WACKEN OPEN AIR 2010 (Day 2)

August 6th – And So It Continued …

Dew-Scented – Black Stage

A good thrashy start for a very hot morning. The local Dew-Scented arose to start the second day of shows, demonstrating that modern “Slayerish” Thrash with bits of old school can really kick ass. After they launched their assault with “Arise From Decay” off their new album, Invocation, the sparse crowd was more responsive to their tricks. How this band hasn’t reached the top yet is perplexing because they have solid convincing material and a repertoire of eight albums. In spite of sound issues, this band surely left their mark on Wacken.

As the show continued with various tracks from their album catalogue, you couldn’t help but notice the power of their vocalist, Leif Jensen. Even if he sometimes had the stances and vocal patterns of Hardcore, he put on a good show with good headbanging. His peers also did their job very well by showing some enthusiasm, even if it was a bit hot. The bottom line is the band was in good form. As the show progressed, more joined the crowd. Although no moshpits were created during the show, there was still some interest.

Dew-Scented showed that modern German Thrash has its own demons to let out, and all ended well.

Amorphis – True Metal Stage

It was like it was bound to happen, just as the skies turned slightly grey, the Finnish Amorphis started to play their set. However, the continuing sound problems kept on interfering and it was hard to hear a few of the instruments like the low volume guitars and also (in some areas) the vocals. Other than that, Amorphis were amazing and they really touched the crowd with a very good set and reminders of their old selves.

Starting with “Silver Bride” and “Sky Is Mine”, both great songs from their latest album, Skyforger, Amorphis really had an effect on the participants, although some of them still kept motionless. Well, it is quite understandable because this kind of material is more atmospheric than energetic to bang your head to. Other amazing tracks such as the old “Black Winter Day” (newly made version) and amazing classic “The Castaway”, both taken from the band’s successful album Tales From A Thousand Lakes, and others from their later releases made the show sound both harsh yet laden with a sweet touch of ambience. It seemed like the audience liked that, mixed with following the vocalist when called upon.

There was nothing to change in the playlist. Amorphis showed that they can be a bit brutal, yet, they showed their other side with a soft hand. The band members were great, especially their vocalist, Tomi Joutsen, and their keyboards aura was amazing. Together, they put on an incredible show and they were endorsed with love by their spectators.


  1. “Silver Bride”
  2. “Sky Is Mine” (The best song from this playlist)
  3. “Towards And Against”
  4. “The Castaway”
  5. “Alone”
  6. “Against Widows” (Great melodies, awesome vocals)
  7. “From The Heaven Of My Heart” (Very emotional, well performed)
  8. “House Of Sleep”
  9. “Black Winter Day”
  10. “My Kantele” (Great classic to end the show)

Astral Doors – W.E.T. Stage

First of all, this show was too short. How the hell can you comprehend such a great Heavy Metal band in 30 minutes? This Swedish band, lead by the amazing DIO-like vocalist, Nils Patrick Johansson, have been pulling wonders since their formation in 2002. It was amazing that the Wacken crew put them in that tent to begin with. In addition, the production even shut the band down in the middle of their last song.

The show started with tons of power with the song “Call Of The Wild”, striking the crowd with a fist. Johansson’s voice was strong and high as well as the guitar of Joachim Nordlund … just as it should be. Nordlund as a lead guitarist showed virtuosity along with massive lines of killer riffs. The Keyboards also played their part quite well, especially on the band’s classic, “Evil Is Forever”. On the other hand, the guitar was much more satisfying.

Overall, the show was a success; sadly it was cut short, although the crowd seemed to like the band. Great Heavy Metal for the soul.


  1. “Call Of The Wild” (Powerful song, killer riffs, a great opener)
  2. “Black Rain” (After a somewhat folkish entrance it became heavy with atmosphere, in addition there was that amazing anthem-like guitar solo)
  3. “Power And The Glory” (One of the band’s anthems, well performed)
  4. “Of The Son And The Father” (The crowd seemed like an army choir during the sing-along parts; tons of DIO influences. Probably one of the band’s most flowing songs in the set)
  5. “Evil Is Forever” (Say no more, this one is the master of all anthems; cheers for the awesome pick)
  6. “Time To Rock” (Great song from the new album, sounds much stronger live than in studio, great sing-along with the crowd)
  7. “Cloudbreaker” (It was very sad it was cut short)

Spit Like This – Press Tent

A Glam Metal / Rock band straight from England, which came to show itself to the press and VIPs in Wacken. Right from the beginning of the show, it was evident that these guys weren’t just a Glam group. Playing styles such as Metal, Punk, Rock N’ Roll (more like the Elvis type) and even a bit of Blues came to mind. Many sorts of showoffs and forms were on display.

The band’s guitarist displayed some cool shred solos while the drum man gave a dose of cool Punkish beats. As for the others, the bass babe did nicely on her bass guitar, and the vocalist … well, it was hard to make something out of him because the word steady didn’t apply to him that much; he was rather weird in a way but interesting — something like Iggy Pop or even Sisters Of Mercy. Overall, the band’s mixture and their selection of songs painted them as a rather complex feature. Very nice, but sometimes a bit hard to get along with at times.

