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Keep It True XIII - Day 1 @ , Lauda-Koenigshofen (GER)

in Saturday, 24 April 2010 at Tauberfrankenhalle
by Grigoris Chronis, Kontogeorgakos Dimitris, Harry Papadopoulos, Maria Voutiriadou

(the following report is dedicated to Yiannis DK who did not make it. Next time our friend)
Dimitris K.: Last year’s edition of ‘Keep It True’ festival did a hell of an impression to the METALTEMPLE editors that was impossible to say ‘no’ to a rerun. This time the company of friends from Greece had to suffer a ‘loss’ since Yiannis DK had to cancel the trip to Germany for personal reasons. Not a great start we all thought but we did not see the volcano ash coming! Indeed, the chaos created by the volcano eruption turned the preparation to this trip a stressful procedure since we did not know whether we would make to ‘KIT’. Fortunately, the gods of Metal showed mercy and there we were walking through the airport’s gate into the aircraft towards another ‘true’ billing!

Dimitris K.: After the stressful start (due to the volcano ash and the fear of the trip’s cancellation) something strong was needed to wake the metalheads’ instinct up. Taking into consideration last year’s entrance by IN SOLITUDE I was sure that STEELWING would do the same as soon as they had set foot on the KIT stage. So, without delay the really fresh Swedish act climbed onstage and faced the challenge to gather the few metalheads who were there that sunny morning. Having just released their debut album “Lord Of The Wasteland”, STEELWING did justice on it and played as many songs as they could fit in their 40 minutes of set. Their young looks had nothing to do with their onstage performance that also had nothing to be jealous of from veteran bands. They managed their stage fright by hitting hard the gathered metalheads with their speedy Heavy Metal, warming our necks in the best possible way. For one more time another Swedish band showed us that the Scandinavian Metal well is still running, pumping this scene with fresh blood. A great act to start the festivities!

01. “Intro (Enter The Wasteland)”
02. “Headhunter”
03. “Nightwatcher”
04. “Under The Scavenger Sun”
05. “The Illusion”
06. “Sentinel Hill”
07. “Roadkill”

Dimitris K.: Well, this cover band was not a stranger to the ‘KIT’ organizers; hence the last minute call to fill the empty billing spot created by the flight problems the volcano ash had created. And it is also well known that their on stage energy could not raise a single complaint about this lineup change. Having watched ROXXCALIBUR in last year’s ‘KIT’ installment I was aware what would happen and thus I made my way to the very first rows to enjoy a setlist dedicated to the NWOBHM scene. Having limited time to their disposal, ROXXCALIBUR shorted their usual setlist that in general was different from last year’s. When time reached “Rainbow Warrior” I realized that this band not only has managed to dig out many hidden gems but has also managed to make them ‘hit’ songs. BLEAK HOUSE’s track was welcomed with something more than a warm applaud; the crowd cheered and sing almost all the lyrics underlying the band’s offering to this most significant genre. “Let It Loose” was a nice way to close the setlist and the band left us with a giant smile to walk for the long road we had to walk with the rest of the festival.

01. “Running For The Line”
02. “Gates Of Gehenna”
03. “7 Days Of Splendour”
04. “Rainbow Warrior”
05. “Axe Crazy”
06. “Lady Of Mars”
07. “War Of The Ring”
08. “Witchfinder General”
09. “Let It Loose”

Greg: The Polish band was a semi-mainstream addition for the fest’s standards. Meaning, CRYSTAL VIPER are standing on the thin red line of ‘true’ Heavy Metal and commercial Euro Metal. The bonus promotion of the band to the masses (due to the presence of charming vocalist Marta Gabriel) would be a benefit even for the harsh standards of such a core festival? Yes, it would. The Polish Metal act celebrates seven years of existence with a couple of interesting albums and a series of lost-and-found recordings dressing up an ‘obscure’ Metal profile; storming in with “Stronghold: Under Siege” and in 45 minutes of recital CRYSTAL VIPER played as professionals and – even if I’ve seen them twice in the recent past to make me go bananas – won a warm applause as soon as their set was over. The “Agents Of Steel” cover was again present, not to forget. A nice set, overall, that possibly added some dozens of new fans in the band’s ranks since I’m pretty sure these dozens would not be willing to participate in a solo CRYSTAL VIPER gig.

