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Arch EnemyFortarock 2011 002Park Brakkenstein, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
2nd July 2011
Fortarock Festival Part III: Paradise Lost, Sacred Reich, Immortal, Arch Enemy

After two previous successful editions, the third Fortarock festival was taking place at Park Brakkenstein in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. As every year, I’m surprised (and very pleased!) to see how the organisation managed to create a line-up of well-known names, both old and new. Fortarock treats its audience to a lot of different flavours in the big pool of metal and hard rock. All there was left to wish for was a day without rain and some quick feet to keep up with the tight schedule. Fortarock is a one-day festival with two stages, 14 bands (KVELERTAK – VALIENT THORR – GOD DETHRONED - AGNOSTIC FRONT – GOJIRA – PARKWAY DRIVE – GHOST – DARK TRANQUILITY - TRIPTYKON – CHANNEL ZERO – PARADISE LOST – SACRED REICH – IMMORTAL – ARCH ENEMY) and no break in between.

Paradise Lost

PARADISE LOST is a dark rock / metal band formed in 1988 in Halifax, England. Their first three full-length albums are examples of the death/doom style inspired by amongst others KREATOR, CELTIC FROST, CANDLEMASS and MORBID ANGEL. With the release of the albums ‘Icon’ (1993) and ‘Draconian Times’ (1995) Paradise Lost also became known as the pioneers of gothic metal. With their change in musical approach, vocalist Nick Holmes also changed his singing style from death grunts to more clean vocals. PARADISE LOST also experimented with electronic styles but after four albums reverted back again to gothic metal. Their line-up has remained quite stable for such a long-standing heavy metal band, consisting of singer Nick Holmes, guitarists Greg Mackintosh and Aaron Aedy, and bassist Steve Edmondson. During the years, the band has only changed drummers. In 2009, PARADISE LOST’s 12th studio album was released, entitled ‘Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us’, characterized by the heavy doom metal sound PARADISE LOST became famous for. /

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Music & Performance
Taking off with ‘The Rise of Denial’ from their latest 2009 album ‘Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us’, it becomes clear that the stage is like home to the guys from PARADISE LOST. With a repertoire of twelve studio albums, a live set easily becomes a greatest hits show. They take us on a journey through more than 20 years of classic gothic and doom metal with a very decent show, cheered on by a group of fans who’ve been clearly following them from the beginning. Front man Holmes finishes their performance with an old song ‘Say Just Words’ from their same titled album from 1997. PARADISE LOST puts up a great show, nothing more, nothing less.

Setlist (source:
01. The Rise Of Denial
02. Erased
03. Pity The Sadness
04. Enchantment
05. I Remain
06. As I Die
07. One Second
08. Forever Failure
09. Requiem
10. Say Just Words

Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7 / 10

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Sacred Reich

The trash metal band SACRED REICH was formed in 1985 in Phoenix, Arizona. Their debut album ‘Ignorance’, characterised by singer Phil’s socially-conscious/political involvement, was released in 1987. They gained popularity very fast, especially in the underground metal scene. After several records on Metal Blade Records, SACRED REICH signed to Hollywood Records for a short while, but later returned to Metal Blade to continue their musical career. Over the years, SACRED REICH’s style changed into crossover thrash metal, meeting with other famous bands from this period like SUICIDAL TENDENCIES. SACRED REICH’s album ‘The American Way’ (1990) is considered as one of THE classic 90s metal albums. The band split in 2000, after 14 years and 5 studio albums. In 2007, the band reunited to play several shows in Europe, including Wacken Open Air. Unfortunately for SACRED REICH fans, the band stated that there are no plans to record a new album.

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Music & Performance
As one of the icons of the thrash metal scene, who are famous for their energetic live shows, maybe my expectations were a little too high. SACRED REICH’s members put up their show like a well-oiled machine, but their focus seems to be more on their music and lyrics than their live performance. The audience seems to have a good time though, sort of slow-moshing their way in front of the stage while enthusiastically enforcing the backing vocals on songs like 'Ignorance' and 'Surf Nicaragua'. Though a bit older, heavier and maybe even wiser, SACRED REICH still puts up a technical tight show and I think I should leave it at that.

