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Summer Breeze 2013

14.-17.8.2013  Dinkelsbühl, Germany

Once again this year Metal heads were invited to Dinkelsbühl to get their ears blasted at the annual Summer Breeze.

(Interactive festival photo gallery at the end of the text)


Only the tough survive – therefore I saved the in my opinion heaviest summer festival as the last one. 4 days of headbanging and celebrating Metal, and Vader set a high standard at the Nuclear Blast Labelnight on the Party Stage. They started brutally with Sothis and a mushy sound which improves after 3-4 songs. The tent is nicely filled, no wonder as this evening only Party and Camel stage are used. (BS)

After a short break it´s time for the mighty Exodus. Mighty indeed, as the tent will not be that full ever again. They start with “The Ballad of Leonard and Charles” and “Beyond the Pale” which get the heads banging, “Children of a Worthless God” and “Iconoclasm” follow, before the early works like “Piranha” inspire circle pits, as well as “Fabulous Disaster” and “Blacklist” from their 2004 Cd “Tempo of the Damned”. Then it´s time for popular classics, “A Lesson in Violence” or “The Toxic Waltz” which drive the audience wild. Good. Friendly. Violent. Fun. (BS)

Destruction are this evening´s headliner, at least in the opinion of the organisers. The audience has a different opinion – as suddenly there´s plenty of space in the tent. Still many people here, but no comparison with Exodus, although Schmier, Mike and Vaaver deliver an impressive show, starting with “Thrash ´til Death” and lots of pyro effects that are used throughout the gig. “Spiritual Genocide”, the title track of the recent album, is followed by “Nailed to the Cross” and “Mad Butcher”. Schmier is in good mood and talks a lot to the audience, maybe a bit too much. The gig contains plenty of classics, “Life without Sense”, “Eternal Ban” and even “Total Desaster” from their 1984 mini album. Naturally the headbangers go crazy, also for “Carnivore” – the video song of the latest output. Schmier even offers the crowd to choose between “The Butcher strikes back” and “Death Trap” – unfortunately they pick the first. Well, this is democracy… They round it up with “Bestial Invasion” and “Curse the Gods”, and I have to say that you can feel the joy those guys have, but I am worried about Mike, he´s getting thinner and thinner. Great gig! (BS)


Early afternoon at the main stage, and many people are waiting for The Bones, who start with a “Cliff Richard” song, they even put a portrait of him to the drum kit, as an intro to “Dead End Criusin”. Those Swedes know how to do their Punk`n Roll/Surfpunk and kick ass with “Wendy”, “Dog Almighty” or their Accept “I´m a Rebel” interpretation. You see many people dancing, and many can also sing along, e.g. With the title track of the new album “Bones City Rollers” (BS)

Soilwork is the first band who gathers a huge crowd at the main stage. The Swedes have been at Summer Breeze several times and created quite a fan base. They focus on their recent output “The Living Infinite” but do not forget the classics, “Follow the Hollow”, “Nerve”, “Late for the Kill, early for the Slaughter” and of course “Stabbing the Drama”. (BS)
For Melo-Death fans SOILWORK are the right act – and who could not quite enjoy the show, could use those simple-catchy songs as soundtrack for merchandise shopping. (ms)

WE CAME AS ROMANS smashed their catchy metalcore sound into an enthusiastic crowd. Powerful riffs in super-sonic speed had the excellent sound gear shine for the first time. This band started in 2005 and is now in the Nuclear Blast pool. Although those guys are very young, they display a very mature attitude on stage. (ms)

The evening continued with a band I cannot see often enough: FEAR FACTORY. The Thrash Combo with singer Burton C. Bell offered once again a precise sound just like in a studio. Unfortunately the verbal interaction with the audience was lacking a bit, they only gestured to inspire circle pits. Still, there was lotsa action on stage, lotsa pyros, lotsa movement and lotsa songs with balls that had the crowd go crazy. (ms)

