- D-A-D - Ensiferum - Naglefar - Desaster - Mustasch - Horisont
The Saturday was musically kicked off extremely, extremely boring.
Seems like the organizers didn’t want to overstrain the crowd
with some brutal shit. Swedish traditional metal band ::
:: was not really bad, but their performance was pretty
anemic. Especially singer Kristina Karlsson needs to work on her
voice, expression and performance. When the crowd looks tired at
this early time it is understandable but an opening act should be
[Dajana] And I hurried as I got advised not to miss this
band from a photographic aspect. Well, in this case SLINGBLADE
emerged as boring too. Musically they offered only songs from their
2011 debut The Unpredicted Deeds Of Molly Black, so
nothing new either.
Setlist: The Nature Of Evil, Back To Class, Tie Her To
The Cross, The Demon, Slasher On The Loose, This Dream Will End,
Molly's Death, Give Back What You Borrow
Right after things did not turn out much better. (Swedish) Stoner
Rock might be hip these days but there exist already a flood of
bands and :: HORISONT
:: do not make an exception from this. They are musically
great, no doubt, and visually I really found them… um…
cute but I’m already satisfied with such kind of band bands
I came across so far.
[Psycho] To be honest HORISONT lost with the first
tune already. I actually can do preciously little with this kind
of 70s slipslop. At least HORISONT left a much better and
more dedicated impression that its predecessor and went down even
[Sui] Admittedly, the sometimes sluggish and sometimes driving
Black-Sabbath-meets-Deep-Purple-meets-Thin-Lizzy-70s Hard Rock of
highly acclaimed Gothenburg rockers is not really the perfect wake-up
call but musically much more interesting. At first we got the Swedes
only instrumentally as the vocals did not go through the PA (same
problem happened to Ashes Of Ares where it wasn’t that bad
at all), but then HORISONT got the groove. I agree with expressed
opinions that HORISONT would have worked much better in a
small club than such a big open air stage. The singer reminded me
rather of Ian Gillan than Ozzy Osbourne, which isn’t a bad
thing at all.
Setlist: Visa Vägen, On The Run, The Unseen, Crusaders
Of Death, Time Warrior, Magnus Kills, Thunderfight, Nightrider,
Next up are (again) Gothenburg gents ::
:: who emerged to be my surprise of the day. I saw them
live for the first time and had a hell of fun to rock out with them.
And so did the crowd…
[Psycho] I did not see them. My daily exercises for lunch
took its toll. At this chance I did some shopping too…
[Sui] I guess this band is not made for Psycho, because on
paper they take the same line as their fellow countrymen of Horisont.
Live and in color they show worked completely different, one level
better and Horisont weren’t any bad, at least in my opinion.
Frontman Ralf Gyllenhammar and his mates were so likable, rocked
the house and kicked powerfully ass. Their somewhat German announcements
scored as well as their slightly curious sing-along refrains. Also
the sound could convince for the first time now, making finenesses
and various effects (Wah, Envelope filter) audible. To top it all
MUSTASCH waved goodbye with Whitney Houston’s „I
Will Always Love You“ (playback). For me the first highlight
of the day!
Setlist: Black City, Mine, It’s Never Too Late,
I Don’t Hate You, Down In Black, Tritonus/Heresy Blasphemy,
Bring Me Everyone, Speed Metal, Double Nature, I Hunt Alone, Outro
After moderate tunes the crowd got now shaken up with a proper dose
of blackened Thrash Metal. :: DESASTER
:: did not show mercy and played a brutal show, much
welcomed by the enthused audience. There was obviously a need for
more power and speed…
DESASTER was also the only band on the festival who paid
tribute to late Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman with Black Magic.
I actually don’t understand why none else (also the RH crew)
did not do so. Anyway, an extra thank you for that towards Koblenz.
[Dajana] Opinions about DESASTER might differ. You
either love or hate them. Technical finesse and sophisticated songwriting
you won’t find here, even not after a 25 years spanning history.
DESASTER deliver rumbling, earthy, old school Black/Thrash
Metal from the bottom of their hearts. Somehow iconic…
[Sui] I only got the first beats of German Thrash/Black veterans
DESASTER. Good opportunity to agglutinate my gustative nerves
with overpriced oil dripping chips.
Setlist: Nekropolis Karthago, Devil’s Sword, Phantom
Funeral, Divine Blasphemy, Hellbangers, Teutonic Steel, Satans Soldiers
Syndicate, Black Magic, Metalized Blood
Next to Queensrÿche it was :: NAGLFAR
:: I was looking for most on Saturday. If you talk about
challenging and melodic Black Metal you have to talk about NAGLFAR.
So I was surprised that less people came into the arena than during
the Desaster gig. However, the Swedes delivered a powerful show
but were suffering from the worst sound of the day. Nevertheless:
with the band’s song material and their musical quality you
can’t do it wrong. For me the first highlight!
[Sui] I can’t say much about NAGLFAR, except
for the fact that they left a professional impression and got celebrated
by the crowd.
Setlist: Pale Horse, The Darkest Road, Bring Out Your
Dead, I Am Vengeance, The Perpetual Horrors, As The Twilight Gave
Birth To The Night, A Swarm of Plagues, Harvest
I never dealt that closely with :: ENSIFERUM
:: and with their first songs the Finns demonstrated
why I won’t change this attitude: to simply Speed Metal riffs
they add choirs and flutes from the tape and that’s that.
