Metal Magic 0 Day 1 @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK)

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NIFELHEIM / SILHOUETTE / ASSASSIN'S BLADE / ENGULFED / WITCH CROSS / HELLSODOMY / TURBOCHARGED / LIGFAERD / XENOBLIGHT

Date: 06th July, 2017
Venue: Dronningepladsen
Tickets: 599DKK (€81/$97) 3-day ticket
Promoter: Metal Magic Festival
Photos: Erika Wallberg


'Metal Magic Festival' has been one of the highlights of the summer for a few years now. I really enjoy the intimate and very friendly event where you get to see a great variety of bands. Perhaps it's a bit too brutal occasionally compared to what I listen to but that also gives me an opportunity to discover new stuff.

I was a bit hesitant that it would be the same this year though since the festival moved away from the Ungdommens Hus site and on to a more traditional festival field. And since it was a new start, instead of having the 10th edition, it was a restart from 0. But I must say the festival organizers have repeated the success and the atmosphere was just as cozy at Dronningepladsen. Arriving at site, straight in from the entrance to the main stage it was time for TURBOCHARGED. They kicked off at the same time we parked outside the festival area. I was really looking forward to see them again. I love the band’s energy and the punch they have in their music. Of course, it doesn't get the same intensity in an open air event as a small club but it sure was power in this one too. And the sound was impressive, especially taking in consideration that this was the first gig ever at this stage.

As it took a while to get this sorted and get inside, I think we got in around "Apocalyptic" or "Religious And Infected", somewhere in the middle of the set just to see a quite good crowd supporting the band. Still, we’re talking about a very small festival, but it sure were more people present this time already than I was expected.

It feels like TURBOCHARGED get more Rock 'n' Roll when they hit the stage. It's more MOTÖRHEAD attitude in the music rather than Death Metal. Style-wise, of course, it's the same; I was thinking this for both "Dark Era" and "Battered And Crucified". The riffs in the latter are intense on record but with the PAs’ full force that really does it. It sounds fantastic and really boosts the party-mood. Luckily, beer was close at hand the whole time - the only hassle was that it took some time to get the tokens you need to buy beer. "Area 666" is another favorite, another really forceful track and it seems that wasn’t only me who liked that one.

For the last song, Ronnie Ripper had changed his bass for "Crosshating Punks / Crossdressing Drunks" and in the end of the song he smashed it to pieces onstage to crowd’s cheers. It's always cool when stuff like that come unexpected as it happened here. But it summed up the show in the same brutal way as it was conducted, and even if I only caught half of the TURBOCHARGED set, it made me forget about the long journey to the festival and sat the party-mood on high.

TURBOCHARGED setlist:

01. Intro
02. "Halo Of Thorns"
03. "Relieve Thyself Onto Me"
04. "Churchfire Commando"
05. "Bloodletting"
06. "Militant"
07. "Apocalyptic"
08. "Religious And Infected"
09. "Cold Day In Paradise"
10. "Antixtian/Extreme Dechristianization/Antixtian
11. "Siamese Sons Of God"
12. "Dark Era"
13. "Battered And Crucified"
14. "Area 666"
15. "Crosshating Punks / Crossdressing Drunks"
16. Outro

TURBOCHARGED

Turbocharged @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Turbocharged @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Turbocharged @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Turbocharged @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Turbocharged @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Turbocharged @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Turbocharged @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Turbocharged @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Turbocharged @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Turbocharged @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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I saw WITCH CROSS at ‘High Voltage’ in Copenhagen just a few weeks prior to the 'Metal Magic Festival'. That show really made me look forward to this gig even more. It was a blast seeing them then, a real feeling-good moment which boosted my spirits and really made it a good night.

I love WITCH CROSS’ energy onstage and this one, which is a bit bigger than the High Voltage one, suited them perfectly. They had a much better opportunity to move around and the rest of the band gave Kevin Moore a match for the money when it comes to show-off onstage. Kevin's charisma easily takes over on a small stage and it was full on from "Nightflight To Tokyo". It's a bit strange (and not) that WITCH CROSS kicks off with that one; it's a hit, regardless if you've heard it before or not and it sticks. With that they will draw people’s attention in order to stay. On the other hand, as it is a hit, shouldn't it come later and leave the fans waiting for it? Sure, it worked and this show had the same great spirits like the one I watched, a few weeks earlier.

Both "Ride With The Wind" and "Pandora's Box" from most recent release "Axe To Grind" worked perfect too. That one, just like the debut, holds a very high quality level and both songs really come alive when the band hits the stage. They are fun to watch, again much due to Kevin with his expressions which are fantastic. The SAXON classic "Strong Arm Of The Law" worked perfect. It boosted the crowd but it wasn't because this was a song that people knew; there was a lot of singing and cheering to WITCH CROSS' own songs as well. So, after that SAXON energy injection, "Killer Dogs" and "Fight The Fire" took things even further up and there was some really cool singing-along, especially during the last one of the two.

It becomes special to see Danish bands in Denmark; the fans has a very good knowledge about the bands’ history and even if most of the crowd were too young to have bought the hard to get "Are You There / No Angel" single, the songs were definitely not new to the guys and girls in the crowd.

The band seemed to enjoy themselves very much on stage also; both guitarists Mike Wlad and Paul Martin looked happy and posed away for the audience as they delivered riff after riff in a flawless way. Like TURBOHCARGED, it was a great fun to watch WITCH CROSS - it's very easy to like a band when they're having fun doing what they do and that’s what WITCH CROSS definitely had.

