copyright text: Silviapd
copyright photo’s: Monica Duffels
The last day begins with a promising sunshine. It seems that everyone wants to show all their energy for the last time, and there is an unforgettable feedback on every band this day. When for the last time the bags are counted, a double feeling occurs: it was a long week without my favourite habit (a long shower), so I am longing for home. But Dinkelsbuhl became a new home too. Where bands are easily amenable, fans are always optimistic, and the German politeness is heart warming. Driving around the church, down the hill, passing green fields to the highway (where we totally give full power in our yellow bird) the complete happiness is there. Summerbreeze makes the summer complete and I am very thankful it exits, this little escape from reality.
It is a fact that a ray of sunlight make people happy and with a golden waze, the gods are with us today. There is no green grass left, because the whole field is packed. A dynamic crowd welcomes Van Canto and stays enthusiastic till the end. The band has an easy start, because they are so unbelievable popular. I saw them once, but this time the power is unprecedented. They introduce themselves as ‘We sing some metal songs for you A capella.’ It is erudite and very talented how this formation manages to create such a natural sound, not indistinguishable from the original.
Opener ‘Lost Forever’ (own composition) immediately grabs the attention, front woman Inga Scharf has a high pure voice, a perfect contrast with the heavy men parts producing the sounds of guitars, rhythm section and accompanied by Bastian Emig on drums. The high and poppy voice from Dennis Schunke is a real eye-catcher and also he is a natural front man with a lot of charisma. Touring in Europe with Blind Guardian at the moment, no wonder they cover ‘Bards Song ’ with strong melodies, two high voices and five vocalists, the drummer also participates.
The crowd gets crazy on ‘Master Of Puppets’ and it is in my eyes even better than the original with compliments to their energy and intensity. It is not only their talented voices, but also the natural charisma and the pleasure they reflect on the crowd and so easily to like. It gives you pimples to see all those hands in the air. ‘Fear Of The Dark’ is last song of a much too short set, and the big climax. They give the audience so much energy, good music and a big smile on their faces. Vielen Dank Vocanto!
For many years vocalist Liv Kristine is the figurehead of female singers in the metal. She invented the gothic metal, and with Leaves’ Eyes she developed a whole new style. With their recent album ‘Njord’ the success is taking a big step forward. Tortured by the sun, but with all the energy they got presenting an excellent setlist, the best I have seen of them. ‘Emerald Island’ is a personal favourite and it starts to bubble inside me. With bombastic arrangements, groovy guitars and the powerful voice of Liv Kristine the adrenaline is soon on the surface.
It is also very special to see them perform for their own crowd, with many fans and a very, very excited clapping crowd! Dutch team JB from Aborted (bass) and Sander van der Meer (guitarist) has a more heavy sound and together with the new drummer Roland Navratil (ex-Sirenia) the set is very uptempo and powerful.
It is like Liv Kristine says: ‘Good that you face the heat’ and that the sign for the security to move the fire hose and that makes the crowed even more excited. On ‘Farewell Proud Men’ Liv Kristine shows what a good front woman she is, moving her dress, arms and easily produce such a high clear tone. Fascinated, and a real eye-catcher! Also grunter Alex Krull knows how to create a good atmosphere. Like on the latest hit ‘ Take The Devil In Me.’ Everyone is waving their hands, singing along and clapping on the rhythm.
The arc of energy is reaching his highest point on ‘Elegy’ the most famous hit. A moment of rest to calm down your heart beat. Once again Liv Kristine ravishes you with her dreamy, fragile voice and sweet smile. The high guitar sound from Thorsten Bauer fit very well into the Viking story and the atmosphere grows on ‘Froyas Theme’ where the same elements are bound in the most compact, convincing song I ever heard of them. It is this combination of song what reflects to rise of Leaves’ Eyes through the years the best. There is a lot of interaction on stage and the audience grabs their breath. After so many times they surprise me on unexpected moments, that is their strength. Always demanding the best of themselves, with hard work and lots of energy and that simply reflects on the listener. Impressive!
