Ragnarök Festival - Lichtenfels, Germany, 30th-31st March 2007

Event: Ragnarök Festival 4
Written by: Promonex
Published: 04.11.2007

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Ragnarök Festival 4 - Lichtenfels, Germany, 30-31 March 2007 by Promonex (137)


1. Introduction
March 2007. Once again the Ragnarök Festival, the biggest pagan metal festival in Germany, if not even in Europe, was to take place in the idyllic town of Lichtenfels in Northern Bavaria. The previous year's edition has been a blast and pleased 2800 metal heads. It also received some heavy criticism from the media though due to the presence of Nazis who had absolutely no problem with displaying their attitude and doing the infamous Hitler salute which is considered illegal here in Germany. After such negative coverage was aired nation-wide by a public broadcaster the organizer Ivo Raab didn't really have much of a choice other than abandoning the concept of an "unpolitical festival" and had to take a stand against the kind of people who display their sympathy for national socialism in the course of the festival.



As you can imagine it was more than inconvenient in this context that the headliners Taake committed quite a faux pas ten days before the festival: at the Essen date of their tour with Koldbrann and Urgehal (whom also both played at the Ragnarök) frontman Høst appeared on stage with a swastika on his chest which is considered a crime here in Germany as well. The organizer - still hesitant in dropping the headliner from the billing - waited for a statement from Høst. This statement consisted of an apology towards the organizers of the dates to come, but also of insults towards the organizer of the Essen date calling him an "Untermensch" and telling him to "go suck a muslim". Needless to say that all of Taake's festival dates were cancelled after that. More surprisingly it was when the Ragnarök organizer - seven days before the festival of one headliner short - was able to announce the Danish cult black metal band Angantyr as replacement to fill up the black metal emphasized lineup of the first night again.

Talking about the first night, it's about time to start talking about the actual festival, don't you think?


2. Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Table of Contents

3. Friday, March 30
3.1 Dawn of Blood
3.2 Sycronomica
3.3 Wolfchant
3.4 Fjoergyn
3.5 Koldbrann
3.6 Helheim
3.7 Vreid
3.8 Månegarm
3.9 Kampfar
3.10 Urgehal
3.11 Angantyr

4. Saturday, March 31
4.1 Helfahrt
4.2 Kromlek
4.3 Heidevolk
4.4 Minas Morgul
4.5 Gernotshagen
4.6 Black Messiah
4.7 Hel
4.8 Eluveitie
4.9 Cruachan
4.10 Týr
4.11 Swallow The Sun
4.12 Moonsorrow
4.13 Riger
4.14 Aaskereia
4.15 Varg

5. Conclusion
6. Outlook on Ragnarök 5
7. Credits


3. Friday, March 30

3.1 Dawn of Blood
The openers of this year's edition were Dawn of Blood, a local band that played rather mid-paced death metal. Being one of the two bands which didn't fit into the pagan/black metal scheme they had quite a hard stand, even more so as they were the openers. Let's put it shortly: the only reason why people were up front was because the band handed out free beer. The music in contrast was a lot less convincing.



3.2 Sycronomica
By now I realized that my press pass didn't gain me entrance to the photo and backstage area, so I headed out seeking for the organizer in order to change something about that. In the meanwhile melodic black metallers Sycronomica took the stage to make up for the cancelled gig at last year's Ragnarök. This was the second time I've seen them on stage and just like the time before I didn't remember a thing of their gig afterwards. Pretty generic and replaceable meloblack metal I might say. At least I got my photo pass in the meantime.
Setlist: Beyond the Gate of Light - Für die Ewigkeit - To the Rivers End - Creations of Mine - Farewell Olden World - Paths (of a Forgotten Time)



3.3 Wolfchant
It was also the second time that I've seen these guys and I must say: this time they were really good! Backed up with a new full-length album Wolfchant appeared very secure in what they were doing and their style of no-frills pagan metal proved to be very effective and devastating. The first high point of the festival, one of many to come.
Setlist: Growing Storms - A Pagan Storm - Ride to Ruhn - The Betrayal - Guardians of the Forest - Blood for Blood - Stärkend Trunk aus Feindes Schädel - Praise to All



