The storied Eindhoven Metal Meeting will take place for the 8th time this December 16th -17th at the Effennar in Eindhoven, NL. The fest has added new bands to the bill such as Hail Of Bullets, Archgoat, Memoriam, Illdisposed, Valkyrja, Insanity Reigns Supreme & Burning Hatred. They join a lineup that already includes Mayhem performing all of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, Tiamat, Moonspell, Destruction, and more. More bands will be announced soon. Tickets are on sale at the festival’s website:
Previously announced bands for EMM 2016:
Aura Noir (NO)
Bleeding God (NL)
Burning Hatred (NL)
Cirith Gorgor (NL)
General Surgery (SE)
Hail Of Bullets (GB – David Ingram (ex-Benediction, Bolt Thrower) on vocals)
Harakiri For The Sky (AT)
Insanity Reigns Supreme (BE)
Mayhem (NO – legendary debut album ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas “is played in full!)
Memoriam (UK – with band Bolt Thrower, Cerebral Fix and Benediction)
Moonspell (PT – special setlist based on “Wolfheart” and “Irreligious!)
The old adage is that there is no true substitute for experience. While for the young and easily impressionable tend to view that sentiment as trite, it rings mightily true for Katatonia on their 10th studio album, The Fall of Hearts (Peaceville). Over twenty years of masterful work are on display over the course of 12 new compositions in which hardly a moment feels out-of-place or without purpose.
All of the familiar elements from Katatonia’s previous works are present, ranging from the doom/death of songs like ‘Serac’ and ‘Sanction’ to numbers dripping with weariness and melancholy such as in ‘Old Heart Falls.’ Take note young musicians, you don’t have to always aim to reshape the genre. Sometimes just a strongly honed craft and sound songwriting chops are all that is needed.
Need an example on how to appreciate these Swedes’ proficiency? Check out how Jonas Renkse’s dusky vocals interplay so well with the serpentine guitar work on ‘Takeover.’ And notice how said flowing guitars work their way seamlessly right into ‘Serein.’ Much praise to veteran guitarist and producer Anders Nyström and recently added Tiamat axeman Roger Öjersson for their precise and lush fretwork.
But it’s not just a guitar showcase and subtle elements such as new drummer Daniel Moilanen’s slight yet echoing cymbal and footwork add much more dimension to ‘The Night Subscriber’ and ‘Passer.’ Mixing and mastering were of course handled by veteran engineer Jens Bogren to ensure maximum aural richness and clarity.
The Fall of Hearts’ greatest strength is in its precision and economy of song. Lesser outfits would have buckled under the weight of gothic miasma or overindulgence. Author Malcolm Gladwell argues that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. Katatonia have obviously put in their time.
Sat backstage at Temples Festival in May 2015 were five quiet, unassuming, polite young people, looking for all the world like competition winners nervously waiting in chairs to be shuffled through to meet Taylor Swift having been told to be on best behaviour by their Ma. Fast forward an hour and those five, quiet, unassuming, polite young people had transmogrified into a flailing, seething ten legged beast, spewing forth carnage and devastation. Not Tiamat, no, something far more deadly than that; they had become Venom Prison.
And so, with a buzz that began as a whisper now as incessant as a swarm of wasps inches from your eardrum, the cult of Venom Prison is set to enhance and further itself once more with the release of their debut EP, The Primal Chaos (Soaked In Torment); four tracks, twelve minutes that kick you in the groin and then taser you in the gut until defecation occurs.
The tasering occurs from the lashings of modern death metal wrought with hardcore sensibilities and feel, welded into a substantial spear of chugging attack, while the groinal devastation comes from a thick production that, unlike most present-day death metal sounds, allows room to breathe and spits a raw, live sound, a welcome change to the clinical, dry, overproduced and emotionless offal cuts that so many of today fart out; The Primal Chaos has just the right amount of sloppy to feel like the thump of a ten-ton hammer.