Every band is totally different, and it is that diversity what creates the best festival day of the whole Summer Breeze edition 2010. Its a strong advice for the upcoming editions. Eisbrecher is an Industial rockband, a genre very vivid in Germany and it is no surprise that front man lives near the festival ground, one hour distant. There is one word for this show: smooth. Every element is well prepared like performance, sound, entourage.
The bold Singer Alex Wesselky has a deep low voice, although his German is not easy to follow sometimes. Dressed up in a black suit, and hand gloves he looks very catchy and when the clouds cover the sunbeams I bet he is happy to stay sweat-less and shiny. The songs have a lot of references with ice, war and nationalism. Like opener ‘Eiszeit’ or ‘Leider.’ Halway the set someone brings him a new hat, and the big oil tons appears on stage. He starts the intro with a flute and the show element is strongly build up. Sometimes the songs have a poppy beat, even a easy listening part then it is perfectly mixed with metal elements and even cyber gothic. For everyone there is something recognizable and that explains also why the crowd carries them on their hands.
An unprepared moment when guitarist Noel Pix has a bleeding finger ands needs a minute. The tie goes of, hat is trown away and the power continues on ‘Heilig’ and reached the peak on ‘Amok.’ A very convincing and well prepared show of high quality: an excellent first impression.
Finnish band Poisonblack is back with a new album ‘Of Rust And Bones’ after their success with ‘Rush.’ Singer Ville Laihiala, became famous with Sentenced and decided to give this band his full attention. A good choice, because Poisonblack has not only a very poetic name, but also has many freedom to switch easily from doom metal into a more catchy sound.
It is still a big secret why Finnish bands are talented in creating a catchy emotional sound, and it is confirmed again today. The whole setlist is filled with great melodies, beautiful dark vocals, fast guitar solos and even soft piano parts. I haven’t heard them in ages, but I immediately recognize ‘Nothing Else Remains’ when I hear the first tones. It stays in your head and that is the strenght of Poisonblack. Of course there is Ville with his hypnosis, deep and unique voice. Over the years he has a raw edge, but it fits very well (or was it the lack of sleep and too much alcohol). Shame that his long hair covers his eyes all the time, somehow there is less interaction with the crowd. And there are many fans, even with banners and tears.
No idea where all those girls came from, but they are popular without any doubt. Like Ville says: ‘Not much talking, greets from Finland’ because the set is short, too short. A critic is that they perform very static, also guitarist Janne Markus and hardly to see in the back the other members. ‘Rush’ is played halfway the set, closed by ‘Bear The Cros.’ I expect a bit more action on stage, and the sound quality was not so good. I think they deserve a higher position on the bill next time. They are very unique, even for a Scandinavian band.
The yellow bird decided to leave a bit earlier, due to expected traffic problems at the end of the day and eight hours in a car is a long way to go. Thank word to the excellent organisation and hopefully till next year!
copyright text: Silviapd
copyright photo’s: Monica Duffels
The second festival day is filled with male-bands: deep grunts, finger fast guitar solos and long hair waving around. Summer Breeze Open Air is well organised, but there is one essential critic about this German festival. The live bands perform till 4 am, and the next morning the first band begin around 13 hours. Together with the noise from the camping, you can imagine that you only sleep three or four hours a night. That isn’t very healthy to survive a long weekend, but it is more than worth it!
After the cold night, the first band I hear in the background is the German one Letzte Instanz. With their sing-along melodies and happy vibe they easily wake-up the audience. The second day it is hardest one, because there is a different atmosphere in compare with the day before. Also more waiting hours between the bands on the Friday.
Again a Finnish band is represented this day Ensiferum. Their folk metal is very popular and it is totally packed in the front, the dust is circling around in the moshpit. People are singing along, with a horn in their hands and from the beginning ‘ From Afar’ till the end with ‘ Token of Time’ and ‘Iron’ they enjoy it fully. The band is perhaps a bit tired, because I have seen a better feedback on the crowd. Petri Lindroos his voice dominates, but there is a big side role for the bass player Sami Hinkka with his long beard and funny faces. A long setlist with an interesting show, good sound and a nice performance; so it isn’t hard to redeem the high expectations!
