KIT XXI Day 1 @ Lauda-Königshofen (DE)

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DEMON / FLOTSAM AND JETSAM / RAVEN / GRIM REAPER / SIREN / BLASPHEME / ALIEN FORCE / TAIST OF IRON / STÄLKER

Date: 27th April, 2018
Venue: Tauberfrankenhalle
Ticket: €69 / $79 (2-day)
Promoter: Keep It True
Photos: Erika Wallberg


So it is the time of the year again to head to that lovely area of Germany. The landscape surrounding Tauberfranken-Halle is just so pretty with the hills, wine-yards and cute very old small towns. The weather wasn't as nice as normal though and there was some chill in the winds even if the sun was still there. The cloud hanging over the festival though was the panic around the tickets. Last year it got sold out within hours of the doors opening and people who waited in line almost from the start didn't get any tickets. Some changes in the regulation should secure at least everyone present would be able to get a ticket for next year's festival but the hysteria still struck.

This affected the support for STÄLKER who had made all the way from down under to the festival. The floor was rather empty when they started to play which really affects the sound. When the Metal Market and other merchants were moved outside it really is required for the hall to be full to not have the sound bounce too much. It still was a good start of the day though as STÄLKER delivered high energy Thrash Metal and have a really powerful sound despite being a trio. Two songs that stood out were “Path Of Destruction” and “Total Annihilation”, both from the 2017 release “Shadow Of The Sword”. I really like the fury in the riffs, there is some whit to it. It shows fines and the melodies add dynamics to the music. It's old-school in one way but still feels new.

Then both “Satanic Panic” from STÄLKER's sole demo was another favorite. Also “Steel God” which ended the set sounded great. The hall kept filling up throughout STÄLKER's set though, as soon as people had gotten their tickets they came in to support. Still it didn't really build up to the same level as usual. Which is unfortunate as STÄLKER did a good job but the real power didn't come through due to the sound.

STÄLKER setlist:

01. “The Mutilator”
02. “Shadow Of The Sword”
03. “Shocked To Death”
04. “Path Of Destruction”
05. “Behold The Beast”
06. “Total Annihilation”
07. “Black Majik Terror”
08. “Evil Dead” (DEATH cover)
09. “Satanic Panic”
10. “Steel God

STÄLKER

Stälker @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Stälker @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Stälker @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Stälker @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Stälker @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Stälker @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Stälker @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Stälker @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Stälker @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Stälker @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Stälker @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Stälker @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Stälker @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Stälker @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Stälker @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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One band I was really looking forward to seeing was TAIST OF IRON. I like Lorraine Gill's voice; it's quite rare to have a female singing the way she does and it suites the music great. The band’s style of music of course fits my taste really well too which helps when it comes to dig into the records as the production on those older album leaves a bit to wish for. TAIST OF IRON's more dynamic music created a more forgiving sound in the venue though. Ok, being in the photo-pit for “The Gates” and “Victim Child” was a real treat since it was really loud there. But also moving out in the crowd the sound was really clear and it all sounded fantastic.

Another thing that I really liked was that the set also featured songs from the band's self-titled latest release, the 2017 “Taist of Iron” album. Songs as “Sunrise” and “08” fitted perfectly in with the rest. But perhaps they should have thought twice about ending with yet another song from that album. “Volatile” is absolutely a good song but it did not receive the same response “Metal Beast” got. Still, it was a fantastic set, Lorraine is very cool on stage. She has her own style and it was great to see TAIST OF IRON play. At this point the regular high mood had rolled along and it was just a great day to come.

TAIST OF IRON setlist:

01. “The Gates”
02. “Victim Child”
03. “Evil”
04. “Sunrise”
05. “08”
06. “Cold Day In Hell”
07. “Cross Of Fire”
08. “Love And Pain”
09. “Feeling You”
10. “Metal Beast”
11. “Volatile”

TAIST OF IRON

Taist Of Iron @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taist Of Iron @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taist Of Iron @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taist Of Iron @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taist Of Iron @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Taist Of Iron @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taist Of Iron @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taist Of Iron @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taist Of Iron @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taist Of Iron @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Taist Of Iron @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taist Of Iron @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taist Of Iron @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taist Of Iron @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taist Of Iron @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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I was nervous on behalf of ALIEN FORCE. I saw them in Copenhagen in a very small club, compared to Tauberfranken-Halle,  just some weeks prior to ‘Keep It True’ and, frankly, it was a little shaky to begin with. Getting warmed up though ALIEN FORCE sounded very impressive but I was still afraid it would feel awkward at the big stage here.

