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05/08/2010 - 07/08/2010, Wacken Open Air 2010, Part 21 – Wacken – Germany

Saturday 07/08/2010

 

This morning was a bit like yesterday, the sun woke us up to early, but we weren’t ready yet. We partied a little bit too hard last night, we needed coffee and some sandwiches. After two days of fast food, we were yearning for some bread with only cheese so we made our walk for like fifteen minutes to the breakfast tent at the campsite. After waiting in line for half an hour, we finally ad our bread with cheese and also we scored some coffee. So when we finally get back to the backstage area, we had to hurry. The first bands already started and so we missed Ektomorph, who were the opener at the Blacks stage, and we also missed German metalcore act Caliban. So, we started this last day by watching Swedish death metal band Unleashed, lead by main man Johnny Hedlund. Unleashed had one hour exactly to Entertain the crowd. So they started off with songs like “Winterland”, “Shadows In The Deep” and “Hammer Battalion Unleashed”. Today’s Unleashed show comprises songs from several album they’ve made and so we hear songs like “Your Children Will Burn”, “The Greatest Of All Lies”. After that we were treated to some classics such as “In to Glory Ride”, coming from their 1991 debut album ‘Where No Life Dwells’. And then it’s time for tonight’s last song “Death Metal Victory”. To be short, we can look back on an excellent performance by these masters of Swedish death metal.

 

 

Overkill plays the True Metal Stage. We are there right on time. This band with the great singer Bobby Blitz has earned his place in the metal world. These professionals kick off with “The Green and Black” followed by “Rotten to the Core”.  The fans are singing along every song. Very early in the set we get to hear one of my favorites “Wrecking Crew”.  The sound is killer and the band, especially Bobby is enjoying himself. It seems like he is always in a good mood. The band goes on with “Hello from the Gutter”, “Coma” and “Hammerhead”.  The appreciation from the band and the crowd for each other is amazing. There are good vibes and I think everybody feels good. The band plays like it’s their last show on earth. They continue with “Ironbound” and the amazing “In Union We Stand” which is sing along very loudly. Then the band marches on with “Bring Me the Night”, “Elimination” and “Fuck You”.  The band plays the song, which must have inspired them to pick their name “Overkill” from Motörhead. The audience goes mad. After “Fuck You” this killer show is already over. I could have listen to them for another hour. Great show.

 

 

Old school glam rockers W.A.S.P. are entering the True Metal Stage. We didn’t write down all the song titles, but the show was good fun. Blacky Lawless looks a bit bigger than he used to, but these guys are getting a bit older. This band is very entertaining and perform their own old school glamrock show. We hear songs such as “On Your Knees” and a cover from the Who called “The Real Me”. Blacky can still sing, but the quality is not exactly like it used to be. He is very entertaining and moving all over the stage. The band plays “L.O.V.E. Machine”, “Babylon's Burning”. One of my favorite songs “Wild Child” is not forgotten. We see all kinds of dressed up glamrock fans in the crowd, who are going completely nuts. After the medly “Hellion / I Don't Need No Doctor / Scream Until You Like It” it is time for “Chainsaw Charlie” (Murders in the New Morgue). This band is entertaining us with a fun show and after “The Idol” we get to hear their monster hit “I Wanna Be Somebody”. After screaming along I am kind of disappointed that the show is already over. Good fun!

 

 

The noisemakers from Cannibal Corpse are about to hit the Black Stage and we hurry to get there. These men know how to make a whole lot of very heavy music. We watch the band play a few songs and even for us it is to much and to loud to check out the whole show. Cannibal Corpse brings the minds to a complete new level with songs such as “Scalding Hail”, “Unleashing The Bloodthirsty” and “Savage Butchery”. The song titles and lyrics speak for themselves so you know what to expect. They are raw and heavy and the sound is alright and loud. The wall of music runs all over the festival area. We also get to hear “Sentenced to Burn” and “The Wretched Spawn”. But after “I Will Kill You” we walk away to check out the rest of the field for food, drinks and friends and other music.

 

 

Because we watched the first part from the Cannibal Corpse show, we didn´t arrive at the Party Stage until Stratovarius are already halfway through their set. Despite the blazing sun it is very busy here again and it sounds like Stratovarius are having a good day. They played songs such as “Deep Unknown”, “Eagleheart” and “Winter Skies”. The band seems to enjoying themselves on stage, and so did the crowd at he festival area. The show is wrapped up with the songs “Phoenix” and “Paradise". But there is one more song to play, the classic "Black Diamond". Stratovarius performance was excellent, the band give their best and it is with a feeling of satisfaction that we head off to the backstage area.

