WACKEN OPEN AIR 2017

The Festival:-

”One of the festivals on the European metal/alternative circuit that i have always wanted to go to is the Wacken Open Air festival which is 50km north of Hamburg in the state of Schleswig Holstein. Over 3 days in August over 130 bands from various different metal subgenres will play on numerous stages to thousands of dedicated metal pilgrims, many of whom will be making their annual pilgrimage from all over the globe. It will be a time to party, to catch up will old friends,meet new ones and listen to some of the finest music created by some of the most influential acts from all over world, established acts and also new ones too!! All sub genres are catered for, from Hair Metal to Nu Metal all the way through to Black, Death, Thrash, Industrial etc etc! The average age of attendees is around 27 years old and 84, 000 tickets roughly are sold every year and for the past few years all the tickets have been sold out within 24/48 hours of them going on sale which is usually the day after the current festival ends. A nice touch is that  approximately 1800 residents  of the village of Wacken get free passes which is only fair considering that the village has to cater to thousands of people for 3 days, acting as guides, offering accommodation, catering/beer etc and of course putting up with a disruption to their peace and tranquillity!! In 2011 expansion to the festival was halted so as to not abuse the hospitality of the village and also for safely and logistical purposes. I personally think that was a good idea, obviously you want your event to be popular and grow but there comes a point at which the bigger you get the more problems you  encounter and the unique vibe that makes an event what it is can end up being watered down and being totally ruined!!”

The History:-

”The Seminal Wacken commenced on the 24th August 1990 with a band called Skyline and finished the following day with 5th Avenue, Ax’n Sex, Motoslug, Sacred Season and Wizzard (I assume this was not Roy Woods Wizzard but Wizzard from Sweden who were formed in 1985) The 26th Edition in 2016 commenced on Thursday 4th August and finished on Saturday 6th August and bands that played that year included Iron Maiden, Henry Rollins, Ministry, Borknagar and Twisted Sister Amongst others. In the intervening years there have been many bands that i have never heard of playing on the bill with plenty of familiar faces that have included the likes of Dimmu Borgir, Black Dahlia Murder, Motorhead, Cradle Of Filth, Therion, Saxon, Iced Earth, Celtic Frost, Gorgoroth, Mayhem and Amon Armath. This years iteration will include Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, Lacuna Coil and the Cavalaera Brothers to name but a few. So, in 26 years we’ve gone from humble beginnings with a handful of bands to the pulsing behemoth we have today with hundreds of artists who are part of the global metal family. May this years  festival be a roaring success  and for many years to come.”

LINKS:-

All travel and accommodation information can be found here. Please do your research carefully and thoroughly, i shall not be held responsible for your mistakes!!:-

http://www.wacken.com/en/

https://www.facebook.com/events/165108507250281/

WARDRUNA LIVE!!!

Venue:- The Union Chapel, Upper Street, Islington, London.

Date:- 17/11/2016

Main Members:-

Einar Kvitrafn Selvik:- Founder/Lyrics/Music/Most Instruments/Vocals

Lindy – Fay Hella:- Vocals

”That was brilliant that was!! I’ve not come out of a gig in a while feeling invigorated and entertained!! It was was not only the hairs on the back of my neck that stood up but also the ones on the small of my back and on the back of my legs!! The Union Chapel, a place I pass most days and is just up the road from where I live, I have lived in Islington for 18 years and it took Wardruna to get me into the venue!! It is brilliant for this type of music!! Music that speaks to your soul, your inner being!! The only other place that Wardruna could have performed in London with this type of music is The Royal Albert Hall, but then again maybe not!! The Union Chapel is just the right size for intimate!! It is cavernous but not mega cavernous, the gothic arches and the oldness meld with the music in a kind of symbiotic pureness!! Wardruna is an experience that commands your attention just like a charismatic preacher in the full flow of a sermon!! The band asked that people did not constantly use their phones during the performance as it was distracting and is irritating to other audience members and to the performers alike! Go old school and absorb the experience in your minds eyes, live the experience and give your memory a work out!! For the most part the audience respected this request and I appreciated the fact that I was at a show where bloody smartphone screens on show were kept to a minimum. As a photographer I am used to going to gigs and being told that I have 3 songs maximum and no flash!! If I can’t get some good shots in 10 minutes or so then there is something wrong with me!! Maybe the audience should be given a 3 song maximum as well, if the band wishes it???

