KIT XX Day 2 @ Lauda-Königshofen (DE) - Page 2


MariaV: “Would ATLANTEAN KODEX’s epic Heavy Doom Metal be able to surpass NIGHT DEMON’s energy surge that they had just delivered, leaving hundreds of metalheads in search of a couple of cold ones after their set?”, was the logical question that popped in mind, and as I watched the stage preparations that kept the program schedule to the T, to my surprise, I saw more and more fans gathering in front of the stage. Yeah, it’s not a big secret that the Bavarian band has a large group of fans and supporters among the ‘KIT’ attendees, and you could easily see that just by the amount of patches and t-shirts with the ATLANTEAN KODEX logo on. From the moment “Enthroned In Clouds And Fire” hit the speakers, the atmosphere during the ATLANTEAN KODEX set was magical; there was singing-along in any given chance, hundreds of fists in the air, showcasing the crowd’s love, but also, that kind of devotion seemed to reach the band’s shores too, since Markus Becker expressed the band’s gratitude for such a welcoming in any chance.

Not having much time available, the German quintet served one track after the other, with minimal pauses, trying to squeeze as many songs as it was humanly possible. But there were so many highlights from their 50-minute set; the rhythmic clapping from the audience during the first three minutes of “Pilgrim”, the merciless headbanging during “Sol Invictus”, or Becker’s hair-rising performance on my beloved “The Heresiarch” backed up by the crowd’s singing-along during the refrain, you name it. Sure, I have witnessed on record the ATLANTEAN KODEX experience live via “The Annihilation Of Bavaria” release, but watching and feeling the entire thing first-hand is a whole different story, and the memory of that set will follow me forever. Danke schön, ATLANTEANS!

ATLANTEAN KODEX setlist:

01. “Enthroned In Clouds And Fire”
02. “The Atlantean Kodex (Part 1)”
03. “Pilgrim”
04. “Sol Invictus”
05. “The Heresiarch”
06. “Twelve Stars And An Azure Gown”
07. “The Atlantean Kodex (Part 2)”

ATLANTEAN KODEX

Atlantean Kodex @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Atlantean Kodex @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Atlantean Kodex @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Atlantean Kodex @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Atlantean Kodex @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Atlantean Kodex @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Atlantean Kodex @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Atlantean Kodex @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Atlantean Kodex @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Atlantean Kodex @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Atlantean Kodex @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Atlantean Kodex @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Atlantean Kodex @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Atlantean Kodex @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Atlantean Kodex @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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DimK: After the amazing set by ATLANTEAN KODEX, it was time to switch gears and continents with Leather putting the words Heavy Metal in capital letters. Leather possesses one of the few female voices in the Metal scene and that's a total stranger to the used-to-death formula of soprano or beauty-and-beasts recipes. Yes, I have her on the side of Doro with both of them singing from the heart with an impossible to match passion and honesty. The latter is extremely hard to describe and the best way to witness it is watching one of her shows. With all this in mind, it feels amazing having Leather being Metal-singing active with CHASTAIN and it was no surprise that her set was heavily based on songs from that band. “Ruler Of The Wasteland” opened the set but some of the fun was taken away by the sound - at least from the stands where I was. I may sound like a broken record but sometimes the echo inside the stadium made it hard to listen the music as one would like to. I mean, Leather’s voice was buried at points and that was a great shame because her performance is what makes this so unique. Fortunately, the sound technician seemed to be aware of the situation, so things improved during “Chains Of Lover”. Leather was moving all around the stage and got more and more people involved, no matter if they knew the songs, although in a festival like ‘KIT’, this is a rarity. “Shockwaves” and “All Your Neon” threw us back to the late '80s when Leather released her solo debut.

Leather dedicated “Voice Of The Cult” to Steve Grimmett who is fighting his way through some health issues but is still dedicated to the Metal scene. Sure, this may sound cheesy to some but supporting each other is one the Metal community’s characteristics and I hope this will never change despite what the signs of time are revealing to those who know what to look for. Anyways, the song came out fantastically and crowd’s singing along helped to make this even better. The slower “Angel Of Mercy” did not lack of power (again the singing-along turned the heat up) and, in fact, led to the climax of the show with “The 7th Of Never” that Leather introduced by rhetorically asking “guess what will we do?” This was another great set on the ‘KIT’ history book which made extremely hard to go out of the stadium to have a bite or just catch a breather and things would only get better.

