Metal To Infinity

To me and definitely without a doubt – Headbangers Open Air festival in Germany is one of the most interesting Metal feasts in Europe (along with KIT and Swordbrothers). Not that big as many other Summer festivals but main point here is that the unforgettable spirit of old school Metal still lives at HOA – True Metal heads dressed in denim and leather travel many roads to watch their favourite Metal acts. Forget about Death, Black or any other form of extreme subgenres – HOA means nothing but pure Heavy Metal – each time and every year, bands on the bill are in for the kill with their own ways of glowing steel ranges from NWOBHM / Heavy / Power Metal to almighty US Metal and reunited 80s Hard Rock acts come right on with one mission to complete - delivering the very best in Metal music! Metal To Infinity co-editor Rico aka Officer Nice is a regular visitor of HOA (and other German Metal fests like KIT for example) and since a couple of years he’s the main guy taking care of the reviews for these events – go check our concert reviews over HERE and feel free to read Rico’s experiences / appraisals. 

Well, DVDs like this one means a lot of pure pleasure to me because of the fact it’s hard for me to be present at the fest myself. It’s the second time that hellion Records also bring out a DVD from the festival. Last year they sent the first one – a reflection of HOA 2008 and I was really elated with the final result. Great bands playing their memorable tracks is a lot of fun to watch on a TV screen. I know, it’s not the same sitting on your lazy ass watching television instead of being there where the flame of Metal burns but sometimes, life can make some weird and unexpected twists and turns what force you to stay at home whereas other people enjoy a Metal gig. I know what I'm talking about and I'm pleased again with the release of Headbangers Open Air 2009 DVD which is a double one! 

The visual aspect of the DVDs is fantastic – this edition of HOA was announced as “Time For Legends” and that’s a really good shot to me. The warming up with bands like Bullet, Lick The Blade & Friends (special US Metal act with guys from Destructor), the almighty Q5, Tank and the one and only Vicious Rumors featuring Gary St. Pierre – AWESOME! That was just the first part of the DVD – what follows brought me in some kind of a Metal trance really. I saw an amazing performance of the following bands: Memory Garden, Piledriver with singer Gord Kirchin as the only remaining, original member in the band. Actually they call The Exalted Piledriver nowadays, good songs to enjoy from a band that looks crazy as can be! Young Metal band Enforcer (Sweden) was another good shot but so the best was yet to come. US Metal reigned the stage later on with troops like Jacobs Dream, Exxplorer, Deathriders featuring Neil Turbin – what a great live performance!), Helstar with the songs ‘The King Of Hell’ and ‘Sonic Revellion’ featuring the Vicious Rumors gang – again, amazing but only two tracks which isn’t enough for me actually… James Rivera and his lads deserve more! Last band on Saturday was Manilla Road playing three songs on this first DVD. Damn sure, I still likes the way the bring on their stuff. ‘Road Of Kings’, ‘Cage Of Mirrors’ and ‘Mystification’ brought back the good old spirit of Heavy Metal music! 

The second DVD opens with Zed Yago - a great band started a couple of decades ago with one of the most awesome shemale singers to me named Jutta Weinhold!  Unfortunately Jutta left the ranks and joined forces with Velvet Viper but decided to leave this formation also... later on Jutta made a few solo efforts by the monicker of Weinhold. During HOA 2009 festival, all the present Metal maniacs enjoyed a great performance of the reformed Zed Yago group featuring the new singer Yvonne Durand, wife of the band's guitar player Jimmy. Ask for my personal opinion about her vocal skills and i can tell you right away that Yvonne has a real good voice - she's very talented and the approach with Jutta Weinhold is obviously clear. To be honest, i thought to see the one and only Jutta on the DVD but later on, it seemed like a made a big mistake. Yvonne can see it as a compliment - not everyone can be compared with the almighty Jutta Weinhold... really pleased  with the songs 'Rocking For The Nations' / 'End Of The World' on the DVD! Next eye-catcher was Cloven Hoof – singer  Russ North is absolutely fantastic! Using his voice very high pitching as well as normal, he does it all very easily and with a lot of elegance… I was impressed! Jameson Raid singer Terry Dark climbed the stage and joined the Cloven Hoof ranks for a cover version of ‘Getting Hotter’. Another DVD highlight in the filed of New Wave Of British Heavy Metal came on by next band named Tysondog followed Paradox and France based Killers. Good to watch the one by one but while reading the tracklist on the back of the DVD box, there was more excellent stuff underway… 

