A journey through 8 different countries in our top 10. Scotland, Australia, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Hungary and Norway, great to see so many different countries in this race. Remarkable this year: the five voting members all nominated a different album as the best. But we have a clear winner and this is Empyrium.
1. Empyrium – ‘Über den Sternen’ Maybe not the best album according to our votin members, but chosen second best by no less the three of them. ‘Über den Sternen’ reached a total of 34 points. Great efford of these Germans. It was Juergen again who wrote the following about this album: “The complexity of their compositions simply do not allow to put them in any genre. Empyrium is unique and all attempts to classify their music will fail. As a small remark to add is that the label of Empyrium Prophecy Productions and its foundation is going back to the debut of the band “A Wintersunset…” and is celebrating in 2021 their 25th anniversary. With this new release Prophecy has a further reason to celebrate. Happy Anniversary! For me there is no other choice to honour “Über den Sternen” with the full score and to thank Empyrium for their great efforts in creating such a masterpiece.” Congratulations Empyrium with this great album!
Rating: 9.6/10 Release: 25 June 2021 Label: MDD Records After meanwhile over 26 years of band history, 15 full lenghts releases including worldwide tours in Europe, North America, South America, China and India I certainly can say that SuidAkrA counts to one of the flagships of the German Metal Scene …Continue reading →
Rating: 8/10 Release: 20 November 2020 Label: MDD Records We all long to abandon the inevitable perceptions and scars of time that plunge us into a jaded existence, saturated with inescapable trauma or if we’re lucky, joy so very consequential in our every opinion and decision, forcing us into biases. …Continue reading →
Rating: 8.6/10 Release: 15 November 2019 Label: AFM Records The past six years have been a productive time for Suidakra with the release of no less than an EP and four albums including their upcoming effort Echoes of Yore. After going in a direction that leans considerably towards the Folk …Continue reading →
Rating: 6/10 Release: 16 November 2018 Label: AFM Records After over a dozen releases of relentless Celtic influenced Death Metal I’m sure everybody is wondering what Suidakra’s first ever fully acoustic album will sound like. Don’t expend any valuable seconds on the question, it’s their Black Album. To be honest …Continue reading →
Dong Open Air 14.06.2016 – 16-06-2016 Great little festival in western Germany The Germans have their own words for everything. So, calling this festival a hidden gem, in German you would address it as a ‘Geheimtipp’. And that is just what this festival is. Just over the border from Holland …Continue reading →
Rating: 7.5/10 Release: 20 May 2016 Label: AFM Records German metallers Suidakra have been a reliable part of the metal scene for more than 20 years now. Sometimes more leaning towards black metal, often on the edge of melodic death and always with some folk elements incorporated in their style. …Continue reading →
5, 6 October Oberhausen and Tilburg Every folk- and paganfan knows it by now; Heidenfest. This year it was hard to escape this great feast. With a various mix between large bands like Ensiferum, Equilibrium and Turisas, and small bands like Winterstorm and Frosttide, it promised to be a great …Continue reading →
The 24th edition of the biggest metal-festival in the world and of course we are joining in this year as well. Tuesday we travel towards the Mekka of Metal to stay one week in the holy lands of Wacken Open Air.
And once more, it’s going to be a good year with big names and a lot of folk-metal.
While the official start of Wacken was on Thursday, each year the party already starts on Wednesday with 3 or more folk-metalbands which will take care of the pre-party. Fejd, with their quirky mix of traditional folk and metal-elements, played as the first band, and immediately created a great atmosphere. While the bass was put way to hard in the mix, luckily the traditional instruments could be heard quite fine. With a setlist to dream about, with an ideal mix between old and new songs, and with Offerök and Yggdrasil, this band was a really fine start of the day!
Score: 8/10 (Colin)
After that, it was Feuerschwanz with their catchy songs which entered the stage. Of course it was one big party with these men and woman, with their songs mainly themed around mead. While the sound was really good, the band looked a bit distant, and if they played the same songs too many times before. The audience obviously didn’t care, and partied, jumped and sang along with the amazingly clichéd lyrics of these Germans.
