13.08.2015 – 15.08.2015 Dinkelsbühl, Germany
Like every year, it was time for Summer Breeze at Dinkelsbühl. And as usual, it was an extreme festival again. This time it was particularly “delightful”. Heavy rains drowned parts of the terrain. But on the first main day, the clouds disappeared and we could enjoy a wonderful festival in the sun of Southern Germany. In a similarly absurd way the most visitors experienced this year’s Summer Breeze. Those unreasonably tough conditions for camping and parking in the fan area were followed by one of the biggest and best metal parties of the year. It is probably proof that the organizers and volunteers made once again the best of a difficult situation. With the fantastic music, the mood raised quickly, and Summer Breeze became the peaceful, wonderful, unique and heavy metal party, to which we had been looking forward to all year.
Although I must admit that for us, enjoying an unspectacular arrival and then the relative luxury of the press camping on Thursday, the struggle of the fans in the visitors’ campsites can only be imagined.
It began with MEGAHERZ. About this institution of the new German heavy sound you probably need no further comments. The festival area was filled to the bursting point at this time already. Who came through the doorway onto the grounds, was actually already standing in the audience. Madness! Thumbs up for MEGAHERZ.
TANKARD, DESTRUCTION and SODOM offered on the Pain Stage once again a traditional Metal performance. Anything spectacular was neither expected nor shown. But hits of DESTRUCTION like ‘Thrash Till Death’ or ‘Total disaster’ are simply indestructible.
Later in the tent it was time for CARNIFEX. Their vocalist Scott Lewis offered vocally one hundred percent and enhanced the good impression with his humor. In addition, the charismatic Soli of Cory Arford for awe ensured. The band from San Diego shone with first-class songs, which were passionately supported by the crowd.
ALESTORM raised the mood considerably on Friday afternoon and therefore KADAWAR had the perfect slot. The rockers from Berlin continued to brighten the festival atmosphere with their witty humour and thus beer torrents began to flow through the thirsty throats of a raging fan base.
For POWERWOLF it was once again pretty easy. And the wolves themselves have developed. A band who has published consistently outstanding albums for so many years, retains its sympathetic appearance and always endeavours to deliver inspiring shows and to be close to fans, is a more than worthy band for Summer Breeze Friday. Well, we will always get an amazing Power Metal Circus from POWERWOLF. The band focuses on what they do best. Which are melodic power metal anthems on the highest level, performed with songs like ‘Coleus Sanctus’ and ‘Amen & Attack’ awesome support.
That’s right! I waited for TRIVIUM like many others! And when these guys started to play, they unleashed an inferno. A grandiose show, brutal sound and fantastic songs, those five guys proved to the extreme metal / metalcore youth that modern school is the best. Singer Matt Heafy sang with all his might, and besides ‘Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr’ classics I personally liked ‘Silence in the Snow’ best.
Saturday promised to be as sunny as Friday. Ideal festival weather, almost too warm.
BE’LAKOR were the first to make my blood boil again. The Portuguese guys were in good mood and offered an exciting show, which despite the bright sun generated the gloomy and mystical atmosphere typical for BE’LAKOR, yet imbued with a lot of energy. Kudos to the guys. This is something I have never experienced at such a time. Very successful were also the soli, which effortlessly put the audience into its spell. Awesome!
A healthy mix of death-doom and gothic elements in conjunction with an extremely expressive Nick Holmes on vocals – these are the trademarks of PARADISE LOST anno 2015. Forget the controversial Gothic era, which had not only irritated me. The band sounds much fresher and harder than some time ago. Naturally, such a positive reorientation is also rewarded by the masses of fans to show up. Due to the now almost unbearable heat, the audience rather preferred “hands in the air and wave” to mosh pits or dance fits.
HATEBREED blew like a gentle breeze over the festival grounds. On the festival site I could certainly find pleasure in the works of the US Americans. The Dinkelbühl sun reduced my signs of appreciation to a bit of tapping during ‘Never Let It Die’. These gentlemen have a lot of power and a lot of energy.
DARK TRANQUILLITY did not fully impress me as well. At Summer Breeze Mikael and Co have usually always kicked ass, and unfortunately their gig last year is remembered as much better. But songs like ‘ThereIn’ and ‘The Mundane and the Magic’ were and are great! Well, and changing the stage probably had some impact too.
The NIGHTWISH show was eagerly awaited. Floor Janssen and her colleagues entered the stage and started their gig furiously …. just to lose all energy right afterwards. Blessed with one of the best sound of the whole festival, an euphoric crowd and the best weather conditions, it could have been a great show. But nonetheless, it was a good gig.
This was also the end of our Summer Breeze 2015 adventure. A big thank you to the organizers for a peaceful and wonderful celebration and CU in 2016. What remains of Summer Breeze 2015 is perhaps a slightly bitter aftertaste. Nevertheless, I think the organizers are more than honestly trying to make things happen. And ultimately they have again succeeded. So it is rather the party, the music, the bands and the many friendships with fans which will be remembered. And next year SABATON will be playing. It will be interesting if the terrain can sustain all the fans. And let’s be honest: Most of us who still claim that it was the last time this year, will be there again next year, when it is time to say: See you at Summer Breeze 2016!
Report: Markus Seibel
Photos: Björn Schmiterlöw