Another thing I like about Wardruna is that the sound is not synthetic!! It is an organic sound created using traditional instruments such as the Kravik lyre, deer hide drums, tagelharps, goats horns and the like. It’s sound that is married to nature, the natural forces, the imagination and ancient ideas and thinking!! It is a sound that entrances and facilitates reverie. This is not shallow music, this is music that strips out the bullshit and gets down to what matters!! It reacquaints you with yourself, its a spiritual cleanser!! Tonight’s set was mainly music from ”Ragnarok” the third album in the RunalJod Trilogy, for those that don’t know the RunalJod Trilogy is 3 album music rendition of the runes of the Elder Fulthark. Gap Var Ginnunga is album one of the trilogy and first graced our ears in 2009, Yggdrasil is number from 2013 and Ragnarok wraps up the trilogy coming out this past October.”Tyr” opens the proceedings with enigmatic horns front lit to enhance the grandness and awe, ”Runaljod” closed said proceedings 90 minutes later with the same feeling!! Lindy – Fay Hella and Einars voices interplaying and interwoven, soft gossamer accented by harsh rope and visa versa, it was  like knotwork crawling around atop the skin before penetration into it, moving around the veins and every pore, intoxicating and openig the doors to the gods!!”

”And then it was all over!! I’ve seen a lot of bands this year but only two have had me leaving a venue with a satisfied feeling of ”WOWWWWW!!! and a cheshire cat grin!! Both are Norwegian!!!”

 

Darkher

Members:-

Jayn H Wissenberg – Vocals, Guitars, Production, sorcery.

Martin T Wissenberg -Atmospheric & Lead
Guitars/Bass

Shaun ‘Winter’ Taylor-Steels – Drums

”A short set of 30 minutes. Very Haunting. I see moorland, cold and desolate and shrouded in fog and mist! One moment I felt lost and then I feel empowered by being lost because I can only find!! In life one minute I know where I am, I know who I am and then the next, as if a switch has been clocked, I feel disorientated and confused, what the hell is this place I stand?? And then, with another click of a switch, I am back!! In places this sounds like Julianne Regan of All About Eve , PJ Harvey, the track ”Hung” and Tori Amos. Take a woman in a long white dress with long hair and  put her in an old chapel and what you also get is a Dante Gabriel Rossetti painting! The track ”Forgone” is the All About Eve sounding track, all tension and foreboding!! Wardruna were the guides who laid the crumbs and I found this!!”

 

 

LINKS:-

https://www.facebook.com/wardruna/

https://www.wardruna.com

https://soundcloud.com/wardruna/albums

https://www.instagram.com/einar_selvik/

https://www.youtube.com/user/wardruna

http://www.darkher.com/

twitter.com/DARKHERMUSIC

 

KAMPFAR LIVE!!!

 

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Venue:- The Underworld, Camden Town, London, UK.

Date:- 25/10/16

KAMPFAR!!!!! An Old Norse Battle Cry meaning Odin or Wotan!!

Abraham Ben Jacob:- ”Never before have  I heard uglier songs than those of the Vikings (in Slesvig). The growling sounds coming from their throats reminds me of dogs but more untamed!” 10th Century AD

 

 

