HOA Day 3 @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE)

METAL CHURCH / PRAYING MANTIS / MURO / SAVAGE / BLASPHEME / PERSIAN RISK / HERETIC / SACRED STEEL / MEGAHERA / MIDNIGHT MESSIAH

'Headbangers Open Air Festival, Day 3'

Date: 27th July, 2013
Venue: The Garden
Tickets: €43 ($55)
Promoter: Headbangers-Open-Air.de


The last day of the 2013 ‘Headbangers Open Air’ edition started off sunny and nice as the other days but there was something in the air threatening the peace.

MIDNIGHT MESSIAH, including Paul Taylor and Phil Denton, rose from the remains of ELIXIR who disbanded in 2012. MIDNIGHT MESSIAH sound almost exactly as ELIXIR did so one can wonder why they gave up such classic name. On the other hand, a new start can be also very inspiring.  Still, it’s very hard to look at this without comparing to ELIXIR. Since all shows I’ve seen with the former band have been very good I expected a lot from MIDNIGHT MESSIAH and they didn’t disappoint me. ELIXIR showed off with great energy but MIDNIGHT MESSIAH was one step better in every aspect. The most prominent was how much fun they seemed to have on stage. Also, MIDNIGHT MESSIAH’s debut album “The Root Of All Evil” sounds great with awesome tracks in the same class as ELIXIR. Take for example the two set-openers “Thirty Pieces Of Silver” and “Damned For All Time”; both sounds amazing and there was no change in quality as “The Star Of Beshaan” followed.

This band must have passed people by though because the crowd was very sparse when they started playing. It always fills up around the stage sooner or later though but it was a bit unfortunate, for the band but maybe more so for the ones who missed it.

MIDNIGHT MESSIAH setlist:

01. “Thirty Pieces Of Silver”
02. “Damned For All Time”
03. “The Star Of Beshaan”
04. “Wise Man Of Roklar”
05. “You're No Friend Of Mine”
06. “The Rock”
07. “Treachery”
08. “The Son Of Odin”
09. “King Of The Night”
10. “Midnight Messiah”

MIDNIGHT MESSIAH

Midnight Messiah @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Midnight Messiah @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Midnight Messiah @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Midnight Messiah @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Midnight Messiah @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Midnight Messiah @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Midnight Messiah @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Midnight Messiah @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Midnight Messiah @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Midnight Messiah @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Midnight Messiah @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Midnight Messiah @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Midnight Messiah @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Midnight Messiah @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Midnight Messiah @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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Italian MEGAHERA was up next. I am a real fan of their primitive Thrash that is old school and raw; just the way it should be. And it sounded very good when MEGAHERA played but unfortunately the show left more to wish for. I mean after a cool intro there was nothing... It took a while before they got started and that really set the mood for the rest of their show as well. But yes, when they played it worked very well. “Before The Night” from debut LP “Metal Maniac Attack” struck hard and the same did “Pharaoh’s Curse” from brand new “Condemned To Insanity”. But MEGAHERA is a very good example that you need the whole package to succeed. Of course, the music is what matters the most but when there are ten bands per day fighting for your attention then the show becomes equally important. Just by keeping the in-between songs pauses minimum it would have done a lot. Because, when it gets quiet without any action onstage for quite some time it becomes very easy to lose interest. But like I said, when MEGAHERA played they sounded awesome, great songs and very tight, still without losing the filth and attitude.

