FESTIVAL REVIEW: WACKEN OPEN AIR 2019 Live at Schleswig-Holstein, Germany – Day 2 (Friday)
The second installment of the mighty Wacken Open Air is upon all walking through the pastures. You would expect everyone to be a little tired. On the contrary, it was like the metalheads had a new lease of life and ready for another round of sucker-punching metal to their exhausted bodies.
The first band of the day was on everyone’s lips and quite rightfully so. Smashing through the Louder Stage, Ukrainians’ ear-benders Jinjer were the act that was needed to be noticed. Leading their victims appreciating Tatiana Shmaylyuk’s effortless blend of melodic and fry vocals accompanied with the band’s mixture of progressive, death and nu-metal influences. Jinjer grabbed the crowd by the horns with the out-worldly likes of Ape, Teacher Teacher, Pisces, and Perennial. You can expect the Baltic quartet heading onto bigger ventures in their metal career.
Displaying suspense for all to see, Downfall Of Gaia gave the crowd a much eager wait before throwing in with powerful black metal. It wasn’t long before their audience to enjoy the progressiveness through their black metal melodies. The shining display of their doom and gloom environment fitted perfectly with their sound, which gave a continuously great response from the crowd, waking them up in the process.
For a band playing on their home turf, you would expect for The New Roses to push a little further in their Hard Rock vibes. However, there was not much work to be done with their energy throughout. Displaying a nice rocking current to their youngest and oldest of admirers of classic solos and overall robust stage presence.
Two most anticipated bands Evergrey & Nailed To Obscurity had to be canceled due to a weather warning that held back the festival. It was a rather unfortunate time for fans who were eagerly waiting for them. But, the team over at Metal Wani hope for you to witness them at one of their shows in the near future.
Once control of the weather was safe for the fans to stroll back on the fields, fellow Englishmen Savage Messiah took to the Wasteland Stage to excite their match. It was a pleasant surprise to see a familiar face, their guitarist Joff Bailey back on stage. No one knew of the return until their Wacken performance, so it was our first to witness this. With that being said, blasting through the plains were their thrashing track The Bitter Truth, before unleashing more hell with the popular Cross of Babylon, the harmonious Under No Illusions and bringing the circle pits with the blazing ‘Scavengers of Mercy’ further impressing their territory.
Following the thrash metal path with an act that has consistently been very strong in their back catalog and with their stage presence. You guessed it, one of the Big Four, the whiplashing Anthrax. As soon as they set foot on the Faster Stage, the train wreck was in full swing with the cataclysmic Caught In A Mosh, their rendition of Joe Jackson’s classic Got The Time, leading to the majestic classics Madhouse and I Am The Law. Through the atmospheric At The End leading to their double build-ups to Anti-Social and Indians ending with a grand war dance showing that the quintet from New York City still has the chops and tracks to keep fans on the pulse when their album releases later in the year.
Bringing on the heaviness in all directions, Swedes Meshuggah electrified with their strikingly complex signatures that displayed their musicianship in full view. Starting with polygonal Pravus before the set laid waste on even more intricate tracks like Rational Gaze, Strings Pulled At Random and Clockworks. Lights from ever-impressive stage display made their presence known through with even more multifaceted sounds like Letharigca along with their closers and popular tracks Bleed and Demiurge flowing through the veins of their metal assembly losing all sense of control.
Emotions ran to a fever pitch for what was their last ever festival performance on German soil. However, it did not dampen the spirits of a field that filled every nook and cranny to witness a final piece of metal history being made on holy ground.
Demonstrating to their prey on the Harder Stage with Repentless followed by thunderous World Painted Red, Post Mortem and their war cry War Ensemble showed Slayer’s undeniable strength conquering their congregation with ease. The fire raged with every word grazing through the throats of all present to the thrash kings. From then on, the influential hits flowed elegantly with Chemical Warfare, Born Of Fire and Seasons In The Abyss. Their final encore landed with a sonic boom of Raining Blood, Black Magic, Dead Skin Mask and the ultimate closer Angel of Death, looking around from all corners that not one frown was set on their faces.
As the thrash metal force expressed their gratitude by the German’s chants and claps in unison, it was clear from looking into the horizon that the quartet grabbed their metal mass with relentless emotion and they will remain as one of the most significant metal bands to change lives and thoughts forever.
This was another quintet that was very appreciative of how full the tent was despite the massive clash in the middle of their final night. The mad bunch Thy Art Is Murder ripped the tent apart whilst playing thrashers Make America Hate Again, The Purest Strain of Hate and Holy War. Onlookers were up for festival firsts, especially with this moment. As the ferocious Fur And Claw tore many areas, the throat of the band CJ McMahon had to stay completely still whilst getting his ankle tattooed with the Wacken Bullhead. A challenge has proven to be a breeze in the park! Along with their earth-shattering set ended on a high with Reign Of Darkness, proving their worth on the map and leaving every spectator with Chelsea grins stretching further past their faces.
Proceeding with what seems to be a funeral march through the rice fields, the Chinese extremities Zuriaake brought forth the drama with bleak black metal with their native influences that fully displays the true nature of their sound. Their recital was more of an appreciation to fully listen to their audible voyage. Their traditional dress was made the part for their desolate resonances. Overall, an enjoyable set from all who witnessed their glory.
Closing the second night at the Headbanger’s Stage, it was time to bring on the party with the Swedes’ The Night Flight Orchestra. With a combination of 1980’s rock with AOR inspirations and funk to satisfy every ear in the room, it was no denying that the supergroup were having a lot of fun with popular tracks Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough, Midnight Flyer and Satellite. Breaking free from their heavy metal roots and to keep things simple with Something Mysterious, 1998 and their finishing track West Ruth Avenue, showing their viewers to have a good time to end the night on a high note.