6th to 9th July 2016
RockHarz Festival Day 4: Impressions, Tankard, Gloryhammer, Hämatom, Finntroll, Ensiferum, Sonata Artica, Children of Bodom, Subway to Sally, Powerwolf, Tanzwut, Summary
Last festival day and on my way to the ground I already saw people putting up their tents, may be for leaving RockHarz just after the last headliners.
For me, Sunday at RockHarz started with TANKARD, good old RockHarz friends and it is always a pleasure to see this Thrash Metal band with singer Andreas “Gerre” Geremia on stage - having fun, sparking chaos and kicking up! // http://www.tankard.info / https://www.facebook.com/tankardofficial // Setlist: 01.El Condor Pasa / 02. Zombie Attack / 03. The Morning After / 04. Rules for Fools / 05. R.I.B. (Rest in Beer) / 06. Rapid Fire (A Tyrant's Elegy) / 07. Chemical Invasion / 08. A Girl Called Cerveza / 09. (Empty) Tankard
GLORYHAMMER is an Anglo-Swiss epic Power Metal band founded by keyboard player Christopher Bowes. They released their debut album ‘Tales from the Kingdom of Fife’ in 2013. Every member of the band represents a character in the story concept and that is the reason why the band appears on-stage in armour and costumes. I noticed on young girl in the crowd holding a sign with the text “Ihr seid scheisse!” (You are shit!) but I was not able to talk with her about her angry. Anyway, the entire concept really reminds me of Disneyland and maybe I am simply too old for that. // http://www.gloryhammer.com / https://www.facebook.com/gloryhammer // Setlist: 01. Infernus Ad Astra / 02. Rise of the Chaos Wizards / 03.Legend of the Astral Hammer / 04. Hail to Crail / 05. Quest Lords of Inverness, Ride to the Galactic Fortress! / 06. The Hollywood Hootsman / 07. Angus McFife / 08. Universe on Fire / 09. The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee / 10. The National Anthem Of Unst
Full of expectations everyone was waiting for one of the most popular bands of the Neue Deutsche Härte (NDH) but unfortunately the gig was delayed by more than 15 minutes. Time for me to talk with Julia. Her voice was so hoarsely from singing but her declared goal was to have no voice anymore at the end of the evening. Being the first time on RockHarz, she promised to come back next year - and she was still impressed from her first crowd surfing in the night before! Coming on stage, HÄMATOM has to skip some songs of the setlist but the outstanding performance could finally reconcile the fans with the mishap. // http://www.haematom.de / https://www.facebook.com/haematommusic // Setlist: 01 Wir sind Gott / 02. Made in Germany / 03.Seelenpiraten / 04. Säulen des Wahnsinns (skipped) / 05. Fick das System (skipped) / 06. Auge um Auge / 07. Kids / 08. Eva (skipped) / 09. Alte Liebe rostet (skipped) / 10. Leck mich
FINNTROLL is a famous Folk Metal band from Finland, combining elements of Black Metal and Folk Metal and yes, dressed as trolls with long ears. On RockHarz they performed some songs from their last album ‘Blodsvept’ for example ‘Mordminnen (Memories of Murder)’ or ‘Häxbrygd (Witch's Brew)’ but finished the impressive gig with ‘Under bergets rot’ including a lot of shout-along sections for the fans. // http://www.finntroll-music.com / https://www.facebook.com/officialfinntroll // Setlist: 01 Slaget vid blodsälv / 02. Mordminnen / 03. Solsagan / 04. Nattfödd / 05. Skogsdotter / 06. Häxbrygd / 07. Jaktens tid / 08. Trollhammaren / 09. Under bergets rot
Again from Finland ENSIFERUM stands also for Melodic Folk Metal and a perfect match to FINNTROLL. They started with tracks from their actual album ’One Man Army’ and immensely increased the crowd’s support by playing older songs like 'Wanderer' or 'Token of Time'. They finished the awesome performance with ‘Iron’ and were bid good-bye just as enthusiastically. // http://www.ensiferum.com / https://www.facebook.com/Ensiferum // Setlist: 01.March of War / 02. Axe of Judgement / 03. Heathen Horde / 04. Two of Spades / 05. Wanderer / 06. From Afar / 07. Token of Time / 08. In My Sword I Trust /09. Iron
As the next band from Finland SONATA ARTICA entered the Dark Stage. Almost a headliner they had one hour to celebrate their kind of Melodic Metal. The five-piece around singer and songwriter Tony Kakko were in a good mood and so it was a fantastic atmosphere right from the beginning with a lot of dusty mosh pits in the crowd. // http://www.sonataarctica.info / https://www.facebook.com/sonataarctica // Setlist. 01.The Wolves Die Young / 02. My Land / 03. Tallulah / 04. 8th Commandment / 05. FullMoon / 06. Destruction Preventer / 07. The Cage / 08. I Have a Right / 09. Don't Say a Word
Children of Bodom
