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What's good at WGT is you must never wake up at 8 AM to be in time for some band. The performances usually start after 14 PM and you have a lot of time to sleep well, then to hunt for some cool-looking people in the city or near the main festival's stage of Agra Halle and make pictures, or you can simply relax in the Barbarin Village, have some nice food and beer, listen to folk bands, meet your friends or something. On my first couple of WGTs I tried to catch as much experience as possible - I ran from stage to stage, made billions of pictures and actually skipped a lot of fun with such an attitude. Now I start my day in the Barbarian Village, the most relaxed and pleasant place in this part of the world - just to find my right mood and not to dive into the festival's groove at once.
The first of my music-related aims for this day was the signing session of a person I really admire - Monica Richards. She's mainly known as the lead singer of the American goth-legend FAITH AND THE MUSE, but this time she was at WGT as a solo artist and had a signing session in Cinestar, so I knew from the very beginning I must be there. I actually shot FAITH AND THE MUSE at the previous WGT, so I printed one of my pictures from that performace to get it signed and didn't forget to make another copy for Monica. She and her musicians appeared right in time and were abolutely sweet to all those few people who came to see them. Monica was very friendly, she signed my picture, thanked me for her copy and looked absolutely happy to be there. There were just about 15 fans in the Cinestar lobby and it felt not quite right for me to see this, because CINEMA STRANGE had a signing session before Monica Richards and they had about 300 fans in line... I hope Monica wasn't very sad about this, because I and hopefully all other people there had a real great time!
A well-known Norwegian viking-metal band HELHEIM gave a perfect and highly energetic start to this day in Halle 15. The band exists from 1992 and is very respected in the certain circles. Their recent album "Heiðindómr ok mótgangr" was just released and this show was a sweet chance for HELHEIM to support it and remind the German fans who was the boss. The gig was pretty impressive, all four members wore the chain armours and looked like they just came from "Lord Of The Rings" movie. They were so brutal, heavy and courageous, that you just couldn't help yourself imaging them with the swords instead of guitars. Unfortunately I can't tell you anything about the set-list, but if you're into viking-metal, you should check them out, they totally worth your attention.
DORNENREICH is a very special band which can't be described as black metal or folk metal or any other metal - this is just DORNENREICH, a band with its own nature. Back in 1996 they played pretty obvious and a little bit epic black metal, but now it's rather ambient with folk elements and sometimes some really heavy guitar riffs. There are just two guys on the stage - the acoustic/electric guitar player and singer Eviga and Inve who plays violin - and if you think two men are not enough to play something really magnificent and bombastic, you're deadly wrong! It's amazing how Eviga and Inve thrill the audience. Playing about 50% songs unplugged they usually can easily reach the emotional top and that is extremely hard even for the bands with large line-up and some eccentric show. The performance was split into a quick 100% acoustic set with "Freitanz" und "Meer" (as usual Eviga also used some kind of a tambourine fastened on his leg) and then went right to much heavier stuff when Eviga changed his acoustic to an electric guitar. Unfortunately this was the turning point of the show, because the sound turned really bad. I don't know who mixed this performance, but all I could hear was the violin and some gritting sound... oh yes, it was the guitar. Couldn't recognize it at once, my bad. Don't get me wrong, the band was awesome and they really tried to play a terrific concert, too bad some deaf guy was at the control desk. Talking about the set-list it was also pretty nice: there were all the well-known songs like "Jagd" and "Der Hexe nächtlich' Ritt" and also two tracks from the new album "Flammentriebe": "Flammenmensch" and "Erst Deine Träne löscht den Brand". All in all that could be the best show on the evening if there were no sound problems.
LAKE OF TEARS
I've seen LAKE OF TEARS two times before, both times at WGT and both time they played before TIMAT! Is that accidental or what? Anyway this time LAKE OF TEARS and TIAMAT played one after another on the same stage again, that's what I call consistency. The band just released a new album named "Illwill" and this show was a part of the actual tour. I must confess I'm not a fan, I do like "Forever Autumn" and some selected songs from other releases, but I always thought LAKE OF TEARS were slightly boring live. They always provided a standard-level metal performance without something that could really excite me, but this time I think was the best show I've ever seen from this band. Daniel Brennare sang really well this time and the guitar player Magnus Sahlgren was clearly in some kind of a rock star mood and looked and played fantastic. The band played 13 songs in total and five of them were taken from the new album. The audience took them with much enthusiasm, especially "U.N.S.A.N.E." and "House Of The Setting Sun". The old fans were also noy forgotten and the tracks like "Raven Land", "So Fell Autumn Rain" and even "Demon You/Lily Anne" (my all-time favourite!) were also in the set-list. In general it was a cool show and I can say LAKE OF TEARS was never better, at least I've never seen them in a better shape.
TIAMAT is a frequent guest at WGT, the band plays here every two years as a headliner and gathers the full halls every time, I think it speaks for itself, right? Johan Edlund and Co didn't realease anything new for already about 3 years, but who cares? It's TIAMAT! "Fireflower" was the first song of the set and... then the second guitarist's amplifier broke down. This made the whole band just wait about five minutes, but as soon as the amp was fixed the rest of the show went smoothly. Such everybody's favorites like "Cain" and "Brighter Than Sun" were played and you could clearly see how much Johan enjoyed the crowd's reaction. They played a more love-metal-oriented song "Vote for Love" and then turned to some more serious stuff like "Until The Hellhounds Sleep Again", "The Ar" (from the cult album "Wildhoney") and "Cold Seed". For the encores TIAMAT saved some pure diamonds like "Sleeping Beauty" (with the guest growling by some guy I don't know) and the unbeliavable anthem "Gaia". A perfect set of one of the most noticeable bands of the dark scene and a perfect end of the festival day.
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