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Rick im Park 2024 Credit Daniel Dostal Samstag Parkwaydrive 020Zeppelinfeld, Nuremberg, Germany
8th June 2024
Rock im Park Day 2 with reviews of Thy Art Is Murder, While She Sleeps, Biohazard, Parkway Drive

Day 1 ended with catchy chords of ‘Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)’ and the good aftertaste of an awesome festival day. This boded well for the upcoming Saturday. However, this was a day where brutal line-up decisions had to be made. There was just a plethora of super attractive bands scheduled to play at or near the same timeslot, and as reproductive cloning is still a thing of the future, I had to make decisions with a heavy heart which ones to see. I let my teenage me win the selection, so I went to check out at least a glimpse of FEAR FACTORY and the full gig of the NYC legends BIOHAZARD, meaning I would miss out on the better part of MACHINE HEAD and COREY TAYLOR.

Thy Art Is Murder

But first it was time for some soothing sounds to get me started into the festival day. And what better choice for this than Australian Deathcore outfit THY ART IS MURDER, a band which has undeniably faced recent turmoil. Just a day after releasing their latest album, ‘Godlike,’ they announced on social media that frontman CJ McMahon was out. A new, yet unnamed vocalist had re-recorded the album. Fans reacted with a mix of support and outrage, unsurprisingly shaken by the news. Similar reactions were expected for new permanent vocalist Tyler Miller (formerly of AVERSIONS CROWN), especially considering the quick tour following his addition. Opinions are still forming, and the band’s wounds seem fresh. Tradition held strong, though. The iconic ‘The Venga Bus’ spin signalled the band’s arrival. To the uninitiated, this poses quite a disturbing view: thousands of Death Metal fans in their black cuts freaking out to one of the greatest Eurotrash hymns. The tradition continued as their set opened with ‘Destroyer of Dreams,’ showcasing Miller’s impressive range, hitting both guttural roars and piercing screams. However, by ‘Death Squad Anthem,’ the vocal difference became evident. Comparisons are inevitable when vocalists front the same band, but it’s especially noticeable on certain tracks. While banter might have been lacking, the band retained its stage presence and warmth in crowd interaction. Tracks like ‘Make America Hate Again’ truly shined, with its signature riff igniting smiles. It seems songs with a more holistic sound, rather than being heavily vocal-driven, might be the future direction. With Miller’s recordings, potentially new material, and a fan base willing to adapt, THY ART IS MURDER’s future, though different, holds promise.

While She Sleeps

Occupying the slot before MACHINE HEAD on a festival is among the toughest spots you can have. The only act trusted to be able to pull this off was the quintet from Sheffield, UK formed as a band among former schoolmates back in 2006. Current singer Lawrence “Loz” Taylor joined WHILE SHE SLEEPS in 2009, and so far, they have released six studio albums with the latest ‘Self Hell’ having been released earlier this year. The change-over revealed lots of base and guitar speaker cabinets for the upcoming gig of WHILE SHE SLEEPS. With a thunderous lightning of strobe lights, WHILE SHE SLEEPS entered the stage to perform ‘Rainbows’ as the opening song. Together with the excellent sound mix underscoring the band’s versatility, the new song once again ticked off the audience, and almost simultaneously, dozens of half-full beer cups were thrown into the air and a vicious circle pit appeared. The fever pitch in terms of circle pit mania was reached when the band played their anthemic ‘Four Walls’ from the 2015 album ‘Brainwashed’. After this song, guitarist Sean Long instructed the people in the front to pick up those who fell to the ground in the wild pit, and singer Loz grinningly echoed “Yeah, look after each other you fuckers”. The set continued without any room to breathe, during which all kinds of seemingly lost garment pieces were thrown in the air, as the intensity of the pit action showed no sign of watering down. With a blistering performance of ‘Systematic’ the gig came to an end, leaving thousands of fans in front of the Mandora Stage gasping for air, as huge clouds of dust were thrown into the air by the intensive front of stage action.


Now this is what I call a comeback. After going missing on this part of the Atlantic for the better part of three decades, the New York (or more specifically: Brooklyn) Hardcore legend was scheduled to play in the legendary Ice Hockey hall in Nuremberg. A lot of old and new fans joined the crowd in anticipation, so everyone screamed, as the lights went to green, and a classical music intro was played, while the legendary band members jumped on stage and kicked off their 1995 hymn ‘Shades of Grey’ from their 1992 blockbuster album ‘Urban Discipline’. Predictably, the crowd went into a frenzy, as the three-decade old songs and the older band members had lost none of their mojo. The only downside was the incredibly bad sound mix, tinkered together by the clueless guy behind the desk. It was extremely loud, but also mushy, and Billy’s guitar was completely lost, which led to hectic activity by the stage hands. I get it, the Ice hockey hall is a difficult setting for clear sounds, but other bands (or their sound master teams) have a much better job in providing loud but clear and discernible instrumentation. Nevertheless, what the sound lacked in clarity, the band members made good in terms of dedication and interaction with the fans. They even promised the first fan to reach the stage a free beer, which was gladly accepted.

RiP 2024 Credit Daniel Dostal Samstag Parkwaydrive 027

Parkway Drive

The actual culmination of the night for me was the scorching performance of the band with the most innocuous sounding Metalcore band no. 1: PARKWAY DRIVE. The Australian Metalcore outfit brought their signature intensity to the Zeppelin stage, transforming the festival grounds into a pulsating mosh pit. From the opening riff of ‘Glitch,’ the energy was undeniable. Winston McCall, the band’s charismatic frontman, commanded the stage with a preacher’s fervour, his vocals soaring over a relentless wave of guitars. Tracks like ‘Prey’ and ‘The Void’ were delivered with a precision that belied the raw power on display. But what truly elevated the performance was the band's masterful use of pyrotechnics and fireworks. Perfectly timed flamethrowers erupted alongside the band, mirroring the fury of their music. As the night sky darkened, a dazzling display of fireworks showered the crowd, adding a layer of theatricality that perfectly complemented the music’s aggression. PARKWAY DRIVE didn’t just play a concert; they orchestrated a full-blown sensory assault. The combination of their bone-crushing music, McCall’s captivating presence, and the explosive pyrotechnics created an unforgettable experience for the tens of thousands in attendance. This wasn’t just a headlining set; it was a declaration. PARKWAY DRIVE proved once again why they are one of the most exciting and essential live acts in Modern Metal. They left the crowd not just satisfied, but utterly spent, yearning for more.

Summary of Day 2

Saturday was a blast in the Park. The weather was perfect (and much better than anticipated), which made me forget the pain and FOMO on other bands. The only downside was the feeling of having inhaled tons of rocks in dust form. I hope that one fine day the Rock im Park management will allow the additional funds for laying floor coverings also in front of the Mandora Stage.

RiP 2024 Marcel Gollin Corey Taylor 3

Pictures by Daniel Dostal, Konrad Laukat, Marcel Gollin

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