That the party would continue with Russkaja was already a fact before they even started. This Austrian ‘Kollektieve’ can turn everything into a party with their catchy mix of ska and gipsy. The band looked enthusiastic and, also pretty important, played a really, really tight set. The party was complete when ‘Psycho Traktor’ was announced, where the whole audience needed to participate in a circle-pit. That this became one big chaotic mess doesn’t need any declaration I think!
After that, it was the turn of Santiano, German pirate-folk played by way to old men. Due to last year’s success, the band was performing again this year, but this time with a set with no less than one and a half hour. This was apparently too much, because Santiano doesn’t have enough hits to cover a show of this length. After a few up-tempo songs, the more peaceful songs were played, after which the show completely lost its energy. Luckily they regained some of it with the favourite of the audience ‘Es gibt nur Wasser’, but it was already too late to save the show.
And thus ends the first night of Wacken and we all prepare ourselves for a crazy Thursday.
A Thursday starts without anything out of the ordinary, Skyling (the band of WOA themselves) gives a show with many guest-artists followed up by Annihilator, a band making a melodic kind of trashmetal. Then Thunder got on stage to give us some oldskool Heavy metal after which Deep Purple came to give us some even older metal. I’m just rushing through the Thursday, because all those bands don’t really matter today. Rammstein is the last band today, only for them the True Metal Stage was made bigger and there where no other bands on that stage the entire day.
Rammstein got the stage on fire with many pyros and fireworks that even hit the lightmasts and from there other firework was shot back at the stage which exploded and burned than fell unto the stage, Rammstein had a very complex fireshow. It’s awesome to be able to see those guys perform,but tomorrow we’ll rush back for our own genre.
Friday we finally get back to the folk-metal, but first wake up with Benighted at 11 AM, horribly crude death metal/grind core which we certainly didn’t want to miss. Than catch some Neaera, Tristania and Gojira of which none of them could really get to me. So I end up at Impius Mundi, a Medieval German Folk band with an electric guitar. Though this guitar definitely doesn’t make them rock or metal, actually Impius Mundi sounds more like bands like Versengold or Rapalje, just with a guitar and a drum. This set of instruments is getting more and more popular in Germany and I usually don’t really like it, neither did I this time, it all sounds the same.
Mr. Hurley & die Pulveraffen are the next to get up on stage, it sounds like the last band but with better songs and a better sound. I’m still not really into this music so I left to see some Powerwolf and realize I’d rather go to our tents until Sabaton, fortunately Nick had some time to check Ignis Fatuu
Ignis Fatuu.. I wished I didn’t have to talk about it, because this was just too bad to describe. Out of tune vocals, a stage presence without energy, and a setlist which wasn’t really good. No, not even with 2 new members (vocals and bass), this performance was one to quickly forget. Therefore I won’t waste any further words on this matter.
Score: 3/10 (Nick)
Here was a nice surprise, we’re used to get a lot of Black form this Messiah and the ‘other side’ of these Germans is something we see at the end of their gigs most of the time. This time they started with ‘Gullveig’, a song with somewhat more ‘fun-elements’. And this went on with songs (in random order) like, Sauflied, Soeldnerschwein, Moskau. This seemed to be the axis of the show, which was completed of course by songs like Windloni and Irminsul. Despite the fact Zagan voice wasn’t at it’s best. I appreciated the show because of the nice setlist.
Score: 7,5/10 (Colin)
With 7 podia, Wacken always serves bands, and this brings you to a lot of bands, even some you actually wanted to see so of course we went out for some Swedish Powermetal in the form of Sabaton. These men have written songs about every war in the history of earth and with every show the look more passionate and even more enthusiast than the last one. On WOA people seem to all have decided to check these guys because it was unbelievably crowded. After Sabaton it’s time for the mockery of the festival, Motörhead will play is 10 minutes in stead of 75, luckily after three songs we had decided to go to Corvus Corax anywasy.
Corvus Corax meets Wadokyo
Corvus Corax always have a special show on Wacken. Where in 2010 a whole orchestra was placed behind the band, this time they got help from Wadokyo, a Japanese drumband. Once again it seems that this band can only deliver a proper show when it’s backed up by something special, and even then it has trouble to make it into something really good, when you look at the show they played at Wacken. The first half of the set was extremely tame, but when after a while the up-tempo songs were played, the spark sprung between band and audience, resulting in dancing and pitting. Highlight of the set was that the band covered a song of Amon Amarth, namely ‘Twilight of the Thundergod’.
