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SUMMER BREEZE 2003
August 21st - August 23rd 2003
I remember Cora asking me back in May if I planned to attend the Summer Breeze festival. I said no, thinking that WOA will be more than enough for this summer. But the very same day I got home from WOA I was all agog to return to Germany for the Summer Breeze festival. Summer Breeze meant 50 bands on two stages in 3 days. While a band was playing, the Summer Breeze crew and the technicans built up the other stage for the next band which basically gives you the opportunity to not miss any act on the billing. Of course on the other hand it sometimes meant there were 3 or 4 bands playing in a row that you were not interested in. Summer Breeze was offering many bands I wanted to see, even ones I haven't seen live before. I guess every non-German metalhead envies our German metal brothers and sisters for having so many festivals during the summer. Each of these festivals is getting bigger and more famous year by year and the organizers try to live up to the expectations and bring more and renowed bands to keep up the interest. Unfortunately, due to some unknown virus in Scandinavia, some of my "most wanted bands" cancelled their appearance. (Katalin)
I've had a pretty relaxed drive down to Abtsgmünd but it became a little stressy when I've already reached this small town and tried to find the press booth. First I followed the Summer Breeze signs I saw along the road which led out of town again and I ended up in a long queue of cars that wanted to enter the campsite. A friendly security guy told me I had to drive all the way back. A few kilometers and a couple of phone calls later I finally discovered Katalin watching out for me on the street close to the press entrance. Hooray!! I found out my fellow metal girls (who had arrived earlier that day) already have had a drink or two and so the putting up of my tent seemed to be a lot of fun for them ;) After a dinner we tried to find out where the showers were and this turned out as a little adventure. Katalin ended up showering in the artist showers that night, hehe. Then we only had to wait for the sunrise the next morning and the bands to play. (Cora)
The first act of Summer Breeze 2003 was SLEEPINGODSLIE from Germany. I'm sorry but I can't say there was a huge interest for the band from Munich. They opened at 2 pm which wasn't really that very early, but still, only a small amount of people came to see them and only 10 of them seemed to even know them. Just like to the most of us, they were totally unknown to me and I have got an idea why. It was a metal festival. And Sleepingodslie plays modern, alternative kind of metal, that was not the most fitting style to Summer Breeze. What's more, they won a competition and that was the reason they were put on the Summer Breeze billing. Anyway. Their music is heavy and smashing, have some melodies in it but is not too complex. It was enjoyable but average, there is not much left to say about them. They had got 25 minutes on stage with these songs: "Higher Grounds", "Agony", "Babylon", "Forever Gone Today", "The Force". (Katalin)
Just minutes after Sleepingodslie had finished their set, another German band, FINAL BREATH, started on the Pain Stage. Fine, old-school thrash metal with melodies and freshness but without much originality. They also had got only 25 minutes but it seemed shorter because of the sound problem they had to face during the first song. Beside their well-known tracks a new piece from their upcoming album was introduced to us with the title "Let me be your..." or something like that. I don't remember the song title properly but its catchy melodies easily stuck in my mind and made me look forward to their new album. (Katalin)
Another "what the hell are they doing here" kind of band went on stage in the form of SINCERE. These Belgians are into alternative, modern rock music so I had no idea why they were put on the Main Stage, where Napalm Death and Krokus were about the play later on. (Katalin)
I have got a friend who is a fan of EDENBRIDGE and since they haven't made it to Hungary so far, I wanted to see them to be ablte to tell him what they are like live. Well, I've never been to keen of metal bands with female vocalists but I admit that Sabine's voice is beautiful, making Edenbridge's music nicer and softer. I can only say nice things about them but still, I found them too mellow and a boring for my taste. So, with Cora by my side we went to drink some freshing beer. (Katalin)
BLOODFLOWERZ was the next band playing and I knew it wasn't for me again. I like gothic, dark rock music but Bloodflowerz were just average. Their melancholic music with nice, characteristic female vocals were just fine, with nothing really to complain but there was also nothing to talk too much about. They got 40 minutes to play while Final Breath got only 25 so frowned we looked for another beer. (Katalin)
Second time in three weeks. That's my statistics in August about seeing PSYCHOPUNCH live. My very first time with the Swedes was at WOA where they were totally unknown to me. Here, I "greeted" the band as old friends, especially since they were one of the few Swedish bands who didn't cancel their SB performance. Unfortunately again, not too many people gathered to see them but just as at WOA, they didn't seem to care about it. They just played in a good mood and we, who were there, had got a chance to party and to take it easy for their dirty-punk-rock songs. (Katalin)
After the relaxed Swedes some serious grind was on the menu next. NAPALM DEATH from England took over the Main Stage, one hell of an extreme band! High intensity and energy flowed down from the stage like water, washing all the cold blooded ones away. Everybody went nuts, forming moshpits and crowdsurfing. This was the first serious "attack" against the patience of the security - especially during songs like "The Kill", "Life?", "Suffer The Children" - but they handled it with a great sense of humour and understanding. Just for the Birminghamer band's sake even weather changed to English kind. "Fuckin' English band for a fuckin' English weather" commented Barney as it started to rain. Actually, has anybody ever noticed that Barney moves like he has got an epileptic attack when he is on stage? No offence, I just wonder how he can do that?!
