Heilung Article

01.08.2018 Heilung

Wacken Open Air XXIX

Wacken (Germany)

(Pentax K-5 with Sigma AF 70-200mm 2.8 EX DC APO HSM II)

At the close of the day it went outside to the single visit of the Wackinger Stage during this year’s Wacken. The German-Danish band Heilung was on the agenda but unfortunately a technical defect prevented beginning on time. After frantic bustle on stage the show finally began at 23:30 with 30 minutes delay.
The project is still quite young and there are also only two albums released (“Ofnir” from the year 2015 and the last year’s live-album “Lifa”). Everything was bathed in mystical dark lights when the band entered the stage and started their shaman ceremony. You really felt catapulted back into a bygone era as Heilung uses historical artifacts and poems in German, Gothic, Latin or Iron Age Norwegian dialect. “Singer” Uwe Faust made therefore use of a laryngeal-vocal technique that made you reminiscent of Tibetan monks and was accompanied by the ethereal sounds of Maria Franz. Additionally, there was Christopher Juul who emerged again and again by a jangling sounding whisper. As instruments besides modern synthesizers classic drums, bones but also lances were used. Also, from optical point of view everything was looking quite impressive as the wardrobe was based on costumes of spiritual traditions of the circumpolar peoples or the Viking era. Again and again attention was drawn mystically by lots of fog, darkness and bright shining lights. In addition to that everywhere on the extremely filled stage antlers, shamanic and paganish symbols as well as masks and skulls.
That was definitely something very different what has been celebrated there on stage and so Heilung was splitting the audience of which many already left after a short time. But who really got into it was catapulted unfortunately only for 30 minutes (the Wacken promoters are rigid, the schedule must be kept, also in case that one is the last band playing on a stage) into a completely different world. A really interesting excursion that one should really try.


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