Wacken Open Air 2007
Wacken is a blessed mecca of the whole metal world. Again this year it was entirely sold out when ten thousands of metal manics travelled from all around the world to gather and witness plenty of ass kicking bands. The weather forecast for Wacken didn’t look that promising. The chaotic and muddy mess caused by long and heavy rains rampaged the ground during the whole summer. The festival often provides a survival test to every visitor with its mud and crap. But but gods of metal had seen the light and blessed the whole three day metal inferno with tremendous extreme heat and a sunny weekend. Things could not be better…sun, metal and beer. That combination is nothing but an utter perfect way to enjoy the metallic mayhem at Wacken.
As usual, the true metal commando team from Metal-Rules.Com was there again witnessing a helluva lot of great bands and above all an unexpected huge fire in the main area. Feel, see and enjoy this article.
Travelling to Wacken seemed quite painless this year. Our guest contributor for this year, Raymond Martens, keyboardist of PAINDIVISION and my sweetie, and I had a good sleep in before picking up our station wagon—emergency dry and warm sleeping quarters for the forecasted repeat of W:O:A 2005, getting staple supplies and heading off. Luck seemed to be on our side as apparently the bulk of the car traffic had arrived the day before with people arriving late into the night and our only delay was being stopped and questioned by customs officers—they obviously decided we didn’t fit the right profile and chose not to remove every item from the car in search of contraband as I’d seen them do to others driving to Wackens of old. (Brat)
Checking in at the press centre was quick and we were off to the small press camping area. Usually, I would camp with my metal-brothers and -sisters of the W:O:A forum but with the hardware I was carrying this year walking the extra 15 minutes to and from the car seemed all too hard. I had made the right decision as many of the reserved group campsites were moved or disbanded due to the poor conditions of the grounds from the constant rains and we could have ended up camping as far away as Denmark. (Brat)
Once we found a spot we made our way into the village. We needed a tent and as this was his virgin Wacken outing, I wanted Ray to see the hustle and bustle of the village swarming the society’s outcasts. This year’s merchandise range proved bigger and better, including luxurious but expensive bathrobes, camping cups, thongs (aka flip flops), coffin case handbag and my favourite for 2007—a black vibrator—Sheree must have heard my cries of anguish about coming home every year with a still sealed box of condoms…(Brat)
It was 1730 before we finished setting up the tent, blowing up mattresses (yes, I can imagine what some guys were thinking watching me do it by mouth) and laying out the sleeping bags, and BLITZKREIG provided the background music opening A Night to Remember. (Brat)
We entered the festival area to a dimming horizon as ROSE TATTOO welcomed metalheads in a very Australian way—in your face. The Germans just can’t get enough of this band. Old bass player Geordie Leach was back, taking up bass guitar arms whie the ’boys’ ripped into classics like Bad Boy For Love; Nice Boys Don’t Play Rock’n’Roll; One Of The Boys’; and Rock’n’Roll Gypsy. (Brat) Rose Tattoo at Wacken
I was amazed at how many people were already in the festival area watching the bands—early indications this would be a festival to break all records.
This year the WET stage was active while A Night to Remember played and I checked out GUTBUCKET.
While ROSE TATTOO played I showed Ray around the rest of the official area, including all the stalls in the market area—the METAL MARKT won’t open until tomorrow, but I’m sure the collector merchandise will interest Raymond, so we’ll be paying the place a visit. There was a bit of confusion with our Xmas tickets and getting our Full Metal Bags because people who paid for their tickets and were covering the festival on a ‘ticket exchange—press area pass’ weren’t entitled to purchase the Full Metal Bag. Was that so we couldn’t print how much of a rip-off the 20-Euro bag of crap was? …and the line-up for the X-mas tickets people was way too long—another privilege of being one of the first 10,000 people to purchase a ticket?
Oh lucky us! People were still waiting for wrist bands to get into the festival area while SODOM were into their 25th anniversary set. We’d gotten our press wrist bands, so we were ok, but we still had to somehow claim our ‘goodies’ bag. Oh well, maybe later tonight or tomorrow.
