Metalfest  Open Air Germany May 13-15 | SONIC EXCESS MAGAZINE 



May 12-15



 The European metal world now witnessed the birth of an yet incomparable new series of brutal metal festivals. In 2010, some of the most important people/agencies/promotors joined their forces to create METALFEST OPEN AIRS ( All coordinated under the direction of booking and management agency Rock The Nation ( Organizers are well known for bringing all the big names on tour for European metalheads. Also this name is inseparable connected to some other big festival-tours happening regularly e.g. for the fans of black and death metal there are Neckbreaker's Ball and Full Of Hate, fans of pagan, folk and viking metal should visit Paganfest or Heidenfest also there is Into Darkness festival tour for those who prefer gothic and dark wave. We were able to visit METALFEST GERMANY ( in Dessau which was organized in cooperation with the established and well-known club HELLRAISER ( from Leipzig.



 The festival started Wednesday May 12th , already with a warm-up party. This one was needed, because the weather gods weren't on the side of the people who have been camping on the festival ground for most of the three days of the festival it's been cold and rainy. However, that couldn't keep the few thousand German metalheads from partying. They just had a couple of drinks more to keep themselves warm and the festival madness went its way: Three days, two stages and more than 70 bands – a week-end loaded with brutal metal and endless party... what else can you ask for? So forget about the sucking weather get yourself a drink, put up the horns in the air and bang your head it's time for METALFEST!!!











Thursday 13th of May


 We arrived Friday to the festival, but we will give you a short insight on what was on the bill for the first day: Headliner of the first evening was no one less than BOLT THROWER. They are known for performing only one festival per year and per country so the METALFEST has been honored with the appearance of the titans of melodic death metal – no BOLT THROWER now glory!  Also well known acts like LEGION OF THE DAMNED, NEVERMORE, ROTTING CHRIST as well as the up and coming Greek thrashers SUICIDAL ANGELS, who by the way, seem to have the potential to become a type of  "new Slayer" have been sharing the stages with many others.


Friday 14th of May


 On Friday, the people just crawled late and slowly out of their warm sleeping bags and their (mostly) dry tents. So it took some time to fill the space in front of the main-stage while first opening bands played there. With the performance of demonic masked black metal act URGEHAL from Norway, people started to get alive.  Also SABIENDAS, one of the most promising newcomer acts of the whole festival blow the people away with their massive blast of old school death metal riffs and a powerful performance. Back to the main-stage the bloody red-faced vikings of VARG still performed and got a good response by the audience. Directly followed by VADER. This band is more than 25 years in business and known for restless touring around the globe. They are kind of the precursor for the triumphal procession of Polish death metal. Despite the rain ,the fans in front of stage couldn't resist shaking their heads to classical VADER songs like "Wings", "Sothis", "Shadowsfear", "Black To The Blind" as well as to songs like "Never Say My Name" and "Impure" coming from their recent album, Necropolis. A typical German phenomenon probably is the next act CORVUS CORAX who set up on stage with lots of medieval instruments and bagpipes. It continued in the more melodic way with EPICA symphonic female fronted metal from the Netherlands. Surprisingly the guy on the bass was a known face among the fans of more extreme metal, the former bassplayer of death/grindcore band ABORTED. By the way, EPICA are coming back to North America in November with SCAR SYMMETRY and BLACKGUARD ,two bands who have recently been touring US alongside Polish death metal band HATE and HYPOCRISY. But back to METALFEST in Germany where on the main stage hell has gotten unleashed by Glen Benton and his companions of DEICIDE. It was as if it GOD was trying to dowse the fires of hell and let it keep raining cats and dogs on the massive crowd that was hailing DEICIDE.A never before seen package entered the stage afterwards. The Pagan Alliance consisting of ELUVIETIE from Switzerland and FINNTROLL from Finland have entered the stage together to perform together. Up to the very last second people thought they were about to fool the fans until they witnessed this special split show live at METALFEST. That was one in a row of special split shows those bands did together. Due to the fact it's been lasting two slots long it's been enough time to make it over into the Hangar to see what's happening at the Hangar stage. Well, VAN CANTO was performing there. A band playing metal songs using only a drumkit and imitating the rest of the melody/instruments by five a cappella vocalists. Lately discovered in a TV show they have probably been the most outstanding act to be on such a metal festival. However, I still prefer Master Of Puppets performed by Metallica. Outstanding idea and a good attempt VAN CANTO showed on stage, but to transfer all this in an adequate sound and performance live on stage they simply failed. The main stage was headlined by thrash metal veterans TESTAMENT. Chuck Billy & Co. really rocked the stuffing out of the freezing and meanwhile rain-drenched crowd. Lots of the people went into the Hangar afterwards to warm up during the rest of the performance of hangar stage co-headliner MARDUK and the the headliner show of yet another annoying pagan folk metal band named HEIDEVOLK.








