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SYMPHORCE tourreport - Cede Dupont telling about life on the road



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WEBCounter by GOWEB    


sleeping in the hay:) © Nico Wobben Wacken (D)
August 1st-August 3rd 2002


Through rain and thunderstormes we found our way to the ultimate metal grounds of Wacken. In the north it was sunny, but in the evening it rained again and the meadows were soaking wet and all muddy. If you had to walk across the site you looked drunk and if you actually were drunk you probably didn't even make it to the other side. It wasn't until friday that they finally rolled out huge amounts of hay on the field and made a path with some pallets in the backstage area. But the weather gods weren't so grumpy, because friday afternoon and saturday turned into hot, sunny days after all.

The Stratovarius-singer TIMO KOTIPELTO had bad luck with the weather. A storm-warning was announced during his gig, and so he had to reduce the lights and pyros to a minimum. He tried to perform as good as he could, together with his Strato-pal Jari Kainulainen (bass), Children Of Bodom-keyboardist Janne Wirman, and they did many songs from Kotipelto's solo-debut (titletrack "Waiting For The Dawn", "The Beginning", "Lord Of Eternity", "Knowledge And Wisdom", "Beauty Has Come"), and with "Eternity" there was an older Strato-song on the setlist. Unfortunately, due to the weather, the sound wasn't brilliant at all, but one could see that the band did anything to satisfy the audience. (Paddy)

Blaze ©Nico Wobben I entered the festival site when BLAZE was already playing and I got goosebumps seeing that huge metalcrowd again. At home at last! Two years ago Blaze proved everybody how well off he was being on his own! And it was like that again this year. I really love to see him rule on a festival, working those big stages and having the fans eating out of his hands. Way better than ever in a clubgig, in my opinion. But maybe that's also because on the last tour (with Vicious Rumors and Savatage) his good, but limited, vocal skills looked a bit pale next to the likes of Brian O'Connor and Damond Jiniya. They played mostly stuff from "Silicon Messiah", like "Ghost In The Machine", but also as usual the Maiden song "Man Of The Edge". (Marlies)

Doro ©Nico Wobben Another really good festival entertainer is DORO. Of course you see her many years of experience and she's still very energetic. I'm not into her solo work very much, but I love her voice, it's very powerful, so I enjoyed mostly the Warlock stuff like "Burning The Witches" and "Hellbound", but also other songs like "All We Are", "Für Immer" and from the new CD "Fight": "Always Live To Win" and titletrack "Fight" that she dedicated to her good friend boxer Regina Halmich. (Marlies)

The Australian ROSE TATTOO were the closing act of the "A Night To Remember". As the main band that night they played more than 1,5 hour, actually not for the first time in the history of WOA. Their heavy-rock'n'roll has lots of fans in Germany but I guess there are no metalheads around the globe who wouldn't know such classics like "Bad Boys Don't Play Rock'n'Roll" or "Rock'n'Roll Outlaw". As usual, Angry Anderson, their stocky, bald singer was responsible for fueling the rock'n'roll spirit and they managed to top all the bands who played before them. Even the pouring rain couldn't restrain the good time fans of rock'n'roll had there. The party feeling reached everybody and I assume only a few went to sleep after the lights went out instead of having fun and beer... (Katalin)



crowd ©Nico Wobben I still had time till Debris Inc. so I decided to check W.E.T. Stage for the first time that day. The schedule was messed up so I didn’t know whom I was going to see. When I entered the tent I was surprised how many people gathered there, making the place really wet. The heat in the tent made everybody sweaty just like the walls of the tent. I didn’t know who was playing but I got hooked immediately on their death metal influenced thrash music. It turned out to be JUSTICE. The catchy rhythms and choruses stuck into my head in a second and at the end I felt like I knew them for ages. They had a stable fanbase who didn’t want to let them go but unfortunately they had to leave. Though they are around for more than 10 years they were kinda newcomers for me. Beside the music I especially like Mitch’s deep growling style. I look forward to see them sooooon again! (Katalin)

My way led met back to the W.E.T. stage that was just as crowded as a few hours earlier. Since my departure, nor the temperature nor the humidity dropped just like the number of people that seemed increasing. It wasn't an easy job but I made my way to the first rows to see something from the Danish band WITHERING SURFACE. My interest was based on the short introduction paragraph in the WOA 2002 booklet that talked about a talented group. And it was right. While it's been proved I had too high expectations to more famous bands, Withering Surface was another nice surprise, besides Justice. They played melodic death metal with Scandinavian influences, a bit more complex and agressive than the average bands do. And with slight modern metal touches here and there. But the intensity and natural rawness of their music reached the audience and gained them many new fans, like me. Sure, communicating with the audience was easy for them since their singer seemed to be fluent in German but I can tell you, their music stood for itself. Some songtitles I can recall: "Street Justice", "Repressions", "Secret Life", "Destiny & Me" and a cover from Thin Lizzy - if I remember well. (Katalin)

entrance of the festival area ©Nico Wobben Due to the time-schedule changes I caught EISREGEN at the W.E.T. Stage instead of the band I really wanted to see (Primordial). They are kinda black metal band but their look attracted more attention. While the musicians were ok, there was a half naked guy, wearing a gasmask, with a flag in his hands, standing on the stage. Two other persons, shawls around their faces, wearing military clothes, stood at both sides of the stage, holding machine guns. What's more, there was a violinist lady, confusing me even more. Their lyrics were in German, spoiling me overall. They were really not for me, so I left, looking for something else. (Katalin)