They gave an overwhelming show and though there were other thrash and death bands in the upcoming two days, "biggest crushing of SB" goes to Napalm Death!
To boil the blood of their stamina lacking audience for one more time, they played "Scum" to close their set. Thank you! (Katalin)
First I've been waiting for ages to see SYMPHORCE live and now this was already the fourth time this year. I won't complain though! :) Before the show frontman extraordinaire Andy had been sceptical how the band would be accepted by the Summer Breeze audience (as the main focus of this festival is clearly on bands from the death/thrash/black/gothic genres) but once the band started with "Speak My Mind" it became clear that even the Summer Breeze crowd is no problem for Symphorce: they simply ruled and didn't bore a single minute. Comparing this show to the one at WOA the sound wasn't as good (where I was standing at least) but the performance itself was. Kick ass!! It's just too great to see these guys in action on stage and with their short best-of setlist, consisting of tracks such as "Unbroken" and "Touched & Infected" from the latest album "PhorcefulAhead" or "Until The Last", "Reveal The Secrets" and Powermad cover song "Nice Dreams" (yeah!, no wonder they have it in their setlist) they can't do wrong. So this was basically the WOA show with one great surprise: they dropped "Drifted" and played a brand new song called "Cause Of Laughter" from the upcoming new album "Twice Second". As always, it's just impossible to judge over a song you hear the first time live. I guess I had some curious and confused look on my face but I still have half of the chorus in mind if that is considered a good sign (actually I've been told later that this chorus didn't work out the way it should have been, hehe). Anyway, it was damn HEAVY!! Thumbs up and everybody watch out for the upcoming tour in January! (Cora)
This was the third RAGE festival appearance I witnessed this summer and I have a hard time to think of something new to report about them actually. The setlist was more or less the same as in Wacken, so they started off with "Don't Fear The Winter" followed by "Paint The Devil On The Wall". After that second song they had some serious sound problems with a microphone completely breaking down and stuff like that. It got better again for "Down", "Set This World On Fire" (which simply isn't the same when I don't have Paddy around to scream along together with him) and a medley of "Black In Mind/Solitary Man". Just like at WOA they introduced "War Of Worlds", a new song from the upcoming album "Soundchaser" to the audience. The song carries a typical and very accessible chorus and I still had it in mind from three weeks ago. Nice one! The obligatory solos were luckily kept down to a minimum and one of the band's major hits, "Straight To Hell" (not one of my favourites though), was next. I think that was about the time we left the area (my fellow metal girls don't like them too much and were already impatiently waiting for some rest with a beer ;)). I could still hear the band playing though, so I can report they also played "From The Cradle To The Grave" and - of course - "Higher Than The Sky" as the last song. (Cora)
Rage was followed by the Austrian Reverends, PUNGENT STENCH. And as always, sooner or later - here exactly after the second song they tore off their reverends (except Alex behind the drums) - and stood there wearing only their sexy outfit ;) Well, their lyrics are very ironic on religous stuff so their stage appearance is an important part of their show but I couldn't stop myself thinking about the upcoming Hollenthon gig scheduled for saturday. I should get back to serious mode, since their thrash-death-black metal mixture is serious music. They played a nice compilation from their albums: "For God Your Soul...For Me Your Flesh", "Blood, Pus And Gastric Juice", "Extreme Deformity", "Viva Il Vaticano", "Shrunken And Mummified Bitch" with two covers, "Four F Club" and the usual audience favourite "La Bamba". (Katalin)
Do I need to introduce KROKUS to you? I hope not. Of course lately there have been not too many news about them in the air but they are around since 1974 and made several great albums. They started as a symphonic rock band, similar to Yes or Genesis but a few years and two albums later they changed style and soon they had been labeled as the "Swiss AC/DC". They released their 15th album, "Rock The Block" this year and watching their performance at SB proved that these oldboys of rock (no offence!) still know what rock music is about. If you spent that night watching Krokus you could enjoy an atmoshperic, rocking rock concert where the band enjoyed their play as much as their audience or even more, a concert where they played for the sake of music. Thinking of their well-known name I expected more people to show up for the Krokus gig but I have to admit, I didn't find Summer Breeze to be the proper festival for them. Actually they were the only band playing this kind of music. Some song titles to tease you, who missed them: "Bad Boys Rag Dolls", "Stayed Awake All Night", "Rock 'n' Roll Tonight", "Rock City", "Screaming In The Night", "Easy Rocker", "Krokus". (Katalin)