After an intimate performance in Australia earlier this year, the 25th Anniversary grandiose SODOM set seemed to get lost in the crowd. ’Onkel’ Tom Angelripper, talked to the crowd in German (as whe would) and unfortunately most of it was lost on me—too fast and too distorted to understand. SODOM are an awesome band live, but I’m not a fanatical fan and as a result got distracted easily from their performance. I had to ask later who the ’guest’ performers were, as I could only assume they were past members being an annivesary show: Frank Blackfire, Andi Brings and Michael Hoffmann helped the band celebrate with songs like Ausgebombt; Outbreak Of Evil; The Saw Is The Law; and Sodomy And Lust. (Brat) Sodom at Wacken
Later in the festival I was to attend the press conference—again, much was lost as most of it was in German. I’m still waiting for the metal press of the world to be able to ask questions beyond ”I’m a big fan. Congratulations on the new CD. How did you choose the songs for your Wacken set?” *sigh* (Brat)
And, so started the same disappointments I experienced last year—while SODOM played, a band I was looking forward to hit the Wet stage, but not even the increased size of the WET stage tent could accommodate the number of people watching TYR. Unfortunately while I tried to get a look and listen as close as I could get to the entry, the sounds of SODOM dominated. There was only one thing I could do…drown my sorrows in a legendary Wacken Mojito—these guys don’t scrimp on the tequila,that’s for sure, plus I was SO happy to see my girlie Becks Green Lemon on sale too…now if only the warm weather comes for us tomorrow. As the sun set and the horizon was washed in crimson, I had hope that tomorrow would be a clear day. (Brat)
Brat: Leading up to Wacken, Arto kept telling me I had to cover Saxon. I’m sorry, but their music is just too old school for me so I rebelled and sat drinking and watching them on the screen provided in the press area while still drowning those sorrows. (Brat)
As SAXON are part of the Armaggedon stable, we can be guaranteed they will play at least every second year. Their set list consisted of favourites: Strong Arm Of The Law; Denim And Leather; Crusader; Wheels Of Steel; Princess Of The Night; Red Star Falling; Let Me Feel Your Power and a guest appearance from Tobias Sammet (EDGUY, AVANTASIA) to perform 747 (Strangers In The Night). Of course, I’d completely missed THAT on the screen—not happy! (Brat)
Tobias Sammett was to hold a press conference on the Saturday to announce the first live performance of the project AVANTASIA at Wacken 2008—something Edguy/Avantasia fans had wished for since the release of Avantasia The Metal Opera but could only dream of until now; however, the press conference was cancelled due to (rumour) Tobi being rushed to hospital with appendicitis. (Brat)
I’ve read this band’s name a number of times, and I even think they were recommended to me when I was in search of metal with bagpipes, but never had the opportunity to check out SuidAkrA’s music—until now! After a set of Darkane Times; Gates Of Nevermore; Forth-Clyde; Pendragon’s Fall; The One Piece Puzzle; Dead Man’s Reel; The IXth Legion; Wartunes I was won over—I’m sure I was Scottish in a past life, it could also explain my habit of chasing men in kilts—and bought Caledonia when I returned home.
By now, everyone knows that Amorphis are back on track after last years awesome Eclipse and the recently released Silent Waters. So keeping this in mind, I was really excited about watching the band once again and what better place to do it than Wacken.
When the show was about to start something really weird happened, the ground in the midst of the audience caught fire. To keep people from sinking in to the mud, the organizers dropped in big quantities of small wooden pieces. It seems that this piece caught fire when someone dropped a cigarrete on the floor, and quickly there was this big flame in front of the stage. Thankfully the firefighters acted extremely fast and nothing happened. In Wacken they really know their business, and this is just another example of the professionalism of the festival.
Brat: Agree with Arto about the professionalism and contingency plans in place in case of emergencies. This could have become very nasty. What is it about me and fire at Wacken?
To clarify the incident, Ray and I were walking around the crowds gathered in front of the True and Black stages and were browsing in the market stalls waiting for AMORPHIS. I smelt smoke, but just thought it was a nearby BBQ when a commotion behind us grabbed our attention. People were scattering at a speed you’d only expect to see at Wacken if there was free beer and a small ring of fire quickly grew as a result of the straw on the ground placed to soak up mud created by weeks of rain leading up the festival.
At first there was no threat to the people gathered waiting for AMORPHIS and a few brain cell deprived guys even dared to pose for photographs close to the ring of fire. Before the fire grew too large, firefighters had appeared with hoses and were even assisted by some good samaritan stall owners who pulled out personal fire extinguishers to help fight the spread of the blaze, one of the festival organisers, Sheree Hesse appeared on a quadbike to supervise the operation.
However, due to the thickness of the straw, water did not penetrate fully and spot fires began to appear travelling in the wind direction towards the stage which was already engulfed with thick smoke. By now, people in front of the True metal stage were moved back as far as the Black metal stage perimeter and gates to the festival area were closed to new entries.
The time slot allotted to AMORPHIS was then left empty to give the stage a chance to clear as not even crew were able to work on it and all the bands scheduled for the True Metal stage played one timeslot later.
It is no wonder that when AMORPHIS finally took to the stage, they opened with their song, The Smoke! (Brat)
Ok, so now to the show. Amorphis played songs from all of their albums, the standouts for me was “My Kantele”, “Against Widows”, “The Smoke” and the closer, which you might have guessed it by now “Black Winter Day”. A song that in my opinion is a grea Amorphis song, but not the best one to carry the position as closer. In the vocal department Tomy Joutsen proved that he is the ideal guy for Amorphis new direction and screamed his lungs out with a dynamic and powerful performance. Good show. Amorphis live at Wacken
Made curious by the band who named themselves after a SONATA ARCTICA album, Ray and I went in search of the Austrian winning entry for this year’s Wacken Metal Battle (band competition to win a CD deal with Armegeddon) playing on the WET stage during the time AMORPHIS was suppose to play. After seeing that is was another male/female shared vocal groups we as well, we weren’t expecting much. How nicely we were surprised. The music sounded refreshing, with no obvious copycatting but still power metallish.
