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Stadthalle, Eisenberg, Germany
18th December 2010
Black Troll Winterfest 2010: Nothgard, Finsterforst, Pantheon I, King Of Asgard, Haradwaith, Kromlek, Trollfest, Alcest, Heljareyga, Wolfchant, Unlight, XIV Dark Centuries

The 2nd Black Troll Winterfest was in Eisenberg, Germany for the first time. UNLIGHT had cancelled because of health problems before starting. There was so much snow in Thuringia that the local Fire Brigade had to clean the roof of the city hall. After this mission the festival could begin. http://www.stadt-eisenberg.de/stadthalle/stadthome.htm

Nothgard

The Symphonic Black Metal band NOTHGARD was founded in 2008 by Dominik Kreilinger and Toni Buchmüller under the name NORDAVIND. After some jam sessions, the composition of their own songs started. In 2010 they changed their name and a contract was signed with ‘Black Bards Entertainment’. www.myspace.com/nothgard



Music & Performance
Early on many guests were there, although they hadn’t noticed that NOTHGARD had finished their sound check and were about to begin the festival. The Bavarians already strained the neck muscles properly; the audience dares to 'Sword Of Xanthene' just timidly forward. Singer Dom thanked them: “It is an honour to open here.” Then, he did some advertisement for the spring 2011 debut album and appearing drunk then the fans. 'Rise of the Falling' captivated with a good guitar solo. The spark unfortunately didn’t jump over from to the crowd from the insanely head banging band.

Setlist
01. Magna Vallum Danubia
02. Sword Of Xanten
03. Five times dead but never died
04. Victory
05. Rise after falling
06. Ragnarök

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


Finsterforst


This Pagan Metal Band was formed in late 2004 and FINSTERFORST is a synonym for the Schwarzwald, Germany. Because the line-up of the band wasn't yet complete, the band dispensed with rehearsals and concentrated on song writing. In July 2007, they released her first album ‘Weltenkraft’. http://www.finsterforst.de/



Music & Performance
They came to their tried and true cast on stage. The show, the performance and the interaction between the musicians worked great. FINSTERFORST impressively proved the fans that their way is the right one. With Oliver Berlin they have found a worthy successor as the front man. We will hear and see much more of them, I'm sure of that.

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


Pantheon I

Formed in late 2002 and hailing from the city of Oslo in Norway, PANTHEON I is an extreme metal band that combines brutality, aggression and speed with heart-wrenching melancholy. The symphonic aspects of their music are highlighted by the use of the cello. In 2007, they signed to Candlelight Records and released their second full-length album ‘The Wanderer And His Shadow’. http://www.myspace.com/pantheoni



Music & Performance
Huge beats were thundering over the stage. It was dark and only a little red light illuminated the scene – all head bangers like that. In the early afternoon singer Kvebek asked: ‘Are you getting drunk yet?’ Some probably couldn’t answer anymore.. For a month ABSU guitarist Aethyris McKay was on board and he did very well. Unfortunately, the cello of Live Julianne Kostøl couldn’t be heard - she was the only woman of the night and  would’ve deserved it.

Setlist
01. Myself Above All
02. Serpent Christ
03. The Wanderer And His Shadow
04. Acsending
05. Bannlyst
06. Shedim
07. Where Angels Burn

Rating
Music: 6
Performance: 5
Sound: 6
Light: 5
Total: 5.6 / 10


King Of Asgard

KING OF ASGARD was formed in 2008 by Karl Beckman (ex-MITHOTYN) after he dissolved his latest musical projects. In January 2009, he releases, along with his friend Karsten Larsson, the demo 'Prince of Märings' and ever since they are signed with ‘Metal Blade’. http://www.kingofasgard.com/

Music & Performance
Extreme modern metal meets dark melodies and Nordic folk elements. At this night it went back to the roots: The Nordic heritage is lyrically and musically re-interpreted. It reflects on the current album 'Fi'Mbulvintr' and has time and space to play. More and more minions came to fill the place in front of the stage. As singer Karl Beckmann announces the well-known song 'Einhärjar', cheers broke out and the filled horns were lifted. Hard metal and the cool of the north - slow it became warm in the hall. With the performance of ‘The Last Journey’ all had been taken into a different world: An atmospheric as the North Pole. All hail the KING’s OF ASGARD.