Anathema, is scheduled around dinner time, but totally unexpected many fans are gathered around the Pain stage. Years ago I saw the band of the last time and today they surprise me more than I ever could expect. The atmosphere is perfect with the low sunbeams, what covers the green field in a golden craze. The first song ‘Deep’ is raw with low bass riffs, dominating drums and on top and the remarkable voice of Vincent Cavanagh. Getting older has an advance; his voice is getting deeper and deeper. Luckily the sunglasses are down, before the song is finished so we can see the feedback on the crowd. He is very natural and almost too modest on stage, but it fits the music perfectly. It doesn’t need any performance besides the intense emotions and devotion to the music.
‘Empty’ is a very spherical song with many guitar lines, and a voice that guides you true a undiscovered landscape. The keyboards from Les Smith are more on the background, but the solo parts are very peaceful and the feedback from the audience is impressive, it is crowded and lot of response. Anathema is a fresh shower on a warm day, an intense performance in compare with all the technical bands. On first sight it seems that they are totally misplaced, but after a while they drag you into their music and it makes you silent. Their setlist is a good mixture between old en new songs. All dressed in white, is also a very refreshing performance. The whole show is very dynamic, without many efforts. There is enough interaction between them and the crowd. Bass player Jamie Cavanagh runs around, waving to the people with a big smile on his face.
During the intro of ‘Closer’ people start to scream and clap very loud, and it is for sure one of the highlights in the set. Vincent behind the piano and only his dark voice; a fragile side of this band. Vocaliste Lee Douglas is a full-flegded member and has a Dio way to create a fragile, still stong element in a song. Like on ‘A Natural Disaster.’ A rare moment when Vincent talks to the audience, referring with this song to this festival, saying: ‘ An anecdote to the 130 bands in one weekend!’ The vocal ensemble between the the brothers makes you shiver and for a short moment all the background noise is forgotten or the smell of beer, Anathema touches your emotions in a way you never can dream of, unforgettable! The last diamond is from their fist album ‘Sleepless’ is more progressive with dark guitar parts. The band will return in the Autumn with an own clubtour, and the expectations are there since this excellent performance.
End Of Green is a German band from Stuttgart, and very populair among the festival visitors. The release of ‘High Hopes In Low Places’ (Silverdust Records) is in the same weekend and no wonder that many people are curious to hear new songs live on stage. Vocalist Michael Huber has some similarities with HIM with a strong English accent, eye make-up, black hair covering his eyes and dramatic performance. Many people are singing along during ‘Weakness, Demons, and Drink Myself To Sleep.’ With a strong fanbase they guarantee a dynamic show, and it is no surprise that the new album is even more catchy and successful.
Headliner Hypocrisy is the main band around frontman, songwriter and guitarist Peter Tagtgren. This Swedish melodic death metal band is since their start in the early nineties very popular and their latest album ‘A Taste Of Extreme Divinity’ is a strong and powerful release. A strong machine of long haired musicians are creating a wall of music, without getting raw and blurry in their sound like Cannibal Corpse earlier that day. The voice of Peter is very melodic and extreme dynamic from screams to deep grunts in less than a second. ‘Fractured Millenium’ sets the tone for uptempo, groovy death metal in an unique format. There is no band as heavy as melodic at the same time.
A bombastic show with lots of light, makes it an excellent show and well deserved headliner of the Main stage! They rise above all bands today and with a good reason. The charisma of the whole formation, dynamic songs and the fact that they keep your interest says enough. It fades away the long hours and cold, after the catchy song ‘ Let The Knife Do The Talking‘ and ‘Warpath’ the last one ‘Roswell 47’ for one last time units the power and technical talents. Each time Hypocrisy surprises you and convince in their strength, excellent!