POWERWOLF are one of the best in Melodic/Power Metal and proved that fact once again, as expected. A convincing show by those wolves, one of the most intense and most active bands in this genre! (ms)

Had I claimed that the tent never again filled up to such extent as for Exodus? Well, it got almost as crowded for the Sólstafir Gig, many people cannot even enter the tent any more. Those Icelanders seemingly out grew their insider tip status, gathering a motley audience consisting of all kind of Metal subgenre fans. They announce their hit “Fjara” as a song for the girls, followed by the fantastic “Goddess of the Ages”, and after 5 tracks the show is already over. Dammit! (BS)

It´s a surprise that NEAERA fill the area in the midday heat and heat the crowd up even more with their music. The band knows how to inspire people, who celebrated Deathcore-Songs like ´Let The Tempest Come´ or ´Synergy´ and get them sweating like hell. Luckily the crowd got some cold water shower relief. (MS)

Around the same time Merrimack played in the tent. The CD sounded pretty cool and apokalyptical, live it became a cacophonic chaos. Still those French guys inspired a lot of fans who cheered enthusiastically. (BS)

Agnostic Front are THE veterans of the NYHC Scene hired by the SB crew. In front of the main stage the occurrence of Mohawks, bandanas and bald heads increased a lot, and also the security has a lot more work with crowdsurfers. The set list is spiced with classics, e.g. “For my Family”, “My Life, my Way”, “Gotta Go”. The New Yorkers radiate fun and the quite mature Roger Miret displays his agility, to which the audience responds with Circle Pits and – as mentioned – massive crowd surfing. (BS)

Yet I cannot understand what people enjoy about END OF GREEN. Surely this band is classy in a way, but their melodic Gothic Metal simply does not inspire me. (ms)

EISBRECHER…what to say, Alexx Wesselsky (Vocals) and his band simply do a great job, they transfer their relaxed attitude to the audience and they make people dance to their mix of Industrial and Electro. EISBRECHER enrich this festival line up and definitely deserved to play at this Summer Breeze. (ms)

DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT from Würzburg offered a quite impressive show. The Black Metallers become more popular and are without question a remarkable act, a welcome late Friday evening act. (ms)

Anthrax is maybe the biggest fish in this year´s SB headliner pool. At the drum kit you can see Jon Dette who replaces the injured Charlie Benante, and there is also a new face at the lead guitar, giving the impression of ”only” 3/5 Anthrax. No idea if those Dimebag Darrell and Ronnie James Dio banners at the stage refer to Anthrax´ new EP Anthems – as far as I know they don´t cover Pantera or Dio there – still an awesome gesture. They set the level high starting off with “Among the Living”, and there are more classics to come. “Caught in a Mosh” followed by Efilnekufesin (N.F.L.) hardly give time to breathe. The audience circlepits and crowdsurfs nonstop until “In the End” offers some time to relax, before the first song from the first album – sung by Scott Ian, “Deathrider”. “T.N.T.” from the Cover EP “Anthems” is next, followed by “Indians”, the climax of every Anthrax Show. “Got the Time” and “I am the Law” end the show, and I am flabberghasted, five songs from Among the Living. The encores include the enthusiastically celebrated “Madhouse”, “Medusa” and “Antisocial” – it was a blast! (BS)

ORPHANED LAND offered spiritual Folk with Death-influences in an iron cast, which refers to the music, not the performance! Who has seen those guys from israel already knows their energetic stage action. Their new CD „All Is One“ was naturally featured in the setlist. (ms)


convinced with their fresh attitude, and Masha Arhipova has evolved into a grandiose shouter who can inspire the crowd. Which the masses at SB this year can confirm. (ms)

Around 14:15 h the Acapella-band VAN CANTO played a quite convincing show, that was a lot like their other summer festival shows, yet filled with highlights – ´Wishmaster´, ´Rebellion (The Clans Are Marching)´ or ´The Mission / Master of Puppets´ – that inspired the crowd. (ms)