Due to the massive fire, the whole schedule went more or less upside down causing delays and new arrangements and rearranging the schedule. The Therion gig therefore had a delayed start. Therion is such an interesting band because of the use of two vocalists, especially Snowy Shaw doing a lion sharre of all of the vocal duties and a new vocalist Thomas Vikstrom, being the former Candlemass singer, replacing Mats Leven. And of course a couple of a hot looking back-up female singers. To be honest Snowy kind of stole the whole gig for himself as it looked Vikstorm wasn’t that convinced or sure how to act and share the stage between him and Shaw. Therion live at Wacken
Brat: Walking across towards THERION we bumped into one of my Swedish metal-brothers, waiting for TURBONEGRO on the Black stage. Although a fan of Therion’s music, I really didn’t know what they looked like other than in the video for their Summer Night City (ABBA) cover, so when I looked up on stage and asked "Have they always looked like that?" his reply was: "What? Gay gothic?" We walked away laughing and that comment kept flashing to me while I watched them forcing random bursts of laughter from me during their set.
As was expected, To Mega Therion drew a big response with crowd interaction.
Because of the four classical voices on stage, I couldn’t seem to mentally get past them to see who/what else was on stage as their movements seemed to look like a poor choreographed opera rather than a freestyle performance. I hope I get to see them in more intimate surroundings in the future because I love the music, but I don’t think they work on a big stage. (Brat)
When the booking of Possessed to Wacken was annoucemended during the spring time, it definitely made several old school metal freaks’ head spin around, thinking “Possessed…Holy shit”.
The Possessed of 20007 does not consist of the original members from the past, but however the death metal legend Jeff Becerra has returned back to the limelight with the Sadistic Intent guys. The gig was kicked off with the immortal opening intro off SEVEN CHURCHES and then the whole place was torn down by a one hour set of the pure Possessed deadly lesson given by Becerra. Becerra and the Sadistic Intent guys gave a new meaning to what a lesson in brutal death metal is about. The whole audience was hammered down by several immortal Possessed classics. It was obvious the whole set was a jawdropping and asskicking experience to witness. To hear Becerra’s recognizable voice being a part of the whole death metal history was amazing. Holy Hell could sum up the reaction of the audience. Possessed at Wacken
Knights of the round table led by Chris Boltendahl hit the True Metal stage to teach the Wacken crowd about Scottish mythology and fairytales. Grave Digger has, and always had, a loyal fanbase in Central Europe and above all in Germany. Even a legion of die hard Grave Digger fans had conquered the frontline of the security barrier and placed a Scottish flag with a slogan made for Grave Digger. Boltendahl thanked and gave them and everyone a lesson in Scottish history. The set had been built to base on the material off the new opus called LIBERTY OF DEATH and of course a fistful of metal of old classics from the golden 80’s era. The four piece did a solid and pretty much routine gig. Grave Digger live at Wacken
STURM UND DRANG
During a full timetable of bands on 4 stages, a 5th stage operates in the Press Tent. When press conferences aren’t being conducted, young bands showcase themselves or bands perform new material to be release in the near future.
One of the young bands to be showcased this year was STURM UND DRANG—Finland’s metal answer to Australia’s SILVERCHAIR and the future generation of heavy metal.
These kids was very impressively—musicianship and showmanship seemed natural as the band performed a set of originals from their debut album (aptly named) Learning To Rock with a couple of very impressive covers: Broken; Learning to Rock; Breaking The Law; Rising Son; Indian; a great version of Fear Of The Dark; and Forever.
I look forward to watching these youngsters mature musically.
Brat: One of the highlights of Wacken for me this year was the performance of one of my favourite Australian power metal bands, BLACK MAJESTY. The power and quality of singer, John Cavaliere’s, voice sees this man’s future as the Ronnie James Dio of our generation, of course his heritage probably influences my comparison as well.
After finding out earlier that day that BLACK MAJESTY has been asked to take an earlier slot as one of the bands on the Wet stage was running late, I frantically sent text messages to the Aussies whose cells I had as this was the official gathering of Aussies at Wacken.
Axemen and quiet achieves, Steve Janevski and Hanny Mohamed, worked the stage with new memberr/fill-in bassist, Czech national, Richard Filak, while drummer Pavel Konvalinka made sure we didn’t forget him with his pounding from the back of a very small, yet deep stage.
Playing songs from all three albums–Sands of Time, Silent Company and Tomorrowland–I witnessed a surprisingly strong following as many people were mouthing the words to songs and very few happened to be Australian.
Black Majesty have two regular guest singers when they play live in Australia—Silvio Vassaro from Vanishing Point and Danny Cecati of Eyefear and ex-Pegazus. Both singers have graced the stages of Wacken and I half expected to see one of them emerge from a roadcase to yell "surprise!".