Orphaned Land is a progressive metal band from Israel, playing in front of a very enthusiastic crowd. Before them Dutch band Hail Of Bullets brings a wall of technical metal in a bad performance, sad enough their sound is very band. Luckily when vocalist Kobi Farhi enters the stage in a white toga the sound is much better. ‘Birth Of The Three (The Unification)’ immidiatly shows you that this is a special band, not only because of their roots. The message on stage is stronger with the promotion of their fourth album ‘’ The never ending way of ORwarriOR.’ After every song the energy grows because of the natural charism of Kobi and also the other members are very active on stage. Ocean Land (The Revelation) is a well known hit and the tent is packed for sure! Halfway the set a female dancer grabs the attention and all the adrenaline is bound in one song ‘Norra El Norra (Entering The Ark)’. I wish they performed on the main stage, because they deserve an higher position on the list. There is no band like them and each time they grow more and more into their set. A perfect ending of a very dynamic festival day.
copyright text: Silviapd
copyright photo’s: Monica Duffels
Every year Summer Breeze Open Air in Dinkelsbuhl manage to find an outstanding line-up of bands. What means 180 bands in one weekend, unexpected names, rising stars, and unique projects. The best opportunity to find a combination of bands you never see on tour.
Arriving on the Wednesday means that only the Party stage is open, a white tent next to the Main- and Pain stage on the other side. Its a dark mass for now, but in the morning it turns into a musical heaven.
Summer Breeze is located on a hill, and when you look down, you can clearly see how huge the festival ground really is. The camping side covers the whole grade and logistically it is very wise to situate both stages next to each other. So it is easy to switch between the bands. And there is the VIP tent, our second home, in between. That makes surviving a four day festival so much easier.
The organisation wants to promote upcoming artists, and one of them is the opener of the festival on the Mainstage Barren Earth. Finnish masters assemble of respected musicians. There is vocalist Mikko, wellknown from Swallow The Sun, guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö from Kreator, and keyboardist Kasper ex-Amorphis. With Curse Of The Red River they delivered a very strong debut album, what’s very promising for the future. No wonder that it is crowded in the early afternoon with a burning sun on your shoulders.
Full force on opener ‘Curse Of The Red River’ where Mikko impress with his deep aggressive grunts, covering his eyes under his cap. Opeth meets his darker sister today. The sound is not always well balanced, especially during the clean backing vocals from Sami Yli-Sirniö.
Impressive team work from guitarists Janne and Sami on this guitar dominated song, where the ‘screaming’ high tones stays in your head. Both men are meters separated from each other, but there is a strong interaction: they have such an own style, bounding it into a technical adrenaline rising song. Drummer Marko has the flue, but his sound is fast, groovy and very dynamic. Unbelievable how fast he goes, even during his background vocals, impressive.
It is an once-in-a-lifetime moment for many metal fans to hear the songs live in the original formation. Naturally it is important to have a strong united band on stage and Barren Earth retains the attention, making you curious how the set will develop. Impressive when you consider that they rarely play together, caused by the long tours their bands make in the world.
It is a short, powerful set where Barren Earth shows to be a strong adversary to all Finnish bands that day, and even more. ‘Our Twilight’ is the titletrack from the EP. Live on stage it gets an extra dimension, because it is clear that all the members are doing this mostly for the fun and alloy their talent for that reason. Kasper on piano has such a crystal clear sound, and it makes you shiver even on such a hot day. Bassplayer Olli is very vivid on stage, jumping around all the time.
‘ Forlorn Waves’ asks a lot from all the members with technical solo’s, even faster grunts and it must have been energetic process during the writing process. It doesn’t reflect much on the members, they are frozen behind their microphone. Perhaps the stage is too big, although frontman Mikko changes positions with Janne and Olli.
Then ‘ Flicker ‘ is one of the most progressive songs, switching from mid-tempo doomy atmosphere to a heavy groovy part with fast grunts and technical bas, guitar lines. The performance crows during the song, it seems the feedback from the crowd woke them up.
