The Swabish-Hallian REAL DEAD LOVE opened the 2nd festival day on real early time (11a.m.). If somebody remembers Die Allergie you could recognize the man with the cowboy hat he plays the guitar in the band, too. Most of you were musically remembered to bands like HIM or The 69 Eyes (for those who listen to that kind of music longer than others all that stuff sounds like Fields of The Nephilim) of course Gothic Metal. On the one hand it was early and on the other hand it was quite light and not much people found to the stage but the band played a good gig.
More people came out of their sleeping bags to see REDRUM INC. on the smaller stage. Activeman and singer ‘Mighty’ Domen gave his best and underlined the development which was to be seen (listened) on the current album “Cure the Pain” too. They got support by the Undertow singer Joschi within their second song. The band get their valuable applause for their New Orleans Hardcore.
12o’clock, the sun stood high in the sky… that were all parallels to one of the most famous western films, the streets were not deserted bare and there was no ghostly silence. MIRROR OF DECEPTION one of the less bands who are playing Doom Metal took their 25 min to show an intense performance. Particularly the bar feeted vocalist Markus Baumhauer could convince.
The next band was DARK AT DAWN. Like the band before who were on the mainstage Dark At Dawn had sound problems the bassguitar was louder than the guitar and the singer was really quite. Nevertheless they are a real young band the publishing of their first album is 2 years ago within this two years they made a name of themselves in the German Power Metal league. The fans gave them their earned respect and applause. Hopefully the next album is as successful as the albums before because of the changing in guitar players. They finished with the compulsory cover version of Chris de Burghs “Don’t Pay the ferryman”.
Like Monty Python said: Finland, Finland, Finland the country where I want to be….. and they arrived in German forests: CHARON, convincing from the first noise. The charismatic and funny vocalist knew how to handle his (female) fans. He thanked well behaved for the underwear which flew to the stage and he said Good night with a mischievous smile with leaving the stage on 1p.m. The Finns only played songs from their current album within the 25 min, romantic Gothic songs.
SUBSTYLE followed the Finn. The band was one of less bands within the line-up who are given completely to more modern Metal sounds. It would be exaggerate to say they are playing New Metal but they are definitely fans of recent Metal-history. They had a surprising success with their last album “On the rocks” but really astonishing that they did not play one of the songs of that album. They only played unpublished material. It was not easy for the audience to follow but nevertheless a great appearance.
According to the announcements the fans were not confused about the appearance of BELPHEGOR at that time. Due to the festival plan the German THORN.ELEVEN should rock the Pain Stage but therefor really rough music from Austria was to be listened (just think about titles like Vomit upon the cross). They were really happy about getting the chance to play the gig on the following day. Belphegor gave the audience what they wanted uncompromising rough Death/Black Metal with hateful vocals.
One of the biggest surprises and winner of the festival too was the next band. Some French flags could be seen within the audience which caused that the sympathetic NO RETURN had some feeling of being home. They are one of the most famous Metal bands in France. One and another Death/Thrash songs with heavy blast parts rocketed into the crowd. The audience liked it obviously which was to be seen with the big moshpit and the very long calls for encore. The end of a perfect gig was of course the Death Coverversion “Secret Face” where the last one was convinced of their technical skills (especially those of the female bass player).
It was not easy after that great gig for the following band, LEFT HAND SOLUTION. Maybe their Gothic Metal with female vocals was the problem maybe it was the missing stageacting that the audience did not move that much. The female vocalist Mariana Holmberg was singing very good, looked very good unfortunately did not animate the audience but some announcements would not have been too bad.
The following Dutch AFTER FOREVER had the audience behind themselves from the first moment in contrast to Left Hand Solution. The band was on European Tour together with Nightwish and Charon at that time and maybe that was the reason of the big interest. The band enjoyed playing obviously. It will be a mystery how to do such a stageacting with such high heels. Female vocalist Floor Jansen liked it a lot and sang with a great voice. Really a surprise at the festival, besides No Return.
The following band THE MORE I SEE from Great Britain was fully unknown to the audience. Singer and guitarist Gizz Butt is playing the live guitar with Prodigy what could be read in the program but the music which they played here had nothing in common with Prodigy. The four musicians made a modern mixture out of Metalcore and Alternative. The capital of the band is the versatility of their singer who both cried and sang. The band will surely be famous sometimes with their great melodies and riffs.
