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sepultura1Hessenhallen, Gießen, Germany
3rd December 2011
Sepultura, Kataklysm, Exodus, Triptykon, Destruction, Marduk, Heathen, Milking The Goatmachine, Mortal Sin, Azarath, Dawn Of Disease

Due to some issues with the public transport, I arrived just in time to catch the third band of this day, MORTAL SIN. At that time, AZARATH and DAWN OF DISEASE were already done with their performance and most attendees were hiding from the rain and warming themselves up for the bands yet to come.


Mortal Sin

MORTAL SIN is an Australian Thrash Metal band, founded in 1985. They are recognized as one of the first entirely Australian band to play Thrash Metal; their debut record ‘Mayhemic Destruction’ (1986) is seen as a classic. After line-up changes, dissolving and re-uniting, the band has now just released their fifth studio record ‘Psychology of Death’ (2011). http://www.mortalsin.com.au / http://www.myspace.com/61135815

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Music & Performance
MORTAL SIN entered the stage energy-striven and got the audience under control from the very beginning. The atmosphere was very great, people were head-banging, partying and singing along to known songs. Considering that it was only half past two, the mood probably could not have been better. There was lots of movement and action on the stage, including excessive posing and encouraging the crowd. The band played very flawless and the singer could convince with his powerful voice and skilful falsetto elements. Songs like ‘Mayhemic Destructor’ worked especially well, but in general the setlist combined old as well as new songs successfully. The performance of MORTAL SIN definitely marked a first highlight of the festival.

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.8 / 10

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Milking The Goatmachine

MILKING THE GOATMACHINE is a German Deathgrind band formed in 2008, whose style combines elements from Grindcore, Death Metal as well as Thrash Metal. They are remarkable for using the goat as main-motif; so far, three records were released, the latest one being entitled ‘Clockwork Under’. www.myspace.com/milkingthegoatmachine

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Music & Performance
As the four goats entered the stage, they were enthusiastically greeted by many fans, some even wearing a goat mask. A non-musician, dressed up as a goat and drumming on a milk churn, occasionally appeared on the stage, warmed up the crowd and threw flyers. From a musical point of view, there is nothing particularly interesting about the band, except from the unusual fact that the drummer also does the vocals. In general, they play rather primitive music including lots of breakdowns and probably are not everyone’s cup of tea. Yet, those people watching them were surely having a great time and were celebrating songs like ‘March Into Shed’ or ‘Sour Milk Boogie’.

Rating
Music: 6
Performance: 8
Sound:8
Light: 6
Total: 7 / 10

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Heathen

This American Thrash/Speed Metal band was already founded in 1984, but dissolved in 1992 shortly after the release of their second record, ‘Victims of Deception’. The band reassembled in 2001 and released their most recent album ‘The Evolution of Chaos’ in 2010. HEATHEN are told to be one of the most underrated bands in Thrash Metal since none of their albums achieved any commercial success. www.myspace.com/heathenmetal

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Music & Performance
As HEATHEN hit the stage, the audience was presented another highlight - in contrast to the last performance I witnessed, they now included older songs into their setlist and those were presented without any flaws. The musicians focused on their playing and not on posing, and the singer was in excellent shape. The audience was a bit smaller but those who watched the band knew to enjoy and appreciate the presentation. HEATHEN’s guitarist later on also played enthusiastically with EXODUS.

Setlist
01. Pray For Death
02. Goblin’s Blade
03. Open The Grave
04. Hypnotized
05. Opiate The Masses
06. Mercy Is No Virtue
07. Death By Hanging

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8 3 / 10

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Marduk

MARDUK is a Swedish Black Metal band, which was established in 1990 and released their first output in 1991. From 1995 until 2003, Legion was responsible for the vocals and was followed by Mortuus. This change is also significant for the band’s development, as their newer albums possess a certain lyrical demand. So far, eleven studio outputs were released as well as several live recordings and compilations. http://www.marduk.nu / http://www.myspace.com/truemarduk

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Music & Performance
During MARDUK’s performance, the audience had reduced to mostly Black Metal fans, who were celebrating the band. Yet, the band presented themselves as inapproachable - they did neither interact with the crowd nor possess a good stage presence. They had chosen a good setlist, including older as well as newer songs - for instance ‘Baptism by Fire’ or ‘The Hangman of Prague’. For people not familiar with their music, probably everything just sounded like the same, since their style is very harsh and monotonous. Yet, the band presented their music without any bigger errors and pretty convincingly.