Somehow the task to write a review about SUBWAY TO SALLY always falls back on me. I know my opinion about their show at WOA wasn't the best even though I've always been very enthusiastic about Subway To Sally - and especially about their live shows. I really don't know but I sometimes have the feeling that their huge experience (certainly not a bad thing generally) is becoming a trap for them. Their massive amount of shows seems to become a bit of a routine which on the other hand you will only notice when you get to see them frequently. So I guess it's just a matter of the mood the band and the watcher (in this case: me) is in. It was good at Summer Breeze. Since they got some more playing time some more tracks found their way onto the setlist but I still can only wonder why Subway To Sally are not including a few more older songs (like they did with "Mephisto" and "Liebeszauber"), especially because they know how much their fans would like to hear them. I personally would love to hear "Die Hexe" oder "Grabrede" with the support of a festival crowd. Anyway, almost the whole last album "Engelskrieger" was being played and the multivocal chanting on songs like "Narben" was close to perfection. I love that! It's also always fun to watch guitarists/singers Bodenski and Simon with all their gestures and little dances in between, with their highest point during "Ohne Liebe". I found it a bit presumptious of frontman Eric to talk about "Subway City" though. But other than that (and those Rammstein-fire-effects again) I have nothing to complain about and really enjoyed seeing Subway To Sally. Still I hope they will one day capture me again like they did a few years ago. (Cora)
I expected the crowd to leave after Subway To Sally but they did stay and a whole bunch of people waited for THE KOVENANT. I spent half of the day reasoning if they were listening to too much Rammstein before they wrote "S.E.T.I." or not, thereupon they kicked off with "Via Negativa", their most Rammstein influenced song. No question, their audience was enthusiastic and though the band looked drenched and exhausted they gave 100% (read the "Summer Breeze diary" by Lex here: http://www.manala.ee/kovenant/tourfestrep.htm). Lex was very energetic and in move all the time (making it a hard job to take pictures of him) and he did all the vocal styles he performs on their albums. Psy's rastalocks moved like the Medusa's snake-hair might wind ages ago. Küth was a tight drummer, replacing Mr Hellhammer perfectly. Angel and Brath (the keyboardist from Apoptygma Berzerk) did their job as well.
"Get down on your knees and feed the illusion, Get down on your knees and prolong the delusion, Superstition is the religion of the feeble mind, Liberty and Justice - The Illusions of mankind" - the first lines of the song made it clear it was "Jihad" from "Animatronic". At first I didn't recognize it because as Psy has told earlier, they reworked the older song to fit with "S.E.T.I.". "Jihad" opened up the door to the past because they went on with "In The Name Of The Future", another song from "Animatronic". When Lex asked if we remembered "Nexus Polaris" the audience roared in agreement and "Chariots Of Thunder" was presented. "Hollow Earth" and "Star By Star" were next, both from "S.E.T.I.". If I remember well, "Hollow Earth" was announced by Lex as "Bad girls go to hell" and again, we agreed ;) And "Star By Star", the song that almost sounds balladistic when I'm listening to it at home, was powerful and even a bit aggressive sounding here, though still the most relaxing one in their set. "Time is running out on the planet Earth" - came from the speakers and we all knew it was "Mirrors Paradise", the opener of "Animatronic", with the chilling keyboards. Just like on the album, "New World Order" followed and it also meant the end of their Summer Breeze performance. "I'm your loving hate - this is the new world order" - so like it or not, f** off. If they were able to give such an impressive show after the troubles they went through and without having the "brainwashing project set" - Psy talked about in February -, I wonder what a show they could put up under "normal" circumstances?!?! (Katalin)
Friday's opening act was an other unknown band to me, named AGE OF IGNORANCE. All I can say about the German band is that they played a kind of a modern rock-metal. Heavy music but melodic at the same time. For my taste they were a bit too mainstream and I think they have a chance to get played on radios on someday. Only a few people showed up for their performance but the band seemed to be happy to play at Summer Breeze at all and that's always a positive aspect when the band members enjoy themselves. Their singer gave away a few CDs among the audience so that might gain them a few more fans :) I can't predict their future but in their musical field, with their very own image they seemed to have, they have a great potential. (Katalin)
FALLEN 2 PIECES were another name on my unknown-bands list and I know why. I'm not too keen on alterntive rock, especially not when it's flat and boring. Fortunately they had got only 20 minutes to play. (Katalin)
From the musical aspect I really enjoyed gothic band DARKWELL, who played songs from "Suspiria" and "Conflict Of Interest", but new vocalist Stephanie Meier just couldn't convince me neither with her vocals nor with her stage acting. Sometimes her stage appearance was gracefully fitting well with the music, but then again, out of nothing she destroyed it with some stupid looking stage performance which didn't fit along to the rhythm of the music at all. Same with her vocals, at some parts she sounded immature like a little girlie. I'm trying to be as open minded as possible, but their cover of Simple Mind's "Don't you (Forget About Me)" made me run off. It was time to join the others for a beer. (Silkie)
