Fireblade Force festival 2007

Lichtenstein (Saxonia/Germany)/ October 12th + 13th 2007

Report: Twilightheart

This can truly be called the festival of blood, fire and (almost) death. 
Germany has sent a few of its elite underground Black Metal bands, but there were some international bands, too. For instance the whole tour retinue of Setherial and Corpus Christii crossed the festival to satisfy us with their excellent Satanic services. 
But let’s start at the beginning. When Claudia picked me up in my little village (as no trains would go that day) we didn’t know what to except. And when we ended up in a little town in East Germany with lots of empty houses and ruins, we thought to ourselves “What the hell are we doing here!?” But yeah, we did it to see a bit of the most hellish Black Metal … of course.
It will remain a mystery to me why the festival was supposed to start only at 7 p.m. on Friday although 7 bands were waiting to play that day. But, the Fireblade Force took place for the very first time, so I think the organizers should be forgiven for that mistake. They will probably learn from it. 
Thus the first band “Genocide” started 20 minutes too late. They are a German newcomer BM band that looked quite lost on the stage (even though it was a rather small stage). Three guys (on drums, bass, guitar) tried to deliver their stuff, bassist and guitarist singing alternately. The sound was more than terrible, therefore it was predictable that almost no one (of the meanwhile about 200 visitors) would give applaus to them. To be the opener of a festival is a tough job, yes.

But the second band was in for a surprise. Thorngoth from Bavaria, playing Black Metal backed up with substancial songwriting and not just noise, immediately got a lot of attention from the audience. Their music contains many of those mid tempo parts that cause a lot of dark feelings, you surely know what I mean. Their vocalist named Akhorahil has a strong aura and superior selfconfidence, it was pure joy to watch him perform. So the band was able to inflame the audience and with their wrathful songs they forced quite a few fans to start headbanging. As I said in the beginning the Fireblade Force was the festival of blood and fire > as fire eating was allowed officially in this venue, Thorngoth were the first to show us their abilities.
The sound was getting better as well, so now there finally was a festival atmosphere in the venue. 

Meanwhile in front of the venue a horrible road accident has happened. Therefore all streets around were closed off and many fans (who were just arriving by car, trying to get through to the camping area) just couldn’t get further. So it were the Metal fans standing there, showing the arriving visitors a different way to get there.

About the festival venue called “UNI” I have to say that it was actually a nice place for tired people (20 sofas around with space for 7 people to sit on each) but not suitable for Black Metal, as it was filled with disco lights everywhere, even green lights covering the stairs that lead to the stage. Those 5 or 6 steps to the stage disturbed me a lot. Of course, maybe the artists enjoyed having us quite on a distance, but for the fans the cosy feeling was lost (you know, being right in front of the stage, constantly being aware that the guitarist might hit your face with the guitar by accident). I wondered how Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult were supposed to spit their usual amount of blood into the audience over this distance caused by the stairs. Oh well, you will read about that later. 

Caedes, known as one of the most misanthropic underground BM bands of Germany, were next to enter the stage. Their raw coldness was spreading through the venue immediately. Since I saw them last time, there was a change in line up. The main songwriter, who used to play guitar, has now taken over the job on the microphone. Actually he fits perfectly for this job. Who else than the songwriter can express the songs best!? Okay, the posing with an axe at the beginning of the gig was unnecessary to my opinion. Anyway, they managed to get the attention of everyone around, as they took care of a big bloody mess. There was a bucket filled with blood and several cow-hearts (from the local butcher’s, I guess) and from time to time the band’s vocalist took one of those hearts and would squash it until it would burst. This of course had the effect that several fans in the first row were hit by the blood drops. And when he would have no cow-hearts left in the bucket but only small pieces of meat, he would just throw those into any fan’s face. You should have seen how the stage looked like after the gig! 

But before the end of Caedes’ gig a man should burn. Actually this was an accident during the fire eating of a friend of the band. He entered the stage during the final song, drinking from the methylated spirit, not noting that the liquid is running down his throath. So after the first try to eat fire his throath and mouth started to burn within a second, jumping over to his shirt. None of the band members reacted, they kept on playing. The guy himself couldn’t help himself, as he couldn’t see anything anymore. A securitie man came running with a bottle of beer then, extinguishing the fire with it finally. The guy then walked off stage, not allowing anyone to touch him. He went through all this without any whining. Later on the securite guy could persuade him to have medical treatment for his face which he finally accepted. So about an hour later he came back with a lot of cream in his burnt face and kept on as if nothing ever happened. 

Morrigan are a two man band from Germany (just a drummer, and the singer is playing guitar). Of course this combination leaves no space for certain action on stage, so you could do nothing but concentrate on the music, which everybody did. The vocalist of this band can scream incredibly, you almost feel the need to escape when listening to it. It really hurts. They did not have the best sound quality, unfortunately, but therefore he delivered some nice guitar solos and the drummer was almost violently torturing his drums. 

