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Armored Saint, Nwobhm Anniversary, Picture, Zouille, Living Death, Rigor Mortis, Militia, The Gates Of Slumber, Procession, Deja Vu @ Keep It True Festival, Lauda Konigshofen (GER)

in Sunday, 26 April 2009 at Keep It True Festival
by Yiannis Doukas

Day Two

\[DimitrisK] Day two for the twelfth edition of 'Keep It True' festival and the METAL TEMPLE editors team got up early that morning to get a look at the beautiful countryside having a warm sun on our side. So, with a CD full of 'festival' music we got on the road that resulted in some scratches on the car and an undefined smoke from its engine. Nevertheless, we bought some supplies (water and sandwiches) to have on the car and we arrived at the venue just before the doors opening.

The crowd was less in number as DEJA VU entered the stage to open day two but -taking into consideration the excellent weather and the exhaustion from day one- this was a logical result. The biography data on this band says that DEJA VU was formed in 1986 but strangely enough has released only two albums in 2006 and 2008. Despite this weak discographic activity the band was solid enough to get a descend amount of applaud from the crowd that was trying to stay awake under the hammering rays of the sun coming from the glass part of the roof. But DEJA VU not only managed to 'wake' the audience but they gave a very good show full of old school German Power Metal that as it seems is the perfect way to open a festival. In the middle of the setlist almost all the metalheads gathered in the front lines were having absolute fun with this up-tempo Power Metal that was served by DEJA VU that also seemed to have a very good time on stage. Metalhead and Children Of The Eighties were some of the highlights of the overall very good performance. Especially, myself and YiannisDK (Greg was reserving his strength for later on) had absolutely great time singing out loud the addictive as hell chorus lines of Nightmare that close this quite energetic appearance.

DEJA VU setlist:

01. Bullets To Spare
02. Wings Of Steel
03. Catch Me If You Can
04. Decibel Disease
05. Metalhead
06. Under Fire
07. Children Of The Eighties
08. Evil
09. Nightmare

\[YiannisDK] Second band was the Chilean doomsters PROCESSION. Formed three years ago, they play old and well written Doom with two releases already. The Burn demo that was later unleashed as CD by Proyecto Sepulcro Records and the Cult Of Disease 45-minute EP via Iron Kodex this year. Mostly in the vein of epic CANDLEMASS style, the trio played the entire EP and although I consider myself  a fan of this genre I cannot say I was so much impressed, without being bad. Some riffs were cool but the whole musical framework did not have the basic element that can catch your head and throw it to the pit of the ashes. But they seemed to be a future power and maybe we will hear better things from them.


01. Raven Of Disease
02. Like A Plague Upon The Earth
03. Incinerate
04. The Road To The Gravegarden
05. Down The River Of Corpses / The Funeral Of An Age

\[YiannisDK] All in all, THE GATES OF SLUMBER was by far the best Doom band for this year's 'Keep It True'. Maybe their music, maybe their presence or their on stage imposing attitude, the American trio made a majestic appearance that most of the fans liked. Especially when they played tracks from the new album I found myself inside the Metal paradise. Ice Worm and Trapped In The Web were absolutely fantastic plus they opened with Children Of Satan and followed right after Conqueror. We got from The Awakening the bombastic The Jury, the surprise Broken On The Wheel from the split with the Finnish SPIRITUS MORTIS and Angel Of Death from their second album Suffer No Guilt. All of their songs were performed in a way that you cannot impugn. I enjoyed very much their show and I highly recommend their new album Conqueror which I believe founds them in their peak of composing inspiration. Doom.


01. Children Of Satan
02. Conqueror
03. The Jury
04. Ice Worm
05. Broken On The Wheel
06. Angel Of Death
07. Trapped In The Web

\[YiannisDK]  First time ever for RIGOR MORTIS in Europe and this event gathered a lot of Thrashers to see them. A band that in 1988 released the self-titled masterpiece, a monument of brutality, with insane lyrics and cutting like a razor riffing. Having all the basic members back, the 'throat of Death' Bruce Corbitt, the drumming beast Harden Harrison -by the way, I was very curious to see his playing- the GWAR bass monster that hears in the Casey Orr name and last one of the most inspired guitar players I have ever heard; Mike Scaccia. When I saw them on stage I just couldn't believe that this was happening and then the thrashing holocaust Mummified was unleashed. Ok, that's it, I lost my head, I lost my mind.