01. “Stronghold - Under Siege”
02. “The Wolf And The Witch”
03. “Agents Of Steel”
04. “Metal Nation”
05. “Night Prowler”
06. “Gladiator, Die By The Blade”
07. “The Last Axeman”

Greg: The Dutch traditional metallers were one of the last-minute additions/replacements to the billing. With one and only album released back in 1985 a) I would not ever believe I’d have the chance to see this cult act live twice in 2-3years, b) enough fans - to my surprise - were aware of the band’s whereabouts something that EMERALD seems to enjoy very much. Their set did burst out with “Sirens” and for 40+ minutes classic Heavy Metal was in the air. Paul Van Rijswijk (GODDESS OF DESIRE, HAMMERHAWK) confirmed he’s a fitting addition to the original lineup (or most of it…) and if EMERALD decides to put up some new album I think they will meet the standards set by fans of classic Metal music made in Europe. Walking off stage, the band was greeted with enthusiasm; good news, really good news.
01. “Sirens”
02. “Iron On Iron”
03. “Johnny’s On The Run”
04. “New Gods”
05. “DownTown”
06. “Suicide”
07. “Shadows Of Almighty”
08. “Back Were We Belong”
09. “Hell Racer”
10. “D-Day”
Maria V.: Five minutes after 16:30 and, following the time schedule, it was OBSESSION’s turn to take up the 'KIT' stage and travel us back in time (for one hour) to their glorious past till the successful present, giving us some of our favorites and classic songs. One hour surely was not enough for the die-hard fans of OBSESSION to enjoy a brave dose of them, but the evening seemed to be already looong that last Friday of April. “Marshall Law” was the chosen track to begin with and the ‘true' attendees approached the big 'KIT' stage closer and closer. Beer, sweat and heat exchanged between the first lines of the crowd and so, the welcome from the mighty Mr. Mike Vescera was really cordial. John Bruno and Scott Boland was the harmonic guitar duo, giving us the right guitar shots helped by the brilliant sound. A couple of Heavy/Power Metal hymns like “Scarred for Life” and “Methods of Madness” were the following steps till “Carnival Of Lies”‘s blast that was definitely the highlight of the evening. The unexpected medley of four songs from “Methods of Madness”, their latest self-titled album and “Marshall Law” EP, was the other unforgettable moment of OBSESSION’s set who seemed to be in great shape gaining the warmest applaud of the first day of 'KIT' and being that day’s headliners for me; OBSESSION’s hour was with no doubt a pleasant surprise for all the fans of our beloved Heavy Metal music. Cheers!

01. “Marshall Law”
02. “Scarred For Life”
03. “Methods Of Madness”
04. “Carnival Of Lies”
05. “In For The Kill”
06. “For The Love Of Money”
07. “Pure Evil”
08. Medley: “Hard To The Core”/“Killer Elite”/“Shadows Of Steel”/“Only The Strong Will Survive”
09. “Smoking Gun”
10. “Bang Em Till They Bleed”

Dimitris K.: I was not sure what to expect from this reactivated band. I usually don’t like seeing bands being reunited after more than 10 years; I mean what’s the reason to get activated after all these years? But this was ‘KIT’ festival and these events are a perfect reason to watch a band even after years after its prime time. So, this was exactly the case with the US band that took over the stage to “prove” that nothing had change. Looking this band with a fresh look leaving aside the reunited part one could conclude that ANACRUSIS is a well rehearsed outfit band with some interesting songs. The complexity of their music was not for the unversed attendees who most of the times found it difficult to follow the multiple tempo changes. But watching the show from the stadium terrace I realized that the band managed to re-win most of their fans who joined them during the most melodic “Release” and the almost groovy but heavy “I Love The World”. Let’s see whether this band can offer something in the near future apart from the recorded versions.

01. “Present Tense”
02. “Driven”
03. “Something Real”
04. “Stop Me”
05. “Terrified”
06. “Release”
07. “Butcher’s Block”
08. “Paint A Picture”
09. “I Love The World”
10. “Afraid To Feel”
11. “Still Black”
12. “Fighting Evil”
13. “Sound the Alarm”
14. “Imprisoned”

Harry: After my small break, since the previous band wasn’t my cup of tea, it was time to see one of the bands that was the reason to attend 'Keep It True' festival, WATCHTOWER. I really wanted to see them since the last time they came to Europe was six years ago and didn’t see them, so I found a nice spot and I was counting the minutes until they hit the stage. Right on time, at 19:30, 75% of the quartet came out, with Doug Keyser wearing a helmet and stepping every inch of the stage, and so did Alan Tecchio when he hit the stage a minute later. For about an hour WATCHTOWER showed what real progressive METAL sounds like. With great energy on stage, all were playing while running and laying down (except Rick of course since he's behind the drum kit), they played all their well-known songs alongside “The Size Of Matter”, a track from their new self titled EP. In my opinion WATCHTOWER was one of the best acts of the first day. One of the craziest moments of their set (which were many) was when Tecchio took out his jeans and continued the show wearing only his shirt. The sound was one of the best that night and it ought to be like that when the music played is so complicated.After a performance like this one, we are eager to see if we are going to see them on stage again, soon. Those 60 minutes passed so fast that I definitely wanted more. But their was a schedule to keep, so they left us with a big smile on our faces and it was time to get ready for the next band.