LEATHER setlist:

01. “Ruler Of The Wasteland”
02. “Paradise”
03. “Chains Of Love”
04. “Black Knight”
05. “Shockwaves”
06. “All Your Neon”
07. “For Those Who Dare”
08. “Voice Of The Cult”
09. “Angel Of Mercy”
10. “The 7th Of Never”

LEATHER

Leather @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Leather @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Leather @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Leather @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Leather @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Leather @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Leather @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Leather @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Leather @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Leather @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Leather @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Leather @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Leather @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Leather @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Leather @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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DimK: Then it was time to completely change the atmosphere with a band that a metalhead would not expect to be this high on the billing. Don’t get me wrong and I love diversity in a festival but in the case of ‘Keep It True’ the true part mainly refers to traditional Metal bands. However, ASHBURY absolutely deserved being included in the billing considering the raving reviews they got two years ago being for the first time in ‘KIT’. This is why the stadium was quickly packed some minutes before the band from Arizona had hit the stage. You see, even in an old-school festival YouTube can build up the excitement and draw more faces at a show so I guess word-to-mouth has become an old-man’s way of spreading Metal. The set started with “The Warning” and immediately the crowd joined in singing. Yep, everyone wanted a piece of ‘having seen ASHBURY’ experience and even though it was 70s Hard Rock with hearty Ian Anderson-inspired vocals it felt powerful and very intense. Once again, the audience’s participation and its emotional connection with the band are enough to make the live experience ten times better. The chanting ASHBURY, ASHBURY and the hair-rising sing-along during the mellow start of “Hard Fight” sent massive shivers down my spine and made it obvious how this hype has been created. Of course the set was based on the band’s 1983 debut with the instrumental “No Mourning” being a great chance to enjoy and feel the quality of an 80s band. Sure, the distortion is great but is very forgiving when it comes to live performances.

You have to twist my arm to get me to choose the set’s highlight, and in that case, I would go with the duo of “Endless Skies” and “Cold Light Of The Day”. I mean, it’s been really a while since the last time I had heard the audience chanting along a clean guitar riff. Hell, it may have been the first one... News-wise, the highlight of the set was the song “Good Guitar” which will be in the upcoming new ASHBURY LP that, according to Rob Davis, will be tentatively titled “Eye Of The Stygian Witches”. The foot-taping groove and the hard-hitting guitar riffs were more than enough to keep the audience going, even though this was a maiden listening. “Faceless Waters” was the second treat from this highly anticipated third LP, while the immediately recognized guitar intro of “Vengeance” dropped the curtain of a show that made many wanting for more. This was definitely a special set for ‘KIT’, even though seeing some crowd surfing during the setlist closer seemed a bit out of place... Rob’s goodnight words said it all: “Thank you guys, we love you, you are the best! Keep it true always! Until next time!”

ASHBURY setlist:

01. “The Warning”
02. “Take Your Love Away”
03. “Hard Fight”
04. “No Mourning”
05. “Mystery Man”
06. “Madman”
07. “Endless Skies”
08. “The Cold Light of Day”
09. “Good Guitar”
10. “Faceless Waters”
11. “Vengeance”

ASHBURY

Ashbury @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Ashbury @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Ashbury @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Ashbury @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Ashbury @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Ashbury @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Ashbury @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Ashbury @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Ashbury @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Ashbury @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Ashbury @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Ashbury @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Ashbury @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Ashbury @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Ashbury @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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MariaV: Whoever is a frequent goer at ‘KIT’ already knows about Washington’s Power metallers FIFTH ANGEL who reunited to play ον the 2010’s festival’s edition and left the best of impressions after their solid performance. Since I was one of the lucky ones who attended that event, I was quite eager to get for the second time FIFTH ANGEL’s raw and powerful energy through a setlist that will be blindly dedicated to the ‘80s. Yup, it’s a real bummer for a band not having a new release under its belt and hit the stage based on a nostalgia set, but I guess these guys don’t fall into this category. I mean, who wouldn’t want to hear all the “Fifth Angel” and “Time Will Tell” hits live? Add to this that Peter Orullian is a truly charismatic frontman and the fact that the rest of the guys show the same passion and enthusiasm being on the ‘KIT’ stage, in front of such a dedicated audience, and there you have it; a having-the-time-of-your-life 75-minute set guarantee.

