HOA Day 2 @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE)

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SANCTUARY / BLIND ILLUSION / PICTURE / GOTHIC KNIGHTS / STORMWARRIOR / BLOOD FEAST / ATTACKER / WARRANT / SATAN'S FALL

'Headbangers Open Air Festival, Day 2'

Date: 28th July, 2017
Venue: The Garden
Tickets: €59 (3-day) ($69)
Promoter: Headbangers-Open-Air.de
Photos: Erika Wallberg


Day 2 of ‘Headbangers Open Air’ started good too. Or, I was a bit skeptic towards SATAN’S FALL as the reviews they got from ‘Up The Hammers’ a few months prior to this festival weren’t very convincing, too much to drink prior to the gig was the verdict at that time… That wasn’t the case here and it all sounded very good. I like the mix of Speed and Heavy Metal and they have a very good drive in their music.  Catchy “Riders Of The Night” worked out well. A riff based on off-beat markings normally cut it and at least it made me wake up for real. Also speedy “Poisonhead” from the “Seven Nights” full length came across really well. This was of course the first song I could focus on for real since the first three was spent trying to catch the fast-moving guys with the camera.

The thing though with SATAN’S FALL is that they music builds up the energy, especially when delivered in a flawless way like this. I mean, it is still raw and rough but also tight. I all sounded really good and the people who managed to drag themselves inside seemed to enjoy what was delivered very much. The ending with mid-tempo “False Idols” and again, an up-tempo one from the most recent release as well as title track “Seven Nights” sounded awesome but it really felt it ended too soon. Looking at the time spent on stage SATAN’S FALL didn’t utilize their full time and left the crowd a little disappointed (yes, it was expressed by everyone I talked to at least) that they didn’t play more, as they could have. But I guess that’s criticism you can live with as a band and it sure was a nice start of the day. Good music to wake up to.

SATAN'S FALL setlist:

01. “Metal Of Satan”
02. “Steel Highway”
03. “Riders of the Night”
04. “Poisonhead”
05. “Forever Blind”
06. “False Idols”
07. “Seven Nights”

SATAN'S FALL

SATAN'S FALL @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SATAN'S FALL @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SATAN'S FALL @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SATAN'S FALL @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SATAN'S FALL @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
SATAN'S FALL @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SATAN'S FALL @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SATAN'S FALL @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SATAN'S FALL @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SATAN'S FALL @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
SATAN'S FALL @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SATAN'S FALL @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SATAN'S FALL @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SATAN'S FALL @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SATAN'S FALL @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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I’ve seen WARRANT a couple of times and even if it’s been good it has always felt the timing is a bit off. Either it’s been too late, too hot, too cold or whatever. The roof over the area closest to stage and the hour really made it perfect this time. I love it when bands do a little extra with the show. Initially drummer Thomas Rosemann was winding up a manual siren wearing a mask covering half his face. Then, kicking things off of course the axe-man showed up as well. It can seem silly at some points but I’m always delighted by things like this and it sure adds to the whole experience.

But it felt like WARRANT were more charged this day than ever before. It all was very tight and energetic and sounded great. As I mentioned, WARRANT have always been good when I’ve seen them but not like this. This one sure topped it all.

The majority of the set here was from their classic “The Enforcer” album which is all good. I still enjoyed opening “Come And Get It” as well as “Immortal” from most recent “Metal Bridge” also. But it was the old songs that got the best response and by all means, songs like “Nuns Have No Fun” and “Torture In The Tower” never gets boring. But it was more to it, the interaction between the bassist and at the same time vocalist Jörg Juraschek and guitarist Michael Dietz was great here. Else, even at a stage as this one a trio can have a hard time filling it. But not here, it was a dynamic and fun performance and turned the mood up yet another notch from the boost given by the SATAN’S FALL gig.

