From The Beginning Of Life To The Future (End)
Summer Breeze Open Air 2019
Dinkelsbühl, Germany 20190814-17
Southern Germany, home of the big festivals like Rock im Park and Southside. And right at the border of the two states Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, the Summer Breeze is the so-called “small brother of Wacken” and therefore the place to be for Metalheads from all around.
For the Warm-Up no day-tickets are available. But owner of a festival pass can witness the Nuclear Blast label night on the T-Stage on the one and Riot The Underground on the Wera Tool Rebel Stage. Like this, heavyweights like Death Angel and Soilwork play for the early birds as well as Ingested perform before the Roadtrip To Outta Space of Windhand. Hypocrisy cater for the right portion of Sweden Death this night. Following Midnight have to face flying cups, but take it with brave: “Bring them up! Got anything harder?” And so they continue their Venom-ous Speed sound. Progressive Black Metal heroes Enslaved then enthuse with “a song we don’t play that often”, the incredible “Havenless” from “Below The Lights”. The set is way too short, but in exchange the Evil Invaders deliver another cool show after, visually and musically.
The first official festival day got a lot of Old School and Hardcore to offer. Meshuggah related Clawfinger came up with likes of Dog Eat Dog. They met working at a retirement home, what “Rosegrove” is about, as Zak tells. Then Kvelertak smash it with songs like “Bruane Brenn” and “1985”, and even though one might miss Erlend singing, Ivar does a pretty good job. At the same time, Lionheart are up on T-Stage, later followed by Unearth. Testament are one band, that just played at Nova Rock too. Brazilian Krisiun convinced as support of Dark Funeral and this time again with their authentic style and massive sound of the three-piece. In Flames bestow a very special moment for the audience with “The Chosen Pessimist”. The most diabolic and sinister Death this night comes from the evil minds of Deicide, but unfortunately the sound is quite weak. Downfall Of Gaia start a whole series of great ambient bands at the festival, before Battle Beast and Anaal Nathrakh end the stage action.
On Friday afternoon the main stage offers Heavy Metal of e.g. Dragonforce, while the T-Stage got the brutal side of Aborted. Legion Of The Damned then take care of the Thrash fans, showing why the critics celebrated them already at their start. While Rotting Christ would follow, Airbourne are partying, going all through to “Running Wild”. The big Horror classic of the is King Diamond with an impressive stage design. Unfortunately Napalm Death starts shortly after at the other stage. Barney pleads for “love and peace – the only way to get forward” and that a “world, where everyone is the same would be boring, boring, boring, boring, boring!” Not only made his energy e.g. the Club Vaudeville boil, but this time he also underlines his message with a Dead Kennedys cover. Headliner Parkway Drive score with their entrance as they walk with torches right through the audience. The ambient highlight is Crippled Black Phoenix, who don’t need big gestures, only their music to convince. Right next Thy Art Is Murder shred, while Hammerfall is still playing too because of some delay. Emperor then lead to the darkest night, before Cypecore take you to their final dystopia.
The last day, Rise Of The Northstar from France take away the afternoon with their great Hardcore Rap Metal. After, one can hear Equilibrium’s “Johnny B” from the main stage. From several more ambient acts, Oceans Of Slumber are another clear highlight. The afternoon’s “Hard Rock Hallelujah” is sung by the Finnish original Lordi. Also Grand Magus ensure a good mood with tracks like “Kingslayer” and encouraging their audience to build their choir. After Czech Grindcore maniacs Gutalax, Soen would follow, before Gaahl with Gaahls Wyrd moves up and down the stage like a tiger, fleshing the horns to his listeners. Bullet For My Valentine then “Scream Aim Fire” and The Ocean is the next ambient hit. Dimmu Borgir present their Symphonic Dark Black Metal on the big stage, while Ahab go for the final round on the Wera Tool Rebel Stage. All of those names and performances just show, that the Summer Breeze in no way is inferior to its “bigger brother” and a great place to take a break from daily sorrows.
Photos © Zack Freeley