First I saw Nightshade with four songs that seem really good to me but honestly  I wasn’t blown away by the vocals who had a rough time taking care of some of the vocal duties it looks like. Great to hear them playing Q5 legendary track ‘Steel The Light’ anyway! Angel Witch appears with three songs – ‘Gorgon’, ‘Sorcerers’ and of course ‘Angel Witch’ allows me to say I had a great time watching these legends of NWOBJM. The Rods is an absolute favourite band of mine and to what I saw on the DVD – this is GREAT! Started with ‘Too Hot To Stop’ followed by a medley ‘Wild Dogs / Nothing Going On In The City / Crank It Up’ and one last shot entitled ‘Power Lover’ made me pounds my fist in the air. Pure nostalgia – FANTASTIC job! I was a bit disappointed in Canadian Thrash Metal act Razor – for some reason, they couldn’t please me like they did way back in the eighties. The songs as played on the DVD were taking from their good old days of existence but still – I wasn’t fully satisfied. 

As bonus material, you can expect a few tracks from Doom Metal acts Nomad Son and Trinakrius. Also US Power Metal gods Vicious Rumors featuring Gary St. Pierre plays one more song during the HOA Warm Up show. Other goodies on the DVD are impressions from both Warm Up show and the rest of the festival including nice and mostly funny interviews done by Neudi from Streetclip TV, Savage Grace, … and Mr Wild Dogs named Matt McCourt. They were also present on the previous edition of HOA 2008 DVD and as always, both guys are made to do this kinda job. 

The sound quality varies from moderately to rather reasonable good but this one has been achieved a progress in comparison with HOA 2008 DVD release. Check it out, DVD1 has a running time of 194 minutes – DVD 2 has 242 minutes of brilliant Metal moments to enjoy (including a lot of bonus stuff)! Pure Heavy Metal mayhem packed and beautiful reflected on two silver shining, glimmering DVDs worth to check out. I won’t leave without the mentioning of the complete tracklist so you can make up your own Metal mind. Don’t wait too long to order – do it right on, right HERE.  More info at: www.hellionrecords.de /  www.myspace.com/hellionrecordsitzehoe

My Points: 89 / 100 (Review by Stefan)  


Thursday 23.04.2009


Make This Garden Burn – Blood Money – Iron Curtain 


Heading For The Toy – Bite The Bullet 


Missing In Action – Pull The Trigger – Teenage Runaway 


He Fell In Love With A Stromtrooper 


Don’t Wait For Me – Soldiers Of The Night – Murder – Six Stepsisters 

Friday 24.07.2009


Utopia – Made In Hell 


Rhyme Of The Elder – Genesis 


Metal Inquisition – The Fire God – Alien Rape 


Black Angel – Curse The Night – Mistress From Hell 


Deceiver Of The Nations – Theater Of War – The Curse Of Anthikrthera 


Beg, Borrow And Steal - Phantasmogoria – Just A Dream 


Metal Thrashing Mad – Soldiers Of Metal – Gung Ho 


The King Of Hell – Sonic Rebellion featuring Vicious Rumors 


Road Of Kings – Cage Of Mirrors – Mystification


Saturday 23.07.2009


Rocking For The Nations – End Of The World 


Conseration – Village Of The Fallen Angels 


Inquisitor – Getting Hotter featuring Terry Dark – The Gates Of Gehenna – Laying Down The Law 


Painted Heroes – Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down – Demons 


Death, Screaming And Pain – Collision Course – Pray To The God Of Wrath 


Les Fils De La Haine – Tais Toi – Killers 


Stay Thirsty – 666 Sixpacks – (Empty) Tankard 


We Will Fight – Dead Of Night – On The Road To Madness – Steel The Light 


Gorgon – Angel Witch 


Too Hot To Stop – Medley: Wild Dogs / Nothing Going On In The City / Crank It Up / Power Lover 


Take This Torch – Violent Restitution – Free Luch – Evil Invaders 


Wednesday 22.07.2009 – Warm Up Show

NOMAD SON: Swallow Grave – Seven Notes In Black

TRINAKRIUS: Massacro – The Executioner

VICIOUS RUMORS: Sonic Rebellion featuring Gary St. Pierre


Warm Up Show interview & impressions

HOA 2009 special impressions & interviews