The next band, Nachtfalke, were the “surprise act” of the evening. This BM band from Saxonia plays only a few rare, chosen gigs in the east of Germany, they are not touring like other bands, although they are active since many years already. So for Claudia and me this was the first (and assumingly last) time to see them live. They started off with “Windlords” and “War in Asgard”. Even though the sound was bad, the audience was on fire and the band as well. The vocalist had his very own bizarr style of moving jerkily and the songs were unique. So I could enjoy this gig in a way. The band kept on with “Berserker”, „Call of the gjallarhorn“, „As a falcon through the night“ and “Halls of hel”. Additional to the rather bad sound the band had several problems with the monitors and even the bass instrument fell down to the gound during the gig. All this could not stop Nachtfalke, so “My skin is bark“, „Einherjer“, „Beyond the fire“ and „Hail Teutonia“ were up next, and again it was time for fire eating. This time the vocalist of this band had enough experience with this and could be a real show-off, there were extended fire eating sessions and that’s how their gig ended.

I don’t wanna take a guess how many visitors had left the venue before “Sear Bliss” started their gig. It was almost half past 2 in the morning. So “Sear Bliss” did not waste time on doing a long soundcheck. They just quickly checked their instruments and started playing right away. I guess that was the best thing to do, otherwise much more people would have left the venue. As you might know, “Sear Bliss” have a trombone player in the band. I’m sure some of those fans who were sleeping on the many sofas around, would wake up when the trombone sound had risen, thinking they maybe have slept too long, waking up in a folk music concert now! ;-)
The people who were still in front of the stage, showed good behaviour and gave a lot of applause to Sear Bliss who came from Hungary for this gig. The band responded with a lot of action, so even late at night there would still be headbanging on and in front of the stage. 

After that we finally got a bit of sleep. If I would have known that the festival next day would kick off only after 7 p.m. I would have stayed in bed that day. But as according to the schedule the festival Saturday was supposed to start after 4 p.m. we of course had breakfast and arrived at the venue before that time, just seeing the tourbus of Setherial, Corpus Christii and Ravencult arriving. 
It is not understandable under these cirsumstances why this festival day didn’t start in time, although 10 bands were supposed to perform. “Ravencult” were set to be the opener that day, but they just didn’t come to the stage. Later on I got the information that Ravencult were waiting for someone to tell them when to play and waiting for the festival to start. Well… seems that the festival organizers (or whoever) didn’t provide them with the most important information of all: that they were to kick off as the first band that day. How can things like that happen? I just don’t understand. If you manage a festival you should make quite sure to let the opener KNOW that they are the opener! 
So Ravencult were somewhere outside while inside the venue nothing was happening until 7 p.m. But the day got even worse. Inquisition had to cancel the festival, as their agency had booked their flight from the States to Germany for the wrong day. And again I have to ask how this could happen. Even school kids know that the 13th of October in Germany is not necessarily the same day like the 13th October in the States, due to time difference. 

At 7 o’clock finally someone was able to make a decision. So Reign in Blood from Germany were told to enter the stage and finally kick off the festival. So they did. Reign in Blood probably are the band with the longest intro-intrumental of the world, as the bands’ vocalist did smoke a whole cigarette while the intro played. But the visitors were of course glad that the festival had finally started, so even though this band delivered only average underground BM, some guys started headbanging. Oh, and fire eating wasn’t missing here as well. 

Krater were up next, playing good Black Metal with scream vocals. They acted without any emotions which was supported by bad sound. The musicians couldn’t interact with the audience anyway, as they constantly had to look at each other (maybe the monitors had a total failure, I don’t know) and look to the drummer to keep the tact. So we mainly just saw their backs. But hey, that’s a new experience, isn’t it? Being a real misanthrop you can just turn your back to your audience, there is no problem with that, is there!?
But honestly, of course I hope to see the band a second time someday, as maybe with better equipment and so on they might be able to deliver a good gig. 


Creature from Germany were the first band this day who really delivered an excellent gig with everything you can expect from a Black Metal band. The small but very charismatic frontman immediately reminded me of Nattefrost. His gestures and facial expression were stunning. Meanwhile the venue was filled with about 500 people. Some of those in the first row did scream along to all of Creature’s German lyrics. The band’s vocalist was the first one this day to come down the stairs and stand right in front of the audience, screaming right into their faces with his enormous killer-voice. Creature had the best playing time and used it 100 %. They made the crowd headbang and freak out. The organizers of the festival tried to stop their gig after 30 minutes (due to the time problems caused by the delay at the beginning of the event), but Creature just ignored all those gestures telling them to stop. They just kept on playing their full set of 45 minutes. 

By the way, meanwhile it was decided that Ravencult would not play at all. They were offered to play as the last band after Setherial, but it was obvious that this would be sometime around 4 a.m. in the morning, so Ravencult preferred not to play at all instead, which is quite understandle.

Asmodeus were the ones to show the Saxonians that Black Metal from Austria can be a great thing, too. So they had to defend Austria’s honour, and even though one member has left the band and they now had to play with only three musicians, they achieved it to create a perfect black and wrathful atmosphere. With their outfits they are a serious competitor to Behemoth, by the way. And their music qualitywise can compete with Scandinavian Black Metal. Right during their gig I finally felt something like satisfaction to be in the middle of a festival that has almost only Black Metal bands. As this happens very seldom, you should enjoy the few possibilities you get. 