From a Viking/Folk/Pagan Metal I expect much more atmosphere; here
I couldn’t find anything like this. But at least: Finns know
how to get you in a party mood. The whole band was permanently moving
and their show was entertaining. Not every band is able to keep
up such level of energy for the entire set.
[Dajana] I have to confess that I’m deeply bored and
sick of all this Viking/Folk/Pagan/Humppa stuff. No matter how good
such band is on stage.
[Sui] Finnish leather skirt wearing metallers also could
rely on a massive fan-base. But to enjoy this cute Viking-like brawl-brother-booze-brother-metal
of sword-bearers I did not guzzle enough beer. Yes, they were technically
skilled and entertaining and so left a good impression so far.
Setlist: Intro, In My Sword I Trust, Guardians Of Fate,
From Afar, Burning Leaves, One More Magic Potion, Retribution Shall
Be Mine, Stone Cold Metal, Ahti, Twilight Tavern, Iron
Huh, déjà vu? Already on the previous day I was wondering
how it came to this co-headliner… ::
:: already played the RHF not so long time ago
(in 2009 to be exactly), in the afternoon and hardly kicked anyone
out of the socks. I have no clue what should have changed meanwhile…
Well, at least the Danes know how to entertain their audience. Music
degenerated into a minor matter but it was funny and that’s
already more than I had to say yesterday at this point.
[Sui] That even the co-headliner (and sixth Swedish band
on this day) had to struggle through technical problems let me have
doubts about the professionalism of the sound techs. No doubt however
about the entertainment value of the Cowpunks. My personal impression
was that D-A-D was much more motivated than on their last
RHF stint. Alone the instruments of bass player Stig Pedersen
were worth watching. A Tommy-Lee-memorial drum solo accompanied
by a totally screwball story of singer Jesper Binzer was just one
of several highlights. Musically diversified but not necessarily
a musical revelation but D-A-D leave you in a good mood.
Setlist: Isn’t That Wild, Jihad, A New Age Moving
On, Everything Glows, Rim Of Hell, Grow Or Pay, Riding With Sue,
Last Time In Neverland, Monster Philosophy, I Want What She’s
Got, Bad Craziness, The End, Sleeping My Day Away
Despite of the one or the other surprise this Saturday was quite
lame. But there was one band at the end that made up for everything.
And this band is :: QUEENSRŸCHE
:: , which is more or less the main reason for this year’s
ROCK HARD FESTIVAL. One could state that it was likewise
an experiment as Ashes Of Ares was the day before, but this time
definitely successful. This show was just incredible. Incredibly
great, incredibly stirring, exceptional, breathtaking… beyond
[Psycho] Up to this point I was quite disenthralled by the
RHF. Too many trivia and disappointments and generally not
enough METAL, including the cold weather (okay, no one is to blame
for that) – I was glad that I had my ebook with me…
And then there was the big “unknown” of the Saturday:
QUEENSRŸCHE with a new singer and - considering all
the quarreling and conflicts with Geoff Tate - with sort of a comeback.
After having cancelled the tour in April due to label politics QUEENSRŸCHE
now just crossed the pond for this festival only and I guess no
one had an idea what really to expect.
Luckily, QUEENSRŸCHE measured up to everybody’s
expectations and went far beyond, delivering the show of the entire
festival so far. The band offered a great setlist, perfect sound
and with Todd La Torre an excellent new singer and frontman who
left nothing to be desired. Not only vocally this man was a force.
He passed all classics and delivered an awesome performance always
in move, always in touch with the crowd. Who needs someone like
[Dajana] Geoff… who?
[Psycho] Beside many classics QUEENSRŸCHE also
presented two brand new tracks from the upcoming and self-titled
album, out in June 25, entitled Redemption and Fallout.
I loved them both! The new album must be a real smasher. After way
too short 90 minutes the show was way too fast over. I wouldn’t
have nagged about another 2 hrs, really. QUEENSRŸCHE
left a surprised, euphoric and enthused crowd. It felt like as if
no one would have expected this and is even happier now. And the
crowd has taken a shine to the band itself…
[Sui] Below the line this festival day was everything else
than lame, but well, that’s a matter of taste. Following headliner
QUEENSRŸCHE had less to do to make up a lame day than
to work off almost two lame decades. Was there any other band at
the RHF that had to face more pressure? The intro of German
Rammstein-epigones Eisbrecher anyway caused raised eyebrows at first.
Then guys entered the stage and swept away all doubts who the real
QUEENSRŸCHE are. What a show! Walk In The Shadows
caused goose bumps and at Eyes Of A Stranger I almost had
tears in my eyes. Those two new songs seamlessly fitted the classics.
Fronter Todd La Torre only left one question open: who the fuck
is Geoff Tate?
Setlist: Queen Of The Reich, Speak, Walk In The Shadows,
The Whisper, En Force, Redemption, Fallout, Child Of Fire, Warning,
The Needle Lies, Prophecy, Roads To Madness, My Empty Room, Eyes
Of A Stranger, Take Hold Of The Flame // Empire
And again it cannot be said that the weather is anything to party
with. It is lousy cold. The arena empties quickly without the help
of the securities. But it is forecasted to get better tomorrow….