Wacken Open Air 2006 Day 3
|Event:||Wacken Open Air 2006|
Wacken Open Air 2006 Festival Review
And just like this, before we knew it, the last day of Wacken dawned on us. Its unbelievable how quickly time passes when we're having fun. Either way, I woke up early in the morning in order to catch as many bands as I could this day.
First up were Metal Church and Aborted, although the former was definitely a lot more listenable than the latter. Metal Church's always energetic and often optimistic brand of metal was simply a lot more enjoyable a warm-up than the noisy deathgrind that Aborted was offering.
After this dynamic opening Caliban emerged and played a show that was actually much mellower than what I was expecting. Having seen these guys live already a few years ago, I was expecting metalcore of almost grind-like intensity but instead the band obviously chose to develop in a more melodic direction. I am not sure if this is a wise choice since the band seemed a little uncomfortable with this direction on the stage.
Arch Enemy was up next and this was obviously a band that a lot of people were waiting for. Although obviously not the first of her kind, Angela Gossow has become a definite symbol and icon of female empowerment in metal music. Indeed I saw a lot of girls crowd around the stage. Ironically, the band's performance struck me as being pretty mediocre and even generic. Perhaps this is an issue of a band having trouble living up to its name or maybe they were having a bad day. Either way, I wasn't overly impressed.
Luckily, Fear Factory who were up next got me in a good mood again since their show was full of all the right kind of energy. Actually, the band's performance could have been better (especially in regard to Burton C. Bell's voice, which quite audibly started to crack towards the end of the show) but they totally made up for it by having a very friendly attitude. As a matter of fact, FF were the only band in this year's lineup that I know of who, after finishing their show, went out of the backstage area to roam the festival grounds and interact with the fans.
The reunited Morbid Angel was up next and for many people seeing them play those old tunes from the early 90s was a dream come true. Sadly, Morbid Angel's show suffered from the same issues that most extreme bands were having in Wacken, namely that the sound engineers weren't able to prevent their music from sounding like a complete cacophony. Either way, some of the most brutal mosh pits of the entire Wacken experience formed at this concert and I am not surprised.
Tired after seeing all of these bands and not being a power metal fan, I decided to skip Gamma Ray and have some lunch. I was very unhappy about what was going to happen next - three bands that I wanted to see were going to play simultaneously and I had to make a choice. Soulfly and Atheist would occupy the two main stages while Tourettes Syndrome (a great band from Australia) would play on the small W.E.T. Stage. Luckily, Tourettes decided to give the press a sample of their music by playing a few songs backstage so I was left with deciding only between two bands.
The way I solved this problem was simply that I hovered between the two shows. I felt a little schizophrenic after this exercise but it was well worth it because both bands delivered performances that were some of the best during this festival. Soulfly's rhythmic assault was extremely moving, while Atheist's very relaxed performance was a pure joy to watch. While Max was screaming his guts out on some of Soulfly's most anthemic songs, Atheist offered something that was very reminiscent of a jazz jam session, with all of the musicians comfortably trading musical ideas with each other and having a great time. Such a shame these two bands couldn't play at different times…
After these two exhausting performances, I knew that Whitesnake simply had no chance of upping the ante and beating them. And indeed - they didn't. Although their show was quite enjoyable, with the band performing many great songs and covers, I definitely couldn't sense the sort of energy that is required for a memorable show. Moreover, Emperor was setting up on the other stage and it was obvious that more and more people started drifting over there to stand as close to the stage as possible, abandoning David Coverdale and his motley crew.
Frankly, I didn't blame the black metal fans in Wacken because the moment Emperor started playing it was clear that this was it - the best show of the festival. The speed, intensity and pure energy with which these Norwegians blasted the whole audience were absolutely astounding. I was always a fan of this band but only after seeing them live did I really understand what a phenomenal musical entity they are. The performance was also flawless and almost inhumanly perfect. The band was even able to use the afore-mentioned sound issues to their advantage, making their older tracks even more menacing. Emperor's reunion was a very good idea and I really urge people to see them live if they get the chance.
Motorhead followed this example of metal bliss and although it was a very hard thing to do, they didn't disappoint either. Then again, Motorhead comes to Wacken all the time and they know exactly what they're doing. Lemmy and company knew how to move the crowd and get them involved with the music.
Finally, the last band I saw on this year's Wacken Open Air was Finntroll and I think it was a great way to say goodbye to this great festival. Finntroll is all about good fun and everybody was eager to join into it. The band's bouncy riffs and folk melodies were very addictive and people obviously enjoyed them very much.
NOTE: All photographs used by permission of Rolf Klatt / metaltix.com. All rights reserved
||Written on 25.09.2006 by With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.|
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