The last time that I saw Judas Priest, who are besides Iron Maiden pioneers for the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, was back in 2011 on the Wacken Open Air. To that time the concert took place in line with their Epitaph tour and this tour should be the last world tour of the band. Meanwhile we do have 2018 and Judas Priest just released with “Firepower” their 18. studio album. Of course they had to go on world tour with it.
Was Behemoth already quite heavy, it should continue to stay like that. Hatebreed the American metalcore old hands were direct subsequently guests on the Louder Stage. And it was getting loud! And dusty as well! The crowd in front of the stage was not comparable to the one at Behemoth prior to this. Everyone that gathered here exactly knew beforehand: It was not only getting straight down to the nitty-gritty on stage but also in front of it!
On stage it was getting gloomy. The Polish death metal export hit Behemoth was the one to set the first exclamation mark of the day on the Harder Stage. An inferno was set free being without equal. Again and again fire accompanied by most brutal metal thunderstorm that was how “singer” Adam Michael “Nergal” Darski was presenting himself and his allies being at their best. Friends of tougher way of music were fully getting their money’s worth.
It has been six years since that I watched Oomph! for the last time at the Wacken Open Air. To that time the stage was called Party Stage and they were living up to that name. Today it is called Louder Stage and again the name was saying it all. Since their 25th jubilee in 2015 there was no new album released but that did not do any harm as the chosen songs were also making the people in front of the stage move.
Mötley Crue is unfortunately history but the former front man Vince Neil did not yet want to retire. And so, he honored the holy Wacken ground with a best-of Mötley Crüe show in which he really performed all great hits of the bad without exception. But in the beginning he kept ones waiting for some time as first only the AC/DC classic “For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)” boomed out of the loudspeaker followed by the Pulp Fiction Intro before Vince Neil finally entered the stage.
In the afternoon I went onto the main area for the first time in front of the Louder Stage. Here Alter Bridge and Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti presented with his equally named band songs of their current album “A Dying Machine”. That is a great concept album which was released in June. From style point of view you could classify Tremonti best into the melodic thrash area rather than anything else.
With the four Finns of Awake Again it was getting colored on stage at last. Because opposite to all the other bands they were not wearing the common black or dark outfits but brightly colored shorts and shirts making you think of them just having arrived on stage directly from beach holidays.
Dressed in beautiful robes the four men of Motanka entered the stage. The winner from Ukraine presented a solid show with interesting music. They combined classic Ukrainian instruments (mainly used in form of samples played via a synthesizer, but also via a Cimbalom live on stage) with hard metal riffs. In-between there were again and again atmospheric parts quieting the whole for a short time before directly afterwards the inferno restarted.
From style point of view, it continued somehow different after Die From Sorrow. Phenomy was the winner of the Lebanon contest and there were already some struggles they had been through until finally the curtain in front of the Headbanger Stage rose. First their flight was significantly delayed so that they arrived late on the Wacken Open Air and then directly before their show there were issues with the guitar.
Thursday started just like Wednesday at the tent with the Metal Battle bands. With Die From Sorrow the Chinese winner entered the stage and within the short amount of time that the guys was offered they could fully convince with their melodic death metal. But after yesterday when there were quite a lot of people there, today it was like all the years before. The track of people in front of the stage to that time was quite manageable.