Saturday Day Three at Wacken reviews include – Demonic Resurrection, Arthemis, Devin Townsend Project, Amon Amarth, Megadeth, Avantasia and Kreator.
Demonic Resurrection by Sheila:
Indian Death Metallers Demonic Resurrection’s intro tape filled the Bullhead Circus tent before they strode onto the stage and launched into ‘The Demon King’, the title track from their new album. The crowd started headbanging along to their distinctive blend of melodic death metal. There were a few Indian flags in the crowd which is great to see. They traveled back in time to their second studio album ‘A Darkness Descends’ with the track ‘Apocalyptic Dawn’. This was more melodic and had intricate Indian style keyboards woven through it.
They then played ‘Death, Desolation and Despair’ & ‘Trail of Devastation’ from the new album. There were a few technical difficulties so Demonstealer chatted with the crowd while this got fixed. They then finished their set with ‘The Unrelenting Surge of Vengeance’ from their 2010 album ‘Return to Darkness’ they crowd didn’t need much encouragement to headbang along. I have had the pleasure of seeing the guys play live twice before and can honestly say they just get better every time I see them and they really suit playing a larger stage.
Arthemis by Sheila:
Italian metallers Arthemis look more than ready to conquer the W.E.T stage, from the moment they stepped onto the stage, they encouraged the crowd to join in and party with them, not that their audience needed much encouragement of course!
During ‘We Fight’ I looked around and all I could see was fists pumping in the air, headbanging and folk singing along, it was similar throughout ‘Blood of Generations’ as well. All too soon they were heading towards the end of their set with closing it with ‘7 Days’ then ‘Vortex’, both songs were very well received by the audience.
Sound wise there was a great balance JT bass could be clearly heard as well Kekko’s drumming nothing was being drowned out, Andy’s guitar work was amazing as always and Fabio’s vocals were powerful yet crystal clear, he had the audience do his bidding through out the set. The guys delivered a tight, high energy set that left the audience buzzing and shouting out for more.
Devin Townsend Project by Ross:
The Devin Townsend Project hit Wacken right in the middle of the afternoon and set forth to show people how much fun metal can be. With a set containing cuts from Ocean Machine, Inifinity, Addicted and Deconstruction it was highly doubtful that anybody was left without a smile on their face.
Two highlights personally for me were the 10 minute epic Planet of the Apes and set closer Bad Devil. Also special mention has to go to the group hug that replaced the standard circle pit.DTP yet again proving that if they’re playing near you always go to see them. Always.
Amon Amarth by Iris:
The spectacle of Amon Amarth’s Johan Hegg bellowing, standing atop a Viking boat dragon’s head while smoke poured out of it’s mouth is one of those “you can’t erase it from your mind” images. Performing during the daytime, Sweden’s kings of Viking-themed metal captured the Wacken Open Air mainstage, performing to a huge, and engaged, crowd.
So, how do you catch the eye of that random fan standing 250 yards away from the stage, who definitely can’t see you, and can barely even see the huge projection screens flanking the stage? Pyro: something the USA has sorely lacked for many years. Watching the band perform on the mainstage, with the smoke machines, flash pots, and flamethrowers going off, was really a sight to behold and befitting for a set being played for so many people. Ancient runes backlit in red, dual dragons smoldering away, and long hair windmilling like no tomorrow, Hegg and his black-clad Scandinavian bandmates charged through a 13-song, energetic, melodic death metal set. Fortunately, the sound mix was good, and all instruments (including the vocal) cut through very well. As for previous bands, Amon Amarth was equipped ‘wireless’, meaning they could all move freely onstage, wherever they wanted. Only Hegg really took advantage of this; his bandmates utilized that advantage more rarely.
The band’s hour-or-so long set was composed mainly of crowd-favorite or classic songs, which is typical for a festival. The band encouraged and interacted with the crowd frequently. From a fan’s perspective, standing elbow to elbow with 50,000+ people means it’s hot, the visibility is next to zero, it’s difficult to leave your place to go get food or use the restroom… but that “camp out and listen to loud metal” atmosphere attracts these fans, year after year. For regular attendees, the “festival experience” can’t be beat! Amon Amarth were in good form for the performance, and did not disappoint fans new or old.
Father of the Wolf
Deceiver of the Gods
As Loke Falls
Varyags of Miklagaard
For Victory or Death
Guardians of Asgaard
Cry of the Black Birds
We Shall Destroy
War of the Gods
Twilight of the Thunder God
The Pursuit of Vikings
Megadeth by Sheila
I’ve seen Megadeth quite a few times over the years however last time I saw them I witnessed a below par set so I was hoping to get a better set tonight but this was not to be. Due to interviews I only caught the latter half of the set and the highlight for me was Vic Rattlehead joining the band on stage for a short time during Peace Sells.
Their set track wise was a good mix of material, sound wise it was okay however there was no real interaction with the crowd from Dave Mustaine. As I was quite far back and watching the show via the big screen, it was similar of watching a live DVD outside with a bunch of mates!
