I can imagine better things of being woken up by than APOSTASY. Imagine you’re having a good party on a very nice festival site, getting “home” early in the morning with a smile on your face, dreaming of a beer can which never runs dry and at 11.00h , in the middle of the night, so to speak a bunch of deathmetal freaks gone wild blow your sleepy mind. Though they might have tortured you by that it was worth while to get up for them. In Germany noone has ever seen them before live on stage. A so called live debut. Especially the bassist seemed to be highly motivated by this cirumstance. Though it was cold and windy he played barefoot with no shirt on. Respect! Current line up was completed just a few weeks ago but the band played really tight and made some early heads bang. Of course not too many of them appeared in front of the stage but in the end it was a well done premiere. Congratulations!
Organized stupidity has a name: EXCREMANTORY GRINDFUCKERS.
This band from Hannover/Germany keeps having a laugh on everybody and everything. Fun grind they call this genre which can sometimes be called JBO go grind core. Aggressive growls meet up with I-grab-your-balls sing along. Blastbeat to be followed by classical tango. Hasselhoff’s “Looking For Freedom” changed into “Looking For Grind Core”. Short cuts only. The FUCKERS were probably the only bands who made it up to 14 songs in 30 minutes. Though the drummer wasn’t really a dream come true but at least a bigger audience gathered than at APOSTASY’s show. And the security had to face the 1st crowd surfer of the day.
Nobody was practicing old chinese ways of torture. But it still was a challenge to face these extreme sounding Belgians this morning. EXCREMETORY GRINDFUCKERS’ guitarist was wearing a shirt saying: Music is being done by somebody else. That was probably about LENG TCH’E. Musically they took a walk through the valleys of grind core, stoner, hardcore and the gardens of death metal. Visually rather hardcore they delivered a perfect and massive whole which made this band one of the surprises of the day. German introductions made it even more interesting and so they could call this gig successful for both, fans and band.
Another ceptional band was ready to strike. The stage set up indicated something unusual was about to happen as two drum sets were arranged on the drum riser.
A normal drum set for the constant rhythm and an extraordinary kit for percussions were set up and percussions were not only done on the drums but also on a big piece of steel which got hit according to the rhythm. Taking a closer look made everybody realize it was just 6 people on stage as the band normally appears with three guitarists. Bit of a shame but one of the singers retired from music and so the Berlin based noise collective was forced to concentrate on the rather heavy stuff which was taken from current album “Aeolian” only. Various sound samples also from the David Fincher movie Fight Club were rounding up an interesting set.
These likable Norwegians were supposed to play in 2005 already but could not make it somehow. Good they got a second chance. As they were all dressed in black they nearly looked the same. Two of the seven members are in charge of singing. Ronny Thorsen takes care of the rough shouts while his baldy colleague Kjetil Nordhus supplies the melodic parts and trusts in the healing effect of spices. Therefore he had a few Jägermeister during the show. For healthy reasons, of course. On the other hand the keyboard player could not be seen during the set. He was hiding quite well, or not on stage at all. It looked like the drum parts were delivered by play back. At least the band had a diverse appearance, blast attacks hit quite parts with strings due to the two vocalists. Though the weather was rainy and cold the first rows in the crowd acted quite enthusiastic. The “Free Fall Into Fear” smasher “Cold Hand Of Retribution” marked a perfect ending of a convincing show which reminded of Nevermore every now and then.
Ten minutes to two FRAGMENTS OF UNBECOMING invited for an after lunch mosh. An invitation that many fans accepted.The quartett put the audience ablaze with their mixture of melodic Swedisch death metal and the most brutal Florida-metal there is. Frontman Sam Anetzberger looked like a krishna-devotee with his shaved head with a pigtail, but with his voice he was an archetype of a death metal fronter. Bad ass screaming as well as dark growls is excellently managed by the singer. The other band members played their instruments with technical perfection and offered the crowd what they wanted. In the first row you could see some guys who knew the lyrics like the back of their hands and sung along loudly with the band. Cool.
Those who say that this band is a pure medieval band are on the wrong track. Yes, they do belong in this kind of music scene but the level of entertainment is way better than with others. Nobody that witnessed POTENTIA ANIMI at the BREEZE will ever forget them! The gents of “the power of the soul” (that’s what the band name means) went on stage as religious men to praise the word of the Lord and shouted out a cheery “Halleluja” after every song. Three of them were dressed as monks, violine player “Brother Schnabausus Rex the leper” was dressed as the Pope. But they were all barefoot. Their drummer and singer “Brother Love” stood on stage with the rest of the band so that the drumriser in the back went unused. Moreso, he played his drum set, with all kind of unconventional knickknack tied to it, standing. Guitar player “Brother Grub-at-night” only played old time instruments and only the bass player “Brother Sleep” played his modern E-bass guitar. With their funny nature and a lot of jokes that you shouldn’t tell at your family reunion the audience stood behind the band all the way, one song was built up off the riffs from AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” and after they left the stage, the encore for more was so loud that they sung “Ewigkeit” as the last song.