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 6
Sound:8
Light: 8
Total: 7.5 / 10

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Destruction

Established in 1982, DESTRUCTION is one of the most famous and successful German Thrash Metal bands, together with SODOM and KREATOR being entitled the kings of Teutonic Thrash Metal. So far, eleven studio records were put out, among them the well-known ‘Eternal Devastation’ (1986) or the most recent one ‘Day of Reckoning’ (2011). www.destruction.de / http://www.myspace.com/officialdestruction

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Music & Performance
DESTRUCTION had a nice stage decoration - skulls on the microphone stands. Furthermore, they appeared to be very close to the audience. Front man Schmier introduced down-to-earth announcements and also referred critically to the combination of the Hatefest and Thrashfest Tours into one festival, also with regard to the ticket fees. The band played lots of classics, some which they had not played for a long time and almost forgotten about. Yet, they played very tight and also convinced the audience - mosh-pits, circle-pits and so forth were formed without any resistance and the crowd had a nice party going on.

Setlist
01. Total Disaster
02. Satan’s Vengeance
03. Mad Butcher
04. Black Mass / Antichrist / Death Trap
05. Invincible Force
06. The Ritual
07. Eternal Ban
08. Bestial Invasion
09. Curse the Gods

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8.3 / 10

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Triptykon

As CELTIC FROST arose from HELLHAMMER’s ashes, so arises TRIPTYKON from CELTIC FROST’s ashes. After the end of CELTIC FROST, Tom Fischer resolved to establish what was to be a temporary substitute project designed to develop, record, and perform the music and lyrics he envisioned for the projected album. Soon, TRIPTYKON was born and after several demos, in March 2010 ‘Eparistera Daimones’ was released. Considering the background, it appears to be logical that it depicts the direct and musical successor of CELTIC FROST’s masterpiece ‘Monotheist’ (2006). http://www.triptykon.net / http://www.myspace.com/triptykonofficial

Music & Performance
Compared to the other bands of this day, TRIPTYKON surely spread the darkest and most depressing atmosphere - as one would expect them to. They presented their usual setlist, which was pretty similar to the last shows I attended. Yet, they added the song ‘Into The Crypts of Ray’, since this was played years back when CELTIC FROST performed in Gießen. From a musical point of view, they acted very convincingly and without any flaws.

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The sound appeared to be the best of the evening, since every nuance could be distinguished very well. Also, effects were included and the intonation as well as the mixing sounded very close to the studio-record, which is quite remarkable for a live performance. Tom G Warrior only made a few announcements to the crowd, staging the band in an inapproachable and very effective way - this also constitutes to the power and general appearance of the band. The stage was furthermore befogged extensively, unfortunately the combination with reflectors made it very hard to take decent pictures of the band. Yet, this performance definitely marked a personal highlight of the evening.

Setlist
01. Intro (Crucifixus)
02. Procreation of the Wicked
03. Goetia
04. Circle of the Tyrants
05. Decayed
06. Into The Crypts of Ray
07. The Prolonging

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 9
Light: 6
Total: 8.5 / 10

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Exodus

Hailing from the Bay Area, Exodus are one of the first Thrash Metal bands ever, influencing the whole genre very extensively up to date. Throughout their career of thirty years, nine studio albums have been released, the most recent one being entitled ‘Exhibit B: The Human Condition’ (2010). The band has undergone various line-up changes and two split ups, but still they possess a lot of power and are known for energetic live shows. http://www.exodusattack.com / http://www.myspace.com/exodus

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Music & Performance
The audience surely carried high expectations towards EXODUS‘s show, since they had announced a special setlist, consisting mostly of older songs. (In general, this was the intention for all bands of the Thrashfest-Classics Tour). Consequently, the front rows were pretty packed and in general and in comparison, the band attracted the most people to their show. And, EXODUS probably exceeded all expectations - there was lots of movement and action on stage as well as amongst the audience. The musicians were jumping and running up and down, encouraging the crowd to party, and they were benefited with Circle Pits and in the end even with an immense Wall of Death.

