fashion. The end result was one climax after another. At times the whole tent was jumping up and down, then there was a massive wall of death, a circle pit around the FOH tower or people were just kicking the shit out of each other. Andre gave exact instructions on what to do: “Firstly, nod your heads, then break everything”. And he obviously had to go into the crowd as well. In terms of craziness he obviously didn't hold back either, and his trousers fell victim to his on-stage antics. “Schatten” ended another triumphant SUMMER BREEZE gig for MAROON.
22.40 (MS) CHILDREN OF BODOM
Mannheim's “Dinkelsbühlent” Ceylan had obviously left quite an impression, as there were thousands of people doing frenetic “Mompfred” chants during the changeover on the Main Stage. Yet the grand finale on this stage was delivered by the kids from Lake Bodom. And it was absolutely justified too, judging by the endless masses of people facing the stage. CHILDREN OF BODOM avoided all kinds of visual effects, which is a bit disappointing for a headliner, but their show was far from boring. Frontman and guitar wizard Alexi Laiho alone was worth watching, and it was quite impressive how he and especially keyboardist Janne Wirman played their parts with such ease and casualness. “Follow The Reaper” kicked of a best-of set which included songs from almost all their albums, except – as has become usual – the debut “Something Wild”. The atmosphere in the audience was fantastic from the very beginning, and one could hardly tell already the fourth festival day was coming to a close. The bouncers obviously had a lot of work as one crowdsurfer after another landed in the photo pit. “Every Time I Die” and “Living Dead Beat” received a fanatic response, and after the gloomy “Angels Don't Kill” the band started with their usual joking around as Janne Wirman started playing Lady Gaga's “Alejandro”. Alexi made a foul-mouthed comment about the pop queen, but let's not go there. It was also business as usual that both musicians had an argument in which Wirman stated he was just too drunk to play “Kissing The Shadows” – which was obviously not true. “Hate Me” – again with a great crowd reception – was the last song of the regular set, but the band obviously came back for encores. The quick “Silent Night, Bodom Night” was first, and the band spontaneously added “Needled 24/7” to the setlist as a thank you to the audience for their great support. A second round of nonsense, which included Van Halen's “Jump” and Michael Jackson's “Billy Jean”, gave way for “Downfall”, which closed a good gig, although the band seemed to be going through the motions a bit. At least Alexi used his favorite word “fuck” a little less than usual.
22.50 (PAS) ASPHYX
True veterans of European death metal, ASPHYX were on next in the tent. The band's early albums were a big influence on the genre, but unfortunately they split up and reunited a few too many times already. With their current line-up they released a great new album and 2010 was their first time at SUMMER BREEZE, so many die-hard fans had come to give them a warm welcome by windmilling to their riffs. The classic “Vermin“ started the set, followed by “The Rack“ and the new song “Scorbutics“. No matter if old or new, every track crushed like a steamroller. Frontman Martin van Drunen, who had already been on stage with Hail of Bullets a day earlier, gave an impressive performance which can be described as a celebration of all things death metal, and drummer Bob Bagchus was actually celebrating his birthday. So, in the middle of the set, van Drunen prompted the crowd to scream a “happy birthday!” for his band mate. With ASPHYX, the festival could tick off one more death metal legend.
00.00 (PS) MY DYING BRIDE
It has almost become a tradition that bands such as Katatonia or the huge MY DYING BRIDE close SUMMER BREEZE. In 2010 it was the Yorkshire doomsters' turn again, coinciding with the band celebrating their 20th anniversary. Right at the beginnig of the set, singer Aaron Stainthorpe delivered not-so-good news, as drummer Dan Mullins had broken his foot and couldn't make the anniversary show. As a stand-in, the band had recruited David Gray from Akercocke. However, in no way did this diminish MY DYING BRIDE's greatest performance in years, and the brilliant opener “Fall With Me” from their latest album “For Lies I Sire” was also the first highlight of the set. Almost no other band on the festival had managed so far to create such an oppressive, gloomy atmosphere which covered the audience like an apocalyptic Urkraft. In the front rows you could see fans staring at the stage as if in a trance, watching Aaron Stainthorpe suffer. Une of the night's greatest moments was journey to the darkest depths of the band's history. Following “Turn Loose The Swans”, the band played the first song they ever wrote, “Vast Choirs” from their debut album “As The Flower Withers”. The nightmarish “She Is The Dark” may have been a bit more recent, but not any less intense. This time travel was honored by the audience with loud applause and chanting. When during “My Body A Funeral” the clock came dangerously close to striking one, what many had feared became reality: “The Cry Of Mankind” – pretty much a mandatory part of the setlist – had to be left out of the set due to the time. So it was quite understandable that the audience was left a tad irritated and that the calls for an encore lasted for a while. On this warm Saturday evening MY DYIG BRIDE presented themselves in top form, closing a fantastic SUMMER BREEZE on the Pain Stage.