Following the show I met 2 aspiring Aussies from the UK, who were heading downUnder following the European festival season.
The black metal gift to the wacken audience was Chthonic from Taiwan. They have tremendous media hype because of their Ozzfest appearance and above all by being messangers of Taiwan for the UN. This Cradle Of Filth’s cousin has taken all the benefit and advantage of this UN campaign indeed. However in the live situation the Taiwanese black metallers were really bombastic and blowing several other so called symphonic blacked metal bands away easily. Combining the politician and black metal to the same concept definitely sounds corny in the ears of the most puritanic black metal fans. It has to be admitted honestly the bassist chick looks quite…..hmm…. nice…
TurboNegro at Wacken was quite a different choice to replace a couple of bands pulling out of the whole festival. The Norwegians may have the home advantage at Wacken, as there is a huge TurboJugend fanclub in Hamburg. However Hank Von Helvete as charastic person as always at every gig by TurboNegro. His weird and odd sounding English fits perfectly his style. The set was based on the material off the new output RETOX and of course plenty of the most wellknown TurboNegro’s songs. Weird even though as said Hamburg has a huge fanbase, there wasn’t that much TurboNegro patches and shirts witnessed in the crowd. TurboNegro live at Wacken
The British reactivated pagan thrashers Sabbat were booked to Wacken at the last minute. As a result, they ended up to playing on the tent stage. Sabbat used to dominate the frontline of the English thrash metal scene along with Onslaught back in the 80’s. When Martin Walkier pulled out, the whole band went downhill with the third album. Therefore, it was obvious the whole third album had been forgotten from Sabbat’s gig when the five piece performed the paganism thrashing material from the two albums. Walkier has always been known for his passion to the pagan and other mystical issues, reflecting his way to dress for gigs. As stated above, the third album had been ignored. Instead the set contained plenty of killer tunes from HISTORY OF TIME TO COME and DREAMWEARER such “Do Dark Horses Dream Of Nightmare”. If Sabbat still sounds so vital and timeless it wouldn’t be impossible to come up new songs and we at least keep our fingers crossed in hope of seeing a new album. Sabbat live at Wacken
Putting Enslave to the third stage was either a huge mistake or damn weird stragedy because the whole area of the third stage was totally pumped up by the huge crowd. As a result reaching nearer to the frontline was an act of hopeless wishful thinking. The Norwegian pagan blackish, or whatever they are nowaways, was watched from afar. Enslaved live at Wacken
The weather couldn’t have been better and I’m glad I put Ray through the torture of finding a decent hat before we hit Wacken. Living in Australia there are two major safety elements taught to us from a very early age: one is to learn to swim as soon as possible; the other is to wear sun protection as much as possible as Australia has the one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. I’m glad that even in my old age I still practise Australia’s motto of "Slip, Slop & Slap" (slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat) because I would have risked looking like this fool who didn’t even have the sense to put on a shirt after getting sunburn, instead he continued to poor beer on his severely blistered skin. I imagine he’d be sporting some mighty fine scars right now. And he thought we were taking a photo of him because he was cool. (Brat)
Brat: After a seven year wait I was finally going to see LACUNA COIL live. A fan since 2002, I was expecting a more mature, better quality performance than I’d seen on DVD from their 2001 performance and was not disappointed.
LACUNA COIL should draw no comparisons to other female fronted bands other than the likes of Arch Enemy or Tourettes as, although Cristina Scabbia sings rather than growls her vocals, the energy, intensity and want of a better word, balls, of her performance keep this band very metal, even with their newer releases evolving towards the commerical US market.
I lasted about three songs—To The Edge; Fragments Of Faith; and Swamped before giving up trying to get any more shots from the second row and leaving Ray to watch them in the crowd vaccuum. There was no doubt of the popularity of LACUNA COIL as I stood outside the throng to enjoy The Visible Light; Fragile; Closer; Senzaline (for the Italians at the festival); What I See; the Depeche Mode cover, Enjoy The Silence; Heavens A Lie; and Our Truth watching tens of thousands of fans join in the mass interactions.
As the sun was setting over the Lacuna Coil crowd moving onto their next piece of entertainment, Ray and I went to the car for some warmer clothing it seemed we weren’t the only ones with that idea. Costumes of every sort colour the sea of black at Wacken every year and there were a couple of young ladies (they sounded Czech but I could be wrong) wearing a uniform that left very little to the imagination-they had the job of handing out flyers of the festival. I kept trying to take an inconspicuous photo of them during the day but without success. They were directly in front of us so I was urging Ray in a non too subtle way to hurry up and take a photo of them, meanwhile guys from a camp we were standing in front of were laughing thinking I was trying to stop him. (Brat)
The Austrian death/black panzerdivision metallers unleashed the flames of damnation on the tent stage in front of the packed audience. The four piece hammered with merciless and brutal grip songs off PENTAPOLCALYPSE and other albums to the audience. The band sounded extremely vital and brutal to the bone. The frontman and guitarist Helmutt and the rest of the band burst the brutality out of themselves by giving a death/black outburst. Frankly, Belphegor was definitely in good form for example when compared to the Party San gig.