I cannot write anything else. From VS. The Earth they also played the ultimate Contagious Contamination plus Dead Fish with Casey Orr doing the vocals. They also performed Cattle Mutilation from the Freaks EP and they gave great importance to their debut with Demons, Vampire, Re - Animator among others. The moshpit was on fire, headbanging was constant and the band played very well proving that they are one of the few resurrected bands with accurate performance and total professionals. The only thing I would wish for was more energy, or if you wish passion in their stage presence. Except that watching RIGOR MORTIS's live was something that I will remember for several reasons for the following years.


01. Mummified
02. Shroud Of Gloom
03. Cattle Mutilation
04. Die In Pain
05. Wizard Of Gore
06. Contagious Contamination
07. Dead Fish
08. Demons
09. Vampire
10. Re-Animator

\[Grigoris]  The Texan Metal underground heroes released the Released compilation CD some months ago and this was a fine chance to be invited to this year's Keep It True fest. The main 'dish' of discussion in the hall could not be something else than if singer Mike Soliz would smash our brains with his ultra-metallic sky high voice, plus in what level of clearness the sound should be in order to 'promote' MILITIA's complex songs.

Thankfully, we were welcome to some haunting set by MILITIA, with Mike building a great relationship with the crowd (way more attendants than I initially imagined, based on the historic fact of one and only release by the band back in the 80s, the hyper-rare The Sibling 12 EP) and delivering some terrific singing that nearly no other Metal singer can match (meaning no other). Apart from the whole The Sibling 3-track single, MILITIA performed songs off their two demo releases (Metal Axe rulez!) and it was great to see that Tony Smith still 'has it', while I'd expect some more serious gear output sound by Jesse Villegas. Nonetheless, even people into WATCHTOWER or HADES that were not that familiar with MILITIA's music were impressed by the band's dynamics. As for the rest: we surely had a blast! Below is what I can remember now from the band's songs performed that day:

01. Objective: Termination
02. Regiments Of Death
03. Search For Steel
04. Onslaught
05. The Sybling
06. Salem Square
07. Metal Axe

\[Grigoris] I was looking forward to these German Heavy/Speed/Thrash metallers' set, partially due to my love for their fast-pace stuff but also because I know they have a special connection to 80s German Metal fans. So, to say I was disappointed may sound quite 'harsh' but I did not eventually end praising their performance. With Jorg Michael (wasn't it him') behind the drum kit, LIVING DEATH appeared on stage and delivered a weird (they are a weird band, anyway!) set, while I was hoping for a team of songs more in the in-your-face fast vein (some Hellpike, maybe? - thankfully, Vengeance Of Hell was in). Maybe I'm not the appropriate person to judge on their mood and quality. On the other hand, most of the crowd packed in the front space was rocked and I think that's what counts.


01. Gripping A Heart
02. Vengeance Of Hell
03. On The 17th Floor
04. Natures Death
05. Last Birthday
06. The Galley
07. Testament Of Mr George
08. Eisbein (Mit Sauerkraut)

\[Grigoris] Zouille (the singer of the legendary French Metal band SORTILEGE), along with Renaud Hantson (SATAN JOKERS drummer) and some of their friends (mostly from SATAN JOKERS), stepped on stage in order to remind us  - among other things - of what a superb band SORTILEGE was back in the 80s. Again, I was thrilled by the spectators' response to this set and everything rolled quite well during their piece. The sound was really fitting, the guitarist on the left was a kick-ass shredder with some quite melodic leads, too, and Zuille's voice maintained the quality that had killed us when the same-titled EP came out 25 years ago.

As regards the English tracks performed, they were really good; in a more hardrockin' pattern but quite powerful, I think they added value to the band's set. I should seek for info regarding these tunes. The SORTILEGE songs were performed in French and - to be honest - from the intro riff of D' Ailleurs to the closing thunder of Sortilege it was clear that the Metal flame allover the Tauberfrankenhalle/Koenigshofen area was high shining.