On WOA you definitely can’t miss Doro shine on stage and it must be said, what an amazing show she gave! As solo artist Doro celebrates her 30th anniversary this year but of course her metalcareer started a long time before that, but even after so many years, Doro loves her fans at least as much.
Amorphis is a band with two faces, a band that can do anything with music and always come up with something surprising, this time they brought an acoustic set. Sure it was a surprise, I had high expectations of these Fins but unfortunately the five acoustic songs they played where getting boring and sounded all the same, I expected much more of these guys. Than they start playing Shades of Gray, the first song of Amorphis’ new album Circle, and from there Amorphis shot a lot of great songs at us. Tommys vocals where perfect, both clean and grunt, unbelievable what sounds this man can produce. In the metal part of their set, Amorphis showed why there one of my favourite bands ever!
Score: 8.5/10 (Colin)
It’s half past one as Amorphis has to clear the stage and Saturday will be a long day, so I decide to skip Grave Digger and head for my tent.
Cleaned up everything and packed our stuff we gather at 9 PM in front of Candlemass, with a new vocalist, a lesser one than they had but still a great gig. Unfortunately we have to leave early, but Finsterforst should be worth it.
For those who love the harsher folk-metalsound, Finsterforst played the last day. With their bodies covered in mud, they entered the stage, and they performed more than fine. The band sounded really good, the audience was clapping along all the time and the songs they played were really varied. Nothing more to add, it was a damn fine show!
Score: 8/10 (Nick)
After Finsterforst Nightwish gave away an amazing show with Dutch vocalist Floor Jansen, I think this is one of the highlights of the year, wow is she a talented singer!
After the gig Nick and I split up to check out different bands,
Subway to Sally
You always know what to expect from Subway to Sally. A more than decent show, a lot of sing-alon-songs, much interaction with the audience and a lot of pyro-effects. All of this was present at the closing concert of Wacken 2013. A lot of guest-musicians entered the stage, including the guys from Santiano. The band seemingly enjoyed it, just like the audience. Together everyone partied until the early hours to give this festival it’s well deserved happy ending…
Score: 8/10 (Nick)
One week before Wacken Crematory cancelled and not much later Suidakra was confirmed as a replacement, you won’t hear me complain because this means two of my personal favourites will be at WOA 2013.
Suidakra starts with Inner Sanctum of course, the first song of their lately released album Eternal Defiance, which I reviewed a while ago. I was very delighted when Tina showed up for the female vocals. The band gave an awesome show away and the setlist included Birog’s Oath and many other amazing songs, unfortunately Arkadius vocals weren’t as good as I’ve heard before. Such a shame because the rest of the show was perfect, but I can’t rate the gig higher. Never the less Suidakra was worth the stay and I’m really looking forward to the next show.
Score: 7.5/10 (Colin)
Suddenly it’s 3 AM and we get in our car for the long way back to Holland, Wacken, we’ll see you next year!
We were really enthusiastic about the latest SuidAkrA album, we rated it 10/10. How has it been received in the rest of the world? The reactions are really awesome both by the press and the fans. We are happy after ten previous releases still to be able to create something new and fresh that capture our fans. But also to be honest I’ve never though about any expectations on any of our release. For me the most important thing was always that we as a band have the feeling of not repeating ourselves and always create something new. And do you consider this album as the best so far? I know that every band consider their latest albums as the best so far hahaha. But after writing so many albums before my aspiration on a new CD get higher and higher so wth this record I was really critical during the songwriting and I am very proud of what we’ve created. For me personally it’s the best well ballanced and freh album so far. Can you tell us a bit more about the background of the album? It’s not that easy to go into story details because it’s an extensive story. Basically, the lyrical concept is based on the welsh story called “The Dream Of Macsen Wledig”. This album tells the story of Macsen who joined the roman army, became a Celtic Emperor Of Rome and immortal and after being decapitated who was earsed from history.