WITCH CROSS setlist:

01. "Nightflight To Tokyo"
02. "Ride With The Wind"
03. "Pandora's Box"
04. "Axe Dance"
05. "Strong Arm Of The Law" (SAXON cover)
06. "Killer Dogs"
07. "Fight The Fire"
08. "No Angel"
09. "Are You There"
10. "Metal Nation"
11. "Face Of A Down"
12. "Phoenix Fire"
13. "Demon In The Mirror"

WITCH CROSS

Witch Cross @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Witch Cross @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Witch Cross @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Witch Cross @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Witch Cross @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Witch Cross @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Witch Cross @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Witch Cross @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Witch Cross @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Witch Cross @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Witch Cross @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Witch Cross @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Witch Cross @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Witch Cross @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Witch Cross @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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First gig ever for ASSASSIN'S BLADE and a direct slot under the headliner. This means the anticipation was set high, that's for sure (both for me and for the festival organizers). It didn't seem that this was the band’s first gig though - of course, the members have a lot of experience individually, but it still takes some time to get to know each other and be comfortable onstage. But it turned out just as good as it could. Seeing Jacques Belanger walking out on stage in his black trench-coat dominating the stage as well as the crowd, sent shivers down my spine, but that was nothing compared to when he started singing. Ok, the mix between vocals and music was a bit off to start with; the vocals were cranked up way too loud which made the first two lines of "Agents Of Mystification" sound a bit shaky but it definitely was nothing wrong with Jacques’ voice.

Fast "Transgression" went down fine and shook the crowd for real and people that were just watching started to get involved more the longer the set went. ASSASSIN'S BLADE has only been around for a few years and as they haven't been out touring, it's not so strange that people have missed them. The mix between brutal speed and melody is the band’s strength, which is prominent, even during the really fast tracks. Then "Herostratos" kicked in with a fateful riff, and here Jacques’ charismatic performance and variation in his voice really came to life.

There was of course a question flying around prior to the show, if the set would feature any EXCITER songs. "Aggressor" was the first one and received a big cheer. What struck me was the whole sound, how smooth everything was flowing while still being aggressive and filled with attitude. The whole sound is really special. Musically it's nothing new but ASSASSIN'S BLADE really have a unique sound which came through live in a really good way.

The set also featured two new songs from ASSASSIN'S BLADE's next, yet untitled, album. "I Of The Storm", a great piece with some really cool melodies. Then "(Tempt Not) The Blade Of The Assassin", another fast one with a great hit-potential. Squeezed in between those two was "The Demented Force", one of my absolute favorites. I really love it when Jacques uses his full power in falsetto-screams. He did it here and it sounded awesome. The main set was wrapped up with EXCITER's "The Dark Command" and here the crowd really had woken up and supported the band fully. The encores, "Ritual Death" and "Violator" didn't take things down one bit. And it sure was an impressive first gig by ASSASSIN'S BLADE. The band sounded awesome and looked very good, while the crowd was with them the whole time and that is all that it takes really.

ASSASSIN'S BLADE setlist:

01. "Agents Of Mystification"
02. "Transgression"
03. "Herostratos"
04. "Prophet's Urn"
05. "Crucible Of War"
06. "Aggressor" (EXCITER song)
07. "I Of The Storm"
08. "The Demented Force"
09. "(Tempt Not) The Blade Of The Assassin"
10. "Dreadnought"
11. "The Dark Command" (EXCITER song)
12. "Ritual Death" (EXCITER song)
13. "Violator" (EXCITER song)

ASSASSIN'S BLADE

Assassin's Blade @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Assassin's Blade @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Assassin's Blade @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Assassin's Blade @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Assassin's Blade @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Assassin's Blade @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Assassin's Blade @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Assassin's Blade @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Assassin's Blade @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Assassin's Blade @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Assassin's Blade @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Assassin's Blade @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Assassin's Blade @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Assassin's Blade @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Assassin's Blade @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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Last band out on the main stage was NIFELHEIM. For some reason, I didn't make it into the indoors stage at all this day. Nothing wrong with the bands there, I just had other things to do and of course a lot of cool people to talk to was another distraction. I had no doubts that NIFELHEIM would pack out the stage, and that was the case. It was really tight in the front as everything exploded the moment NIFELHEIM began their set. The force in the band's music, combined with a massive light-show, makes everything spectacular. Apart from the Gustavsson brothers (Hellbutcher and Tyrant), also Savage Aggressor contributes a lot to the onstage intensity - it's fury to the max and damn tight. The old school "Sodomizer" is a mean piece of music and with the volume from the PAs, it sounded fantastic. There's no compromise when it comes to NIFELHEIM - not in their music or their performance. Also, the talk between the songs is a part of the show and I really like that.

It really didn't matter if it was old or new tracks as the attitude is the same with "Storm Of The Reaper" from the most recent full length "Envoy Of Lucifer". This one of course has a decade on it now - perhaps it's time for a new record soon? Anyway, about halfway through the set, nothing had calmed down, the crowd was even more crazy compared to when it was started.

'Metal Magic' is a small festival, I think the new site had a capacity of 300-400 people something, even smaller than on Ungdommens Hus but it sure appeared a lot bigger than the previous years. I guess it doesn't take as many metalheads to fill up a ground in front of the stage, if the ones present are dedicated to the music. And that can certainly be said for 'Metal Magic Festival'.

Another old school track came towards the end of the set, "Storm Of Satan's Fire", the BATHORY-esque track generated chanting in the chorus which was very cool to see. And NIFELHEIM became a great ending of a fantastic first festival day.

NIFELHEIM

Nifelheim @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Nifelheim @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Nifelheim @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Nifelheim @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Nifelheim @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Nifelheim @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Nifelheim @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Nifelheim @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Nifelheim @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Nifelheim @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Nifelheim @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Nifelheim @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Nifelheim @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Nifelheim @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Nifelheim @ Dronningepladsen, Fredericia (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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