01. D' Ailleurs
02. Gladiateur
03. Just Keep Holding On
04. Civilisation Perdue
05. Quand Un Aveugle Reve
06. Get Out
07. Chasse Le Dragon
08. Cyclope de L' Eetang
09. A Dead Man Won't Lie
10. Marchand D'Hommes
11. Sortilege

\[Grigoris] Due to the swallowed lunch and the 2-pair beers finish-off, the mood was fine for the next act, my personal favourite off the whole bill; PICTURE stormed out with You're All Alone and I was left staring at a living Dutch Metal legend performing an hour of classic Heavy Metal; as classic is it can get, in other words. Bringing to mind the words of a close friend who'd seen them live at last year's Sweden Rock Festival (you'll have a great time; the band kicks major ass) it was never that difficult to stop headbanging to certify PICTURE's performance as astonishing! A band that emerged the same time with the NWOBHM outburst was still hitting hard with diamond classics like Heavy Metal Ears, Diamond Dreamer, Eternal Dark, Lady Lightning, Bombers(!) and The Blade and - at such circumstances - a Metal fan can verify classic Metal is still the spine of our beloved music genre, always needed and never letting down.

PICTURE's singer Pete Lovell tried to set the place on fire and he virtually made it. With his sharp yet 'dirty' voice he delivered an exciting performance and the fact that everyone was banging ahead to the band's setlist can be credited both to him and the razor-sharp guitar themes and rhythm section tempos. The SAXON-meets-PRIEST-meets-MOTORHEAD (they're - approximately - children of the same era, right?) band also performed a string of songs from their forthcoming album (announced to be titled as Old Dogs, New Tricks) and PICTURE fans - plus 80s rockin' Metal aficionados - will surely enjoy this one too. To cut along story short, the whole quintet was in top form and you gotta witness such a show from these old dogs at a city near you asap.

01. You're All Alone
02. Heavy Metal Ears
03. Diamond Dreamer
04. Old Dogs
05. Blood Out Of A Stone
06.  Eternal Dark
07. Griffons Guard The Gold
08. The Blade
09. Battle For The Universe
10. Lady Lightning
11. Fill Your Head With Rock
12. Celtic Cross
13. Choosing Your Sign
14. Live By The Sword
15. Bombers

\[Grigoris] Some announcements had been made by the organizers to precede this centenary, still in my mind the following quote was running around: Germany celebrates 30 years of British Metal; and Britain…what?…Anyway, a German band named ROXXCALIBUR - known also as Germany's top NWOBHM tribute band - stepped on and hit the lights and achieved an initial impression that was positive but we'd been on fire already waiting for the guests that would surround the band in order to perform classic tunes from the NWOBHM typhoon.

First one to hit the stage was none other than Brian Ross. The hall was on fire to the hearing of Blitzkrieg and more 'obscure' Metal followers surely had a blast with the take on SATAN's Break Free. Next one to join was Jess Cox, with whom the band performed TYGERS OF PAN TANG's Wild Catz classic. The crowd did not stop clapping this idea with the guest singers and when we saw an unknown figure being asked to join the show it was with huge chills I listened to the first notes of BLEAK HOUSE's Rainbow Warrior - a rare British Metal gem! - while concluding it was no other than Graham Shaw singing the leads. Holy fuck…

Admirers of the value of both Metal for Muthas compilation discs, back then in the early 80s, surely are aware of the JAMESON RAID name. Imagine the surprise listening to Seven Days Of Splendor with Terry Dark and whoever else around me singing …far awaaayyy…. Then it was Enid Williams' turn to climb up and sing for GIRLSCHOOL's sake; Race With The Devil may not be an original GIRLSCHOOL tune but it's a trademark for the band_genre all these years, while Emergency does not even need some introduction. Germany was going wild at that minute.

