Katrin Dietl, Maike Eisenmenger, Timo Pässler, Samira Alinto
Sold out was this years Wacken even months before. Although with the exception of Iron Maiden no real sensation was offered, about 75.000 people came to this small village. The forum band that we enjoyed so much last year had already played on Wednesday, so we missed them unfortunately. In good old tradition we checked out a lot of bands with our colleagues from Metal.de.
Thursday, July 31st, 2008
Lauren Harris (Black Stage)
I was curious how Maiden-boss Steve Harris` daughter would draw audience. Her CD „Calm Before The Storm“ that came out in June offered some nice but superficial Rock, so how the Wacken Metalheads will react?
In extremely tight leather Jeans the lady stormed on stage and proved in the following 45 min, that she is eye candy but still has to learn a lot about live performances. Yet the crowd was neither impressed nor pissed off. Most people did what I did, enjoyed a beer in bright sunlight and watched a pretty lady on stage. (Nightstalker – Metal.de)
Airbourne (Black Stage)
Thursday evening Airbourne took to the stage and dashed their 80’s style as well as some remarkable sound towards the numerous audience. Not long ago the foursome from Australia had their breakthrough with “Runnin Wild” which catapulted them to the top of the rock squad. They rocked the house anyhow. All members did their best in animating the audience to take part. They joked around but never let the music slip away. High-class performance, guys! (ms)
Sturm & Drang (Party Stage)
The boys from Finland already attracted some attention with their debut „Learning To Rock” and even satisfied a greater number of listeners last year. Watching the young rock stars you had to smile from time to time about the well trained cool moves and the copied rock attitude, very cute! You couldn`t help but hear that singer André Linman gained some deepness to his voice compared to his voice on CD, but sometimes he had a few problems with this new instrument. Be it as it may, the concert was very entertaining, even if not everything worked a hundred percent here and there. Sturm und Drang attracted besides their young fans also a lot of festival vagabonds, mostly with their cover versions of Judas Priests` „Breaking The Law“ and Iron Maidens` „Fear of the Dark“. Their own songs like first single „Rising Son“, whose video was played in loop on our local music television, immediately captured their fans and they sang along at the top of their voice. The songs „Learning To Rock“ and „Forever“ followed plus an obligatory drum- and guitar- solo, simply a well done rock show. Still, the concert felt more like a supporting act. Unfortunately the contact to the audience got a bit lost towards the end of the show, cause the boys had their problems to fill their playtime. Nevertheless Sturm und Drang were convincing and they definitely gave us a nice memory of Wacken 08! If you choose Judas Priest and Iron Maiden to be your mentor the only way to go is upstairs! (kd)
Concept Insomnia (W.E.T Stage)
had gathered a pretty big crowd in front of the W.E.T.-Stage. The band from Frankfurt has a magic stage presence, singer Luke, the guitarists Dave & Jens and Bassist Phil posed as if they had been in big business for years, or if they were born with that. They remained as close as possible to the audiende - it seemed that Luke would like to continue the show from within the audience. His variable voice was a nice contrast to the usual one-dimensional vocals, offering appealing clean vocals as well as high pitched oldschool „True-Metal“ style or impressive Growls. But also Concept Insomnia´s music convinced, especially "Rotten Crown", "Last Breath On Earth" and "No Words". They have very melodic songs with heavy guitar riffing and grooving rhythms, nice for headbanging - a short but convincing show that surely increased their fan base. (Maike Eisenmenger – Metal.de)
Negura Bunget (W.E.T Stage)
This Black Metal act from Romania were my first band at Wacken 2008, and on the thursday around 19:05 h the Sauna tent is surprisingly crowded. And some call it "W.E.T. Stage", - the sun had heated up the temperatures inside, therefore there was a lot of undefinable moisture - sweat, alcohol etc - dripping from the tent-roof. Brr. Let´s change the topic...