Blind Guardian to many was this years main event and that could be seen when they took the stage. It was hard to walk anywhere, the place was so crowded that you had to push one person, move the other and crash into the next one to keep on moving.
The band were presenting their newest CD, "A Twist In The Myth". Old songs sounded great as always, and everybody was chanting and singing along. “Imagination From…”, “Bard’s Song” and so many more, just took us to the old days of BG. Unfortunately, to this reviewer, the newer songs didn’t work out as great in the live setting but it did for some parts of the audience who were chanting them, but the ambience was nowhere as near as when classics exploded.
Also, the bands show has become very boring. If you see Hansi, he doesn’t do anything more than sing and walk very little on the stage without expending much energy. Maybe he is just too old or uninterested nowadays for the live setting? Or maybe the band has played so much live, that they just don’t get the rush they once did. Blind Guardian live at Wacken
Brat: I’m with Arto here…After Wacken 2002 and more recently watching BLIND GUARDIAN’s live DVD Imaginations Through The Looking Glass, I really didn’t feel the need to complete with 60-odd-thousand people to get a glimpse of what I find an extremely boring band to watch. Maybe the band invested in some ants for their pants this tour, but I didn’t want to waste my energy watching another stale band with brilliant songs.
As usual, Dimmu’s frontman Shagrath welcomed the Wacken audience to witness and enjoy a lesson in violence with the Norwegian symphonic black metal maelstrom. Actually, Shagrath never changes his speaking lines or makes up something new as by now he has declared the show of Dimmu Borgir as a lesson in violence almost on every show. The DB show was another festival show in their full booked calendar. It is obvious changing to the mandatory set lists aint made. If Swedenrock was a little bit monotous as the audience wasn’t exactly the right one for Dimmu, instead the band sounded more vicious as the dark enviroment fit much better to create the right atmosphere for the symphonic black metal maelstorm. As an off topic has to be mentioned Galder knows how to have a right way of being on the stage while being photographed. However it will remain to see if the audience is welcomed the same old opening phrase on the forthcoming European tour with Amon Amarth. Dimmu Borgir live at Wacken
Hmm it is quite noticeable Tim Ripper Owens has divided the fanbase of Iced Earth to the two separate camps. Fans have divided visions and opinions about Owens as a singer to Iced Earth and to handle the material from the Barlow era. Owens is without any doubt a top class metal singer which can’t be denied at all. He has a huge heart to contribute to the material of Iced Earth from their wide category.
Iced Earth turned to a be damn awesome and above all unbelievable aggressive sounding balancing between the classic metal and thrash metal. Ripper’s wide capacity of using his vocal skills is nothing but utterly amazing. All right well a few Barlow worshipperers may disagree with that standpoint shown here.
However Iced Earth ruled, but despite the atmosphere and playing in the nightfall of the German landscape, Iced Earth didn’t sound brutal. First, the new fresh material from FRAMING ARMAGEDDON wan’t yet quite unknwon to the most of people. Iced Earth at Wacken
Brat: By the time ICED EARTH took to the stage, bands seemed be playing closer to their scheduled time. Torn between loving ICED EARTH Barlow era music and not hating Tim Owen’s vocals I moved in and out of the WET stage, watching FASTAWAY with Ray, during ICED EARTH’s set to catch classics like Stormrider and The Hunter.
Raymond: After a day of watching and listening to Therion, Lacuna Coil and Blind Guardian I went to see Fastway. Eddie Clark started the melodic blues hard rock off in front of a small crowd but with Toby Jepson (LITTLE ANGELS) fronting the band he got the crowd going as he was in fine form with great stage presence and control of his vocals that seemed effortless, with a tight set of songs including Another Day and Easy Livin’, it was good to see rock with some passion.
Samael visited Wacken back in 2005, but returning to playing on the third stage at 2AM wasn’t that idealistic timing. Most of the festival visitors had passed out to their tents. However Samael’s hypnotic, industrialized dark metal was more than welcomed in the dark small hours. Including “Baphomet’s Throne” was one of the expected ones from them, but it would have been extremely welcomed from Samael to do at least one song off the legendary debut album WORSHIP HIM such as “Into The Pentagram”. Vorpha’s voice is still one of kind in the metal genre sounding grim and vicious. The other guys kept jumping like lunatics on the stage all around. Samael should have deserved a better timing indeed. Samael live at Wacken
Brat: I decided to make a slow start to the day taking my time getting dressed and putting on warpaint to numerous text messages from a certain Metal-rules staff member wishing me to be in the press tent for some reason. "What part of ‘I’m getting dressed don’t you understand?’" I yelled at my phone. Ray went out into the festival without me to watch Sweden’s SONIC SYNDICATE whose latest CD reminded me of a young Soilwork.