CLOVEN HOOF's Lee Payne and Russ North were up next: quite a reasonable addition was the Gates Of Gehenna take (the band did not include it in their personal set one day earlier) while of parallel significance was DEMON's Night Of The Demon and Don't Break The Circle with the valuable help of Dave Hill himself, right? Emotional comas were by far present among the crowd…

Taking one cold bath after the other, something weird occurred then: the drum set was changed, a new one was brought up and…JAG PANZER's Harry Tyrant Conklin made his appearance. A great voice and some hell of a nice person, Harry was greeted with endless enthusiasm by the crowd (I think EVERYONE was at the stage's side by that time) and IRON MAIDEN's / SAMSON's original drummer Barry Thunderstick Graham checked in his unique legendary mask_outfit, both preparing the ground for SAMSON's Bright Lights and Too Close To Rock; Harry was not sure of the lyrics but who would care that time? There was a party taking place, a huge party…

And then there was silence (the whole ROXXCALIBUR band took off, too)…and then a figure resembling to SODOM's current drummer sat on the drum kit…and then Tom Angelripper appeared wearing a TANK shirt…and then it was time for a couple of TANK lessons! Don't Walk Away and Turn Your Head Around spit fire (it was the current TANK guitar duo next to Tom and Bobby, Mick Tucker and Cliff Evans, wasn't it?) and frenzy shook the ground. Really, someone had to be present to grab the vibe.

Harry was back and - along with ROXXCALIBUR - performed GRIM REAPER's See you In Hell classic the same time the whole hall was asking for some IRON MAIDEN stuff. And who'd complain hearing the JAG PANZER frontman on 22 Acacia Avenue? Some magic moment again…and the most thrilling moment was yet to come: all guest singers - omitting the 'TANK personnel' - was again onstage to celebrate the most genuine Metal movement ever surfacing, with no other than the most appropriate song: Running Free was heard and sung by an endless horde of satisfied metallers from all over Europe or the whole world, and if someone has a picture of the moment that Harry does the lead vocals while a dozen of living Metal legends performs the backing ones, well, yeah, frame it for life or die in pain….

\[DimitrisK] Hell yeah! The NWOBHM Anniversary show really rocked our socks and partially left us close to exhaustion making our way to the car just to relax a bit and refuel our system with a couple of sandwiches. The main theme of our discussion was walking the same question: Could ARMORED SAINT overcome what just happened? Of course it would be unfair to judge the US band by comparing with the previous experience but these things happen unintentionally. Close to the starting time, we made our way inside the venue to see that most the vinyl market was almost close and the number of metalheads had been shortened a bit. So, with renewed forces and refilled glasses we waited patiently for the headliners of day two that were also the closing festival band.

After a short time delay ARMORED SAINT entered the stage under the powerful rhythm of Reign Of Fire. Watching this band performing live one thought came into my mind that actually comes up whenever I listened to them; why haven't they got the recognition they deserved? I mean the musicianship is high the sound is enormous and their on-stage presence is dominating. Bush has a great voice that is even better live while the rest of the band with Joey Vera on the leading role comes hard on energy. March Of The Saint and then my favorite Pay Dirt from the excellent Revelation album forced us to use the last drip of energy on our systems and join the limited range headbanging. There was the annoying feeling of let's get it over since the band was delivering the songs with limited pauses. That would be ok (taking into account the 20 minutes delay) if ARMORED SAINT had chosen to limit their set by cutting off the totally boring drum solo.

During thaere was a massive drop on the crowd's mood that was finally overtaken by exhaustion. The band did False Alarm for the first time in Europe and kind of brought some of the energy by kicking in with Chemical Euphoria (the chorus lines just rule!) and after Can U Deliver they ended the night and the festival with Mad House. Overall, ARMORED SAINT proved why I believe that they are underrated but had the luck to follow the excellent anniversary show. It was a good choice not to overdo their set trying to earn the impressions but it was a bad move to play such a short setlist by the place of the headliner. Next time I know it will be better with the SAINTS.


01. Reign Of Fire
02. March Of The Saint
03. Pay Dirt
04. Creepy Feelings
05. Last Train Home
06. Book Of Blood
07. False Alarm
08. Aftermath
09. Drum Solo
10. Symbol Of Salvation
11. Nervous Man,
12. Chemical Euphoria
13. Can U Deliver
14. Mad House

\[DimitrisK] This is the toughest part of the report; what can I possible write about two days full of Metal, beer and two friends? About the excellent organization? The old school billing? The powerful sound?  I do not know what; I am just happy that I bought my ticket for the next 'Keep It True' and renewed METAL TEMPLE's appointment with the two days filled with Metal and beer! See you next year!

(photos by the photo bomber Erika)










Promoter: Oli and Tarek
Ticket Price: 37€


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