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Day two starts much earlier, after a rough night. The unbearable heat was taking on everyone around and staying in a boiling tent was no option.Good thing to find a bit of shadow or take a walk back and forth to avoid insanity to increase. It is not for long that the smell of glowing coal, roasting beef and beer is filling the air again, even in the morning. Today’s first band is unknown to us and after learning that Dr. Living Death happens to be a bunch of masked guys with queer clothing it does not seem that we missed the big thing.

Andy and Chris rocking in the afternoon sun!

Up next is one of Germany’s most promising Rock’n’Roll outcomes. The quintet, formerly known as the Shitheadz plays a raunchy blending of classic Hard Rock and elements from several Metal genres, such as Heavy, Southern, Stoner and whatever suitable Andy Peters (Guitars), Chris “Howling” Birx (Vocals), Guido Reuss (Guitars), Roman Jasiczak (Bass) and Oliver Beck (Drums) come across. With Motorjesus hitting the stage today Rock Hard once more proves to be a truly fan committed event, if you consider the fact that a petition initiated by fans and bought to our colleagues at The-Pit.de, finally entering the Rock Hard office in Dortmund indeed is amazing. And as for us, we also say “thank you!” to everyone in charge for putting together the billing of RHF 2012 and for bringing this awesome live act to Gelsenkirchen.

Happy fans all around RHF ’12

For those of you how have visited this rock gathering before surely noticed that hardly ever before has it been as crowed at about two in the afternoon on the second day as it is during the Motorjesus set. The first trace of stragefreight passes within seconds as musicians and spectators emerge into one forceful unity, partying as if there was no tomorrow. To share even more of the rock spirit among their fans, vocalist Chris arrives with a plastic bag full of beer and booze he throws into the thirsty masses. As it might be a once-in-a-lifetime chance the Mönchengladbach based band presents a roundup of everything they have released so far, from the first albums “Dirty Pounding Gasoline” (2004) and “Deathrider” (2006), the “100.000 Volt Survivor EP” (2009) all the way to their still current output “WHEELS OF PURGATORY” (2010). The sing-along potential of many songs with their catchy melodies is reflected by all the voices in front of the stage and each of the guys was clearly happy to notice that something they created could cause such reactions. To top any expectations Motorjesus might have had concerning taking part in the Rock Hard adventure, their very own fan club presents a banner to the band, while they are playing. Oh yeah, this is one big happy Metal family!

The crowd going crazy

Setlist Motorjesus:

Dirty Pounding Gasoline
Legion Of Rock
Fist Of The Dragon
Fuel The Warmachine
King Of The Dead End Road
Hammer Of The Lord
A New War (incl. „Rock You Like A Hurricane“ und „TNT“)

Ships passing by enjoy the uncommon sight

After this brilliant show with Portrait and Hell next in line, lunch calls again and in the cause of the afternoon the sun finally takes its toll on me and an extended break is inevitable. Therefore my co-worker takes over business for the next couple of hours.

Three hours before Unleashed enter the stage, I am lucky to catch the four Swedish Death Metal heavy weights at the signing session. Clearly enjoying the festival and its atmosphere, Johnny Hedlund and his band mates – the lineup hasn’t changed since 1995’s Victory record – take the time to sign everything from autograph cards to nearly complete collections. Unfortunately I can’t persuade them to play anything of “Where No Life Dwells”…

At 5pm, the Swedish vikings start into the set with “This Is Our World Now”, taken from “Midvinterblot”. Johnny, Fredrik and Tomas manage to deliver a decent show, lead by Anders from behind his drum-kit, but despite blood-soaked and mead-drenched Death Metal hymns, the afternoon heat prevent many a headbanger from little more than clenching fists in the air and screaming along to the songs. Obviously, “Wir kapitulieren niemals”, taken from “As Yggdrasil Trembles” gets the loudest response from the audience. Although the band just released a new album in April this year, only one song, “Fimbulvinter”, made it into the setlist. My personal favorite would be “The Immortals”, dating far back to the 1992 album “Shadows In The Deep”. The 45 minute gig ends with one of the more iconic songs, “Death Metal Victory”, which is received very well among the fans and includes the mandatory mead ceremony, celebrated eagerly by Johnny. As he mentioned in a recent interview, it’s like Motörhead’s “Ace Of Spades”: As long as the fans demand it, the band has to obey and play that song…

Setlist Unleashed:

This Is Our World Now
Victims Of War
Wir kapitulieren niemals
Long Live The Beast
Hammer Battalion
The Immortals
In The Name Of God
Destruction (Of The Race Of Man)
Death Metal Victory

Headlining the second night, British Death Metal detachment Bolt Thrower literally explode at first light. Starting the bombardment with “Contact – Wait Out” from 2003’s” Honour Valour Pride” album, the band delivers oldschool neck-breakers as well as the “newer” classics from the last album, “Those Once Loyal”. The first song remains the only one from the short era with Dave Ingram on vocals, but there’s so much classic material in the back-catalog that it’s impossible to perform each and every masterpiece this band has ever written on one single night. “Mercenary”, “World Eater”, “Cenotaph”, you name it, they play it! When Karl asked Where Next…? he doesn’t have to wait for an answer as thousands of fans scream back at him at once.

Long awaited and finally present: Death Metal veterans Bolt Thrower

Gavin and Barry open Salvo after Salvo, backed up by the sturdy bass lines of Jo Bench, who is still going strong as an icon to almost every woman who’s into nowadays heavy music.

The encore of course includes “No Guts, No Glory”, which Karl introduces as a song dedicated especially to the über-loyal German fans. When the Cannons finally began to Fade, the band leaves nothing but scorched earth and a depleted, but nonetheless happy audience.

A little random trivia: After a large number of fans asked about Bolt Thrower merch, RockHard editor-in-chief Götz Kühnemund had to inform them and everybody else that it`s going to arrive with the band and will be sold in a separate booth. No surprise that most shirts were gone already an hour or two after the sale officially opened.

Setlist Bolthrower:

Contact – Wait Out
When Glory Beckons
Rebirth Of Humanity
The IVth Crusade
World Eater
Where Next To Conquer
The Killchain
Forever Fallen
…For Victory
At First Light
No Guts, No Glory
When Cannons Fade