With 25 minutes, Italian’s doom masters THUNDERSTORM didn't have much time for their set. Apart from the short time they also had to play quite early. Even if the band tried their best, somehow they didn't really convince me to go closer to the stage, except for taking some photos of course. I preferred to stay in the shadow of the bar ;) It was too early for this Italian doom! IMO for such music you need the night to get in the right mood. Nevertheless, the band did their best and the few fans in front of the stage celebrated them well, even shouted for more when the time limit was over. (Silkie)
JUSTICE's time was nearing. Not only the schedule told me that but the sight of the Justice t-shirts many were wearing. As I had already recognized at WOA last year, the German thrash-death band has got a very strong fanbase and it seemed their number is just increasing. Bonanza's music was the intro to "Welcome To My Nightmare" as they kicked off. In their 30 minutes set beside the well-known songs ("Life Undead", "2 Minutes to Live") they made room for two new ones as well. "This World In Mine" is a more melodic song while "New Machine" showed the heavier, drier death metal that Justice is also capable of. It was 2 pm, f*** hot - that gave the chance to play with water and in Justice's case it wasn't just the privilege of the security (with their yellow sprinkler) but Mitch was armed with a squirt-gun as well... Of course their enthusiastic fans were pleased to receive the cooling care for their health. We had a great time! (Katalin)
Czech HYPNOS was next on stage, for another 30 minutes. Just like Final Breath earlier that day, Hynos came across a technical problem well. As a result, the first two songs of their set was not as enjoyable as it could have been with the vocals on. Fortunately the music was THERE, strongly and heavy. Already during the first tunes it felt like a thunder roared under the stage. Around the middle of their set they greeted their Slovakian and Czech fans who took the long way to Summer Breeze to pay tribute to the band by waving their national flags. "Journey Into Doom" had been dedicated to them. The 30 minutes were enough to represent the band's brutality and intensity with "Ravens Opera D-Mool", "Burn The Angels Down", "Fatal Shine Of The Sky", "Regicide", "Endorsed By Satan", "In Blood We Trust" and "The Revenge Ride". (Katalin)
HEAVEN SHALL BURN didn't impress me too much. I like death metal and I really believe that this style has got a lot of options in itself when it comes to combine and mix it with other styles. In case of Heaven Shall Burn it means some hardcore influence, but somehow it didn't seem to work - at least not for my taste. And when I saw the swollen veins on the singer's neck, as he would have been straining heavily, my interest has gone for good.
I'm not that cold-hearted, I will give them an other chance someday, but at Summer Breeze I rather looked for a beer and shade, escaping from the heat. (Katalin)
GRAVEWORM were not the hightest priority for me to see and that's why I probably ended up only seeing the last part of their already short 35 minutes-set. Those few minutes I saw made me regret I didn't make it to the Pain Stage earlier because the band put on a great show and got a hell of a good response from the audience. Since it was damn hot (just like during the whole festival) here again the security provided some refreshment with lots of water, which was definitely needed. As I said, I'm very sorry I didn't get to see more of Graveworm especially because they also had a pretty good sound. (Cora)
Is there any kind of music you can't sell in Germany? No, there isn't. I'm sorry, I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings but there are so many crap bands doing fine on the German music market, it is unbelievable for me. You want to know what shocked me? A German band, FARMER BOYS' show. Punky-rocky-numetaly-hardcory music they do play. Well, I don't mind, I don't care, it is a fine background music to listen to when you are having non-metalhead guests over or if you want to get rid off the commercial radiostation music in your office, but what the hell did they do on the main stage, 4 pm at Summer Breeze?!?!?! It must have been just some bad joke to fool us. Not to mention that Vintersorg was supposed to play after them on the Pain Stage a set that would have been 5 minutes shorter. Ok, Vintersorg cancelled but still, there is a huge musical and artistic difference between Vintersorg and Farmer Boys. Anyway, I took a few pictures. And went to drink more. (Katalin)
Vintersorg (who cancelled August 20th) was replaced by DISBELIEF, another German band on my unknown-to-me list. Though they have got several albums and tours behind them, I never heard about the band till now. I was even sceptical: "who the hell is available to jump in in the last minutes?" Again, I've learnt how true is the "best things come when you don't expect them"'. Disbelief's death metal imbuded with psychedelic melodies was the nicest surprise to me at Summer Breeze. Karsten's deep growlings is also the death metal vocals I like very much. One thing for sure, they gained a new fan at Summer Breeze. Thanks to Karsten's announcements, I managed to catch a few song titles: "No Control", "Misery", "Falling Without Reason".