Moonspell – had never see them live and then twice within a week (later also at NOAF near Mainz). Those sinister dudes begin with Axis Mundi from the new album, and naturally everybody is waiting for the older 90s stuff, which is certainly delivered: “Opium” and “Raven Claws” of the Irreligious Album. I have to say that Moonspell live is a lot tighter and less Gothic than on CD. Still the audience is rather reserved, until even older titles from the Wolfheart Album are played. “Alma Mater” and “Vampiria” – great! Moonspell end their gig with “Full Moon Madness” hören. (BS)
DEVILDRIVER from the US are an underestimated band, which they proved at SummerBreeze, especially singer Dez Fafara. The songs mixing traditional Death Metal and Old School Thrash Metal inspired the growing crowd in front of the stage. DEVILDRIVER impressed with ´Ruthless´ and ´I Could Careless´ rüber. Great gig. (ms)

Old School Death Metal is probably best presented by Martin van Drunen or Grand Supreme Blood Court. need to mention that, because mentioning Drunen it could also be Asphyx or Hail of Bullets. Rough and with seemingly bleeding vocal chords the Dutch band deliver a sound wall of lava doom, beginning with the title track of their debut “Bow down before the Bloodcourt”. Not much audience, though, as they compete with Devildriver at main stage, but the headbangers enjoy the free space. Martin van Drunen is something like the Lemmy of Death Metal for me, considering his achievements for this genre. A lot of headbanging also on stage, only sparse communication with the audience, though; Martin thanks his Label Century Media for the support, before “…and thus Billions shall burn” ends the show. (BS)

Amorphis have not ended their set on the Pain Stage yet, when the main stage pit fills up to bursting point for In Flames, who begin punctually at 22.25 with “Sounds of a Playground fading” – and the masses jump of joy. The opener inspires a huge mosh pit that even grows throughout the 1,5h gig. In Flames have reached the top, which is obvious in their massive live shows. Anders Friden evolved into a first class front man with a relaxed attitude when he adresses the audience. The masses go crazy with “Pinball Map”, “Trigger”, the absolut must “Only for the Weak”, “Cloud Connected” – in the mosh pit or in jumping orgies. Basically every album is present, only the early days of “The Jesters Race” is cut out, and “Whoracle” is only referred to with “The Hive” – well, you cannot have it all. “Take this Life” and “My sweet Shadow” round up the gig, and the last In Flames Show before they start working on a new album again ends with huge fire works. (BS)
The late hour takes me to AMORPHIS. Yes I do like their early albums and also the new ones. Despite the gentle rain the audience is quite fired up around midnight. AMORPHIS manage to fascinate their crowd, and besides new material they play songs from all their albums. Great mood, the audience went nuts. A great conclusion of this day. (ms)

The best three live shows of Summer Breeze 2013 within 8 h is maybe already too much, but Alan Averill and Primordial are not to be missed, due to this incompatible drama and intensity. Well maybe Solstafir. “No Grave deep enough” is the theatrical opening, and the rather big crowd at Party Stage is still awake enough to cheer. Just the opening adress from Primordial shows more character than those Metalcore Combos earlier. Alan “Nemtheanga” Averill alone features a gooseflesh-inducing presence. “Gods to the Godless” and a mighty “Bloodied yet unbowed” are played, Soundwall and voice are nicely balanced; “Coffin Ships” the Hit of the 2005 Album the Gathering Wilderness, “Heathen Tribes” and “Empire Falls” end a memorable and incredibly intense show way too early. (BS)

SUMMER BREEZE has developed into a grandiose Metal Festival with outstanding visitor statistics. I can report only positive things, like fair prices and friendly security. Many reasons to come back next year! (ms)


Text & photos: Björn Schmiterlöw (BS), Markus Seibel (MS)




Markus Seibel

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