Music: 6
Performance: 6
Sound: 7
Light: daylight
Total: 6.3 / 10

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IMMORTAL is a black metal band from Bergen, Norway, formed by Abbath and Demonaz Doom Occulta in 1988. IMMORTAL’s early full-length releases were traditional black metal. At their album ‘At the Heart of Winter’ the band began to experiment with a complex fusion of black metal and thrash metal. Immortal has been influential to many modern metal artists. Although often associated with occult-mysticism, IMMORTAL does not support Satanism, with the exception of their first album, ‘Diabolical Full moon Mysticism’, which contains anti-religious lyrics and song titles. Apart from the two core members Abbath and Demonaz, Immortal has had several line-up changes. IMMORTAL decided to split in 2003 for various personal reasons of the band members. In 2006 it was announced that IMMORTAL would reunite for a series of summer shows in 2007. After the reunion, Abbath and Horgh decided to reform the band on a permanent basis. IMMORTAL’s first album after the reunion entitled ‘All Shall Fall’ was released in 2009. /

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Music & Performance
Well, IMMORTAL is IMMORTAL; what can I say! FORTAROCK is treated to an all-inclusive wicked live performance with the necessary fireworks, smoke and flames. Because of this, the photo area remained closed during their first song. In front of a battery of amplifiers, the men of IMMMORTAL make their entrance on stage and give the audience a piece of rock-n-roll with a heavy, heavy metal coating. Over the years, the band stayed true to their origin of black metal. Playing songs mostly from their last two albums, IMMORTAL proves to be still on their game with raging guitars, grunts and lots of smoke. IMMORTAL takes “going out with a bang” very seriously, as they finish their spectacular show with the song ‘One by One’ ending with an deafening bang from some piece of firework.

Setlist (source:
01. All Shall Fall
02. Sons of Northern Darkness
03. The Rise of Darkness
04. Damned in Black
05. Hordes to War
06. The Call of the Wintermoon
07. In My Kingdom Cold
08. Tyrants
09. One by One

Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7.3 / 10

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Arch Enemy

ARCH ENEMY is a Swedish melodic death metal band formed in 1996, assembled from members of bands such as CARCASS, ARMAGEDDON, CARNAGE, MERCYFUL FATE, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS and EUCHARIST. The band has released nine studio albums so far, a live album, two DVDs and three EPs. The band's debut, entitled ‘Black Earth’ was released at defunct Wrong Again Records in 1996. After the release of Black Earth the band switched labels, signing a contract with Century Media. In 1998 ARCH ENEMY released ‘Stigmata’, an album that caught the attention of a wider audience, gaining popularity in both Europe and America. In 2000, vocalist Johan Liiva was asked to quit the band and was replaced by German journalist and death metal vocalist Angela Gossow. Gossow proved to be a competent singer, but became most famous for her growling. The first album with songs featuring Gossow was ‘Wages of Sin’, released in 2001. Followed by ‘Doomsday Machine’ (2005), ‘Rise of the Tyrant’ (2007), ‘The Root of All Evil’ (2009) and finally’ Chaos Legions’ in 2011. ARCH ENEMY stands for energetic spectacular live performances with raging guitar solos and one of the few successful female singers who uses growling as her primary style. /

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Music & Performance
With a long intro, originating from their latest album ‘Khaos Legions’, ARCH ENEMY tries to prepare and awaken the Fortarock audience once more; most of them a bit tired of the long day and lots of beer. Once the guitar players take off with ‘Yesterday is Dead and Gone’, and Gossow enters the stage, the audience is ready for it. The band still has loads of energy and puts up a dynamic show, with one guitar solo after another and spectacular lighting. As Gossow tries to chat with the public, she’s responded by loud grunts meaning; just play! Though ARCH ENEMY is capable of energizing the audience one last time, banging their heads, moshing their way through, after a few more songs it’s just more of the same. Which is proper nice, but after a full day of guitars, drums and grunts, I decide to head back home when they start their last song, concluding that Fortarock 2011 can look back on another successful edition.

Setlist (source:
00. Khaos Overture (intro)
01. Yesterday is Dead and Gone
02. Revolution Begins
03. Ravenous
04. My Apocalypse
05. Bloodstained Cross
06. Dead Eyes See No Future
07. I Am Legend / Out for Blood
08. Under Black Flags We March
09. No Gods, No Masters
10. We Will Rise
11. Nemesis
12. Fields of Desolation

Music: 7.5
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 7.8 / 10

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All pics by Ruth Mampuys (

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