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
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.