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MUSICA ARTICLE:
 
  29.08.2005:

Wacken 2005 (Rain or shine)

 

Wacken 2005 (Rain or shine)
NO RAIN = NO FUN

How good it would have been to have prepared enough of those Wacken logo towels to keep the raindrops away this time...Since Tuesday, the whole Wacken area had richly been blessed by lots of water from skies.

And therefore, the 50.000 visitors of this years Wacken festival enjoyed the muddy and boggy ground of one of the biggest metal festivals and blasting the north in August. Over 60 bands from all over the world performed on 4 stages (Black Stage, True Metal Stage, Party Stage, and W.E.T. Stage (which actually didnt have the good name, because it was the only one covered and not expelled to the rain, D.R.Y. stage would have been better)), despising the weatherly conditions.
The show masters were performing perfectly, pyrotechnics and light effects were great. The Metal Dream Girls photo-shooting for the 2nd Wacken Metal Dreamgirls Calender took place, more than 600  girls had applied via internet and the site has been frequented by over 400.000 visitors, the final result will be the Wacken calendar which starts every year in August. Also the presentation of Sheree s Metal Cook Book (for metal stomach only) took place. Quite strange: the official metal toilet, provided with drumkit, light effects (unfortunately only decorative), amps and guitar. This place was hosted by many musicians, some even of international reputation. The beer was cold, 0.33 l for 4,50 (including the official Wacken cup, which could be returned for 1 ). Other attractions, like the WOA fire-fighters, Metal Karaoke and surprise acts were surrounding this years festival event.

 

 THURSDAY

As opener, TRISTANIA did not deserve the obvious sound problems they had to deal with. But the Old School Doomster of CANDLEMASS were performing with such a brilliance, that they certainly will stay in mind. As usually dressed all in white, the German OOMPH! played all the well known songs to an eager audience. Tarja of NIGHTWISH was nice live, with a clear and full voice, of course their gig culminated in Nemo and was finished under an impressive firework show.

 

 FRIDAY

One of the best things about Wacken Open Air is certainly: the stages are quite close to each other. Black Stage, True Metal Stage, Party Stage and the W.E.T. Stage Tent are really side by side.

Lets go to Black Stage...In the afternoon, people were fighting near stage. The rain was great help, a real mud ring was naturally created. Nobody can say whether the fight began by game or by hate, but some person finished by diving in the mud sea. Who and how they were, nobody could say, we can just suppose that they were wearing clothes under the mud


NAGLFAR

The festival begins this morning here at Black Stage, with lots of rain and Black Metal. The Swedish Blackmetalheads of NAGLFAR performing at 11 oclock ... with some sound problems, they play a cold black metal on the show (cold) but somehow a good band, and I discover the big TV screen, a brilliant idea, you can also see the stage when you are far away.  Songs from different albums were given, but often from the new album Pariah, with same technic as on CD. Kris, the bassist now took over vocals instead of Jens. This underground black metal band was certainly waited by a lot of black metal fans, and other fans, no doubt, this show was meant to make them happy. The forthcoming tour will certainly be worth seeing.


ILLDISPOSED

Excepted a sound just too loud and a show a bit too static, the Danish band has perfectly executed their Death Metal Old School songs, mostly from the last two albums 1-800 Vindication and Kokaiinum, even started speaking German on stage.

 


SINNERS BLEED (Metal Battle)

The Berlin Death metalheads gave us a taste of hyper Technical Brutal Death, with a show full of energy, perfectly fitting right into the publics ambiance in the Headbangers Ballroom/W.E.T. Stage tent. The appearance of a second singer on stage made the performance even more interesting. But the most important thing was  the perfect execution of the songs from the last album From Womb To Tomb. It was like a compressor machine on your head, just more melodic. Unfortunately I have to admit the sound was quite bad, not enough snare and guitars sounded a little bit like a truck. Nevertheless, they not only succeeded to show us what they are able to!


SONATA ARTICA

A lot of people were waiting (maybe because the rain was just stopping?), and SONATA gave them a show as good as professional. Indeed, in front of a really beautiful background, the Finnish played songs from different albums, like a compilation, and with best technical efforts. We could enjoy good sound of power metal.


