During the night there were no further weather incients so that the last festival day could proceed. Once again the first band started at 11 o´clock: Motorjesus, followed by Benighted about half an hour later, who seem to have a permanent booking for this slot. When I remember right, this band from Belgium plays at this early hour for the third time. Or do they prefer it like this? Well, anyway, it seems that band and fans as well got used to it, because for this early hour quite a lot of Brutal Death fans had gathered in front of the stage already!
Yet I felt more awake and ready-to-go when Gothenburg´s Engel, featuring ex-Gardenian Gitarrero Niclas Engelin, entered the stage. For some people this melodic-almost-going-Pop material was not heavy enough. Unimpressed, the Swedes had the party going with „Six Feet Deep“ and „Casket Closing“, singer Magnus was in top-form and convinced with effortless changes from clean vocals to growls and shouts. Something not that easy, as we could witness with Scar Symmetry, unfortunately. During „Sense The Fire“ and other songs eager sing-along-fans could be spotted in the audience, which means that this band is not quite unknown, and the autumn tour with Pain should add to their popularity.
Deadlock had the pleasure to be put on the grill, because at this time not a single cloud could be spotted in the sky. „Bizarro World“ started the energetic gig, both singers delivered flawless vocals to „Earthlings“, the great „Code of Honor“ and the other songs, to which the audience frantically cheered, sang along or celebrated with crowd surfing. Somehow you got the impression that nobody felt the heat or the fact that it was the third or fourth festival day already.
And back to the main stage because the next Swedish band was starting, with quite different music, though. Heavy Doom lingered with Grand Magus in a merciless heat, which was pretty much ignored. „Kingslayer“ started the gig and took the fans on a doomy ride with „Hammer of the North“, „Iron Will“ etc. The Scandinavians proved once more why their records are critically acclaimed.
They came, played and conquered: Demonical impressed with their technical skills, a well-attuned team and a lot of action on stage, where front man Sverker Widgren stood out with his constant cheerleading. I appreciated that those Swedes did not just focus on promoting their new album „Death Infernal“ but also included many older songs in the set. That fitted smoothly and felt like from one source, what was to expect from such professionals. Great gig. [Markus Seibel]
I had seen As I Lay Dying recently at Wacken, but from far (from the air), therefore it was time to check out the live-qualities of this band once again. The area in front of the stage was pretty full and illustrated how popular those guys still are. After a short Intro they took off with a lot of energy: After „Within Destruction“ and „The Sound Of Truth“ nobody could stand still, not even for a minute. Especially front man Tim was active on his pedestal (although such a tall man can hardly be overlooked) and all over stage, so that you wondered if he is doing his daily work out here. Man-high fireblasts added to the feeling that you get boiled up by sun, flames and the music as well. Nothing to complain about with tracks like „Condemned“, „Nothing Left“ etc – except for the fact that many probably wondered why this band stopped playing 10 min early.
Caliban were heavy duty this evening but still pretty active and joyful when it comes to their stage show. No way that those guys tuned it down or got soft – consequently they kicked out a tough set, which was welcomed by the festival audience and warmed it up for the following bands. [Markus Seibel]
By the way: A nice extra to the show were those massive CO2 walls, and also fire effects. During the Wall of Death a contest winner wore a helmet camera, so you could follow a Wall of Death from another perspective – at some point the camera called it quits, though, but not the contest winner.
Tarja appeared after 20h when temperatures had lowered, as well as the sun, in front of a pretty big crowd on the main stage. An All-Star Band requires different stage settings so that everybody can be seen, too. Mike Terrana´s Drumkit was not in the back but on the right front of the stage, Max Lilja at the left from Tarja, in the middle the string- and keyboard section. The gig began with „Dark Star“, followed by „I Feel Immortal“. Vocally top, in good mood and this time relinquishing outfit changes after every song, the Finnish singer offered a variety of hits, and she has enough of those indeed. And fans who were waiting for Nightwish songs received the cover „Over the Hills And Far Away“ . Towards the end of the set Tarja received the Golden Record for her album „My Winter Storm“, and she seemed very touched when she thanked the fans, ending the show with „Until My Last Breath“. A great gig without those often-seen diva-like costume changes, super!
Týr kicked off their melodic Viking/Folk Metal into an overcrowded tent. The band was in good mood but unfortunately they had to more than 45 min. For me they could have played much longer. Casting pearls before swine – once again a characteristic of this festival´s slot decisions. [Markus Seibel]
By the way: Fronter Heri gained some extra points speaking German, almost without accent. But that was just the icing on the cake of a great show, where the enthusiastic audience didn´t need an invitation to sing along.
Hatebreed was another Hardcore band at prime time on the main stage, and WOW it was full. The Opener „Everyone Bleeds Now“ was like an invitation to go crazy, which was exactly what the crowd did from the first second. No wonder, because the band played as if there was no tomorrow. Amazing that nobody got hurt in those fire blasts, and occasionally they shot off those CO2 walls, which we had seen already at the Caliban gig.
Hatebreed´s set left nothing to wish for, because every single album was present. It was the last festival day, but the crowd did not seem like that – either because they were not tired yet, or because the band was pretty good in mobilizing the last resources. Naturally, when hearing hits like „Beholder Of Justice“ or „Doomsayer“, isn´t it? After „This Is Now“ the guys left the stage, but returned to play some more. „Destroy Everything“ was the end of the show, after which some people were definitely destroyed – but happy.
Whoever found some more strength was lucky, because the festival was not over yet. Some more highlights were offered to the audience:
Primordial for example on the Painstage, ending the festival in the main areas. . „No Grave Deep Enough“ appealed to the audience right away, although there is a rapid style change from Hatebreed to Primordial. A major factor of this appeal was once again Fronter Alan, who drew all attention with his sympathetic stage presence and bloody corpse paint. Although there was less action on stage, the music of those Irish guys demanded your strength, and such great songs as „The Coffin Ships“ and „Empire Falls“ had the fans giving it all. A great show!
It was after 1 o´clock, the festival was about to end, but there were still 3 bands – who could still draw a lot of audience, under such circumstances. And also we dragged our tired bodies once again into the photo pit to document the gig of Finnish Moonsorrow .
And what to say, it was late, the fans were tired, but this hour was perfect for the sound of those guys. The setlist consisted of „Tähdetön“, „Kivenkantaja“, „Aurinko + Kuu“ and „Kulleiden Maa“ and was probably the shortest at this festival, but who knows Moonsorrow also knows the length of their epic songs. The spirits were high despite the late hour and also the atmosphere was nice. A great gig where everybody still gave their best.
Rotting Christ and Burden Of Grief could no longer count on our presence, I tried but the sandman won, therefore I preferred to reach the tent as long as I was still awake. What I heard was that neither the Greek band Rotting Christ nor Burden of Grief had an empty tent to play to, therefore this festival ended with a blast
What is left to say? As usual, the line up was top and covered many tastes! The bigger Partystage was a nice and well-planned investment (in contrast to relocating the entrance to the photo pit – once around the whole audience, which means you got to put on a heavy sprint if you switch from one main stage to another). The only ones who misbehaved were the weather gods – luckily without heavy consequences – and the wasps that were really annoying this year and definitely added to the first-aid staff workload.