And all the power is there during ‘The Leer’ a more old-school song, dominated by Marko on drums and a strong rhythm section. On top of that a high guitar mixed with the clean vocals from Sami, in contrast of the dark grunts from Mikko.
There is a long instrumental part, where all the solo interactions come together, especially on stage you feel the vibe better and Mikko shows here very well that he is an excellent vocalist. The only remark is the fact that he isn’t such a great performer, because he shows a lack of interest when he smokes a cigarette and turns his back to the crowd.
During the last song ‘ Floodred’ Olli gets the attention, suddenly he surprises the crowd with his clean voice. A catchy ending of a short set, Barren Earth convinces strongly with a dynamic, melodic and technical impressive sound. They definitely have a stronger fan base since that day. T he kick-off from Summer Breeze 2010 is a fact and it was a highlight to see these Finnish musicians on one stage today.
Mikko Kotamäki– Vocals (Swallow The Sun)
Olli-Pekka Laine – Bass (Ex-Amorphis, Mannhai)
Kasper Mårtenson –Keyboards (Ex-Amorphis, Ben Granfelt Band)
Janne Perttilä– Guitar (Rytmihäiriö)
Marko Tarvonen – Drums (Moonsorrow)
Sami Yli- Sirniö – Guitar, backing vocals (Kreator, Waltari)
Napalm Death dominated the metal scene in the eighties with their typical grintcore sound. Vocalist Barny is still standing strong, angry at the world and his raw voice is so unique that you recognize them everywhere. Their power blows away the enthusiastic crowd.
From begin till the end they impress with their wall of music, without getting boring or predictable. Guitarist Mitch is in a good shape today and makes songs like Strong Arm, Deceiver, When All Is Said And Donelive even stronger than on the album. Personally I am happy that Silence Is Deafening is on the setlist as well.
Many well known hits are played, and it is a pleasure to be an eye-witness of this dynamic show, also because Barney is very talkative and creates a good atmosphere. Polite as always with his British accent and it sounds so much better than the screams and aggressive shouting parts from the American bands this weekend. Its totally a different world then, and after more than twenty years it is a fact that this band is going strong with a strong adrenaline and motivation in their bones, lots of respect for that!
An other uptempo band is Ill Nino with their roots in South-America, totally different in compare with other nu-metal artists. It is all about the adrenaline and how fast you can scream ‘ fuck.’ Unbelievable how often vocalist Christian Machado it repeats, till it irritates a lot. Nevertheless the whole Pain Stage is shaking and their sound is perfect.
All elements of a good show are there when they kick off with such a uncontrolled vibe, that only promise an erasing of anger and goorvy metal. Te Amo I Hate You has fast guitars, on top tortured grunts and grows into Corazon Of Mine when the drums transform in a heartbeat. The Latin roots, melodic parts mixed with nu-metal, creates an unique format. When the singers arms start to shake it proves that he screams his longs out, waving with his dreadlocks. There is a lot of emotion in a good way, it brings the energy you need to have a good festival vibe.
Finnish bands dominate the day a bit. Also The 69 Eyes are creating a catching sound, but aren’t progressive at all. They create a dark atmosphere, you also know from HIM. It isn’t a big surprise when he whole first row is filled with screaming girls and I wonder where they came from so sudden. The band has a good reputation, so I was curious to see them live on stage, but somehow they are disappointing me. Maybe its because of the provoked and slow voice from Jurki. He is creating a whole act around him, but I can’t take it very serious when he tries to be a second Elvis. The musicians are for sure very talented, but that is not good enough to impress for a whole hour.
Die Apocalyptischen Reiter is German proud with a reason, always they surprise me how popular they are. The whole field is packed. It’s been a long time since’ ‘ One Cold Winters Night’ ’ in Oberhausen, and today they have a spectacle with their metal meets folk influences. Their show is dynamic and there happens a lot on stage. It is hilarious to see a man sliding down with a big belly and a black mask on. Vocalist Fuchs screams too much, what makes the show indeed aggressive, but you have to like a raw voice on top of it.
