Photography: Ute Ruhmann Fotografie
Location: Bornstedt, Germany
Germany, the perfect country for cheap festivals. Every subgenre has their own festival, so also one for the fans of pagan/folk/blackmetal. Since yours truly is such a fan, we traveled halfway may to Bornstedt for this small festival. Too bad that there can be found 3 Bornstedts in Germany, what resulted in us ending up at the wrong one. The location, a castleruin in the middle of a forest on top of a hill, was at least perfectly chosen, and also the line-up looked really great. Below you can find a report of all the bands we saw playing there.
The day started well with Cryptic Forest. I’d never heard of the band before (like I’d never heard of some other bands during the festival), but what they presented sounded good and original. Fast, brutal, but in the same time they still integrated a lot of melody in their music. Unfortunately, the sound was so bad that it was hard to hear anything clear. Too bad, because the right sound would’ve made this gig an excellent one, instead of just a decent one.
Timor et Tremor
The next band was another one I wasn’t familiar with, Timor et Tremor. This pagan-oriented black-metal was decent, but again the terrible sound played its parts. Also, the compositions weren’t interesting enough to be bothersome for the whole set. Okay, but nothing more.
Asenblut put up a more than decent show. With music which is mainly focused towards Viking metal, with some thrashy influences, they were quite convincing today. However, I have the feeling that there was missing something in their performances. Maybe that’s just my personal taste, because I can’t really say whatever misses, but besides that the show was fine. Enthusiastic, sincere band, with a sound that, besides the drums being too loud, was fine.
Damn,, how bad could a band be so dissapointing! While I’m a big fan of Finsterforst, and of all their albums, I can’t say I was happy when I saw Finsterforst live. There was nothing wrong with the setlist, nor with the enthusiasm of the band. However, the sound was so terrible, there was almost nothing more to make of the sound except a lot of noise. Besides that, the keyboardplayer was playing the wrong notes way too often. A pity, I just hoped that this band would be one of the highlights of the festival.
Dordeduh, what a lovely band! On CD, these ex-members of Negura Bunget were already convincing, but live they performed rather well. That this was one of the more restfull bands of the day couldn’t bother anyone, because everyone was dreaming away by the melancholic sounds of this band. An epic sound, which was the best at a song like ‘Dojana’, where all members stood on stage with traditional instruments. Just epic!
Wow. That’s the only thing I can say about the show of Riger. I didn’t knew this band beforehand, but this was just great! Melodic black-metal like it should be. Vivacious, powerful and brutal, but still containing a lot of melody. Perfect for headbanging, getting caried away by the beautiful guitar-riffs and shrill vocals. One of the highlights of the festival!
Träumen Von Aurora
When I woke up the next morning, hungover and everything, it was a pleasant surprise to see Träumen Von Aurora on stage. Melodic, atmospheric black-metal. understated yet compelling, perfect to wake up to!
The Privateer was one of the only bands which really took care of their appearance. The whole band looked like a bunch of pirates, something that also returns in the music. All in all a really nice show, where the stage performance was superior to the pretty standard pirate-metal with some thrashinfluences here and there. Kinda nice.
Trollech thereafter could bother me much less. A big pile of noise made my men with too many corpsepaint. Well, maybe not really my cup of tea, so I calmly waited till it was over.
Most people I speak think the same about Adorned Brood; A decent band, but nothing more than ‘kinda nice’. Mediocre is the word that’s been used a lot to describe this band. However, sometimes you can be surprised. Adorned Brood played a superb show on Dark Troll festival, the whole show was just right. Enthusiastic band (with the vocalist/bassplayer stealing the show!), enthusiast audience and a great setlist. Really awesome for a change!
Vogelfrey had put together a special setlist for this show, since they’d chosen to play more of their harsher songs. A perfect choice, as the other bands that played at the festival were more pagan and black, and thus much harsher. The audience deffiniatly liked this, and was really active. As usual, Vogelfrey tends to turn things into a massive party, with an excellent live performance. However, the sound wasn’t really perfect, what was especially a shame for ‘Freitod’, which didn’t come across well. Nontheless it was a great show with great songs which wouldn’t be put on the setlist otherwise.
Of course, this festival couldn’t take place without Gernotshagen, the organisators of this festival. That’s why Gernotshagen also played this night. While I didn’t know the band that well, they played diligently a really tight, great show. Vocalist Askan turned out to be a real charmer, and the audience did everything he asked for.
The final act of this festival was Helrunar, pretty standard black-metal. However, they couldn’t convince, maybe due to the really strong predecessors. Due to the fact that the music was pretty standard, it looked much alike, and thus I was easily distracted. Too bad, because they always sound fine on CD!
And with Helrunar there came an end to two fantastic days. The atmosphere was great, the weather was good, the bands were by time amazing and the location was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever been to. I can already say that I’m longing for next year, as we return to the -right- Bornstedt for another Dark Troll Festival!