3.4 Fjoergyn
Coming up next were Fjoergyn to play the seventh gig of their short career. Like many others I was quite sceptical about how they would sound live. One singer/guitarist, one bassist, one drummer and loads of playback were to perform what many reviewers of their debut album "Ernte im Herbst" ("Autumn Harvest") described as cross-breed of Falkenbach and Richard Wagner. Due to an overly long soundcheck they had to cut out their intro and cold-started with their first song. And I must admit I wasn't as impressed as I hoped to be. Just like on CD the symphonic elements had an equally huge part as the guitars, which just didn't work as well due to the fact that only the guitars were present on stage. The light-show correlated with the band's minimalist imagery which also failed to create the atmosphere needed to fill up the unoccupied space on stage. Nonetheless the band played a solid gig in which they also played two songs from their upcoming album "Sade et Masoch". Of these "Katharsis" made a special impression as it was a lot more rock-ish than the other songs, and the slight industrial touch finally explained why band leader Stephan L. was wearing a Nine Inch Nails shirt on a pagan metal festival. The new songs definitely set high hopes for their upcoming album; the band might need to play some more gigs though to find its full strength.
Setlist: Vom Tod der Träume - Fjoergyn - Ich sah den Himmel weinen - Katharsis - Des Winters Schmach



3.5 Koldbrann
The next band was Koldbrann, Taake's tour companions. As they didn't convince me at all the last time I saw them I decided to take a break as the remainder of the night would be black enough already. Nonetheless here's Koldbrann's setlist.
Setlist: Alt er Befengt - Steinet til Jorden - Kaosmanifest - Pogrom Pestilent - Djevelens Treskeverk - Inkvisitor Renegat

3.6 Helheim
Helheim were one of the big losers of last year's edition. Despite of the running order stating differently they were forced to play after the headliners Turisas; naturally the crowd wasn't as big as it was ought to be then. As compensation Helheim were invited again to play for a bigger crowd than the year before. Wearing chain-mail as always they took the stage and opened their set with "Jernskogen". That's about the only song I recognized, the rest of their set was drowned in a heavy, crushing and devastating slaughterfest of black viking metal, which pretty much left me unable to distinguish when one song ended and the next one started and left my mind mauled and craving for more.
Setlist: Jernskogen - Dead Man's Eyes - Svart Visdom - Helgate Is Open - Northern Forces - 13 to the Perished - Bewitchment



3.7 Vreid
After Helheim the self-declared Pitch Black Brigade took the stage. Vreid, the follow-up band of Windir founded after Windir frontman Valfar's death, appeared as expected in all black without any ornaments and fired a heavy dose of black n' roll into the crowd. Part of the set was also the Windir cover "Blodssvik" which unfortunately was interrupted by a power shortage in the middle of the song. When electricity was turned on again about ten minutes later Vreid silenced the roaring masses by picking up the song at exactly the point at which it was interrupted and finished their set as confident as if nothing had happened.



3.8 Månegarm
Up next were Swedish pagan folk veterans Månegarm whom I've seen live for the first time at this fest. And they got me quite confused for the first one or two minutes of their performance until I finally realized that the vocals came from the guy behind the drumkit - handling the vocal duties while blastbeating away? Respect for that! But this doesn't mean that the band lacked the man at the front drawing the crowd's attention. This job was handled by the band's mad violinist Janne Liljeqvist more than satisfactorily. Running, jumping and falling around one had the impression that this guy was either a lunatic or heavily intoxicated or perhaps even both. But not only the visual part of their performance was fun as hell, also the setlist was interesting drawing most songs from their 2003 album "Dödsfärd" while only playing one song from their upcoming album "Vargstenen" which might have pleased most of the band's old school fans.
Setlist: Fimbultrollet - Daughters of Eve - Ravenous - Genom Världar Nio - Hemfärd - Sigrblot - Daudr - Fädernas Kall - I Evig Tid - Ägirs Vrede



3.9 Kampfar
By now it was time for the headliners of the night. Kampfar set out to belt out some salves of true Norwegian folk black metal into the masses. This didn't stop the crowd from being disappointed about Taake having dropped from the billing, so quite a few people started to chant for Høst's by now infamous band. Kampfar didn't let themselves get irritated though. In a very crushing and very dynamic way the guys around frontman Dolk performed one hell of a show which was truly worthy of the headliner position. Greatly contributing to the dynamic nature of the show were Dolk's mimics and articulations with which he truly celebrated the music. After about 40 minutes the band finished its performance - which was slated for 60 minutes - went off the stage and obviously wanted people to shout for an encore. Sadly people failed to do so and the expected chants were quite humble (is it untr00 as black metaller to show enthusiasm or were most people just too tired from the long day??), but as their actual performance wasn't over yet Kampfar came back on stage nonetheless to play three more songs and finish up for real.
Setlist: Troll - Kledd I Brynje og Smykket Blodorm - Ravenheart - Troll, Død og Trolldom - Bukkeferd - Gaman av Drømmer
Encore: Naglfar/Ragnarok - Hymne - Norse



3.10 Urgehal
Kampfar were barely off the stage when a huge inverted cross was brought up there. Yes, the rest of the night was to be truly satanic. Urgehal were first to deliver some of their scornful and blistering brand of True Norwegian Black Metal. I must admit I was positively surprised as they sounded a lot better on stage than on CD, on which I could never really stand them. Still, as I'm not really that much into the TNBM scene for me the most interesting part of their performance was the guitarists's outfits...
Setlist: The Sodomizer - Goatcraft Torment - Antireligiøs - Risus Sardonius - Maatte Blodet Flomme - Satanic Black Metal in Hell - Dødsmarsj Til Helvete - Possessed (Raped by Evil) - The Eternal Eclipse



3.11 Angantyr
"I guess we don't need an introduction in our quest against Christianity!" Thus spoke Ynleborgaz - band leader and only studio musician of Angantyr - after the band's first song. Nonetheless he babbled on for another two minutes with his generic anti-Christian attitude. At least Angantyr backed it up with a well-done and atmospherically dense performance which proved to be quite a good finale of the festival's black metal emphasized first night.