Raymond: On the last morning of Wacken, SONIC SYNDICATE drew a large number of people to see them open the last day of the Black stage. As the winner of a Nuclear Blast contest with a new album out (Only Inhuman), I had a lot of interest in seeing them live. Their blend of hardcore/metal sound didn’t disappoint.
Two singers, Roland Johansson and Richard Sjunnesson, led the way into this high energy set including "Aftermath"; "Double Agent 616"; and "Psychic Suicide" which got the crowd jumping and moshing in sync, with the rest of the band getting into it. The band had no problems filling such a large stage with energy. I really want to see this band again live.
To be honest, Sacred Reich should have returned back to the limelight a long time ago in the wake of the whole reunion fuss. Their return has been waited by longtime old school thrash fans for a while. Now in 2007 it finally happened. After doing a few dates in Europe, the Arizona thrashers concluded the touring to Wacken. It is kind of hard to figure out why Sacred Reich had been scheduled to play at 1PM as people usually started waking up at that time in the campaing area. Hah. Those who couldn’t arrive on time to check out Sacred Reich, missed a great gig indeed. But the combo sounded extremely vital and tight. it was a celebration of the speed thrash fest as song after song that the four piece did such as “Death Squad”, ”One Nation”, “Independent” and so on making the crowd go nuts.
When the concluding song "Surf Nicaragua" was blasted out, the incredible huge circle and mosh pits started, rioting throughout the song. Hopefully the gig at Wacken encouranged the Texas thrashers to consider continuing forward. At least Phil Rind appeared to positively surprised at the reaction achieved for Sacred Reich as he recalled “Sacred Reich played in Germany back in 1987 with Motorhead, Destruction, Candlemass and Coroner and it was.. a beatiful time.” It definitely was indeed. Sacred Reich live at Wacken
Moonspell’s visit to Wacken was definitely a welcome booking as they have not been here for years. The Portugese dark metallers surprised many with a tight and intensive set at Tuska a month earlier in Helsinki. Moonspell continued the same strong performance at Wacken. Once again the whole band had visited the local beauty shop to pick up essential grim looking makeup as each guy had black spots painted around their eyes. The whole five-piece appeared to be in a vicious and dangerous strike at Wacken. The set was kicked off in the most aggressive way and the same tempo was kept during the 60 minute. As for the set list, all these mandatory Moonspell classics appeared in the set such as “Vampiria”, “Opium”, etc. After seeing Moonspell twice in a row, it was absolutely surprising and above all damn good. Moonspell live at Wacken
Brat: After two solid weeks of shooting, my camera battery chose this morning to pack it in so I had to spend some time press tent while it was recharging. During this time, Australian band TOURETTES (SYNDROME) showcased songs from their upcoming CD to be released on Wacken’s own label, ARMAGEDDON.
I was dumbstruck when I heard Michele Madden’s rich alto voice intro one of the songs with the first verse of Doris Day’s "Que Sera Sera". What a voice! I say more singing in TOURETTES vocals please!
Since STRATOVARIUS’s quick guest set last year after everyone thought the band was through, fans have been waiting for new material with baited breath Unfortunately Stratovarius’s rebirth and self-titled CD was a disappointment. Keyboardist, Jens Johannsen who is based in USA now, made the most of Wacken arriving early on Thursday and enjoyed all the festivities. Fellow bandmates, however, ‘flew’ in, did their set and flew out again with barely any impact on or off the stage.
It was great watching the band again and I sung along with everyone else during "Hunting High And Low" but with each CD release Stratovarius becomes weaker. Such a waste of a band full of first class musicians.
The German metal institution Rage has been one of regular bands visiting Wacken every second year. Therefore, we definitely expected something special and unique from Peavey of Rage for Wacken. Well bringing the Lingua Mortis symphonic orchestra was without any doubts a cool act from Rage. Rage has managed to gain more attention by collabrating with Lingua Mortis. The guitarist wizard Viktor Smolski was obviously thrilled about having the symphonic orchestra on the stage as having dressed up to better looking clothes. The obvious songs such “From The Cradle To The Grave” were essential ones on the set. As for a new drummer, even though he was introduced, but unfortunately his definitely remained quite mystery after all. Rage live at Wacken
Secrets Of The Moon
The German dark occult black metal four piece was quite a new acquaaintance even though the band’s members have been involved in several other bands or projects in the past. Due to the short playing time, the incredible long and epic songs could be heared from 5 to 6 judging by a wild guess. The band’s personal darkest metal sounded more than interesting and tempted me to get a hold of their stuff. Even though the four piece ain’t that wildest showmen, they handled the gig with honor and prestige which fit to their performance more than well. Anyone looking for epic dark, with the black metal influences, should check out Secrets Of The Moon.
