Former Misfits cover band Ghouls have changed to The Other and were to open the Saturday. Though the band played own material only it was quite obvious what musical heroes they used to obey for. Not only musically but also visually they dressed up with the same accessories and similar paintings like Jerry Only and his band. Just the drummer dressed up differently as a morbid mixture of butcher and doctor. The band played their anthem songs just like that and showed a convincing stage acting. Especially the last track “We Are The Other Ones” burnt itself into the listeners brain. Among the few early fans gathering in front of the stage you could see some Misfits and The Other shirts being worn by fans you could see they enjoyed the show. The most expected Misfits cover song was left out. But nevertheless The Other were an refreshing alternative to the rest of the billing.
The wake up kick in the butt was given by Perzonal War. The newcomer played a sovereign set just as if they would do that every day. A fact which was confirmed by more and more headbanging fans creeping out of their tents. The band’s modern metal with a handful of Metallica grooves like hell. The melodic singing has guts and fits perfectly to the sound. Fronter Metti’s announcement the next song would be a morning coffee without a cup is nothing to add to. Until lunch time the band made the tired faces smile and woke up an early moshing desire. Perzonal War were the right band at the right time.
While the band made it up on stage you couldn’t stop thinking of The Lord Of The Rings. At least they were all dressed in dresses you couldn’t buy just around the corner.
Despite that the male members had impressive beards. Well, the audiences gave the band a warm welcome. Among the extensive billing they had a unique position. Though they had metal passages every here and there most of the times were dominated by folk and quiet moments, strings and the opera like singing of Stine Mari Langstrand. Also unusual was the stage set up. Two risers with drum and keyboards were placed all the way in the back of the stage. Bassist Espen Hammer knew how to impress by playing his bass with up to 8 strings! Considering this being the 3rd day and rather early that day the band experienced really good reactions. Fair enough.
Quite some people lost control of their jaws and got stuck with their mouth wide open. Though it still was quite early that day one of the best French bands took the stage by storm and took no prisoners. “Lizard Skin” of their 200 debut “Terra Incognita” was a perfect start off for “Backbone” of current album “From Mars To Sirius” and many more which was to come. Their hammering sound somewhere between industrial and grind/death left most of the fans with their mouth open. Bassist Jean Michael was freaking out completely totally unimpressed by the complex song material and Mario Duplantier even topped 1349’s drummer.
This band’s name will be mentioned quite often when it comes to reviews and the festival surprises. And rumours say some big labels are in touch with the band already. 30 minutes which passed away too fast.
What a sexy hip swing has to look like was demonstrated by Austria’s Vision Of Atlantis. Their female fronter was not only an eye catcher but also an acoustical gift. Sharing the vocals with her male band mates made this appearance interesting and full of contrasts. Their wide variety was from straight power metal up to quiet ballads always added with a classical touch covered by a lingering keyboard. Comparisons to Within Temptation or Nightwish are just obvious. And the song for the “Lost” video seemed to be known by most of the fans who immediately started to sing along.
LEGION OF THE DAMNED, formerly known as OCCULT made friends of fast death metal shed a tear. The Dutch rocked the house with their brutal mixture of Bolt Thrower and Slayer. Most of the songs performed were up tempo but again and again they delivered hellish mosh parts with a reduced speed. The musicians faces were nearly invisible due to constant acting and head banging. But also the crowd could not stand still and so a sea of hair was raging in front of the stage. The Slayer influences could not be hidden and “Bleed For Me” was just to underline that. What a performance!
NECROPHAGIST supplied quite some stodgy stuff. Their kind of death metal was extreme in two ways, extremely brutal but also extremely technical. With an unbelievable speed fingers were racing up and down the guitars and sticks hit the skins. Who would’ve expected something like that? A lot of Morbid Angels influences were only topped by their technical ability. Even though the songs are quite complex a plot was easy to find all the time. In most of the solos even melodies were recognisable.
Considering this breathtaking performance it is no wonder this band is so huge in the states. Not too usual for a German band, is it? And also this gig made the crowd pay attention. A video documentary of this gig could easily be used as a lesson in metal. Even though the drummer ran out of breath towards the end of the set.
