2013-05-17 DE – Gelsenkirchen - Amphitheater

U.D.O. - Ashes Of Ares - Audrey Horne - Denial Of God - Fleshcrawl - Hellish Crossfire

[Dajana] Oh my… the first festival day :) At 2pm the gates got opened and let metal heads from around the world pour in, queuing in long lines before. To get in on time for the first band the NOCTURNAL HALL entourage had to smuggle itself in.
[Psycho] I found the wrist band exchange not that chaotic as it was in the last year. But why they just used a small attachment for underaged fans I don’t know. A different color would have been easier I think. At least security really checked the age and even sniffed at a bottle of ice tea of an obvious underaged fan for alcoholic ingredients. Didn’t experience this before…

:: pics ::

[Dajana] And then time has come to kick off the festival with :: HELLISH CROSSFIRE ::, a Franconia band that only scratched my awareness so far. Straight forward Thrash Metal, raw and earthy, nice guys, I like ;)
[Psycho] I didn’t know the band before either but that’s something that will happen quite often during this festival ;) As an opening act HELLISH CROSSFIRE were quite ok but did not leave any deeper impression.
Setlist: Conquerors Of Black Souls, Into The Old And Evil, Orgasmic Rush, Eternal Tyranny, Claw Of The Reaper, Too Tough To Die, Night Of The Possessed

[Dajana] Next up are German Death Metal veterans :: FLESHCRAWL ::
[Psycho] And I felt sorry for them. After so many years in business they just made it as the second band on the first festival day… However, the band’s long lasting experience pays off, their show is more confident than the one of the previous band. Musically one of course got classic Sweden Death Metal, solid but not really independent.
Setlist: As Blood Rains From The Sky, Soulskinner, Dark Dimension, Structures Of Death, Damned In Fire, Into The Fire Of Hell, Beneath A Dying Sun, Written In Blood, Flesh Bloody Flesh, Made Of Flesh, Day Man Lost

[Dajana] Thrash, Death and now Black Metal. :: DENIAL OF GOD :: actually replace Nachtmystium, who - after the departure of their guitarist and producer - went on an uncertain hiatus and cancelled all live dates and festival appearances. Not the worst thing as DENIAL OF GOD delivered an excellent show.
[Psycho] Those Danish black metallers get hyped these days as new underground sensation. Well, their last record I did not find much spectacular but live they left pretty much of an impression, especially since DENIAL OF GOD focused on atmosphere instead of high speed blasts what I personally favor much more when it comes to Black Metal. I guess I have to deal with the Danish guys a little bit more. Unfortunately it was the last band that matched the traditionally “heavy” Friday as following bands were more Hard Rock than Metal at all.
Setlist: Funeral, Behind The Coffin’s Lid, The Book Of Oiufael, The Cursed Chamber, Robbing The Grave Of The Priest, Black Dethe

[Dajana] Okay, when it comes to :: AUDREY HORNE :: no one can stop me. I love these boys!
[Psycho] It’s no secret that our boss gets soft knees at this band ;) However, I still cannot do that much with them on CD but I agree, live AUDREY HORNE rock out as hell. It was an entertaining show with a lot of Les Paul posing, groove and a very lively frontman. What more would you want? The crowd anyway went almost crazy. Only following band could not be motivated by this energetic show…
Setlist: Redemption Blues, Bridges And Anchors, Youngblood, Show And Tell, There Goes A Lady, Cards With The Devil, Pretty Little Sunshine, Threshold, Blaze Of Ashes, This Ends Here, Straight Into Your Grave

