I cherish the roots of my perseverance
Three months to the day, on 5th May 2016, some people were on the pitch thinking it was all over as Eluveitie announced the departure of three key members, Merlin Sutter (drums), Anna Murphy (hurdy-gurdy and vocals) and Ivo Henzi (guitar).
But at 6.30 German time this evening the Swiss Celtic Metallers proved beyond doubt that they had shrugged off the massive blow of losing almost half of their line-up and made a mockery of the doubters as they laid waste to Wacken Festival by putting on a show of colossal proportions.
Somehow Chrigel Glanzmann has managed to create another incarnation of Eluveitie whilst the band were embroiled in a heavy touring schedule and the new, possibly temporary, line-up sounded every bit as good as Eluveitie ever did.
Michalina Malisz on hurdy-gurdy, Alain Ackermann on drums, Jonas Wolf on guitar and remarkably Liv Kristine, formerly of Leaves’ Eyes and singing ‘A Rose For Epona’ and ‘Call Of The Mountains’, are the new members and they did the great name of Eluveitie proud despite having only played together a handful of times and at extremely short notice.
Not only were there no less than four new members in the band but violinist Nicole Ansperger only returned to the fold a matter of days ago after a lengthy absence and the wry smile she gave Chrigel during ‘Helvetios’ spoke volumes. Triumph over adversity. Like a wildfire.
It still needs a little more perfecting in places, for example there was no female backing vocal on ‘Tegernakô’ and Liv is not totally word perfect yet but these are minor points that will be smoothed out as the band play together more. The atmosphere, passion and spirit were still as evident as they ever were and Chrigel’s heartfelt “Danke auch!!” just before ‘Havoc’ was also a statement of victory and intent.
And just to drive the point home, they extended the hurdy-gurdy introduction to ‘Inis Mona’ and it sounded triumphant. Eluveitie are here to stay, flickering from the depths of eternity.
Bullet For My Valentine
Bullet For My Valentine left Wacken’s Main Stage after a blistering performance to the sound of the Fawlty Towers theme tune. In Germany of all places some things should not be mentioned but BFMV spoke volumes this evening with an unforgettable and victorious display.
Matt Tuck snarled his way through a powerful set of the very best that the Bridgend boys have to offer and they could not have gone down better with the Wacken crowd. Brutally majestic.
Tarja’s set was preceded by video of one of her classical performances but once the Metal started there was no letting up.
Taking to the stage in stiletto heels, the Finnish soprano gave a supreme display and the smile rarely left her face as she mesmerised 85,000 onlookers with classic material and new songs from her latest releases.
Blind Guardian took to the stage just after nightfall and are three songs in as we write. This is a band back to their very best after a not so hot performance in London earlier this year when Hansi was clearly off colour. Now we’re going to enjoy the rest of their set which is streaming live right now at wacken.com.
Later this evening we’ve got Ministry and Testament streaming live as well and it all goes on until 2.00am UK time. Why can’t English festivals do that?
Here’s a few more shots of Eluveitie from this afternoon’s stirring performance.
“When I reminisce about all those years of tribulation, I mostly remember our songs.
We died, and our blood seeped away on the battlefields;
but our songs survived, together with those of us that returned”
‘Epilogue’ from ‘Helvetios’ 2012