I was totally wrong; it was a very confident band walking out on stage and just owning it. They sounded equally good here as they did in Copenhagen but with the poise gained it felt like a different band. Set opener “Night Of Glory” sounded great, as did “Through The Gates Of Hell” which followed. Peter Svale Andersen has a fantastic voice and with him owning the stage songs as brisk “Get It Out” worked perfectly even if his skills comes through better in a mellower track as “Pain And Pleasure”.

The crowd was ready to support ALIEN FORCE also, it's great to see that people knew their songs and sang along as much as they could. The place had filled up great at this point so “Hell And High Water” which ended the ALIEN FORCE set got a really good response. The song itself is fantastic and easy to sing along to. But it still is cool to experience that kind of pressure in a venue. So another great set at this first day of the festival.

ALIEN FORCE setlist:

01. “Night Of Glory”
02. “Through The Gates Of Hell”
03. “Get It Out”
04. “To You”
05. “Pain And Pleasure”
06. “Stranger”
07. “Time Is Out”
08. “Nervous”
09. “Hell And High Water”

ALIEN FORCE

Alien Force @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Alien Force @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Alien Force @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Alien Force @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Alien Force @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Alien Force @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Alien Force @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Alien Force @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Alien Force @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Alien Force @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Alien Force @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Alien Force @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Alien Force @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Alien Force @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Alien Force @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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But there were of course more to come... BLASPHEME have been great each time I have seen them and this was no exception this time. It's an extremely tight performance, a real smack in the face and I find myself stunned, totally lose focus on the shooting during the first three songs. But it surely is cool, and that Alexis Roy-Petit and Olivier Del Valle almost work as a tag-team fronting the band drives the fury and energy higher up. But yes, it was really hard to focus on the music for the first three songs so I kind of missed to experience fantastic “Desir De Vampyr” and “Carpe Diem” since I was too busy with the photography.

There were of course more goodies to come later in the set, “Au Nom Des Morts” is another great tune and the beat it holds really worked well live. The thing though, BLASPHEME's music isn't particularly fast but the intensity in this show really out ruled all bands before them. What I think is really cool with bands singing in other languages than English is that the phrasing and melodies becomes rather different. BLASPHEME still have a lot of catchy choruses and captivating songs even if I don't understand much of it. French isn't one of my skills but it still works.

So both “Jehovah” and “Vengeance Barbare” which ended BLASPHEME's set, both from their self-titled debut, went down really well. And I was amazed that it had only gone up when it comes to performance this day. It had to turn around soon, right?

BLASPHEME setlist:

01. “Desir De Vampyr”
02. “Carpe Diem”
03. “Territoire Des Hommes”
04. “The Crow”
05. “Au Nom Des Morts”
06. “Vivre Libre”
07. “Sanctuaire”
08. “Seul”
09. “Jehovah”
10. “Vengeance Barbare”

BLASPHEME

Blaspheme @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Blaspheme @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Blaspheme @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Blaspheme @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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Legendary US Metal band SIREN seemed to be one of the most anticipated bookings this year. Virtually everyone I was talking to mentioned them as the highlight of the day. And by all means, they are a fantastic band but for some reason I've missed them and just checked them out when they landed on the bill of the festival.

But people were right, though reformed a few years back it felt like they've been going throughout the years. The performance was tight and dynamic. And with the full sound of the live-performance the great nature of all the songs came through also. This made both “Black Death” and “Terrible Swift Sword” sound better than I remember from the records. Vocalist Doug Lee did an impressive performance, both from a visual as well as vocal perspective.

One favorite from the set was “Over the Rainbow” that touches upon all the elements of US Metal that I like. It held technique, fines, groove and a good melody. The majority of SIREN's set was from their debut album, the 1986 “No Place Like Home” which people really knew. What was more surprising was that also demo songs “Dead Of Night” and “Slice Of Hate” were equally familiar to everyone present. Those were of course made available through the “Up From The Depths - Early Anthology & More”, released a few weeks prior to the Festival, else they've just been outed on a demo. I guess that is what musical devotion looks like and the response SIREN got was well deserved as they did a great performance.

SIREN setlist:

01. “Metro-Mercenary”
02. “Black Death”
03. “Terrible Swift Sword”
04. “So Far To Go”
05. “Iron Coffins”
06. “Dead Of Night”
07. “Tornado Of Blood”
08. “Over The Rainbow”
09. “Slice Of Hate”

SIREN

Siren @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Siren @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Siren @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Siren @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Siren @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Siren @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Siren @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Siren @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Siren @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Siren @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Siren @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Siren @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Siren @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Siren @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Siren @ Keep It True XXI, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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