Defenders of the Old Fest III – Day two

If the first day of the festival was great, the second day was even better. And with a Exciter reunion, you can’t go wrong.

NATUR

Natur (1) Natur (3) Natur (2)

Photo credit: Jon Kristiansen

 Starting out with the locals in Natur. Natur play heavy metal, and they do it really good. At times, their music reminds me a bit of a mix between old Metallica and Mercyful Fate, combined with newer heavy metal like In Solitude. And that’s not bad. Not bad at all actually! I missed out on their gig at Krater festival back in Oslo, which I’ve heard was one of the best gigs that night. Too bad, but now I finally got to see them. Natur put on an excellent show, and played material from their first and only album to date, Head of Death, the killer song Decion being one of them. Drummer Tooth Log also did the vocals on one of the songs, which sounded great. Can’t wait to hear some more stuff from these guys.

CAUCHEMAR

Cauchemar (2) Cauchemar (1) Cauchemar (3)

 Photo credit: Jon Kristiansen

The already mentioned drummer of Natur, Tooth Log, is also the drummer in Cauchemar, who played second this night. Annick Giroux, the vocalist of Cauchemar, had the most theatrical stage presence at this festival with the King Diamond-like cape and theatrical gestures and face expressions. No wonder her shirt said Mercyful Fate. Cauchemar is heavy metal with doomish vocals and elements, and since I don’t speak french, I don’t have a clue what the songs are about to be honest. But I sure like them, and they sounded even better live than on tape!

HIGH SPIRITS

IMG_2199 (1) IMG_2202 (1)

Photo credit: The Unborn

High Spirits cranked it up with their very melodic and energetic anthems. Really enjoyed this one, even though they played few songs from their first (and best) album, Another Night in the City. The crowd went completely insane when the self titled track from the aforementioned album hit their ears. Other mentionable moments: Demons, Full Power, High Spirits, When the Lights Go Down and Midnight Sun. The band’s image stood out from all the other acts on the festival, all dressed in regular clothes and some hairstyle. No spikes and leather for these guys, not that it would fit their music at all. Anyway, I finally got to see High Spirits live, and it lived up to my (high) expectations. They didn’t just live up to them, they actually topped them by delivering such a strong performance.

OCTOBER 31

October31 1 October 31 2

Photo credit: The Unborn

October 31 and King Fowley. I suppose that should be an explanation good enough. This was just brutal. A lot of headbanging and moshpits. And this american circle thing, I don’t get it at all, but it’s quite amusing watching the whole thing. One word to sum this concert up is definitely power. Power as in Powerhouse and Saxon’s Power and the Glory, both played at the end of the set. King Fowley and the rest of the band even held up some homemade posters with the word “POWER!!” written unto them. Totally unnecessary of course, the audience had already gone beyond mad. My personal favourite during the set was Salem’s Curse from The Fire Awaits You, but the whole gig was enjoyable and surprisingly good.

BROCAS HELM

Brocas Helm

Photo credit: The Unborn

Ah, the bassplayer in Brocas Helm! He is one of my favourite characters in the whole metal scene, just love the look. Brocas Helm is actually the only band on this line-up I’ve seen live before, when they played the Metal Merchants Festival in Oslo, 2011. Their epic sound is quite unique, even though there is a lot of Iron Maiden in their music. I guess it’s the hint towards the medieval, jesterlike guitar sound that make Brocas Helm quite special. The set included songs like Fly High and Black Death from the album with the same name – Cry of the Banshee, Ghost Story and Skullfucker from Defender of the Crown. It seemed like the audience really enjoyed the gig, and especially Skullfucker, but Brocas Helm should consider adding another guitarist to the band during live gigs. Then they’d sound even more solid live, and the riffs wouldn’t drown during the solos. (This is not just for Brocas Helm, it’s true for a lot of trio bands live in general in my opinion.)

THE RODS

RODS (3) RODS (2) RODS (1)

 Photo credit: Jon Kristiansen

The guys in The Rods were the only one having soundproblems, as one of the amps didn’t work the way it should and had to be replaced. The rest of the festival was without any trouble when it came to the soundengineering, as far as I could tell. Actually, the whole festival went pretty smooth, at least from a spectator’s point of view, without any major problems with changeover and such. Thumbs up!

Back to The Rods then. When they finally started playing, they played a varied set with songs from Rock Hard (Power Lover), In the Raw (Hot City and Hurricane), David Rock Feinstein’s solo album Bitten By the Beast (The Evil in Me) and The Wild Dogs (The Night Lives to Rock)just to name a few. I’m not a hardcore The Rods fan, but the majority of the crowd certainly were and they sure had a great time during this concert.

EXCITER

Exciter (7) Exciter (8) Exciter (5) 

Photo credit: Jon Kristiansen

The Heavy Metal Maniac line-up with Dan Beehler, John Ricci and Alan Johnson haven’t played in the US since the 80’s, so this made the occasion pretty special to witness. And with the original line-up finally back, the show at The Bell House this weekend was the first show after they reunited.

I got to see Bëehler playing at the first Metal Merchants Festival in 2009, so I kind of knew what Dan Beehler was capable of, doing both the vocals and the drums at the same time in his own classic intense pace. And I was not disappointed. Exciter delivered the goods, starting off with Stand Up & Fight and Heavy Metal Maniac from the same album, the debut and speed metal monster Heavy Metal Maniac. Exciters playlist at this reunion-gig was centered around the two first albums with Violence and Force, Iron Dogs, Scream in the Night and Pounding Metal to mention a few, but they also played two songs from the third album, Long Live the Loud, being the title track and Beyond the Gates of Doom. So if you have the chance of catching Exciter live during this summer, do it. Who knows how long this will last before they split up again.

So, there wasn’t a bad gig at this festival at all you might ask? Not even a slightest boring concert? Actually, the answer is no. It’s not often I watch all bands on a festival bill, it’s rather an exception that I do. But with Defenders of the Old, I surely appreciated every single one of them. All the bands playing were enthusiastic, and the atmosphere was tremendously great throughout the whole event. Long Live The Loud!

Header photo also by Jon Kristiansen

3 thoughts on “Defenders of the Old Fest III – Day two

  1. I’m sorry but The Rods were awful. Not blaming them for the equipment problem but when you come to see a band who hasn’t played here in like 30 years you’d expect that they would actually play entire songs and not cut out entire verses(Hurricane was butchered beyond belief)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment! As I mentioned, I’m not a die hard fan of The Rods, but I still think the concert turned out OK. I have never been to a Rods concert either, so that may be the reason I didn’t mind the shortcuts, but I surely understand your frustration.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s