In a way I could compare Disbelief to Bloodbath. As I said in one of my Bloodbath reviews this music goes under your skin, crawls there and stays with you. (Katalin)
Time for some fearsome vikings! AMON AMARTH hit the stage to fight for honour, glory, "Death In Fire" /mp/\.jpgm/. They're not really doing anything new or special on stage. But what would I want any gimmicks for when I can have a kick ass melodic death metal band as tight as Amon Amarth? Right, simply keep on banging your heads, folks! Needless to say the bandmembers all have a viking look to them, first and foremost frontman Johan who does not only let his hair but also his beard fly while headbanging ;) And even though they claimed "Vs The World" it was certainly not "Amon Amarth vs the crowd" or anything like that. I really like the interaction between the band (naturally mainly courtesy of Johan) and the crowd. Amon Amarth prove that it doesn't hurt to chit-chat in between the songs from time to time, especially when there are also some German words thrown in (in this case the show being in Germany I mean). And let's not forget about the raising of some beer, too. The majority of songs they played were from the latest album "Versus The World" but I guess there can be no Amon Amarth show without "Victorious March" ending the set. And a good ending it is indeed as people tend to go totally nuts again when this song is blasting out of the speakers. No exception at Summer Breeze, what a great live band. I only wished they had a little more playing time. (Cora)
NAGLFAR was the band I was looking forward to the most and I wasn't disappointed! They came all the way from Umeå to Abtsgmünd to be celebrated and the audience did! I was so amazed. What I like most with this band is that Jens, Andreas, Kristoffer, Matthias and Markus do not need any special light shows, etc...they just need themselves with their equipment and they put up a great, raw killer show, fascinating their audience in the way they are. Of all bands I saw at Summer Breeze, they belong to the Top 3! Naglfar played a good mix of songs of off their albums as far as the time limit let them. Their set list was as follows: "When Autumn Storms Come", "Black God Aftermath", "I am Vengeance", "Emerging From Her Weepings", "Blades", "As The Twilight Gave Birth To The Night", "Wrath Of The Fallen" and "Horncrowned Majesty". (Silkie)
Oh well, I have to be honest that I needed a break when PRIMAL FEAR came on as I was still suffering from my accident in Norway last year. But nevertheless, I heard them. I think it's enough to be able to do a review in a different way! You also get a different point of view on a show, since I was only listening to everything and I was able to hear more of the enthusiasm of their fans. Yeah, they were paying a homage to Primal Fear. The band had recently had a line-up change and I hope Randy Black, a master on drums, can forgive me for not watching him ;) Anyway, Primal Fear celebrated their show with songs like "Angel In Black", "Battalions Of Hate", "Armaggedon", "Chainbreaker", "Silver & Gold", etc... they had a good mix through all their albums and the cover of the great Judas Priest song "Metal Gods" made the crowd go nuts, as far as I could hear that. Last song of the show was the song "Final Embrace" (Silkie)
What to say about DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER? I'm not a huge fan and I did only see some parts of their show as I've been walking around the festival area while they were playing. But still I can say the band once again gave it all and started with the usual "Vier Reiter Stehen Bereit". I think most of the songs they performed were taken from the last two albums, "Reitermania", "Unter Asche" und "Licked By The Tongues Of Pride" were among them. Their vocalist Eumel (or is he called Fuchs now?) is one of the most energetic frontmen I know, not only running around on stage but also jumping as if he was a ball ;) I also saw them having some flowers on stage......flower power to Summer Breeze, why not? ;) Of course, the track "Metal Will Never Die" had to mark the end of their set. (Cora)
How long have I been waiting for AMORPHIS! I have no idea how I managed to never see them live until now. To my disappointment they only got 45 minutes playing time at around 22.30 pm. Naturally the band had to cut down the choice of songs to present live down to a minimum. Right after an oriental intro Amorphis surprisingly started their set with old classic "In The Beginning", followed by "Against Widows", "Divinity" and "Alone" before with "Day Of Your Beliefs" the first song from the current album was played. Luckily, the Finnish guys are nice to look at (at least for us girls ;)) because it seems in Finland some frontmen don't know that it doesn't hurt to move around and communicate with the crowd a bit. I believe drummer Jan was moving more than Mr Lord Of Darkness (the name I gave him that night) Pasi! All he did after each song was checking if his hair was still ok and saying "Dankeschön" (fair enough). Nothing wrong with his vocals as such though, he even managed "Grail's Mysteries", the very oldest song on the setlist. Highlights for sure were "My Kantele" and the last song that was loudly welcomed by the fans: "Black Winter Day". I'm still looking forward to a full Amorphis show on their upcoming tour! (Cora)
