ROCK HARD – Live Mania

ROCK HARD - Live Mania


Nuclear Blast
Release date: December 1, 2003

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

In the summer of 2002, the staff at Rock Hard, simply the biggest and best Hard Rock and Heavy Metal magazine in Germany (if not the whole world), decided not to work as closely with the Wacken (biggest Hard Rock and Heavy Metal festival in the universe) promoters as before. There were lots of organizational issues as well as Rock Hard blaming Wacken for an unethical price concept, differences I believe the parts have put behind them by now. Now, all this was obviously not the mere reason for Rock Hard to set up their own festival in 2003, they had a 20 year anniversary, but they sure experienced that doing a festival isn’t easier than pulling teeth – just like the Wacken organisation would be the first in line to confirm. The whole event was almost flushed down by the weather gods, and not as many people as expected showed up. But rumors say that Rock Hard will try again. Anyway, for those who chose to go to the Sweden Rock festival that weekend (yours truly included), this DVD soothes the pain – or maybe it adds salt to the wounds?

You see, Rock Hard had collected a very impressive line up to celebrate their first 20 years in business. From Death Metal like God Dethroned and Arch Enemy, to Tribal Metal in Tribe After Tribe (featuring the father of all bass players, Joey Vera), to Progressive Metal in Threshold, Angry Metal like Soilwork – to the best in Metal in Candlemass and Nevermore. All this rounded off by headliners Blind Guardian and Saxon, and special guests Doro (3 song surprise set with the drum tech pounding away) and Anthrax. A good and diverse billing indeed, not to forget Trouble, who returned to Europe after all these years, and Circle II Circle, who played their first ever show outside the US and marked singer extraordinaire Zak Stevens’ European comeback after the “split” with Savatage.

This DVD consists of one live track and an interview by every artist, not to forget an interview with Holger Stratmann, the founder of the “Megazine”. The Doro interview, by editor Gotz Khunemund, is an interesting “moment of truth”, where they talk about the fact that Rock Hard (or more so a few of their writers) not always was behind the indisputable Metal Queen. The Nevermore interview is lots of fun, and Chris Broderick, the Jag Panzer guitar player who sometimes lends out his amazing technique to the band, gets to reveal how quiet the “Nevermorons” are, that they go to libraries on days off and prefer to read books in the tour bus… Yeah right!

Another priceless moment is Messiah of Candlemass’ German talk onstage. A few lines of his German made the headlines some time ago, among them: “Ich bin ein Doomkopf!” Since that, lots of Metal fans redefined themselves, as Candlemass’ festival jobs are pure doom perfection. Do yourself a favor and check out “At The Gallow’s End” – music doesn’t get better than this!

All in all, this is a fine presentation of Rock Hard’s 20 year anniversary, for the ones lucky to be there (yes, I missed a good one this time), and for those who never made it (but promise to do so next time). The only complaint I have is – as always with German productions – lots of the interviews are done in German. Yup, they have subtitles, but still – they want this DVD to be purchased outside of Germany, don’t they? To work for Rock Hard, I am sure you need to be able to speak English, and I am pretty sure the artists do as well… Try to remember that next time, please, hopefully not another 20 years down the road.


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