And why wouldn’t be the case, since the moment “The Night” hit the speakers, it felt like a huge party was going on inside Tauberfrankenhalle with lots of singing-along and fists pumping in the air, despite the fatigue of a really long day. “In The Fallout” came without pausing and felt like it was meant to drain all the rest of our energy; I mean, the sound was perfect, the mood was set at the right mode and the entire band meant business from the very beginning. “Thank you, ‘Keep It True’. This is our second time playing here, and actually it’s the third time this band has played live”, Peter said, showing FIFTH ANGEL’s appreciation for being in front of such a great audience, even though Ken Mary had to step out due to a shoulder injury, leaving Q5’s Jeffrey McCormack behind the drum kit. “Shout It Out” passed the baton to the “Cathedral” / “Seven Hours” back-to-back treat, in front of an ecstatic crowd that chanted the band’s name in any given chance. Good times!

As expected, the talking was kept minimal by the FIFTH ANGEL frontman, as the band had to fill as many tracks as possible to the setlist in order to keep everyone happy, even though they repeated playing the exact same setlist they did in their previous ‘KIT’ performance. So, it wasn’t before “Midnight Love” when Peter said that this would be the oldest song they’re going to do that night, leaving the music to do the rest of the talking. And of course, the Randy Rhoads-esque intro with the screaming guitars did so, showing a band in top shape, no matter the very small amount of live shows that they have in their CV.

If you’d ask me to point out my favorite moment throughout the FIFTH ANGEL set, that would be during the intro of “Wings Of Destiny” that was nicely accompanied by the crowd’s “oooohs” singing, while there was a fair amount of cell phones with lights on, waving in the air (instead of lighters, like people used in order to shed some lights towards the stage during the slower songs in live shows, creating a mellow atmosphere).

After a set of about 75 minutes, FIFTH ANGEL left the ‘KIT’ stage and us with big smiles on our faces, even though there weren’t big or mind-blowing surprises on their set. But at that point, I don’t believe that anyone was complaining or even wanted something different from what FIFTH ANGEL had just delivered for once more; and that’s a high-energetic set full of ‘80s classics.

FIFTH ANGEL setlist:

01. “The Night”
02. “In The Fallout”
03. “Shout It Out”
04. “Cathedral”
05. “Seven Hours”
06. “Call Out The Warning”
07. “Fifth Angel”
08. “Midnight Love”
09. “Time Will Tell”
10. “Wings Of Destiny”
11. “Wait For Me”
12. “Cry Out The Fools”
13. “Only the Strong Survive”
14. “We Rule”
15. “Lights Out” (UFO cover)

FIFTH ANGEL

Fifth Angel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fifth Angel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fifth Angel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fifth Angel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fifth Angel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Fifth Angel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fifth Angel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fifth Angel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fifth Angel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fifth Angel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Fifth Angel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fifth Angel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fifth Angel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fifth Angel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fifth Angel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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DimK: Thus far, the bands’ performance had nailed us into our position, and really, we did not take long breaks because it had been that good. However, the long day and the mounting fatigue were knocking on our door, no matter how we had enjoyed the FIFTH ANGEL show. Still, the stadium started to fill up from the stands all the way back because the time for CIRITH UNGOL was upon us. The band had played at the ‘Frost And Fire’ festival on the other side of the Atlantic, so the expectations had skyrocketed with many asking how Tim Baker would sound and whether the band would live up to its name and legacy. It is funny how all these discussions fade away and how all the things you had in mind to check before the show get thrown out of the window. Yeah, the moment the lights went out and the dry-ice smoke filled the stage, everything was forgotten because CIRITH UNGOL had just hit the stage under the “War Eternal” taped intro.