01. “Asylum”
02. “Instruments Of Random Murder”
03. “The Eldritch”
04. “Volcanoes Blow
05. “The Size Of Matter”
06. “Mayday In Kiev”
07. “Tyrants In Distress” (cut w/“I Kissed a Girl”)
08. “The Fall Of Reason”
09. “Social Fears”
10. “Control And Resistance”
11. “Cygnus X-1”
12. “Meltdown”

Harry: After twenty minutes, SAVAGE GRACE (which actually are Christian Logue and musicians from ROXXCALIBUR) came on stage.Their set was the same with the one that have played in Athens, Greece a few weeks ago, but I think that they were better in ‘Keep It True’ festival. Two of the reasons were that they haven’t played live in Germany for about 25 years and that the 4/5 of the band was playing at their homeland. Christian Logue was full of energy and the rest of the band was, once again, in great shape. The sound was good enough and they managed to take the crowd with them. They played songs from both their full length albums and the two EP’s. I enjoyed that I listened again to songs like “We Came, We Saw, We Conquered” and“Master Of Disguise”. Also the cover of “Exciter” (what do you mean “by who”?) was nice, but to tell you the truth, in my humble opinion, they could play another song rather than the cover of “Burn” (and again if you don’t know the band you are reading the wrong magazine) which wasn’t as good as I expected. So after almost 75 minutes, they left us with a big “Thank you!” and the stage was ready to welcome the headliners.

01. “Bound To Be Free”
02. “Into The Fire”
03. “Betrayer”
04. “After The Fall From Grace”
05. “Master Of Disguise”
06. “We Came, We Saw, We Conquered”
07. “The Dominatress”
08. “Sins Of The Damned”
09. “Burn” (DEEP PURPLE cover)
10. “Exciter” (JUDAS PRIEST cover)

Dimitris K.: After the news that CANDLEMASS decided not to attempt the trip to Germany many metalheads found themselves disappointed since the Swedish band’s show was to be something really special. I was also disappointed but after all the rest of the festival was to happen with many great bands who made their way to Germany. The difficult task to fill for CANDLEMMAS was taken over by OMEN. You have to realize how difficult was their "job" that night on 'KIT' since they had to a) be the headliners in the place of the headliners and b) manage to cover the two hour set the Swedes had initially planned. So, right on schedule "Termination" was the song that opened OMEN’s setlist. As I have said it before George Call is a charismatic singer and his attempts to fit his vocals to OMEN is at least successful. That night he had the difficult task to fill the time gaps and "stretch" the setlist to the maximum. Something that I believe was not needed and in fact took away some of the band’s energy and made them look kind of awkward. As always "Ruby Eyes (Of The Serpent)" was a perfect reason to sing along while "Teeth Of The Hydra" reduced almost everyone’s disappointment about the CANDLEMASS cancellation. Kenny Powell did well with his guitar while Andy Haas and Danny White built the solid rhythm we all enjoy in OMEN concerts. Ok, the bass/guitar solo was kind of boring (another ‘addition’ to stretch their stage time) but "The Curse" and of course "Battle Cry" met the usual high standards in OMEN live appearances. So, many thumbs up for OMEN who stepped in and gave 100% of themselves and underlined the word "true" beside the festival’s name. As for CANDLEMASS, I have to say that they lost some of their most loyal fans by acting like that.

01. “Termination”
02. “Death Rider”
03. “Dragon’s Breath”
04. “Ruby Eyes (Of The Serpent)”
05. “Die By The Blade”
06. “In The Arena”
07. “Teeth Of The Hydra”
08. “Blood On The Water”
09. “The Axeman”
10. “The Curse”
11. “Don’t Fear The Night”
12. “Battle Cry”
13. “Warning Of Danger”

(photos by true Erika)


Promoter: Keep It True
Ticket Price: 40 €


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Edited 27 February 2020

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