Photos by : © '08 E. Straver / T. Martijn

NOTE: Unauthorized use of these photos is prohibited. We hope
you have a good lawyer if you disregard this warning.

31/07/2008 - 02/08/2008, Wacken Open Air 2008, Part 19 – Wacken – Germany

Friday 01/08/2008

On Friday morning Grave get to wake up Wacken with the first show on the Black stage. Around 11 o’clock we can hear “A World In Darkness” from the backstage area where we are stuck along with the rest of the press people, waiting to be released onto the field. Although it’s relatively early, quite a number of people have abandoned their tents to see the Swedish deathmetallers. The band rages on with a song off their latest album: “Fallen Angel Son” and they are greeted by the crowd with great enthusiasm. We hear older stuff like “Turning Back” and new material like “Deathstorm”. The myriad of polka-beats goes down well and after the songs “Soulless” and “Burn” we have reached the last song “Into The Grave” after which the Swedes take their leave. (Thomas van Golen)


Today Primordial is the first band to enter the Party stage. I wonder when I’m supposed to sleep, what with bands starting as early as 11 o’clock! Due to the fact that the backstage area doesn’t open until 11.10 I miss the first two songs. Although this band resided deep in the underground scene a year ago, they have managed to make quite a name for themselves at this point in time with a fine new record entitled ‘To The Nameless Dead’, and today’s crowd is their testimonial. Primordial play a varied set with songs such as “Gods To The Godless”, “Rome Burns” and “Empire Falls”. Even the singer seems to be enjoying himself, and so are we. (Koos van Marle)

Last year Mortal Sin blew away the tent stage and today they have moved up on the metal ladder, all the way to the Wacken True Metal stage. The intro “The Curse” is followed by “Blood, Fire, Death” during which quite a bit of headbanging is going on. It’s virtually impossible to stand still with all those rhythms and polka’s going on! And then it’s time for some new stuff; “Dead Man Walking”, “Out Of The Darkness” and “Tears Of Redemption (Lebanon pt.2)”, all these songs prove that Mortal Sin has still got what it takes. Vocalist Mat Maurer is clearly content with the crowd that has turned up and he too joins the trend of climbing the framework so as to serenade us from a considerable height. The band sounds tight knit today, some songs are played faster than even before. The set is ended with “Lebanon”, “I Am Immortal” and the wicked track “Mayhemic Destruction”! (Thomas van Golen)


Next up is Cynic on the smaller stage, the renewed band now has two Dutch members (guitar and bass) and they play a tight technical death metal set. Whether it is the heat and humidity or the style of music, they don’t seem to succeed to raise the spirits of their audience. Their sound, however, is pretty good. Just as they finish playing “Veil of Maya” (off their debut album), the heavens open and it starts to pour with rain. I seek refuge in a tent alongside the field where they are selling cd’s. I managed to capture shreds of “Celestial Voyage”, “I’m But A Wave To...” and a new song, pity about the weather and the crowd. (Koos van Marle)

Due to the need to eat and drink and interview commitments, we have to give Job For A Cowboy, Unearth and Ensiferum a miss.

I am quite curios about Headhunter, the hobby project of Destruction singer/bass player Schmier, guitarist Schmudel and drummer Jörg Michael. I am surprised in the most positive manner when I witness how they unleash their thrashy, energetic heavy metal mixed with rock ‘n roll! The play songs such as “Armies Of The Blind” and “Parody Of Live”, followed by “Read My Lips” and “Caught In A Spiders Web”. This is an extremely animated show and therefore quite entertaining. Headhunter wraps it up with “Payback Time” and “Signs Of Insanity”. (Talitha Martijn) 


Kamelot kicks off with the songs “Rule The World” and “When The Lights Are Down”. Their solid powermetal is larded with melodic parts and bombastic elements; all of this is topped by convincing vocals by singer Kahn and the goings on that Kamelot is known for. The crowd joins Kahn in singing ““Soul Society” and “The Human Stain”, they clearly express their appreciation for this band . Furthermore we hear the songs “EdenEcho”, “Center Of The Universe”, “Karma” and “The Haunting”. This solid performance is ended with the beautiful song “Ghost Opera” followed by “Forever” and “March Of Mephisto”. (Talitha Martijn)