Setlist
01. Vämods Tale
02. Snake Tongue
03. Wrath Of The Gods
04. The Last Journey
05. Never Will You Know Of Flesh Again
06. Einhärjar
07. Day Of Sorrow
08. Strike of the Hammer
09. Vinterskugge

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


Haradwaith

HARADWAITH from Leipzig, Germany, play Black Metal: dissonant, uncompromising, hard, and very aggressive, with oppressive-morbid mood. The name of the band refers to both the people in the south and the southern region of Middle Earth in Tolkien's works. Lyrically, they worship the devil and so is their speed of sound: Fast like hell. http://www.myspace.com/haradwaith



Music & Performance
The stage is filled with fog and some red light: that’s enough for Black Metal. Singer Iblis (ex-frontman ENDSTILLE) and his men would bring hell on earth to Black Troll Winterfest. They always changed the positions and let the hair circle wild. It was a devilish role-play and all did their best. Iblis left the stage for ' Creating Hell ', Skoll throwing his microphone stand around the area and bassist Vorst running through the audience. A hardcore fan‘s cap was taken off his head and tossed through the hall. For me the best show his eveningt.

Setlist
01. Reconstruction of Chaos
02. Mephistophelian Philosophy
03. Creating Hell
04. Laceration of Flesh
05. Circle Stairs
06. Devilution
07. Open the Earth
08. Thoughts of Exit

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 6
Light: 6
Total: 6.7 / 10


Kromlek

In 2004 KROMLEK was founded as a Black Metal band but since 2009 they call their style Urban Pagan Metal. Permanent change of the line-up brought them forward, especially musically. The band name is derived from the megalithic formation Cromlech. http://www.myspace.com/kromlek



Music & Performance
Singer Mr. Alphavarg enters the stage like an Adolf Hitler impersonator. The gesture fits; lyrics and vocal harmonies characterize the style. Slightly tinged black metal sound sometimes playful melodies from the speakers: The band shows their skills. It feels like being on a journey and suddenly the event is over. For the first time I heard “Encore!” this night and the fans thanked them with long applause. Insiders know it well: KROMLEK is still Pagan... but different.

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


Trollfest

TROLLFEST is a Norwegian Folk Metal band and was founded in 2005. It has developed a unique style that draws on many genres, such as Tango, Reggae, Waltz and Ska. Add to that typical folk instruments like acoustic guitar, accordion, trumpet, fiddle, mandolin and banjo; then a language mix of various Scandinavian languages (Norwegian, especially) and German - everything together gives humorous lyrics about partying and alcohol. http://www.myspace.com/trollfest



Music & Performance
Increasing levels of mood, we come to the rising alcohol level. Singer Trollmannen came on stage and welcomed the audience in the first row with a handshake. He took his retro microphone and the set start; supported by saxophone and a mini-accordion. They were all dirty and sweaty – like Trolls (gnomes). Bottles of beer went from the stage into the hall and back, they said ‘Guten Abend’ (good evening) and after that the audience made a long polonaise. The breaks between the songs were always used to drink and to talk. That was the funniest set at the whole festival.

