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Vicious Rumors, Tank, Q5, Bullet, Lick The Blade @ Headbanger, Hornerkirchen (GER)

in Thursday, 23 July 2009 at Headbanger
by Grigoris Chronis

Day 1

Somewhere in the Northern part of Germany lays an annual celebration of classic Metal. 'Headbangers Open Air' fest runs for twelve years now (see history here) and is held in a garden yard(!) in the beautiful village of Brande-Hornerkirchen (40km away from Hamburg). If you haven't been there before it's not the easiest task to drive to the fest area, especially if you're quite sleepless and the pouring rain does not offer such a valuable help… But what the hell; it's a Metal party for fuck's sake.

So, the METAL TEMPLE team arrived in Germany comprising of myself, Harry, Maria and Erika who had been already there, attending the pre-show party. One day before the festival we found ourselves in the wider area  looking for some tourist attractions like St. Pauli, Hamburg Metal clubs, 2nd hand vinyl/CD stores, dirty food etc. On Thursday were right on time to get in the mood…and the mud… meeting some familiar faces from Greece and abroad, having the first couple of beerz, wishing not that much tickets (2,000?) would be pressed for a 1,200 capacity area, we showed ourselves in the garden (sic) and waited eagerly for the first band to open up.

The usual 'sale stalls' area was not a case in this fast, sine only Hellion Records had a merch_stuff piece. The food was acceptable but not something exciting, while the beer/spirits prices were quite adequate, I think. There was a wider rest spot located just outside the 'stage' region with some accessories to spend money on, plus the usual camping area filled in the mud (yeap, rain rain rain…) but looking rather eye-catching whatsoever.

\[Greg] Not aware of this band's deeds, I was soon relieved to find out they hail from Ohio, USA and perform a piece of classic Metal in the IRON MAIDEN vein. Well, too close to the MAIDEN patterns, to be honest. Nonetheless, the band played good and showed signs of dynamics in personality when allowed to follow their own rules. The guitar leads were remarkable and the singer would fit in the standards if he was in a better day; they generally delivered the goods and their Graveyard Of Empires debut (out via the legendary Auburn Records?) will soon spin in my CD player to confirm reliability. A nice surprise was to see two covers performed, two covers by legendary American bands: BREAKER's Blood Money and DESTRUCTOR's Iron Curtain were both a blast, with guest members on-stage including Dave Overkill & Pat Rabid (DESTRUCTOR), Mick Sebastian (ETERNAL REIGN) and Mark Klein (BREAKER). Nice, nice, nice!


01. Prelude To War
02. Thanatos
03. Resistance, Rebellion And Death
04. Graveyard Of Empires
05. Rex Mundi
06. Royal Blood
07. Stalker
08. Lick The Blade
09. Make This Garden Burn
10. Blood Money (BREAKER cover)
11. Iron Curtain (DESTRUCTOR cover)

\[Greg] Bite the bullet! The Swedish vagabonds delivered a neck-breaking recital by any means. Was looking forward to the quintet's set since it's never enough to enjoy some ACCEPT-meets-AC_DC-meets-JUDAS PRIEST flush with a beer in your hand. With a sweating on-stage appearance and some shiny 'retro lights' logo label in front and up from the drum kit, BULLET took no prisoners and -based on their two albums released the last three years- I would not imagine something more suitable to cover up for our boogie needs. Really, not much more to be said: BULLET showed the rockin' side of Heavy Metal is still alive and kickin'.

01. Pay The Price
02. Rock Us Tonite
03. Turn It Up Loud
04. Dusk Til Dawn
05. Heading For The Top
06. One Deal With The Devil
07. Speeding In The Nite
08. Rambling Man
09. Bite The Bullet
10. Roadking
11. Bang Your Head

\[Maria] It was time for Q5 to hit the stage. Who would expect that a chance would be given to see this band on stage? WOW! Unfortunately Floyd Rose wasn't there and actually this was not a surprise. The start was made with When The Mirror Cracks and by then I started worrying about the setlist. First song off the second album? Hmmm…But, after that, the anthems of Steel The Light made a parade. The notes of Missing In Action were heard and despite the awful weather people started gathering in front of the stage. There Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady, Pull The Trigger, Rock On followed. It was a marvelous set, (playing all the first album songs apart from Come And Gone) finishing with Steel The Light after the amazing and quite touching, I ought to admit, Floyd Rose's effects intro. The voice of Jonathan K. was in very good shape, the sound was decent, and although Q5 came out only with Rick Pierce, who did manage to hold on to the crowd's expectations and proved that he is an asset for the band, they delivered a very good show.