I am curious to see the The Rotted show on the WET stage/ Headbangers ballroom  this afternoon. I am familiar with their older work but apparently they have chosen a different musical direction for their new album ‘Get Dead Or Die Trying’. Their sound is ok, though extremely loud. In a high pace we hear a number of songs that are more technically complex than the goregrind- like tracks on the first two albums. “Nothing But A Nosebleed” , “The Haunting” and “Kissing You With My Fist” are pretty cool songs. It’s a pity the singer walks around on stage like some kind of hiphop artist. The remainder of the set does not contain any songs I know, and so I take my leave halfway through the show, feeling slightly disappointed. (Koos van Marle)


Sabaton from Sweden are here to do what they do best; entertain. All Around us people are singing and shouting along with the lyrics of songs such as “Panzer Battalion”, “Nuclear Attack”, “Primo Victoria”  and “Metal Crüe”. The Swedes play a solid, no-nonsense show on which we can look back with a smile on our face. (Talitha Martijn)


Soilwork has managed to build a pretty impressive live reputation and so a large crowd has gathered before the stage to see them at work. Unfortunately the volume is cranked up so high that it is kind of hard to concentrate on the music. The songs that leave the deepest impression on me today are “One With The Flesh” en “Rejectable”, among others. I am amused by the large numbers of crowdsurfers that keep passing by until I am forced to shelter from the wind and rain. (Martina Schouten)

Cleveland heroes Destructor add the cherry on the pie with their performance in the tent today. Although this speed/thrash combination has been around for years, many young people have made their way to the front of the stage and they live it up both during the old and the new songs played by the band. The bandmembers are all clad in spike-studded leather and vocalist Dave Overkill is still able to produce his high-pitched screams. We enjoy old songs such as “Pounding Evil”, “Sonic Bullet” and “Storm Of Steel”. The new songs we hear are not bad at all: “Tear Down The Heavens” and “World Of War”. A slight word of criticism: Jamie Boulder’s bass sound was pretty annoying, to the point where it felt like an electric current was going through your ears. Nonetheless this show was cool and packed with good old thrash! (Thomas van Golen)


In between all the metal violence today we also get a chance to see Sonata Artica on the True Metal stage. This band has gained enormous popularity in the past couple of years and when they hit the crowd with songs like “In Black And White”, “Paid In Full” and “Kingdom For A Heart” an ecstatic atmosphere dominates the field. The sound and light show are decent. Other songs on tonight’s setlist are “Replica”, “Fullmoon”, “It Won’t Fade”, “Gravenimage” and “Black Sheep”. The show is ended with “Don't Say A Word” and “The Cage”. (Eus)


Today deathmetal heroes Massacre also honor us with a visit. Although Kam Lee and Terry Butler are the only two remaining members of the legendary ex-Death line-up, this band still plays the straight-to-the point old school death metal that the fans want to hear. When they start to play the masterpiece “Dawn of Eternity” the party really gets started. We are entertained with golden oldies such as “Cryptic Realms”, “From Beyond” and “Corpse Grinder”. This show was as special as it was enjoyable. (Thomas van Golen)


Opeth is a popular band, and so it’s crowded in front of the stage when the guys are due. They open with the heavy song “Demon Of The Fall” followed by “Baying Of The Hounds” and “Masters Apprentice”. The fans are having a field day as the live qualities of this band are practically impeccable. Singer Mikael Åkerfeldt’s announcements are as ludicrous as ever, resulting in a great interaction with the audience. Opeth proceed to play “Heir Apprentice” (off the ‘Watershed’) and after the songs “Wreath” and “The Drapery Falls” the show is over. Although they only had time for six songs, this was definitely another memorable show. (Eus)

