Sometimes I think, Germany is nothing but a huge construction site. So come, we had to wait very long in a traffic jam to finally reach Rockharz festival. We needed five hours for 10 kilometres and were only able to survive because of sparkling wine made of elderflowers and my 90s trash and party CD. We missed quiet a lot of bands that day and decided to walk around the campsite and party.
So Thursday was the first day of this year’s Rockharz experience – and it was stormy! First band playing was DRONE at 2 p.m. which is perfect time to start a festival day. The other days the first band played at 11 a.m. … I don’t know who is brave enough to watch them.
First band of our interest was EPICA then. The Dutch had a good day it seemed and the weather was better for their stage dresses than at hot Hellfest some weeks ago. Simone Simons headbanged a lot which didn’t do any harm to her perfect hair. Many fans came to see EPICA perform and they found a good mixture of old and new songs. After their signing session, we had an interview with Mark Jansen mainly about the band’s own festival – Epic Metal Fest – in November.
After that gig, the pirates entered Rockharz. ALESTORM presented a huge backdrop showing bananas and some people ran around the festival site dressed up as bananas. Cool thing! The gig was a huge party and a big contrast to following gigs of KATAKLYSM and BEHEMOTH. The Polish had a great day and destroyed the place. It was party time again when FIDDLER’S GREEN played the late night slot. We just danced the coldness away to Irish folk tunes and enjoyed another campsite party with our colleagues from Metal4.
Although the night was short, the next day was more fun. This was obviously caused by the weather – sun came out and the storm was over in the afternoon. But another storm was yet to come: THE GENTLE STORM, a project of Arjen Lucassen and Anneke van Giersbergen. As a background singer, they took Marcela Bovio with them plus one of the guitarists was female – so there was girl power on stage! The band rocked the place taking most songs from the Storm Version of their debut album “The Diary”. Anneke also played songs of her career with THE GATHERING but unfortunately, many visitors didn’t know this project and not so many appeared.
Festival site got more crowded when DELAIN had their gig right after THE GENTLE STORM. They played poppy songs with danceable beats like their new single ‘Stardust’ and some tracks from old albums. It was a kind of best of show and the crowd was with DELAIN enjoying the gig. The guys from FEAR FACTORY were another highlight that day. The band became a kind if legend and of course everybody waited for new songs from their upcoming album “Genexus”. W.A.S.P. were headliners and in contrast to another gig they played at ROCKHARZ years ago they seemed to have a great day. All the ‘Wildchild’s at the place rocked and celebrated.
Saturday was a real summer day. That was why HELL wore a lot of sun blocker at their unholy gig, but before that, CRIPPER played a really good show. Their shouter Britta Görtz knows how to motivate the audience and a lot of people appeared. After that, a lot of grim bands played, like THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, ARTILLERY and THE HAUNTED.
In the evening, SOULFLY got on stage and presented a lot of hits like ‘Roots bloody roots’, but our highlight was CRADLE OF FILTH. Dani Filth had again really cool make-up and screamed a lot. He was vocal accompanied by keyboardist Lindsay Schoolcraft – and their voices matched together perfectly. Their new album “Hammer of the witches” just got released the day before and Rockharz is perfect place to celebrate it, because history of Harz is full of legends about witches. So CRADLE OF FILTH performed ‘Right wing of the garden tryptich’ but also some old hits like ‘Nymphetamine’. The light show fitted great and dawn faded to night while the band played and festival slowly ended for us. All in all, it was really nice, Rockharz! See you next year.