MEGAHERA setlist:

01. “Apocalyptic Ride”
02. “Before The Night”
03. “Nostalgia”
04. “Condemned To Insanity”
05. Bass Solo
06. “Pharaoh's Curse”
07. “Let It Loose”

MEGAHERA

Megahera @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Megahera @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Megahera @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Megahera @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Megahera @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Megahera @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Megahera @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Megahera @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Megahera @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Megahera @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Megahera @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Megahera @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Megahera @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Megahera @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Megahera @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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One band that doesn’t save energy when onstage is SACRED STEEL. Say what you will about them but I think they’re one of the most fun bands to watch. Gerrit is a very charismatic frontman while the rest of the band really takes hold of the stage as well. The stage seems like boiling and since last time I’d seen SACRED STEEL they seem to have grown together as a unity even more. And the size of the ‘Headbangers Open Air’ stage is perfect, it feels like chaos. By the way the contrast with MEGAHERA is huge. To be honest, SACRED STEEL’s type of Power Metal is a bit too angular for my taste. I like a bit more Progressive kind but live this is amazing. Songs like “Wargods Of Metal” and especially “Metal Reigns Supreme” work great live. So, I sure hold SACRED STEEL higher as a live band more than something for the stereo.

A cover of OMEN’s classic “Battle Cry” went down well for the crowd. That’s also something so special with ‘Headbangers Open Air’, almost any cover will go down and the crowd knows them all. But why not, OMEN is a great band and “Battle Cry” is a fantastic song. “Sacred Bloody Steel” and “Heavy Metal To The End” finished the set and SACRED STEEL left the stage. Based on the response and that SACRED STEEL is a fairly big band I think their slot was a bit odd, very early actually. But they sure got the festival going, party mood set to max after this.

SACRED STEEL setlist:

01. “Intro (Dark Angel)”
02. “Evil Has No Boundaries”
03. “Wargods Of Metal”
04. “Tonight The Witches Ride”
05. “Metal Reigns Supreme”
06. “Battle Angel”
07. “No God / No Religion”
08. “Maniacs Of Speed”
09. “Blood On My Steel”
10. “Open Wide The Gates”
11. “Battle Cry”
12. “Sacred Bloody Steel”
13. “Heavy Metal To The End”

SACRED STEEL

Sacred Steel @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Sacred Steel @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Sacred Steel @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Sacred Steel @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Sacred Steel @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Sacred Steel @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Sacred Steel @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Sacred Steel @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Sacred Steel @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Sacred Steel @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Sacred Steel @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Sacred Steel @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Sacred Steel @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Sacred Steel @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Sacred Steel @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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Then it was time for some US Power Metal. HERETIC released their latest record “A Time Of Crisis” just in time for last year’s festival and that one spun a few rounds on the way home. Great record from a great band but would they be able, as all other US Metal bands, to deliver one hell of a show? Of course they could. I’m so fascinated how almost all the US bands perform with such intensity in German festivals. HERETIC, as well as many of the others, has a long history, reaching over 25 years but still feel more hungry than many new bands.

I must admit I got a bit distracted for the songs spent in the photo-pit trying to catch the members on film, which wasn't the easiest thing. A lot of movement, pressure from the crowd and the pit was rather crowded. But after the first few songs, I really got time to enjoy the show. Vocalist Julian Mendez did all songs justice; I mean, Mike Howe is a great vocalist and a favorite of mine but Julian pulled off the classics with grace. “Betrayed” followed by “Whitechapel” and then back to the latest release again in “Tomorrows Plague” sounded amazing. Of course, I kind of missed the first few songs but the set still felt very short and perhaps it could have been even stronger to save one classic for the end but it still was a great set and again a US Metal band raised the standard on how to perform on the ‘Headbangers Open Air’ stage.

HERETIC setlist:

01. “Intro”
02. “Heretic”
03. “And Kingdoms Fall”
04. “Blood Will Tell”
05. “Betrayed”
06. “Whitechapel”
07. “Tomorrows Plague”
08. “Portrait Of Faith”
09. “Police State”
10. “The Circle”
11. “Child Of War”
12. “Remains”
13. “Impulse”