Larissa’s vocals are more scream than guttural, but that suits the urgency expounded by the South Wales quintet, and adds to the overall feel of a contemporary death metal meets metallic hardcore band dousing their offspring in the lighter fluid of the old school 90’s underground before tossing a flaming rag at it and watching the primal chaos burn.
Sweden – one of the strongholds of metal music. Year after year bands from that part of Europe storm the scene, breaking through to the top of the heavy metal charts worldwide. One of the most recent examples is Tribulation. Ten years after their inception, the band takes the global stage with signing a recording deal with Century Media, and the upcoming release of their eagerly anticipated third LP, The Children of the Night. Tribulation have confirmed their aspirations by going on American tour with two of the biggest extreme bands to roam the stages around the world today – Cannibal Corpse and Behemoth in February and March.
“It was fantastic tour to be on.” says Adam Zaars, part of the guitar force of Tribulation. “Touring with two of the biggest bands in extreme metal nowadays was a pleasure, and the people showed up early for our performances, which was amazing.”
And there is nothing surprising about fans’ reaction. Tribulation’s reputation as excellent performers is growing.
“We started 5.30PM in some days, and they were there to watch our shows! That was also probably the easiest tour we have been on so far. Both headlining bands are huge and extremely professional. But they are also great people, and they took good care of us (laughs). We shared our bus with other Swedish band, Aeon, so we had a really good time.” adds Adam.
The new record of the Swedish quartet is a massive statement and a demonstration of musical and technical abilities. It is also a perfect example how right influences can make your music unique.
So who are “The Children of the Night”?
“It describes the band but also everybody who listens to the album. But most of it it’s a description of our personalities that make Tribulation.”
The new music is even more melodic and atmospheric than The Formulas of Death. And there is something that bonds Tribulation with other Swedish bands like Dissection, Tiamat, Opeth, Morbus Chron, or Ghost B.C.
“I guess what links our music to Dissection and all those bands you’ve mentioned is Swedish folk music. It’s played a big role in our lives. It’s something we grew up with. It’s in our blood.”
One of the highlights of the new album is epic ‘Winds’ – its construction, melodies, Gothic theatrical atmosphere resembles of that of Cradle of Filth from late ’90’s. Are Tribulation secret worshippers of the controversial Suffolk band?
“No, you’re not correct (laughs). Actually we’ve never listened to them… But maybe you are right, I don’t really know as I never listened to their music, but this is the first time someone has found this similarity (laughs).”
The Children of the Night is a logical consequence of Tribulation’s musical development through the years. Some bands want to remain in certain formula, the other want completely new approach every time they enter the studio. Adam is clear on this matter.
“We didn’t really sit down and plan anything. I actually thought the album will turn out quite differently – I thought it was going to be a lot longer, more spacey and ambient (laughs) but it turned out to be something else. We try to never think about the end product. We try to rely on our intuition. And this is what we’ve always done, I guess.”
The new album is very well produced, and an ear will catch that a lot more time was given for putting everything the right place. Adam voiced his disappointment with studio time in the past, but this time he is happier about the comfort of putting everything together in the studio.
“We spent 4 weeks recording it. We have wanted four more weeks to be honest. But sometimes you can only get limited time. But we feel we managed to do it well anyway. I mean, sometimes you work better when you’re under pressure. But time spent in studio was for us really inspiring. In fact, we moved around. We had three main studios: first one for the drums, second one for guitars, bass and vocals, and the third one for all the other additional instruments. It was very satisfying, actually.”
That may sound like a lot of hassle, and be potentially distracting. But having been on a budget, that was the most optimal decision the band had to make to achieve the best possible sound quality. Mr. Zaars goes into more detail.
“It was all pulled together by Ola Ersfjord, our producer. It was purely economic solution. We wanted to record the drums in a proper room, but it turned out our budget was too tight to do the whole work there! So we moved to Nicke Andersson’s new studio, located in his basement. It was like a playground almost for us (laughs). Overall it was a great experience, because every studio was different, and we’re always looking forward to something new”.