Uwe Lulis is a needed man. Former Grave Digger-guitarist, at the WOA he was first playing with REBELLION and shortly after with Iron Savior. Together with Tomi Göttlich (bass, ex Grave Digger #2), Annihilator-drummer Randy Black and singer Michael Seifert, the rebels had the crowd under control. "Disdaining Fortune" and the old Grave Digger-songs "Braveheart" and "Rebellion" (guess what gave the band their name ;-)) got the folks going and headbanging!! (Paddy)

After Necrophobic I had some free time before Debris Inc. was supposed to play, so I checked DORNENREICH. I've heard many good things about this band from the neighbour-country (Austria) but they couldn't impress me. I like black metal but somehow they weren't my kind. Maybe my expectations were just too high. (Katalin)
Wolf ©Nico Wobben
First band we caught on friday were WOLF. Excellent NWOBHM from Sweden (!), the gig was very good and energetic. These guys just rocked, no big show, no gimmicks, just be yourself and play from the heart - I love that. Just singer Niklas was a bit off-key sometimes as if he wasn't able to hear all he was supposed to hear in the monitor-mix. Most of the songs were from their second cd "Black Wings", like "Nightstalker", "Genocide", "Venom" and "I Am The Devil". (Marlies)

Though it was really not my kind of music I went to see METALUCIFER, the Japanese heavy metal band. Many people wanted to see them but I guess it was rather for their "speciality". Yepp, I know there are many, many metalheads over there and Japan has great bands as well but Metalucifer is something else. Typical, clichés heavy metal in its purest form, sometimes even boring/tiring. Though it was sort of a privilege to see them, because they don't come to play in Europe on a regular basis and it was even more interesting to see their countrymen who took the long way from Tokyo to Wacken. I hope I don't sound ignorant but I have to admit, I've never met metal fans from Asia before. Anyway, after two songs I was ready to look for something else... (Katalin)

After Borknagar I chose MEGAHERZ to check out. They were told to be a Rammstein-copy - and remembering the frenetic Rammstein gig from some years earlier - I thought it was worth the time to check them. "Are these the members of the same one band?" - this was the first question that popped up in my mind when I saw these guys on stage. They didn't have a comprehensive look, and I know music is what counts, so it's just my two cents. Otherwise they played similar music to Rammstein but heavier and more "metallish", I found them pretty symphathetic and they even seemed to be quite popular, regarding the number of people who watched their performance. (Katalin)
Dragonlord ©Nico Wobben
I unfortunately missed Destruction because I really wanted to see DRAGONLORD, the black/thrash sensation around Testament mastermind Eric Peterson. At the time I only knew one song so far ("Rapture"), but my god (err.. satan), they ruled!!! They played most songs from their debut album "Rapture" like the titletrack, "Unholyvoid" and "Tradition And Fire". Incredibly tight and heavy and Eric's screaming vocals were very powerful too. Talking about Testament: other names that might ring a bell are Steve Smyth on guitar, Jon Allen on drums and bassist Derrick Ramirez (so no, not Steve DiGiorgio as on the CD) from the old Legacy line-up! Last but not least you got "Sexy Sir" Lyle Livingston on keys. Kick-ass!! (Marlies/Katalin)

PUNGENT STENCH is a well known Austrian metal band, playing chaotic, heavy, thrash-death mixture. I haven't seen them before live but I guess the "costumes" they wore at Wacken are not their regular clothes. I know it was really hot that day, but they looked like some actors taking abreak during an adult movie shoot. Their singer had leather straps on, while the blonde guitarist wore a skin-tight, black shorty and a sleeveless nylon shirt. Sure, they were pretty cool and sexy, but I couldn't take them seriously. Here are some song titles they played: "Extreme Deformity", "True Life", "Viva El Muerte", "For God Your Soul", "Viva Il Vaticao". (Katalin)