 

 

Edguy’s mix of sugar- coated power metal and eighties hard rock is certainly not for everyone. They seem to be huge in their home country though, as their early evening slot is packed with thousands of enthusiastic Germans, but they deserve it though. Although the music is rather basic, their sense of humor and boundless energy of frontman Tobias Sammet makes them one of the most fun gigs of the festival. The first half of Edguy’s set consists of song like “Dead or Rock”, “Speedhoven” and “Vain Glory Opera”. While Sammet spends most of the set joking in German, he admits that he loves all of us, as he wants all our money anyway. He wheels out Helloween’s Markus Grosskopf for “Lavatory Love Machine” and “Superheroes”, gets everyone to bring out the lighters for the unbelievably melodramatic power ballad “Save Me”, followed by “Sacrifice” and “King of Fools”. Generally, the band did what the fans expected, give them  ridiculously good time.

 

 

For me personally, Immortal was one of this year’s major attractions for the final day at Wacken. This band has released some fantastic albums and I could hardly wait to see them live again, after seeing them at Wacken after the reunited in 2007. It was thrilling to hear live accounts of splendid songs like "Sons Of Northern Darkness", the new one “The Rise of Darkness” and "Battles In The North". But something just seemed to be missing. Maybe it was the lack of a second guitar player which kind of took away the edge that those songs have on their albums. Nevertheless, Immortal’s shows was entertaining, with loud explosions, fireworks and fire rains and the crowd loved it, and so did we. Of course they played some new tunes, like the title track from their lasts album that came out in 2009 ‘All Shall Fall’, but what we got from that album where  also the songs “Hordes To War” and “Norden On Fire”. Of course we also got some older tunes, like “Withstand The Fall Of Time”, but Immortal ended their show with some newer songs from the ‘Sons of Northern Darkness’(2002) album, namely “Beyond The North Waves” and “One By One”. In retrospective it was actually a decent show, a fine excerpt of the Immortal oeuvre. The band played a couple of oldies, the crowd went mad (just like they do with almost every band at the main stages) and the impressive pyro and professional light show topped it off nicely. Immortal are back! A worthy band for the Black stage.

 

 

Appropriately at nightfall, Candlemass played the Party Stage, as Immortal played on the bigger stage at the same time. As one would expect from one of the essential doom metal bands, Candlemass is heavy. When the intro tape (that played Marche Funebre) the band started their set with “Mirror Mirror” and “Dark Are The Veils Of Death”. The riffs are elephantine heavy, really heavy and the pace is funereal while the people that are watching the band are busy filling their glasses with beer and trying to roll joints in the dark, to better appreciate the crushing weight. On the other hand, their present singer Robert Lowe (who’s also the singer from Solitude Aeturnus) mumbles to the crowd “How ya doing” amiably in a Texan drawl. “Thanks for the beer and the Jger man! Lets drink to you guys. You guys are awesome!”he goes one after a couple of songs. Of course they do some of their old stuff, like “The Samarithan”, “At the Gallows End”, some newer stuff “If I Ever Die”, “Emperor Of The Void”, the smashing “Hammer Of Doom” and they finish with the monolithic “Solitude”. So to make it short, Candlemass ruled and after one hour they left the stage and so we’re off to see some other acts!

 

 

When Soulfly enters the main stage to perform for about 80.000 people the crowd went mad, fans screaming for this band. They start their show with “Blood Fire War Hate”, “Prophecy” and “Seek 'N' Strike”. The band looks very energetic and frontman Max Cavale tries to sweep up the crowd. After “Back To The Primitive”,” Kingdom” and “Babylon” we get to hear some well received covers. We hear “Refuse/Resist” from Sepultura, then Soulfy’s “Bloodbath and Beyond” followed by Pantera’s “Walk”. The rhythmic music makes everybody move around and bang their heads. The band plays “Porrada” and after that we hear a drum-Jam. Again the band goes for a Sepultura cover in the shape of the heavy “Troops of Doom”. The crowd loves it all. After “Rise of the Fallen” we get to hear the world famous Sepultura song “Roots Bloody Roots”. Good show and after “ Jumpdafuckup / Eye For An Eye” this glory moment is over. For most people too soon.

 

 

Meanwhile it’s already Saturday night, half past one and so we’re getting ourselves ready for the last band at the Black Stage, Fear Factory, Over the course of their career they have evolved from a succession of styles, as well as steadily pioneered a combination of the styles death metal, groove metal, thrash metal and industrial metal. A few years back in 2002 when Fear Factory vocalist Bruton C. Bell decided to call it quits, this appeared to be the end of the band. Although, the band went on in 2004 without original guitarist Dino Cazares adding bassist Byron Stroud, and casting then-bassist Christian Olde Wolbers as guitarist. They even recorded a new album, followed by an extended European tour and the release of the well-received album “Transgression”. But in 2009, Burton C. Bell and ex-guitarist Dino Cazares announced the reconciliation of their friendship, and the formation of a new project with Stroud on bass and drummer Gene Hoglan (Death, Strapping Young Lad, Dark Angel), and soon this project was revealed to actually be a new version of Fear Factory, minus Herrera and Wolbers. Thankfully, miracles still happen! Fear Factory is off on a rough start today. Burton is hardly audible during the first songs “Mechanize” and “Shock”. The drums are loud and too much sound is lost. For this set Fear Factory have chosen mostly songs off their early albums, so what we got was a set with killer songs like “Edgecrusher”, “Linchpin”, “Powershifter” “Martyr” and “Fear Campaign”. Of course the band played classics such as the title track off their 1995 album ‘Demanufacture’, “Self Bias Resistor” and “Zero Signal”. As always the band ended their show with the song “Replica”. Even though Fear factory has a good live reputation the vocals were not that good today, but the renewed line-up where convincing enough to please the crowd at this late hour