4. Saturday, March 31

The second day was a lot more to my liking as it was a lot more about the good old pagan and viking metal (and less black metal) which made the Ragnarök Festival to what it is today.

4.1 Helfahrt
Helfahrt were already playing when I entered the hall and it seemed as if they had the crowd completely under control. Not bad for the first band of the day. Their playful style of pagan metal, which could be considered as a mixture of Einherjer and Korpiklaani, appeared to be quite a welcome change to the crowd after the overly serious first night, especially if one considers that Helfahrt did get the encore chants Kampfar had been waiting for. And as the running order wasn't in danger yet Helfahrt took their freedom to give the crowd one more song.
Setlist: Ein Sturm zieht herbei - Markomannenzorn - Die Erde birgt den Tod - Lewwer duad üs slaav - Luznacht - Sturmgewalt
Encore: Donars Groll



4.2 Kromlek
Kromlek were up next. The Teutonic polka/pagan metallers who usually perform in full warrior outfits similar to those of Turisas appeared this time in all black, more like Vreid the night before. I can only guess that they've dropped the costumes, so that they don't appear like yet another Finntroll and Turisas clone anymore, a reputation they still had after their first album. Having heard their new album by now I can only concur that Kromlek have found their own way and really don't need to imitate the big players anymore. So without those colourful and playful costumes the band appeared a lot more serious than the year before which got perfectly underlined by the more complex compositions from the band's newest album.
Setlist: Herjan - Grim Omens - När tiden Vissnar - Fólkthing - Kromlek - Wave Bound



4.3 Heidevolk
Next on schedule were Heidevolk. The Dutch folk metal formation was the most boring act of the festival... at least that's what I had expected and so I went back to the car for lunch. Oh, how wrong I was! When I returned to the hall a bunch of guys in colourful medieval robes occupied the stage and pulled off a gig that was a lot heavier than expected. No boring, easy-going folk songs like I expected after having heard them on CD, but heavy and crushing pagan metal riffs instead is what these guys delivered. Heidevolk truly are two different bands on stage and on CD and certainly deserve an unprejudiced approach to their live shows.
Setlist: Krijgsvolk - Saksenland - Furor Teutonicus - Opstand der Bataven - Het Gelders Volkslied - Walhalla wacht - Vulgaris Magistralis - Hengist en Horsa



4.4 Minas Morgul
Torches were lit on stage after Heidevolk's gig. Minas Morgul seemed to set quite a large emphasis on atmosphere as could also be guessed by the band leader's outfit: covered in furs and war paint he sang about iron and steel and blood and Tolkien and all that other stuff no one else has ever sung about. Fortunately one couldn't understand the lyrics, so one was offered a solid show of pagan/black metal of which the setting still was the best part.
Setlist: Väterchen Frost - Eyn Meyster des Blutes - Blut und Eisen - Elektron - Rocksong - Stahlpakt



4.5 Gernotshagen
Another band who was allowed to play for the second time in consecutive years was Gernotshagen. Just like the year before they delivered some nice pagan/black metal performed in authentic outfits. And as a special treat they performed the last song of their set with Heidevolk to celebrate the successful finish of their joint European co-headliner tour. Not a mind-blowing, but certainly a quite entertaining performance.
Setlist: Intro - Widars Klagesturm - Der letzte Krieger - Dem Skirnir zu Ehren - Vali - Schlachtensang der Einherjer (feat. Heidevolk)



4.6 Black Messiah
The Ragnarök's running order doesn't seem to like Black Messiah. The band got invited for the second time in a row as well as their performance was pushed all the way to the end of last year's running order, so that Turisas had a somewhat decent playing time - unfortunately the running order was so messed up that Black Messiah would have gotten on stage after the curfew at 3 a.m., so that they eventually weren't allowed to play at all. This year they were to play in the early evening and had a reasonably long set - and were told to cut it by two songs as the schedule was in danger once again. Understandably the band was far from excited about this decision, but exclaimed quite sarcastically after the festival that they were glad to have been allowed to play at all. After six songs of very good symphonic black/viking metal they bid their farewell and left the stage while the fans shouted for an encore. A pity that they weren't allowed to play one more song - as encore the band wanted to play a cover of Dschingis Khan's "Moskau"...
Setlist: Of Myths and Legends - Setting Sails - Riding the Drakkar - Blutsbruder - Sauflied - Christenfeind - Irminsul