I have missed more or less the beginning of the IN EXTREMO show because I was in the queue for the photo pit and from there I couldn't see the stage really. When I finally made it into the pit I could only stay there for a half song, then I got told to leave. I was a little bit pissed off because this wasn't well organized and I had the feeling the security lost an overview on who was in for how long.... Anyway, due to the little time I was just focusing on getting a useful photo for the review, and I forgot to write down the opening song, but I am remembering that the second one was "In Extremo" followed by "Wind", "Herr Mannelig", "Erdbeermund" (from the new album), "Krummavisur", which was announced as a song about an old sailor. Then they played one of the "Merseburger Zaubersprüche" (I think it was the second one, even though the first one got announced). The band used a lot of pyrotechnics, like the flitter stuff that fitted the song "Vollmond" well. By the way, the line up wasn't the usual one. Unfortunately one of the members was stuck in Malasysia and one of their pipers was with his wife because they expected a baby any minute, but the guest musicians did a great job at Summer Breeze. Anyway, after "Omnia Sol Temperat" they played another new song called "Küss mich". "Spielmannsfluch" was next and then I missed to write one down, I just can’t recall this one, nor can Cora... anyway, after that song they played "Hiemali Tempore", "Ai Vis Lo Lop", an old street song. "Villemann Og Magnhild" was played before the encore, the other spell song "Merseburger Zaubersprüche". Here I would say it was the first one! Even if it was a great show full of pyrotechnics and very professional, I somehow get the feeling they are loosing the old touch. Ok, they had all the fire-spitting stuff and the flaming drumsticks etc... but still, some of the old vibes have gotten lost IMO. (Silkie)
One of the most awaited gigs of the festival was nearing. I've never got the chance before to see FINNTROLL live, a band I heard about in 1999 for the first time, at WOA where I was hanging out with some drunken Finns who were listening to the first Finntroll album. Then I went home and as soon as "Midnattens Widunder" became available in Hungary, I bought it. After the intro they opened with "Svartberg", the first song from their first album and also played "Midnattens Widunder" and "Segersang". Though "Visor Om Sluttet" is an unsual album of theirs, they played its title song, of course a bit modified to make it fit into the set. - I wish I could ever see them doing a "Visor Om Sluttet" tour. Later on they played an unreleased song that was introduced as "Ursvamp" (if I wrote it down correctly) and as Wilska explained, it was about mushrooms ;) They were the last act of that day but fortunately, despite of the late hour, many were intersted in them. We were feasting, dancing to the trollish songs, singing along, headbanging … whatever way you can enjoy yourself. Their new gutiarist who replaced Somnium (died earlier this year) was introduced to us as the new member of a band that is lacking fortune. True, 2003 hasn't not been the best year for Finntroll. With his incredible long hair and trollish grimaces he looked just the right person to play in Finntroll.
They finished in time but we kept demanding their return. With wicked smile and cigarettes in the corner of their mouthes they came back, teasing us "u want more?". We wanted more and as a farewell "RivFader" was played, that Wilska announced as a song about himself. I know, I was not the only one who could have listened and watched them for a longer time that night. (Katalin)
DEFENDING THE FAITH were to open the third day of Summer Breeze at noon. All I remembered from them was a review Marlies had written about their self-financed cd "Radical Change". I arrived during the first song and one of the first things I noticed was that there was no drummer on stage. Knowing nothing about the band I was quite surprised to say the least and I thought that their drummer had got sick or they had just lost him. However, it seems guitarist Robert also handled the drums on their disc, but I don't know for sure. Anyway, the second song was "Defending The Faith" and I must say that I especially liked Jürgen's vocals and the backing vocals a lot. Definitely a strong point of the band. After a brand new track called "Stronger" people made fun of them requesting a drum solo and guess what!? They got one. Robert gave them one courtesy of the drum machine, that was quite funny. (Cora)
Afer that we went over to the Pain Stage to check out THE ARMADA, yet another band I knew nothing about apart from the facts that there are some Stormwitch members in it and that their bassist is the brother of Brainstorm bassist Andreas. I think Katalin even wanted to warn me but I didn't listen. But soon after they had started playing I had to realize that this was nothing for me at all. The music was way too neo-classical (or whatever) for my taste but what really bothered me in the end was vocalist Dirk. Please no. I didn't have any earplugs with me, so I left for a beer. (Cora)
I always wanted to see DARKSEED live but so far I only managed to see them on some video from 1997. The band has gone through some major line-up changes, the most obvious being the recent change of the frontman. I would have at least wanted to see them with original singer and founding member Stefan once but it shouldn't be. New singer Christoph did is job pretty well though. They kicked off with "Dying Land" which was followed by two more tracks from the current album "Astral Adventures" ("Life" and "Where Do I Go?"). After "I Deny You" and "Forever Darkness" from the predecessor it was time for an older tune, "Self Pity Sick", during which the backing vocals were way too low/soft and it just didn't sound all too great either. I must say that I wasn't all too impressed with their performance in general, but I still was just happy I had the chance to finally see them at all. Last song was "Souls Unite", one of the better tracks from "Astral Adventures", but unfortunately the somewhat nice chorus got a bit lost live. Considering the fact Darkseed haven't played much live in this line-up I'm confident the guys will get better with a few more shows to play :) (Cora)
German DESASTER is an underrated thrash-death metal band. They are doing a very fine job in the old-school style they play though I know their music is not too "exciting". Here they concentrated on their latest album but of course older songs were played as well. Some songs I can recall: "Teutonic Steel", "Metalized Blood", "Nighthawk", "Symphony Of Vengeance". One thing is for sure, their music kicks ass live and they got great response from the audience. (Katalin)
