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Headbangers Open Air - Day 2 @ Brande Hörnerkirchen (GER)

in Friday, 30 July 2010 at Brande Hörnerkirchen
by Erika Walberg

The first real Festival days started sunny and warm and with an even more sparkling band on stage. JAMESON RAID is also something the True-Metal enthusiasts have dug up from the archives. A good thing I say since JAMESON RAID’s music is really good but even if we were met by some really happy faces this morning I admit being a little hesitant towards the band. The first time I saw Terry Dark performing with ROXXCALIBUR on Keep It True I was so impressed, then in the dark with his cape (or coat perhaps) he looked like a mystic figure and he sounded so good. Now, in broad daylight with a blue piqué shirt and regular pants it became a little bizarre. But they sounded awesome and it was a joy to see them perform. JAMESON RAID served high energy Hard Rock and a dynamic sound that will make bands nowadays green with envy. I don’t know what they’ve been up to since the beginning of the 80’s but music sure must have been a part of it. Even if they didn’t look like the coolest band on stage this was sure one of the coolest gigs of the Festival. It’s really good they get a second chance because “Titanic”, “Stop Looking At Me” and “Seven Days Of Spleandour” are too good to be kept away from Metal fans.

“It's a Crime”
“Stop Looking at Me”
“The Raid”
“Hard Lines”
“Getting Hotter”
“Catcher in the Rye”
“Seven Days of Splendour”

STORMZONE replaced ASKA on the bill. I don’t know if I gave STORMZONE a fair chance here since I really like ASKA and was really looking forward to see them but they did a good gig. Decent Heavy Metal in the veins of classic British bands ala DEF LEPPARD and SAXON normally go down well and when a band has the drive and determination STORMZONE had it is bound to work. John ''Harv'' Harbinson is both an excellent singer and a very active frontman, it’s great to see someone give it all, like he was in front of an arena crowd rather than a small Festival crowd in someone’s back yard. STORMZONE released their second album “Death Dealer” a few moths prior to the Festival and the mere part of the set, all except one song really “Face My Demons” which was listed for that album to start with. A new acquaintance for me but absolutely worth checking out!

“Face My Demons”
“The Chosen One”
“Secret Gateway”
“The Labyrinth”
“Death Dealer”
“World Of Sorrow”
“The Legend Carries On”

Even if ROXXCALIBUR is a nice break in the Festival sets, where it is possible to sit back and enjoy some really good classic Metal songs I’m still not sure if I think they fit in on this Festival. Sure, the music is just right, no doubt about that and they sure as hell do them justice. But they are a cover-band and I would hate to see bands like this getting more space in the line up. ROXXCALIBUR perhaps serves their purpose though, they introduce these classic songs to fans that haven’t dug deep enough in the archives and for those who’s heard them, it’s a nice pause to hang out, play air-guitar, scream the lounges out and drink a few beers.

“Atomic Rock”
“Gates Of Gehenna”
“Rainbow Warrior”
“War Of The Ring”
“Lady Of Mars”
“Witchfinder General”
“Running For The Line”
“See You In Hell”

I guess a lot of people share my opinion and experience of TYGERS OF PAN TANG. The records has been available in most sale crates and they are a band with credibility but for some reason the records remain in the record store. A little unfortunate because when TYGERS OF PAN TANG is good they’re really good. The “Wild Cat” album is amazing. For me I thought it would be a cool thing to see them on Keep It True, no more than that. To my surprise they kicked ass then and they’d gotten even better for Headbangers Open Air. Vocalist Jacopo Meille has that Sammy Hagar vibe and charm, he really sparkles with energy and there’s an instant like about him. His vibe really affects the rest of the band as well. Most of the time they could match IRON MAIDEN in running around and making a mess on stage, this really shows you’re never too old to Rock! There are a few bands out there, who has been around for ages but still manages to capture the naivety that needs to be in music to create magic. This band sure as hell has found that these days!

“Raised On Rock”
“Live For The Day”
“Suzie Smiled”
“Dark Rides”
“Slave To Freedom”
“Never Satisfied”
“Rock'n'Roll Man”
“Take It, Don't Stop By”
“Hot Blooded”
“Wild Catz”

The competition between the bands was really tough this day, it started off really strong and just kept increasing in energy all day. It must turn over some time but it sure wasn’t going to with AMULANCE. US Power/Thrash is normally very energetic and intense but AMULANCE was even more. It’s hard to describe feelings but if TYGERS OF PAN TANG brought a ridiculously large smile on my face it was good I had ears now else the top of my head had fallen off. Perhaps Headbangers Open Air is today what the Dynamo Festival used to be, bands got there and gave everything they had. For HOA it too seems to be very special performances from most bands. AMULANCE was really announced for the Festival 2009 but for some reason they made it this year instead. To celebrate their visit to Europe and the Festival AMULANCE released “The Crypt” EP which they played all songs from. It sure was a stunning performance from a great band and one of the best gigs of the Festival.

