What, it´s almost end of August and the festival season is also over? Time flies...
But wait, it wasn´t completely over yet, there was still one big festival waiting and once again the Summer Breeze was the festival for most people, to end the festival season with a big bang.
Two mainstages, one tentstage plus small stage next to it, 100 bands, 30 000 visitors, 4 days of metal - that´s the recipe for a big party.
Apart from a short traffic jam in Dinkelsbühl on Wednesday afternoon, everything went smoothly. Quickly we set up the tents and started checking the surrounding to see, whether something had changed remarkably this year. However, apart from the Jägermeister Skybar that was unfortunately missing, everything seemd to bei like last year.
Suffocation were the first band that we checked out on the warm-up day. They started with "Thrones Of Blood" an clearly showed, that they´re a damn good live band. Blasting, hard riffs and the typical handwaving during the blastparts, yes, that´s Suffocation. There was no time to take a short rest, brutal stuff from beginning to end with songs like "Liege Of Inveracity" or "Cataclysmic Purification.
The bassist was almost playing on the floor, headbanging constantly as if there was no tomorrow. The tent was absolutely packed and turned into pure Death Metal chaos within a few minutes. Thumbs up!
Thrones of Blood, Liege of Inveracity, Cataclysmic Purification, Catatonia, Pierced from Within, Blood Oath, Entrails of You, Infecting the Crypts
Next were Rage, but since this wasn´t my cup of tea today, I decided to leave and come back for Unleashed. Of course we needed another dose of Metal today, so we came back to the tent for the gig of Unleashed. The Swedes started the gig in not so winterly weather with the song "Winterland". In the well-known sympathical manner fronter Johnny guided through the gig and made his "warriors" bang their heads to the tunes of "Shadows In The Deep" or "Into Glory Ride". Banging heads everywhere, the Death Metal machine was working really well and thus there was nothing that could stop the "Death Metal Victory", which also marked the end of the gig.
Winterland, Blood Of Lies, This Is Our World Now, Shadows In The Deep, Hammer Battalion, The Greatest Of All Lies, Your Children Will Burn, Wir kapitulieren niemals, Into Glory Ride, Legal Rapes, The Longships Are Coming, Death Metal Victory
The only thing, that prevented me from watching the other bands, was that damn tiredness, that made me crawl to the tent almost immediately after Unleashed and also made me sleep like a stone until the next morning...
Going to bed that early actually proved to be a good idea like we should see the next morning, since the weather was much better than expected and the warmsun was turning the tent into a sauna, even though it wasn´t that warm outside.
Thus we were awake more than early enough to catch Barren Earth on the mainstage. Miko Kotamäki, who might be known better as Swallow The Sun vocalist to most people, started into the gig together with his all-star band and a song called "Curse Of The Red River". It was a bit strange to see such a band that early, on the other hand, there were really a lot of big bands playing today, so it wasn´t that evil, if you had to play early. Even though I had quite some doubts before, whether this material would really work that early with lots of sunshine and such, but it did!
Curse Of The Red River, Our Twilight, Forlorn Waves, Flicker, The Leer, Floodred
On the Painstage it was time for the Power Metal fans to gather, since Dreamevil were next. Even though, I normally don´t listen to that kind of music, I have to admit that their gig was pretty entertaining. The vocalist was blabbering a bit here and there between the songs, but luckily never too much, so nobody had to scream "Plaaaay and shut up!". Clichées, lots of them, but hey, it was fun and musicwise surely not bad!
Immortal, United, Made Of Metal, Crusaders Anthem, Bang Your Head, Heavy Metal In The Night, Children Of The Night, The Chosen Ones, The Book Of Heavy Metal
In case this had been way too melodic, you could have it in another way right after that. On the mainstage a grindcore commando from Birmingham was waiting to drive the audience nuts. Of course we´re talking about Napalm Death, who kicked off with "Strong Arm of the Law". Fronter Barney was running and "dancing" ecstaticly as always and this once again made me wonder, whether he receives money for making as much kilometers as possible on stage. Of course the socially critic announcements and explanations during the songs had to be there and if I had to chose a band, whose annoucements make most sense, it would probably be those of Napalm Death. Thanks to "You Suffer" and Co, the grind quartet managed to make the audience go beserk and form mosh and circlepits.
At the latest now, everybody was awake, I´m sure!