 Saturday 15th of May


Well, the highlight to be mentioned from day three, was DECAPITATED from Poland. These guys are not only outstanding musicians, but also bring a sad history with them. So we will dedicate a few lines to this special team. A few years back when they had their break through they have been the youngest and most hyped death metal band. Unfortunately the band has been involved in a terrible accident while being on tour in november 2007. Their drummer Vitek died in that accident while vocalist Covan even today is still in coma and recovering. Last year mainman Vogg, who also is brother of dead drummer Vitek, decided to start over again to keep the band alive in memory of his brother and to continue what they have build up all together. So now DECAPITATED are back with a new line-up. The drums have been taken over by young and talented drummer Krimh from Austria and two Polish landsman of Vogg are to find behind the mic and the bass. Rafal is the new vocalist who has to fill the gap that Covan left. Not an easy job, but he's doing very well. Another very talented musician is Heinrich the new basslplayer, who is also involved in lots of other Polish acts e.g. VESANIA where he is playing together with Orion, who is known as bassist of BEHEMOTH and Daray ex-drummer of VADER who now is with DIMMU BORGIR. Also Heinrich is involved in many other bands as there are Rootwater, UnSun and Masachist. The performance on METALFEST was really successful for the band. Lots of people have been skeptic how the new line-up will work out. After a few minutes everybody has been convinced by the enormous stage presences and massive sound the band has. On the huge banner in the back of stage you could read their motto „from pain to strength“. Having seen this mighty and powerful performance you only can imagine how dreadful the pain must have been! DECAPITATED will head for the US this July to headline this year at SUMMER SLAUGHTER TOUR – so make sure to be there!




 Afterwards the thrashing show of DEATH ANGEL warmed-up the freezing folks before the main stage with an awesome rocking performance instead of the Californian sun. However, the rain still couldn't tear the party down. Pirates of ALESTORM followed. While SEPULTURA where entering stage the line in front of the booth where the signing sessions took place kept growing and growing. It`s been the time BEHEMOTH where about to have their signing session. However even the waiting people in the line couldn't resist the rhythm of the Brazilian monsters of metal and at the latest everybody was shaking heads an tipping toes along SEPULTURA's smash hits "Roots Bloody Roots" and "Refuse/Resist". Not able to resists, was the fulminant set of SIX FEET UNDER. Their set offered everything the dedicated fan wanted to hear like "Feasting On The Blood Of the Insane" and also the obligatory AC/DC cover TNT in the end of the show. It's been visible Chris Barnes has been in a good mood and so the enthusiasm easily did ignite the crowd. It had gotten dark meanwhile and now it was getting dark on stage, too. Long anticipated co-headliner BEHEMOTH conquered the stage. Opening their set with "Ov Fire And The Void" the song their last video has been made of. Followed by "Demigod" from equally named album and "Shemhamforash" also taken from their latest CD Evangelion. The set offered a journey through the band's history and was providing all the well-known tiles like "As Above So Below" from Zos Kia Cultus album, "At The Left Hand Of God" from The Apostasy album where at the end of the dong the drum tech joined Inferno at the drums. So the end of the song got played by two guys and four sticks which was amazing to watch. It all found it's peak and end with "Chant for Ezkaton 2000". For some people, this seemed to be the headliner as a bunch of the crowd left. So they have been missing out on an extraordinary BATHORY-tribute and all-stars project: TWILIGHT OF THE GODS. Alan Nemtheanga (Primordial), Iscariah (Immortal), Nick Barker (Dimmu Borgir, Cradle Of Filth), Blasphemer (Mayhem), Patrik Lindgren (Thyrfing) joined their unholy forces to perform Bathory masterpieces solely. It's been a world premiere and the only show in Germany. This spectacle was exclusive to the European METALFESTs only. What a glorious end for such a great festival. And those who did not had enough already could directly make it to the Hangar stage to watch the second half of SHINING's performance and the last show of the whole festival was also given there in the Hangar by SKYFORGER.





































 It has been some really great days on the festival. The weather was not the best, but it didn't matter much and was not in the hands of the promotors. Everything else the promotors was able to control was absolutely well organized. Here especially to name the great crew from Hellraiser Club in  Leizpig and all the other people in staff and security. Everybody has always been really nice and helpful with everything. That's how a festival should be... And we're already looking forward to what the METALFESTs will have to offer next year!



 Photos and Review by: Jana Stöcker



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