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Stick To Your Guns Impericon Festival Oberhausen 13. April 2019 001 RoD midResTurbinenhalle, Oberhausen, Germany
13th April 2019
Impericon Festival 2019 with Holding Absence, Get The Shot, Alpha Wolf, Fit For A King, Counterparts, Heart Of A Coward, Deez Nuts, Emmure, Obey The Brave, Nasty, Being As An Ocean, Rise Of The Northstar, Bury Tomorrow, The Black Dahlia Murder, Callejon, Any Given Day, Stick To Your Guns

This April, your favourite merchandise company IMPERICON has opened the (indoor) festival season in style. And boy did they pack a punch. Europe’s biggest festival club tour has signed up so many big names for the 9th edition of their festival that the biggest challenge was certainly to decide which band to see on one of the two stages of the Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen. I decided to cover mainly the bands on the larger Monster Stage, as the stage times overlapped considerably and switching between the stages was not so easy, as the festival was completely sold out with approximately 4,500 visitors. But still, we have pictures of all bands for you!


Holding Absence

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Get The Shot

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Alpha Wolf

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Fit For A King

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Counterparts

The first band I saw was Canadian Melodic Hardcore band COUNTERPARTS from Hamilton, Ontario. The band toured Europe last year as a support for ARCHITECTS and has developed a considerable following with their release of five studio albums over their 9-year lifespan. https://www.facebook.com/counterpartsband / http://www.notyou.ca

Counterparts Impericon Festival Oberhausen 13. April 2019 015 RoD midRes

Music & Performance
COUNTERPARTS attracted quite a considerable number of spectators despite the fact that it was still early afternoon when they were scheduled to play. Those who came, saw a very appealing version of Screamo Hardcore, which certainly got the crowd fired up. Singer Brendan Murphy and his bandmates acted with precision, delivering brutal speed parts and impressive breakdowns throughout their 30-minute set, which the audience of the already packed venue seemed to dig, as they gladly followed Brendan’s orders to “move your asses and spin that shit” in the form of circle pits.

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 5
Light: 5
Total: 6 / 10

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Heart Of A Coward

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Deez Nuts

Up next was Australia’s best Hardcore export DEEZ NUTS. DEEZ NUTS are currently celebrating the 11th year anniversary of their debut, ‘Stay True’. The quartet from Melbourne has released five studio albums so far. Their latest release is an album titled ‘Binge and Purgatory’ from spring 2017, but the band is currently recording for a new album. Find out more about the band via www.deeznutshardcore.com or https://www.facebook.com/deeznutshardcore/.

Deez Nuts Impericon Festival Oberhausen 13. April 2019 021 RoD midRes

Music & Performance
DEEZ NUTS brought the old-school Hardcore spirit to the Impericon festival. After a refreshingly brief stage break the four band members stormed on stage to perform their debut single ‘Stay True’, which was enthusiastically embraced by the audience, and once again led to the mosh pit going wild. For ‘I hustle Everyday’, an aide of the band kicked a handful of air balls into the crowd, which were tossed around and smashed in no time in the wild mosh pit, while the audience kept screaming the chorus of the song. As more and more people arrived in the venue, the stage action and also the front of stage action grew more intense, and the first larger circle pits formed. Certainly, DEEZ NUTZ will not be winning any awards for innovative music anytime soon, but they certainly spread their own version of Hardcore coupled with a decent amount of fun.

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 6
Light: 5
Total: 6.3 / 10

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Emmure

Spot no. 5 of this evening went to the American Metalcore band EMMURE. Originally from New Fairfield, Connecticut, the New York quartet has formed in 2003, and is currently on the seventh release (‘Look At Yourself’ from 2017). Their music is also described as Deathcore with a penchant for spoken word and rapping sequences, paired with dissonant chords. Check out www.emmurecult.com or https://www.facebook.com/emmure for more info.