WARRANT setlist:

01. “Come And Get It”
02. “Ordeal Of Death”
03. “The Rack”
04. “Cowards Or Martyrs”
05. “Scavenger's Daughter”
06. “Satan”
07. “Nuns Have No Fun”
08. “Immortal”
09. “The Enforcer”
10. “Torture In The Tower”

WARRANT

WARRANT @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) WARRANT @  The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) WARRANT @  The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) WARRANT @  The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) WARRANT @  The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
WARRANT @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) WARRANT @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) WARRANT @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) WARRANT @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) WARRANT @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
WARRANT @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) WARRANT @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) WARRANT @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) WARRANT @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) WARRANT @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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And it just kept coming. Of course, I knew ATTACKER would be good. They really kicked ass at ‘Up the Hammers’ in Greece earlier in the same year and I was expecting nothing less than that. But I got more. And it sure was full on from start with “Lords Of Thunder” followed by awesome “The Hammer”. ATTACKER have held a consistent very high standard throughout their time so it really doesn’t matter what they’re playing, it is all good. But I must say that new “Sins Of The World” is amazing and since it has been spinning very frequently since I got it so it’s always a pleasure to hear those songs live. This made “World Destroyer” extra good. Also, my favorite from the album “Carcosa” which came later on sounded awesome. I love the beat in that track and the power ATTACKER have in their performance sure boosted the track even more. I was just standing there with a silly grin on my face the whole show as, when I thought it couldn’t be any better it all was taken up another notch. And Bobby “Leatherlungs” Lucas sure made name for his nick this time, damn he’s a good screamer. It all sounded perfect.

But of course, even if ATTACKER used their full time the ending came too soon. I could have taken another round after “(Call on) The Attacker” and the absolutely fabulous “Glen Of The Ghost”.  What a gig and ATTACKER sure gave BLOOD FEAST a match for their money. BLOOD FEAST is the craziest and most intense show I’ve ever seen at ‘Headbangers Open Air’ but this one from ATTACKER sure was right up there with that one.

ATTACKER setlist:

01. Intro - “Lords of Thunder”
02. “The Hammer”
03. Intro - “World Destroyer”
04. “Revelations of Evil”
05. “The End”
06. Intro - “This is Power”
07. “Carcosa”
08. Intro - “The Hermit”
09. “Zero Hour”
10. “Slayer's Blade”
11. “(Call On) The Attacker”
12. Intro - “Glen Of The Ghost”

ATTACKER

ATTACKER @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ATTACKER @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ATTACKER @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ATTACKER @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ATTACKER @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
ATTACKER @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ATTACKER @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ATTACKER @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ATTACKER @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ATTACKER @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
ATTACKER @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ATTACKER @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ATTACKER @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ATTACKER @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ATTACKER @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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So, what could BLOOD FEAST do this time that hasn’t already been done? Not that they have to change anything, really. This was basically the same as last time and I’m glad they didn’t! That rough New York attitude and the intensity in BLOOD FEAST’s performance it all feels dangerous. It’s very different from most other bands and it sure is cool.

And BLOOD FEAST sure hold a steady pace throughout out the show, it goes from fast to furious and that’s exactly how the show start. “Darkside” sets the bar immediately and it sounded fantastic. How a band can keep this up and be as tight and precise like this, is beyond me. “Blood Lust” continues the same way while “INRI” is just fast.  I mean, the songs from brand new “The Future State Of Wicked” have a bit more dynamics than the old school tracks but for that sake there’s no compromise with the intensity. Also vocalist Chris Natalini’s stage presence and energy builds on to the whole package. It’s awesome to watch him perform.

Title track from “Kill For Pleasure” also stood out. The original album version is rather rough sounding. It’s still a catchy track and has a very nice groove but with the punch and force from the live sound it becomes brutal and very headbang friendly. Just awesome! Towards the end, another new one “Off With Their Heads” also brought on some extra attention. BLOOD FEAST sure hasn’t lost their ability to write cool songs. So again it was an amazing performance from the band, just as intense and tight as before. Even if this wasn’t the same surprise as last time, for obvious reasons, BLOOD FEAST sure hasn’t slow down since last round at the ‘Headbangers Open Air Festival’ at least.