Very calm and dressed in simple traditional clothes, the Romanians enter the stage. Their inspiration are those dark sinister woods of Transsylvania, this is why they use also conga, Xylophone, flutes and the like besides conventional instruments. Only 40 min of genre-crossover with their Folk music and language and some Ambient-Sounds, and then - literally - they got plugged out! Well, I better don´t comment on that... Nevertheless, Negura Bunget inspired the audience with their fascinating deep and sinister sounds and hypnotic music and made their point, to be one of the most sophisticated Black Metal bands world wide. I found them just great and they gave their best, despite the partly blurred sound and the moist conditions. But the question remains if this festival is the right place for this kind of music. (Maike P. – Metal.de)
Leaves Eyes (Party Stage)
From the True Stage I strolled to the Party-Stage to see Leaves Eyes. At the beginning I thought that the band had some decent material to offer but then I had to realize that Leaves Eyes just have too much boring stuff. Some parts were simply too monotonous. But it seemed to me, that the audience enjoyed it. (ms)
In front of the Black Stage, which was decorated with a gigantic „World Slavery Tour“-backdrop, ten thousand Metal heads have gathered. It seems that all people at W:O:A are there. The light goes out and the first „Aces High“ riffs can be heard. Collective freakout. Bruce Dickinson, again in extremely tasteless clothes, rushes across the stage and sings like a young god. From the first moment on the audience is wax in his hands. If there had been any doubts, the following „2 Minutes To Midnight“ and the great „Revelations“ blow them away. This must be Metal heaven! Even professionals like Maiden are impressed by those enthusiastic audience reactions and give even more with classics like „The Trooper“ and „Wasted Years“, a track they have not played live for a long time. Dickinson is in top form voice-vice, the 3 guitarists as well, assisted by Steve Harris and Nicko as rhythm boosters..
Somehow it is like always, only so much better! When Bruce introduces the next song with „this is what not to do, if a bird shits on you“, it´s time for full-body goosebumps, and the following 15 min of „The Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner“ offer more than other bands have on their entire album. More from Metal wonderland: „Powerslave“, „Run To The Hills“ and the not quite theme-wise fitting „Fear Of The Dark“, sung along by thousangs of fans, and „Moonchild“. In my opinion the nauseating „Can I Play With Madness“ could have been replaced by another „Somewhere In Time“-song, e.g. „Stranger In A Strange Land“ or „Alexander The Great“, but naturally the band cannot please everybody. During „Iron Maiden“ a huge „Somewhere In Time“-Eddie stumbles on stage: „Iron Maidens gonna get you wherever you are“, this is absolutely correct! Full-body-goosebumps come up again with „Hallowed Be Thy Name“. What a great song! What a great show! I cannot remember a better Maiden show in recent years. A killer! Who had not been there had indeed missed something. Only two open questions: Why don´t they write such great songs any more? And why don´t they play „Somewhere In Time“ on the „Somewhere Back In Time“-Tour ??? (Nightstalker – Metal.de)
Because of a poorly briefed Security we could not enter the festival area on Friday morning. That guy also did not care that on Party Stage Primordial have been playing already. Only after the crowd kept yelling "we are the people" he let us out from the backstage area to the stage. When we arrived Alan and his guys gave full speed with „Gods To The Godless“. The fronter with white make up - like always - celebrated the gig passionately. Otherwise a rather calm person, this Irishman got very agitated. Despite the early hour of 11 h many people wanted to see the band and saw a good show, although those guys look a bit better in the dark than in the morning sun. (Nightstalker – Metal.de)
American Death-Metal from Arizona – is this for Cowboys? At least the guys didn`t enter the stage with cowboy hats and lasso but they unbelievable but true brought along some rain from Arizona instead! But a real metalhead won`t be irritated by this, far from that the crowd called for a „wall of death“! No wonder, that the audience gathered momentum very fast with these incredible drums! Jon “The Charn” Rice threshed his instrument to our great pleasure! Overall we were blessed with a perfect sound, which unfortunately has been quite rare at this years` Wacken. You can’t argue with that! After singer Jonny 'The Navy' Davy postponed the demanded „wall of death“, an extensive pogo- pit developed in the crowd. I couldn`t stand still then either! (kd)
Unearth (True Metal Stage)
picked a very bad moment for their show. Only five minutes before it started to rain, heavily. Yet the many fans that had showed up did not care and formed a huge Circle-Pit right in front of the stage. Driven by the likable front-animal Trevor it became more and more a mud-war. And when „Zombie Autopilot“ started, there was no longer any limit. Great show of a great band. (Nightstalker – Metal.de)
Ensiferum (Black Stage)