HERETIC

Heretic @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Heretic @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Heretic @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Heretic @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Heretic @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Heretic @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Heretic @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Heretic @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Heretic @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Heretic @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Heretic @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Heretic @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Heretic @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Heretic @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Heretic @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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And then they joy was over (nothing to do with the music of course). It actually looked very funny when PERSIAN RISK saw their crowd flee from their positions in front of the stage. I assume it wasn’t all clear that the rain started, and it wasn’t a light little rain. It was pouring and the winds got really strong as well. Apart from the front row, which actually has a roof people were squeezing in under the trees and tents. So it must have been a bit strange for PERSIAN RISK to play. And it’s such a shame that the rain sort of destroyed this gig because it was really good. It’s cool when a band can play rather soft Hard Rock, Heavy Metal but still be heavy and keep the intensity in the music. Carl Sentence is a fantastic singer and a very charismatic frontman and he sure did everything he could to amuse people and make everyone forget about the rain. Main part of PERSIAN RISK’s set was from latest release “Once A King” which sure is a good album. Also, I got to hear my favorites from that record in “Soul Deceiver” and “Spirit In My Dreams”.

Also worth noting, even if I hold this as one of the best gigs on the festival it’s very different from the absolute favorites. Just as DEMON this was a real feel-good moment (even if it was raining), joyful and easy going. This compared to the complete run-over from the American bands. Anyway, great gig and the stage stood the test of wind and rain but the campsite didn't...

PERSIAN RISK setlist:

01. “Hang On”
02. “Dark Tower”
03. “Riding High”
04. “Soul Deceiver”
05. “Asylum”
06. “Spirit In My Dreams”
07. “Don’t Turn Around”
08. “Fist Of Fury”
09. “Battlecry”
10. “Women And Rock”
11. “Stand Up And Shout” (DIO Cover)

PERSIAN RISK

Persian Risk @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Persian Risk @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Persian Risk @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Persian Risk @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Persian Risk @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Persian Risk @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Persian Risk @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Persian Risk @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Persian Risk @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Persian Risk @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Persian Risk @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Persian Risk @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Persian Risk @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Persian Risk @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Persian Risk @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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Luckily the rain stopped as fast as it appeared so it was only PERSIAN RISK that were affected by it. Good for the visitors but a bit unfortunate for the band of course. The site was soaked still and puddles of mud took the center instead of a mosh-pit. BLASPHEME was one of the bands I was the most curious to see of this edition of ‘Headbangers Open Air’, the records are good but they are a bit of an odd band. Or, many French bands have this special touch in their music, as compared those from Germany, the UK and the US or maybe it’s better to say it feels rather obscure. Sharing the vocals this early evening, since Marc Fery left the and earlier this year was Olivier Del Valle and Alexis Roy-Petit (the latter might be familiar to some since he played with EVIL ONE a few years back) which really creates a cool effect. Not total necessary since I think both of them would have pulled this off flawlessly on their own. I guess it is the language barrier is one thing to make many bands who don’t sing in English special. And with French bands, the phrasing becomes very special. “Désir De Vampyr” and especially “Enfer Paradis” really gave me goosebumps; damn cool songs and the performance from the band was awesome.

Since I've listened most to the band’s self-titled debut it was the songs from this one that struck the hardest. But the set was really strong and extremely fun to watch. Both Alexis and Oliver performed with great energy and so did the rest of the band but with them moving back and forth the rest ended up a bit in the background.

BLASPHEME setlist:

01. “Désir De Vampyr”
02. “Enfer Paradis”
03. “Briser Le Silence”
04. “Erreurs De Moeurs”
05. “Carpe Diem”
06. “Territoires Des Hommes”
07. “Excalibur”
08. “Au Nom De Morts”
09. “The Crow”
10. “Vivre Libre”
11. “Seul”
12. “Jehova”
13. “Vengeance Barbare”

BLASPHEME

Blaspheme @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Blaspheme @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Blaspheme @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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Of all the NWOBHM bands playing in German festivals I can’t claim SAVAGE to be one of my favorite. My taste leans more towards Heavy Metal than Hard Rock. But I must admit, there are some damn good songs on full length debut “Loose ’n’ Lethal”, especially tough and speedy “Let It Loose” which was at the end of SAVAGE’s set.

