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Vicious Rumors, Trinakrius, Nightshade, Nomad Son @ Headbanger, Planet Alsen Itzehoe (GER)

in Wednesday, 22 July 2009 at Headbanger
by Erika Wallberg

Well, a warm-up wasn't really necessary I tell you. The air was thick as pea soup when we arrived at the festival and if not over, very close to +30 C (and yes, for us north-landers that IS hot) and the bus which the festival was kind enough to arrange wasn't much cooler. But of course, there are other parts than physical heat to warm up for a festival.

The bus arrived just in time to see NOMAD SON kicking of their set and I must say I was pretty surprised by these Malta boys. Ok, I hadn't heard much from them before the festival, no more than a few samples but I can't say I had especially high expectations. The little I've heard wasn't interesting enough to take notice of. Damn was I wrong. A touch of early 70's BLACK SABBATH, one dose of old school TROUBLE and this dude, Jordan Cutajar with his impaling stare and foreboding voice that really sent shivers down my spine. Absolutely amazing! The thing they showed off here was absolutely more interesting than the samples I heard. Also, they way they used the keyboards to the music painted dark barren landscapes. It's so nice to get knocked off your feet when something is better than expected. Ok, not that the songs I've heard before this event wasn't necessarily bad but the music NOMAD SON delivered was a lot more unique and interesting. The only bad thing with it all is that the excitement of seeing good music boosts the beer-nerve too.

One thing with all the events in Germany is that, they're quite bad at sharing information about changes. BATTLE RAM was announced to be second band out, but this was certainly not Italian Heavy Metal. Still, elated from NOMAD SON these dudes felt tired and uninspired in comparison and they certainly weren't BATTLE RAM. I probably should have done my homework better, and then I would have known immediately that it was NIGHTSHADE but now I had to take a sneak peak at the setlist and luckily, there was their name. Well, I suppose the song titles would have given them away too. With this band it was completely the opposite. I really like what I've heard from NIGHTSHADE on the records but live, they couldn't live up to that at all. Even if they probably moved on stage more than the band before them, nothing in the music or their performance could be felt. NOMAD SON was so much more convincing and devoted to their performance. This felt a little frail and lazy. Also, the fact that NOMAD SON did great and that VICIOUS RUMORS was coming up could of course have something to do with my impression. But it's still a shame since NIGHTSHADE sounds really good on record, a lot better than this.

I can't say I'm a huge fan of Italian Metal. Most bands are just too cheesy and very much alike but that goes mostly for classic Metal and Power bands. Italian Doom is something different and even I had heard so many good things about TRINAKRIUS I had never really listened to them. I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing, the music might have lowered my expectations a little but they sure weren't what I was waiting for. Of course, it could have been the sound messing things up because the sound guy surely knew how to crank up the volume or perhaps it was me waiting anxious for VICIOUS RUMORS and couldn't give them a fair chance. Before I say too much TRINAKRIUS really deserves another change, a fair one, when I've been listening to it and without one of my favorite bands coming up after.

You know Geoff (Thorpe, guitar) said, Ronnie (Stixx, vocals) got stuck in Philly. He's not coming here tonight! That's the way it is when you have a singer that lives far away! Normally bands freak out when their singer doesn't show up. Ok, VICIOUS RUMORS had a back up with them, Gary St Pierre, but since he was only assigned to sing his old songs, the ones from Soldiers Of The Night that can't have felt 100% safe anyway. But ok, Geoff can also sing even if his voice is a lot rawer than the ones he hires to do the vocals for the records. But, I must say I was pleasantly surprised with Larry Howe's (drums) effort, he has a damn good voice perhaps a little uncontrolled but he nailed the major part of the things he sang, even the really high parts. He actually sounded quite a lot like Carl Albert on a few occasions too. Perhaps, it wasn't the best VICIOUS RUMORS gig I've ever seen, not that there's anything to complain about with this one, but since this band always kicks some serious ass this just wasn't the same smack in the face.

But ok, lacking the frontman for the main part of the show makes a huge difference in the whole picture even if the music and performance from the rest of the band was flawless. One good thing though was that Gary got a little more space, apart from the songs he were supposed to sing he'd quickly learned a few from Warball, Sonic Rebellion, Mr Miracle and A Ghost Within. A job well done I say. But, it was hard to really judge how good he did them and the main reason for that is me having Geoff's guitar amp straight in my face and the loudspeakers with the outgoing sound behind me so the vocals weren't very clear from where I was standing. One thing is sure, it was great to see him perform. Of course, it's like that with the favorite bands but he was impressive. The energy and conviction he showed off on stage was amazing and he looked like competing in a wet-t-shirt competition before the first song was over. Then, ripping off the shirts a few songs into his set the sweat was dripping off of him. This was absolutely a very special VICIOUS RUMORS show. No, not the best one but it is truly awesome when bands have the ability to pull a show off almost no matter what. If that's not true, nothing is.  

So, hell-yeah, it was a warm-up party and that's for sure. Hotter than hell in the club which made the beer taste extremely good. The bad thing I can think of was that the bar was outside and when the sun set and the air cooled off a bit it was really nice to hang outside. Perhaps, the main focus was on the bar, not on the band. I still woke up with a sore neck the day after so maybe I managed to keep the balance between those two!

(photos by the camera sharp shooter Erika)





Ticket Price: 10€


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