“Silent Night” is a rather unusual introduction to a metal show. But Sweden’s Carnal Forge simply have an own sense of humour. But Sweden seems to have a different kind of water anyway as on Thursday the country mates The Haunted kicked serious butt already. And this five piece around charismatic front man Jens C. Mortensen once again freaked out completely as after the quite intro they started from zero to one hundred within a second. The singer and his real long dreadlocks made a rather Jamaican impression than a Scandinavian. But that hit the weather. The high speed thrash was interrupted every now and then by groovy parts and mid tempo tunes. But the audiences’ response was rather calm for any reason. But hey, it was the third day already and it was hot as hell. And as a reward two new songs from the upcoming album found their way into the set. One of them, “Burning Eden” was announced to be the radio single and the band anthem “I Smell Like Death” was to end up a fulminant set.
This band was announced to play the BREEZE two years ago already but hasn’t shown up. So this year they came for a second chance. And they did not seem to be too keen on playing this show as guitarist Olaf Pazzer was desperately looking for some tool to open up a bottle of beer first thing on stage. Following this the band interrupted the set various times to share some Vodka with the audience. Maybe other bands would have played one more song instead. A main part of the show was a fog machine which massively covered the stage in fog. But Totenmond always was a band not easy to get. With a style somewhere between punk, thrash and grindcore they made announcements such as “You Bavarian wankers, we’re not here for fun” which doesn’t make it easier for the fans to enter their “world”. Songs such as „Macht kaputt, was Euch kaputt macht“ made the fans freak out and do a few mosh pits. Playing “Alles Ist Grau” it started to rain so most of the people werejust trying to find shelter from that rain. With “Die Macht Des Feuers” they ended up their set and left the stage saying “No Nazis and thanks you long haired wankers”. A strange appearance but the band is unique and has character.
THE OTHER have set up the punk rock flag in the morning. Psychopunch now came to end up what The Ocean have started. After a good mood introduction they immediately shot bullets such as „Poison Alley Groove“ to the audience. That did not make the clouds go away. But it made the people forget about them. As punk rock does not happen too often at the SUMMER BREEZE people seemd to have waited for this alternation and welcomed the Swedes with an open heart. Bassist Mumbles and of course front punk JM gave the real punk rock performance while guitarist Joey decided to stay in the back a bit. But announcements such as “You want more? … pay me” showed once again how his heart beats. A bottle of Jack Daniels on the drum riser proved as well and “Blackriver Song “ and “Back In The Days” ended up a gig with style and attitude.
Some of the fans might have wondered whether they had been beamed to another festival . On a Corvus Corax stage there is no guitars or drums. Where you expect the drums to be they had two impressing percussion sets from different rather wood orientated times. Instead of guitars bag pipes did the job, up to four (!) at a time. The band changed from pipes, string instruments, timbals and shawms just like that. As such instruments cannot be bought just around the corner so the band decided to manufacture them themselves. The music is added by rarely singing as the wind instruments reign. The whole set up such as instruments and, shoes and dresses are medieval and the audience was a bit irritated in the beginning. But shortly after they all clapped hands and started to dance and made the mosh pit a medieval market. The audiences’ reactions is a good prove the decision to let Corvus Corax play the BREEZE was a good one.
A different kind of black metal was delivered by Sweden’s THYRFING. And of course they appeared with corpse painting but not the usual way in black and white but it looked like they came right out of a coalmine. Neither they had any ironwork, spikes or leather but dressed up like everybody else with sneakers and so on instead. Somehow this made them likable. Apart from singer Thomas Väänänen who was covered by blood. Their kind of death metal is quite easy compared to the rest of this genre. Therefore most of the songs were groovy mid tempo. Contraire to the mean shouts of Thomas was the second throat which came quite clear. The audience seem to have loved it as quite some people gathered in front of the stage.
This band brought the time of pink pants, extreme posing and tight stretch jeans.
Whereas the singer impressed by his skin tight white jeans and a body of a tiny little girl, his guitarist decided to go all in pink and even his guitar was of that colour.