Best known for being bassist in Tiamat during their meteoric rise of the mid-90s, Johnny Hagel has returned to his 80’s act Sorcerer, whose début album In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross (Metal Blade) caused a ruffle with its classic Doom sound when it was released earlier in the year. With a high profile show looming in Stockholm, Johnny took time out to talk to Ghost Cult and give an overview on just what Sorcerer are (and aren’t). And they aren’t Tiamat…
I started to get into Death/Extreme metal around 95-96, when it seemed like the rest of the world was busy getting out of it – lots of bands were broadening their influences and distancing themselves from the style, and Tiamat were very much part of that. These days the trend seemed to have reversed – with bands like Bloodbath being formed by ex-ex-Death Metal musicians, and Paradise Lost discovering their long-neglected roots – and you’ve gone even further, returning to both a style of music and a band from before your Death Metal days. Why do you think this is?
“I have no idea how other bands think when it comes to their music so I can only speak for myself and the bands I have been in. With Tiamat the big change came from the first album Sumerian Cry (CMFT) to the second Astral Sleep(Century Media). Back then Tiamat changed band members, so that could have something to do with it.”
“When I joined the band just before Clouds(also Century Media)the band just continued the change which felt natural for us. I mean, if people want bands that doesn’t change there is always AC/DC and Motörhead and they do it very good.”
“But most bands want to explore other influences and not try to repeat themselves too much. If no band would ever change their style there would not be any new styles. Even death metal came from someone who tried something new.”
Is it (as some unkind journalists have suggested) a kind of musical mid-life crisis, or is it just the next stage in “growing up”?
“I don’t think it is a mid-life crisis. Music is a form of art and I think what drives music forward is the will to test something new, or mix the old with something new at least. Then what is growing up? Of course you get older and get new influences, and that is good I think. And who am I to judge what kind of changes other bands do?”
“The most important thing is that the music is good, not that you stayed “true” to your style.”
“Retro” bands have traditionally received quite a mixed reception, with some critics seeing the careful recreation of an older style of music as an ultimately futile endeavour. Are you happy to regard Sorcerer as a nostalgic tribute to past glories, or do you see it as more than that?
“I don’t see Sorcerer as a nostalgic band, even if I can understand that people do. Sorcerer will never sound “modern” in the way some bands do but I also hope that we never will sound outdated.”
On a superficial level, the lyrical themes on the album seem much more traditionally Heavy Metal than some of what you’ve explored in the past with Tiamat. Was this a conscious decision to identify with the traditional trappings of the genre, or were they intended to function on a different level?
“Every band has its profile, both musical and lyrical. With Tiamat the lyrics were deeper compared to with Sorcerer, where the lyrics are more fictional. I don’t prefer either, I just want to have lyrics that fits the music.”
Now that Sorcerer are back after a significant absence, is this a one-off return to ideas left unexplored, or are there plans for the future?
“No, we want to record more albums. We have already started to write and hopefully it would not take another 20 years… To write a good album takes time, more than the average music fan thinks. I am into writing albums as I think Sorcerer is an album band and not a singles band. I personally love albums.”
Sub-genre labels are always more fluid than some people would have you believe, but alongside Industrial and Goth (whatever the hell they are), Doom is probably the most easily abused – depending on the context, it can mean anything from “catchy skater-rock with fuzzy guitars and big choruses” to “eleven hours of excruciating feedback and despair”. Revived for the first time since Johnny Hagel left them to join Tiamat in 1992, Sorcerer take Doom all the way back to its roots in Candlemass and Solitude Aeternus – huge, epic, fantasy-themed True Heavy Metal built on monumental riffs and soaring vocals.