BLOOD FEAST setlist:

01. Intro - “Darkside”
02. “Blood Lust”
03. “INRI”
04. “Venomous Death”
05. “Last Rites”
06. “Kill For Pleasure”
07. “The Underling”
08. “Face Fate”
09. “Chopping Blocks Blues”
10. “The Burn”
11. “Off With Their Heads”
12. “Menacing Thunder”

BLOOD FEAST

BLOOD FEAST @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLOOD FEAST @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLOOD FEAST @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLOOD FEAST @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLOOD FEAST @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
BLOOD FEAST @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLOOD FEAST @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLOOD FEAST @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLOOD FEAST @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLOOD FEAST @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
BLOOD FEAST @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLOOD FEAST @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLOOD FEAST @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLOOD FEAST @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLOOD FEAST @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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It was going to be hard to keep up the pace the whole day, both for me and the bands. The first half sure was intense which made STORMWARRIOR suffer a bit from my perspective. They too are always good but don’t have the same fury as the two bands preceding them on the bill.

Songs like opening Iron Gods” or “Metal Legacy” as well as “Ragnarök”, are fantastic. The latter came in the middle of the set and made it a good mix. The “Heading Northe” album is the one of the STORMWARRIOR albums I’ve been listening to the most and it sure holds high standard today also. It’s actually hard to realize it’s 10 years since it was release now. Of course also the title track from the same album that together with “Iron Prayers” closed the STORMWARRIOR set worked really well.

But the fact is, even if also STORMWARRIOR felt more energetic and devoted to the show this time it wasn’t enough to make any bigger impact after the complete run-over from BLOOD FEAST.

STORMWARRIOR setlist:

01. “Iron Gods”
02. “Heavy Metal Fire”
03. “Metal Legacy”
04. “Bloode Eagle”
05. “Valhalla”
06. “Ragnarök”
07. “Thunder & Steele”
08. “Odinn's Warriors”
09. “Steelecrusader”
10. “Heading Northe”
11. “Iron Prayers”

 

STORMWARRIOR

STORMWARRIOR @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) STORMWARRIOR @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) STORMWARRIOR @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) STORMWARRIOR @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) STORMWARRIOR @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
STORMWARRIOR @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) STORMWARRIOR @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) STORMWARRIOR @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) STORMWARRIOR @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) STORMWARRIOR @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
STORMWARRIOR @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) STORMWARRIOR @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) STORMWARRIOR @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) STORMWARRIOR @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) STORMWARRIOR @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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I don’t know why and how GOTHIC KNIGHTS can have passed me by. Of course, the records has never been available somewhere close here up in the dark north. That normally doesn’t stop me. Seemingly I was the only one at the Festival not perfectly familiar with the band. I liked what I heard when digging in a bit prior to the Festival though and enjoyed it even more live. GOTHIC KNIGHTS is really perfect for my taste and both “Guardian Archangel” and “Down In Flames”. I really enjoyed the first of the two. It’s more epic nature came across really well. The others worked too of course. However, vocalist Gabriel Colon gave a quite weird impression initially. His voice is great and worked perfect to the music but it was something with his appearance that felt off. As the show progressed it changed and got a lot better, when he had to work harder for the delivery it all felt more natural and genuine.

The more epic side came through in “Sleepy Hollow” also, which became another favorite in the set. But nothing could beat gloomy “1689: Trial of the Witch”. What a cool track and it sure sounded awesome live. On occasion I really like to experience a band live without having too much insight in their music. This was certainly was a very cool show and I enjoyed it very much. I do regret not doing my homework prior to the Festival though. Knowing GOTHIC KNIGHTS music better than I did would have made it even better. No doubt they ended up in the line of good performances this awesome Friday night though.

GOTHIC KNIGHTS setlist:

01. “Guardian Archangel”
02. “Down In Flames”
03. “Warrior Of Faith”
04. “Creatures Of The Dark”
05. “Bridgekeeper”
06. “War In The Sky”
07. “At Dawn You Die”
08. “Sleepy Hollow”
09. “World In Chains”
10. “Keeper Of The Gate”
11. “1689: Trial Of The Witch”
12. “Death From Above”