Strong-Arm, Unchallenged Hate, Suffer The Children, Silence Is Deafening, Life And Limb, When All Is Said And Done, On The Brink Of Extinction, Scum, Life?, The Kill, Deceiver, You Suffer, Nazi Punks Fuck Off, Siege Of Power
In the meanwhile, the first bands on the partystage had started with their gigs as well. However, I decided to head over to the Painstage once again to check out Ill Nino with their Nu Metal, who made quite a big bunch of people show up here. It was great, that they didn´t only play the new stuff, but some "classics" like the furious "I Am Loco". It was impossible to escape this energy that was raging on stage. The bandmembers were running from one side to the other, throwing their dreadlocks while headbanging like mad and just in case this was still not enough to make you move, the vocalist asked the audience to go fucking crazy. I for my part was impressed and really happy to see, that they still played such energetic gigs, since the last time I had seen them was in 2004 somewhere in the
Netherlands. So Nu Metal doesn´t have to be that bad, great gig!
If You Still Hate Me, Te Amo…I Hate You, Corazon Of Mine, I Am Loco, Alibi Of Tyrants, This Is War, Lifeless…Life…, Rumba, My Resurrection, God Save Us, Liar, What Comes Around, How Can I Live
Let´s stick to more modern stuff, Parkway Drive took over the mainstage in the truest sense of the word and that from the first second on. After having been something like an insidertip for quite a while, they conquered Europe pretty fast during the last year(s) and made themselves a good reputation
for playing damn good live shows. Breakdown madness and lots of movements on stage and the audience couldn´t resist anymore. "Idols And Anchors", "Carrion" and "Romance Is Dead" made them go completely off the rails while forming circlepits and singing along loudly.
Another damn good gig.
Intro, Unrest, Idols And Anchors, Romance Is Dead, Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'Em, Sleepwalker, Dead Man's Chest, Deliver Me, The Sirens' Song Wreckage, Carrion, Boneyards
Almost at the same time some action heroes (Grailknights) fought their battles on the Partystage. We however decided to stay for the rest of the Parkway Drive gig and go back to the Painstage for a big portion of Finnish Goth´n´Roll with the 69 Eyes. Pretty hard change of genres and a large audience, which mainly consisted of girls, had come to see them. "Back In Blood" was the first song, that the Helsinki Vampire had brought to entertain their fans, followed by "Never Say Die". Even though they were highly motivated, it took a bit until the audience was warmed up and in the right mood. One reason might´ve also been the choice of songs, which mainly consisted of calm(er) songs. That however changed at the latest when the first tunes of "Brandon Lee" were being played. During the last song "Lost Boys" the Atmosphäre was simply great. Too bad, that they didn´t play more fast and driving songs, that would´ve made the audience dance a bit faster.
Back In Blood, Never Say Die, The Good, The Bad & The Undead, Devils, Kiss Me Undead, Wasting The Dawn, Suspiria Snow White, Framed In Blood, Dead Girls Are Easy, Brandon Lee, Lost Boys
Even though the Die Apokalyptischen Reiter started conquering the masses as usual on the mainstage and the security was facing a huge wave of crowdsufers, I decided to head over to the partystage to witness the gig of a less well-known gig. It was time for yet another Finnish band, that might´ve been pretty unknown in Germany (so far). We´re talking about Tracedawn, who came, saw and conquered. Yes, really, they were jumping and running around, banging their heads like crazy and if their lifes were at stake. In case you remember the crazy, damn energetic fronter of Profane Omen/Enemy Of The Sun, the Tracedawn fronter seemed to be like his twin. Thumbs for being so energetic on stage and for this damn charismatic stage perfomance and even the sound was prefect. No wonder, that they managed to reach a lot of people, and probably also got quite a lot of new fans.
In Your Name, Justice For None, Make Amends, Test Of Faith, Dirt-Track Speedball, Scum
From a young bunch to the "grandpas". This of course doesn´t mean, that it should be a bit calmer on stage from now on. No, on the contrary, it stayed crazy, since Agnostic Front were the next band. The NYHC legen delivered a flawless and also damn energetic gig, that made it hard to believe, that this band was celebrating its´30th birthday alread. Definitely one of the oldest bands of this years´Summer Breeze. Great gig!
Eliminator, Dead To Me, Outraged, For My Family, Friend Or Foe, All Is Not Forgotten, Peace, Crucified, Victim In Pain, Warriors, Black And Blue, Gotta Go, Take Me Back, Outro, Addiction
It was time for some stage-jumping, cause at the same time, that Agnostic Front were destroying the stage outside, Insomnium were about to play on the tentstage. Great to see, that they´re pretty well-known by now, which was quite different not too long ago. Seems as if touring with Amorphis really helped to gather new fans and get the well-deserved attention here in Germany. Vocalist Niilo was impressing with announcements in German. The gig was started with "Equivalence" and somehow time was flying, because it seemed, as if those 40 minutes of playing time were way too short. Too bad, that they mainly concentrated on newer material, but that couldn´t really destroy the overall positive impression. "Weigh Down With Sorrow" closed a fantastic gig!
