A huge overnight downpour turned the Wacken site into a Download-esque mudbath but it wasn’t like that for long as the sun rose and ensured the going was firm for Saturday’s activities.
And while Einherjer played Norwegian Viking hymns to a big crowd at Bullhead City, Therion absolutely stole the day so far on The Black Stage with a colourful, dramatic and starkly vivid show that truly captivated.
The Swedes, cited as “the most adventurous Metal band at present”, played a myriad of varied numbers that showed off their unique mix of styles and their impressive skillsets. Therion have been through several musical metamorphosis’ in their time but their act is now finely honed to near perfection and today was an exceptional performance.
‘Ljusalfheim’, ‘The Siren Of The Woods’, ‘Morning Star’ and ‘Black Diamond’ all crackled with the very best of theatrical energy as Therion just had an absolute blast out there today in the sunshine.
So did the crowd as they lapped up every moment of these visually unique operatics with Christofer Johnsson addressing the masses in his usual calm manner while “new” singer Chiara Malvestiti was devastating.
Therion have an ever-evolving and ever revolving line-up and while you can expect them to keep moving and developing, it will be hard to surpass this show today at Wacken. Catch this incarnation of Therion when you can because today they were superb. In the meantime, here’s some great words from our man Ian Sutherland about Therion’s latest release.
Borknagar frontman Andreas “Vintersorg” Hedlund made light of technical problems that stopped the Norwegian progressive Metallers in their tracks towards the end of their set and did a good job of keeping the audience’s attention while the gremlins were sent packing.
They picked up the pace exactly where they left off and got over the line without further problems but they were no match for the mighty Metal Church and those who came to worship at the altar of returning vocalist Mike Howe got a real treat as Metal Church ripped it up and totally delivered.
Metal Church. Just in case you can’t tell…
Then it was the turn of the cabaret act, Steel Panther, whose Macc Lads’ style comedy never fails to raise racous laughter and rouse the girls in the audience into exhibitionism.
Their songs are truly dreadful, unless you’re into the cheesiest kind of 1980s hair Metal, but that’s tempered by the amount of time they spend goofing about on stage instead of actually playing music, however they are tremendously funny and will have you absolutely howling many times during their set.
They’re LA pretty boys with big hair, make-up and cucumbers down their trousers to take care of any limitations while The Macc Lads were much better looking and had much more style and we are certain The Macc Lads have spilt more ale down their waistcoats than Steel Panther have supped tonight.
The band came out with some truly hilarious lines today, our favourite being when they brought sixteen girls on to the stage and said they were going to bring Dragonforce, who had played earlier in the day, on to the stage to “fuck them all.”
“How many people want to see Dragonforce fuck some chicks… for a change?” said Michael Starr, before adding in mock fear: “I’m going to get killed by Dragonforce now…”
Starr had said in a pre-gig interview with a mock Angela Merkel: “Sometimes I think about Judas Priest when I see all those girls out there.”
“I don’t know why this is?” said mock Merkel.
“Neither do I…” was Starr’s reply.
There are loads more pictures of Steel Panther below, some of which are not safe for work or when you are in the company of minors or Scandinavian Black Metal fans.
We’re going to enjoy Triptykon, Clutch and Arch Enemy tonight and we’re sending very best wishes to our friends in Elvenking who are hitting the Wackinger Stage very shortly.
Tarja and Blind Guardian followed Eluveitie’s staggering performance on Friday and you can read all about what happened right here, as well as see some great shots of the Swiss Celtic Folk Kings and Queens, the Finnish symphonic songstress and the German Bards.
Closing the Main Stage on Friday were Ministry who put on a heavy, heavy show which despite its raw energy and sheer danceability struggled to sufficiently move a Wacken crowd who had by now been on their feet for more than twelve hours.
Ministry mainman Al Jourgensen, demonstrating hints of Venom’s Cronos in his lyrical exertions these days, left the stage to greet fans at the front and cajoled the audience to get more involved but it didn’t quite hit the spot for most. A great effort and a great show though.
Tomorrow, Sunday, in our final Wacken 2016 article, we’ll bring you some video footage of some of the bands we haven’t mentioned in our coverage of the best Metal festival on Earth so far, especially Saxon and Girlschool.
Unbelievably, the first bands have already been announced for 2017 and details regarding ticket sales will be announced tomorrow, (Sunday). Confirmed for 2017 are Amon Amarth, Avantasia, Kreator, Mayhem performing ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’, Saltatio Mortis, Paradise Lost, Heaven Shall Burn, Lacuna Coil, Powerwolf, Candlemass, Sonata Arctica and Hämatom.
And here is the brand new trailer for Wacken 2017.