The Finnish “sword- bearers” found themselves many combatants with us, for many a hobby-Viking they were one of this years` highlights. The mostly quite young audience togged themselves very beautifully, at least the Ensiferum-war paint couldn’t be missed! You could think the heavy rain shower might have forced one or the other fan back into his tent, but far from that, the rain and the mud, respectively, were integrated into the party, so that the war paint became a whole body camouflage for some people! The anticipation for this concert was great, that was probably the reason why the fans overheard the bad sound coming out of the speakers, which for sure wasn’t caused by the band but was very annoying anyway. The audience celebrated the band anyhow with great satisfaction and sang along with the partly in Finnish and partly in English sung Viking anthems. The Ensiferum-army seemed especially devoutly united during the in Finnish sung „Ahti“, which is about the Finnish see god Ahti. Probably he is the one you have to thank for good Viking work, so thanks Ahti for this concert! (kd)
Kamelot (True Metal Stage)
I have seen Kamelot many times live and like all the times before the bunch around front man Khan was simply awesome. Their downright friendly way captures everybody. A wonderful sound spread everywhere and the people in the first row as well as those in the back seemed to really enjoy it. Hair was flying, vocal chords vibrated. Further they rocked their set flawlessly. Thumbs up! This was then a good advertisement for the upcoming tour with Edguy. (ms)
Soilwork (Black Stage)
Soilwork have turned themselves with their last release into one of the major Melodic Death Metal forces. Therefore the guys around Björn ``Speed`` Strid appear on stage with pretty big balls and rock the Black Stage. The setlist contains a good mix of old and new material. A real great show indeed! (tp)
Sabaton (Party Stage)
Sabaton were one of the acts I had to see live. Bloody hell…they have some power!. It really touched me intensely. Like some people in the audience said, these guys from Sweden kick some serious ass. In a wonderful power metal way they gave 45 minutes of cool music to the people. Fans of the genre should remember this band. The two guitar players Montelius and Rikard Sunden showed some spectacular solos, which were really remarkable. Last but not least a well-mixed setlist was one of the secrets of success. (ms)
Sonata Arctica (True Metal Stage)
begin with `Black and White` and `Paid in Full` and seem to intend a new world record in pyrotechnics. Every second some rockets go off into the evening sky of Wacken. Yet despite all the fuzz the show does not spark me. What a pity, because it was certainly not the band´s fault. (tp)
Massacre (Party Stage)
Another legend was present at this year´s Wacken, Massacre, THE cult band in terms of primitive old school Death Metal. The roots of this bands go back to the early 80s, and Kam Lee is probably one of the (Co)inventors of Deathgrowls. With „From Beyond“ the band released a genre classic that defined the style. So it was interesting what the band right before splitting up would be pull off live. The original line up was only present with Terry Butler and Kam Lee . supported by Steve Swanson, who was already heard on the „Inhuman Condition“ EP. They started with „Dawn Of Eternity“, and right from the start the band ruled. Not a surprise, as who else plays such catchy great Oldschool-Death-Metal nowadays? Kam Lee looked a bit more like a professional wrestler and a bit funny with a silly hat, but musically „Chamber Of Ages“ and „Biohazard“ really kicked ass. Very cool that I could have seen the band once more, and good luck with the new project Denial Fiend! (Nightstalker – Metal.de)
Autumn (W.E.T. Stage)
offer with their Evanescence-like Sound a contrast program in the tent. On CD I find the music of this young band much better than live. Many seemed to have the same thought, and the number of fans in the tent is not that impressive. (tp)
Stam1na (W.E.T. Stage)
This was a concert, which already began with the sound check! The good guys do it themselves and the audience won`t be bored for sure. With a lot of humor the guys used it as an entrance and already got a lot of brownie points from the audience. Because the Opeth concert was held at the same time, Stam1na had to deal with a hard competition, but the place in front of the W.E.T. stage filled up quite well, what for sure speaks for the band. Thankful for this singer Veli Antti Hyyrynen nominated us as metal-professionals. The guys teemed with fun for playing their music, which was very infectious! The guys play thrash metal with great physical exertion and Finnish lyrics, even if these sometimes seemed, at least for German ears, not to fit with the music… there was some serious moshing and with a lot of Finnish fans attending a quite acceptable fan choir developed. Unfortunately the concert was quite short but everybody seemed to be satisfied anyhow! (kd)
Now we have punky rock`n`roll from Sweden! Psychopunch are regarded as an insider tip for quite some time already and for sure deserve it that you come and lend them an ear. Already the optics of the band were very convincing as well as their performance. Guitarist Joey simply can`t stand still and you won`t be bored watching him. Bassist Mumbles forms the antipole, how could it be any different? The band seems very self-confident and that`s for a good reason! The „original Scandinavian superdudes“ defended their spot at this years` Wacken bravely and enriched the festival with a further nuance! (kd)
The fans waited eagerly for the first notes from Opeth. With a new album under their sleeves they kicked ass for real. I can speak only positively about the gig, this was really a cool show. Front man Lars Mikael Akerfeldt shredded like a young God and you can only marvel at his voice. This was really awesome. RESPECT! Lots of the people agreed with the fact that Opeth are really exciting.