Thrashers DEW SCENTED once again did a raw, agressive show, but unfortunately far too short. Yep, they only had 30 minutes. Nevertheless, they did an excellent show. Not sure if the opener was "Bitter Conflict" as I was a bit busy with my camera and trying to save this one from a fountain of water the security poured into the audience. The following songs were "Unconditional", "Soul Poison", "Inwards", "Acts Of Rage" and the last song of the set was "This Grace". Vocalist Leif Jensen and the rest of the band were full of energy, with an inexhaustible power and excellent technical skills. This is the way I love to see bands and Dew Scented honestly deserved more than 30 minutes. It was great to hear "Soul Poison" and "Acts Of Rage" live as these songs are from the new album "Impact" and have given the fans a preview on what was going to be released soon. Soaking wet from all the water the security has poured over the audience I decided to have a little break after Dew Scented. (Silkie)
After not having a good experience with CALLENISH CIRCLE at WOA (due to a bad sound) I had determined to give the guys from the Netherlands another try at Summer Breeze which obviously was a good idea. This time the sound was really good and I could differentiate the songs. Opening the show with "Soul Messiah", Callenish Circle offered a solid live show that attracted quite a few people (including some fans with a Netherlands flag). Other songs they played were "Witness Your Own Oblivion", "Forsaken", "What Could Have Been", Pestilence cover "Out Of The Body" and "Obey Me". Even though they didn't exactly impress me, it was nice seeing them. (Cora)
Hell yeah, GOD DETHRONED and "The Art Of Immolation", the song they started their set with! I still remembered them as a pretty great band from their No Mercy Festival show in Tilburg/NL earlier this year, so of course I had to see them here again. And they certainly didn't disappoint with their crushing death metal. Right from the beginning they sounded almost perfect which unfortunately you couldn't take for granted on the Main Stage by the way. Of course the guys are promoting their latest output "Into The Lungs Of Hell" which is why half of the set consisted of tracks from that album, such as "The Warcult", the titletrack, "Soul Sweaper", "Slaughtering The Faithful" and "The Tombstone". God Dethroned aren't moving too much on stage but their performance is precise as a clock-work and still they so much rock! Like during the whole festival it was damn hot but our "Boiling Blood" was luckily cooled down a bit by some water hose-shower from the security guys :) Another highlight of the set was "Villa Vampiria" and of course the closing track "Evil Dead". (Cora)
Only 35 minutes for UNDERTOW, they deserved more than that! I guess due to the time limit they only played songs from their latest album "34CE". It would have been great if they would have played at least one older song, since I'm only familiar with the "34CE" album so far. It would have been nice to hear something older. Anyway, I love the way Undertow mix different styles. Starting off with their thrash vibes, after the intro they played "Capurted" followed by "Missing Link". My favourite "The Memories Lies" just went under the skin... ahhhhhhhh, so deeply touched... I love the doom vibes in there. "Stand By" was next and then "W.O.T." - yeah "thrash" me. /mp/\.jpgm/ The final song was the title track "34CE". It was hard to believe that the show was already over, damnit! We want more, we want more....(Silkie)
SINNER was another Band I was listening to from the back. Sorry dudes & dudettes, but they were already in Wacken and I thought I could rest my leg a bit. Anyway, I rarely remember any of the songs, just "Born To Rock", "Judgement Day" and the last song the great Billy Idol cover "Rebel Yell". I guess Sinner can't do a show without this song, because this is what the audience is waiting for! It seened like it wasn't Sinner’s day really, it sounded like they had some problems on stage and I have to mention that the drum solo of Fritz Randow after "Judgement Day" sounded terrible in the backstage area. Also I don't think there were that many fans there or at least the audience wasn't really that enthusiastic like they were at the Primal Fear show. (Silkie)
First time I saw END OF GREEN live. Actually I would say they are live as good as on the album and they had got a great response from the audience. The band had the birthday of a member to celebrate, so it was a big party. Judging by the looks, the singer reminded me far too much of HIM. Then the terrible make up of him made me shiver. It's just not my pint of beer, but sure some fans do admire this. Same goes for his vocals, sure it's a love/hate thing but myself, I have to say that I do like his vocals and the music the band writes in general. Their latest album often gets a spin in my stereo. If I remember right, End Of Green mainly played songs from their new album "Last Night On Earth". Songs like "Tourment Sundown", "Demons", "Highway 69" and "Tragedy Insane" etc... but they also played song from the album "Songs For A Dying World". They played a very old song just before they ended the show with a new song called "I Don't Care" (I think). All in all a well done show and I'm looking forward to their tour. (Silkie)
From all bands with classical female lead vocals, WITHIN TEMPTATION ruled on this festival. With a perfect stage acting and a tightly played show, they encouraged the audience to take off and jump along to their music. Yes, even Sharon in her long white dress jumped up and down and told everyone to join. They played mainly songs from the album "Mother Earth", like the title track and "Ice Queen"; then the title track of the first album called, "Enter" etc... I enjoyed most of their songs, especially the acoustic song, but the cover song of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill" somehow was the only song I didn't like. Maybe because the original is just too hard to top! When hearing a cover song, I like versions that could be better than the classic original. I have to mention that the stage decoration, especially the two angels were great. (Silkie)