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The singer had surely improved the intonation of the older songs; at their appearance on last year’s Thrashfest Edition, some songs could not be recognized. The classics like ‘Metal Command’, ‘Fabulous Disaster’ or ‘The Toxic Waltz’ worked the best, as was to be expected, and the performance can be equalled to a big party amongst all attendees.

Setlist
01. The Last Act Of Defiance
02. A Lesson In Violence
03. Fabulous Disaster
04. Brain Dead
05. Exodus
06. Pleasures of the Flesh
07. Piranha
08. Metal Command
09. The Toxic Waltz
10. Strike of the Beast

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 9
Sound:8
Light:8
Total: 8.3 / 10

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Kataklysm

KATAKLYSM was established 1991 in Québec, Canada and nowadays persists of Maurizio Iacono (vocals), Jean-Francois Dagenais (guitar), Stéphane Barbe (bass) and Max Duhamel (drums). Signed to Nuclear Blast since 1993, they have released nine studio records, amongst others ‘Epic: The Poetry of War’ (2001), ‘Serenity in Fire’ (2004) and the latest works ‘Prevail’ and ‘Heaven’s Venom’ (2010). Stylistically, they describe themselves as ‘Northern Hyperblast’, due to their fast and aggressive drumming. http://www.kataklysm.swizcorp.com / http://www.myspace.com/kataklysm

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Music & Performance
At first, not too many people had gathered to watch KATAKLYSM, but after the first song, a considerable amount had gathered in front of the stage and was celebrating the band. The band is known for their energetic live performances, and they definitely did not disappoint. Compared to previous concerts I witnessed, this time, they presented their setlist mostly built up of songs by their newer albums ‘Prevail’ and ‘Heaven’s Venom’. Compared to their 20th anniversary at Summerbreeze, where old, rough classics were played, this may have been a bit disappointing, but still their show was very enjoyable. In the front rows, mostly younger people seemed to had gathered and they also put on a lot of enthusiasm. The obligatory ‘Security-stress-test’ was also introduced - the aim is to motivate people in order to crowd-surf, and the security surely had a lot of work. (Although it is a nice, entertaining gag for the performance, it was fair to give them the benefits for their hard task.)

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Yet, alongside with DESTRUCTION, KATAKLYSM appeared very sympathetic and close to the audience - not only by making nice announcements, but also due to handing over bottles of water for the first rows. In general, their show was very entertaining, diverting and although their music may not be everyone’s cup of tea, they surely deserved the slot as one of the headliners.

Setlist
01. Let Them Burn
02. Manipulator Of Souls
03. Push The Venom
04. The Ambassador Of Pain
05. Taking the World by Storm
06. Where The Enemy Sleeps
07. As I Slither
08. Numb and Intoxicated
09. Illuminati
10. In Words of Desperation
11. At The Edge of the World
12. Crippled and Broken
13. A Soulless God

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

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Sepultura

SEPULTURA is probably the most famous Brazilian metal band. Formed in 1984, they were influencing lots of genres, such as death, thrash or groove metal. During their career, they also started integrating other elements into their music, for instance nu metal, punk or industrial. So far, eleven albums were released, the latest on (2009) being entitled ‘A-Lex’. http://sepultura.uol.com.br / http://www.myspace.com/sepultura

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Music & Performance
At a quarter to midnight, SEPULTURA finally entered the stage and depicted the last band of the evening as well as the headliner. Yet, the Hessenhallen had considerably emptied, since many people were tired or had seen the bands they wanted to see. Again, mostly young people gathered in the front row, yet you could still get a decent place to view when the intro started. In general, SEPULTURA tend to split people up as either lovers or haters, since one might regard them as a tribute or cover band. Yet, the band itself put on a good performance and surely convinced with regard to technical aspects like intonation or demand.

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Songs like ‘Refuse/Resist’, ‘Mass Hypnosis’ or ‘Arise’ worked very well on stage, but in the end, one has to decide for oneself if the band was worth the headliner slot of the evening.

Setlist
01. Intro
02. Beneath the Remains
03. Refuse/Resist
04. Dead Embryonic Cells
05. Desperate Cry
06. Amen
07. Mass Hypnosis
08. We Who Are Not As Others
09. Altered State
10. Subtraction
11. Infected Voice
12. Orgasmatron
13. Inner Self
14. Territory
15. Arise

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

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All pictures by Ricarda Menn

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