Christian Älvestam is a charismatic frontman before the Lord. This man does not only roar so that a lion is green with envy, he also has the right touch for melodic passages with a slight pop appeal. After the horror intro the fans were hanging on his lips, and he honoured them with funny German announcements like “Vielen Fucking Danke” and generously didn’t mention some little problems with other melodic singing passages. With the assortments of songs they concentrated on their new album “Pitch Black Progress” and only two songs were played from their 2005-debut album “Symmetric in design”. The short haird musicians (except the drummer) made heads bang nonetheless and did their best with their 40 minutes of stage time.
REBELLION was founded by the former GRAVE DIGGER-members Uwe Lulis and Tomi Göttlich. The general direction is mostly the one of GRAVE DIGGER. US-power metal combined with typical German heavy metal of the old days. With it, REBELLION were the first band with this genre at the festival. For some reason, not many fans were in front of the stage. But the few that were there, were even more enthusiastic. They had the whole program, the so to speak “metal in its purest form” – all inclusive, with the posing. Bass player Göttlich was very touched by this, thanked the fans for the great show and told them that even after 20 years this was something very special for him.
ONE MAN ARMY & THE UNDEAD QUARTET were happy to have some more fans of them in front of the stage. The already second runner up of THE CROWN which grace the SUMMER BREEZE open air, play their songs with full throttle. The orientation of the band in stylistic means is more in the direction of the band before than ANGEL BLAKE the day before. The death metal sound is spiced with a spoon full of rock n’ roll. An eyesight was particularly shouter Johan Lindstrand, who had more hair on his cheeks than on his head. But the rest of the band was eager to play, and so the energy level was way up in the clouds. The band played songs of their album “21st Century Killing Machine” with a lot of enthusiasm. The fans, that surprisingly knew all the songs by heart, had as much fun as the band. The band played a lot of gags on themselves and joked around a lot and a little pat on the butt was given, too…At the end of the set the band recruited a lot of new fans for their ONE MAN ARMY.
Bands that do not really fit into the billing of the SUMMER BREEZE, still have a long tradition at this festival. Whether hard rock bands such as KROKUS, crossover like DIE HAPPY or soft modern rock like STONE THE CROW; first the audience was taken back, and was surprised later at how well the bands were having a great influence on the audience. Same happened this year with EXILIA. Like once her fellow countrymen Julius C. said “veni, vidi, vici” this band came, saw and won the crowd. But with their catchy new metal/crossover mix the band had an easy game to play and had a huge group of people on their side in no time. You can say about their music whatever you want, but the performance was perfect, the play of instruments as well as the vocals. The dwarf-like Masha (the effectboard of the keyboard was taller than she was) stormed around on stage, animated the audience and shouted her soul out of her body. Of course no hit was left out, whether “Stop Playing God” nor the tracks of their newest album, published in July, “Nobody Excluded”. Its track release “Kill Me”, the last song, was greeted enthusiastically by the audience. This song denounces the human rights abuse in general and especially the George W. Bush – Guantanamo-handling. This was also underlined by Masha’s and two roadies’ appearance- in a neon orange overall.
The Finnish guys from TURISAS are living up to their name, an ancient Finnish god of war and enter the stage in all their glory – face paint included. Packed in fur and splattered with blood red paint, the band looks like it just came back from a primeval battle. But this isn’t the only remarkable thing you should mention. Besides the typical instruments for a rock band, they also had a keyboard, a violin and an accordeon. In particular the last one is not seen often on a metal stage. But for the sound of this band it makes sense. After all, the sound of their black metal songs is connected deeply with Finnish folklore. But TURISAS do not have much in common with medieval metal, they are to fierce for that. The fans love it and they are celebrating them like real war heroes.
Self-assured, AMORPHIS starts their stage performance with a song from their new album. “Leaves Scar” is the ideal opener for the band, because it combines all the band’s amenity and even leaves some space for some death metal roots. These roots are not denied by the Finnish throughout the whole set and their third and forth song are “Against Widows” and “Into Hiding”. The new guy on the microphone, Tomi Joutsen, proves himself to be an extremely charismatic and also as variable frontman that on one hand can sing clean parts and on the other hand can grunt nasty all the way. With his long dreadlocks he can do the propeller-mosh, doesn’t feel too nice on your scalp but it looks cool. The set list varies between classics and new material and thus underlines the vast band with of AMORPHIS 2006. From spheric 70s rock, to almost radio compatible songs like “Divinity”, to smashing death metal songs as “On Rich and Poor”. To conclude this fantastic performance the band gave the older people in the audience what they wanted. Their hit “Black Winter Day” finishes an all around convincing performance and with the setting sun an outstanding atmosphere was achieved.