The flag of Black Metal was held up high with the next musicians of MYSTIC CIRCLE. They said goodbye to the bombast of their early days with their last album “Damien” and concentrated on the straight Black Metal tracks of that album. Like on the Marduk-Tour they played a great gig but they should not cover Slayer songs (Reign in blood).
Movement is probably the most important thing for the following band, SOILWORK. The musicians played every metre of the stage (which was not that small) and the vocalist was maybe the fastest (with his stylish Ferrari shirt) and rocked like a hurricane. The songs were great the sound was good expect the keyboard. They showed their high quality with their last album and could convinced with their appearance. It won’t be easy for In Flames to have a chance against the energy of Soilwork on their common tour.
They are an essential part of the German Metal scene for years now DISBELIEF but they don’t get to the top and I can’t make a head of it also after that gig. Some people were a bit confused about the Beats Intro but the numerous fans present, knew what happened. The band started and play one hit and another (just to name one of them, the hymn God?Master!) Headbanging at it s best. The vocalist Jagger was again the optic and acoustic main point. The close observer could see the vocalist of Dimmu Borgir at the edge of the stage.
EMIL BULLS are the only German New Metal band who could to be take serious. Most of the visitors are not interested in New Metal. For those who are open-minded and without prejudices it was a great gig. After the sarcastic Manowar Intro, they rocked the stage. An energetic and enjoyable show which was finished with Megadeths Symphony of Destruction. Within the show they played a new song from the upcoming album which will probably published this year.
Sparing worthy time the next band did not play their Intro. It was not to be seen that female singer Kirsten of the BLOODFLOWERZ spend their time at the Red Cross tent because of circulatory trouble before the show. The band obviously worked on their songs and on their stageshow. In contrast to last years appearance Bloodflowerz were more engaged and more experienced. They were joyfully received by the audience and they celebrated the band i order. Unfortunately they finished after 6 great Gothic Metal songs.
Similar to the Painstage it went on at the Mainstage. THE GATHERING went on stage. You had to watch twice to realize that Anneke van Gierbergen stood on the stage. A platinum blonde woman with light blue glistening skirt. They were the first band who get the mainact playtime one hour. The band presented a balanced mix out of their current songs and classics which should not be missed within a Gathering set. In the beginning the vocalists voice was a bit quite but that changed some time ago. The band produced their own psychedelic and melancholy atmosphere on stage. It is a mystery why guitar player Rene was wearing a headpiece.
In contrast to the former band the polish Death Metal thunder VADER broke over the audience. They did not have the luck Belphegor had last year. Last year Vader stood on the highway and had no chance to play on another day but they were this year and they gave their best. The fans and the press like the current album Revelations so they played some of the new songs. The audience twisted off and cried the name of the band to the sky. The band played longer than the stagecrew said and the audience enjoyed it.
They were awaited with eager expectations, NIGHTWISH the band who had an overwhelming success with their current album. They climbed to the Top Ten charts in many countries and all the people expected much. Nobody was disappointed by the band, just to say that in advance. On the assumption you like Metal with classical, opera like voices… The stageacting of female vocalist Tarja Turunen had improved obviously it was not only the voice which convinced it was her appearance. The Finn started into their 75 min show after a bombastic Intro. In the beginning they tried to fight against some sound problems guitar and keyboard were very quiet. Their soundman recognized the problems and could change it within the 2nd song Bless the child and from now on the fans could enjoy a great show. They finished with the cover song Over the Hills and Far Away and come back with 2 encores (amongst others the final Wishmaster).
AXXIS would not have the easiest appearance Vader and Nightwish played before and Dimmu Borgir and Pain after them. Their traditional Poser Metal was enjoyed by the audience a lot the reason could be that they were sympathetic and enjoyed playing maybe it was the alcoholic strength. The band was celebrated in every case.
Like many other bands before DIMMU BORGIR had massive sound problems at the main stage after their 5min Intro. Most convincing were their older songs from the Enthrone Darkness Triumphant album. The light show was nearly the best of the festival very atmospheric. The only disadvantage was that theband was not to be seen because of their lightshow. Really a great show the fans were enthusiastic and in the end they had some great pyros.
Friday was finished by PAIN, Peter Tägtren of Hypocrisy presented his Pop Side Project in a very convincing way. It was a great finish with this easy melodies. The musicians were not caused by sound problems. The set list was set together out of all published albums a mixture out of more quit and more heavy songs the highlight was the Beatles Cover song Eleanor Rigby. Nonetheless it was quite late the audience was enthusiastic hey banged sung chorus’. The band enjoyed their gig and the appearance can be called a great finish.