On the latest album there was more collaboration with Tina. Is this a new course of SuidAkrA, or was it just for this album? We’ve worked with Tina for the first time in 2005 and this is our 4th collaboration. The difference on this album is that in the past I’ve written the songs for Tina and after the songwriting was finished I’ve sent her the material and decided what she has to sing. But not on this record… She was involved into the songwriting as well even before a single note was written. Tina even played the Piano in “The Mindsong” for example and we both wrote this song together. Over the past years, your sound has become more melodic. Is that a natural evolution? Yes I would say it’s a natural evolution which comes on every album with the concept story itself. I would say the lyrical concept decides in which direction the new material will go. The more epic the story is the more epic the songs sound like for example. With every album you surpass the previous one and you’ve already released 12 albums. Does you, Arkadius have this never ending source of inspiration? I guess so hahaha. Fortunately I never had problems with inspiration. I think one reason is that I always look for new musical inspirations and exotic intrsuments which I can add to our sound. Another reason are the great concepts stories which capture me. When I read it I have immediately visions and ideas in my mind. So let hope it will last forever 😉 How do you mix so many musical elements and styles together and still turn it into a beautiful whole? Because I never loose the essential thing during the song writing: The song itself. The atmosphere and character of each sigle song if the basic for me and no matter how many elemnts and influences I use they all have to be convenient to the song.
SuidAkrA is written with two capital A’s. Why is that? Puh good question… hahaha The new logo is based on the first one we’ve had until our “The Arcanum” album and on the older one it seems a bit like the logo had those three capital letters. That’s why Nils who created the new logo borrowed those idea into the new one…
Not long ago you signed at a new label and directly after that you participated in the Heidenfest 2013 tour. Will there be more SuidAkrA tours now than before? I hope so. We are also a band who loves to play live, so whenever we got the chance to hit the road we’re ready 😉 Of course we plan to promote “Eternal Defiance” live as well and I’m pretty sure there will be a lot of good oppurtunities in this and next year.
Next year, SuidAkrA exists for 20 years. How do you look back on those two decades? What were the highs and what were the lows? Oh there are so many stories that could have been told when I look back on the last two decades. I’ve experienced a lot have visit distant places meet great people but at the same time lost good friends… I would say the Suidakra journey contains everything a good story has to include.
How is it come that you are so popular in Asia? And how was the tour there? I’ve talked after the shows to the fans and my impression was that the uniqe SuidAkrA sound makes it so sepcial to the Asain fans. The mixture of the Death Metal with bagpipes and celtic influences is something they do now hear everyday. The tours were the best live experiences we’ve ever made. We’ve had much bigger audience than in Europe and the fans were so enthusiastic. I’m so thankful for the chance SuidAkrA have to be able to play in those countries. You have played almost everywhere. Do you see really big differences between the countries and the continents? What is your favourite place to play? Will that still be Germany, your home? Germany is still different just because of the fact that it’s our home country. It’s always cool to meet good friends here on tour. But in my opinion there is a big difference. Here in Germany are so many festivals in the summer that the fans can watch 100 of famous bands and it’s already nothing that special for them. It’s different in outher countires and the fans appreciate a good band that gives live on stage 100%. After all this tours I have 3 favourite places to play and it’s India, Brazil and USA! You have played in so many places , released already 12 albums and have a massive fanbase. Still you don’t get the appreciation you deserve. Your name is not as known as by example Finntroll. How is that possible? I have to admit that I don’t really care about questions like that! We as a band never compared ourselfs to other band’s music or sucsess. We grant everybody their sucsess and are so happy with the things we have withing our band. And that is: Passion, friendship music creativity, no buisness preassure and the best time of our lives. After all this success, what is the goal for SuidAkrA now? Is there something you haven’t done yet which you would really want to? Of course otherwise it wouldn’t make sence for me to keep on making music. There are so many places we haven’t played yet, like Australia, Japan etc. for example. And also on the musical level the end of the flagpole isn’t reached yet.
Is there anything you would like to say to the Dutch fans/readers? First of all thank you for this great interview and I also want to thank all our Dutch friends who support us! Check out the new release “Eternal Defiance” and we hope to see some of you on the Heidenfest tour this year! Let the metal do the talking \m/