7 Februari 2015, Bibelot, Dordrecht, The Netherlands
It’s becoming more or less a tradition nowadays; the Wolfstijd festival in February. That this is not a bad thing is clear; Wolfstijd not only serves us the top bands within the Folk-metal genre, but in the black- and power-metal as well. It’s a small festival in Dordrecht, with for the first time two stages, to shorten the waiting time between different bands. This, together with a lot of other facts, shows us that there’s basically thought of everything.
The evening itself runs really smooth, the sound of almost all the bands is really good, and there is an arrangement with the local snackbar for a ‘wolvenmaal’ (wolves meal), to ensure there’s something to eat between bands, and there are even deals with cabs and a hotel, to make sure that everyone could find its way back to a place to sleep after the festival.
Although three genres are presented at the festival today, Folk-metal.nl is mainly there for the folkish musical violence. The other bands that performed today, however, deserved to be named. For example, there was Laster, which put up a black-metal show which was atmospheric, ghastly show, which was visually enhanced by the stage outfits. Panchrysia with its black-metal was a lot less my cup of tea, but this was more than made up for by the power-metalviolence from Powerized and Stormwarrior, which both know how to show the true meaning of good power-metal.
So, back to the folk-metalbands, because that was the main reason we’re there in the first place of course! The pretty harsh pagan-metal had the honor to be first. Two flaming, steel triangles with flaming hearts decorated the stage during the show. Fjoergyn played decent, though I missed a bit of the nuance which is more prominent on the records. The show itself was precarious; at some moments the band played close to perfect, with great riffs, and these times everything just ‘worked’. However, other moments the songs became a bit long-winded. That the band is pretty extraordinary and thus not really accessible was also visible in the reactions of the audience. Most people were standing a bit more in the back, waiting for what would come. The replies weren’t more than some polite clapping after the song. It was after the vocalist jumped into the audience, to move everyone a bit closer to the stage, which resulted in a bit more participation from the audience. Fjoergyn’s performance could be described as decent, and although they couldn’t convince all the time, they usually knew how to come back with some astonishing parts.
After some more black- and power-metal it was time for Rhovanion, the second folk-metalband on Wolfstijd. Rhovanion plays a more traditional type of folk-metal, which could be compared to Eluveitie. Although the band isn’t as technically advanced as predecessor Fjoergyn, Rhovanion knows better how to get the audience to participate. Already from the start of the performance the audience was partying to the accessible folk-tunes from these guys and girl. Although some mistakes were made, the band played with passion, and that’s what counts. All members seemed to be really happy to play on Wolfstijd, and the energy of the band was easily transposed to the audience. All in all a great performance of Rhovanion, and I can certainly recommend it to see them live!
After the power-metal of Stormwarrior, the third edition of Wolfstijd came to an end. An edition that wasn’t as crowded as the previous one, maybe because they had Heidevolk as a big headliner last year, which seemed to be lacking this year. However, this is just a small remark on a great festival. The organization can look back to a more than successful edition, while we’re already looking forward to the next one!