00.00 (PAS) EISREGEN
Life is full of surprises, as they say, and so it was a bit of a surprise that the tent was absolutely packed at midnight to witness EISREGEN. And the show by Thuringia's masters of the macabre became an absolute triumph. Already after song numbr one the crowd was loudly chanting the band name and proceeded to sing along to almost all of the ten songs on offer. The only complaint would be that, without a bass (there were only guitar, drums, keyboards and vocals), the sound was a bit thin, and the brutal sound level couldn't make up for it either. The audience was eating out of Michael “Blutkehle” Roth's hand nonetheless, clapping and slamming and singing along to “1000 Tote Nutten” while a Thuringian flag was permanently waved. The band's lyrics and quite simple form of dark metal may not be everyone's cup of tea, same as the rather tasteless banners with the caption “Jesus stinkt” (“Jesus stinks”) as well as a crucified woman, but altogether EISREGEN can consider this show a full success.
01.10 (PAS) THE CROWN
THE CROWN were probably the band who enjoyed the best sound in the tent. Their engineer provided them with a clear, yet brutal sound, which came surprisingly close to their records. The band – which used to feature One Man Army And The Undead Quartet singer Johan Lindstrand in their ranks – had a smooth start and can count on a perfect replacement since 2009 in Jonas Stålhammar. THE CROWN were in top form and really up for it. Ten all-destroying death metal smashers found their way onto the setlist, actually ignoring the first two albums completely, leaving out killer songs such as “Angels Die” and “Godless”. In turn, the band played the title track from their soon-to-be-released new album “Doomsday King”, which fit into the biger picture really well and got everyone's hopes up. These Swedes have been in this business so long they simply know how to write a catchy tune and how to perform it live. Those who weren't there sure missed something.
02.15 (PAS) 1349
The black metal fans in attendance had to wait long until their faves finally took the stage. But initially there were just techs on stage at the announced show time, getting everything ready for the band's performance. Eleven minutes late, two dark creatures came on stage to spit fire and then made way for 1349. By the time the all-star ensemble comprised of members of Satyricon, Gorgoroth, Pantheon I and Keep Of Kalessin, among others, finally launched into “Riders Of The Apocalypse” it was really late, but it didn't diminish the effect of their show. At the back of the stage there was a simple but huge banner with the band logo, large sidedrops with inverted crosses covered the speaker cabs and the musicians were wearing the corpsepaint typical for this style of music. The bassist even came on stage in a black robe and didn't take off the hood for the whole show. At the beginning the playing wasn't exactly tight, but from the second song “Nathicana” on the band members were in their element, which in turn was received rather coldly by the audience. Of course arms were raised here and there and there was also headbanging in the front rows, but it wasn't exactly a euphoric reaction – maybe the people were just tired of partying for days. Due to the delay at the beginning the band couldn't play “Chasing Dragons”, and so they finished their set with “Atomic Chapel”.
03.20 (PAS) COUNT RAVEN
In 2010, doom legends COUNT RAVEN had the honour to close the festival. A few hundred strong and tireless fans gathered in the tent shortly past three to party one last time with the Swedes. Their pretty quick brand of doom metal may not have been easy to digest, but Dan “Fodde” Fondelius' – who looked like one of the crazy pirates from Swashbuckle with his bandana – voice was in great form and the band were really enthusiastic despite the late hour. The trio produced an incredible groove with a lot of power thanks to drummer Patrick Lundin's merciless way to treat his kit. Besides a few classics, the band also played two tracks from their current album “Mammons War”, which fit the flow of the gig perfectly. COUNT RAVEN celebrated their doomworks with an impressive tightness, which made the show extremely captivating and almost magic. A more than worthy finale for the festival.