“Armageddon Over Wacken” by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “Armageddon Over Wacken 2004”
Label: Magick Records
Release Date: 3/29/2005
Genre: Black, Power, Death, Heavy Metal
Rating: 7.5/10

The Wacken Open Air Festival is one of the most popular and anticipated Heavy Metal events in the world these days. For three days dozens of bands unleash their very best on over 30,000 crazed Metal maniacs. This release of “Armageddon Over Wacken 2004” is a great sample of what goes on during the course of the Festival. Taking 3 CD’s that run over 3 hours of music, the listener is given a brief but solid idea of what goes on during the course of the Festival. It is impossible to showcase everything with even three disks but clearly the only way the US can experience some of the excitement without being their themselves. Recorded in 2004 this edition is broken up into different genres on each CD. I will give some commentary on the individual disks in order to maintain some sense of the overall release.

CD1 is Black, Death and Thrash Metal and includes tracks by bands like Anthrax, Children Of Bodom and Death Angel. The Anthrax is not the reunited group of 2005 and still features John Bush on vocals. I did not particularly enjoy Ektomorf all that much but did find some interest in the tracks by Unleashed and Orphanage. Cathredal’s track was pretty good as well. I think an additional track by COB would have kicked this CD up a little more as they are intense live. There are Death pieces by Cannibal Corpse and Mayhem and while I am not a fan of either of these groups I do recognize their status in the music world. Those who indulge in the Death genre seem to revere them both.

CD2 lends itself to the Power and Traditional genres. This was my favorite of the three CD’s since it kicks off with Dio and two killer tracks from his band. There is also a contribution from Nevermore, Doro and Kotipelto. Motorhead add two tracks to the CD and of course prove that they are always going to be one of the best Hard Rock bands alive. Doro disappointed me by including “Fur Immer” since it slowed down the momentum a little. She has such great tunes and I felt they should have used a Warlock track like “When East Meets West”. It was nice to hear the guitar solo done by Chris Caffery in the song just the same. There are interesting pieces from Feinstein and Brainstorm who are worth checking out if you have never heard of them before. Weinhold also seemed to have a decent sound to their material and I might research them myself. Blaze Bailey, who sang for Iron Maiden for a couple of their releases brings us a cover of Maiden’s “Fear Of The Dark”. The track featured a different musical approach with some unique instrumentation on it as well as sharing the vocals with Doro Pesch. As I lean towards the Power and Progressive genre more than any others I had wished that more of the CD reflected this particular type of Artists. When you see the full lineup of Wacken, it is loaded with Power and Progressive bands like EdGuy, Stratovarius and the rest.

CD3 is labeled Underground and has the most tunes on it. Besides Raunchy and Zodiac Windwarp I admit some guilt in not knowing anyone else or their contributions to Metal music. This was my least favorite CD in the package yet I did find myself liking the track by Vanguard and Dr. Rock. The first having some sort of Black Gothic thing happening and the second being a little more influenced by the traditional genre. The only upside of the CD3 is the chance to learn a little more about some bands that are not in the Media as much as some others.

Holding at 46 tracks across the 3 CD package they did a great job on it overall. There is a stellar production on it as it sounds live and not canned in any sense. Some live releases are a mess and some are too studio over-produced. There is limited crowd noise and all the nuances of the bands are clear and equal in the final mix. However I did find it a disappointment to not see bands like Nightwish or Opeth on the release. I am guessing that licensing or band compliance kept certain bands from not appearing on the CD and that’s a shame. I felt this would have made the piece a little more special for the listener to feature more of the European mainstream Metal talent. Including too much underground and unheard of stuff might keep people away from purchasing it as many tracks are recorded live on other releases. The CD comes with a 20 page booklet with photos of a lot of the Artists and artwork marquees from the Festival. A double DVD with even more content is slated for release as well. I hope that this becomes a regular release for it is necessary to help showcase Metal music in places where it is stuck in the underground. The Metal movement is returning can you feel it? I know you can.

Track Listing CD1:
1. Anthrax – Indians
2. Anthrax – Only
3. Destruction – Nailed To The Cross
4. Children Of Bodom – Sixpounder
5. Cannibal Corpse – Gallery Of Suicide
6. Mayhem – Pagan Fears
7. Death Angel – Thicker Than Blood
8. Unleashed – Aasgard
9. Orphanage – Five Crystals
10. Ektomorf – I Know Them
11. Ektomorf – Destroy
12. Bal Sagoth – The Emperial Lexicon
13. Mnemic – Ghost
14. Cathedral – Stained Glass Horizon

Track Listing CD2:
1. Dio – Holy Diver
2. Dio – Don’t Talk To Strangers
3. Nevermore – Enemies Of Reality
4. Doro – Fur Immer
5. Kotipelto – Reasons
6. Mystic Prophecy – In The Land Of The Dead
7. Brainstorm – Hollow Hideaway
8. Motorhead – We Are Motorhead
9. Motorhead – Life’s A Bitch
10. Paragon – Green Hell
11. Weinhold – Strike
12. Feinstein – Rebelution
13. I.B.O. – Arschloch Und Spa Dabei
14. Blaze Bailey – Fear Of The Dark

Track Listing CD3:
1. Vanguard – Forgive
2. Reckless Tide – Death Train
3. Reckless Tide – Equality
4. Griffin – The Sentence
5. Hobbs Angel Of Death – Crucifiction
6. Dr. Rock – Wicked Show
7. Dr. Rock – Dr. Rock
8. Everfest – See Me Rising
9. Sufferage – Civilized
10. Gun Barrel – Only A Passenger
11. Gutbucket – 82 Hours Bus Hellride
12. Gutbucket – You Never Know
13. Supersoma – Missing Nola
14. Thora – Christ Abuse
15. Methedras – Wreck ‘n’ Roll
16. Zodiac Mindwarp – Like A Hurricane
17. Raunchy – Summer Of Overload
18. Elakelaiset – Humppa (Jump)

Official Web site: www.Wacken.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.