There is a lot of interaction with the audience and I must say the crowd is amazing, showing that much energy at the end of a long day. Rammstein meets some German traditional roots and I guess you have to be more open minded than me to see the melodylines and become a real fan. It is a good entertaining moment, but not a musical challenge to me.
An other Finnish metal band Swallow The Sun personally requested to play the Party Tent instead of the bigger main stage, because they want darkness and less light. Expected an intense show what surrounds you like a black blanket, comfortable and scary at the same time.
Opener ‘These Woods Breathe Evil’ drags you down, not into the mud ,but to follow their songs and be open for the special atmosphere. Silouettes are standing there frozen against blue light. There is vocalist Mikko Kotamäki again, this time showing a totally different side of his voice. Still hanging over the microphone and smoking a cigarette with a thoughtless glance in his eyes.
Standing on a row, the band members let the music talks for itself in a way: they are simply standing there and don’t move at all during their intense performance. It suits the music very well, because you stay focussed on the little details. Like a absent smile from Markus Jamsen on guitar, in the corner. Aleksi Munter on keyboards is turning around to the drummer in the back, a moment of interaction.
From the side of the stage it is very impressive to see all those fans in the crowd, a strong mass of people, totally into the performance of five musicians. ‘Don’t Fall Asleep, Sleepless Swans and New Moon’ make the set strong with high guitars suddenly switching from a groovy to a minimalistic rhythm. Whispers are mixed with screams and grunts. Always searching for the contrasts, that is a master talent from these men. Especially the keyboards are a strong element in the doom, dark atmosphere in that combination.
It is impossible to analyse without sounding flat and not giving right to the story. It is about breathing, empathy and being a part of the music. The emotions are filling the whole tent easily, why?
Because Swallow The Sun knows their strength and they are so easy to get into like My Dying Bride on the other day. It is a talent you rarely find among musicians, to open up completely without a huge performance or mask between the one on stage and the crowd. Sadly enough I couldn’t be there during the promotion tour of ‘New Moon’ but they will return in December. To me it was the best band on the whole festival weekend!
Luckily ‘ we’ have Obituary to show the world what perfect death metal means. There is no band going strong for so long and still have a remarkable good reputation. They fulfil the expectations more than you can imagine! There is frontman John Tardy with his long blond hair, growling and screaming in a most melodic way. The whole setlist has a promise of high quality and lot’s of energy. Songs like Evil Ways, The End Complete and of course Slowly We Rot are played in a very uptempo, smooth set and close to perfection. In my opinion even better than on the albums.
The band is touring the world right now, and it is impressive how they find the motivation to give two hundred present today. Impressive, unforgettable and excellent promise for the future!
Subway To Sally comes with a lot of pyros to impress as a headliner on the main stage. Perhaps it is because I am not German, but to me their sound is totally a riddle, and even unbelievable why they are headliner of such a great day. It totally doesn’t fulfil the expectations you have from the last band on the big stage. Their rock from Potsdam is a bit flat, or maybe the impressions of the whole day are filling my head too much. The folk roots are there, and nowadays that combination with metal is very popular. Vocalist Eric Fisch sounds raw and enthusiastic toward the fans, but music wise it is not my cup of tea.
Clapping hands during Puppenspieler from the front till the back is very impressive, and Kleid Aus is a real hit and all the German fans are singing along. The violin from Silke makes it interesting to listen to. The traditional instruments like lute, mandolin, a small barrel-organ are very entertaining and definitely something extra, but the voice is the weakest point.
Behemoth was supposed to close the Pain Stage on this sunny Thursday, but unfortanatly one of their members became serious will. A good replacement is found in Endstille. Both bands have their roots in the old school black metal and created an unique sound over the years. A new record is in the making, but the band choices to have a diversity of songs. With their new vocalist Zingultus they found a well fitting member of the band and it doesn’t take much time to get used to his tortured voice, inclusive all the corpse-paint. Finally the day is over, a long intense festival edition and even more days to follow.
Thankword to: Summer Breeze Organisation, David Silverdust, Swallow the Sun and Barren Earth.