Emmure Impericon Festival Oberhausen 13. April 2019 008 RoD midRes

Music & Performance
Things took a much darker turn with the advent of EMMURE. Where a few minutes earlier a lot of fans tossed air balls back and forth, a grimmer attitude could be felt around 5:15pm, when EMMURE took over the stage. They started their set in complete darkness, with only a giant guitar wall of sound, and only when vocalist Frankie Palmieri appeared and screamed the words “You know what time it is!”, all hell broke loose inside the mosh pit. The next half hour was dominated by the band’s characteristic mixture of guitar riffing, paired with relentless double bass drums and breakdowns, so after the set of 30 minutes it became pretty obvious why they say “EMMURE, it’s a cult”.

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7.2 / 10

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Obey The Brave

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Nasty


The sixths slot of the line-up was dedicated to the Belgian Beatdown Hardcore combo NASTY. Originally starting in 2004 under the name VAN DAMME, NASTY has released seven studio albums so far, and they describe their works as ‘fucked-up music for a fucked-up world’. Check out http://www.nasty-merch.com or https://www.facebook.com/getnasty.

Nasty Impericon Festival Oberhausen 13. April 2019 022 RoD midRes

Music & Performance
Shouter and part-time bodybuilder Matthi greeted the audience in German, and the band celebrated their testosterone-infused Beatdown Hardcore for the next 35 minutes. The music itself was fine. However, the mood inside the pit turned straight-up violent, and the security personnel had to rush in to defuse several altercations. Maybe some people should learn to reserve their clowny Kung-Fu moves for the gym or better fighting cages only, as this is certain to result in injuries in a pit full of uncontrolled pogo dancers. Obviously, it is difficult to blame the band for this kind of behaviour. However, visitors of NASTY concerts should be aware of this and brace themselves accordingly.

Rating
Music: 5
Performance: 6
Sound: 5
Light: 5
Total: 5.3 / 10

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Being As An Ocean

Band no. 7 on the Monster Stage was the California-based BEING AS AN OCEAN. The American quartet has gathered a huge following with their trademark post Hardcore, which blends atmospheric electronic elements with outbursts of aggressive screamed vocals and piercing guitars. Since their foundation in 2011, BEING AS AN OCEAN have released four albums, the last of which is called ‘Waiting for Morning to Come’ and has been released in 2017. However, another album seems to be in the works with eleven tracks already recorded, waiting to be released in 2019. Check out http://www.beingasanocean.com or https://www.facebook.com/beingasanocean.

Being As An Ocean Impericon Festival Oberhausen 13. April 2019 006 RoD midRes

Music & Performance
After the rather monotonous show of NASTY, the mood created by BEING AS AN OCEAN was a completely different one. The tracks from HEALTH, which were played in the stage break, set the scene for the more ambient oriented melodic Hardcore from the band. The band opened their set with ‘OK’ from their last album, and the contrast could not have been greater. Singer Joel Quartuccio jumped off the stage and onto the stage fence to get in contact with fans. Later on in the set, he went over the fence into the middle of the crowd, and even climbed a stair case next to stage, all while continuing to sing. So, there was a lot of dedication at play here, which was reflected by the audience, who fed back the energy to the band by singing, dancing and the occasional crowd surf. All in all, it was a very captivating and emotional performance.

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

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Rise Of The Northstar

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Bury Tomorrow


Spot no. 8 went to the British Metalcore band BURY TOMORROW. Founded in 2006 in Southampton, England, the five-piece steadily built and increased their followership over the years by relentless touring and album releases. They are currently on album no. 5, which is called ‘Black Flame’, released on 13 July 2018. Go to www.bury-tomorrow.com or https://www.facebook.com/burytomorrow.

Bury Tomorrow Impericon Festival Oberhausen 13. April 2019 018 RoD midRes

Music & Performance
BURY TOMORROW gave the approx. 3,500 listeners the Metalcore treatment they were looking for. As soon as the band entered the stage and performed the song ‘No Less Violent’, the first half of the entire Turbinenhalle in front of the stage turned into a giant mosh pit. Front man Jason Cameron developed an incredible stage presence, screaming and shouting while running back and forth on the stage. Together with the rest of the band members providing the energizing musical input, he unleashed a stream of crowd surfers, who kept the security personnel extremely busy.

