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2006-05-06 DE – Krefeld - KuFa

Ancient Rites - Ensiferum - Riger - Menhir - Equilibrium - XIV Dark Centuries - Stormwarrior - Black Messiah - Odroerir - Aaskereia - Thrudvangar - Varg - Minjar - Steelpreacher

After the last year’s grandiose but chaotic festival debut of the ULTIMA RATIO it was quite clear: a following edition is inevitable.
For the second edition organizers of Ruhrmetal.com took the bull by the horns and got off the grid even bigger. A new location and an enhanced and promising billing invited all Pagan and Viking fans to festival at the first summer-like weekend in May. As for the line-up THRUDVANGAR – highlight of the first issue, BLACK MESSIAH and XIV DARK CENTURIES were repeaters. Planed as a one-day festival the doors opened at 11am inviting the fans to a breakfast and 150l Met for free with the first band kicking off at 12am. High noon!

Arriving at 9.30am a long line to the box office welcomed us. Advanced more than 1,100 tickets got sold with a remaining contingent of maybe 80 tickets. It was clear: many people would be left with very disappointed faces… In reverse it also meant: ULTIMA RATIO 2006 was sold out! What a success for the organizers! Hats off!
Disappointed faces also ticket owners had. Due to strict checkups the waiting line grown fast and took its timely toll. Many fans missed the first 2 or 3 bands. But for that, fans from all over Germany, Holland and Belgium showed up with partly extremely long distances behind.

But also the organizers had some stress around. Money from a pre-seller was missing and caused some difficulties, bands and band members were stuck in traffics, so it was quite clear right from the beginning: the running order was trash ;) Not to mention all the bigger and smaller problems bands, crew and technicians had…

On time at 11am doors opened and the battle started, to get in, to get a ticket, to get some food from the one and only food stall. Here one could get sausages, meatballs, salad, fries and rolls to fair prices. Inside the hall one also could get filled rolls for one Euro awhile. Just the Met flowed like water… the entire day ;)

:: pics ::

:. STEELPREACHER ~ kicked off on time and had to master the unappreciative task of opening a festival. Just a quarter of the crowd appeared in front of the stage but the trio hailing from Koblenz didn’t mind and got in enthusiastically. Singer Preacher had some problems with his voice making his sermons a bit powerless. The rest of the band made up and acted even more aggressive and energetic. Before STEELPREACHER closed with Metal Hangover – a track that really thrilled the fans – the drummer came down beered himself and showed us his crunchy butt *laughs* How great is that? (Dajana)
A quite unusual opener for a stated Pagan & Viking festival. But likewise unconventional the first edition started with Crikey.
As for me I wouldn’t have missed this band, but since there are still enough kutten-wearer it wasn’t for nothing ;) (Seb)
Setlist: Intro, Disciples Of War, I’m Fucking Metal, Start Raising Hell, Hell Bent For Beer, Boozehounds From Hell, Metal Hangover

:. MINJAR ~ entered the stage backed by their own fan crew, making it crowed in front of the stage and very bustling with all these headbanging kids. Acting in a cowboy-look MINJAR offered fantasy thru all known themes in a rock’n’roll style. Sound was bad, skills too. They played many solos with just as much mistakes. In return the fans got a bottle of rum and had a blast. (Dajana)
Setlist: Intro, Drangonslayer’s Tale, Die Nebel von Avalon, Die Offenbarung, Erinnert Euch!, Morgans Bande, Wildsau

:. VARG ~ were multi-colored painted and firstly paid for a round of Met while nagging unprofessionally about their sound. Every song ended with “more guitar on this box”, “less bass on the other box”. The keyboard player seemingly didn’t hear anything and looked quite scared over his keys, while the one axeman had all the more self-confidence. The other guitarist stood like nailed on his place playing his stuff. In between the band started a beer competition with the winner of a Met competition, who emptied the bottled fastest. Again. Altogether a musical Humpa-performance perfectly made for a children’s birthday. People called them later Tokio Hotel of the metal scene… (Dajana)
From my point of view this show was just bad. That the band only played cover songs I just got aware of while listening to e really foozled version of Finntrolls Trollhammaren. When I heard the word “Moonsorrow” in their statements I thought it’s a track called that way. I didn’t realize that it was a cover version. At the end of their set the offered a live premiere in playing the very first own song and finishing with a recognizable Ensiferium cover. No need for such a silly show. (Seb)

:. THRUDVANGAR ~ as highlight of the last year’s event played quite early but delivered a professional show to a capacity crowd. What difference! Besides songs from their (still) current album Ahnenthron they pleased the fans with the title-track of the upcoming album Walhall, set to be released on August 11 via Einheit Produktionen. (Dajana)
Too bad that the guys already had to suffer from the clownery of the previous band that cost playing time. The band actually wanted to play the crushing Jul and another brand new song titled Helheim. In only 35 minutes THRUDVANGAR delivered again a fantastic show and I’m looking forward to see them again at UR3 ;) (Seb)
Setlist: Kampf des Lebens, Ahnenthron, Drachen und der Runenstein, Einherjer, Piraten des Nordens, Walhall