Candlemass ©Nico Wobben CANDLEMASS' show had been pushed forward, as a result of extreme weather conditions in Hamburg and their flight back, so unfortunately many people missed their gig. Must be very frustrating for those who came from far to see this reunion and didn't already see them at Bang Your Head either. But we did and that show couldn't be topped, maybe due to the beautiful surroundings and the catwalk there. On the other hand, here at Wacken it was dark, so that was also good for a show in a different way on the candle-packed stage. Apparently this band should've played one of the big stages since the crowd that came to see the legendary Swedes was much too large for the space before the party stage. And that was even without all those that sadly missed the gig! The atmosphere was awesome and so was Messiah. He was wearing a black frock with red lining, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who remembers his famous t-shirt "Joey Tempest is fucking homo". Well, times are changing... He took no prisoners when doing his doom-dance and sending his incredible powerful voice out over the Wacken meadows, singing songs (together with the audience) like "Mirror Mirror", "Bewitched", "Well Of Souls", "Dark Of The Veils Of Death", "Dark Reflections", "Sorcerer's Pledge" and closing with "Solitude". (Marlies/Katalin)

Before anything would be said, I have to tell you I'm not a MY DYING BRIDE fan. I liked their albums for their dark beauty and dark romanticism but it was always too depressive and their long songs boring for me, but of course I wanted to see them live. They played at the Party Stage, that was not fair with the band, nor with their fans. And on the other hand open air festivals are not the best place for this kind of music. Its atmosphere, melancholy, mournfulness and dark beauty should be played in a dark club and not under trees, surrounded by beer and food sellers. Some songs from the set: "Sear Me", "Your River", "Your Shameful Heaven", "Cry Of Mankind", "The Dreadful Hours", "My Hope The Destroyer". (Katalin)

crowdsurfer ©Nico Wobben Since I wasn't really into Warlord and I was getting really tired, I thought on my way back to my tent I should check the last band on Party Stage. It was RED AIM who played simple hard rock/metal music. They all were dressed in the same clothes that wouldn't be a problem till their singer wildly ripped open his shirt, showing us his beerbelly. Well, that was the moment I felt it was time to go to bed. I was on the concert area since 10am so I wasn't in a party mood, I just wanted to lay down inside my tent. And after seeing bands like Vomitory, Dying Fetus, Candlemass and My Dying Bride, I didn't feel like listening to Red Aim. On the other hand the number on my watch was closer to 3am than to 2, and since I'm a good girl *evilsmile* it was really time to end this day. (Katalin)


When I woke up Friday morning I took notice of the fact that it was still raining. So, with an evil smile on my face I headed to the Black Metal Stage to see VOMITORY and the already drunk guys wallowing in the mud:) Can you imagine anything better to start your day than seeing your favourite death metal band in the morning? Well, I was not the only one with this opinion. A nice crowd gathered to see the Swedish horde as the first band on the Black Metal Stage and at 10.40 they entered the stage. Despite the early time and the continuously pouring rain, our blood started to boil due to the list of songs like "Revelation Nausea", "Chaos Fury", "Heaps of Blood". They closed their set with "Nervegasclouds", leaving us wanting more. 30 minutes was by far not enough of their old-school, melodic, brutal death metal. I hope next time (whenever that will be) they can play longer. (Katalin)

headbanger ©Nico Wobben The next band I saw was NECROPHOBIC from Sweden. I was really eager to see this band for a while, to listen to their unique mixture of black-death metal live. Mostly they played songs from "Bloodhymns" but songs like "Nailing The Holy One" or "Nocturnal Silence" were also heard. They had only 30 minutes to play as well but I guess that was enough to convince those who hadn't seen them before. What do I mean? I think this band is underrated and should get more attention. They had an awesome singer, Tobias Sidegar, whose shrieking black metal vocals, growlings and clean vocals are working out very well. Fortunately many people came to see them, but still not enough, in my opinion. (Katalin)

After Justice I hurried back to see DEBRIS INC with Dave Chandler (St. Vitus) and Ron Holzner (Trouble) but just like Dornenreich it wasn't what I expected and after a few minutes I looked for other entertainment. (Katalin)

I forgot about time while I was at the Wet Stage so I missed the first minutes of the DYING FETUS gig. They were ready to crush on the great amount of fans, their appearence attracted them to the Black Metal Stage. The songs rumbled powerfully after one another and I dare to say they even played them faster than they are doing it on the albums. Dying Fetus was responsible for one of the most intensive, tightest shows at the festival. They played songs from the albums "Killing On Adrenaline" and "Destroy The Oppositon" and pleased us with two brand new songs too!!! The sound was great, maybe a bit lower than usual but it gave the music a heavier edge. It was really headbanging time. They closed the set with "Skullfuck", dedicating this song to the females in the audience :) Thank you guys for the great time! (Katalin)

