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Once again we make our way overland to Reiden and still with the same old car. The one that gets wet inside when it rains, that has the windows freeze from inside in winter and when you try to go uphill you feel like you have to push it from behind. But as long as it still goes and passes the annual inspection it will be my very first car. And you wouldn´t believe it but this time we found our way without going in circles even though my navigator still can´t read a map. The weather doesn´t seem to be on our side either, it´s unstable – first rain then sun but we are optimistic – maybe it will stop soon and stay dry.
On our march from the hotel to the festival site it´s then again so hot that we despite a light breeze start to sweat. Also this year I had the honour to organize the signing sessions and therefore I was very happy that a helping hand from Germany shared photo and writing duties with me. After we said hello to everyone we started to prepare our stand which was in front of a row of smaller marquees. We weren´t quite finished yet when dark clouds gathered and it started to rain again and if that wasn´t already enough Odin thought he has to send a bloody gust of wind and thus level the whole row of stands including the barriers – what a mess! It all went so quickly that we didn´t even have the time to duck our heads, let alone keep hold of the marquee. All marquees were destroyed and we had to take our stuff to the coffee booth which was a bit more solid and withstood even heavier wind. And now finally the party is on…(SM)
Appearance of Nothing (CH) Progressive Metal is just exactly the right thing to start with now. Let´s see if those four chaps from Basle are able to calm down Odin. With their cool guitars and equally cool keyboard sounds, a smooth bassist and a hard-hitting drummer their music simply rocks. And when Pat with his rough, hard voice and Omar with his a bit higher, cleaner vocals start singing it´s just awesome because their voices simply fit together frigging well. It´s just so much fun from the first second on. The metalheads, and many of them have come despite the lousy weather, think the same and show it enthusiastically.
The Order (CH) Well, I have seen this band so many times already and reviewed them a couple of times as well – it´s getting more and more difficult to not use the same words over and over again, words like awesome, fucking great, unbelievable, hardrock at its best ect ect. And in all those years they didn´t disappoint me once live. When singer Gianni only once would sing out-of key then maybe I could use a new word but no this band is simply brilliant, well played sound and a singer who not only convinces with his voice but also with his charisma – with which he twists the whole crowd around his little finger. And, no matter where you meet him he always has something nice to say, not like so many others. Of course, the guys also play some songs from their latest album “Rockwolf” which was released on September 25th and when all tunes are that great then it has to be a frigging good record. Wherever the wolf (Gianni) appears there´s rock! (SM)
LIVE WIRE (CH) Due to paternal duties the festival Friday only starts with the AC/DC cover band Live Wire who have a real powerhouse. Apart from that the Swiss did pretty well with their song selection. The few but all the more enthusiastic fans in front of the stage got an absolutely great show. Singer Däny impressed with his powerful hardrock voice and enjoyed to animate the crowd whereas his colleagues rather stared a bit chilly into the audience. Great performance which would´ve deserved some more people. (MS)
After a short night and reinvigorated we tackle the last day of the festival. I´m, of course, most excited to see the knights in tights, somehow this reminds of Monty Python but anyway, let´s see what happens. Today the party already starts at noon but not many have found their way to the festival area yet. Probably they are still asleep in their tents or relax somewhere. (SM)
Maxxwell (CH) Lucerne doesn´t only have the Chapel Bridge, the beautiful Lake Lucerne and mountains like the Mount Pilatus to offer but also the hardrock metalers of Maxxwell. At 1:15 pm they get down to business with songs from their new album “Dogz on Dope” and they really kick ass. Heavy, fast tunes with cool guitar riffs and a singer whose voice is really impressive, power power and more power that´s how we love it. And even though there are not so many people in front of the stage the fans are into it from first to last. (SM)
Pertness (CH) The next band hails from the adorable Kandertal with its mighty snow-capped mountains. And what they offer us is melodic heavy metal with folk metal influences. The speedy melodies with their catchy choruses, brilliantly presented, are just perfect for singing and dancing along or simply going wild. (SM)
Hatred (DE) A lot heavier are the guys from Schweinfurt. With their awesome old school thrash metal which also has some power metal influences they make every headbanger´s heart beat a bit faster. Also the vocals are great, harsh with piercing screaming and growling presented with evil faces. A superb show that made almost everyone circle their hair so hard that you think it won´t take long until their heads will fly off. (SM)
Hellish War (BRA) These guys arrived from a country that is known for its carnival and hot samba sounds - not from Rio though but from Sao Paulo. And with them they brought classic heavy/true metal. With well-played melodies that impress with fast guitar sounds and a skilled vocalist they won over the crowd in an instant. (SM)
Custard (DE) Custard had already wowed me with their gigs before so I had to see this one as well. Fronter Oliver Strasser is like a kitty on ecstasy – he jumps, runs, kicks and kneels on stage as if the devil himself would be after him. Custard are thanks to their performance a real eyecatcher. It´s simply fun to watch those guys and also the band itself had fun with their crowd today. (MS)
Grail Knights (DE) Next up are the Grail Knights. Mmmmhh…no, I don´t know them but let´s see I don´t want to die in ignorance. No sooner said than done…Not that bad, really…actually they are really good. Melodic Death Metal. Very interesting! Those four guys are able to convince me pretty quickly not to turn around and head for the beer stand. The four knights have released three albums already and win over the crowd easily with their solid gig. After their show I got talked into buying their latest output “Alliance”. So a thank you to the young guy at the merch stand for his insistence. An awesome record. (MS)
Vendetta (DE) As usual the Germans from Vendetta deliver superior straight-to-the-face true metal. Singer Mario Vogel controls proceedings in his usual foot-on-monitor position and the rest of the guys are responsible for sufficient action. Vendetta have become an institution at Austrian festivals of this size but even though they are still a little bit in the shadows, when they play everyone´s enjoying it. Especially drummer Thomas Krämer puts a smile on everyone´s face with his friendly way and his funny hopping when playing the blasts.
The final break before the last gig and we can finally start to relax a bit now. The time is now almost half past 10 and slowly I can feel clearly that I haven´t eaten much during the day apart from some liquid food. I still manage to watch the first songs of the German band Wizard but after a short while I feel like I´ve seen enough of those five guys. This feeling is also supported by my tiredness and the anticipation of my bed in the hotel. Too bad but there´s no space for true metal in my head anymore. (MS)
More photos in the gallery, click the link in the header!
Markus Seibel, Sandy Mahrer, transl. Kathleen Gransalke