BLOODBATH

The rain had stopped by this time of the afternoon, but even if it was raining blood as tempest, everybody would certainly have stayed waiting for the first live show of this legendary line-up. Dan Swan (no need to present him, is there... Katatonia, Incision, Altar, ), Blackheim, (from Diabolical Mascarade, Bewitched, ) and Mikael Akerfeld (BLOODBATH Debut Album, OPETH) took part over for Peter Tgtgren, who couldnt make it to Wacken. The Swedish guys were definitely helping the sky to rain blood, their whole bodies smart painted bloody (comment Mika: We forgot to make our laundry this morning). Good Black Stage sound and certainly pretty performance, offering us the Swedish Death, full of technic and meticulously served! How could it be better for a band like this? A show worth to remember.


OBITUARY

Indeed,  the Old School Death Metal legends are not seeming to have even the slightest signs of migraine about evolution. They simply would play old and new songs in the pure OBITUARY style, Slowly We Rot of course, but also lots from the new album Frozen In Time. Precisely executed tracks, with finest sound. Even if the rain was loud, crowds came up and were watching them. The show was ok, a bit  reduced maybe, but: OBITUARY tradition (Old School still rules!!!)


WITHIN TEMPTATION

Good performance, a fantastic background and friendly weather helped the beautiful and charming Sharon Den Adel, in a befitting dress black corsage and white strands in her black hair -   to dive the public in a so nice atmosphere that some people were even crying. Nothing to do with Nightwish, the show was really perfect and Sharon perfectly sang her songs with lots of emotion and in perfect harmony with the light effects. Many songs from The Silent Force album, Enter and the Kate Bush-Cover Running Up That Hill,  pyrotechnics - there were more than only a few lively reasons to be one of the festival headliners!


MACHINE HEAD

People were here, at True Metal Stage, en masse to listen to this legend of metal, in Wacken for the first time.  After introduction, they delivered us a really good show with songs from the 1994 Burn My Eyes album until the recent Through The Ashes Of Empires LP perfectly performed, the sound was just a bit loud, though it got well along with the style lets call it Neo Metal? Rob Flynn was in great mode and thanked the fans for their support. MACHINE HEAD played even some good cover songs from Sepultura and Metallica.

 

 

CATARACT

Among the good surprises of this day. Unfortunately getting along with the W.E.T. Stage sound abilities, the Swiss band played a pure Hardcore with the energy due to the style. A show harmless at first, CATARACT progressively continued heating the crowds, to finally reach the level of total fire and to leave public disappointed by disappearance. Style and performance with so much motivation, it wouldnt be a surprise to see them on bigger stage next year.

 

APOCALYPTICA

One of the most expected bands here. The Finnish orchestra played during the first half songs concentrated from their new Apocalyptica album, seeming to be really dedicated to their instruments only. But when Apocalyptica began the Metallicas covers in the second half, and were storming over stage with those heavy cellos, people  got more and more engaged with the show, what a pretty performance.


GOREFEST

A show full of hate from GOREFEST, with good sound and in pure Death Metal spirit. Of course there was slightly less public than for Apocalyptica, who played simultaneously, but the Dutch guys succeeded to conquer the publics audience. The quality of  the performance of the songs from  the last album was really admirable. In coincidence with the professional light effects it was same pleasure as if sitting on your sofa, watching DVD.


CORVUS CORAX playing Carmina Burana

Even if you dont like the medieval music and if you find this is not the place of that type of band in a Metal Festival like Wacken, you had to be impressed by the show and the orchestra. The Carmina Burana Orchestra has really given another dimension to the sound. Light was perfect and helped a lot to estimate an atmosphere of a great show. They were playing theatre on stage, with some instruments from the medieval time and some created by their own imagination, which was quite impressing to all those visitors who could watch the fancy performance.


SAMAEL

Playing as late as possible has certainly helped to create the so special atmosphere of this SAMAEL gig. Playing their mix between metal, black metal, electro and maybe death metal with a really good sound and light effects, leading us into their world... For those who saw the DVD, no surprise! Show also was accompanied by fireworks.


CONTRADICTION

The German Thrash Metal band, former support for the Overkill Europe Tour, performed late at 2 oclock at W.E.T Stage but did not mind the hour, in opposite to me...Nice, strong and good Old School Thrash Metal!

 

 SATURDAY

Oh surprise, the day began without rain at first. Fortunately, the organizers had not only prepared straw, but also mobilized the local farmers to take some trucks along, which were helping the visitors cars to leave their muddy graves. The Metal Battle with 6 Bands from 6 countries (STIGMA (ITA), UNLEASH THE FURY (B), MANIFEST (N), AGONIZER (FIN) and TUATHA DE DANANN (BRA)) took place and was won by the (German) Gorilla Monsoon, who gained the record deal. And we all got drunk...

