Location: Markthalle, Hamburg
By: Basak Günel
Photos by: Heavy Harlequin
The second day of the festival featured the two venues; the bigger venue Markthalle as well as the smaller venue Marx. So a bit of change between the styles and the bands were waiting for us.
The Neptune Power Federation was one of the acts that got the attention of an enthusiastic audience on a Saturday afternoon. This Australian occult rock ‘n’ rollers gave the audience their own interpretation of this style, leaning more towards a mix of the psych and the heavy metal. The powerful vocals of the front-woman “Screaming Loz Sutch” combined with the heavy guitars definitely added a great atmosphere to the overall performance. As always, it was also a great feeling to see that some fans were singing along and cheering to the songs.
One highlight of the whole set was surely Screaming Loz Sutch… both inside and out. It wasn’t only her powerful and magical vocals that captivated us but her outfit was maybe one of our highlights of the day! Especially her stage persona compared to the ‘normal’ outfits of the other band members made a nice contrast, making her shine… for real! In the middle of the set, her crown lit up, which amused some of the fans… Apparently, with a bit of search in their social media, we learned that HoH was their biggest show up to date so we guess this was a spectacular set both for the audience and for the band!
Moving on to the smaller venue for Lord Vigo. The band was greeted with a packed venue. Formed in 2014, this epic doom metal act has two full-lengths and one EP so far, with the latest full-length “Six Must Die”, out in 2018.
Much to our surprise, the doom metal style we were expecting turned out to be classic heavy metal… in particular when combined with the band’s stage presence. Throughout the set, not only the stage presence became one of the highlights but the interaction of the frontman Vinz Clortho (and his interesting southern German dialect!) with the audience was enough to get everyone cheering and headbanging. Even though the band delivered a bit of everything from each release, the highlights of the set were “Ishtar – The Queen of the Night”, “Evil in Disguise”, and “Eternal Saviour”.
For some bands, HoH was considered as a milestone and this was the case for the American heavy/doom metallers Magic Circle. It turns out that HoH was the band’s first ever show in Europe so the anticipation was surely there. On top of that, the band is about to release their upcoming LP “Departed Souls” on March 29th so the band had some new gems to deliver as well as some old songs.
Soundwise, the band delivered some fine mix of classic heavy metal mixed with doom metal elements. As expected, the band as well as the crowd were in a great mood accompanied with great energy and interaction. It was particularly a great chance for the fans to hear the new song “I’ve Found My Way To Die” but also some old ones like “Antediluvian” and “Scream Evil”, forming a rather colorful set. We were especially happy for the band as their first European performance was quite impressive with a passionate audience!
Mega Colossus was another act we managed to catch live through the middle of their set in the smaller and hot venue with a packed audience! Even though we didn’t get to experience the full set, the happy attitude of the members and the synergy overall was recognizable from the first second. This seemed to fit pretty well to the ‘adventure metal’ style of the band. Overall a happy set with a lot of passion from both sides!
It was a rough and nice change of style with Chapel of Disease. Formed in 2008, this German death metal act gained a fine reputation in the scene with their style and releases.
Looking back at the band’s set, we could say that the first half leaning rather on the atmospheric side and the second half being faster and more rough, focusing on the instrumentals and the guitar solos. So one can say that there was a bit of everything for everyone within the band’s mosaic of sound. We also got a bit of thrash elements. Combined with the band’s ‘foggy’ stage presence and the crowd’s enthusiasm, the band was definitely one of our highlights of the evening.
After a rather intense set with Chapel of Disease, it was time to carry on with this madness with Dead Congregation. Another death metal act from Greece conquered the stage. Nothing else was needed as a dedicated audience was headbanging and ‘losing themselves’ during the band’s set; we could especially spot some die-hard fans in the middle of the audience.
If we could describe the band’s set with a few words, it would be rough, technical and confident. The technical aspect in their music became one of our highlights, as a matter of fact, as it’s a rather different color of death metal that we experienced. This rough approach in the technical style definitely makes the band stand out with a badass audience.
HoH came to an end this year with the headliner, Night Demon. These American heavy metallers were formed in 2011 and are one of those acts with a strong fanbase. Even though the band was maybe not our highlight of the day, we could see why they were the highlight of many; immense energy, great dynamic in the music and dedication. This wasn’t one-sided of course as the crowd was just as passionate. Many fans could be seen singing along and cheering.
One highlight that caught our attention was how each bandmember had his own highlight; it was almost impossible to see the band as a whole! The drummer Dusty Squires kept going non-stop with the fast beats whereas the vocals and the guitar made a great combo throughout the set. This was depicted perfectly in one of the favorites of the audience, “Gasoline”. Overall, probably the most dynamic and impressive show of the day with an equally impressive audience! What else can one want?
Overall, HoH was another great experience this year. Compared to last year, we got the impression that the focus was more on heavy metal but one can do no wrong with dedicated bands and an audience. Looking forward to another amazing experience next year! Thanks to the organisation as well as the bands for an amazing festival!