ROCK HARD FESTIVAL 2015 – A Road Trip To Hell & Back

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– Friday –

After pretty much THE WORST road trip of my entire life from the deep southern region of Germany to the Ruhrarea in the middle of the middle, I finally arrived at the sunny sight that will be my home base for the next few days. As I’m currently now living anywhere near the city of Gelsenkirchen, for once I’m actually forced to live through a campout among a dozen of eager young and middle-aged metalheats who might consider this the ideal vacation – while I’m taking this as an inevitable necessity. To regain at least a little strength I got my things unpacked quickly and tried to relax – being a person who likes it rather quite and secluded, this kind of surrounding clearly won’t do the trick.

P1080699x1000A good view onto the stage from any angle

And while the sun was hardly setting yet, God Dethroned present their blent of blast-infected Death Metal, which would work so much better in a small club with little to no light…talking about that kind of location, today’s co-headliner would feel right at home in such a surrounding. Mainly because booze and drugs are easily available, I guess. They started off in the mid 80s with their eponymous debut “Pentagram”, but never really made it back then. Some 30 years later, specially young fans of the Doom genre seem to hail this band which has rising from its own grave in the new millennium. Some part of this newly found stardom is due to the notorious documentary “Last Days Here”, that portraits Bobby Liebling in the midst of fighting his severe drug addiction…But who am I to complain, Pentagram even released a new album and took The Order Of Israfel on tour as their support.

Setlist Pentagram

1. Sign Of The Wolf
2. Forever My Queen
3. The Ghoul
4. Review Your Choices
5. Starlady
6. Ask No More
7. When The Screams Come
8. All Your Sins
9. Dying World
11. Petrified/ Relentless
12. Be Forwarned
13. Last Days Here

P1080711x1000Caught in a mosh during the Overkill show

Yet another band that lives off its own reputation and for naming a complete genre – and YES, Black Metal therefore owes a lot to these veterans – comes from the far north of the British isles. Venom have been around pretty much forever now and its seems there’s no end to their fame, generation after generation. Unfortunately mastermind Cronos looks like a  weirdly aged version of himself nowadays (specially that red tank top does not suit him too well….).

Setlist Venom

1. Rise
2. Hammerhead
3. Bloodlust/ Black Flame (Of Satan)/ Bloodlust/ Die Hard
4. Long Haired Punks
5. Buried Alive
6. The Evil One
7. Welcome To Hell
8. Antichrist
9. Countess Bathory
10. Flight Of Hydra
11. Death Of Rock’n’Roll
12. Grinding Teeth
13. Pedal To The Metal
14. Warhead
_____________
15. Black Metal
16. In League With Satan
17. Witching Hour

P1080716x1000The Boys Are Back In Town

– Saturday –

Kicking off day two with some good Old School Death Metal in the vein of Entombed, Bolt Thrower or Obituary is a save way to get people awake and cure even the worst hangover instantly. Deserted Fear are not only a fan favourite, but also a band that earned some praiseful words from Rock Hard magazine itself for their 2012 debut “My Empire” saying “…simply amazing how the whole albums offers it´s permanent hit potential. If it´s allowed to say so within the death metal world. Great start!” With their sophomore attempt “Kingdom of Worms” (2014), Deserted Fear are set to tear the place apart in a most brutal and joyful manner.

Setlist Deserted Fear

1. Forging Delusions
2. Battalion Of Insanities
3. Kingdom Of Worms
4. Nocturnal Frags
5. Wrath On Your Wound
6. Field Of Death
7. Mortal Reign
8. Bury Your Dead

Three years ago, another German band was opening the second festival day and to call them a “crowd pleaser” would be the understatement of the decade: Motorjesus have been enlisted by an independent voting, started by their fan club and delivered to the festival organisers and how could they ever say no to this much dedication?! It was the right choice and re-inviting them was a great decision. During all those years I’ve been at Rock Hard Festival, I can’t remember any saturday morning being so well-attended than the one in 2012. And today it seems like everyone just waited three years for the band to return to play a set of honest and handmade Rock’n’Roll. Way to go, guys!

Setlist Motorjesus

1. Motor Discipline
2. Trouble In Motorcity
3. Speed Of The Beast
4. Fuel The Warmachine
5. Fist Of The Dragon
6. King Of The Dead End Road
7. Return Of The Demons
_____________
8. A New War

P1080696x1000Swedish Space Rock in broad daylight: Spiders

– Sunday –

After missing the final opening act of the festival, I can’t wait to see Spiders again! With their positive energy and space Garage Rock these sweet Swedes are not only easy on the eyes. Catchy riffs and sing-along lyrics garnished with their stage appearance, mainly Ann-Sophie’s acting in those VERY TIGHT PANTS is simply irresistable – and I’m saying this as a woman. Equipped with their latest record “Shake Electric” (2014) as well as the previous release “Flash Point” (2012), Spiders got me rocking and dancing all through their set, making them my personal highlight of Rock Hard Festival 2015. TAKK ALLA!!!

Setlist Spiders

1. Hang Man
2. High Society
3. Mad Dog
4. Control
5. Hard Times
6. Only Your Skin
7. Give Up The Fight
8. Rules Of The Game
9. Shake Electric
10. Fraction
11. War Of The World

All pictures courtesy of Queen Of Spades Photography

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