Headliner of the night and the fourth band from Finland was CHILDREN OF BODOM. I was told that CoB are more than less Metal mainstream, but my impression was that “fuck, fucking, motherfucking” Alexi “Wildchild” Laiho and the rest of the band could trust on an enormous and loyal fan base. They performed 'Lake Bodom', 'I Worship Chaos', 'Needled 24/7' or 'Silent Night, Bodom Night' with outstanding support, including the greatest circle pit RockHarz had ever seen (or ok, I have ever seen on RockHarz). // http://www.cobhc.com / https://www.facebook.com/childrenofbodom
Subway to Sally
For the fifth time SUBWAY TO SALLY visited RockHarz and so it was time for some Folk Metal with German lyrics. With a big, and I stress the word big, bang SUBWAY TO SALLY introduced the song ‘Mephisto’ from the year 1997 and this was the signal to start dancing and singing. The power and energy coming from the performance was dramatically increased by flames and pyrotechnic. The last song ‘Julia und Die Räuber’ was sung together with the whole audience and the line “Blut, Blut, Räuber saufen Blut” remained as a catchy tune in just in the ears of everyone. // http://subwaytosally.com / https://www.facebook.com/subwaytosally // Setlist: 01.Alle, Psallite Cum Luya 02. Mephisto / 03. Mitgift / 04. Grausame Schwester / 04. Arme Ellen Schmitt / 05. Ad Mortem Festinamus / 06. Henkersbraut / 07. Kleid aus Rosen / 08. Falscher Heiland / 09. Sieben / 10. Tanz auf dem Vulkan / 11. Veitstanz / 12. Julia und Die Räuber
It is a really good RockHarz tradition that at the end of the festival the organizer together with the crew appeared on the Dark Stage to say “Thank you” and to ask the three well known questions: “Did you enjoy the festival?”, “Do you come back next year?” and “Are you ready for a picture?” Finally POWERWOLF entered the stage and opened the performance with ‘Amen & Attack’. POWERWOLF with lead singer Attila Dorn celebrated their understanding of a Holy Mass and it was a blast ! It was really a crowning end of exciting RockHarz days, bringing again all together: Flames, pyrotechnic and freaked out people - and even the “huh - huh – huh” performed by the island fans during the Euro 2016 was working perfect! // http://www.powerwolf.net / https://www.facebook.com/powerwolfmetal
TANZWUT just released a new album called ‘Schreib es mit Blut’ and RockHarz was the first chance to present the album as part of a great release show. And although it was after midnight and it was a tough day for most of the people TANZWUT was able to set free new energies under the lead of the devil himself. For me it was time to leave RockHarz, after four days I felt pretty odd but certainly grateful for so many impressions. I opened the windows of my car, breathing fresh air and returned homewards. // http://www.tanzwut.com / https://www.facebook.com/TANZWUTOfficial // Setlist: 01. Brot und Spiele / 02. Ihr wolltet Spaß / 03. Meer / 04. Schreib es mit Blut / 05. Merseburger / 06. Stille Wasser / 07. Spiegelkabinett / 08. Reicher als ein König / 09. Freitag der 13. / 10. Brüder im Geiste / 11. Hymnus Cerberi
From 10 points I want to give 12 points for the security and the guys from the first aid. Especially on Friday and Saturday, crowd surfing was enormous and for the security in front of the stage it was a really hard job - but the security was all the time in a good mood - and hey, did you ever seen a security man self as a crowd surfer?
RockHarz is from my point of view perfect organized, they improved over all the years the things which could be done better and this year the traffic jam problem was solved by a new approach - 9 points.
I talked with an old festival veteran, certainly on more festival I have ever seen and he was very pleased about RockHarz: Right in the size, friendly people, nice surroundings and good music. I definitely feel the same - 10 points.
I have to say that four days continuous Heavy Metal music is maybe not everyone's cup of tea. Although you get an enormous bandwidth of different styles, it is at the end Metal music and quiet moments are rare. With bands like J.B.O., SUBWAY TO SALLY or KNORKATOR, RockHarz has special buddies which are considered as a must-have on RockHarz, but the risk could be that people are grown weary to see each time the same bands - 8 points.
If I consider everything, RockHarz is really worth the money. 51 band for less than 100 euros, appropriate prices in general. Great atmosphere on the camping ground and in the infield with friendly and peaceful people around. An incredible range of music that pleases every Metal fan's heart - what else could you want? 9 points - one point left for you, maybe you can write down in the comments things I forgot.
All Pictures by Chris W. Braunschweiger (https://www.facebook.com/ChrisWBraunschweigerPhotographie)