Review by OFFICER NICE
Metal To Infinity
takes more than a volcano to destroy Keep It True!!!!!
These were the exact words at Oliver’s T-shirt when he announced the surprise
acts I will tell more about later. God damned, I was nervous when the volcano,
with the name I can’t even pronounce, collapsed to close almost every West
European airport. Man can’t fight nature but looking back to these two days it
seems nature can’t beat Oliver! I was thrilled when the KIT organization wrote
at their website the festival would definitely take place, no matter the
misfortunes. They refused to give in and I can only respect this spirit to not
disappoint the bands and even more important; the international crowd! Oliver
also asked to support him through these hard days and everybody did; the
clearest proof is the fact the fans made once more an unforgettable edition of
the KIT festival, a ‘True’ Metal party!
were, when the line-up was announced, seven bands I really wanted to see; CANDLEMASS, FIFTH ANGEL, ANACRUSIS, SIREN, HADES, SAVAGE GRACE and
OBSESSION.A few days before the festival I was a bit down because HADES
and CANDLEMASS cancelled their
gigs but it couldn’t stop me travelling this distance.
case of CANDLEMASS it was a bizarre story because in everyone’s opinion,
also mine, there were possibilities to make it to Germany. The band told Oliver
they were afraid that they wouldn’t make it back on time for work on Monday…
Strange, because on Sunday – day of return – the most problems were as good
as solved at the airports and Germany-Sweden isn’t the biggest trip. I met
Robert Lowe, their singer and it seems he wasn’t at all happy because of the
fact CANDLEMASS cancelled. Not that
he said anything about it but you could see on his face he wanted to face this
public on stage… It must have been hell for him and I wonder if this will have
consequences? The future will tell… Everybody was talking about this
cancellation because it would have been awesome witnessing the “Epicus
Doomicus Metallicus” special.
SIREN cancelled before and due the volcano THOR
and WHITE WIZZARD were
forced to cancel their show too.
The last minute replacers were MORTICIAN,
WARRANT, ROXCALLIBUR and
OMEN as the headliner on Friday.
took off, the Belgian connection, on Friday morning and only the usual traffic
jam around Brussels delayed our trip. The weather was good, we were in the right
mood to face another edition and we ready for two more unforgettable days of our
lives! “Keep It True” is so much more than the music; it’s about drinking
beers, making fun with international friends we only see here, buying plenty of
CD’s, eat as unhealthy as possible, waking up with a headache… But of course
Heavy Metal is the main reason to travel so far and we’re not the only one.
I’ve noticed once more people from around the world, even a fan from Brazil
travelled to the Tauberfrankenhalle.
more it was impossible for me to witness every band. First band I was able to
see was EMERALD
from Holland! These old time Metallers seems to have the time of their live and
as usual the international crowd was enthusiastic from even early in the
afternoon. A few words in Dutch to check out the homeland fans were present and
yes, they were! EMERALD delivered a
good and traditional Heavy Metal show!
from the USA was a band I was looking forward to. In the car we were
listening to their latest album and we could only decide this is indeed a very
strong band. Two good guitarists, a very strong singer and catchy songs! Also on
stage OBSESSION did a good job
and it didn’t cost much of their energy to make the fans scream for more. Mike
Vescera is a fantastic singer, once again he proved it, making this gig more
than enjoyable! The band delivered us oldies and tracks from “Carnival of
lies”, all were magnificent. Without any doubts OBSESSION made themselves popular on this festival and the
dynamic crowd pleased them, that was obvious!
band most people really wanted to see was ANACRUSIS.
The band is back again and their previous re-release by Stormspell Records
proves they’ re still out there to deliver us first class technical Thrash
Metal. I saw the band many years ago, as a support act of DEATH but I admit I
don’t remember much from it. During the years I’ve bought all of their
CD’s and although it isn’t the easiest kind of music they have something
addictive. A song I really wanted to hear was “Fighting Evil”, one of their
best songs in my opinion. Other songs I remember are “I Love The World”,
“Terrified” and “Butcher’s Block”. I adore the darkness in it and ANACRUSIS
was able to perform it perfectly. ANACRUSIS
stood strong by performing this Progressive kind of Thrash Metal on stage and
the public was clearly fond of them. Kenn Nardi still contains his special –
yet good sounding- voice and especially Kevin
Heidbreder seems to be a charismatic man. I met him after the show and next to a
fantastic guitarist he’s also a very friendly guy. ANACRUSIS
innovated the Thrash Metal genre so many years
ago and they delivered us songs from every single album. Nor the fans nor he
band showed any weaknesses, making this a very strong performance! Let’s hope
the band will work hard at a new album to tour soon after…
in row was WATCHTOWER,
a band I have mixed feelings about. At the one hand I worship their
ultra-technical kind of Metal with high pitched vocals, on the other hand
they’re at some points far too difficult. I was a bit worried how this band
would sound on stage. These guys seem not to take their selves too serious and
dressed their self up – on a pleasant way – when they showed up. Alan
Tecchio for example wore some stupid old motor helmet with some kind of desert
glasses on his face. I didn’t recognize him at first and for sure I asked a
friend afterwards if it was indeed Alan Tecchio… He was! His clean vocals were
amazingly strong during the show and WATCHTOWER seemed to have plenty of fans.
