5 & 6 april 2013, Lichtenfels, Germany
Once a year in early spring it is time to travel down to the small city Lichtenfels, in the center of Germany. A small and peaceful place where once a year metal-heads gather. A weekend that will entertain you with approximately 30 bands, varied in different styles of metal. With the focus mainly on pagan-, folk- and black metal. And I was there to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this wonderful festival.
Due to some problems with transport and making camp I had unfortunately missed a few of the first bands. Nevertheless there were still enough really promising bands waiting for me.
Two stages could be found in the main-hall. Two stages, built right next to each other. When one band is performing, the other band is setting up at the other stage. At the back of the hall there is a high platform with places to sit while you can still see everything happening in the hall. The audience was pretty nice and dedicated. I was happy to see that there was not much recording going on with annoying cellphones. The little details as the ragnarök designs on the drinking cups were looking quite cool. I think the festival made good use of the space they have.
It seemed like the organization took the feedback they got from last year’s visitors quite seriously as we could see some improvements. Outside the hall there are some food-stands and a metal-market. The campground or sleeping-hall are right next to the main-hall, quite convenient. The line-up was really promising.
For me this was the first band during this festival that I could attend from opening of the show till the end. I had listened to some of Agrypnie’s music at home and was quite curious for this performance. That anticipation was totally rewarded.
They started with Der Tote Trakt, which was a brilliant start. It immediately set the mood and the crowd loved them. And with a legit reason because these guys were good! The performance put me in a nice way of a music trance as only a small selection of bands have managed before. Absorbed by their play. I was highly impressed by this band! I definitely want to see more of them.
Then it was time to prepare ourselves for another band that we were looking forward to a lot, the German band Dornenreich. Quite a versatile band but always a promise for a good show. They didn’t fail that anticipation. I think it is unbelievable that only three man with only three instruments can create such music. Very poetic and touching. The musicians seemed to be totally in the flow of their music and so was their audience. Wonderful performance!
After the setting that Dornenreich had created it was now time for Eluveitie to throw in some folk. Personally I’ve been a huge Eluveitie fan for years now and when they announced on social media to be playing some older material to honor the 10th anniversary of the festival.. I – was – excited!!
Their hurdy-gurdy player was still sick, unfortunately, but that did give some more space for the violin and flutes. Some of the vocal parts that Anna usually sings were now taken over by Meri(and a friend and me haha), it was a nice surprise to hear Meri sing again!
After playing some hits and songs from more recent albums, Chrigel finally did what we were waiting for.. They played The Endless Knot! They played Of Fire, Wind and Wisdom! Some holy grails they haven’t played live for years! We were so happy! And then as the most perfect ending to an Eluveitie concert they played Tegernako. If you happened to be at this performance.. And you saw some people jumping up and down while doing some insane headbangs.. Yeah well.. That was us. What a show! My love for Eluveitie has totally been revived with 200% through this performance. I have to admit that I’ve hardly seen anything from their show since I was mainly headbanging and dancing around.. Thanks guys!
I watched their show from one of the high platforms in the back of the hall to rest a bit from previous shows. The singer of Shining really impressed me with his voice. I heard some sounds that were totally alien to my ears. Incredible. The music itself didn’t really grab me that much though. The performance itself was almost painful to watch, as the singer was singing his songs while crawling over the stage. His movements reminded me a bit of Tolkien’s creature Gollum, but in a good, creepy way. They played 30 minutes longer then they were scheduled.
I’ve known their music for a little while now but never had seen them live before. They were closing off the first day and despite the late hour there were still quite a lot of people in the audience. The band seemed to be thankful for that. What can I say.. They played a great show and I was really happy to have seen that! I think it’s nice to close the festival day with a more atmospheric metal band, but maybe not this late at night. I’m looking forward to see them again some day, maybe when being a little less tired myself. Nevertheless, great music and likable band!
After a few hours of sleep at the camping we were preparing for another festival-day. We’re keeping the tradition to visit the Staffelberg nearby. A mountain with some old Celtic remains on top. A nice little hike with an beautiful view over the surrounding area.
Rabenwolf was the start of the new day and to my surprise there were quite a lot of people in the audience. We were there too and curious for this band since they have worked together with the Swedish band Fejd. Rabenwolf started out good and enthusiastic, playing their folk metal while people were still having their coffees. A nice, energetic start of the day however after a few songs they started to lose their surprise.
I was curious for this band. They started out okay, but to be honest.. There didn’t appear to be much energy on stage as the guitarists were standing still most of the time and the music was just not as exciting as I hoped it would be. I was doubting myself but the audience didn’t seemed to be really thrilled either. I hate to say this but I had expected more.
Eïs is another one of those bands that I had high expectations of. They played really well. The singer was one of those men that if you would meet him on the street you’d never guess he’s actually singer in a black metal band. Great voice and steady instrumental parts! The lightshow however could have been turned down a little, there was a lot of flashing and color changing going on that annoyed me a bit and distracted me from the actual music. They invited a guest singer(singer from Fäulnis) on stage that brought in a nice bit of variation to the show. Great and steady performance!
During the afternoon we were invited by some friends to the campground for some warm mead so we missed the start of Obscurity. When we came back in the hall it was clear that the audience was greatly entertained. Obscurity played some nice and catchy songs. They had some fire- and smoke machines on stage for that little bit of extra spark to the performance. I thought it might have been a little too much though, but some fire is always cool of course. This was the first band that I’ve seen that the crowd asked for more, and that is what they got. A little encore. Cool show.
