Location: Markthalle, Hamburg (DE)
Featured bands: Visigoth, The Gates of Slumber, Mythic Sunship, Imha Tarikat, Sijjin, Haunt, Ultra Silvam
The second day of the festival offered a variety of the bands at the bigger venue, Markthalle as well as the smaller venue, Marx.
This day started with Swedish death/black metallers Ultra Silvam. A passionate audience was ready to headbang with them on this rather early afternoon. The band put on a killer and brutal show from the start, setting the mood right away! There was no atmosphere and no interaction as the whole show was a slap in the face, just how the audience loved it! Their combination of black and death metal, known to the ones familiar with the Swedish black/death scene, was fascinating! Too bad the show was too short! Originally, I was looking forward to see this band together with Reveal! on mid-April but due to the Coronavirus situation, I guess I have to be patient a bit more.
Haunt was another name I was looking forward to see. Hailing from Fresno, California, the band incorporates elements like mysticism and fantasy into that traditional heavy metal sound. Their latest album “Mind Freeze” has been released earlier this year.
As expected, these crazy heavy metallers delivered such a fantastic and energetic performance from the beginning! There was this magical synergy between the band and the audience, and in particular the frontman Trevor William Church never stopped interacting and entertaining the audience. Surely, with the genre of heavy metal, some songs were sung together with the audience and the rest of the show consisted of headbanging, and just enjoying the music! Overall, a very impressive performance!
At this point, I wanted to get a taste of the BÜTCHER show at the smaller venue but oh boy, it was packed as hell and it was impossible to get inside. However, I decided to stick to the smaller venue for SIJJIN and reserved my spot as soon as BÜTCHER finished. This Berlin-based act makes death/thrash metal with influences from the 80s and they were ready to bring the chaos and madness to the small venue. Their latest EP “Angel of the Eastern Gate” was released last year. The venue got full again and so a hungry audience was passionately waiting for that death/thrash metal fix.
Despite some problems during the soundcheck, the band had a killer and serious start right away. There wasn’t much action going on in the stage, but this didn’t matter as the band created that perfect energy for the headbangers in the audience as well as the mosh-pit. My personal highlight were the vocals accompanied by the technical guitars, reflecting the true essence of the band’s spirit. They played all the songs from the latest EP, and I am pretty sure that they gained some new fans, including me! Especially their interpretation of this genre was quite fascinating and impressive, and I hope to see them live in the future as well
Setlist: Trine Immension, Dagger of a Thousand Deaths, Fire on the Altar of Hell, White Mantras Bleed from Black Magic, Angel of the Eastern Gate, Sumerian Promises, Vorago of Adullam, Outer Chambers of Entity, Remnants of Cambrian Evil
One of the highlights for many in Hell over Hammaburg was the Turkish/German black metal act, Imha Tarikat without a doubt. I remember reviewing “Kara Ihlas” (out in 2019) last year with pure excitement and being completely blown away by it. This show was particularly special for everyone as the band premiered the new album in its entirety during this performance. This was such a great opportunity to hear the new songs live.
Well… Let me tell you one thing. You know that a performance is fucking mindblowing if you only can take photos for 5 minutes and get interrupted by the neverending mosh-pit! Yes, this is exactly what happened during this performance. The crowd was so eager and hungry for this aggressive and raw black metal that there was no break but non-stop mosh-pit and headbanging. The small venue was packed as fuck, there was no space and at one point, I had to leave the front row to the ‘hardcore fans’. The whole performance was indescribable, the new songs sounded so good live and noone wanted it to end. I also loved the fact that the band wasted no time with interacting but just got straight to the point. What more could we want more apart from a longer performance? I think that the band promoted this new album perfectly and they had the perfect audience to present the killer songs to. Fucking amazing!
Setlist: Ekstase ohne Ende, Sturm der Erlösung, Kreuzpunkt der Schicksale, Brand am Firmament, Klimax Downpour, Aufstieg, Sternenberster
After an aggressive performance at the small venue, it was time to cool down with some doom! The Gates of Slumber were ready to play at the bigger venue. Hailing from Indianapolis, these doom metallers have been active since 1998. With many releases during the band’s history and a steady fanbase, they were one of the anticipated acts in the big venue.
From the start to the end, the band delivered some fine doom metal to a dedicated audience. When we are talking about this genre, you wouldn’t expect much going on but I could see that the fans were totally in the mood for some doom madness. My personal highlight were the killer bass riffs! Especially combined with the vocals, this made the show quite unique. Since the band has many releases, they played songs from different releases. So it was a good opportunity to get more familiar with them and go back to time travelling.
Setlist: The Judge, Feast of the Dead, Iron Hammer, Broken on the Wheel, Stitched Back From Deth, The Awakening, The Leech, Dweller in the Deep, The Burial
One big surprise of this day was the cosmic/psych-rockers Mythic Sunship. At this time, there weren’t many people in the small venue (not that it was empty though) as many gathered in the big venue to wait for the headliners Visigoth. However, these Danish rockers were so refreshing and also quite different in this second day! There was this overall relaxed mood in the air as the band took the audience to ‘space’ with their positive attitude and dreamy tunes. Their instrumental songs also left a lot of interpretation and room for dreaming! The overall show was THAT good that some asked the frontman to ‘shut up and keep on playing’ (not in a rude way of course!) and even others told him they they loved him. Ha! So many emotions overall indeed… This was not one-sided though as the band thanked the audience again and again. As this was my first time seeing them live, this show felt like a preview. After this fantastic performance, I am 100% sure I want to see these guys live again!
The mighty VISIGOTH needs no introduction. They were the headliners of this second day and surely known to the HoH crowd in general. The anticipation was at its maximum as everyone gathered in the big venue for this final performance of this festival.
When Visigoth is playing, you know that a bombastic performance is waiting for you! It was such an eargasm that I could feel the dopamine in the air. The audience was singing along, headbanging and clapping. You could see that they definitely are famous in this festival and loved by many! The highlight, in general, was the frontman Jake Rogers as his vocals as well as stage presence were just purely impressive, taking the performance to a whole new level. Vocals are indeed an important aspect of this power/heavy metal genre and with a frontman like him, the band can do no wrong. This wasn’t it though; from the drums to the guitar solos, the highlight that each bandmember brought on stage was devoured by many. Add the neverending energy of the bandmembers as well as their interaction with the audience… and well, you have a band that pours their heart and soul… This is how it should be! With a fantastic set from the beginning to the end, the band brought the audience to the climax and made the perfect finish. What a show!
From the headliners to little surprises and twists, Hell over Hammaburg was a blast this year as always! With a passionate audience and bands, this festival becomes better and better each year. As for my personal highlights, the darkness attracted me a bit more this year with Nifelheim, Vemod, Imha Tarikat and Ultra Silvam as some of my favorites. I also gotta add that the biggest surprise was definitely Mythic Sunship and this psychedelia that they brought! Kudos to the organizers, bands, the venue crew and audience for this fantastic 8th edition. See you next year!
Click here for Day 1!
Hell over Hammaburg