You can definitely tell that the guys know their trade and that they did a lot of shows. They deserve high marks after a gig like that. Keep it up! (ms)
Since their appearance in 2002 Bodom and the WOA are one single success story. And also today this should become a triumph for the Finns. The space in front of True Metal Stage (why on Earth did they play there???) was overcrowded and expectations high, when COB started at 21:00 Uhr with `Hellhounds on my Tail`. What follows is a lesson in technical skills, precision and catchy songwriting. Also the setlist fulfils all wishes, all stages of their 10-year-career are present (e.g.. `Silent Night, Bodom Night`, `Hatecrew Deathroll` and `Blooddrunk`).
But they also know about entertainment: Keyboarder Janne puts on a bra, and when they butcher pop-hits, even the most sinister Black Metaller cannot avoid grinning. This band is now one of the real big deals in the Metal circus and indeed deserves a Headliner-Slot on the WOA. (tp)
Nifelheim (W.E.T. Stage)
I would have liked to see the Nifelheim show in the W.E.T. tent, but first I had to fight through people and water pits. When I finally reached the tent, Nifelheim had been busy already for a while in front of a big but already pretty drunken crowd, or they had all lost their sense of smell already. The stench, like a sewer, was so strong that I had to leave right after only one song („Satanic Sacrifice“). The crowd as well as the heavily attired band did not mind the conditions, the band kept playing and the fans cheering, while I looked for the next beer tent. (Nightstalker – Metal.de)
The Haunted (Party Stage)
While you can hear middle age music from the Black Stage, true Metal fans gather in front of the Party Stage and celebrate the aggressive show of those Swedes. Can somebody tell me what front man Peter Dolving has eaten or drunk before the show? That guy was running around all the time and unleashed his aggressions. A great show that makes you curious about the upcoming album``Versus`` . (tp)
The most pompous show at Wacken´08 was delivered by CORVUS CORAX and their version of "Cantus Buranus2", with an orchestra. That looked pretty impressive on stage. It was only a pity that the musicians themselves (Teufel & Co.) hid most of the time behind the orchestra and could only be seen by those right before stage or on screen.