01. When The Mirror Cracks
02. Missing In Action
03. Lonely Lady
04. Rock On
05. Freedom
06. Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady
07. Pull The Trigger
08. Let Go
09. Steel The Light
10. Teenage Runaway

\[Harry] I couldn't say that I had a bad time with the two previous bands, but I was anxious to see TANK live for the first time. So, I preferred to save my strength until that time. After Q5 left the stage, there was a small in timr length soundcheck, where Doogie White tried without success to communicate with the sound engineer and started talking to him with the typical, wonderful Scottish humor. So, was this waiting worth it?

Hell yeah it was worth it! TANK came out on-stage full of energy and started bombarding us with their songs. For about an hour me & my good friends, Greg, Costas and Maria (unfortunately I couldn't find Erika) were in the battlefield…eh…I mean, the mosh pit. Yes, I got some kicks and punches and a guy fell on my back, but who cares! With a great sound and in top form TANK showed us that they worth much more in this scene. Shellshock, Walking Barefoot Over Glass, This Means War and other well hidden diamonds made us headbang all the time and remember how a Metal concert should be. They even played two new songs, Great Expectations and The Phoenix Is Rising. The sound is even closer now to SAXON, without leaving behind the MOTORHEAD-like feeling. If their new album sounds like that, we will be talking for a great comeback! Unfortunately, when you are having fun, time goes by very quick. So, I didn't realize that an hour had passed. TANK gave a great performance from and showed us how underestimated this band still is.

01. This Means War
02. Echoes Of A Distant Battle
03. That's What Dreams Are Made Of
04. Phoenix Rising (New Song)
05. Walking Barefoot Over Glass
06. Honour And Blood
07. Great Expectations
08. Power Of The Hunter
09. (He Fell In Love With A) Stormtrooper
10. Don't Walk Away
11. Shellshock

\[Greg] Would like to see TANK headlining this first fest day; cross my heart. Still, the unstoppable force of VICIOUS RUMORS raised no objections, plus the anticipation was high regarding original vocalist Gary St. Pierre's guest participation. Really exhausted by the 'come rain or shine' fucked up weather plus the non-stop banging in prior, we settled down in the back rows to enjoy the set of a legendary American Metal act.

In my beliefs, VICIOUS RUMORS is the kind of band needed for the Metal aficionado. Technical, metallic, professional, powerful, banging, non-commercial…All these exposed in a 90-minute set featuring all of the band's highlights, from the Carl Albert days to the latest (2006…) Warball album. Led by Geoff Thorpe but also featuring Larry Howe behind the drum kit (non-stop hammering; trust me), the band featured some great sound backing their whiplash set, with singer Ronnie Stixx proving to be a suitable frontman/singer and the whole band let loose to feed our needs for some professional American Heavy/Power Metal. The entrance of Gary St. Pierre for four songs off the Soldiers Of The Night 1986 debut was sensational; he still has a thrilling voice and was seemed enough touched to perform such classics (I loved Blistering Winds, in particular). An overwhelming experience, in general, rest assured.

01. Digital Dictator
02. Minute To Kill
03. Warball
04. Abandoned
05. You Only Live Twice
06. Don't Wait For Me
07. World Church
08. On The Edge
09. Ship Of Fools
10. Soldiers Of The Night (with Gary St. Pierre)
11. Murder (with Gary St. Pierre)
12. Blistering Winds (with Gary St. Pierre)
13. March Or Die (with Gary St. Pierre)
14. Mr. Miracle
15. Six Step Sisters
16. The Crest
17. Down To The Temple
18. Hellraiser

(photos by the Heavy artillery Erika)





Ticket Price: 40€


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