But they came to rock. Singer Jonne Aaron Liimatainen, bassist Anti and the guitarist on the left kept posing like hell and obviously attracted the quite many ladies who entered the front rows. But also musically they convinced the audience. They brought together the best of Guns’n’Roses and Him to make it a powerfull mixture. Right in the middle of the set umbrella power was requested as it started to rain cats and dogs. But the fans didn’t care and remained. But that couldn’t keep the band from rocking and so they even worked twice as hard.
Just like they did with Negative a big bunch of water resistant fans ignored the rain and gave the Bloodflowerz a warm welcome. The band was highly motivated as they have just released the new record “Dark Love Poems” which was highly critically acclaimed. Being released will also be Kirsten’s baby who did a great singing performance though she was pregnant. But she could rely on her band which carried her through the entire set the usual sovereign way. “Sajida’s Way” was the start off for a smartly mixed song variety from the new album as well as from previous albums with tracks such as the band anthem „Diabolic Angel“, „Ablaze“ and „Black Snake Sister“. The front rows knew the lyrics and appreciated the special portion of medieval times which was added to the gothic metal by using shawms in “Anthem For A Stranger”. Final highlight was current single “Damaged Promises” which left many happy faces, on stage and off stage.
After the bizarre “Bambi upon stage” incident the next show was introduced by the sirens of the fans. The moment the stage light was on the fans had to face the most impressing stage set up so far. And the huge backdrop was just a small part of it. But there were plenty of speakers all over the place guided by side drops. No wonder German metal legend entered the stage with a smile on his face. You could tell by a look he was more than just enjoying the scenario. The welcome was louder and wilder than anybody would’ve guessed. So it was quite clear, Gamma Ray were the secret headliner of the festival. A one hour march of triumph showed the entire band in a good mood. And after fading from “Rebellion In Dreamland” into the Helloween classic “I Want Out” the crowd was unstoppable. Countless arms were raised into the air when a fulminant “Send Me A Sign” ended up a perfect set. Breathtaking.
The co founder of viking metal entered the stage. After an atmospheric intro they immediately startet to fire their “Never Ending Hate” into the crowd. For most of the peoples the set was way too short. But it consisted of the band’s history highlights only, older songs as well as the new ones from after the reunion. Singer Johnny Hedlund kept cheering the audience which kept calling his “Warriors”. “Death Metal Victory” is not only the band’s hit but also what the entire set stood for. Freaked out headbangers everywhere. And the crowd was rewarded with a new track from the upcoming album. After the last song “Into Glory Ride” the band was forced back on stage by a fifing orchestra for one more song.
Many had been waiting for this ending. Mighty Fear Factory honoured the festival. They started off with Maiden’s “Number Of The Best”. The amount of speakers on stage wasn’t as high as at Gamma Ray’s stage set but still impressing. Full of self asteem they decided to go for “540.000 Degrees Fahrenheit” and “Transgression” of their current album to continue. “Shock” was the first song of the Dino Cazares era. But there was also space for the classics the hits of “Demanufacture” and “Soul A New Machine” were placed right in the middle of the set. With “Replica” they ended the normal set just to perform “Linchip” of the “Digimortal”-album for the first time on German stages. The sound was beyond any doubts nearly blew the speakers. The band was in a performing mood and especially fronter C. Bell had a perfect voice that night. Just to prove that he sang “Timelessness” just on his own guided by a few samples. A real headliner playing a perfect show. Awesome!
There couldn’t have been anyone better to end up this festival than My Dying Bride. The fans had been waiting for the brits to play the BREEZE for years and now finally the dream came true. Their melancholic death metal was somewhere between spheric passages and death metal parts. Their pontiff on the vocals Aaron Stainthorpe made the crowd pay full attention. Tall, thin dressed fully in black apart from his collar and cuffs being white. Together with his black hair and his beard he reminded the viewer on Rasputin. He was one with the music and swayed back and forth and even fell on the floor to creep around. The tiny keyboard playing lady most of the people probably did not notice. And Aaron could totally rely on his backing band. Apart from being too short this was a perfect show. And final track “Forever People” left the fans with a goose skin. Nothing to add. The perfect ending of a three days party at its best. See you next year!