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 6
Sound: 7
Light: 6
Total: 6.6 / 10


Alcest

ALCEST is a French band created by Neige in early 2000. ALCEST's first demo was released in 2001 by Drakkar Productions. The band plays cold and melodic black metal inspired by the mysterious and melancholic atmospheres of the wintry landscapes. Outside of France they are still very rarely known; but insiders from around the world do know this band. The current album ‘Ecailles De Lune‘ (Prophecy Productions) has helped them in achieving greater exposure. http://www.myspace.com/alcestmusic



Music & Performnce
After a lengthy rebuilding break, ALCEST entered the stage. Their contrast program could begin. The French musical fell completely out of line: Gentle vocals met beautiful melodies; this generated a special atmosphere that ALCEST produced even on stage and spread through the hall. The light was a perfect fit to the show and so the fans were extremely quiet and enjoyed this moment. For some songs they swayed slowly or even embraced them. In the meantime it was -15 °C outside and you could let yourself drift mentally into another world; the mystic world of ALCEST.

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


Heljareyga

Heri Joensen has teamed up with four young musicians to release the debut of his solo-project HELJAREYGA in 2004. They play progressive metal with all-Faeroes lyrics. In the Faeroe Islands there are around fifteen “heljareyga”, meaning deep holes in the rock through which the surf is pushed on the high tide or in bad weather. http://www.myspace.com/heljareyga

Music & Performance
A part of the crowd was still dreaming as it got louder, faster and harder again.HELJAREYGA - the second project of the TYR-singer and guitarist Heri Joensen. The name sounds complicated, but this wasn’t intentional. Also a major technical problem proves to be no difficulty for them. After it was being solved, they played better than ever their Progressive Folk Metal. On stage there was always movement and everyone knows their position. Henri remained all the time standing at the microphone stand and so the bassist Isaac Petersen did the better show. Finally Henri said goodbye, even in German: ‘Dankeschoen, meine lieben Freunde’ (Thank you, my dear friends).

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 5
Light: 5
Total: 6.4 / 10


Wolfchant

In 2003, the formation WOLFCHANT was founded in St. Oswald/ Lower Bavaria, Germany. The band emanated from diverse extreme metal bands, which were left by the members to pursue their individual musical development. With their concept WOLFCHANT surely will convince the pagan, Viking and heathen listenership and truly follow their path consequently. http://www.myspace.com/wolfchant

Music & Performance
Smeared with “bloo”’ - that’s WOLFCHANT. Wild confusion reigned on the small stage. Only the second singer stood near the drums. Many times the backing singers get criticized but he did very well on all the songs. The audience honoured this and there was again a good mood in the hall and the Bavarians were hard drinking and toasting to their fans. 'A Paganstorm' hit the nerve of all and so some cover versions of MANOWAR and GRAVE DIGGER brought this set to a great end.

Setlist
01. Intro
02. World In Ice
03. In War
04. Mourning Red
05. A Pagan Storm
06. Fate Of The Fighting Men
07. Voran
08. Guardians Of The Forrest
09. Under The Wolves Banner
10. Black Fire
11. Never Too Drunk
12. Praise To All
13. Rebellion

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


XIV Dark Centuries


XIV DARK CENTURIES is a German Pagan Metal band from Zella-Mehlis in Thuringia. Its origin dates back to the year 1994. Since 2003, ‘Heidnischer Thueringer Metal’ (Thuringia Pagan Metal) is their self named style: This description emphasizes the three most powerful influences and characteristics of their music - paganism, their home Thuringia and Metal. http://www.xivdarkcenturies.de/

Music & Performance
Lavish decoration, all musicians in robes, traditional medieval melodies - that's celebration at “home”. With their music they are just getting to the point: give history, values obtaining, simply to stimulate thinking. The fans were tearing up their arms and so the band was encouraged again and again. Even the delay and the long intro didn’t disturb them. It’s after midnight, all has great fun together, but at a point the recent head bangers were getting tired. The proud men of Thuringia: They were in any case a worthy headliner.

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

It was a very long day for all: so much snow, a long trip for most of the crowd and the bands. After 14 hours the batteries were empty and everyone was tired. It was a beautiful and interesting festival that calls to be continued in 2011.

All pictures by Holm Pajung

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