Borknagar ©Nico Wobben BORKNAGAR's schedule was 5.15pm - 6.00pm. This year, WOA had a much better sound than the years before but of course that also depended on where you were actually standing. For me, standing in the middle of the second row, it was alright. In the beginning, with the opener "The Genuine Pulse", it wasn't the best sound, but after a few songs it was fine. Borknagar had a great selection of songs, mixed through the albums, except from the first one. Second song was "The Eye Of Oden", followed by "Ruins Of The Future", Lars left the keyboards occasionally joining Vintersorg doing backing vocals and headbanging. "The Black Token", "Gods Of My World" and of course, "Colossus", "Ocean Rise" and "Ad Noctum" could not be left out. Unfortunately with "The Dawn Of The End" the last song was played. Vintersorg and Tyr proved once more how good they fit in Borknagar. They did a good show though Jens, having braids for this show, looked a bit strange esp. while he was headbanging, but his riffs were flying out along with Øystein's! As usual, Asgeir was hardly to be seen behind his drum kit, but well heard! The great audience shouted for more, but due to the tight time schedules it wasn't possible. (Morgana)

Destruction ©Nico Wobben Unfortunately the time schedule was against Dragonlord. Before they finished, it was time for DESTRUCTION on the Black Metal Stage, so many left to see the thrash legends; not to mention the interference, since the Black Metal Stage was way too loud for the Party Stage. Destruction is a band that needs no introduction. The living legends of German thrash metal are back after many years, so it was obvious that many people were there to see them. As always Schmier and Mike were in a good mood, enjoying the show as much as their fans and Marc, their new drummer, seemed to feel as comfortable in his playing as if he would have been a Destruction member since the beginning. Congratulations to him! Fireworks, explosions, lots of smoke made their show even more memorable (especially when the crowd went really insane and hay was flying above the moshpit, with the flames and sparks in the "background" LOL!). But I guess Mike would remember it a bit differently, since he had some technicals problems with his guitar. But no matter what, he headbanged like crazy, just watching him made my neck ache. Some song titles: "The Butcher Strikes Back", "Nailed To The Cross", "Bestial Invasion", "Curse The Gods", "Thrash 'till Death" (!!!!). (Katalin)

Till half past ten, thousands of fans gathered to see the show of CHILDREN OF BODOM. I loved their first album, their second work was ok but since then I haven't payed too much attention to them, since they became too predictable. No offence, they still rock, but for me it's too repetative. The same energetic stuff over and over again, gaining new fans every time, but for me one album (actually I have two) from them is enough for a lifetime. Anyway, their performance was well done. Beside their hits ("Silent Night", "Hate Me", "Bodom After Midnight", "Mask Of Sanity", "Everytime I Die", "Deadnight Warrior", "Lake Bodom", "Children Of Bodom", "Kissing The Shadows", "Towards Dead End", "Powerwall" - yepp, all their songs are like hits for their fans) we can taste their new album with "Needled 24/7". I can tell you, it was written in the same vein as the previous ones, a typical COB song. Alexi admitted his hangover (and the rest of mudwrestlers ©Nico Wobben the band members') but despite of this difficulty they made a good show, giving a good time to their fans as well. His every second word was fucking-related, but I guess it was only me who found this behaviour a bit forced. One other thing I would like to mention was the lights. During their set mostly green and blue lights dominated the stage and the pic of COB as they played on the blue, smokey stage is still clearly in my head. (Katalin)

As the JBO show was coming to an end, more and more people lined up for IN EXTREMO in front of the Black Metal Stage, watching as all the preparations for their show were going. Soon everything was in its place: gallows, rusty shields, harp, bagpipes, horns, flutes, hurdy-gurdy, a huge percussion... etc. From the early days of In Extremo, that started with medieval, sort of ambient music, they are still keeping their folkish, medieval-like roots but the music is strongly Rammstein influenced now. I'm sure many people say now they are commercialized but I still think it's good what they are doing. Combining the ancient folk melodies with electronical music that is the very nature of the 20th century, that is still a groundbreaking idea. Their performances are spectacular, entertaining and give us a hint of our culture and the absolutely non-trendy folk songs. Their melodies are dancable and you feel like singing along with them, as their fans in Wacken did. Not just their music is original, but their appearance too. They are wearing leather skirts and moccasines and to complete the medieval market atmosphere, they entertained us with acrobatic and juggler stunts. Some songs I remember hearing there: "Vollmond", "Lebensbeichte", "Über den Wolken", "Unter dem Meer", "Santa Maria". (Katalin)


crowd ©Nico Wobben While I was waiting for the next band on the Black Metal Stage, I caught the Italian DOMINE playing on the True Metal Stage. Their epic-fantasy metal wasn't my kind of music so I payed more attention to the organizers "fight" against the mud with the help of straw bales. But I saw there were a bunch of wholehearted fans of Domine who enjoyed their gig, especially the one who waved an Italian flag. (Katalin)