Before the start of Riger I had heard some discouraging stories about them from people that had seen them before and weren’t really too impressed. However, I thought they weren’t so bad at all! I liked them. I think they played a steady show and the audio quality was very good at this one, so horns up to the soundguy. Good show.
I can be really short about this. Great show! The band seemed to have fun at the stage and so was the audience. Helrunar was awesome as always.
On stage there was standing this huge wooden statue that reminds us to one of the old Scandinavian god statues, a nice bit of stage decor. Menhir opened with an instrumental intro while the band-members got on stage. The intro warmed up the crowd pretty well. However when the band started playing they opened in a completely different atmosphere then they just created with their intro. A bit of a mindclash there. However they played well but something seemed to be wrong. The singer looked distracted and also kept looking at the guy who was taking care of the technical things at the side of the stage.
When focusing more on the music you could clearly hear the unique sound that Menhir has within the music scene and the amazingly skilled voice of Heiko. You’d recognize his (clean) vocal singing among everyone. However the technical problems, that as an audience we didn’t even notice, seemed to annoy him very much. With still six minutes left on the clock they, abruptly ended the show without playing their famous Hildebrandslied, thanking the audience or receiving applause. The crowd was confused and there was a mixture of applause, people asking for encore and also, when it became clear that this was the end, a lot of people screaming boo.
We figured Heiko probably couldn’t hear himself through his little headphone and therefore didn’t really dare to sing anymore. Such a sad ending to a show that had great potential and was, apart from the frustrations on stage, quite good. I feel sorry for them.
This is another band that we saw from a little distance while taking a short break. They opened with their song Leere which I found really refreshing from everything else that we’ve heard so far. While my friends were talking a bit during our break my attention was mainly drawn to what happened there on stage.. So beautiful!
A great surprise! A good refreshment from your average band at a metal festival. Go and see them.
Haha, how to describe what happened here.. It was already getting late, we’d seen a lot of bands already. Been standing a lot.. We were tired and after a while most bands are just quite alike each other.
And then Solefald came on stage.
Holy fuck, I had no idea what was happening. I was already in love with artstyle for the bandlogo and merchandise. However the music was totally different then I expected. I had heard about the band before but I, as I can remember, had never listened to their music before.
So, they came on stage, and for some reason suddenly all the crowd was pretty much almost gone, they started playing and I just stood there, feeling flabbergasted. What is this?! Such a refreshing mixture of metal, clean singing and grunts, different music styles and so much energy! Wow! I felt totally refreshed and not so tired anymore. Instead I was headbanging my sore neck and totally disappeared in their performance. During their performance suddenly the crowd found their way back to the hall and in no time there was a huge party going on in front of the stage.
I’m still not sure what just happened there but it was insane! This is definitely a band you need to go and see live if you like experimental metal! Amazing!
Well, the performance was pretty much everything you’d expect from a band like Carpathian Forest. The corpse paints, the nail bracelets, the inverted pentagrams, the calling of “suicide” and “death”.
They were good in what they were doing, obviously, I mean we’re looking at black metal icons here.. But to be honest, after a few songs I thought the songs sounded pretty much alike. But I guess that’s more of my personal taste. With traditional black metal, I feel that in most cases, when you’ve heard three songs, you’ve pretty much heard them all. No offense and respect for these man who sort of invented the scene.
It was good to see the men of Vreid back on stage. The last two times I saw them that resulted in great shows. You can read a little bit about that on the Niflheim 2013 review, also here on folk-metal.nl.
We weren’t disappointed! A great show, just like we’re used to. However I was a bit confused when they again announced to be playing the title-track from their most recent album ‘for the very first time in Europe outside of Norway’..? I think that’s exactly what they said last time I saw them in Germany too. It could be that that was another song, I can’t remember exactly, but it was confusing for a moment. Nevertheless, great show!
Secrets of the Moon
As the last band of the festival Secrets of the Moon occupied the stage. I loved the ambiance they created on stage with many little fires burning and only a few stage-lamps. I was not really sure what to expect from them. I remembered not being really impressed when I last saw them in Arnhem during the tour with Dordeduh. But, at that time I had to leave early to catch the train home so I decided to give them another chance tonight.
They started with Blood Into Wine, one of those ‘to battle’ songs, which is a theme I usually don’t like too much. And I also didn’t really like the way the singer pronounced his lyrics. There is just something about his voice I don’t like too much in that way of singing.
However, the longer I stood there and watched, the more I got into it. I remember all of a sudden waking up from a sort of dreamy, tired state and realizing that Secrets of the Moon was showing a totally different side that I had no idea of. All of a sudden it became a lot more atmospheric and quiet. And just… Really good! They regained my attention and before I realized it was almost over. They closed with the title-track of their most recent album Seven Bells. You could tell the audience was getting tired at this time of day and so I think most people were just peaceful with the idea of going to bed after this.
There were still quite some parties going on at the campground while there was icefrost on the tents. Truly grim and frostbitten indeed.. 😉
All in all. Great festival! I highly recommended to everyone who loves this kind of metal!
The stages are nice, the ticket is affordable(42 euros for a two-days festival), the surrounding area is cool with it’s mountains and you can find a small metal- and food market at the festival grounds. For those who do not like camping there is also the opportunity to sleep in the sleepinghall or in one of the surrounding hotels.
You have no reason not to go here next year! Mark your planners: 25-26 april 2014! 😉