Dimension Zero should be considered as a real band, but when the In Flames guitarist Jesper Stromblad is involved in the band’s line-up, so it is hard to image how they are able to sort out these touring and gigging commitments. Anyway the five-piece raged through stuff off both their albums. The band was as technical as possible, Jesper’s fingers moved quite quickly along the guitar. Recognizing the singer Jocke GothBerg as a former member of Marduk would have been mission impossible as he was changed a little bit since those days. Dimension Zero live at Wacken
It had been announced earlier that Destruction was having a show with all kinds of surprises and special guests. During the 75 minute performance several well-known and recognizable metal names and icons showed up to the stage. The stage had been designed to have to follow the set of Destruction. A few cool looking skulls had been placed to micstands. Of course outstanding pyros flamed more than once.
Well at least Schmier got an unexpected surprise when micstands had been placed quite close to the pyros when flames went off. He took every mic stand a few meters back.
As mentioned above there were a plenty of so called surprise names showing up to the stage. A few examples such as Peavey from Rage, Sabina Classen from Holy Moses, Angelripper from Sodom, the frontman of Communic and above all the former members of Destruction visited doing a couple of songs. To be honest it was hard to recongize these old members as their look had changed quite radically. Destruction desroyed the Wacken crowd by giving a real bestial invasion of old thrash metal by covering a plenty of old classic songs as well as the new ones. Obviously the whole gig will be released on DVD which will be a must have for every thrash freak. Destruction live at Wacken
Type O Negative
Holy Christ! Peter Steele is kind of messed up nowadays. Even their Wacken gig just proved Peter’s current and especially horrible condition. He may have taken some stuff a little bit too much. As his current look can be seen in these pics. If he doesn’t get his things together sooner or later, something will probably happen. The whole TON gig was nothing but utter hassling from the beginning to the end. It even took a while until they managed to get songs rolling. Peter constantly enjoyed drinks while hitting a note from his bass. All of a sudden the man stormed off from the stage, leaving other members to wonder what to do next. While Steele was taking a rest somewhere behind the stage, other members started playing with tv cameras and asked the audience to cheer. After 15 minute of desperate waiting and wondering if Steele would decide to return to handle the rest of the set. Well at least Steele wasn’t that confused last year when playing with Carnivore. One thing is sure, girls won’t drool that much in front of Steele nowadays. Type O Negative live at Wacken
Brat: Hail the return of the real (cool) Peter Steele! Dressed in his clerical collar, the man on stage was the Reverend of goth metal that women have swooned over for years. My mourning for Steele past (after his atrocious appearance in Carnivore last year) was over as I bathed in green Type O Negative lights and tried to rejoice in the music including songs We Hate Everyone; Kill You Tonight; Love You To Death; Christian Woman; and the compulsory Black No. 1.
The Reverend’s antics from last year continued, at one stage sitting down and just drinking. At least he didn’t fall off stage this time. After standing in uncomfortable silence for some time, the rest of band started to play before the restless, questioning crowd started booing.
TYPE O NEGATIVE’s music has always interested me and from the reaction of the people around me, Peter Steele doesn’t seem to have lost his credibility…I don’t know, maybe like me, people wanted to see this illusive band to finally tick them off their wish list and it’s probably a good thing we finally had that chance, because if Peter Steele keeps up like this, we may be soon bidding another metal legend to rest in peace.
Immortal did an blazing firebreathing show a month earlier at Tuska in Helsinki. But having played time in the dark of the German night was one kind of experience to witness the sons of northern darkness in action. The whole trio was on fire and above all Mr Abbath. His performance definitely featured comedical elements beause of his style of running the stage all around and doing eccentric grimaces. Immortal’s set and gig was real pure diabolical battle at the heart of the metal mecca. The immortal black metallers burst into the air the utter cold northern frostbitten metal. The whole set consisted of songs picked up almost from every Immortal album. Obviously the whole Wacken audience was at present when Immortal played as the whole field was entirely crowded that moving to any direction became almost impossible. Immortal definitely works in the cold and dark enviroment giving more visual aspect for their show with all lights. Immortal live at Wacken
Brat: Other than wanting to see HAGGARD and just not having anymore energy, the last band of the festival for me was STORMWARRIOR on the Party stage with special guest Kai Hansen. Is there any band this guy won’t play with?
Classic tracks like Odin’s Warriors, Thunder and Iron Prayer opened the set before Kai Hansen took his place on stage and stole the show with Helloween songs Judas; Phantoms Of Death; Ride The Sky and the compulsory I Want Out to ice the metal cake.
