Day 2 of Dokkem Open Air was a bit more drowsy, but a lot of bands are there to cheer one up and it started already with the first act.
Kjeld is a Frysian band, giving us some Black Metal with a local touch. The band starts strong and makes a heavy impression by letting all instruments come out balanced. Are it these pounding drums that go through you? Or is the the fact that their guitarist knows very well when to step it up and when to let the rest come forward as well? They got a good control in it all and with a steady vocalist onboard the band may be soon filling up a later spot on this festival. For good metal you don’t have to go far, Frysians have them too!
Recently we saw Izegrim perform at Amsterdam Metal Night and now our paths cross again. The Thrash formation from NL is one that pretty much almost succeeds in entertaining the audience. Today it is not any different. The earliest birds on the festival has gathered upfront and started their headbanging. A little moshpit came along later and while the band is promoting their brand new album “The Ferryman’s End” they seem to have some fans there that knew the music already quite well. What is strongest of this band is the fact that they can easily connect with their audience and with a good discography on their hands, Izegrim is welcome any time!
Insanity Alert, It is said the guys are from Tirol but somehow we highly doubt this. A whole lot of Dutch got spoken so we guess that is just part of the act. The name is not really chosen badly by the way. The band puts on a show with costumes, weird glasses, signs and confetti. Above all, the guys even have time to play some Metal for us. It’s Thrashy… bit crossover. Maybe core-ish… the guys just blend until they get whatever they want. A first album got out two years ago and a new one is in the planning so putting a name for themselves is essential. A show like this will remain with many we would say.
Entrails is much more clear about what they do. Death Metal it is and Sweden has a reputation on Death Metal so the guys have a good learning school. The band has been around for many year, but has a quite fresh line up. Yet that does not show, they guys play a tight show today. Special credits for the guitars putting in these skills make it that we want to watch this band. The show self is rather boring, it must come purely from the music and you don’t have to expect too much entertainment on the stage or any energetic sign at all. But sometimes the music is convincing enough and that is really the case with Entrails. They probably could get a bit more out of it by living the music visibly, but we have nothing to complain of what we heard today.
Entombed a.d is a classic. Thus the name drama and all, the band has a rich history as they are active since 1989. Death Metal in a rather pure form and just a few months ago the band released an album called “Dead Dawn”. Entombed is a bit in advance of a band like Entrails as their frontman is charismatic. With a grin of his face you know what way you are heading, some headbanging here and there, you would believe every word he says. The audience he does not really need to convince, a substantial amount of fans need little encouragement to start a moshpit or get going in any way. Luckily the band has some older material on their setlist today as well which pleases the audience clearly. Entombed shows how it is done!
Moonspell is quite in contrast with the Death Metal we had before, but this band has plenty of fans of their own. After releasing the album “Extinct” the band already toured and visited Netherlands a couple of times and it is good to see them back today. They did choose for a set with their heavier songs although they did not leave out some catchy ones from their latest release. “Alma Mater” is played and of course the ever mighty “Vampyria” which are absolute crowdpleasers. The band is enjoying themselves clearly, here and there talking a bit to the audience but also play a tight set. They never let their audience down and so come it is no surprise that the field in front of the stage is quite filled. Moonspell is definitely one of these bands that pleases a lot of people today and if you have seen it yourself you know why. Dedication and love for what they are doing!
Dragonforce is quite a show. The Power Metal formation often flies around at the stage and throws in a lot of theatre to please at first the photographers by posing nonstop and after they left the pit their eyes go more towards their audience. So it all looks very ‘made’. But then you realize, the playing is not something you just do. Them guitarists go crazy with their skills and it is surely not for everyone to do what they are doing. Somehow it gives them even more status to be able to bring in the whole theatre as well. Their ‘new’ singer is one of the weaker links today. His voice seems a bit cracky and he lets himself being pushed behind the rest quite often. So for a random watcher it may be interested to see these guys. It is so over the top that it keeps you watching.
Hardrock goddess Doro is part of the line up today. She was scheduled for one and a half hour (a torture for Finntroll fans that don’t like Doro btw) but apparently that also included the honor to watch the soundcheck. The show itself goes quite fluently, the songs are played well and there is lot of action going on. A bit insane lightning though, we hope the frontrowers were able to see enough. What disappointed a little was al that came in between the songs. The word spoken came across as very rehearsed and sometimes just a standard thing to say without any feel or meaning behind it. Almost makes you wonder whether she enjoys playing this show. But with a big smile on the face and some well-played songs the audience gets what they came for, a good show. A bit shorter, due to the soundchecking and whatever caused them starting later. Not a full show but one that will remain with many.
Finnish Finntroll was closing it off tonight. The guys have a strong live reputation and today they totally live up to that. Perhaps they interact a little less with the audience, but it does not trouble them at all. They are too busy dancing, jumping and rocking out to the humppa. A moshpit took place as well and it is clear that the guys are building a little party out there in Dokkum! With a lot of Finntroll classics on the setlist the audience got much familiar sounds to hear and when towards the end “Trollhammeren” got played the whole is complete. It has become the theme to their music and it seems that even people that don’t listen their music that often know this song at least.
What an excellent closure of the evening! It was an enjoyable day and although the grass on the field has long turned into mud the atmosphere is as great as always. Like we said before, for Dokk’em Open Air it does not matter what field they use, it is the people and the festival self that make this festival the success it is every year!
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