4.7 Hel
Hel have been an institution in the German viking metal scene for many years now. Nonetheless the band has never played live in the 13 years of their existence; at this year's Ragnarök this was going to change! Unlike Fjoergyn Hel didn't make the impression of lacking stage experience though. The musicians performed flawlessly and to the point as if they had played on the stages of the world for many years already. The light-show - mostly in brooding reddish tones - enhanced the atmosphere immensely and the song selection pleased many fans who had come to witness the band's stage premiere. Despite of all this one noticed why Hel hadn't played live yet: their material resembled mostly the slower songs of late Bathory (who never performed live either) and made it obvious that they are to be enjoyed on your home stereo in chilled atmosphere rather than on such a crowded festival. Nonetheless a well-done stage debut.
Setlist: Sturmrast - Erlkönig - Feuergott - Meerfahrt - Wunden - Der Weg ist das Ziel - Der See - Auf Suche - Der Asen Flehn / Thökk, Lokis List



4.8 Eluveitie
So here they are, Eluveitie, the one band that made me regret having to carry a camera around with me. And do you know why? Because I just couldn't be bothered with wasting that much time in the photo pit in order to take some better pictures while I could just as well join the crowd and rock out to the best band of the festival! The Swiss octet pulled off their original mix of Dark Tranquillity-style Gothenburg metal and Celtic folk metal with such an enthusiasm and energy that it was equally blissful to completely go mad to the music or just stare at the stage in awe and admire how much fun the band had while playing their bagpipes, hurdy-gurdies, bodhrans and whatever all those genuine instruments are called. Even though the band has released only one album so far one certainly noticed that all of the musicians were professionals who have been strolling through the Swiss metal and folk scene for many years. Definitely a band not to be missed out on next occasion!
Setlist: AnDro - Your Gaulish War - The Song of Life - Lament - Of Fire, Wind & Wisdom - The Dance of Victory - Tegernakô - The Endless Knot - Uis Elveti



4.9 Cruachan
After such a great performance it was damn hard to keep the fans in their ecstatic frenzy where Eluveitie had left them. Cruachan tried their best to keep the crowd going by starting out with "Maeves March", a song from their rather black debut album "Tuatha Na Gael" before female vocalist Karen Gilligan was bid on stage to do the rest of the songs. It didn't help though, the fans seemed to need a break before they started chanting along towards the end of Cruachan's set again. Overall the atmosphere was a lot more jolly and warm than during any other band of the festival - perhaps another reason why the crowd didn't really get into it? A decent, yet certainly not a mind-blowing gig.
Setlist: Maeves March - The Horned God - The Brown Bull of Cooley - Ossian's Return - The Great Hunger - Ride On - Pagan - Cuchullainn



4.10 Týr
Týr surely are a phenomenon within the metal scene. Their songs are mostly mid-paced, very progressive and not aggressive at all, yet they receive a lot of attention from the viking metal scene in particular, a genre which isn't really known for either of Týr's typical attributes. I myself have never quite understood what's so great about them either - until I witnessed them for the second time at Ragnarök. The performance as a whole was pretty relaxing and laid-back, yet these Faroese guys had the crowd with them all along, especially during the chorus of "Hail to the Hammer" which was sung by hundreds of throats in unison. Their anthemic and intricate compositions evoked a fascinating atmosphere which perhaps requires such a big venue to fully unfold as I haven't felt anything like this when I saw them last year with Amon Amarth in a considerably smaller hall. I still cannot get into the band, but I must admit that this was one of the best performances of the whole festival.
Setlist: The Edge - Regin Smiður - Hail to the Hammer - Ragnarok - Wings of Time - Ramund Hin Unge



4.11 Swallow The Sun
The second band which just didn't seem to fit into the lineup (next to the openers Dawn of Blood) were Swallow The Sun, the tour companions of Moonsorrow on their Ravished Hope tour. Despite of appearing heavily misplaced on a pagan metal festival - not least due to frontman Mikko Kotamäki wearing a baseball cap on his short-trimmed hairdo - the Finnish doomsters played a very good and entertaining gig and marked a nice change in style right before the remainder of the night was to become blacker again. And not only their music was pleasant to listen to, also the performance on stage was great to look at when all six musicians were standing at the edge of the stage and banged their heads in unison from left to right in their well-known doom pace. Swallow The Sun are no band one would expect at a pagan metal festival, but that night they proved that they can convince even an unsuspecting audience of inverted cross bearers and mead boozers.
Setlist: Descending Winters - Out of This Gloomy Light - Don't Fall Asleep - Deadly Nightshade - These Hours of Despair - Swallow