But not only the lack of presence of CORVUS CORAX was disappointing, also musically the „mideval opera" wasn´t everybody´s taste. The middle-age-touch was lost in the show, bagpipes could hardly be heard, if you closed your eyes it was a bit like the soundtrack of "Lord Of The Rings". That impression could also not be changed by the vocally and physically big solist from "Babelsberger Filmorchester". For the musicians this show was definitely interesting, but if it fit the W.O.A. is questionable. (Maike Eisenmenger – Metal.de)
Avantasia (True Metal Stage)
With his first two Avantasia CDs Tobias Sammet was quite successful, the third opus ``The Scarecrow`` became a real hit! So several festival shows were booked in Europe, also the WOA. I have to admit that I had doubts about the live qualities of this project, but Tobias, supported by Sascha Paeth (also Avantasia producer), Jorn Lande, Andre Matos and Uli Jon Roth could convince on full scale. Even more, the excellent setlist contained all CDs, the band tight, the sound - simply great, despite a short micro glitch. Result: We want more!(tp)
Four ears - two opinions
Well, who was the best band on Friday? For me, it was Avantasia! And not without a reason. Tobias Sammet and his fellows really did an awesome show and in my opinion they are awesome musicians. The guitar sound alone was so heavy you could recognize every harmony well. I have never seen a band that spread that much power and joy. The highlight was for me “Lost in Space” which was appointed the self-runner of the evening and put a smile on everyone’s face. Also the song selection was quite good. As far as I was concerned, the guys could’ve gone on and on and on. (ms)
Now it`s time for the backpipe-fans. During the years Saltatio Mortis played their way up nearly eye to eye with bands like Subway to Sally, In Extremo or Schandmaul. You can name them in one sentence even though Saltatio Mortis would still be the last to mentioned. Accordingly the audience that already gathered in front of the stage more than half an hour before the concert started just to snatch a good place, was quite big. At the beginning of the concert the W.E.T. stage was cram-filled with people, you couldn`t step neither forward nor backward. To my ears this was simple medieval rock without any surprises or novelties. But this doesn`t have to be negative, their fans were enthusiastic and that`s the main thing! (kd)
play as the last act on the Party Stage, and quickly you realize that in the audience there are some fans of this German Metal dinosaur, but otherwise the reactions are somewhat luke warm. Or perhaps it is not the best idea to have Crematory play at the same time with a Black Metal-Band spielen zu lassen. Or was it the late side-effect of the Maiden party the day before? (tp)
Wow! A stage decoration from „Blackmess“, four crosses, two young men and two young women hanging on them, despite the bags on their heads completely naked. The whole thing was illustrated with dosens of impaled sheep heads, that indeed had some the effect on the audience already. When the band, with the exceptional musicians Nick Barker and Arve Isdal as backup, entered the stage and Gaahl stared into the audience like a madman, the picture was complete.
Musically there was nothing to complain, with a lot of pyros that gave the impression they intend to burn the models on the crosses, and some additional effects, like Gaahl´s face appearing in a cloud of smoke (I assume it was some mirror effect from the screens, but still looked scary!), had Immortal and their show last year being pushed from their throne. A sinister highlight that onbly suffered from the fuzz before and after, but during the show definitely nobody thought of the band soap opera. The atmosphere on stage and in front of it was great and inspiring. Even somebody who was not into Norwegian Black Metal and just happened to be still awake, had to admit that this was an excellent performance, and we would like to see the band again soon!
Machine Men (Party Stage)
Machine Men then had their turn on Saturday afternoon. I have been really curious how they would present themselves. Most of the played songs were from the LP’s “Elegies” and “Circus Of Fools” i.e. “Without the Giant”. Without a doubt they had the audience under control and always with the biggest smile on their faces. All in all a good show by the Finns. (ms)
3 Inches Of Blood (Black Stage)
As openers on saturday noon 3 Inches of Blood were a positive surprise! Their show was very entertaining, and the whole band made a very good and motivated impression, which also infected the audience. A nice mix of Death- and True-Metal, plus good old Heavy Metal makes those Canadians so unique and interesting! And not to mention their diverse look: While one singer looks like an Amon Amarth-Wannabe-bandmember, the other one favours the 70s image remake. Their show featured fun and routine, therefore they left a very good impression. (Maike P.)
Exodus (True Metal Stage)
It was pretty early when Exodus began their Thrash-Assault on True Metal Stage, and they took no prisoners, this Thrash legend´s inhuman volume gave their audience a new hairdo. This „good friendly violent fun“ was set off with „Bonded By Blood“, an fronter Rob Dukes made his point that he is nothing worse than his predecessors. Just like Paul Baloff growls and rampages through the set with a good mix of old and new material. Naturally fans enjoyed the old stuff most, like „A Lesson In Violence“ or „Strike Of The Beast“. Tom Hunting, back in the band, worked like a clock , and the probably best Thrash guitar duo Holt/Altus doesn´t need any comment. In such top form we want to see Exodus again - hopefully, and let´s hope they continue that way. (Nightstalker – Metal.de)
Obituary (Party Stage)
At 16 h it was time for 1 hour of Oldschool-Death à la Obituary! I was surprised that they were confined to the Party-Stage this year, when 2005 every centimeter of space in front of the Black stage was covered because of them. So also here I had to fight for a way through the crowd just to catch a glimpse of those guys from Florida. Banging heads everywhere who enjoyed this Best of Obituary bulldozer-Death-Metal, offering once again a good selection of songs to flatten everything and everybody with heavy riffing. Growl god John Tardy gave everything and hardly sounded human naymore: "Back To One", "Turned Inside Out" and of course "Slowly We Rot" came right out of hell to kill us. But you have to mention that the song material began to sound monotone. Obituary have never had a lot audience contact, and this didn´t change, the guys simply blew their songs into their enthusiastic audience. (Maike P.)