:. AASKEREIA ~ were sort of the exotics of this evening… erm… afternoon. I have heard about them but never saw them performing live so far. They offered Pagan Black Metal with the kinky but great scream-like singing by Grim. Rarely heard such voice. Caused gooseflesh. While the left fraction incl. Singer, acoustic guitarist, drummer and axe-man posed in corpse-paint, the right side looked “natural”, creating some contrasts. Female acoustic guitarist Yord all the time tried to hide behind the axe man and singer Grim pulled grim faces while screaming after all of these divers. That looked just bloody funny. The hall was visibly emptied what I couldn’t understand since many haven’t seen AASKEREIA playing live before, according to reports. Too bad, I really liked music and performance. (Dajana)
AASKEREIA actually changed their slot with Odroerir its members were still caught in traffics. I also was looking forward to see them playing live, yet to find out, if the sick singing is that great as on the albums. I wasn’t left disappointed… Especially the final song Der stille Schrei was just great, causing gooseflesh. Great show! Not everybody seemed to like it, but that even AASKEREIA didn’t expect. (Seb)
Setlist: Erkenntnis, Die Flöten Des Pan, Gedanken, Mit Raben Und Wölfen, Aaskeria, Der Stille Schrei

:. ODROERIR ~ definitely emerged as the first real highlight of the afternoon! They played such a great, outstanding show. The venue was crowded to overflowing and everybody sung along very single track. Breathtaking! The band was visibly thrilled by the feedback and gave back what they got. Simply great! Oh, and ODROERIR were allowed to play the first encore ;) (Dajana)
I’d like to point out that ODROERIR was also the first band with really good sound from the stage to the back plane. (Seb)
Setlist: Wanenkrieg, Odroerir, Menosgada, Zwergenschmiede, Iring, Zur Taverne

:. BLACK MESSIAH ~ had no probs to take it further. They created an atmospheric show spending more Met to the fans. Compared to last year’s appearance BLACK MESSIAH got boosted by Moron’s Dew, an Irish music playing band with two flutes and two acoustic guitars. And again, this band mainly focused on their current album Oath Of The Warrior but also have a new album up the sleeve, presenting 3 brand new songs from Of Myths And Legends that gets recorded right now. BLACK MESSIAH finished with the known cover version Moscow. (Dajana)
It’s always again quite funny to see singer Zagan mutating from a wild anti-Christian preacher to a gentle violinist. But it suits very well the music. Just listen to Christenfeind with its long violin solo. Only downer was the fact that BLACK MESSIAH didn’t play my personal fave A New Messiah. (Seb)
Setlist: Intro, Blutsbruder, Bury The Lambs Of Christ, Of Myths And Legends, Riding The Drakkar, Intro Old Gods, Old Gods, “Sauflied”, Christenfeind, Irminsul, Moskau

Now time has come for the full-bodied announced and highly anticipated Viking stripper, who pulled out all the stops while getting rid of her clothes to the music of Moonsorrow. For some help she caught a cutie from the audience, who got really big… erm… eyes. For the next 10 minutes the tongue of all male attendees hung till the knees and man mutated to drooling one-thought-thinkers. Hahaha. Was a pure success I’d say… men…

:. STORMWARRIOR ~ hadn’t to master an easy task afterwards in keeping up the high spirits. I was quite fucked up and distanced myself for a while, getting some fresh air outside and vainly on the search for something to eat. The food-box was away and the first fans in a moronic state… (Dajana)
As for me STORMWARRIOR just didn’t fit the concept of this festival. But either band and crowd didn’t mind having a blast with old school speed thrash. Not only kutten-wearer seemed to love this show. It’s not my cup of tea, but the other ones had some fun and that’s the only thing that counts. (Seb)
Setlist: Signe Of The Warlorde, Heavy Metal Fire, The Axewielder, Valhalla, Thunderer, Lindisfarne, Iron Prayers, Bounde By The Oathe

:. XIV DARK CENTURIES ~ again knew how to convince completely and played even more energetic and enthusiastic as the year before. And once again a band that had to offer brand new songs. Suddenly, the show was over, cut by the organizers that meaningful tipped on the watch. What caused some displeasure and catcalls. No mercy, the show was really over. Toooooooo bad… (Dajana)
… Because, as I heard afterwards, two another new songs were on the setlist. Well, that’s the way it has to be. I mean, the festival can’t go on till 6am in the morning, can it? (Seb)
Setlist: Tanz der Schwerter, Unseren Ahnen zum Gruße, Als das Opferfeuer brannt, Teutonentanz, Falsche Propheten, Bragarful, Skithingi , Julenzeit, Valpurga, Auf zur Schlacht

And now management of Belgian ANCIENT RITES took the chance to present themselves from the most stupid side delivering the faux pas of the evening. Realizing the delays in the running order they wanted the organizers to cut all following sets at least about 20 min., otherwise ANCIENT RITES would hit the bus back home. Asking the fans they voted against ANCIENT RITES accompanied by massive catcalls. Less than 10 minutes later the organizer entered the stage again announcing that ANCIENT RITES will play, no matter what time is then, and no set will be cut. Fans were extremely happy about it, underlaying this with ANCIENT RITES, ANCIENT RITES battle calls.