4.12 Moonsorrow
Moonsorrow were yet another band that suffered from last year's running order mess and had to play in front of a pathetically small crowd and thus were invited again for this year's edition. I guess this year the band doesn't have a reason to complain: the hall was full when Moonsorrow took the stage and the atmosphere the band created was incredible! Great stuff to just close your eyes and immerse your soul in the grand and epic compositions... which is what most people did as well judging from the humble crowd reactions. Highlight of the set certainly was the 15 minute edit of "Tuleen Ajettu Maa", one of the two songs from their new album "V: Hävitetty", which was probably the most epic thing you would get to hear at this festival.
Setlist: Tyven - Pimeä - Taistelu Pohjolasta - Tuleen Ajettu Maa - Kylän Päässä - Sankaritarina - Pakanajuhla



4.13 Riger
Sorry guys, I just can't understand what all the fuss around Riger is about. They played an energetic gig of solid pagan/black metal which seemed to please all the fans, but which still didn't convince me save for the song "Brandschiff" perhaps. Overall I found their performance rather monotonous despite of the enthusiasm from both the band and the fans... in fact at certain parts, especially during the song "Germania", the enthusiasm was a bit too much anyway: certain folks couldn't hold themselves back and just had to raise their right arm to the infamous salute - which fortunately got some of them kicked out of the hall. Unlike last year Riger decided not to play their song "Zunft der Lügner" ("Guild of Liars"), the one song with which they usually distance themselves from the Nazi pack - a move I cannot quite understand considering the troubles the festival had due to those fascist idiots and a move that doesn't shed a particularly good light on the band in my opinion.
Setlist: Im Graun der Nächte - Wjerewulf - Des Blutes Stimme - Germania - Auf die Ahnen - Homo Decadencia - Angriff - Brandschiff - Schöpfer der Hetze - Irminsul



4.14 Aaskereia
Extremely tired by the exertions of the day there was only one band left I was desperate to see: Aaskereia! This black metal band certainly isn't to everyone's likings as front man Grim screeches and howls in orbital heights which - combined with the frequent usage of acoustic guitars - accounts for a high recognition value. I personally have fallen in love with the band's latest EP and was really looking forward to the gig, and what shall I say: Aaskereia were far from disappointing! The band definitely delivered the goods, the aforementioned vocals and the acoustic guitars accounted for a highly original set and the atmosphere was astoundingly grim and hateful. In my opinion the best way to finish the festival and so I went to bed right afterwards.
Setlist: Erkenntnis - Die Flöten des Pan - Mit Raben und Wölfen - Der boshafte Geist - Des Waldes frost'ger Hauch - Aaskereia - Der Schwur unserer Ahnen - Die Waldteufel - Hexensabbat
Encore: Der stille Schrei



4.15 Varg
And while I was on the way back to the car Varg took the stage. The cover band from last year's Ragnarök has evolved into a band that writes their own material and has released a full-length album in the meantime. As they are on festival tour this year and have also organized an own festival in order to promote their album you probably got some troubles not to miss them if you're going to attend any pagan metal related festival as they tend to be quite obtrusive. Just in case you need to know, these are the songs that await you when going to one of their shows.
Setlist: Windzeit - Das alte Feuer - Asatru - Wolfszeit - Donareiche (feat. Ingo Tauer of Riger) - Heldentod - Skål (with the same drinking game as last year) - Blutdienst
Encore: Gods of Thunder of Wind and of Rain (Bathory cover)


5. Conclusion
Quite some things have changed compared to last year. The organization has improved a lot, the running order still wasn't correct most of the time, but the deviations were justifiable and rather normal for a one-stage festival of this size. So overall I guess the festival was pretty well organized this time.

What didn't improve at all was the other problem mentioned last year: the Nazi brood. Wherever you watched you saw skinheads, army boots, Absurd shirts, Algiz runes und black suns! I must admit that I as a non-Aryan feared for my well-being at times and I've heard of someone who was brave enough to wear a The Exploited shirt and who got beaten up in the toilet by two skins...

As this problem was known before the festival already one certainly has to ask: what has been done against it? Definitely mentionable is a drawing in which you could win CD packages, festival tickets and as main prize a poster of the festival signed by nearly every band present. One lot cost one euro which would be donated to an organization supporting the victims of right wing extremist violence. Even though the winning lots were announced on stage the participation was absolutely pathetic: out of 4000 visitors of the sold-out festival only 400 have actually bought lots! When the winner of the poster failed to claim his prize the organizer has gone for another nice move: he announced on stage that the poster would be given to the person who has travelled the farthest from abroad - a visitor who had come all the way from Texas - and thus made a statement that foreigners are more than welcome on the festival. Another thing that has been done against the right-wing idiots is the elevated attention of the security service. And so I was to witness more than once how people in the crowd did the infamous salute followed by security guys jumping over the fence, running after them and literally kicking them out of the hall. Whether there were any measures taken to keep them fascists out of the venue was beyond my scope though.