“Municipal Waste is gonna fuck you up, Municapal Waste is gonna fuck up” slogans echoed around the Wacken area before the gig and above all after the gig. The four piece out of Virginia is known for being one hell of a live band. That definitely was proven right when the whole tent was entire chaos and mayhem. The whole tent was seas of huge mosh and circlepits. Even some maniacs jumped into the audience with a surf board. The crowd went totally beserk when S.O.D’s United Forces was played with the rampage grip. Damn cool gig from these crossover or whatever metal nuts. Municipal Waste live at Wacken
Although In Flames are, in many circles, despised and hated, it is funny to see how thousands of manics screaming, banging and crowdsurfing during the In Flames set as at least there have to be a couple of In Flames haters amongst the audience. The Swedish flamers for obvious reasons stuck to performing the material from the most recent albums. But of course a couple of older songs had been added to the night’s set such “Episode 666”. But mostly the band made the audience jump up and down with the newer material. In Flames live at Wacken
When I started listening to Death Metal, one of the first bands I got into were Cannibal Corpse. Their aggressivness and groove really got my attention at that time. Throughout the years and with so much metal coming out everywhere, I somehow forgot about the band and traveled other metal roads, this also had to do with Chris Barnes leaving the band. Man was I wrong about my decision, catching George Corpsegrinder Fisher has got to be one of the most intense Metal experiences I have ever lived. He is a fucking monster that has the best oiled killing machine backing him up. I have never seen a frontman as fucked up as him. He doesn’t stop for a grasp of air. He just headbangs like a maniac in the most brutal way you have ever seen. No wonder why if there was a prize for metal’s biggest neck, he would take it without a problem. Also the band, Alex Webster, Barret, Pat and Paul are just too good to be true. Tight, heavy and energetic. And the tunes, man the tunes, they are some of the best I have experienced live.
For the first time in 15 years, if I am not mistaken, CC were able to play songs from the first 3 CDs. So this besides being a CC show, it was going to be the first time that the band played tunes from their early years. And as you may have guessed it, the big song of the night was without a doubt, “Hammer Smashed Face”. This was the most brutal song of the whole festival. I have been in Wacken 3 times, and had never seen so many headbanging. Not even near. Newer tunes also killed and made me realize that I have a lot of CDs to go back too. I already said it, but I want to do it again. CC were simply the best band of the whole festival. Cannibal Corpse At Wacken
More unholy Norwegian black metal, but with the rawer and more primitive approach. 1349 welcomed the audience and above all photgraphers by doing a fire breathing that most of gerosine ended up to the faces of the crowd and flames licked the nearest people to the stage. 1349 spread the unholy blapshemic messages with the merciless grip around the tent. Giving a perfect impression of what true raw is supposed to be played with the true black metal attitude. 1349 live at Wacken
Favourite performer: Sabbat, Municipal Waste, and Sacred Reich.
Best discovery: Secrets Of The Moon.
Highlight: Managing to see Possessed fronted by legendary Jeff Becerra and of course the Sadistic Intent guys.
Biggest disappointment: Hmm hmmhmm… No rain? haha
Most interesting/valuable item purchased: Nothing this time.
Last comment: Metal Fire and Sun.
Wacken 2007 was an utter blast when it comes to seeing a helluva lot of bands and experiencing the spirit of a metal mecca. Wacken has already announced a couple of bands for the next year’s edition such Sonata Arctica, Kreator, Children Of Bodom, Avantasia, Carcass and of course the mighty Iron Maiden. It is quite likely that tickets will be sold like hot cakes. So prepare yourself for getting tickets on time before it is too late. It is now time to thank the Finnish extreme metal mag Miasma Mag for helping out with passes and several other things.
Favourite performer: Sonic Syndicate, Lacuna Coil.
Best discovery: Fair To Midland
Highlight: My first Wacken
Biggest disappointment: Stupid T-shirt selling chick not selling me the last Sonic Syndicate T-shirt with the design I liked because it was up on the display.
Most interesting/valuable item purchased: Raindancer self-titled CD
Last comment: See you next year
In the anxiety of sleeping in and missing our morning flight out of Hamburg and onto Ankkarock in Hellsinki I rose to watch the Sunday morning mist rise from the fields in near silence not heard in Wacken for many weeks. Distant church bells from the protected church grounds rang calling sinners to prayers as I packed the last of my gear giving away undrunk alcohol to neighbours and went in search for my lifeblood–coffee–crossing paths with Arto bringing his gear to our car as we were giving him a lift to civilisation.
Eerie: Wacken campsite with not a soul in sight
Many people must have left after the last bands or were planning a late start because we met with little traffic leaving Wacken making our journey to the airport seamless. When we arrived at the airport, Arto went his separate way staying in Germany, while Ray and I joined other Wackenese returning hire cars.
A relatively quiet Wacken for me this year and I’d due to being given incorrect information each time I asked about hot water I’d managed to live up to the motto of "Duschen ist kein Metal!"
Favourite performer: Lacuna Coil and Type O Negative.
Best discovery: SuidAkrA
Highlight: Becks being the official beer meant I got to drink my girly refreshing lemon/lime beer (radler/shandy) which I discovered last year, the return of X-tra-X shop
Biggest disappointment: Full Metal Bag scam, Peter Steele and the ongoing overcrowding
Most interesting/valuable item purchased: I don’t think I actually bought anything other than official festival T-shirts NOOOOO!
Last comment: Prost Wacken
Hair of the dog or morning vitamins?