[Dajana] …And this band was :: ASHES OF ARES :: I needed some time till I knew how to put name and faces together, exactly till Matt Barlow entered the stage. Ah, yes, now the penny has dropped. Unfortunately the show was much disappointing and this band as a co-headliner absolutely misplaced.
[Psycho] No clue who got the crazy idea to put ASHES OF ARES on this slot. With Audrey Horne before and U.D.O. afterwards one almost needed to be ashamed for ASHES OF ARES. This effort as a co-headliner was embarrassing. It also did not help mentioning several times that the band signed a deal with Nuclear Blast. Instead of promoting themselves with a great show ASHES OF ARES just disappointed. They looked unmotivated, there was hardly any movement on stage, songs were average and too close to Iced Earth material, and it all ended up with faulty skills. Not even one single acoustic part was played clean and faultless. It gets worse when you thing about all these young, hungry and good bands in the scene, which actually act as a band and not like just 5 people who surprisingly share one stage. Ok, it was the very first show for ASHES OF ARES, but you can’t go hawk with big names if you just have reached an amateurish level. I hope it was the last time that responsible organizers try out such “experiment”. Even die-hard Barlow fans abandoned this fiasco.
[Sui] Psycho’s judgment reflects my own impression. The names Iced Earth, Nevermore and Malevolent Creation obviously arouse huge expectation on the organizer’s side. But it would not be the first “supergroup” that flops. ASHES OF ARES by no means failed due to the expectations stirred up by the co-headlining slot, the band failed on to its own unpretentiousness, whereas the term “band” gets used here in the broadest sense of the word.
Even if I consider the fact that this was the very first gig and a new band still needs to get it all together ASHES OF ARES lack of major things: good song material. What they offered was just average. With those guys behind there should be much more potential. But most of all the band lacks of the will to enthuse the audience. Goof-ups in playing might be forgiven if the band would have played a good show. If ASHES OF ARES want to leave more than this stale impression they still have to work hard, on their songs, on their live performance and most of all on their attitude.
Setlist: Messenger, Move The Chains, On Warriors Wings, Punishment, This Is My Hell, Dead Mans Plight, Chalice Of Man, The Answer, What I Am, One Eyed King

[Psycho] How to do it right the so-called co-headline could witness afterwards when metal veteran :: U.D.O. :: entered the stage. The Godfather of German Metal got backed by an exquisite live band, technically perfect and heavy rocking. Mr. Dirkschneider is of course no motional wonder (anymore, for that he has his whippersnappers) but his vocal performance was without wrong and blame, despite the cold weather. Insofar the weak performance earlier was quickly forgotten, the mood curve went straight up and the crowd got enthused by old Accept hymns. Two new songs from the upcoming album Steelhammer got presented, as for that there was no time for Fast As A Shark anymore.
[Sui] U.D.O. is still rightly an institution. Even if Accept played a staggering comeback-show at the ROCK HARD FESTIVAL 2010, so I have to state that Mr. Dirkschneider was never away from the scene. Yes, I agree, the old Accept songs got more frenetically welcomed than the others, not least because they are classics, but also his solo material knows how to impress and to convince for years now. Vocal-like Udo Dirkschneider was in best shape and his live band as tight as fuck. Traditional metal, literally “true”, got the party started. I only found the guitar solos unnecessary. As for them I would rather have gotten Fast As A Shark or another classic, or another new song for my sake. Just one plea to the guitarists: hands off from Bach’s Toccata!
Setlist: Steelhammer, Rev-Raptor, They Want War, Metal Machine, Leatherhead, Screaming For A Love Bite, Vendetta, Head Over Heels, Burning Heat, Man And Machine, 24/7, Thunderball, Animal House, Break The Rules, Timebomb, Metal Heart, Balls To The Wall

[Dajana] And so ends the first festival day already. It is bloody cold and I toddle off with AUDREY HORNE in mind.
[Psycho] We still discuss the failed ASHES OF ARES gig, successful band promotion goes differently. Because of the weather we gave in quickly too.
[Sui] It got downright winterly and so I got my butt to the hotel bar with the last tunes of Balls To The Wall, where a server was funnily overstrained with my Whiskey order…


story © Psycho, Sui, Dajana • pics © Dajana