So how come there were so many Nazis there after all? One reason certainly was the negative media coverage which more often than not was unfounded and badly investigated and which just led to the Ragnarök getting stigmatized as Nazi festival - which in turn attracted more of those people. So thanks a lot to all those leftist idiots who are unable to research properly before dragging something through the mud as happened with this festival! Just in case you haven't noticed, by doing so you do not fight fascism, but rather throw more food to the locusts! Makes you wonder at times who the actual fascists are...
Anyway, another thing I hold responsible for this problem is the lineup: this year it really focused on "true" pagan metal by leaving out fun bands like Turisas and Korpiklaani and even worse it also focused on "true" black metal which normally isn't much of a problem, but in this context it gave NSBM followers yet another incentive to travel to the festival. Fortunately this incentive doesn't seem to exist for next year's edition.


6. Outlook on Ragnarök 5
I don't know whether the organizer had the same thoughts as I had, but it seems he's opted for a far more varied lineup for the Ragnarök's fifth anniversary. And so we got dark metal with Agalloch, death metal with Unleashed, folk metal with Arkona (their second gig on European soil!), power metal with Battlelore, symphonic metal with Haggard, gothic metal with Winterdome and of course once again loads of top-class pagan and black metal bands. Here's the complete lineup:

Agalloch
Unleashed
Arkona
Haggard
Primordial
Battlelore
Negura Bunget
Skyforger
Menhir
Sear Bliss
Helrunar
Trimonium
Sworn
Svartsot
Winterdome
Hellsaw
Killing Spree
... and some more to be announced.

Supposedly one of the not yet confirmed bands is slated for a headliner position, so one may have high hopes for who it's going to be. Once again the festival is to take place at the town hall in Lichtenfels with its ingenious gallery (why ingenious? Read the introduction of last year's review). And this time I seriously wanna see some of you guys there!



7. Credits
Thanks a lot to the organizer Ivo Raab for the accreditation - it's been a pleasure attending this creation of yours once again!
Thanks a lot to my lovely company vampir who's been joining me on one festival after another since last year's Ragnarök. Looking forward to the next concerts with you!
And thanks for your patience and my apologies to everyone who's been waiting for this live review to be finished. Illness, university and personal conflicts have taken a lot more of my time than I had, so there was no time for this hobby of mine anymore. Thanks for your understanding.

All texts and photos by Daniel "Promonex" Pereira for Metal Storm.
All rights reserved, do not use without permission.



 



Written on 04.11.2007 by
Promonex
Daniel "Promonex" Pereira loves to enthuse people with stuff he's enthusiastic about; as writer, photographer, promoter and DJ. Metal Storm staff since 2005.
More articles by Promonex ››




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Demonic Tutor - 04.11.2007 at 16:48  
Great festival review Daniel, I felt like I was there. After reading this, I definitely want to check out a couple of bands mentioned here.
Bararey - 04.11.2007 at 18:21  
Next year's lineup sounds great, if it'll be on the same time (last weekend of March) I won't be able to make it, and from your review, about all those Nazi's in the crowd, I think I can live w/o going to the Ragnarök Festival.

I have a question about the pics though, were you not allowed to use flash? it just seemed that they were all too blurry due to the lack of flash, which my camera does the same thing if i turn the flash off.
Promonex - 04.11.2007 at 18:47  
Written by Bararey on 04.11.2007 at 18:21

I have a question about the pics though, were you not allowed to use flash? it just seemed that they were all too blurry due to the lack of flash, which my camera does the same thing if i turn the flash off.

I was allowed to use flash, but I don't really like to use flash as it kills the light-show and thus fails to capture the atmosphere of the moment. Unless it's impossible to make decent pics due to too few light as was the case with Aaskereia and at times with Swallow The Sun I rather do without flash and sacrifice quality for atmosphere. More importantly though my camera eats more batteries than a server farm run on AAA's, so even though it certainly wouldn't have hurt to take some extra pics with flash for completion's sake I was forced to save energy and thus to use flash only when there was no other choice. I just hope I can get my hands on another cam for next year since I didn't really save anything with my accreditation as I had to invest the saved money in batteries
Baz Anderson - 05.11.2007 at 00:02  
wow, well I know which festival I am not going to make an effort to go to next year
I didn't know people still went around pretending to be nazis - in Germany as well of all places - ridiculous!
Promonex - 05.11.2007 at 01:10  
Damn, I've got the bad feeling I've brought the same message across as the overly scandalizing and dramatizing media did last year