Mad Max – W.E.T. Stage

Directly out of the 80’s, this band rocked the floor. With their repertoire it was also hard to understand why the Wacken powers that be let them perform on such a small stage. It didn’t matter in the end since these guys delivered great Heavy Metal / Glam / Hard Rock classics with many verses of melodies and enchanting vocal lines.

Michael Voss from the band, when speaking with MER, agreed that their show was heavier than their albums and acknowledged by saying they wish to become a heavier-sounding band, with the hope it will show on their future releases. During the show there were lots of references to Accept and (in general) to 80’s German Metal, which was strong, melodic, and with a propensity to create anthems. Voss’s great skills, both as a lead guitarist and a vocalist, were on display quite a lot and it was easy to appreciate his work. His fellow guitarist, Jurgen Breforth, was also amazing and provided a fine show.

Several examples of their quality setlist were tracks like: “Stormchild”, “Never Again”, “Fox On The Run”, among others. Some songs were hammered out like Accept with a slow tempo assault of power fusions; others were rocky and swift. That show took the crowd (both young and old) back to 1986 … a shame it was too short for these German giants.

Evile – W.E.T. Stage

Evile came from England so the Wacken fans could get a load of old school Thrash in their faces. You could say they were stronger even than Endstille, who were performing on the Black Stage. The show, as always in the W.E.T. stage, was 30 minutes long and it wasn’t enough to really enjoy the band. However, in Evile’s case, the crowd had its share of ultra violence. Right as the band kicked in with “Infected Nation”, all hell broke loose within a large moshpit. As “Thrasher” followed, it was even harsher. The band’s vocalist, Matt Drake, ruled his followers with his words of wisdom as he did honors for British Thrash. Yes, Thrash from Britain is slowly returning to its golden age of the 80’s.

This show had energy, lots of great solos, chopping riffs, and an angry crowd who enjoyed it.


  1. “Infected Nation”
  2. “Thrasher” (Bow to the Thrasher – damn it was a great song)
  3. “Time No More”
  4. “Metamorphosis”
  5. “Enter The Grave” (A bit boring for an ending track)

Lizzy Borden – W.E.T. Stage

If you thought Alice Cooper was insane, you had to take a look at Lizzy Borden and his American Metal dream (no mock of course). This guy uses some of the same elements which made Alice Cooper’s Theater Of Death what it is. Besides the 80’s-oriented Metal (as if the guy never left the era), there were girls at his side, blood, neck-biting, axes, and execution attempts. Of course everything was made with fun and to the good of music, which is true American Metal. Some of those who had the bloody lap of Borden might have felt that.

Even though the show was short, the Borden show seemed satisfying enough. The setlist chosen for the show made it work and the audience, who participated and went wild, went nuts about it — so many young folks knew his harmonic, heavy, and melodic music. After all these years, it was as if this guy never got old … one hell of a show.


  1. “Tomorrow Never Comes”
  2. “Red Rum”
  3. “Me Against The World”
  4. “There Will Be Blood Tonight”
  5. “American Metal”
  6. “We Got The Power”
  7. “Long Live Rock N’ Roll” (Rainbow Cover – a memorabilia for DIO)

Grave Digger – True Metal Stage

30 years of Heavy Metal gave birth to a full-time celebration of grave digging. Grave Digger gave Wacken as promised a full-length production of one of their most successful albums, Tunes Of War, from 1996. With the help of Doro, Hansi Kurch, and Van Canto, they made it all happen.

Although Tunes Of War is not in the same league as The Reaper or Heart Of Darkness, this one is still famous and it seemed everyone that came to see this veteran band enjoyed it. Chris Boltendahl’s vocals haven’t changed a bit; he showed that he was in shape and as always, gave the sense of war. Whether he was singing as a grouchy fiend or as a soft, chilling dramatizer, it was as if he never aged. The show itself was well empowered by effects and additional artists. Even Boltendahl himself was wearing a Scottish warrior’s outfit.

The band’s new lead guitarist, Axel “Ironfinger” Ritt, was unofficially introduced to the crowd as he showed his skills with amazing solos and doing all the stuff Uwe Lulis and Manni Schmidt did so well. As his guitar cried through some aching and dramatic areas, it was like Grave Digger were trying to share the old pain of the Scotts with their spectators. In other areas, it was like joining them into battle with a sword and buckle in hand.

After the war with English on Tunes Of War, the band made way for some classics of both new and old times. However, they should have made space for other great hits like “Witch Hunter”, “Knights Of The Cross”, “The Reaper” and even “Hate” and “Grave Dancer”.