But right after this Fatal Embrace, a Thrash Metal band from Berlin, took care of the variety. Of course they were a real opponent to the other bands as they tried to spread a good mood and lots of cheers. Their singer “Heiländer” in his old-school-outfit was extremely active on stage and animated the visitors again and again to headbang, until they all did it (or gave up and went to buy another drink). This band is a Thrash-Legend in Germany, but they don’t meet my personal taste of music, so I didn’t stay too long during their gig.

The final of the evening was near. Three high rate Black Metal bands were supposed to be the highlight of this festival: Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult, Germany’s most hateful undergound Satanic Black Metal band, Corpus Christii, the only BM band from Portugal that the Germans seem to know well, and of course Setherial, one band on whose quality music you can always rely. 

Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult would kick off this triple star, and they were stunning. The Satanists started their glorious triumph with the song “Das All-Eine” and the incredibly “Slaughtercult”. Their female singer Onielar, which is the grimmest hellcat in Black Metal ever, and their bassist were busy to spit many liters of blood into the audience throughout the whole gig. You may think the steps of the stairs between them and us would not allow them to do so, but of course nothing protects you from being bloody all over after a DNS gig. These two would spit the blood further than 3 meters. The band would musically convince us with perfect playing and Onielar would scream out all her hate towards everything with her heart-rending voice. „Thanatos“, „Bearer of blackest might“ and „The dead hate the living“ were played. One male guy behind me screamed “Wow! Such a sexy woman making such great Black Metal, I think I just have an orgasm”. His luck that Onielar didn’t hear it, I guess. Otherwise he would have been the next victim to be slayed on stage! ;-)
Lots of blasphemous gestures would be shown on stage during this gig, supporting the lyrics. „Cimonar de nuit“ and „Nocturnal March“ were the last song they played before they left the stage, leaving a completely spellbound audience.


All German bands had now finished and it was time for our foreign guests of Corpus Christii, bringing us blasphemies from Portugal. It was the first time for me to see the band live, after Claudia had told me several times about the bands’ qualities. I was overwhelmed by the first impression that the band gave me. Especially their bassist looked so morbid with this corpse paint. But even more attentive was the vocalist with the cold and emptiness coming right out of his inside. He really had no facial expression, but his eyes were talking about eternal hate and repulsion. 
So the band played their mordant and distressed songs, spreading depression. I had a feeling that many fans tried to stay sober with intention (although it was around 2 a.m. in the morning already) to be able to see the last bands. I can imagine that it must of course be frustrating to know you missed such good bands because you were drunk. 
Corpus Christii played only 30 minutes. Probably they really wanted to give their tour mates of Setherial the chance to play before 3 o'clock in the morning. 

The club was still quite filled when Setherial entered the stage. It would have been more than just embarassing for us Germans if we would have let the headliner play in front of an almost empty concert venue. So I was glad to see so many sober visitors even at 3 o’clock in the morning. 
No, although Infaustus’ shirt showed a “True Norwegian Black Metal” print, we didn’t get true Norwegian Black Metal, but of course true Swedish Black Metal. As soon as Infaustus stepped onto the stage, he would blow us away with his intense screaming and growling. The band started with “
Hell eternal”, “För dem mitt blod“ and “Among the flames”, followed by “Death triumphant” and “Limbo of insanity”. Kraath and Magnus tried several times to go around the stairs and get closer to the audience to communicate with them (means, the band would throw their blasphemous creations towards us, and the fans would react with passionate gestures and intense headbanging).  A lot of “Fuck you”s were exchanged as well, so once more you knew that the Swedish still are the “nicest” of them all! ;-)
For some reason Setherial had an excellent sound quality. Don’t ask me how this is possible after all the opening acts had such terrible sound. Of course, there were a few noises that were out of place, but this didn’t disturb the show. The crowd was very enthusiastic, and that pushed the band to deliver a high-quality gig. 
After a short instrumental middle part the set was continued with “Into the ancient ruins”, “Diabolus enim”, “Crimson manifestation”, “The underworld” and “Summon the lord with horns”. After “Aeons of bloodlust” Magnus even had a sentimental moment, shaking a fans hand (no, actually it was grabbing his fist and shaking it). But honestly, the crowd was so fervent until the end of the gig and each of Infaustus’ “Do you want more?” got such a loud “Yeah”-response, therefore it was no surprise that the band would play some additional encores such as “I nattens famn”. So Setherial could once more convince us all, being a worthy headliner of this festival. 

To summarize: it was an interesting festival, but I hope the organizers have learned from the first try, and next year the festival will start earlier to give every band the chance to play at a pleasant time. I actually would prefer not to visit this town again, but I am afraid the festival organizers might have another Black Metal billing next year that will impress me so much that I might consider to come again. 

A fan who was 1st row during the bloody gig of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult:

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