“Live At Wacken 2012” by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “Live At Wacken 2012”
Label: UDR
Release Date: 2/10/2013
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

If you are a tried and true Metal head, and I mean one that is listening to more than just your old Priest, Maiden and Anthrax albums, then there is a very good chance that the very mention of the Wacken Open Air Festival makes you foam at the mouth. That said if there anything that helps the Metal head get his travel plans in order and head on that European vacation that they’ve always wanted it’s a DVD release like this. “Live At Wacken 2012” brings you into a healthy chunk of the mix as it happened in 2012 which was the 23rd Anniversary of the Festival. I’ve broken down the three DVD’s that this included to line out what I enjoyed most about each one. Here goes.

DVD1: We start the adventures with the always fantastic in the live sense Hammerfall. Of their three contributions to the film we find that the audience has no trouble singing along with them. Great power Metal from these guys and a band that hope returns to our region soon again. They are followed by the mighty Testament who I think a couple of you might have heard of over the last twenty five or so years. Having seen the band on many occasions I can only say that these three offerings by the group make you wish you were heading over the wall to face your own trial by fire. Some newness to my Metal mind was found in The Boss Hoss who while a German band, deliver a sound of an American Country Western act. There is of course a heavy edge and I was amused/surprised in watching the audience as they were surely into their presentation. Clearly there are some more open minded Metal head abroad than we find over here so let’s get with the program my friends. Three come from the never less than a party in your pants EdGuy and as I’ve not seen them in a few years it was great to find them included on the film as they are always a hoot. Of course with his being in their native Germany, Tobias is speaking German so unless you have a translator in the room with you I am afraid that understanding what he is saying will be difficult. The band still has it and this made me miss them a little more. Volbeat closed up the concert portion of this disc and wow does this band keep kicking ass again and again. For their first tune they are joined by Mille Petrozza and for the second Barney Greenway (of Kreator and Napalm Death fame respectively). It’s interesting to find neither of those bands on the span of offered tunes but I digress. It’s been fascinating to watch this band climb higher and higher. I like them of course but I do tend to listen to wider scopes than many of my music listening circle friend do so it was great to see something like this catching on. The first disc closes with a lot of fan footage as Metal heads make their way to the festival. Some funny stuff on that short film for sure. Now to disc 2 as the concert continues.

DVD2: A nice triple shot of Saxon starts us off with the second disc and mixes their recent with some legacy and it’s great to find Biff and the guys still getting the respect deserved for their influences. Three from Overkill follow this and it’s a treat since it’s a tune apiece from their most recently released albums along with the seminal classic “Rotten To The Core”. I cannot believe how vital this track has remained after all these years. It was interesting to see Cradle Of Filth performing in the daylight as those times that I have caught them are dramatic presentations in darkness and shadow. They sounded good but I admit the band really doesn’t do it for me all that much anymore. Decapitated delivered three incendiary tracks as the band continues its phoenix like rise from truly terrible times. It was great to see Leaves Eyes who I had not seen in some years as well but will soon however but I didn’t think they had the best sound on the film. The new bands to my Metal attention were Djerv, Suffocated and Schandmaul and of the three I say that Schandmaul won out with their interesting Folk/Medieval Rock presentation. Now I was raring to go so I snagged another beer from the fridge and planned on devouring the remaining batch of Dorito chips as I popped in disc #3. Get those lighters out.

DVD3: Disc three started off strong for me by delivering a band that I have wanted to see live and in person for some time with Circle II Circle. Sadly they have not yet come to NYC for some reason and that surprises me with their being about five or so albums in and being from Florida. Zak and company deliver three Savatage tunes and don’t get me started on how much I miss that particular band. There were a few bands I knew well enough such as Unearth, Red Fang, Warrior Soul and Graveyard but it would have been nice to get an even three tunes from those bands especially since both Red Fang and Graveyard are on the rise. These songs were all recorded at an indoor space it seemed so there must be a similar setup to what we find at fests like Mayhem with the smaller side area event space. I liked what those two delivered and want to recommend that fans look deeper into them. I really enjoyed Ghost Brigade as well on this disc and felt they reminded me a little bit of Swallow The Sun. You can be sure that I will be looking into them a little deeper soon enough. The closing tunes on this disc and the overall release come care of Moonspell who oddly enough deliver an acoustic set. That sure surprised me and it was interesting to see how that bands tunes come off in this fashion. As I closed out on watching this film I realized that I’m actually seeing that particular band (Moonspell) in a few days and this left me wondering if the audience would be treated to this kind of set this time around.

Fans might be interested in knowing that there is also a CD only version available to the general public that is broken up into two discs and features “a lot” of what we find on the three videos discs but clearly not all that you might want as a Metal fan. I would say that you should stick with the film release and only get the audio part if you are dying to have this along with you in the car. The three discs move quickly even though there are fifty plus songs to enjoy. Check it out and then let me know when you will be heading to Wacken to enjoy it in person. I might want you to pick up a shirt or three for me 

Band Listing:
1. Hammerfall
2. Testament
3. The Boss Hogs
4. EdGuy
5. Volbeat
6. Saxon
7. Overkill
8. Cradle Of Filth
9. Suffocated
10. Decapitated
11. Djerv
12. Leaves Eyes
13. Schandmaul
14. Circle II Circle
15. Riotgod
16. Red Fang
17. Crimes Of Passion
18. Warrior Soul
19. Hammercult
20. Nasum
21. Unearth
22. Ghost Brigade
23. Graveyard
24. Moonspell

Official Website: http://www.wacken.com/

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