:. EQUILIBRIUM ~ surprised with a crushing show. They topped it all! Unbelievable! Wicket! EQUILIBRIUM were so full of power and energy, ready to blow everything away. Fans were freaking out, creating mosh-pits, banging their heads off and diving as hell (surprisingly many girls jumped from the stage to take a bath in the crowd). Breathtaking vibes in the air. EQUILIBRIUM definitely emerged as the highlight of the festival! Really frightening were all the stuffed animals thrown onto the stage. Cuddly and cute little pink bears, dogs and elephants? I missed anything? *lol* Anyway, being cheeky the band also allowed themselves an encore, absolutely disobeying the hectic organizers behind the stage… Great! (Dajana)
I already found the current album well-done, but what the mates offered on stage was really impressing. Crushing but clean sound, precise played. I guess, there was none able to stand still. Singer Helge (who appeared quite nervous at first… did I hear “Equibrilium”? *g*) wasn’t to stop in any way, as the band was neither. What was going on in front of the stage I didn’t witness for a while too! (Seb)
Setlist: Wingthors Hammer, Unter Der Eiche, Widars Hallen, Der Sturm (with following Saber Riders cover), Tote Heldensagen, Met, Nach Dem Winter

:. MENHIR ~ had some trouble to keep up that high level of energy and power. Fans were exploited. Even great tracks and excitations of singer Holger didn’t help that much. It’s a pity since MENHIR are one of the most outstanding bands of this genre. They truly deserved more feedback! Though, a solid show.
Setlist: Einherjer, Wotans Runenlied, Menhir, Die Kelten, Verborgenes Reich, Kriegers Gesicht (Ulfhednar), Hildebrands Lied, Ziuwari

:. RIGER ~ kicked off with more than an hour of delay kicking ass with Pagan metal added by noticeable death metal influences in singing, as can be found on the current album Gjallar. RIGER also couldn’t reach the level of Equilibrium anymore but the guys didn’t care and played their souls off, delivering a convincing show. Unfortunately the band’s set got cut too. After around 40 minutes the band has to left the stage. Contrary to the announcements the cut around 15 minutes. (Seb)
Setlist: Im Graun der Nächte, Zunft der Lügner, Schöpfer der Hetze, Auf die Ahnen, Homo Decadencia, Eisenhagel, Brandschiff, Des Blutes Stimme

And again the festival got interrupted by the organizers, first to announce that they expelled two persons from the festival due to right-wing paroles. Here they did what they promised and had written in their festival rules. Well done! Afterwards they gave away all remaining ULTIMA RATIO T-shirts and posters. Regarding the fact that they just cut the RIGER performance, a lengthy action that displeasingly eructated many.

:. ENSIFERIUM ~ acted afterwards quite lame. It's all gone flat. Understandable, after 12 hrs of Ultima Ratio. ENSIFERIUM mainly focused on their recently released EP Dragonheads, they almost played completely. These songs again reactivated the fans a little but I was not the only one who had liked more songs from the great debut album. And again the set got vigorously cut after an hour. When ENSIFERIUM tried to play an encore the band’s equipment got broken down right below their asses. I mean, the just came over from Finland for this show, so everybody was expecting a longer playing time. (Seb)
Setlist: Kalevala Melody (intro), White Storm, Tale of Revenge, Dragonheads, Guardians of Fate, Warrior's Quest, Hero in a Dream, LAI LAI HEI, Into Hiding, Into Battle

:. ANCIENT RITES ~ of course got stitched afterwards. After the management’s faux pas, the hall was emptied and only die-hard fans paid tribute. As more I give them credits for playing a great show without pulling any faces. And remaining folks was left enthusiastic. Besides proven and known material they gave a taste of the brand new album Rvbicon to be released on May 15th. Especially the song Invictvs went down really well. But why they stretched the backline-change to completely get their own equipment on stage I don’t understand. Anyway, we just stayed for a bit more than an half hour and then took the long way back home deadly tired.
Setlist: Crusade (intro), Templar, Mother Europe, Gotterdammerung, Invictus, And The Horns Called For War, Thermopylae, Aris, Rubicon, Blood Of Christ, Longing For The Ancient Kingdom, Mithras, Victory Or Valhalla, Fatherland

Conclusion: Again the ULTIMA RATIO emerged as a great Pagan/Viking festival with amazing single shows. There was still some chaos around, but not the heavy as one year ago. Though, there some things that needs to be changed:
- boards hinting who has to take which line to get in, and what is not allowed (drinks, bottles etc.)
- a bigger entry to get thousands of people faster in, or the doors needs to be opened earlier
- more and bigger food stalls
less bands within the same time-frame. To cut sets is absolutely shitty!
- me, Dajana, would like to have a photo pit at such events. I rather take photos only during the first 3 tracks instead of getting just the sides or backsides of the band/musicians or killing my cam

Everything else was great and with these points nothing gets in the way of a perfect ULTIMA RATIO 3 anymore ;)
Thank you to Predi, Tanja and Darky – the organizers – for a fantastic festival and a great day! Cheers!


story © Dajana & Seb • pics © Dajana