Which is not to say that In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross (Metal Blade) is just empty nostalgia or “retro” posturing. A strong production that combines “modern” clarity with just enough grime to keep it sounding interesting highlights the strengths of what is, at its core, a strong set of catchy, engaging Heavy Metal songs. As you’d expect, the principal ingredient here is The Riff – grandiose, pompous and majestic – but Anders Engberg’s chest-bursting vocals ensure that the choruses will be stuck in your mind for days afterwards. There’s a groove to those riffs, too, but not the rambling beardy swing of “stoner” Doom – this is defiantly Metal, and those grooves stamp and crush without the slightest sense of irony or restraint.
There’s a tendency amongst reviewers (especially those of us raised on the golden age of Nick Terry’s reign at Terrorizer) to feel that we have to apologise for praising an album that isn’t in some way “different” or “special” – that giving high marks to something which is simply an excellent collection of songs within a clearly defined Heavy Metal sub-genre requires a justification – but I’m not going to play that game this time. In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross is a fantastic Doom-laden Heavy Metal album, and should be recommended unreservedly for anyone with a love for that style.
The second day of the festival had us all relocate to the bigger venue at USF Verftet, placed right on the waterside, which makes for a really good and picturesque setting for a metal festival. In a somewhat smart move, the organizers had put Taake up as the opening act of the day. This probably had more people showing up than what is usual as early as 6PM. The band showcasing a new drummer, and Hoest also having adopted a new stage persona in recent times, made this somewhat fresh, even to us locals. He has gone from the more antisocial approach to the more introverted and mysterious approach of the hooded character based heavily on the skull figure that has been part of Taake for the last ten years or so. When thinking about it, he has taken the part he played in Helheim’s ‘Dualitet og Ulver’ video and made it part of the Taake show. As usual he also has great fun doing the misheard lyrics thing, where he both says different stuff than on record, but also changes the lyrics completely at some points. So one gets an extra treat if one listens closely – and is fluent enough in Norwegian. After having churned out ‘Bjoergvin IV’, ‘Doedkvad I’, and ‘Umenneske’, Hoest laconically states some humorous, although somewhat sarcastic stuff in Norwegian, before they continue with ‘Norbundet’, Hoest being able to chug down an entire bottle of red wine during their somewhat short set.
Right after Taake it’s time for fellow Bergensian band Sahg, playing in the smaller venue upstairs. They do indeed play in front of a much smaller audience, but the some three hundred people present are served a fireworks of musicianship, good songs and stage presence. Frontman Olav even cockily stating: “I will do this in Norwegian, but the lyrics will be in English, so you can all sing along, like you planned to.” And we are presented with all the hits: ‘Firechild’, ‘Godless Faith’, ‘Pyromancer’ etc.
Going from these two great performances and into Tiamat was actually a bit disappointing. To point that out; I love Tiamat, but seeing them on such a big stage, this apathetic … It was extremely disappointing in terms of atmosphere. Sure, it got better when they played the classics like ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Cain’ and ‘Whatever That Hurts’, but this is nothing like the performance they put on in Oslo during Inferno some years back. Maybe it was simply too early and too bright lighting in the venue for this?
After the slow interlude that was Tiamat, I ran upstairs to catch some of Exumer. They were quite brilliantly summed up by one of my friends: “This is like the works team version of Slayer.” And that really seems sufficient when it comes to Exumer.
Marduk never gets boring, right? Well, they are the epitome of generic black metal at times, and this time they were even late on stage. Let that be said, their old material is actually somewhat more entertaining, before they seemed to have grown satisfied with recording material of a fixed template. They do an OK performance, and one can enjoy songs like ‘Christraping Black Metal’, ‘Burn My Coffin’ and ‘Materialized In Stone’, but it never gets to be awfully exciting, at least not to spoiled Norwegians.
The late onstage appearance of Marduk also made me miss almost all of Ragnarok, that I only caught thanking the audience before going off stage.
Well, at least the next band up was the mighty Triptykon, fronted by living legend Tom G Warrior of Celtic Frost fame. Seeing as the band starts off with ‘Procreation Of The Wicked’, it really can’t go wrong, can it now? Well, since they play all the Celtic Frost classics as if they were funeral doom, they indeed can. ‘Circle Of The Tyrants’ is epic stuff, but not at a halting tempo. Triptykon needs to understand that Celtic Frost and Triptykon are different things, and that the old Celtic Frost material is supposed to be up-tempo.