Once more, the festival site is crowded as Children Of Bodom are about to kick off. They start with the strong song “Sixpounder”. They go on to play “Hate Me”, “Follow The Reaper” and “Living Dead Beat” it’s obvious that it’s the classics like "Silent Night, Bodom Night", “Needled 24/7”  and "Angels Don't Kill" that make the crowd go wild. Singer/guitarist Alexi runs and jumps across the stage, striking one pose after the other. I must admit that Children Of Bodom have reasonably good sound today. We hear “Hellhounds on My Trail”, “One Day You Will Cry” and the title track of the album ‘Blooddrunk’ which was released earlier this year. The show is ended with  “Hate Crew Deathroll” and "Downfall" (1999) . Children Of Bodom were pretty convincing today. (Eus)


This year Nifelheim has earned a spot on the WET stage. This black metal outfit from Sweden has become pretty popular and so many a curious metalhead has made his/her way to the tent to see these gentleman shine. The hellish thrashy black metal is supported by an ice-cold blue lightshow, a perfect setting in combination with an overload of leather and spikes. They really get into it with songs such as “Storm Of Satans Fire”, “Satanic Sacrifice”, “Gates of Damnation” and “Storm Of The Reaper”. What a fine noise! In this respect the dark tent was a logical choice as the full daylight would not have done the band any justice. (Thomas van Golen)

Tobias Sammet has surrounded himself with talented musicians for his Avantasia project: Sascha Paeth on guitar and a handful of guest vocalists such as former Masterplan frontman Jorn Lande. We don’t really have high expectations of the show that is initiated with the songs “Twisted Mind” and “The Scarecrow” for which Thobias is joined by Jorn Lande. Unfortunately the beginning of the set is dominated by Jorn’s microphone problems. Luckily the problems are fixed soon enough and they proceed to play “Another Angel Down” together with Jorn. The sound is great and the stage looks impressive, everything seems to fall into place for this extraordinary show. Avantasia rages on with “Prelude” and “Reach Out for The Light” for which the band is joined by André Matos. Bob Catley plays the lead role in the ballad “The Story Ain’t Over” after which Both Bob Catley and André Matos assist the band in playing “Shelter From The Rain”. When the beautiful song “Lost In Place” is played, I realise just how extremely crowded the place has become, it’s almost unsettling. But I quickly forget about the masses when I hear “I Don’t Believe In Love”, followed by “Avantasia” and “Serpants In Paradise” featuring Jorn and axeman Uli John Roth. We’re halfway through the set now, five more songs to go: “Promised Land”(with Jorn), “The Toy Master” and “Farewell” featuring Amanda Summerville. It is now time for the medley “Sign Of The Cross/ The Seven Angels” for which all of tonight’s guest musicians are called on stage, Oliver Hartman, André Matos, Jorn Lande, Bob Catley and Amanda Summerville among others take part in this extravaganza, class!!! This was simply an excellent, memorable show. (Talitha Martijn)


It was promised that the Wacken Gorgoroth show would be even bloodier and more evil than the infamous 2004 Polish concert. Result: 20 more bloody sheepsheads and crucified naked bodies on stage. They kick off with “Bergtrollens Hevn” which sounds fine but from here on the sound starts to become shaky. The setlist comprised mainly of material off the latest two albums. Session drummer Nick Barker is really going at it, though the guitarists Teloch and Ice Dale (Enslaved) are hard to hear. Ghaal is in good shape but sounds way to loud in the mix. Naturally they play “Destroyer” but those who are expecting them to play “Possessed” will turn out to be disappointed. As a result of the lack of a decent guitar sound, Gorgoroth could not keep their promise of a spectacular show. (Thomas van Golen)


This has been another great Wacken day although we have had to make some sacrifices: We had to miss The Haunted, Crematory and Corvus Corax and most of the bands on the WETstage. Time for bed now. (Eus)

Thursday 31/07/2008
Saturday 02/08/2008