Due to my backstage pass, which I won at Noise Records, I could watch the gig of IRON SAVIOR from the stage, which really was a great experience! I met the guys, Jan-S. Eckert (bass), Piet Sielck (vocals, guitar), Uwe Lulis (guitar), Piesel (guitar) and ... hey, where's Thomas Nack ??? "He broke some fingers" I was told, but Uli Kusch (Masterplan) was nearby and willing & able to play. The five played a great gig, but during the song "Warrior" some technichal problems appeared, but Piet just put the guitar away and went on singing - there were two guitars left anyway ;-) Besides that song they played "Protector", the titletrack of their current album "Condition Red", "Titans Of Our Time" and "Mindfeeder" from that very record, and "Iron Savior", "Coming Home" and "Atlantis Falling" as an encore. It was a great experience to be backstage during a concert, and I didn't want to miss it!! (Paddy)
Savatage ©Nico Wobben
SAVATAGE is a band I always love to see because of their best-of sets, even if your favorite songs probably end up in some medley (but it still rocks to hear at least a bit of "Sirens"!). Damond was very convincing as always, but Jack Frost was sadly missed. And as much as I adore Jeff Waters in his Annihilator, he looked visually a bit out of place, filling in for the returned-but-not-able-to-do-the-tour Pitrelli. Musically the audience got a again superb show without many surprises, but who cares... we all got our favorite Savatage parts, whether it's "Hall Of The Mountain King", "Edge Of Thorns", "Wake Of Magellan" or the ever incredible "Believe" and "Chances". (Marlies)

Though he is over 40, you can hardly believe how energetic BRUCE DICKINSON still is... He ran back and forth, climbing everything climbable on the stage. I don't know him personally and I haven't heard about him having a bad personality, but can anybody tell me why was he so "unfriendly" with the camera guys? He brought total different musicians than we knew from an older tour (maybe the Skunkwork guys?). His godly voice could be heard loud and clear everywhere, we sang along to his own personal gems like "Tears Of A Dragon", "The Tower", "Tattood Millionaire", "Welcome Home", "The Prisoner", "Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter" as well as Iron Maiden's "Revelations" and "Powerslave"! (Katalin/Marlies)

I had some time left till In Extremo's gig, so I checked what was going on on the True Metal Stage: JBO. In fact, I coudn't have ignored them on my way from the Wet Stage either. These guys in their pink-black dresses were the real entertainers that night. Playing metal cover songs but in their very own transcriptions. Since the first time I saw Tom Angelripper a few years ago (at the Dynamo Open Air) German metalheads can't really surprise me. Unbelievable amount of listeners watched them, and sure, they were partying, enjoying all the advantages an open-air festival might have. (Katalin)

Warlord ©Nico Wobben I'm no Hammerfall/Joacim Cans-fan so I cringed when I heard he would be the new singer for WARLORD's reunion! But he proved me wrong! From the first song it was clear that Joacim fitted the Warlord songs very well, his vocal performance as well as his stage-presence left nothing to be desired for. Joacim sang from his heart, I think he even enjoyed this Warlord gig more than the long-time fans of the band. Next to the new songs they of course played the old classics such as "Deliver Us From Evil" which put huge grins on many many older faces in the crowd! Another nice act from Warlord was that they threw a few t-shirts in the audience. Who should tell now "Thanks for the support!"? (Marlies/Katalin)



One of the bands I came for to see at Wacken was KALMAH. Many times they are compared to Children Of Bodom but I like them better. I find their music more raw and natural and while COB's music is repetative for me, Kalmah always have something little different to offer. They have two albums in their discography and I love them equally so far. So I hurried to the W.E.T. Stage and as usual the tent was fully packed. Kalmah opened with "Hollowheart", from the second album, followed by these songs one after another: "Swamphell", "Heritage Of Berija", "Principle Hero", "Dance Of The Water", "Evil In You", "The Blind Leader", "They Will Return" and closed with "Hades". They played with the same intensity and precision as it can be heard on their albums. I watched their gig with a big grin on my face, they lived up to all the expectations I had about them. I was completely satisfied, though it wasn't for the sound they had... They Marlies cooled down by a waterhose:) ©Marlies weren't too talkative either but anyway, fans of great music don't need to talk to enjoy it. We really wanted to see them and we didn't want to let them go off from the stage so the organizer let them play one more song. It was my first time to enjoy a "swampfeast" but I hope it wasn't the last. (Katalin)

SUIDAKRA was the only band I saw on the W.E.T. stage. Unfortunately the sound wasn't that good, there were probs now and then, but none of the fans really cared about it. There was a party mood from the first till the last song. The atmosphere was fantastic. "Pendragon's Fall" made a great opener, songs like "The Well Of Might", "The Highking", "Darkane Times" and "Wartunes" just made you bang the whole time, of course the rest of the setlist as well. With "Dragonbreed" Suidakra's schedule time was over. The crowd did not want to let them go and here I really wished that they could have played one more song. If you like extreme metal with folkish vibes, for sure you should check them out. (Morgana)


I arrived too early to the Black Metal Stage Saturday morning and instead of just standing and waiting there I took a look at Party Stage where the American ROTTWEILLER were already playing. They started in 1983 and this was the first time they played in Europe so it made them a bit interesting, but otherwise their typical power metal didn't take my attention. Though their singer, Paul, has an incredible voice capacity. (Katalin)