Equivalence, Down With The Sun, Where The Last Wave Broke, The Harrowing Years, The Killjoy, The Gale, The Mortal Share, Weighed Down With Sorrow
Let´s continue with funny stage-hopping, which also meant, that it was close to impossible to see a complete gig. Time for groovy Death Metal from America, time for Obituary.
They were grooving and grooving and grooving and this made their fans go completely off the rails. Seems as if somebody really enjoyed the gig, since you could see a grin on the band members face from time to time. But not only they were in a good mood, the audience as well. Thumbs up!
After a small portion of Death Metal, I had to run back to the tent again, since the Finns still kept it occupied. Vocalist Miko was obviously doing two shifts today, since he was now dooming the tent with his mainband Swallow The Sun. Same double-shift stuff also for keyboarder Aleksi, who had just been playing the Keyboards for Insomnium, too. While I arrived, the first tunes of the wonderful "These Hours Of Despair" were welcoming me. Luckily, no one had thought of putting STS on one of the mainstages, since the darker atmosphere of the tent definitely helped to create a more gloomy Atmosphäre for the songs. The audience was concentrating really hard on what was going on onstage and prooved once again, that Death Doom is surely everything but boring. Just watch a whole STS gig and they´ll surely captivate and convince you in their very own way.
These Woods Breathe Evil, Falling World, These Hours Of Despair, Sleepless Swans, Don’t Fall Asleep, Plague Of Butterflies, New Moon, Swallow
And since we love music from the North that much, let´s stay in the north, it´s about time to check out Dark Tranquillity. When it comes to jumping around on stage, DT are at least as crazy as some other bands before. However, there´s one thing, with which vocalist Mikael Stanne beats them all: his broad smile, that seems to be on face all the time. The party started with "At The Point Of Ignition" and "The Fatalist", on weich Mikael left his very own stamp with his remarkable voice. As soon as the Swedes start to play, you really can´t help it, but you have to start headbanging. The fans welcomed every song and "Focus Shift" or "The Wonders At Your Feet"definitely reached the desired effect. That, in combination with a perfect Sound was definitely one of the festival highlights, of which we actually actually quite a lot this year!
At The Point Of Ignition, The Fatalist, Focus Shift, The Wonders At Your Feet, Final Resistance, Therein, Lost To Apathy, Misery’s Crown, Punish My Heaven, Iridium, Dream Oblivion, Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)
In the meanwhile on the tentstage: The dooming continued, since now Triptykon were up. This was not really a new band - well, the band itself is indeed fairly neu their members however well-known, since they have the Celtic Frost vocalist in their ranks, and also their guitarist. Wow, all over a sudden it had become really dark in the tent - no, not because the sun had gone under, but because of this damn gloomy atmosphere. The audience was totally into the booming sound, that was rolling over them in form of "Goetia" or "Circle Of The Tyrants". Great gig, that can queue with all the other damn convincing perfomances today on the partystage!
Procreation (Of The Wicked), Goetia, Circle Of The Tyrants, Babylon Fell, The Prolonging
While Subyway To Sally, who were next on the mainstage, weren´t really my cup of tea, I decided to go for a portion of Murder Metal in the tent, since Macabre had been pretty entertaining two weeks ago at Brutal Assault. It should be the same this time again, since the trio from Chicago was leading through the gig in quite a comical way. They presented songs like "Bloody Benders", "Scrub A Dub Dub" or of course "Vampire Of Düsseldorf", that all were about serial killers. Soon, they´ll have a new album out, which of course made their fans cheer with joy. Too bad that there was no time for an encore!
Zodiac, Trial, Bloody Benders, Serialkiller, Night Stalker, Scrub A Dub Dub, Burk And Haire, The Wustenfeld Man Eater, You´re Dying To Be With Me, The Iceman, Hitchhiker, Vampire Of Düsseldorf, Ed Gein
After that, it would´ve been time for the damn brutal Behemoth from Poland. They however, had been forced to cancel all their gigs, till at least the end of the year not too long ago. Most fans were of course really disappointed, however, when the reason for the cancellations had been revealed - Nergal had been diagnosed with leukemia - everybody of course hoped, that he´d recover really fast! The fans support the band and we of course would also like to wish him all the best and a fast recovery!
Thus Raised Fist now had to face the difficult task to rock the Pain instead of the Partystage, where Endstille now played. Even though the Swedes weren´t playing in front of the biggest crowd, they really didn´t care and played a damn good show. Absolutely crazy jumps, lots of movement
and action on stage, seems as if this had been the true reason for putting them on the big stage. They played songs like "You Ignore Them All" and "Perfectly Broken" among Otters and managed to gather some more headbangers. Great gig!
You Ignore Them All, Pretext, Perfectly Broken, Running Man, Wounds, Friends And Traitors, Get This Right, Some Of These Times, Tribute, Killing It, Breaking Me Up