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Hamburg Metal Dayz 2015

Markthalle | Hamburg | Germany | 25. September 2015

Friday, 25th of September 2015

With 28 € for Friday, 31 € for Saturday and 50 € for both (with extra fees on top), this two day festival wasn’t cheap considering the bands offered.

As the Friday main act Godseed cancelled with relatively short notice (so did Godsized then a few days later), I wasn’t too surprised to find the Markthalle only half full. The side program was as illustrious as usually with “singing and surviving with Blaze Bayley” and a drum workshop with Christian Bass (Heaven Shall Burn). There were no great authors or comedians this time – just the unavoidable Mambo Kurt, who apparently wrote a book called “Heimorgel (home organ) To Hell” from which he was reading. The Jägermeister-photobooth for free and the WOA-Foundation with their games and winnings was keeping the peeps entertained. As the festival started already at 16:30, we missed out on By The Patient and Kommando. The sound at Markthalle and Marx is always reliant on a bit of good luck but on both HMD-days, Fortuna was on our side and there was not a single show with complaints regarding this.

I didn’t know Koldbrann before and, I have to say, this was a gap in my education. This band does not necessarily fit into one category – which is always a plus point. It’s mostly black metal, partially death metal with a massive double bass, which wasn’t on all the time, but when it was, it drowned the guitars. The band itself seemed to be disappointed regarding the audience’s reaction as they were only nodding passionately. Obviously the Norwegians weren’t used to the Hamburg “hot” temper on an early hour and in general. In the end it seemed like some buddy of the band lost a bet, as there was suddenly a naked guy on stage. If you have the chance and you’re into black and death metal, go and check them out.

This duo from Hamburg manages sometimes to sound with voice, drums and guitar, like a three or four piece band. If Tool would try some punk and doom, it would probably sound like Mantar. Not bad at all, but I do miss the bass.


Tom Gabriel Warrior and Vanja Slajh are back on stage in Hamburg’s Markthalle. As Goodseed cancelled with relatively short noticed their appearance as today’s headliner, there was an urgent need for an adequate replacement. It could have been worse than Triptykon. Their set was very doomy with songs sounding not bad, but very alike. Just the Celtic Frost covers (e.g. Circle of Tyrants and Procreation of the Wicked) and one Hellhammer cover (Messiah) were bringing some more motion in the show. Warrior said that he feels honoured to play this stage again and how special the Hamburg audience is for him, so I felt really sorry for the band as the crowd vanished after the first half an hour leaving them with just their core of true fans. I don’t really get it, as everybody should know by now – this is not Celtic Frost under a new name and if you can’t stand doom metal, don’t go to Triptykon concerts.


High Fighter
Nice stoner riffs, some hard female vocals and bunch of good songs are what High Fighter had to offer. Mona Miluskis vocal range isn’t awe inspiring, but her timbre in the clear parts is good and she can roar and shout nicely. As they have only one release so far, High Fighter is a band we can expect to hear some more in the future.


Saturday, 26th of September 2015

On the second day, there was again the side show program with games and photo booth and of course Mambo Kurt. There was the annual possibility to direct your questions regarding the next Wacken Open Air festival to the WOA-organizers, some panel about labels and record deals and an air guitar contest. There was even a personality coach (Rainer Biesinger) who calls himself “Heavy Metal Coach”. This time Markthalle was full – as I heard even sold out, although you were not sitting on each other’s lap and there was enough space in all shows. Why Axxis had to play on such an early time as 16:45h is astounding to me, but we had to miss them because of that. Luckily we made it to the following acts – apart from Tenside – sorry to Tenside, but they played to the same time with mighty W.A.S.P.

If you wouldn’t know that this band contains Schmier (Destruction), Herman Frank (Accept) and Stefan Schwarzmann (Accept), you would think they are just some skilled musicians, who sound a bit like a wannabe Sodom. Panzer is not as good as Destruction in their best days or Accept as their songs lack a bit of originality, but their thrash metal is solid and has its moments. The unnecessary long guitar solos and show-offs were a bit annoying, but all in all Panzer’s show was good. They played a bit over time, but the very lively audience seemed to enjoy them.


Beyond The Black
Symphonic metal made in Mannheim, Germany, is what Beyond The Black had to offer. They seem to reach for Nightwish, but sound pretty much like Within Temptation. Their singer, Jennifer Haben, has a nice voice but would fit better in the direction of Schlager (German folk music) than to symphonic metal. Their songs are well arranged and very commercial orientated. If you’re into Within Temptation, this one is probably of your liking.


Uli Jon Roth
It is impressive to see a real master at work. The singer (who kind of looks a bit like Faramir) did a great job performing songs like “We’ll Burn The Sky”, “Fly To The Rainbow” and “All Night Long”. In the beginning of the show one of his strings broke and later so did Uli’s and he said that this is something you don’t see every day and changed his guitar. His guitar solos were amazing, even if it was on occasion overdone. I was a bit puzzled that even this legend had to play in front half of the stage as the W.A.S.P. drums and stuff were already installed but his show was the first real highlight of the festival. Uli Jon Roth – more than 40 years on stage and still rocking like there is no tomorrow.


Wow, what a show. The trip back on memory lane, starting with “On Your Knees”, was welcomed by an already (thanks to Uli Jon Roth) partying crowd who sang along all the old songs and also obviously liked the three songs of W.A.S.P.’s new album Golgotha they played. Their new song “Last Runaway” sounds to me a bit Bon Jovi-ish, but who’s complaining if you get all the evergreens like “Wild Child” and “L.O.V.E. Machine“. Also I have to mention that the title track of Golgotha really kicked ass and “Miss You” – the obligatory ballad – wasn’t as cheesy as one would guess judged by the title. Blackie looks very old, but which of those dinosaur musician looks young anymore? Also the breaks between the songs were more frequent and sometimes very long. The video installation in the back was entertaining, but then again, it’s a concert. Head banging to songs from the record while waiting for the band to return from a long break isn’t so great. Age demands its tribute obviously. Apart from that, there was no room for complaints. It was quite funny to see the music video of “Wild Child” playing on the background during the song itself. Especially as it is famed for being extraordinarily 80’s trash -if you don’t know, check it up and have a giggle. Unless you want to keep things serious. In between songs Blacky told a little story about why it took them six years to release a new album. He said that during the interview marathon for this album there was always the question, why it took six years to do it? Then in the end there was one girl interviewing him who said, that it takes maximum one hour to listen to an album and asking him why he needed more than that to make a record. His answer was: I guess I’m slow. With a happy ending in form of “I Want To Be Somebody” ended this year’s Hamburg Metal Dayz.



Ozzy Aikas

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