At the end of the show the band bowed to the crowd Dave remained on stage, wiped his sweated brow with a black cloth then threw it into the crowd then moves so he could take numerous selfies of himself with the crowd behind him.Tthis got the most cheers of their set. He finished off with a mini thank you speech before playing a quick air guitar solo then heading off stage. It was definitely a different way for the show to end..
Prince of Darkness
Wake Up Dead
In My Darkest Hour
Skin o’ My Teeth
Tornado of Souls
Poison Was the Cure
Symphony of Destruction
Holy Wars… The Punishment Due
Avantasia by Iris:
Germany’s Avantasia headlined the final day of Wacken, playing in front of a capacity (80,000+) crowd at night – a nice touch that really brought out some of the nuances in their stage set as well as their performance. While the band was billed as Avantasia, what it seemed more like was a repeat of their 2013 big rock opera tour, with the extremely high caliber of guest vocalists that shared the stage with frontman Tobias Sammet and his talented crew.
Their music is epic European power metal with all the bells and whistles: operatic vocals, shreddy solos, catchy melodic hooks, fanciful lyrics, and production extras. The band sounded really good, especially through the many thousands of watts of Wacken Open Air P.A. The band had a gigantic, full production stage set-up. Gesture acting by at least the vocalists was part of the show. So, not only did you hear these guys blaring out through a gigantic P.A, you got to see them “in full flight”. Three tiers of lights, often tied to cues within songs, and a full corner-to-corner color LED backdrop really enhanced their ‘visual’.
Of note, Sammet sang lead, and Amanda Somerville sang backup vocals throughout, and had a guest lead spot in “Farewell”. Avantasia features a collaboration between a diverse lot of lead vocalists, which is very uncommon, and really cool. The first guest vocalist was Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids). He sang with a unique, hard edge on two songs before the next guest entered the stage: Bob Catley (Magnum, ex-Hard Rain). Catley brought a unique, grittier lead to the tunes he accompanied Sammet on. Michael Kiske (Unisonic, ex-Helloween) was up next, and boy did he sound good. Perhaps Sammet is modest and this was deliberate: Kiske sounded louder, taking full control of any vocal line he was a part of. The next guest was Eric Martin (Mr. Big), who was also part of the 2013 tour. It was Martin’s guest solo spots which introduced me to Avantasia’s music in 2013 – but I didn’t expect to see or hear him with Avantasia at Wacken! It was a fantastic surprise… and he sounded great, on top form, by the way. Like guest-predecessor Kiske, Martin’s vocal parts were ‘turned up’ so his vocal seemed louder. All of the guests sang some lines for the finale.
I was told that “you can tell how big a band is, by the size of their light show.” These guys must be huge… too bad they haven’t taken off in America. Perhaps it’s the widely-used “power metal” label that’s scaring people off – their brand of metal-lite, or hard rock doesn’t seem grating or irritating at all. Overall, a good performance that reminded me somewhat of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, sans Christmas carols.
Invoke the Machine
The Story Ain’t Over
Reach Out for the Light
What’s Left of Me
Dying for an Angel
Shelter from the Rain
The Great Mystery
Lost in Space
Sign of the Cross / The Seven Angels
Kreator by Nikita
A silently waiting crowd is rapidly roused when the pitch black stage is cast red, illuminated by flares held by two men on stage and the sound waves of ‘Mars Mantra’ fills the air. With what could possibly be the biggest crowd of the day, Kreator hits the stage breaking straight into their latest album’s title track ‘Phantom Antichrist’; followed through by ‘From Flood Into Fire’, accompanied by barrages of flames.
A momentary interlude sees front man, Mille Petrozza, refer to Wacken as “the Mecca of Heavy Metal” before requesting the huge crowd to open up a mosh pit. An already good start to tonight’s set is further elevated with CO2 guns and jets during ‘Warcurse’. With some left vs right, big ass mosh pit competing; dust fills the air as the show storms on, covering an array of songs from newer tracks to classics, including ‘Pleasure to Kill’, ‘Hoards of Chaos’ and ‘Phobia’. Believing that music can bring people together and fucking religion, Kreator belts out ‘Enemy of God’ and continues themes of humanity with ‘Civilization Collapse’, ‘Violent Revolution’ and ‘United in Hate’.
With only one all time live classic left on the agenda, Mille holds his arm fully extended clenching a Kreator flag of hate thanking the people of Wacken once again. Honourably mentioning Michael Jackson accompanied by a ‘Billie Jean’ snippet and a Judas Priest ‘Painkiller’ snippet, the crowd was in his hands. Warming up the front and back of the audience and announcing a pre-warning of the last chance to show the world what a Wacken mosh pit looks like, the band end the show, filling the air with fire, smoke and confetti with a mergence of ‘Flag of Hate’ and ‘Tormentor’. A visually, musically and atmospherically stunning performance.
Mars Mantra (intro)
From Flood Into Fire
Pleasure To Kill
Hoards of Chaos
Enemy of God
United in Hate
Flag of Hate