Evergrey ©Nico Wobben Quite early was the schedule for EVERGREY, 11.10am - 11.55am. It was great that there were a lot of fans at the Party Stage at this time. It was hard to guess how many, between 5-6000, the band had expected around 1000. After the intro they opened with "The Encounter" from the latest album "In Search Of Truth" followed by "Solitude Within". Unfortunately after "Rulers Of The Mind" the band had some technical problems. Meanwhile, the audience was shouting "Evergrey, Evergrey...", which has given the little break a special touch. The crowd was so amazing, that Tom put all his frustration about the technical problems into his singing and it showed! He was in top shape! The band carried on with "Watching The Skies" and "Mark Of The Triangle". There was a little problem again with the intro to "Nosferatu" but was solved quickly. "The Masterplan" was the last song of the set, which was in my opinion far too short. Even if the sound wasn't the best, Tom and the clan did a great show, which got well honoured by their fans. (Morgana)

I had seen the swedish folk-power-metallers FALCONER at the Bang Your Head festival, therefore I knew that singer Matthias Blad isn't a man who jumps around on stage, but nevertheless, the gig was fun anyway. Blad has a fantastic voice and he was really surprised when he saw the crowd. He seemed a little too shy for those kind of gigs ... but the guitarist and bass-player tried to communicate with the audience. At the very beginning of the show, the fans sang the chorus of "Clarion Call", but they had to wait until the end of the gig. Meanwhile, they did "Mindtraveller", "Enter The Glade" and the swedish-sung traditional song "We Sold Our Homesteads", what a great show. After the "Clarion Call" the audience was happy! (Paddy)
Vanden Plas ©Nico Wobben
Because of Exodus' gig I saw only half of VANDEN PLAS but I'm glad I did see at least that. Great as always, but I had never seen them have that much fun on stage! Andy Kuntz was running around and gesturing like a maniac and of course in the meantime singing like it's nobody's business. I believe it was "Healing Tree" or "Free The Fire" that he dedicated to his recently deceased father and another favorite of mine was "Rainmaker", as always. (Marlies)

US metal from HEATHEN was next and that was amazing. Until those Asian girls came to dance on stage (read: rub themselves up to the musicians). It looked really silly at a metal show. But until then this was another great reunion, and gems like "Opiate Of The Masses", "Hypnotized", "Death By Hanging", "Open The Grave" and "Heathen" were a treat! Vicious Rumors guitarist Ira Black filled in for Doug Piercy, Mezarkabul ©Nico Wobben who couldn't join the band on this trip because of his US Navy commitments. (Marlies)

The most anticipated gig for me was MEZARKABUL. They arrived on the site too late and their gig was rescheduled a few times, ending up at 8.45pm at the same stage. Not a lot of people showed up, maybe because of this. I just recently got to know this band and "Unspoken" has been spinning rounds in my CD player a lot lately. And I loved to hear those songs live! "Lions In A Cage", "Unspoken"... Unfortunately no "Pain", but I guess it's too long for a relatively short festival gig. Great musicianship, but esp. singer Murat isn't much of a frontman. He stayes behind the microphone standard most of the time, even though he's not restricted in any way by an instrument. Nevertheless an impressive gig for me. (Marlies)

A number of reformed, renewed bands played at WOA this year, one of them was the Swedish UNLEASHED. They were on my top 10 list of most wanted bands at WOA 2002. And they proved I was right. New songs and classics were played with the same power and exploding energy as years ago. We headbanged or sang along with them - not caring if I would be able to talk next morning or not - when they wanted us to sing. They dominated us with their music and we obeyed its call. Songs we were privileged to hear: "To Asgaard We Fly", "Victims Of War", "Shadows In The Deep", "Death Metal Victory", "In The Name Of God", "I Don't Want To Be Born", "Into Glory Ride", "A Neverending Hate". (Katalin)

. UM'ers gathering incl. Katalin on the right:) ©Karldin It was getting closer to midnight and I could hardly stand on my feet when GREEN CARNATION's time arrived. I liked their first album, their second work was an awesome musical piece so they were the other band I attended WOA for. I was thinking a lot about their possible playlist since they had an hour long schedule and their "Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness" album consisted only of one song of 60 minutes. And they surprised me. "We are Green Carnation from Norway", announced Kjetil Nordhus, their vocalist, and they began to play "Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness". It was a bit modified but still the same. This was the most beautiful piece of art, called music, I've heard at WOA, an experience that topped everything. They didn't have any stage decoration, they wore simple, everyday clothes, they were just natural, as the flowing of their music. Kjetil encouraged us to clap several times and we, who longed for them in every possible way, complied his wish. During the long instrumental parts he went backstage to lit a cigarette. It was great to see the ex-In The Woods member again, but it's a shame only a few people came to see them. Yes, I know it was very late and it was the last night of backstage luxury;) ©Cora the festival that many spent rather partying or preparing for their departure, but they will never know what they have missed. (Katalin)