I'd say it's hard to make predictions about the composition of the crowd of next year's edition. The lineup is as varied as can be and black metal is comparably underrepresented which will hopefully keep all those elitists (both musically and ideologically) away. I for my part am positive that it's rather going to be like it was last year: I've been told that some Nazis were there at Ragnarök 2 and so I was quite afraid prior to last year's Ragnarök 3 - despite of all awareness I did see only half a dozen guys acting suspiciously or just looking suspicious though. Particularly in this context it's a shame what has happened to the name of the festival thanks to exaggerated and polemic media coverage and only due to those 6-7 guys the Ragnarök has been stigmatized as a Nazi festival - which it still isn't in my opinion despite of my negative observations of this year and my scorn for those right-wing idiots. I for my part didn't get any problems at all despite of my not really Aryan skin colour. And after all my observations only lead to suspicions without proof regarding the people I thought of as possible Nazis - which certainly wasn't that far off for people bearing patches of Absurd and Tyskland, but the aforementioned Algiz rune and the Black Sun can also be found in far more harmless contexts. Out of the 4000 visitors there might have been two dozens who appeared really suspicious to me - that's a lot more than last year, both absolutely and relatively speaking. But the real problem is not the presence of those idiots, but the ignorance of everyone else. If everyone who cares decides to stay away, so that only people who don't care about or sympathize with them idiots, only then they've achieved their goal of having "freed" the festival of people thinking or looking differently. I for my part will still be there next year, hope that my predictions are correct and will definitely not let them idiots ruin my day. And I hope with this report I haven't really ruined the festival for others who planned going, but rather have evoked some awareness and with this post also the will to stand up against the crouching infiltration of our beloved scene caused by the ignorants looking away and the ones who are aware of what's going on just backing off.

Damn, I should really devote a whole article to this topic
Bad English - 05.11.2007 at 01:39  
Markomannenzorn xaxaxxaax Roman days are ober
Prom man you're talanted, I realy like your reviews, its awsome, man you shood be a music journalist

Heidevolk - thay coppy name of Austrian Mel Black Heidenreich

Damn I hate when DM are in such festivals, I talk about begining but STS man I would love tos ee them and i like those bands, good bands perforem there

PS I wear army boots too good, comfortable, good for al seaons

But somehow i think some ppl go there not for music but problems ... fuck it... but I need read secend time its midle of sleeping time

PS 2 - Man is a wpics are there guy smoking are smoking alowed inside and how about BOOZE?
Bararey - 05.11.2007 at 01:56  
Written by Promonex on 05.11.2007 at 01:10

Damn, I should really devote a whole article to this topic


I think you should

But really, there are many festivals out there, so for me I would rather stay away from one that attracts those Aryan morons,,

and by the way do you know if the guy from Texas drawing? just curious..
Ozman - 05.11.2007 at 07:43  
Written by Bad English on 05.11.2007 at 01:39



Heidevolk - thay coppy name of Austrian Mel Black Heidenreich



No Heidevolk did NOT copy their name from Heidenreich. Heidenreich is German for, if I am not mistaken, "big/great/vast kingdom/empire"
and the name Heidevolk is Dutch for "people/tribe from the heathland/moorland"
Deadsoulman - 05.11.2007 at 10:05  
Nazis or not, next year's line up looks pretty amazing so far! If I ever get enough money before March, I might give it a shot Not gonna let a few Aryan morons get in the way of good metal.

Btw, your (nice) review had another positive effect: your constant raving about Eluveitie made me try them, and man, do they rock! They've gained a new fan due to this article.
Promonex - 05.11.2007 at 20:09  
@K7: Sure, army boots are great and comfortable and - most importantly - they seriously look metal! But if you see a guy with black uniform, army boots with white laces and an embroidered black sun on his chest you certainly don't suspect him to be too sympathetic with non-Aryans. Army boots alone aren't really a problem, it's the combination of several signs that makes a person suspicious. Whether such a person is dangerous is yet a totally different question. Whether you notice those signs is also another question. I am quite sensitive - if not to say paranoid - about those signs, while others though might not have made the same observations as me (this applies in fact to most people I've talked with after the festival) and hence might not have felt as uncomfortable with the audience as I did.

And yeah, smoking was allowed and of course there was booze, just like at any other festival. As it was a pagan metal festival most alcoholic beverages they've sold were beer and mead (and "dragon blood", i.e. mead with a hint of cherry juice). Dunno about the hard stuff, as I had to "work" I couldn't really afford getting drunk. A friend of mine who works for another webzine got totally wasted though and missed the headliners of the second night

@Bararey: Nope sorry, the only thing I ever had to do with him was sending him the link of last year's review as he couldn't find any festival reviews in English. That was in the old Ragnarök forum which has been shut down by now and I don't remember his Myspace or anything.