  1. “The Brave”
  2. “Scotland United”
  3. “The Dark Of The Sun”
  4. “William Wallace (Braveheart)”
  5. “The Bruce (The Lion King)” (Just as on the studio album, an amazingly powerful track)
  6. “The Battle Of Flodden”
  7. “The Battle Of Mary (Queen Of Scots)” (Doro Pesch, the Metal Queen, entered to perform this magical joint ballad with Boltendahl — great performance)
  8. “The Truth”
  9. “Cry For Freedom (James The VI)”
  10. “Killing Time” (After the band’s flag songs, “The Clans Are Marching…”, this is the follower)
  11. “Rebellion (The Clans Are Marching)” (A joint performance with the Van Canto quire and with Blind Guardian’s voice, Hansi Kurch. Although it seemed that Hansi took the reins of the song, Boltendahl showed him who is the true Grave Digger master)
  12. “Culloden Muir”
  13. “Ballad Of A Hangman”
  14. “Excalibur”
  15. “Heavy Metal Breakdown” (You just can’t live without it)

Slayer – Black Stage

Morbidity was the deal. Painted in red, as their latest album, the veteran Slayer stepped on the Wacken stage for the who knows how many times. The live Slayer act, unlike other bands, displays a sort of performance that makes them more extreme than truly extreme Metal bands. You can say that most of those bands would not have even taken their first steps if not for Slayer.

Slayer has to be complemented first for their selection of tracks. While tearing up the crowd into several moshpit depots, they performed lots of their classic material, which made them what they are today, a part of the big four of Thrash. Most of the show was a Slayer classic distribution. In addition, without letting go of their new stuff, they did several tracks from their new catalogue, especially from World Painted Blood.

Other than their selection of tracks and their ability to storm the crowd, which was amazing, Slayer, and probably their soundmen, messed something up. As on most of the band’s albums, Slayer had a rather gloomy sound for Thrash Metal, yet, on their 80’s albums, and even on some of their 90’s releases, there was something appealing about it. During their live acts, the band used almost the same identical sound. However, for the Wacken show it was just too much. How gloomy and grey can their sound get? Throughout the show, it was very hard to hear the rhythm guitars while solos were played.

About the solos, and some remarks regarding their material, what the hell did they do? For example, when they played “Seasons In The Abyss” or “Angel Of Death” or “Reign In Blood” or “Mandatory Suicide”, you couldn’t recognize the solos. It is very likely that all Slayer fans know their solos by heart after squeezing the life out of their albums, yet, it didn’t quite happen during their Wacken show. It was very frustrating that guitar players of the caliber of King and Hanneman, who did most of the solos, were playing solos like a guitar player who just began playing solos or was just playing for the kick of it. The band’s solos are a part of their heart as a special Thrash band, and they just ruined the experience. Moreover, their allegedly played solos during the show were repeating themselves almost on every song and that was disappointing.

For what is worth, Slayer knows how to crush their stage and energize their crowd, yet, even with their huge legacy, they should pay attention to those critical details.


  1. “World Painted Blood”
  2. “Hate Worldwide”
  3. “War Ensemble”
  4. “Expendable Youth”
  5. “Dead Skin Mask”
  6. “Seasons in the Abyss”
  7. “Hell Awaits”
  8. “Spirit in Black”
  9. “Mandatory Suicide”
  10. “Chemical Warfare”
  11. “Raining Blood”
  12. “South of Heaven”
  13. “Angel of Death”

Anvil – True Metal Stage

After the worldwide influence of their emotional life story, Anvil was performing in Wacken. When Lips rose up to the stage with his little boy smile, the crowd knew it was going to be fun. Anvil came to attack, and they did on their own terms.

The crowd cheered for the guys and was also amused by the words of Lips as he turned to them after each song with various funny remarks, lots of thank you’s, and how fortunate it was for them to play in Wacken. It was kind of nice that they acknowledged the opportunity given to them; an opportunity they should have been given a long time ago.

Right from the start, it was obvious that “Metal On Metal” would be like their “Balls To The Wall” and would be preserved as a parting gift at the end of the show. Although they didn’t choose the most inspiring songs for a show as important as on Wacken, they performed those quite nicely. Lips also took one of his nasty habits and played parts of the song “Mothra” with a vibrator. To that he added frequent guitar playing while squeezing words with his lips — that part was freaking amazing.

When they reached their final track on the set, “Metal On Metal”, everyone went crazy as this hit is a never ending treat for every Metalhead, young or old. Anvil did well in Wacken, and showed their heavy power. However, their chosen setlist needed to be worked in order to get the treatment they deserve.


  1. “March of the Crabs”
  2. “666”
  3. “School Love”
  4. “Winged Assassins” (Didn’t assassinate anyone with that one)
  5. “This Is Thirteen” (A great song for their new stuff, however Lips sounded as if he was crying the chorus)
  6. “Mothra” (Good vibrator show)
  7. “Thumb Hang”
  8. “White Rhino”
  9. “Forged in Fire” (Could have replaced this one with another track)
  10. “Metal on Metal” (A well done performance and well chosen track to end the show)


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.