“The Crypt”
“Black Moon Rising”
“Violent Victory”
“The Rage Within”
“The Alpha One”
“A Good Day To Die”
“Shark Attack”
“Witch's Sin”
“I The Machine”
“Feel The Pain”
“At Your Grave”
“7th Son”

With STORMWARRIOR it turned and that’s a little strange because STORMWARRIOR used to be a band I was really looking forward to see live. They’re still very good on record and really, there’s no disaster live either but compared to what they used to be and these days, that’s miles apart. And with the performances from the bands before them they had to be as good as on their best days to match it really. It’s a little bit sad to see because it’s amazing to feel run over by something hard and heavy after watching a band play. But their Viking influenced Power Metal sounds good still, the title track of latest release “Heading Northe” is a good set opener and STORMWARRIOR kept it up for the rest of the set as well. Now, this band isn’t bad at all live, just not what they used to be and I guess I’m judging them harder than normal since I really like STORMWARRIOR.

“Heading Northe“
“Metal Legacy”
“Lion Of The Northe”
“The Axeley”
“Into The Battle”

It took ages for me to get into MEKONG DELTA but when their greatness struck me it struck hard. Martin LeMar is an extraordinaire singer and his performance on Metal Merchants Festival a few years back blew me away. Unfortunately I didn’t feel the same this time, it can be that the intimacy was lacking on this slightly bigger Festival stage but it felt like nothing were coming out of it. It was a lot of things going on up there but nothing they wanted to share. Of course everything sounded perfect but when all other bands on the bill rock hard and frankly attack the crowd it tends to be boring even if the band up there is one of your favorites it still isn’t enough.

“Heart Be At”
“Hut Of Baba”
“Heroes Grief”
“King With BC”
“Sphere Eclipse”
“Immortal Hate”
“Der 5th Element”

Sometimes sleeping dogs should lie… Ok, ANGEL DUST never really impressed me when they were active either but since their reunion created quite a buzz I thought this was going to be something special. Perhaps I’d been wrong back in the days. Sure, I admit the records, especially “Bleed” which sounded much better than I remembered but ANGEL DUST was still quite a disappointment, at least compared to the rest of the bands on the bill this day which all sounded awesome. German rough Heavy Metal perhaps needs to be enjoyed when you’re in the right mood so maybe this wasn’t ANGEL DUST’s day for me. I have to give them a little cred though, Dirk Thurisch is a far better front man than he is a singer and for that ANGEL DUST was quite fun to watch.

“Border Of Reality”
“Unreal Soul”
“Living Ain't Fantasy”
“Last Forever”
“I Need You”
“Freedom Awaits”
“First In Line”
“Cross Of Hatred”

I can’t say enough times how much fun it is to watch DEMON play. They literally bubble of enthusiasm to play. That together with a bunch of brilliant songs, some from the past and a few from more recent days makes magic. Ok, I’ve both seen and heard this before but yet I’m not tired of it. And on an event like this they’re perfect. Perhaps they killed the crowd for CULPRIT. At least they shook the last drop of energy out of me. But it’s great to hang out with people that know these songs and just enjoy the time. No that DEMON is unknown, most Metal heads have at least heard of them and recognize a few songs but not at all like this where they get the response IRON MAIDEN gets, per percentage of the crowd at least. DEMON is a band when it’s a horror to be in the photo-pit, mainly because I just want to throw the camera away and rock. That they kick off with “Night Of The Demon” and “Into The Nightmare” doesn’t really makes it easier. Absolutely great, again!

“Night Of The Demon”
“Into The Nightmare”
“Blue Skies In Red Square”
“Sign Of A Madman”
“Remembrance Day”
“Standing On The Edge Of The World”
“Life On The Wire”
“Don't Break The Circle”

“One Helluva Night”

As I mentioned I was completely exhausted after DEMON and decided to call it a night instead of waiting for CULPRIT. BAD IDEA!!! I could clearly hear the brilliant performance from CULPRIT from my tent and I kept cursing myself for not planning the day better. But 14+ hours of music is a tough deal and this wasn’t my night. I really hope I get another chance to see CULPRIT because their Thrash smelling heavy Metal sounded awesome.

“Guilty as Charged”
“Ice in the Back”
“Steel to Blood”
“I Am”
“Tears Of Repentance”
“Same To You”
“Fight Back”

“Heaven And Hell”

Photos taken by Erika Walberg

Ticket Price: 48€


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Edited 13 May 2021

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