Kreator / Arch Enemy / Sodom / Vader

06. December 2014, Turbinenhalle, Oberhausen, Germany (Photos by Timo Pässler on Flickr)

For friends of harder stuff this is nothing more than the event of the year. Kreator and Sodom (both Thrash Metal), Arch Enemy (Melodic Death Metal) and Vader (Death Metal), all of them belong to the tip of the spear in their genre. This event sounds too great to be true. There must be expensive entrance fees and way-too-short playing times…

…fortunately, the reality looks differently. The tickets cost 35€, not cheap but adequate for this package and also the playing times are long enough. Even the openers Vader and Sodom play for 40 minutes – which is not always usual for smaller events. The idea works! Today the Turbinenhalle is sold out – 4500 people in total!

Which is why the row in front of the doors is extremely long when I arrive at the venue. Moreover, Vader have to enter the stage while many of the headbangers are still waiting outside, a decision I do not understand! So I miss 3 songs of the set (and cannot take photos), but many more people miss a lot more songs. The setlist is well-balanced, it contains older stuff (“Sothis”, “Silent Empire” and “Carnal” in a very great version) as well as new songs: “Triumph of Death”, “God is Dead” and “Hexenkessel”. While the last one mentioned is one highlight of the last Vader album, it isn`t quite the case live, due to the sound, which is not that great. And actually I miss some great stuff like “Litany”, “Xeper” and “Reign Forever World”. But nevertheless a nice show for opening this evening.

Also the Sodom sound is not that great. But the thrashers from Gelsenkirchen do not have such a filigree sound as the other bands, so it does not matter at all. But Sodom are being celebrated from the first to the last second. Maybe this is due to their home field advantage or maybe due to their well-balanced setlist: “Agent Orange” (killer!), “Sodomy & Lust” and “The Saw is the Law” meet “Sacred Warpath”, “Stigmatized” and “In War and Pieces”. Unfortunately they do not consider their semi-old albums, just like the great “M-16”. However, the pit love the show, Bernemann grins a lot, Tom a little bit, so what do you want more? After half of the show, the venue is filled so much that it is more than difficult to leave the front half of the venue. I give up on my way to the exit, so no sausage and no beer for me…

After the Sodom show I am curious about the live debut of Alissa White-Gluz with Arch Enemy. I assume she is under a lot of pressure because she has to fill the gigantic footsteps of Angela Gossow. But she acts as there would be no pressure at all: she jumps, bangs, shouts and poses like she has never done something else in her life. The audience loves it and supports her from the first second. But also the rest of the band delivers a nice performance: especially guitar wizard Michael Amott and bass man Charlee D`Angelo have fun and bring a lot of movement on stage. And because the sound is much better than before, Arch Enemy set the crossbar really high for today`s headliner.

Two years ago, Kreator delivered a hell of show in this venue, captured on the DVD “Dying Alive”. Today they try to destroy the Turbinenhalle again. They took their approved setlist for this purpose, shortened and re-arranged it. The show itself delivers everything possible: smokestacks, confetti guns and – the first time ever I witness it at a Kreator show – pyros. But because the band performs really enthusiastically – especially Speesy on bass – all of that stuff is not necessary. Although the venue is filled up to its maximum, Mille gets the audience to start a circle pit or even a wall of death multiple times. But the best, a real surprise, waits at the beginning of the encores: “The Number of the Beast”! The band plays it in a version which is even better than their great studio recording. Unfortunately not every concert goer can witness it because many have already left, presumably because of those more than 5 hours of hard music in an over-crowded venue. So nobody disagrees with the band when they finish their set with the “Flag of Hate”/”Tormentor”-double and release the audience into the cold December night.

Setlist Arch Enemy: War Eternal, Ravenous, My Apocalypse, You Will Know My Name, Bloodstained Cross, Under Black Flags We March, As The Pages Burn, Dead Eyes See No Future, No Gods No Masters, We Will Rise, Nemesis

Setlist Kreator: Violent Revolution, Civilization Collapse, From Flood Into Fire, Extreme Aggression, Phobia, Enemy of God, Voices of the Dead, Suicide Terrorist, Phantom Antichrist, Impossible Brutality, Hordes of Chaos, Pleasure to Kill, The Number of the Beast, Warcurse, People of the Lie, Flag of Hate, Tormentor

Timo Pässler - reports, reviews, photos - - - Favorite genres? - - - Power, Speed, Melodic, Symphonic and Thrash Metal, sometimes also Black and Death Metal, when I am in mood for it - - - Favorite bands? - - - Blind Guardian, In Flames, Children of Bodom, Powerwolf, Kreator, Vader, Avantasia, Iced Earth, Amon Amarth and many more! - - - Other interests? - - - Music (listening + playing), sports, acting and scouts