W:O:A Road Show 2004
April 22nd, 2004
Review and Pictures By Anders Sandvall
The famous metal festival, Wacken, from Germany, is headed out on tour through Europe to
promote their festival. The tour is set up so theyre having a mini-festival in every
town theyre coming to. When they landed in Malmö Sweden they had only done shows in
Stockholm and Gothenburg; no other shows in Scandinavia were planned. They day after
Malmö they headed down to Hamburg Germany and then continued to conquer the rest of
Europe. The bands are all German acts. The supporting bands were Dark Age and Metalium.
The special guests were Freedom Call and the headline act was Primal Fear. The only
continental influence amongst these bands was the Canadian drummer Randy Black (ex-Annihilator) in Primal Fear.
I met up with the very nice Randy Black earlier that day when I waited for the bands.
He sat down beside me out on the sidewalk to catch some sun. He told me that Primal Fear
were supposed to be support Iced Earth on their European tour but when they cancelled
Primal Fear had to get on some other tour package in order to support their new album. He
also said that for the first time ever Primal Fear is going to tour through South America
and Mexico later this year. Mr. Black was very interested of how it went for Debase, the
metal icons from Malmö. They toured together when Randy was in Annihilator. He has also
been out to look at Malmö and he thought that it was a very beautiful city with some
really nice architectural features and houses.
The concert started 20 minutes earlier than scheduled because of the many groups and
the limited time they had. The support acts got about 35 minutes each and Freedom Call got
about an hour. When Dark Age got on stage there was very few people in the crowd, only
about 50 people had arrived. When it was the headliner acts turn the crowd was about 150
(KB has a capacity of about 750 people).
Of these 4 bands I focused only on Primal Fear who released the new album
DEVILS GROUND at the beginning of this year. That album is a brilliant
performance of how German heavy metal should be played. The changes between the other
bands went really fast because they used the same equipment but when Freedom Call got off
the stage it took a bit longer because they had to change gear.
Then it was time for Tom, Ralf, Matt, Stefan and Randy to enter KBs stage. They
delivered about 1hr15mins of old as well as new material. The main focus was, of
course, on the new album. They played 13 tracks and they started out with the title track
of the new album. 6 of the songs were from the new record, the rest was from the older
ones. From DEVILS GROUND they did SUICIDE AND MANIA;
THE HEALER and METAL IS FOREVER. The older songs they did were
ANGEL IN BLACK; CHAINBREAKER; NUCLEAR FIRE and
FINAL EMBRACE among others.
They didnt have any extra stuff on stage so the band had quite a place to move around
on, which Matt and Ralf sure did they moved across the whole stage. The guitarists Tom and
Stefan were more laid back and concentrated more on playing guitar. Especially Stefan
showed his skills on guitar. Matt was all over the stage and banged his head all through
the show. In RUNNING IN THE DUST he took over the chorus so you almost
couldnt hear Tom. Randy is a genius behind the drums and he didnt disappoint
anyone this night.
All of the guys seemed very happy to be on tour through Sweden. Ralf talked a lot
between the songs and he said that he thought it was very nice to be back in Sweden and
thanked the fans for being there this Thursday evening. Ralf also talked about the show
they did at Sweden Rock Festival a few years ago and it must have given him a real good
impression of Sweden because he talked about that show a great deal. Ralf looks very
terrifying with his impressive height and muscles but he seemed very nice anyway because
he invited us to sing a long in RUNNING IN THE DUST and METAL IS
FOREVER. He also seemed very pleased with their new album and said that everyone who
hadnt bought it yet could purchase it at the show.
As most know, Primal Fear has some similarities with the legendary English band Judas Priest.
Ralfs voice is in the same register as Mr. Halford and like him Ralf sounds
like he can cut glass with his voice. Some of Ralfs moves also reminded
me of Mr. Halford. Music wise, Primal Fear sounds a bit like Judas
Priest but they have up dated their sound for the 21st century. If you put that aside it doesnt take
away the fact that Primal Fear play very heavy metal and they sure looked energetic this
I think it’s fun that the festival goes out on tour and shows some
bands. This may indeed drag more people to the Wacken festival. However, it wouldnt hurt if they had a broader band
list. I mean, a more varied band scene with some more different musical directions. This
time they only had German heavy metal and German melodic power metal with Freedom Call.
Thanks to the staff at KB for being so nice to me at the show!
Privation of Faith
Angel in Black
Suicide and Mania
Running in the Dust
Visions of Fate
Battalions of Hate
Metal is Forever
Heart of a Brave