After Green Carnation, HAGGARD was supposed to play. It would have been great to see them but the long hours I spent standing on my feet, watching bands or walking back and forth between the stages, minutes seemed to be hours. Their soundcheck was getting longer and longer, nearby Onkel Tom was partying drunk on the stage, so I lost all my patience and went to look for some rest in my tent. (Katalin)


Finally at 10.40am, CRIMINAL, the Chilean thrash band, kicked off on the Black Metal Stage. Their first song was an instrumental one and after that several songs followed from their latest album, "Cancer", just like from their debut. The Spanish lyriced song was a unique moment of the festival just like when they played a cover from Pentagram (former band of Anton Reisenegger). Yesterday it was Vomitory who were responsible for a good start, today Criminal was the winner in this competition. Only the bass player had long hair in Criminal and most of the time just his flying hair was visable from him as he headbanged wildly, just like their enthusiastic keyboardplayer. Unfortunately there were some technical problems at his part because even when I saw him playing, I couldn't hear anything from that. Anyway, they kicked ass and woke up everybody with their massive music. (Katalin)

Amon Amarth ©Nico Wobben The second highlight of Saturday was AMON AMARTH. The warrior gods of Swedish viking death metal conquered Wacken in a moment. They mostly played songs from their last two albums, "The Avenger" and "The Crusher" ("Masters of War", "Ride For Vengeance", "Death In Fire", "The Last With Pagan Blood", "Annihilation Of Hammerfest", "The Fall Through Gunnungagap") but they hadn't forgotten about songs like "Victorious March" either, that closed their show. And they teased us with a brand new track, "Death In Fire", from their upcoming album. Not considering the sound problems they had during the first songs, it was another ass kicking show. Singer Johan Hegg's voice is as powerful as he looks, impressive! But I would like to complain about something else: 45 minutes from this powerful, melodic death metal, wasn't enough. Next time, let them have a longer set. (Katalin/Marlies)

I went to see MACABRE from Chicago. Their lyrics are based on (serial)killers themes and their music is mid-paced, heavy black-death metal, if you weren't familiar with them. They introduced all their songs, summarizing their stories. There setlist consisted of (among others): "Vampire Of Düsseldorf", "Alber Fish Was Worse Than Any Fish In The Sea", "Saldiac", "Night Stalker", "Hitchhiker", "Ed Gein" and three brand new songs. (Katalin)

Immortal ©Nico Wobben IMMORTAL's Horgh entered the stage, announcing their first song, "Call For War". While the audience was hailing, Abbath and Saroth marched in and the Sons Of Northern Darkness launched their devastating storm, called music upon us. Their black metal tends to have a stronger and stronger thrash side, that made them really popular in the last few years. They didn't care communicating with the listeners, they simple played the songs after each other. BTW, it provided some extra minutes for one more song, so I'm sure nobody missed their speech. Most of the songs in their set were from their latest album "Sons Of Northern Darkness", but they knew they were supposed to play a classic like "Damned In Black". I only felt sorry because they totally left "Pure Holocaust" out. Other songs: "One By One", "Solarfall", "Tyrants", "Withstand The Fall Of Time". They finished as simple as they started: suddenly. Black metal should not be played in bright sunlight at 4pm, the corpse paint looks a bit out of place in bright daylight, but at least it was so hot as if we would have been in hell... (Katalin)

Hypocrisy ©Nico Wobben Two years ago HYPOCRISY played late in the night. Then I was standing behind lots of too tall guys and I didn't want to push my way through the crowd, so I could only listen to their music. This year they were playing in the afternoon and though I was still standing far from the stage, at least I saw them! Fortunately they didn't force their latest effort "Catch 22" upon us - only two songs as far as I remember: "Destroyed" and "Don't Judge Me" - rather made a nice package from Hypocrisy classics, like "Pleasure Of Molestation", "The Fourth Dimension", "Penetralia", not to mention the legendary "Roswell 47", or my personal favourite "Fire In The Sky" - I can't get enough from Peter's shrieking vocals. As he screamed "Wake me up from this nightmare", it still echoes in my ears. After 45 minutes they left the stage but just to tease us, because they returned to play two more songs, "Fractured Millennium" and "Final Chapter" - what a proper goodbye. Watching Hypocrisy live in romantic sunset... one of the "weird" dreams a metal-hearted music fan might ever have. (Katalin)