But moving too far ahead now, even if this isn’t my favorite on record I really enjoyed watching SAVAGE play and as many of the same mold this is an excellent live-band. SAVAGE brought a lot of energy to the stage. Both Andy Dawson and Chris Bradley has been doing this for some 30 odd years and still perform with a lot of energy and seem to have a lot of fun doing so and this I like. After all, this type of music works a lot better on stage than on record according to my book. Unfortunately, in the middle of all great bands on the bill this evening SAVAGE sort of vanished from my senses, so I really hope I get another chance to see them play!

SAVAGE setlist:

01. “The Rage Within”
02. “Black'N'Blue”
03. “White Hot”
04. “The China Run”
05. “On The Rocks”
06. “Ain't No Fit Place”
07. “Dirty Money”
08. “Berlin”
09. “Cry Wolf”
10. “Let It Loose”
11. “Now”

SAVAGE

Savage @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Savage @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Savage @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Savage @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Savage @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Savage @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Savage @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Savage @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Savage @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Savage @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Savage @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Savage @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Savage @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Savage @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Savage @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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Another band not singing in English was Spanish MURO was the festival’s billing this year. (BARON ROJO performed in 2012, right?) It’s so great to see bands that give everything. I assume they are big in Spain and the true metalheads knows them iin the rest of Europe but not the general mass. And since there were a lot of Spanish people at ‘Headbangers Open Air’ I guess it was a bit like playing at home for MURO. I can easily say it was the hardest singing crowd for “El Cuarto Jinete” on the festival. Doubtless! It was almost that they shouted down the band on stage. Also “Otra Batalla” got the same treatment. Very cool, of course it wasn’t only for the first song but worth pointing out since these two came from latest release “El cuarto jinete” which only had been out a few months prior to the festival. But this didn’t stop anyone from singing though. The frenzy continued throughout the concert. It’s rare to see catchy music to come across so violent and have so much force. It wasn’t as the US Metal bands but this was even more brutal. MURO still had the same intensity though.

What also is very cool when moving away from the True-scene is that it’s not only the first release from a band that is interesting; MURO’s history started in the mid 80’s but all releases seems to have gotten down well with the fans. Ending the show was again one from new “El Cuarto Jinete” in “La Voz” and absolutely last “Mirada Asesina” from 1999’s (when most real Heavy Metal was out of fashion for many people) “Peligro inminente” which of course got the same treatment as the rest. This was an amazing concert and a band that was a lot of fun to watch and I was starting to wonder if PRAYING MANTIS as well as METAL CHURCH would get a hard time after MURO.

MURO setlist:

01. “El Cuarto Jinete”
02. “Juicio Final, Traidor”
03. “Otra Batalla”
04. “Mata”
05. “Telon De Acero”
06. Ciclon”
07. Solo En La Oscuridad”
08. Honorable”
09. Acero Y Sangre”
10. La Voz”
11. Mirada Asesina”

MURO

Muro @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Muro @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Muro @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Muro @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Muro @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Muro @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Muro @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Muro @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Muro @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Muro @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Muro @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Muro @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Muro @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Muro @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Muro @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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PRAYING MANTIS was one of the bands I really was looking forward to this year. Simply because their 2011 performance was absolutely amazing. But since there had been changes in the lineup seen vocalist Mike Freeland being replaced by John Cuijpers. Also, if I remember correctly there was a keyboard-player missing now, which showed to be a big drawback for PRAYING MANTIS at this performance. Of course, when they played it sounded good, no doubt about this even if I think Mike is a better singer than John.