BILD

After 40 minutes of playtime, BURY TOMORROW had everyone dripping with sweat and screaming the vocals, as the energy levels inside the venue went through the roof.

Setlist
01. No Less Violent
02. Earthbound
03. Knife of Gold
04. More Than Mortal
05. The Age
06. Last Light
07. Black Flame

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 9
Sound: 7
Light: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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The Black Dahlia Murder

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Callejon


Next up were the five members of CALLEJON. The band from Düsseldorf, Germany had the honour of having the second last slot on the Monster Stage. CALLEJON have made a huge impact in terms of popularizing Metalcore (or “Zombiecore” as the band calls their music) in Germany. Their most recent album, ‘Hartgeld im Club’ which was released in February 2019, went to the top 5 of the German album charts. https://www.facebook.com/callejon / www.callejonshop.com

Callejon Impericon Festival Oberhausen 13. April 2019 024 RoD midRes

Music & Performance
CALLEJON were definitively up to the challenge of the sub headliner slot, which was also reflected in their stage production, where they placed a giant silver skull in the background. CALLEJON went from zero to full throttle by opening with ‘Was Du Liebe nennst’. Songs such as ‘Blitzkreuz’, or ‘Wir sind Angst’ kept the audience going. With the ballad ‘Kind im Nebel’, CALLEJON once again submitted their application for ‘Bravo Hits Vol. 149’ (or whatever number they are currently on). The new interpretation of the DIE ÄRZTE classic ‘Schrei nach Liebe’ was clearly an attempt to woo over new fans, which is always a unique opportunity for bands and the festival goers alike.

Callejon Impericon Festival Oberhausen 13. April 2019 014 RoD midRes

CALLEJON left a lasting impression, as singer BastiBasti took a clear stand against all forms of racism and fascism in a speech to the crowd, during which he encouraged the audience to stand up and fight against the rise of the right. The epic song ‘Porn from Spain 2’ closed out the 40-minute set and the members of the audience certainly felt much warmer afterwards.

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 8
Total: 7.2 / 10

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Any Given Day

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Stick To Your Guns


The final band on the line up were the Orange County, California Melodic Hardcore veterans STICK TO YOUR GUNS. Founded back in 2003, STICK TO YOUR GUNS became a household name in the business of pairing screaming and clean vocals with neck-breaking breakdowns and captivating guitar chords. STICK TO YOUR GUNS has released five studio albums so far. The latest is called ‘True You’ and has been released in 2017. Check out http://www.sticktoyourguns.net or https://www.facebook.com/STYGoc/ for more information.

Stick To Your Guns Impericon Festival Oberhausen 13. April 2019 009 RoD midRes

Music & Performance
Certainly, STICK TO YOUR GUNS were the most anticipated band of the evening. However, after 9 hours of excellent music, a sense of fatigue right before the start of the evening’s last set seemed palpable. All of this was blown away, as soon as STICK TO YOUR GUNS took the stage and hammered home their opener ‘What choice did you gave us?’. This energized the crowd inside the venue to give whatever was left in their tank, and they got the whole crowd moving and jumping in no time again. Lead singer Jesse Barnett embodied the sheer will encoded into STICK TO YOUR GUNS’ music, and had fans sing along the lyrics, while the rest of the band flawlessly performed every note.

Stick To Your Guns Impericon Festival Oberhausen 13. April 2019 006 RoD midRes

So basically, there was really no need for the dozens of air balls, which were once again thrown into the pit, as the crowd was already mesmerized by the captivating performance of the Californian band. Over the next 60 minutes, STICK TO YOUR GUNS proved to be a worthy headliner of this remarkable evening of Hardcore music, and I am definitively looking forward to next year’s celebration of the 10th IMPERICON FESTIVAL.

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

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All pictures by Keke Dombrowski
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