Hatebreed (Black Stage)
Hatebreed exceeded the Soilwork-Gig from the previous day in terms of crowdsurfing, which never really stopped during the whole show. The sweating security staff hardly ever got a break, fans surfed until complete exhaustion or until ambulance took them over. Basically a great gig for band and fans, but crowdsurfing wasn´t all. Frontman Jamey Jasta constantly demanded Moshcircles, and he got them, when one ceased, another one was formed. Hatebreed played that game until they had three pits at the same time. The highlight was naturally a „Wall Of Death“, and it´s "soundtrack" was e.g. "Defeatist", "Destroy Everything" and "This Is Now". (Maike Eisenmenger – Metal.de)
As I Lay Dying (True Metal Stage)
Not only the countless masses of people wearing As I Lay Dying-shirts led me to suspect that it would be really crowded at this gig. When the five guys cheerfully entered the stage and there was not a quantum of air in the first rows. This was really awesome and in some way quite aggressive. The mood of the crowd was very infectious and so I banged the brain right out of my head. This must have been the reason why I cannot remember the setlist…Everywhere people shook their heads and divers were flying…That’s atmosphere as it should be. (ms)
The Swedes Evocation had the bad lot that they played parallel to Obituary. Perhaps that was the reason why there were only 300 people to listen to Swedish DM. Despite the meager attendance rate the band gave everything, a highlight was once again their hit from their first album „Feed The Fire“, but also the previews of their soon to be released „Dead Calm Chaos“ is a reason that genre fans should keep an eye on this band. (Nightstalker – Metal.de)
Krypteria (Party Stage)
I`m not quite sure if their music is the most important thing or if you are mostly a fan of sexy Asian girl Ji-In Cho? Wearing tight leather jeans and a fire red leather corset the singer for sure is a feast for the eyes and she knows how to work with that. Along with her swiveling hips comes mainstream gothic rock with emancipated “power woman“-lyrics like in the song „Get The Hell Out Of My Way“. Quite a simple concept, but it still works and it´s true fun to watch a sexy front girl on a Wacken stage just for a change! (kd)
Those German-Romanian wolves had indeed fun on stage. And the word seemed to be spreading als the tent filled up during their set. Especially their catchy sing-along choruses show that this band must have won over some fans during their recent tours. But also the announcements of front-wolf (in slightly distorted German) are some kind of entertainment. (tp)
I had been looking forward to W:O:A this year. At The Gates, Massacre and Carcass! How cool was that? But whereas the return of Tompa and his guys was successful, with Carcass there was a problem. Frontman Jeff Walker did not look healthy and seemed a bit far out during the whole show. Perhaps he should avoid illegal substances. Michael Amott performed as guitar god including the posing, and Bill Steer seemed to be stoned. His constant stupid Hippiedance had nothing to do with Death Metal or Grindcore . On Drums Daniel Erlandsson replaced Ken Owen, who could not play because of a serious disease. The sound was pretty bad, too, when the guys tried to deliver legendary tracks like „No Love Lost“ or „Incarnated Solvent Abuse“. The latter was "supported" by Michale Amott´s band colleague Angela Gossow „unterstützt“. At the end of the show the original drummer Ken Owen, slightly handicapped due to a stroke some years ago, came on stage to play a short solo. It was painful to see what the former best drummer in the scene had become, but it was cool to see those old heroes together again. Still; the emotion that there are old men on stage who play Carcass cover versions, prevailed. Those guys are now so far away from the stuff they were doing before, and unfortunately you could see that clearly. How to pull it off much better was shown by At The Gates ... (Nightstalker – Metal.de)
Killswitch Engage seem to be the 83. Metalcore-band this day. Yet you have to mention that this quintet is one of the few originals in that genre. The crowd has a similar opinion, therefore the space in front of the stage fills up quickly. An eye catcher is once again Bandleader Adam Dutkiewicz who rampages on stage and have you enjoy hits like `My last Serenade` even more! (tp)
Here the Wacken organizers came up with something very special again! At the Gates are considered to be one of the cofounders of the melodic death metal genre and therefore influenced a lot of bands. After they split up in 1995 the Swedes decided to do some final live shows this year, they had already passed the Belgian Graspop and next on their schedule was Wacken. Despite their long absence the audience celebrated them like in their best times. With songs like „Windows“, „Raped By The Light of Christ“, „The Burning Darkness“ , „The Swarm“ and many more At the Gates played all the way through their band history. Even if you didn`t know the band too well you easily found yourself some lines to sing along as most was sung quite clear and therefore understandable. At the Gates definitely have been very convincing although at least singer Tomas Lindberg ran out of stamina by the end of the show. Metal simply is a serious sport!