With HEAVEN SHALL BURN a leading German metalcore band went on pain stage. This band is running on adrenaline from beginning to end. Immediately the opener “The Weapon They Fear” makes an impact like a bomb on the crowd. More than one mosh pit are made promptly and do not seize until the end of the show. The fun that the guys have on stage sweeps over to the audience, as well as their everlasting energy. The demand of the congenial shouter Marcus Bischoff to make circle pits is being followed by the audience in the moment he told them to. Metal- and hardcore fans are celebrating the band, took in the energy of the band with open arms and gave back an even greater force of energy. And it didn’t matter if hits from “Anitgone” or classics from the album “The Seventh Cross”. They were completely beside themselves as the song “Counterweight” of their soon to be released cd “Deaf To Our Prayer” was introduced. Metalheads, that used to snigger at HEAVEN SHALL BURN are now running around with their jaws dropped open.
For 20 years now, MORBID ANGEL belongs to one of the most important death metal bands, therefore the post as the co-headliner is well deserved. The band went on stage in their old line up consisting of the bandleader and god of the guitar Trey Azagthoth, drum wonder Pete Sandoval, guitar player Eric Rutan and shouter/bass player David Vincent. Especially the reunification with David Vincent, who left the band in 1996, made some fans really happy. And because of this reunion the band’s set list was composed of the first four albums. But to be honest, to play songs from their newer albums would be a waste of time anyway. Those who asked themselves if the band still has the power and energy like some years ago, got an answer from the band: YES! Driven on by Sandoval’s almost unhuman drum work the band let some of MORBID ANGELS’ classic loose, such as “Rapture”, “Maze Of Torment” or “Fall From Grace”. The guitar played by Azagthoth was fascinating. The master played solos not only with his fingers but with his whole body. David Vincent, whose announcements were demonstratively easygoing, didn’t leave play to criticize his voice. Highlights of the show were without a doubt hits like “Where The Slime Live” and the oppressive “God Of Emptiness”. The audience was gladly being psyched by this. An all around great show from the secret headliner.
The female protagonist from Norway, musicians and guests from Switzerland, the USA and Austria; Liv realized that this performance is a mixture of nationalities as before: stress free and a peaceful international understanding. And with these songs sung by the norwegian elf it would be pretty hard to become aggressive, now less than ever with the given instruments and all in all the songs have quite a big pop-appeal. For the performance at the SUMMER BREEZE the singer thought of some nice surprises, even the cast consisting of two guitar players, bass player, drummer and especially the strings of four were an entirely great feast for the eye. Later on for “3 am”, she welcomed on stage Devin Graves aka. Buddy Lackey (frontman of DEAD SOUL TRIBE and ex-PSYCHOTIC WALTZ) as a guest singer, who also supported her with a German flute for “A Distance There Is”. Sadly, you could only hear his singing very faintly, as the mix of high and low wasn’t so great. Astonishingly was the cover version in the middle of the set of Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia”. While the three or four songs that were dominated by programming the drummer didn’t have much to do on his e-drumkit and was constrained to only his cymbal and hi-hat, but the crowd love it.
Hardly any other band splits the opinion of the audience and polarizes them as much as LACRIMOSA. Gothic bands were always a part of this festival, but a dark wave cult band like this was never a part of the line up, and especially never as the most prominent position. The band around the guiding light of gothic Thilo Wolff and his partner Anne Numi appeared with the complete rock cast and thus had a lot of songs from their album “Inferno” from 1995, which is quite prone to metal in their set list and played songs from all the others, too. The only stage design they had was their huge band emblem which covered the whole background of the stage and furthermore was completed with an impressive lightshow. The central figure was of course master Wolff, who sung in his characteristic way, commenting his song with delicate gestures and conducted the straight rocking band. Also, the Finnish passages sung by Anne were very cool and gave different facettes to the whole ordeal. After the regular set the band went on stage again for an encore with three more songs, “Der Morgen Danach”, “Road To Pain” and the final song “Copycat” which set the fans over the edge. This show didn’t convert the doubter, but the fans saw their idols in top form and top position.
DEATHSTARS lived up to their name. The pain stage’s headliner were greeted franatically by the crowd, who yearned for a heavier sound after LACRIMOSA. Visually, the band seemed like a sleaze rock-version of Marilyn Manson. Frontman Whiplasher goes on stage with a fancy pink and black feather boa and also the rest of the band joined the androgynous look. Their music reminds of DIMMU BORGIR meets SISTERS OF MERCY meets RAMMSTEIN. Very dark, very electronic, but catchy and danceable to. Just the right song to mobilize the audience for the last time tonight. But the band doesn’t have to exhaust themselves in reaching this, from the beginning to the end DEATHSTARS can take pride in being the band with the most intense crowd’s reaction of the day. Nonetheless, the band gave all they could and moved their bodies, indicated sexual intercourse and singer Whiplasher made sure to make the most-shocking moment by french kissing guitar player Nightmare Industries deeply. The morbid announcement hit the audience dead-on and as Whiplasher dove into the crowd at the end of the set, the girls acted like piranhas who were given some fresh meat. At the end of the show, the audience screamed for a vehement encore.