At least it helps to walk upstairs and catch an actual doom band,a band that is supposed to play at a doomy tempo. Swallow The Sun have arrived all the way from Finland to play thirty five minutes of epic and gloomy doom. However, as they found out, things don’t always turn out the way one wants them to. The airline Norwegian managed to lose their equipment somehow, so they were forced to borrow instruments from other bands. This didn’t affect their performance at all, and they did a mighty fine job., if I’m to say so.
The main headliner this Friday was Hypocrisy, actually playing their first show in Bergen ever, which seems even more amazing considering the fact that they have a Norwegian drummer in their ranks, Horgh (Immortal), and have had him in the fold for ages now. As with Triptykon, the sound seems a bit low in volume, and it never really turns into the mighty onslaught one would imagine a band such as Hypocrisy would be able to put on. At least I had my first ever experience of ‘Roswell 47’ in a live setting, which surely counts for something.
Something quite the opposite is to be said of Anaal Nathrakh that were headlining the small stage, the Studio stage. They did of course have the festivals crappiest sound, hands down. It was almost completely indecipherable actually. Yet, somehow they managed to pull off one of the better performances. There were people pulled on stage, some girl with dreads crowd surfing through most of their set, and a crazy moshpit going on. Dave Hunt, their vocalist, was also funny and misanthropic as usual, and it helps having songs like ‘Do Not Speak’, ‘Forging Towards The Sunset’ and ‘Between Shit And Piss We Are Born’ in any set list.
Blastfest, the newest and best European metal festival of the Winter 2014 is this week! Held over three days with 36 killers bands on five different stages, Blastfest promises to be an annual tradition of excellence. Ghost Cult Magazine will be on hand to cover the event. Fielding such luminaries from all walks of metal such as Hypocrisy, My Dying Bride, Vader, Triptykon, Marduk, Tiamat, Carpathian Forrest, Aborted, Aura Noir, Wardruna, Shining (SE), Belphagor, Annal Nakrath, Swallow The Sun, Sahg, Obscura, and many more, it should be an amazing show. In addition to the music, there are exhibts and special events all weekend long, making this a unique experience compared with other festivals. Held in Bergen Norway, the main venue USF Verftet is based right at the dock by the city fjord, and second venue Garage is in the heart of town. Bergen is the second biggest city in Norway and counts 250,000 people. The 3-Day passes are all sold-out, but there are plenty of great deals on tickets still left for all three days. Tickets can be purchased via the festival website below. Also keep up to date with the festival on Facebook.
Eindhoven Metal Meeting is quite the event in the southern Netherlands and even most of metal loving Europe by now. This year the festivities were three nights starting Thursday 12th through Saturday 14th of December. Billing 40+ bands in various genres and a very restricted press list, Ghost Cult was more than happy to be their press partner this year. Being solo, our reporter and photographer decided to only follow the main stage, excepting the Thursday when the running order was a little more forgiving.
Day one: Thursday 12th the party begins. Sadly we missed the apparently brilliant set by Death Angel due to travel issues. Apparently these classic thrashers played a great deal of their newer work with verve and gave one hell of a show. Sadly, they didn’t play much of their older work in this set. Arriving just when Sabaton started playing the main stage, the power metal party was starting. Sabaton know how to engage an audience. They may be a bit over the top, although compared to the rest of the power metal genre, they’re pretty timid. Their show was bombastic and everyone in the room enjoyed them very much. There was a smaller crowd than you’d expect with a name like Sabaton, but maybe the variety of the line-up accounted for this. It seemed that the core of the audience came more for the thrash and death related acts. Sabaton decide to play a somewhat different set than they usually do, citing they know many fans at this gig have seen them many times before. The vocals and mix are a little off, but the solos and general mood were awesome. It’s clear though they were playing for a “home crowd.”