“Children Of The Earth” and “Panic In The Streets” started off the set but a few songs later something happened to the computer so there were no keyboards or backtracks and I really hate it when bands are so computer dependent. I can understand that it’s very expensive for bands to drag around extra members but when things like this happen, and they CAN’T continue the show, what’s money worth then? Or, perhaps a band could have in mind that computers freak out and try to play the songs on their own before the show? Anyway, it seemed impossible for PRAYING MANTIS to continue without the extras, no songs with only guitar, bass and drums could be performed. So after “Captured City” the band left the stage and that was it. Really anti-climax! So no, even if it started out good the impression about PRAYING MANTIS after this was rather low.

PRAYING MANTIS setlist:

01. “Children Of The Earth”
02. “Panic In The Streets”
03. “Praying Mantis”
04. “Highway”
05. “Turn The Tables”
06. “Captured City

PRAYING MANTIS

Praying Mantis @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Praying Mantis @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Praying Mantis @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Praying Mantis @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Praying Mantis @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Praying Mantis @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Praying Mantis @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Praying Mantis @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Praying Mantis @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Praying Mantis @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Praying Mantis @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Praying Mantis @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Praying Mantis @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Praying Mantis @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Praying Mantis @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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Last one of the 2013’s edition of ‘Headbangers Open Air’ was one of the bands mostly discussed during the festival in my camp, mainly due to anticipation to see them. Also, as it was stated that METAL CHURCH would play their sell-titled debut album in its entirety. Discussion was also about if this was a good idea or not to play it from start to end or of they should have tossed the tracks around a bit.

Ok, now METAL CHURCH actually started with a few other classics and I really hated to be in the photo-pit for “Ton Of Bricks” and “Start The Fire”; these are amazing songs which should be enjoyed with a beer in hand. But I really shouldn’t complain. Everything sounded perfect. I think Ronny Munroe can sound a bit dry on record on occasion, live however he really sounds amazing.

And yes, “Metal Church” worked perfect as a concert end to end. Even if I’d preferred that they should have started with the record and ended with the hits, I wouldn’t have wanted to spend “Beyond The Black” and “Metal Church” in the photo-pit either. I’ll be damned if the sing-along wasn’t more massive here than for MURO. Amazing really! Even if “Highway Star” is a part of the record as well as a very good song I’m not too fond of bands playing this live. To add “Big Guns” which was a bonus track to the setlist also felt a bit odd. But it worked, of course... I still think the show could have been even better with a few more hits in the end instead of playing almost all (apart from “Human Factor”) in the beginning. But it’s really petty to complain about this. METAL CHURCH did a fantastic gig and it was a great ending of ‘Headbangers Open Air’. People were leaving the garden with huge smiles on their faces. And to have that, and a packed garden when three days’ worth of music and beer has been served sure tells how damn good METAL CHURCH did here. It’s good to have them back!

METAL CHURCH setlist:

01. “Ton Of Bricks”
02. “Start The Fire”
03. “Light In The Dark”
04. “Fake Healer”
05. “Badlands”
06. “Watch The Children Pray”
07. “Beyond The Black”
08. “Metal Church”
09. “Merciless Onslaught”
10. “Gods Of Wrath”
11. “Hitman”
12. “In The Blood”
13. “Nightmare”
14. “Battalions”
15. “Highway Star”
16. “Big Guns”
17. “Human Factor”

METAL CHURCH

Metal Church @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Metal Church @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Metal Church @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Metal Church @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Metal Church @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Metal Church @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Metal Church @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Metal Church @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Metal Church @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Metal Church @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Metal Church @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Metal Church @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Metal Church @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Metal Church @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Metal Church @ Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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METAL CHURCH was absolutely one of the best shows of this edition of ‘Headbangers Open Air’, performance and set was just amazing. But for me VICIOUS RUMORS won - sure, it is hard to beat them since they’re one of my absolute favorite bands. Else, I would really like to name BLOOD FEAST, MIDNIGHT MESSIAH and MURO as favorites as well. But (with the risk of repeating myself) all bands did really well and should get kudos for their performances.