Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Euro Tour 2010 part 13: Where The Schlamm Lives


[Bad Berka]

488. Still life with logging boot.

The sun came out early this morning, but things are still shit. You get used to the mud, maybe not so much to the dude who snores like a downshifting semi in the next tent.

At breakfast, more cool dudes, more CDs passed out -- and also Austrians on meth and Sarah from Terror Blade's crew, who promised me a demo later after her boyfriend got their car back from the shop. All I had to do was find the girl with pink hair and inch-long spikes on the shoulders of her kutte; not a problem, even in 10,000 metalheads, especially since she's also looking for the 6'3" guy with seven bands of studs on each shoulder. Right?

Tribulation [4/7]
Overall decent black thrash, but absolutely nothing special -- or especially original. There were some good parts, but nothing that ever really developed into their own sound.

489. Tribulation warming up, jamming on "The Wicker Man".

490. The band comes out through the haze.

491. Jonathan jamming in his girl jeans.

492. Rest of the band.

At this point, of total resources I have zero stickers, three CDs, 8 flyers, and bare handful of buttons left. Everything is going to move by the end of the festival; no need to push, just let it go and let things come.

Ghost Brigade [4/7]
There's a time and a place for this kind of music, but even if the place is Party.San, it's doubtful that the *time* is between two black-thrash bands. They're not as crap as their demo, but if they played in the same slot as Swallow The Sun did last year, people would be screaming about downsizing. Still, they aint bad, and if the lineup goes small here to go Napalm Death - Suffocation - Lock Up - Cannibal Corpse later on, that's a tradeoff I'll take.

493. Ghost Brigade, laying a foundation.

494. One of the guitarists, because he was the closest.

495. Rest of the "outfield players".

496. In "action".

497. Full band.

Desaster [6.5/7]
Not perfect, but Desaster isn't in the perfection business. What they do do, though, is lay out critical burning black thrash metal, and fuck did we get a long portion of such. The infield filled near full up, and the band responded in top fashion. This is perfect festival music, fun but still true, and this was some kickass execution at, it must be said, about the perfect festival for this kind of music.

498. Desaster setting up, with banner.

499. Infernal jamming "South of Heaven" by way of warmup.

500. Desaster hit the stage.

501. Satanic out front.

502. Odin chunking away.

503. Full "outfield".

504. Odin smashing some more.

505. Hey! Hey! Hey!

506. Action shot.

507. Infernal doing his hero thing.

508. Part II.

Varg [5/7]
Solid but not spectacular black metal, Varg is the best kind of schedule filler, the kind people will eat up gladly for and hour sometime between the openers and the headliners. A good performance of good music, this set slotted perfectly into the afternoon.

509. Varg, full band.

510. Inciting the crowd.

Now for the hard part -- dinner and no bands to miss. Maybe if I turn in before Lock Up, having seen them and CC last weekend, I'll be able to tough it out; we'll see.

Månegarm [6/7]
The heathen/epic elements came in later, but even at the start, when I was off resting my feet, this was a class performance. Not quite on the same level as Moonsorrow last year, and certainly not in as good conditions, but good stuff all the same. This band was one of the main draws for me, before Autopsy announced, and they certainly delivered at their expected level.

511. Månegarm, full band.

512. The lighting was shit; the band, badass.

513. Focus on the fiddle. Månegarm play all their own instruments live, even the traditional stuff -- no playback or keys -- which makes the performance that much more impressive and awesome.

Necrophagist [6.5/7]
Amazing, still. Some things don't change, and one of them is that Muhammed and his band -- they've been together long enough to stop being sidemen -- will produce, on any stage, death metal vom absolut feinsten. Almost simple in how it came out, almost laid back at times -- but you kind of have to be a Necrophagist-level musician to make this kind of music come off as easy in any way.

514. Necrophagist setting up.

515. Muhammed and Sami through the smoke.

516. Stefan, easier to photograph.

517. The rest of Necrophagist is in here somewhere.

518. Stefan, hero shot.

519. The rest of the band emerges.

520. Muhammed's still veiled by the light in the smoke.

The way the sunlight was coming in made the smoke almost impossible to see through, especially with an old beater camera. The smoke's a godsend later; not so hot to work with in the middle of the afternoon.

521. Muhammed finally appears.

522. Full band, fully visible.

The ground is firming back up nicely; if the weather holds, moving out will be merely difficult, not stupidly dangerous. I've still got large chunks of Thüringen in my boots, and the shorts are probably going to be a total loss (tent's gone when I get home and no longer need it to balance the pack, obviously), but I've got a fair bit of time in Berlin tomorrow and some rough plans to get through immigration.

(Lol jinx. No sooner had this been written than it started dripping down again. Results from the next morning in the next post.)

Aura Noir [6/7]
Simply kickass -- full power blackened thrash showing its roots in Sodom, Venom, and Sarcofago, and the crowd lapped it up, but the best to come was outside the music. This is how this fest works: you come in, and great bands play great sets one after the other.

523. Aura Noir, at least as they are.

524. Setting up some "South American Death".

525. The audience for black thrash in Germany. All these dudes were in for Desaster too.

And then, at the very end....


Carl-Michael came out on crutches to do "Sons of Hades" as a quasi-encore, the first time he's been onstage since the accident five years ago. Still not so able to move around, but he's still got the pipes. Fuckin killer.

The light's basically gone, so pics from Napalm Death, Suffocation, and anything I stay later for will likely be crap.

Napalm Death [6.5/7]
Powerful is the word for this -- so much speed and power in their grind that they double-timed the set. Nobody cared, though; we got super-fast, super-crunchy Napalm Death and then half another Napalm Death set as an encore. Fuckin hell.

To continue to allay baseless rumors about this fest, "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" got a strong and correctly pitched response from the crowd, and a loud chorus of "Nazis Raus!" from the time that Barney finished announcing it straight into the start of the song.

527. The "alte Zugmaschine" (old tractor, punning on some remarks from the orgas before the set about tow-out arrangements in the morning) gears up to drag the fest out of the mud.

528. Barry is a dynamo of energy.

529. Giant inflatable dong in the crowd before Suffocation.

Suffocation [7/7]
Just the top; not really a "high 7" as those facetious things go, but really, really good, headliner-class in every respect. Frank still blabs on a bit, but the actual music still kicks ass; when Suffocation is on, they're fucking on. You have to check if Terrance doesn't suddenly have three hands, and you just stare slackjawed at Mike's perfection of precision behind the kit: no wasted motion, every stick movement goes to exactly the right place with exactly the right power, then strikes again or moves on at near the speed of light. The audience responded as well as they're going to; you're not going to get 100-meter pits at this fest, but if you don't move when Suffo is just flat nailing breakdown after breakdown in "Pierced From Within", you're not fucking human.

530. Suffocation setting up. Light's gone.

531. Frank talking something over with Mike. Light's gone here too.

532. Derek, Terrance, and Frank let loose.

533. Frank roaring away as only he can.

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