GOTHIC KNIGHTS

GOTHIC KNIGHTS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) GOTHIC KNIGHTS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) GOTHIC KNIGHTS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) GOTHIC KNIGHTS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) GOTHIC KNIGHTS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
GOTHIC KNIGHTS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) GOTHIC KNIGHTS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) GOTHIC KNIGHTS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) GOTHIC KNIGHTS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) GOTHIC KNIGHTS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
GOTHIC KNIGHTS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) GOTHIC KNIGHTS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) GOTHIC KNIGHTS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) GOTHIC KNIGHTS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) GOTHIC KNIGHTS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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It always becomes a little special when seeing a band on multiple occasions in a short period of time. PICTURE played the ‘Sweden Rock Festival’ early in June and that sure was a treat. Vocalist Ronald van Prooijen made everyone go No, No, No but not for the song itself, more as he started to climb the lightning rig but he sure was fun to watch. Musically the response was Yes, Yes, Yes instead and it was no exception this time either. His crazy energy drives the crowd to respond and it feels like the rest of PICTURE are having the time of their lives on stage now.

The major difference between the two festivals was that here PICTURE played very high up on the bill while they almost started a day at ‘SRF’. The response was surprisingly good still but nothing to compare with ‘HOA’. It was awesome to hear the crowd sing along to “Eternal Dark” and “Heavy Metal Ears”, to mention a few. One song that more recently became a favorite is “Diamond Dreamer”. It works great as a live track and Ronalds voice suites it perfectly. And it’s really cool that PICTURE have kept these songs in the set. I mean, it’s not uncommon for a band when the original vocalist comes back to ditch the material released at a later stage.

Another great track which also got some really good response was “Lady Lightnight”. I like the melodies in that track and they came across great and this was another fantastic show from PICTURE. They’re on fire these days!

PICTURE setlist:

01.  “You're All Alone”
02.  “Get Back Or You Fall”
03.  “Message From Hell”
04.  “Nighthunter”
05.  “No No No”
06.  “Nighttiger”
07.  “Eternal Dark”
08.  “Live By The Sword”
09.  “Heavy Metal Ears”
10.  “Diamond Dreamer”
11.  “The Hangman”
12.  “Unemployed”
13.  “Bombers”
14.  “Lady Lightnight”
15.  “You Can Go”

PICTURE

PICTURE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PICTURE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PICTURE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PICTURE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PICTURE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
PICTURE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PICTURE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PICTURE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PICTURE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PICTURE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
PICTURE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PICTURE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PICTURE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PICTURE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PICTURE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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On the “Speed Kills …But Who’s Dying” album there were two tracks that stood out from the rest. I mean, I bought it because of EXODUS and NUCLEAR ASSAULT but apart from that, HEXX’s “Future Of The Past” and BLIND ILLUSION’s “Blood Shower” were the ones I moved the needle for most times. When HEXX appeared on the festival I was super-thrilled but I’ll be damned if BLIND ILLUSION didn’t boost even more. One reason for this is that it took me ages to get hold of “The Sane Asylum”. I was happy to find it of course but it didn’t have the same impact on me then as it would have if I’d gotten it right after the “Speed Kills …But Who’s Dying” album.

So now, all these years later I knew not what to think about this though when Mark Biedermann entered the stage. He kind of looks like a wreck but damn can he play. It all was so wrong it became right. He looks like a hippie and the way he plays is similar to Uli Jon Roth, classic and tons of fines. His tone also has resemblances with the German hero but Mark has a much meaner attitude in his playing. So hell yes, “Death Noise” and “The Sane Asylum” brought back memories and sounded fantastic. The only complaint I have about this show is that “Blood Shower” came in third. I’m extremely happy it was played but I would have preferred to be out of the photo-pit for this one.

But I guess I can’t have it all, can I? At least, I got “Kamakazi” and “Smash the Crystal” to go bananas with after the shooting had finished. I don’t think anyone had expected what BLIND ILLUSION delivered. It was a weird experience but it was going to be even crazier. After a cover of LED ZEPPELIN’s “Immigrant Song” the music ended but Mark came back out, mumbled something in the microphone and started to do one-man Karate figures and kicks on stage. If the music didn’t make its mark, which I would be surprised if anyone claims, THAT should make anyone remember the band at least.