”The last time I saw Kampfar was last year when they played at the Dome in Tufnell Park supporting Gorgoroth! They grabbed my attention more than Gorgoroth, the energy was captivating, the rhythm was intoxicating and presence of all the band was stereolithic! A brief biography, the band has been in existence since 1994 when  Dolk  parted ways with his previous band called Mock. The band started as a duo and their first release was a self titled mini cd followed by their first album in 1997 called “Mellom Skogkledde Aaser”. These guys are no wall flowers, you know they are there, they pull your attention and it is kept for the duration of the gig!! I’ve always found Kampfar spine chilling, i’m not fully up to speed with all their catalogue yet but what I have heard is sublime!! ”Mylder”, 6 minutes of raging goodness accented by a teasing airy and somewhat mocking flute, ‘Swarm Norvegicus’, rousing and bombastic, the guitar cutting through you like cheese wire! In fact the whole experience of listening to Kampfar is like listening to an opera whilst being garrotted with cheese wire, and loving it!! Dolks guttural utterances  mirroring your own gurgles as the blood spews out of your neck!!  I was on a bus the day after this gig listening to ”Glory Ablaze” and I was in a trance, a look of insular musings on my face and a propensity for uncontrolled jerking, I had a need to break out and thrash my head about but I could not, I was on a bus! Any one looking at me would have thought I  was mad! I was having an experience, a visceral experience, it was  like an orgasm but better, prolonged!! The set list for tonight gig consisted of tracks from albums, in no particular order:- ‘Kvass’ (2006), ‘Profan’ (2015), ‘Djevelmakt’ (2016). I was listening to ‘Lyktemenn’ whilst writing this, I went into a trance again, sorry!! And the other albums are:- ‘Heimgang’ and ‘Fra Underverdenen’. After skimming through all the albums online I have found some gems to explore in more detail and to be honest although there are some tracks that I don’t like the majority are satisfyingly brilliant, for example ”Hymne” from ”Mellom Skogkledde Aaser” and ”Troll, Dod Og Trolldom”  from the album ”Fra Underverdenen”.

 

”I know what  I like and I like this band!!”

 

SETLIST:-

 

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LINKS:-

https://www.facebook.com/kampfarofficial/

http://www.kampfar.com

 

 

ANILAH

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Album:- Warrior

Release Date:- January 4th 2014

All Images:- Copyright Anilah

 

”Anilah is the solo project of Drea Drury, a solo artist based in Western Canada, the Selkirk Mountains to be exact! I came across Anilah yesterday whilst looking up Wardruna material, i noticed that they have both collaborated on a track called Warrior (revisited) which was released on January 22nd 2015. This is brilliant!! I am currently listening to the album in Cafe Nero and it certainly creates a buffer between me and my surroundings, i hardly notice that they are there!! This album is relaxing, space creating and thought provoking! I feel centred into myself with my feet firmly grounded to the floor, what others do or think is of no concern of mine, what is of concern is my own feelings for myself!! Very Shamanic, very Native American with Norse intermingled!! I am transported to a time when connection to the gods and spirits was more pronounced, where the connections between this world and the next were more fixed, more concrete!! For Musical signposts think Dead Can Dance, Clannad and the aforementioned Wardruna!!”

 

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All links can be found through Anilah’s Bandcamp page

WARDRUNA:- YGGDRASIL

”What can i say about this album?? To put it bluntly is ear carressingly sublime!! An awesome listen, spine chillingly brilliant!! Uplifting!! Energising!! I feel alive as if the universe is speaking to me through the mediums of primitive deer-hide frame drums, Kraviklyra, tagelharpe, mouth harp, goat horn, lur and etc.There is something pure about this music that transcends all pretentions!! This is music made from the heart!! It sounds very Norse but very Greek too and at times very Native American!! What all the aformentioned have in common is the cultivation of dreams, they open doors into the other world! Time slows and problems splinter and all seems fine. I can listen to this for hours with or without stimulation because i am already suggestible!”

 

”This album is part of a trilogy called Runejod which is a music interpretation of the 24 runes or what some would call the Elder Futhark. Some of the recording was done outside in places that are significant to the individual rune and this gives each piece an added gravitas! Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Einar Kvitrafn Selvik , vocalists Kristian Espedal (aka Gaahl) and Lindy-Fay Hella have come together and created a piece of pure magic  without veering off into tedium. Yggdrasil’ is also graced with guest appearances by renowned Icelandic composer Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and Iceland’s leading rímur singer Steindór Andersen.”

If you like a heady mix of earthy and otherworldly atmosphere then i recommend this!!

 

10/10

 

 

http://www.wardruna.com