 

  

When Fear Factory ended their set, we got a couple of words from Wacken promoters Thomas Jensen and Holger Hübner to thanks the bands, audience and everybody who helped out to make this event happen. After that the German heavy metal band founded by lead singer Udo Dirkschneider, U.D.O. conquered the stage. Udo and band started off with songs like “The Bogeyman” , “Dominator”,  and “The Bullet And The Bomb”. But, it’s already a quarter before two in the evening, so we decided to watch the show from a distance. They went on with songs such as “Thunderball” and “Vendetta”, but after a while we get bored and it’s also started to rain, so while walking back to the Wet stage we heard the Accept cover “Princess Of The Dawn” extinguish in the night.

 

 

The Devil’s Blood are essentially the last band of the festival, appearing in the Wet stage at 02:00 in the night. The Devil’s Blood are from The Netherlands. They play what can loosely be called occult rock. It’s the kind of thing that Coven or Black Widow used to play in the late sixties, before Black Sabbath and Pentagram took it to another level. It’s difficult to describe what they sound like, but basically ethereal melodies are woven with Satanic lyrics. Not many people have come to see the band and the tent of the Wet Stage is barely half- full. The ones who are here though, know they are about to witness the best- kept secret of Wacken. After the lights are dimmed, the band comes out covered in blood. They started with “Come Reap” and “River Of Gold” and the guitar interplay is stunning. The discrepancy between the beautiful guitar harmonies and the macabre lyrics creates an eerie vibe and everyone in the crowd is entranced. The smoky, candle- lit atmosphere helps as well. Most people move to the groove, but I see some who have closed their eyes and sway back and forth with the music, mumbling to themselves. As for the band, they play “The Heavens Cry Out For The Devil’s Blood”, “House of 10,000 Voices” and “Queen of My Burning Heart”. Nearly, at the end of the show “Voodoo Dust” is slowed down to a mesmerizing crawl, like a prayer to Lucifer. They finish with “Christ Or Cocaine” and leave the stage in a wail of feedback. No encores. Bottom line, you really owe it to yourself to check this band out. They deserve it.

 

Due to the terrible time schedule’s that run late after midnight ever day, we unfortunately had to miss bands like Atrocity, Subway to Sally and the biggest part from UDO. Furthermore we missed a few bands during the day, because there have been so many bands on the bill and nowadays there are more than five different stages, that it’s simply impossible to check them all out. Furthermore, 26 countries took part in this year’s W:O:A Metal Battle final tournament, who all played in the tent the W.E.T. Stage. A professional jury, which observed and voted each gig for two days, decided who should settle the race in the end. The power metal band Battle Beast from Finland won.

 

 

Shortly:

Highlights this year were Mötley Crüe, Iron Maiden, Arch Enemy, Voi Vod, Slayer, Soulfly and Immortal. Like in previous editions there was an overkill of bands and music, there were about 107 band playing in 3 days and 3 nights., so we couldn’t even keep up. Our photographer ran from stage to stage to shoot most of the bands and the reviewers also had to have a good condition to check out all the bands. Despite of all the people present, it sometimes was almost impossible to get through the crowd to be on time for the next show. Everybody will understand that we made choices and did our best to review as much as possible.

Like previous years the Wacken organization has put together a successful and great festival. They can look back at the great atmosphere, lots of entertaining bands and a good weekend. The variation of food at this festival was, like always enormous. Meat, pancakes, pizza, hotdogs, fish, sandwiches and so on. Furthermore, the weather was not so bad this edition. What we would like for next year: hopefully the prices of tickets, food and drinks will not go up again, so we can come back for an other edition

The first names for Wacken 2011, which will be held August 4 – 6, 2011 are already confirmed. Avantasia will play their only 2011 show in Wacken and Apocalyptica, Suicidal Tendencies and Blind Guardian have also been confirmed for next year. Furthermore the X-Mas tickets limited to 10,000 tickets were sold out within 5 hours So we are already looking forward to the next year when you can say for the 22nd time: Faster – Harder – Louder >> see you in Wacken 2011 – Rain Or Shine (Talitha, Martina, Eugene, Majelle and Anton)

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Thursday 05/08/2010
Friday 06/08/2010