The audience exploded with excitement and anticipation with the first notes of “I’m Alive”. There was no better way to start the show with a song stating the status of this band. Yes, CIRITH UNGOL were alive and backed up by a massive sound and created an atmosphere of mysticism, even though there was an issue with the stage lights and the band members looked like shadowy figures. The characteristic riff of “Join The Legion” quickly drew all the attention and welcomed a loud singing-along by the ‘KIT’ audience that apparently had more juice inside its battery. NIGHT DEMON’s Jarvis was roaming the stage being equally pumped with the audience, having CIRITH UNGOL back in action, while Mr. Baker was sending shivers down our spine with his trademark voice. Yes, he sounded absolutely fantastic, so please put your worrying mind at ease. It was after “Edge Of A Knife” when Tim broke his speaking-silence; “‘KIT’ it was about time to play. We CIRITH UNGOL and we’re here to play “Blood & Iron where the words he used, before letting the music reap through the speakers, seeing lots of action from the tireless audience. The same off-stage mayhem continued during “Frost And Fire” but still, the stage lights did not want to co-operate, so the promoters had some technician at the back of stage doing his best. There was an improvement light-wise during “Finger Of Scorn” but at that point I don’t think the metalheads were turned off by this mishap and kept it going. The deep growl of “Chaos Descends” sent shivers down our spine and I think gave us a breather with its slower tempo. Still, the sing along during the chorus was loud and present, so again kudos to the still going strong ‘KIT’ crowd.

The deeper the band into the selist, the more relaxed everyone looked. Especially the singer became more active, so I guess he was anxious too getting back on stage in front of this crowd that obviously had high expectations. You have to understand their point of view too and consider the pressure these musicians feel when they are called upon to honor the legend they have created. And yes, beyond the shadow of any doubt CIRITH UNGOL delivered the goods as headliners on this billing that had equally great performances. “Paradise Lost” saw the band leaving the stage but obviously there was more to come, and the metalheads were chanting for  CIRITH UNGOL to return. Drummer Robert Garven was the first to return and soon enough he was followed by the rest of the band. Tim Baker took a bow and then pointed toward Jarvis who immediately started the bass riff of “Master Of The Pit”. The setlist climaxed with the amazing duo of “King Of The Dead” and “Cirith Ungol” which I think depleted the last drop of energy everyone had inside.

This was a great way to drop the curtain on the 20th anniversary of ‘KIT’. There were great performances that made us sacrifice part of our predetermined break time, but it was absolutely worth it. However, and in danger of sounding like a nit-picking old-man, I will repeat the sound issue that made its annoying appearance during the sets when the stadium was not filled up. Also, there were some issues with security at the camping area but I acquired this info after the show, so I do not know the specifics and do not have first-person experience. At any rate, this was another experience to hold close to our heart and it is not only due to the music; it is the whole package of meeting familiar faces, visiting familiar places and, on top of everything, enjoying this unique music LIVE.

CIRITH UNGOL setlist:

01. “I’m Alive”
02. “Join The Legion”
03. “Atom Smasher”
04. “Edge Of A Knife”
05. “Blood & Iron”
06. “Black Machine”
07. “Frost And Fire”
08. “Finger Of Scorn”
09. “Chaos Descends”
10. “Doomed Planet”
11. “Chaos Rising”
12. “Fallen Idols”
13. “Paradise Lost “
14. “Master Of The Pit”
15. “King Of The Dead”
16. “Cirith Ungol”

CIRITH UNGOL

Cirith Ungol @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Cirith Ungol @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Cirith Ungol @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Cirith Ungol @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Cirith Ungol @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Cirith Ungol @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Cirith Ungol @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Cirith Ungol @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Cirith Ungol @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Cirith Ungol @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Cirith Ungol @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Cirith Ungol @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Cirith Ungol @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Cirith Ungol @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Cirith Ungol @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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Damien Thorne @ Keep It True XVII @  Lauda-Königshofen (GER) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)