Location: 013, Tilburg
9 Oktober 2011
Every folk-metalfan in the Netherlands know it, every year the heidenfestcircus visits al least one Dutch city. This time it was 013 in Tilburg where the Heidenfest took place. Organized by Rock the Nation as well. The event has most of the times not much more than bands like Korpiklaani, Heidenfest on the other had has always a strong line-up with the top of the Pagan-genre. The line-up was a good one this time, with no less than 9!! bands, hitting the stage, with as greatest asset ‘Wintersun’, the band which almost nobody has seen live. This all added up to no less than 9 hours of folk-metal, a great event.
Skálmöld was the first band which had the job to get us warmed up, and they surely did. It don’t happens often an opener has such a tight set and are playing wich this much commitment. The fun of playing was clearly glowing on their faces, which was a great benefit to the atmosphere. Even the first pits became a fact, and this at 15.00 in the afternoon already! The exchange between the enthusiastic audience and a even more enthusiastic band made this Heidenfest had a very sparkling beginning. It was a real shame they had to stop after half an hour, is was time for Skálmöld to start with ‘kvaðning’ which meant the end of this great start.
After this cozy and wonderful gig of Skálmöld, it became the opposite with Todgelichter, dull and no sphere at all. I asked myself what was Todtgelichter business there anyway, it beats me. The band stood, with white painted face, in white costumes, almost death-still on the stage. The kind of black metal they make was really appreciated by the audience, who where almost as motionless.
No more words spilled on this. Dull music, dull music, dull performance and totally misplaced on a party like Heidenfest.
Fortunately after half an hour of Todtgelichter we were rescued by Trollfest. This band fortunately knows how to entertain an audience. Dressed in a variety of costumes, the singer for instance in a beerbottlecostume, this sevenpiece came on stage. Instantly it was very clear the band takes itself not very seriously and there one and only goal was to make this a big party. And they managed to this, that’s for sure! The heavy folk-metal was trown across the hall which resulted in a lot of pits.
The organisors of Heidenfest and Paganfest always know how to programme Dornenreich at a fine spot, during dinertime! A massive steam of people left the hall, which caused a huge jam at the doors. All places where you can grab something to eat in the neighboorhood of 013 were filled up with metalhead during Dornenreich.
Dorien (one of the few who stayed in the venue): With only a guitar player, a violin player and a drummer you can surely manage to put down a good show. Escpecially the more easy listening song were georgious.
Alestorm came, saw and conquered. The hal was filled up whith people who wanted so see this (nowadays Tilburgian) Scottish band at work. The gig itself had almost no surprises, a couple of songs of the new album, interspersed with classics, like you can expect from Alestorm. The band stood again (probably) on stage, which resulted in quite a few false notes. There weren’t many complainers though because of the fact, perfect playing is not the goal of this band for a long time. The crowd came to party, and the band provided the means for this. The crowd really was out of their minds, partying, pitting, drinking and dancing. Another fine gig of one of the most famous ‘folk’-metal bands of today.
After this it was Arkona’s turn to bring their Russian songs to the audience. This band is busy on a huge march since their performance at Paganfest last year, that’s why they have 40 minutes today, to show what they’ve got. They brought along their new bagpipe-player as an add to their melodies. This is a huge supplement compared to the last time, when they sampled these sounds. Arkona played well, Masha obviously felt like it, and ran like possessed over the stage while she alternately screamed like hell and brought nice clear vocallines to our ears. The band, is playing a kind of backgroundrole, and did a good job at this. The audience was just like during Alestorm very enthusiastic. All around there was a lot of partying and pitting.
After this time for a band which had a lot of line-up changes lately. The accordionist and bass-player left the badn and are replaced by a keyboard plaer and a new bass-player.
About the performance itself I can be short. Turisas played very strong, and the keyboard are a nice add. Because of the large number of orchestral elements in the new songs from ‘Stand up and Fight’, there’s no need anymore to use taped music but this can be done by the keyboard. This caused the music to be much more ‘real’ and less polished. A real benefit! The band, and especially Olli, the violin player, was obviously in the mood and player a varied set. Old and new material followed anohter in high speed, until they had to stop, after an duty bound encore containing of ‘Rasputin’ and ‘Battle Metal’.
Michel: Despite of the fact I can only underline Nick reviews, I disagree with him on this one. I saw the band the day before this in Oberhausen and it was the worst I ever have seen from them. I have this opinion since their last album to be honest. The audience in Oberhausen was rather divided, in front everyone was super-enthusiastic and behind this, skeptical and sometimes even disapproving it.
It may be clear. Turisas has become a band keeping the discussion in the folk-metalworld going. On my list they’ve moved from the absolute top to the second half.
Finntroll is an band with which you know for sure it’s going to be a party. And despite the fact the band was at their best the last couple of times, it was somewhat disappointing this time. One of the reasons for this was the sound, in which there could almost no keys be heard. This with the raw mix of sound, resulted in a harder sound than usual. Normally the humpaa-influences are clearly there, today the music went more towards the black-metal side of the band
The biggest surprise of the evening came in the shape op Finntroll playlist. This was turned over completely to promote the new edition of the album ‘Nivelvind’. They didn’t close the set with the favourite of the fans ‘Trollhammaren’, but played two covers from Metallica and Oingo Boingo. Besides the fact the band has reached a level it’s not necessary to play covers any more, it was a pleasant surprise.
All in all a good performance, but due to the bad sound it was not as strong as we’re used to with Finntroll.
Wintersun was the last band of this evening, and it was a band a lot of people were waiting for. The start of their act was good, by don’t letting us wait as long as we’re waiting for the new album (Their debutalbum was released in 2004!). It was soon very clear the audience was exhausted by the previous bands. There was some head-banging, but there were almost no pits. A lot of people were already on their way home, causing a much less crowded hall. Wintersun itself sounded messy. The complex songs came out not very well due to the dull sound. Where on the CD everything matches perfectly, it didn’t came out this way live. There were a few peaks in the set. The song ‘Death and the Healing’ in which many belt out with the lyrics was one of those. Another nice thing was the new material, two songs were played of the new album ‘Time’ ‘which shall be released shortly’ (we wonder how much of this is true, in the interview which Folk-metal.nl had with Wintersun he was less clear). Personally I thought it was rather weak, but this may be caused by the bad sound.
Michel: In Oberhausen the sound was perfect (the whole evening as a matter of fact). It was if we were listening to a CD but also in Oberhausen a lot of people went home before Wintersun. The performance in Oberhausen was perfect.