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h6Stadthalle, Langen, Germany
4th February 2015
HammerFall, Orden Ogan & Serious Black

Although it was a rather cold Wednesday evening, people already started gathering in and in front of the new Stadthalle in Langen from around 6 o’clock onwards. Luckily, the crew of the Stadthalle provided a reasonably priced selection of drinks and also food for those in waiting so that the time between doors open and the first band on stage at 8 o’clock could pass rather quickly. While several shows of HAMMERFALL’s tour were sold out, this evening was not, and so late-comers or spontaneous people could get tickets as well.


Serious Black


SERIOUS BLACK were formed in 2013/2014 and consist of former members of, among others, Blind Guardian and Halloween, so be more precise of former BLIND GUARDIAN drummer Thomen “The Omen” Stauch, Roland Grapow (Ex-HELLOWEEN), Mario Lochert (EMERGENCY GATE, ex - VISIONS OF ATLANTIS), Jan Vacik (ex- DREAMSCAPE), Dominik Sebastian (EDENBRIDGE) and vocalist Urban Breed (BLOODBOUND, TAD MOROSE). The band released their debut ‘As Daylight Breaks’ in 2014. https://www.facebook.com/seriousblackofficial / http://www.serious-black.com/

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Music & Performance
By the time SERIOUS BLACK started their performance, the Stadthalle was decently filled, although especially the back appeared slightly empty. Nevertheless, the front rows were rather densely packed, and the band managed to get some good reactions from the audience during their set of roughly 30-35 minutes. The six-piece was, alongside their melodic and catchy Power metal, also entertaining to watch, and it was visible that all members really enjoyed performing and playing live. Moreover, the sound was pretty decent, a fact which would luckily not change throughout the evening.

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10

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Orden Ogan

This power metal band came into existence in 1996 and they released three demos over their first decade, named ‘Into Oblivion’ (1997), ‘Anthem to the Darkside’ (1998) and ‘Soli Deo Gloria’ (1999). Their debut ‘Testimonium A.D’ was self-published. After that they regularly recorded albums, the recent one in 2015, called ‘Ravenhad’. ORDEN OGAN performs a mix of folk and power metal, which is a fresh of breath air for those who think power metal is all about high pitched vocals and extreme guitar solos or keyboard solos. Think of ORDEN as a combination of ELUVEITIE and ELVENKING, bridging the gap between folk, melodic death, and power metal. ORDEN OGAN is SEEB (vocals, lead-guitar, keyboards), TOBI (lead-guitar), NIELS (bass) and DIRK (drums). https://www.facebook.com/ORDENOGAN / www.ordenogan.de

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Music & Performance
After a relatively quick change over, ORDEN OGAN entered the stage at a quarter before nine and, also put a lot of energy and passion into their performance. The response from the audience was enthusiastic, causing the band to entitle this their best show of the tour, with the best response thus far. They did not only present the title song of their new record, ‘Ravenhead’, but with their last song ‘Deaf Among the Blind’ also initiated a crowd-response for the chorus. After roughly 40 minutes, the band left the stage extremely satisfied.

Setlist
01. Orden Ogan
02. F.E.V.E.R.
03. To New Shores of Sadness
04. To the End
05. The Lords of the Flies
06. Ravenhead
07. We Are Pirates
08. Deaf Among the Blind

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10

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HammerFall

HAMMERFALL (the saviours of true metal) is a power metal band from Sweden formed in 1993, a time when metal was slowly wasting away due to the big companies discovery of genres like grunge. Metal wasn`t supported by the big labels anymore, so heavy metal had a hard time and many bands just called it quits. When HAMMERFALL released ‘Glory to the Brave’ in 1997 they revived power metal in all its glory. The critical acclaim that followed the release of the band’s debut was extreme. Some journalists claimed that this band single-handedly saved heavy metal. Originally formed as a project from Oscar Dronjak and Jesper Strömblad, HAMMERFALL participated in the so called Rockslaget a Swedish battle of the bands and got into the semi-final. Now 18 years and several records later, this band has become a heavy metal institution (love them or hate them but ignore them you can’t). HAMMERFALL is Joacim Cans (lead vocals), Oscar Dronjak (lead & rhythm guitars), Pontus Norgren (lead & rhythm guitars), Fredrik Larsson (bass guitar) and Anders Johansson (drums). https://www.facebook.com/hammerfall / www.hammerfall.net

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Music & Performance
After a slightly longer change over, HAMMERFALL entered the stage at 10 o’clock and put of a very professional and entertaining performance. The responses from the audience were extremely enthusiastic right from the beginning, and it became clear that a lot of fans had come to watch the long, extensive set of the band. The quintet around charismatic vocalist Joacim did not only present songs from their most recent album, such as the opener ‘Hector’s Hymn’, ‘We Won’t Back Down’ or ‘Bushido’ in the encore, but also included older titles as well as classics like ‘Let The Hammer Fall’ or ‘Raise The Hammer’. The song remained powerful and clear-cut, so that the energy of the music could be accordingly perceived by the audience. After the already-mentioned encore and a set of roughly one and a half hours, the band left the stage soaked in sweat, as might have some members of the crowd. 

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Setlist
01. Hector’s Hymn
02. Any Means Necessary
03. Renegade
04. B.Y.H.
05. Blood Bound
06. Heeding the Call
07. Let the Hammer Fall
08. Live Life Loud
09. 400 Meter Medley
10. Raise The Hammer
11. Threshold
12. Last Man Standing
13. Glory to the Brave
14. We Won’t Back Down
15. HammerFall
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16. Templars of Steel
17. Bushido
18. Hearts on Fire

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 9
Total: 8.5 / 10

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All pictures by Ricarda Menn (https://www.flickr.com/photos/-mrsvertigo-/)


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