Location: Markthalle, Hamburg
By: Basak Günel
Photos by: Heavy Harlequin
Hell over Hammaburg opened its doors to the metalheads for the 7th time this year! The festival was sold out even before it started so a passionate and strong fanbase was eager for a nice mix of line-up ranging from heavy metal to black metal.
Essenz was the first band we got to see straight after a hectic day. Formed in 2007, this German doom/black metal act has three full-lengths, with the latest one “Manes Impetus” released last year. Surely with a spectrum ranging from doom to black metal, the audience was greeted with a spiritual side of BM consisting of a rather slow tempo and the occult atmosphere. It took a bit of a time for the crowd to get going but with each song, the audience was lured into the magical sound of the set.
In general, the performance was not a typical set where you would listen and headbang but it allowed the audience to get lost and feel the magic in the music slowly but steadily. So this was quite an interesting experience, in particular for the ones interested in this style. Overall an impressive show!
It was a rather interesting change of style with Professor Black. These heavy metallers are relatively new as they were formed in 2017 but a dedicated audience was awaiting them. Surprisingly, the band opened the set with some introductory words as the frontman first said his Hello’s to the audience and promised to play all songs from the three albums, implying a rather colorful set for the audience.
Throughout the set, the band’s dynamic heavy metal sound combined with their relaxed and confident attitude on stage was quite a captivating sight even for the ones not into heavy metal. Surely with a relatively young band, the influences formed one of the highlights of the set as the band paid their tributes to the dead but also to their musical heroes who were alive; our personal highlight was their tribute to Quorthon and Bathory. That being said, we got the impression that the band is still in the process of developing their sound and essence but they definitely have the potential.
Mgla as the headliner was probably the highlight of the evening even before the band started their set. Formed in 2000, this Polish black metal formation is one of the gems in the BM scene and an act many fans wanted to see. As expected, there was some kind of hype even before the set as the soundcheck took a bit longer so the question we asked was: Would this be worth the hype?
The dark atmosphere combined with the straightforward approach of the band’s style was what captivated the audience from the start with “Exercises in futility I”. There was no intro or atmospheric elements throughout the show but only the darkness that the audience craved for. It was quite a view to see and feel that the band managed to put everyone into some form of trance. As a matter of fact, the band’s live set is a perfect example of how a band can impress the audience without any interaction or fancy elements on stage.
With three full-lengths in the band’s musical career, the band did not only focus on their last release “Exercises in futility” but also played some of the older songs. However, the songs from the latest record were the ones who got the most attention for sure. The masks of the members also allowed the audience to focus on rather the music (as we are not talking about a ‘ritual’ band here) rather than the appearance. So was it worth the hype? Definitely and much more. The attitude and the unconventional style of the band was beyond impressive!
Click here for Day 2…