Next up in the small room downstairs was Izegrim, a local up and comer in death metal. These guys have been playing all over NL of late and personally I hadn’t caught them yet. Their female vocalist promises to add a slightly different touch to a genre that is usually pretty conservative in its taste. When they started playing, inexperience, and possibly nerves showed. There are some good show elements (stepping forward to the edge of the stage to solo and such), but they last only a fraction of a second, giving their show a nervous feeling. The guitar solos sound a little patchy and the music in general is straight forward death metal as we know it. It’s well constructed though and while inexperience shows in the lie show, these guys could definitely grow bigger after they relax due to some more stage experience.
Finishing on the main stage is Accept. These hard rockers have been around for years, and experience showed. Their show is big and well executed, but carefree and relaxed at the same time. The best thing to see was that they really enjoy themselves. This infected the crowd who, even if it’s not their cup of tea musically, seemed to enjoy them. The sound too was exceptionally good too. Props to these guys for pulling off flawless solos and vocals, thundering drums and even slight improvisations while giving a great show, building a real party. Since I hadn’t seen Death Angel, they were my highlight of the night, but I heard Death Angel could rival them in excellence.
Friday 13th: The next day we return to Eindhoven Effenaar for a second day of loud. This day had a distinctly less party feel with mostly death and black metal bands playing the main stage. No power metal, thrash, or hard rock today, but bleak, dark, aggressive metal. Because of the denser programming today we could only cover the main stage. When we arrived we found out Fleshgod Apocalypse sadly had cancelled due to travel problems. The fans who came especially for this band (and there was a few of them) milled about the main room and in front of the venue aimlessly.
Now opening on the main stage is Morgoth. This German death metal outfit’s name is so common as a metal band, it’s a bit of a search to know who you have in front of you. They make a very quick solo filled type of death metal, with a very tight drum base. Sadly, many of the songs sound very similar, with growling vocals, and loads and loads of shredded solos. They’re very good at what they do (even though the sound is a little off, with the bass drum being overly represented.), but not very special. Good, more traditional and solid death metal.
At the same time Dues Mortem are playing in the smaller room downstairs. Since Morgoth couldn’t keep my attention I decide to have a look there. The room is decently full, but it seems most of the crowd prefers Morgoth to Deus Mortems somewhat slower, more song structured and listenable black metal. The Polish outfit is less black than some of the other billed bands, and doesn’t really use the more complex chord schemes and high vocals that normally characterize the genre, but pull off a good show.
After this we go to catch Belphegor. A quick discussion over genre-types with a clear black metal connoisseur in the press pit leads to the label of “Blackened Death”, who, while starting out as a black metal outfit, is moving more and more towards death metal. They still work with the wall of sound approach, but the vocals are lower and more growling, there are less dissonant in the guitar work and the song structure is simpler than most black metal. These guys also definitely know how to give a show, adorning the stage with some interesting bone sculptures. Melodies that almost float over the wall of noise created by blast beats, and quick guitar strokes are actually quite good and catchy. Definitely a very enjoyable band.
Napalm Death takes the stage next, and definitely show the punk roots in their hyperactive, aggressive grindcore and death metal. Running around the stage, vocalist Barney Greenway never leaves a dull moment in their 2-3 minute elapsing songs. They get 50 minutes to completely annihilate the crowd. Sadly, the sound is poorer than usual with these guys, and it kind of muddles and confuses the more crisp sound they normally have. Everything was very loud, which is good for Napalm Death in general, but now gets a bit over the top, especially with the sloppiness in both the playing and the mix. Definitely not a bad gig, but I’ve seen them do better.