@Collin: Yeah man, that's the Spirit! (no Eluveitie-related pun intended)
Bad English - 05.11.2007 at 23:48  
Written by Promonex on 05.11.2007 at 20:09

@K7: Sure, army boots are great and comfortable and - most importantly - they seriously look metal! But if you see a guy with black uniform, army boots with white laces and an embroidered black sun on his chest you certainly don't suspect him to be too sympathetic with non-Aryans. Army boots alone aren't really a problem, it's the combination of several signs that makes a person suspicious. Whether such a person is dangerous is yet a totally different question. Whether you notice those signs is also another question. I am quite sensitive - if not to say paranoid - about those signs, while others though might not have made the same observations as me (this applies in fact to most people I've talked with after the festival) and hence might not have felt as uncomfortable with the audience as I did.

And yeah, smoking was allowed and of course there was booze, just like at any other festival. As it was a pagan metal festival most alcoholic beverages they've sold were beer and mead (and "dragon blood", i.e. mead with a hint of cherry juice). Dunno about the hard stuff, as I had to "work" I couldn't really afford getting drunk. A friend of mine who works for another webzine got totally wasted though and missed the headliners of the second night

@Bararey: Nope sorry, the only thing I ever had to do with him was sending him the link of last year's review as he couldn't find any festival reviews in English. That was in the old Ragnarök forum which has been shut down by now and I don't remember his Myspace or anything.

@Collin: Yeah man, that's the Spirit! (no Eluveitie-related pun intended)


Yes I agree and I had US army boots + Czceh army boots+Dr.Martens+Underground(X2) Dr.Martens and underground whit iron
But in skin head case/nazies case it wont help you if you're alone, but if you attack non bot wearing guys, its good way nock one out(I had use boots to protect my mother) but I hate thos eguys, skins, nazies ,idiots, and about aryan think dunno how Hitler work together whit Musollini, because ... italisn in hitler case wont be arians ...
I dunno but when I was in Swe because my metalhead look I didnt feel danger (alos my greek look ) but dunno how in Ger ., and about be skin who are not vonected whit nazies or be skin who wanna destroy it,,, seems its hard to knows what he will do there, its hard and also stupid, metal fests for meatlheads

Man beer in march joking, I prefere Jack Daniels, Jagermaister or hard stuff and where you sleep, in hotel?
Promonex - 06.11.2007 at 00:48  
Written by Bad English on 05.11.2007 at 23:48
Man beer in march joking, I prefere Jack Daniels, Jagermaister or hard stuff and where you sleep, in hotel?

In a hotel?? You must be kidding me, we're heathens!
Most people slept in tents or in their cars, some hardcore more-viking-than-you dudes camped outside without a tent and those who wanted to sleep at a dry and warm place were offered to sleep in a nearby gymnasium for a fee of 5 euros. But yeah, there were also people who can't do without some luxury even at a metal festival and booked guesthouses.
Bad English - 06.11.2007 at 00:52  
Written by Promonex on 06.11.2007 at 00:48

Written by Bad English on 05.11.2007 at 23:48
Man beer in march joking, I prefere Jack Daniels, Jagermaister or hard stuff and where you sleep, in hotel?

In a hotel?? You must be kidding me, we're heathens!
Most people slept in tents or in their cars, some hardcore more-viking-than-you dudes camped outside without a tent and those who wanted to sleep at a dry and warm place were offered to sleep in a nearby gymnasium for a fee of 5 euros. But yeah, there were also people who can't do without some luxury even at a metal festival and booked guesthouses.


No way I prefere Spartan style sleep in warm Peleopnesa sun or if I was Roman and go there to Gallia or whatewer I would die from cold
I hate tents even in summer, in that case I need a lot of Jack Daniels to survive, realy cant stand coldness
nehrodwarf - 06.11.2007 at 15:54  
why does not have a festival like that in Brazil(mainly Brasilia-DF)
???????????????
:'(
Warman - 04.04.2008 at 16:09  
Isn't Helfahrt a funny name?
Promonex - 04.04.2008 at 16:15  
Written by Warman on 04.04.2008 at 16:09

Isn't Helfahrt a funny name?

Why that?
Warman - 04.04.2008 at 16:29  
Written by Promonex on 04.04.2008 at 16:15

Written by Warman on 04.04.2008 at 16:09

Isn't Helfahrt a funny name?

Why that?

'Cuz I pronounce it "Hellfart"... it's probably wrong though.
Promonex - 04.04.2008 at 16:52  
Written by Warman on 04.04.2008 at 16:29

Written by Promonex on 04.04.2008 at 16:15

Written by Warman on 04.04.2008 at 16:09

Isn't Helfahrt a funny name?

Why that?

'Cuz I pronounce it "Hellfart"... it's probably wrong though.

Damn you bastard, you're right! I've never really read it like that

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