 

 

ZYKLON

Fast Black Metal from the Norwegians was delivered fresh in this morning...and - no compromise!!!  The pretty good sound and the level of execution were perfect. Even if the show was kind of frozen, it was contributed to create this atmosphere. It is always a good moment to see legends as Samoth and Trym. Of course, it is not the same like seeing EMPEROR, but this is a good solution to see them now. Really a good performance band.


MANIFEST (Metal Battle)

One of the bands in the Metal Battle contest, and also one of the best things the day surprisingly held for us!  Quite well known in Norway, MANIFEST play technical Trash/Death, live stormblasting full with energy. The complexity of the rhythmic is last not least what made their style original and effective. Even despite the W.E.T. Stage sound, the vocalist Stian, quite an appearance with his bold and tattooed head, succeeded to transfer manic aggressions into public. Songs from their actual album Half Past Violence like Scarred For Life or Third Eye Ricochet were performed definitely strong, real Metal in here!


SUFFOCATION

The Brutal Death Metal legend is back  - and they were fucking glad about that, as Frank Mullen told us several times. The American chirurgians of Death Metal played songs from their latest album and of course old well-known songs, (Infecting The Crypts, Catatonia, ) with always same continuously energy. For the few of us who could be glad to have seen them before - we will be happy to see SUFFOCATION once again. New York Death Metal fans were breaking their necks here!!!


DISSECTION

Is it possible to practise guitar in Swedish jail, I was wondering..(maybe not me alone)  - DISSECTION were able to play all songs just as good as on CD! In all case, they offer us a really good show full of hate (ask the guitar of Jon Ndtveidt) with really good music, of course lots of old songs (The Somberlain, Storm Of The Lights Bane). Crowds had come along to see them on stage and they were not disappointed. Some afternoon gym while breaking his guitar - Jon and the band seemed to be in good condition.


MARDUK

After loosing their mythic drummer Fredrik Andersson and the change of the vocals, Legion by Arioch, we all might have been right to be afraid, but nothing ... Whole line-up is gone, only Morgan is there...the new drummer (Emil Dragutinovic), is he better than Fredrik? And the new singer, does he give more show than Legion? We might not be able to answer, but we can say that they play the real marduk. In all case, they give us a good show,  bloody as we like it.  The music was good again, even the new songs remain in the MARDUK spirit.


FINNTROLL

Playing on Party Stage, everyone who made it up to FINNTROLL was enjoying the way they were performing. Even a glimpse of sunshine lowered itself onto the mud and Trollhammaren as well as Jaktens Tid were performed as great as ever to those who love the Folk Death played by Finntroll.


ENDSTILLE

Conquering the mud again towards the familiar sound of W.E.T. Stage. German Black Metal, the quite sympathic guys of ENDSTILLE were enjoying lots of support from waiting fans and politely entered stage for sound check, before returning in discreet corpse paint and performing lots of songs from their latest album Navigator.


THE SPUTNIKS/TOM ANGELRIPPER/WOA FIREFIGHTERS

This was marvellous show, as party as it could be. Best for last: In the end, five old men came surprisingly on stage. They were playing for a record deal, once more, after 40 years.... Tom Angelripper, the voice of SODOM, intonated together with The Sputniks, the band of 5, formerly known in 1962 as The Beatles Of The East, the Motrhead Song Ace Of Spades, what a moment to share.

 

 

GODDESS OF DESIRE

Who missed this last band on the festival line-up, the Dutch combo partying, might be forgiven, as the sound was bad indeed. All those naked girls on stage, dressed up as teachers or dominas, blond, brown, redhaired, and the two guys of GODDESS in fur, human skulls on the microphone, bare breasts we are more than this, are we. Autograms were given right after.

 

Whatever we tried to stay away from the rain and mud...But the well organization of the festival made it all much better to us! OK, for sure, the food and drinks were not for free, and as usual there werent enough toilets, the way from the camping ground to the stages wasnt like flying, and some bands really hadnt deserved that sound.
But the somehow familiar atmosphere of the Wacken Metal Island  is and stays unique!
A tragical happening on Thursday night overwhelmes and our deepest sympathy goes to the family of the man, who hit an ambulance car when falling down a street side, and died later in hospital in cause of  his serious injuries. The Wacken organisators have suddenly reacted, and a donations account was created  (more on http://www.wacken.com/en/main-info/spendenaufruf/).

And we forgot to say: a perpetual water was coming from the clouds, but it seems havent been a problem for anybody! Great organisation, unforgettable line-up and fantastic atmosphere...

Lets hope for rain in Wacken 2006!!!

Genia and Manu




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