CANNIBAL CORPSE have a bad reputation in Germany. Everybody knows they are not allowed to play songs from their first three albums, so playing as one of the main bands at WOA might be a real challenge for them. Of course they had their own comments on it, just before they played "I Will Kill Horny Henry.. ©Nico Wobben You". Last time I saw them was in Vienna at the Anti Xmas festival in December and now they played at a nice August sunset. What a difference between the places but it didn't affect their music. Aggressive, tight death metal in the American vein, a bit dry for my death metal taste. Though I can't stop myself to start headbanging to their music as soon as the songs are rolling in full power... Just like all the other bands who played before them on the Black Metal Stage this day, the sound was pretty bad at the first songs. In case of black and death metal bands, bad sound results in a noise-mess. Fortunately the technicans fixed these problems, sooner or later. Among their setlist the following songs appeared: "Fucked With A Knife", "Perverse Suffering", "Stripped, Raped And Strangled", "Unleashing The Bloodthirsty". (Katalin)

Several great thrash bands played at WOA this year, the last from the list was KREATOR. They were among the first thrash bands I got to listen to many years ago and I still adore all their works. Sure, there were ups and downs in their carreer as well, but Kreator are still THE thrash band for me. In the background a huge flag with their latest cover was hung up and they played a nice compilation from their albums, all classics: "Violent Revolution", "Reconquering The Throne", "Extreme Aggression", "People Of The Lie", "Phobia", "Pleasure To Kill", "King Of Hell", "Flag Of Hate", "Renewal", "Servant In Heaven", "King In Hell" and their old band hymn "Tormentor". (Katalin)


Singer Andy Mück revived the cult-band STORMWITCH again and they recorded a new CD, so this show was a reunion many old fans had been looking forward to, but we also got to hear some of the new songs, like title track "Dance With The Witches". Unfortunately the CD wasn't out yet, but the new songs seemed to go down well with the fans. Most successful of Vicious Rumors ©Nico Wobben course were the old classics such as "Eye Of The Storm", "Ravenlord" and "Walpurgis Night". (Marlies)

VICIOUS RUMORS were taping this show so they gave it all they got and so did the crowd. Geoff was clearly moved by the responses and kept thanking the crowd with his hand on his heart. Well, we should be thanking them because they gave us an excellent best of set again with a.o. "Down To The Temple", "Abandoned", "March Or Die", "Don't Wait For Me" and "On The Edge". Brian's voice left many spectators standing with their mouths wide open, awesome! But of course I already knew that. During the show Horny Henry came on stage, apparently a Wacken crew member. Big devil mask/head, leather clothes (in that heat!) and a staff made of bones and a skull. Funny dude. (Marlies)

NUCLEAR ASSAULT's gig was a cool nostalgic trip back to the 80's. Some of my favorites, like "Sin", "Trail Of Tears", "New Song" and the immense fast "Hang The Pope" came by, performed with the same Exodus ©Nico Wobben energy as always. Dan Lilker was the only one of these New Yorkers that still looked the same as always, but the voice was unmistakenly John Connolly's! Great! (Marlies)

The second trip down memory lane that day was EXODUS. Old fashioned Bay Area thrash! Of course Paul Baloff is sadly missed (R.I.P.), but Steve 'Zetro' Souza has always been a more dan adequate replacement, great frontman! It was one big party with songs like "Bonded Like Blood", "A Lesson In Violence", "And Then There Were None" and "Toxic Waltz". (Marlies)

To be honest, I was disappointed by EDGUY. The German power-metallers did a usual show, they seemed a bit bored, and if you have seen them a few times, Tobi Sammet's announcements get boring… But talking about the playlist and the performance, Edguy did a good job. But playing "Pharao", their longest song, which is a bit long-winded IMO, is a bit unfortunate. It would really have been great if Blind Guardian-singer Hansi Kürsch had sung "Out Of Control" with the guys, as on the record, but it was OK ;-) Some other great songs were "Babylon" and the titlesong of Tobi Sammet's all-star-project "Avantasia". (Paddy)

Blind Guardian ©Nico Wobben BLIND GUARDIAN truly were the headliner. The German band played for two hours, more than any other band on the festival. The gig really impressed me, not only the great performance, but also the pyros were excellent. The stage looked fantastic, it's unbelievable what one can do with two huge white towels. The highlights of their setlist was without a doubt the "Bard's Song", sung by thousands of people, and the 14 minute-track "And Then There Was Silence". Some surprises were within the setlist, such as "Lord Of The Rings" or "Majesty". But, of course the four bards also played their "usual" stuff like "Journey Through The Dark", "Welcome To Dying", "Lost In The Twilight Hall" and last but not least "Valhalla". Just a little bad thing to mention is Hansi Kürsch's stageacting, but that's not necessary for the music ;-) The fans could see that the band was impressed by the mass of the crowd, nevertheless it was one of the best shows at WOA02. (Paddy)

War of Wrath
Into The Storm
Welcome To Dying
UDO (no review) ©Nico Wobben Nightfall
Script For My Requiem
Lord Of The Rings
Journey Through The Dark
Mordred's Song
Bright Eyes
And Then There Was Silence
Born In A Mourning Hall
The Bard's Song
Time Stands Still
Imaginations From The Other side

Lost in the Twilight Hall
Mirror Mirror.

submitted by Marlies 01.01.2003









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