Some research beforehand made clear that Girugämesh were not known to journalists from Germany, Ireland and Finland. Yet who plays at Wacken could not be that "small", so I squeezed into Partystage despite some awful smells and into an audience I had never seen at Wacken. 16year old girls in Anime costumes, hysterically giggling and pushing each other to the front way before even a roadie was on stage. With some delay those four cool Japanese came on stage, dressed in black suits - and I am still not sure if the bass player was a male or a female. J-Rock that sounds like Tokio Hotel meets Limp Bizkit from Japan and in Japanese... nothing more to add... (sa)
After their Germany tour in spring where some performances had been so-so due to illness, the Finns had to re-claim some of their status. And to say it right away, the band around Tuomas Holopainen. First of all it´s the great set list, yet basically focused on the last two killer CDs. Moreover, there´s fun on stage, an excellent light- and pyro show and this certain something to spark the audience, Nightwish at their best! It´s just difficult to understand why a band with a quite limited playing time even leaves 10 min earlier, without any encore? Well, I would have had suggestions for 1-2 songs they could played, too... (tp)
Kreator (Black Stage)
Indeed Full Speed Thrash from German Ruhrpott! Great sound, great setlist and an equally great light- and video show. When you hear e.g. `Reconquering The Throne`, `Europe After The Rain`, `Pleasure To Kill` or `Enemy Of God` you realize that this band made Thrash history world-wide. But still Kreator are far from retirement, and they prove it with an aggressive energetic and highly impressive show. I´d be curious how often Mille or Speesy had suffered from neck injuries by furious headbanging... In such top form Kreator pulled off their headliner status!
By the Way: It´s quite cool to announce that you played at Woodstock Love & Peace Festival in Polen the day before, right before you play `Extrem Aggression` ... (tp)
Axxis (Party Stage)
Then was Axxis-time, and it was an awesome time. I was anyway there a bit earlier to get a good spot. They played and it seemed as if a lake of people formed in front of the Party-Stage. Up front you have of course the best overlook of the crowd and can nicely sing along, which everyone did. There was banging and jousting everywhere. Especially with the rhythm-parts Axxis offered beautiful sounds and I really enjoyed. Awesome gig! (ms)
The festival finale was in hands of Finnish Eurovision winners Lordi. After their well-known ``Arockolypse``-Intro the monsters set it off with `Bringing Back The Balls To Rock` and `Who`s Your Daddy` . The band is hot like hell and rampages on stages, as if they had been kings of music biz for decades. The pretty huge crowd enjoys the set and pays tribute Lordi - a worthy WOA headliner! (tp)
Summary: Nothing to complain about the organization. Almost all bands had a good sound, the weather conditions were eased with pellets instead of straw (remember the nice "firework" last year), and if you were willing & quick you could check out pretty much all the bands. Well done and CU at Wacken 2009!
Kartin Dietl (kd), Timo Pässler (tp), Markus Seibel (ms), Samira Alinto (sa), transl. K. Gransalke, K.Weber