The next band is one I’ve been looking forward to for some time; Carpathian Forest is, according to my black metal connoisseur, the only real black metal band on the bill. Being one of the relics from the old Norwegian scene, they should be exceptional. Sadly, the mix is terrible, laying emphasis on the bass drum and low sounds, vocals strangely mixed, where‘s vocals drowned out whenever the second set came in. It almost felt like a death metal mix, and even then was very poor. A fan mentioned, flabbergasted, that he hardly recognized the songs they played. Definite disappointment, while from an engagement and visual point of view the show was exceptionally good.
Then it’s time for odd duck on today’s billing; Tiamat. The new wave/Goth metal band would have been in front of a better crowd had they been billed the next day, when there is more melodic metal booked. This means that the rather dull song structures and lethargic deliverance which works wonderfully for goth fans does nothing at all for the more death and black oriented crowd today. Many trickle out or silently abide, waiting for whom they really came for to get on stage next, Watain.
Playing on Friday the 13th of the 13th year of their existence, the show doesn’t seem to hold much special value for Watain themselves. Having heard horror stories of the bands stage props and blood chucking habits, I was prepared for the worst, but didn’t get anything too bad. They left home their rotting sheep’s heads, only tossed one goblet of old blood into the awaiting crowd (which hit a very excited young man and his much less thrilled girlfriend), and had their fire rig set up flanking the drummer, accompanied by two huge screens made up of skin and bone panels. The band still has their own particular funk, but nothing too bad, and the sound was actually the best of the whole day in the much plagued room. I think the band has toned down the gore for a festival gig, where the next day the same room still has to be used for a full day. The show was excellent and really engaging, even though the band is mostly interested in their own ritual performance, and not much in the ecstatic crowd. Definitely worth waiting for the witching hour for them to start.
This coming weekend thousands will descend on one of the metal capitals of the world for the Eindhoven Metal Meeting! Ghost Cult Magazine is proud to be a media partner with the festival for 2013. Centrally located and accessible to many major cities, this festival seems poised to biggest edition of the fest, going back to the hallowed beginnings in Arnhem a decade ago. In what promises to be a memorable festival lineup worthy of closing out this year of stellar gigs and productions throughout the EU, the promoters have assembled a trove of amazing headliners and support bands for hungry metal fans to feast on. The main set up of the fest is two stages. The Large Stage is sponsored by Large PopMerchandising is where the main action will take place. Not to be outdone, the Jagermeister Stage, also features many well known, killer acts that will likely have fans splitting their skulls and ear drums, going back and forth between the two. On the plus side the running order for the entire fest has been posted and in a genius stroke, the bands will all be alternating sets, so theoretically very few bands will overlap each other. That’s a class move right there, one to be appreciated by today’s discerning metal fan.
The lineup is amazing on each day. Kicking things off on December 12th will be a very thrash feeling experience with headline caliber sets likely due from Dew Scented , Death Angel, and Sabbaton on the The Large Stage. The Jager stage will have the likes of Downfall of Empires, Extrema, Zetro Souza’s (Testament, Exodus) new band Hatriot, and Accuser. The headline band for Thursday is the always fun in a live setting Accept.
Day two might be the most evil and well-balanced lineup on both stages. The Large Stage is notable for a proverbial murders’ row of names such as Fleshgod Apocalypse, Morgoth, Belphegor, Napalm Death, Carpathian Forest (!), Tiamat, and Watain. In addition to the very strong In Solitude, the Jager stage has a lot of grindcore for a good change of pace such as the anticipated reunion from the Church of Pungent Stench, Vomitory, and good old Brutal Truth among others.
To grow a fest like this into a three-day affair, you need to be able come to the table with a strong final act and they have certainly done it here with this collection of bands: The Monolith Deathcult, Destroyer 666, Arkona, Hail Of Bullets, Elvenking, Arcturus, Coroner, and Therion among others. The Jager stage has no slouches either with names such as the recently added Heavenshine, Bodyfarm, Centurion, Hooded Menace, Impaled Nazarene, Nargaroth and Aborym to name a few. This promises to be a great time for all. Ghost Cult will be there to capture all the action and bring you a review soon after. Take care of each other out there and have a good time in the name of metal!