But it was an amazing show, surprising but it sounded awesome. Looking back I’m not sure I remember the rest of the band, Mark really stole all attention. Initially with his appearance but it didn’t take long for the music to take over. So with that, I guess the band must have done well also. It was a bizarre but very cool and amazing show this one.

BLIND ILLUSION setlist:

01. “Death Noise”
02. “The Sane Asylum”
03. “Blood Shower”
04. “Kamakazi”
05. “Race With The Wizard”
06. “Smash the Crystal”
07. “The Ice Sage interpolating Nocturne Today”
08. “Immigrant Song” (LED ZEPPELIN cover)

BLIND ILLUSION

BLIND ILLUSION @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLIND ILLUSION @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLIND ILLUSION @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLIND ILLUSION @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLIND ILLUSION @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
BLIND ILLUSION @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLIND ILLUSION @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLIND ILLUSION @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLIND ILLUSION @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLIND ILLUSION @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
BLIND ILLUSION @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLIND ILLUSION @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLIND ILLUSION @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLIND ILLUSION @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLIND ILLUSION @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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The impact SANCTUARY, or actually Warrel Dane which became much stronger with NEVERMORE had on me when I first heard him is very hard to describe. His conditions in recent years have varied though and he’s been struggling with the highest notes so I wasn’t sure what to expect here.

The sound was rather messy though. I don’t know what happens with the headliners on this festival. It seems to be more rule than exception that the sound doesn’t hold together. It was extremely loud in the photo-pit which may be one of the reasons. Also Warrel’s performance was a little shaky at first and opening “Arise And Purify” didn’t sound all that good. But it got better and for “Let The Serpent Follow Me” the sound had improved and so had Warrel’s voice. I love the latest SANCTUARY album “The Year The Sun Died” so I was happy about the start but there’s no doubt it was the classics people were waiting for. “Die For My Sins” is an amazing song and this really boosted the crowd. Also what was done with the vocal lines made it work great. There’s no point in forcing something out that won’t work anyway. Then it’s better to do like this and change the melody slightly and adapt. I was a little surprised that also “Future Tense” appeared very early in the set. But of course, there are tons of other songs that have the same dignity as these two on those first records. Three more from “The Year The Sun Died” album came in “Question Existence Fading”, “Frozen” and the title track before the wrap-up. The first of those three I find fantastic and it sounded really good this night as well.

But then, what an ending! Sheer genius to put the setlist like this as “Battle Angels” was followed by “The Mirror Black”. Then “Eden Lies Obscure”, a song I never thought I’d get to hear live and it sure was fantastic. Musically SANCTUARY left little to complain about and as the sound improved throughout the show at this point of the concert everything sounded great. Warrel have lost some capacity but this was still far over my expectations. And I don’t care about all the high pitched stuff, as long as he delivers emotion and delivers with passion I’m good. And I think he did. No further comments about this show are necessary but the ending with “Sanctuary” and “Taste Revenge” sure was amazing. And what a day at ‘Headbangers Open Air’ it was. All bands delivered fantastic set and it almost became overload there mid-day with ATTACKER and BLOOD FEAST. But I’m not lying if I say that this is one of the best days of the Festival ever from a musical perspective.

SANCTUARY setlist:

01.  “Arise And Purify”
02.  “Let The Serpent Follow Me”
03.  “Exitum (Anthem Of The Living)”
04.  “Die For My Sins”
05.  “Seasons Of Destruction”
06.  “Future Tense”
07.  “White Rabbit”
08.  “Question Existence Fading”
09.  “Frozen”
10.  “The Year The Sun Died”
11.  “Battle Angels”
12.  “The Mirror Black”
13.  “Eden Lies Obscured”
14.  “Soldiers Of Steel”
15.  “Sanctuary”
16. “Taste Revenge”

SANCTUARY

SANCTUARY @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SANCTUARY @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SANCTUARY @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SANCTUARY @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SANCTUARY @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
SANCTUARY @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SANCTUARY @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SANCTUARY @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SANCTUARY @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SANCTUARY @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
SANCTUARY @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SANCTUARY @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SANCTUARY @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SANCTUARY @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SANCTUARY @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

(click to enlarge)