The guys who won the striptease show two nights ago came on the stage again, but under the name of HOLLENTHON this time (beside Martin, Jacek took over the bass duties here as well). While their other band, Pungent Stench is easy to describe and categorize, Hollenthon plays refined, diverse music. Using the elements of every kind of music, starting from the folk melodies of the world's different regions through classical, medieval, epic passages to the wide range of metal. They are using different vocals and choruses as well. And the result is a melodic, substantial dusk-music. (Give a listen to "With Vilest Of Worms To Dwell" sitting in a rocking-chair after 6 pm, sipping some rich red wine and you will get what I mean). They mostly focused on "With Vilest Of Worms To Dwell" with their set: "Fire Upon The Blade", "Homage - Magni Nominis Umbra", "Y Draig Goch", "Woe To The Defeated", "Promonition - Lex Talionis", "To Kingdom Come", "Vestige - Non Omnis Moriar". "Conspirator" was the encore, dedicated to one of the best bands in the world, One More Day (if I got the name right because I've never heard about the band). I hope soon they will release another magnificent album. (Katalin)
Since I was not interested in J.B.O. at all I spent their playing time at the campsite relaxing with some beer. I thought 10-15 minutes will be enough to make it back to the Pain Stage. I was wrong. It took a bit more to "fight" our way through the huge crowd who was interested in the German joking masters. Well, THE CROWN was a great motivation. Yes, we missed their intro but at least could catch the last moments of the first song. They attacked us with a great set of their songs and with a powerful sound. Though Johan still looks like the evil twin of Elvis, he is a charismatic frontman and withouth him, The Crown would not be The Crown. And as Marko told later he had started to play on a mis-tuned guitar, but it seemed nobody has recognized it. Their audience went nuts for them and the band did the same for us on the stage: "Under The Whip", "World Below", "Zombified", "1999-Revolution 666", "Satanist", "Total Satan", "Crowned In Terror", "Executioner-Slayer Of The Light", "Deathexplosion" etc. Two days ago I have said the title "biggest crushers of Summer Breeze" goes for Napalm Death, now I thought this title goes for The Crown as well. They crushed and smashed us and left only ruins behind. *muhahah* (Katalin)
I always love to see IN FLAMES live: They are one of the best live bands I know and also a band that is not only great in a club but also knows how to rule a larger stage like one at a festival like this. Being the Sweden fan I am I of course also simply love their backdrop - a Swedish flag! :) Most of the guys were wearing these blue/yellow soccer-shirt style band shirts, so backdrop and shirts fitted pretty well together, hehe. First track was "Cloud Connected" and after that track Anders wanted the crowd to repeat what he said, the words being "I promise to go insane tonight". I wish I could have. Actually the sound was good for that first song but I don't know what happened during the follow-up "Clayman". Did the soundman fall asleep at the sound board? The sound was really bad for the first half or even two thirds of the set. I tried to enjoy tracks like "Episode 666", "System", "Reroute To Remain", "Gyroscope", or "Only For The Weak" and it's amazing how exciting they still were despite the muddy sound. And just like already at WOA they made extensive use of pyros and fireworks, what a great sight! I guess maybe during "Behind The Space" the sound finally got better again and they left the stage after "Clad In Shadows". No need to mention the crowd screamed for more and so we got an encore consisting of "Pinball Map", "Black & White" and "Colony". According to Anders this was the last gig for the "Reroute To Remain" album. Hopefully they will be on tour in support of a new album soon. (Cora)
LETZTE INSTANZ was the last band on the last day of Summer Breeze. They closed the festival ....for a year. I guess I was not the only one who wanted to push this moment as far as possible. Despite of all the difficulties and of being tired you just never want such an event, a three days long metal madness, come to an end. I already had to think about how to get home to Hungary next day but I was ready to stay up all night long...I guess even those who felt sleepy and tired woke up after taking a look at the Pain Stage and seeing the interesting or rather "unusual" furnishment of the stage. Their crossover music, mixing rock, punk, hip-hop, electronical, classical...whatever, was enjoyable and definitely worth a listen. (Though I think Germany tends to have too many of these kind of "avantgarde" bands.) I really liked their violinist who reminded me to a friend, Adamskij, who is also an insane violinist always taking over the frontman duties. Their cello player was also very spectaclular with his red crest sitting on that chair. Congrats guys! (Katalin)
Summer Breeze was over. The crew started to put down the stages, some already left for home and everything started to fall apart. That's how I always feel when a festival is over. Though getting back to everyday life recharged with metal is not that bad, I will miss the special festival atmosphere, the music itself, the waterplay with the secrity guys and the cool people I got to know there - not to mention the bunch of old metal-hearted friends. Of corpse the memories remain and even the difficulties we had to face seem brighter and funny now (if everything would have have gone smooth, what the hell could we tell our grandchildren about one day! *lol* How tough we were... *lol*). We will talk about Summer Breeze for a long time - in whatever aspect - at least for a year, till we can meet there again. (Katalin)
submitted by Cora 23.11.2003