The mix during the concert wasn’t always perfect, although their songs are
asking for it and that was a pity.
Anyway I witnessed some amazing musicianship, spectacular solos and
astonishing vocal sounds. But I admit I didn’t lose my mixed feelings about
this band but the international crowd didn’t argue about it….
toured Europe shortly before their appearance at the Keep It True festival but
unfortunately I didn’t see them in Belgium. I heard the band failed during a
previous tour some years ago but that didn’t keep me longing to see them
finally on stage. Their albums are ‘classic ones’ in the US Metal style and
it was amazing to see them perform tracks like “The Dominatress”, “Trial By
Fire” and “We Came, We Saw, We Conquered”. The band was supported by
ROXXCALIBUR guitarist Roxx Kali from which I’ve read he’s an official member
now. I saw this guy at stage before and believe me if I say he’s a fantastic
guitarist, even fascinating and for ‘one hundred percent’ a pure Metal Head!
The hard hitting rhythms, the sharp riffs, the high pitched vocals… all were
included in this gig!
I saw OMEN before at the KIT festival, to be exact at the tenth edition. It was a good show back then but how would they act as headliner? Their appearance to end the first day, to stand in for CANDLEMASS, was after all obvious. The band was as a matter of fact already in Europe with SAVAGE GRACE and therefore it was a logic and easy decision to add them, as another American band, to the festival. I have always been a fan of the old OMEN but since George Call from ASKA joined them I’m even a bigger fan. George owns a fantastic voice and gives without any doubts the most exclusive ‘extra touch’ to OMEN since J.D. Kimball (RIP) left the band. George Call is the strongest singer the band ever contained and I adore it when he uses all of his vocal capabilities, like he does with ASKA. In some tracks he gave us a high scream and these personal touches lifts the band, in my opinion, up to a higher level!
OMEN proved being a true headliner for this kind of festival and their show was extraordinary, better than a few years ago. I’ve been told the next album will probably be released at the end of this year and it’s one to look forward to. One new song was played this evening and believe me if I say it sounded great! For the rest OMEN spoiled us with all time classics!
was impossible to enter the hall when the first band appeared but I’ve
This American Progressive Metal band released several albums and once more I was
astonished how good this crowd knows this kind of music. The band delivered a
decent show for a smaller public, seems to contain good musicians and although
their music isn’t always that easy I’m convinced they left stage with a good
is a band that will never disappoint the crowd. Their albums are great, their
live performances are even better. This traditional kind of Heavy Metal
is strongly empowered and it is the second time the band blows me away. A
several years ago I saw the band at the Swordbrothers Festival and they did a
perfect job back then. They did it once more right now and to me this band was
programmed way too early. RAM deserves
a higher place in the line-up and I’m sure their fans proved me right…
Oscar Carlquist is a fantastic singer and a perfect front man! Awesome gig!
has never been my band but I took my time for them. Not that they really
convinced me right now. Nevertheless also this band has true fans amongst the
public, enjoying every single song… Same counts for WARRANT,
the German Metal band who was invited to fall in. In Germany they’re still
immense popular so it wasn’t that difficult to please the crowd. Ending with
“Anti-social” was nice, but it wasn’t a memorable concert to me… In
between played the Bulgarian KALAPACS.
I admit I have never heard about this band but they did a great job. Their front
man seems to be a pure ‘metal beast’ and what he did was more than enjoyable
and not only for me… It seems there were fans out there because KALAPACS was
a very big fan of Harry Conklin and his performances with JAG PANZER and TITAN
FORCE in the past blew me away, left me behind with eyes wide shut. I consider
myself as a big fan of this man but I have never really appreciated SATAN’S
Their album “Metal from hell” doesn’t mean anything special to me and even
Harry Conklin’s (Leviathan Thisiren) voice didn’t convince me at this
release which brand is a very weak production. On stage there was no discussion
about Harry’s vocal capabilities and he’s still one of the best Metal
vocalists on earth. The fact he appeared with
SATAN’S HOST didn’t change this but after all I was disappointed. Not
that the band didn’t do their best to please their fans but at some points it
sounded too chaotic to me and this concert wasn’t exactly what I expected from
it. The weak production of the first album is a fact but I was hoping the band
could make the songs any catchier on stage. They didn’t in my opinion but
that’s only a pity to me, certainly not for the fans out there who had the
time of their live…
OF PAN TANG
appeared a few months ago at the Heavy Metal Maniacs festival and I’ve read
their concert was fabulous. I cannot compare because I wasn’t there but this
time TYGERS OF PAN TANG did a fantastic job as well! This NWOBHM band is still
kicking ass and you can see these guys are enjoying their reunion. It is always
a pleasure to witness a band that get pleasure from their very own concert and
their enthusiasm made the public going wild! New stuff is coming our way but the
classic ones like “Wild Cat” and “Slave to freedom” still means a lot to
me! It’s obvious this eighties kind of Heavy Metal is far from dead and the
band fitted perfectly on the bill of this festival! TYGERS OF PAN TANG is a
first class live band and these lads are still strong enough to please us in the
year I remember the crowd was singing along, between two gigs, with the DEMON
song called “Don’t Break The Circle”. It was played through the speakers
just before the NWOBHM anniversary show and I remember it gave me cold shivers
back then. I suppose it was a good reason to invite the original formation on
stage. Anyway we can’t deny DEMON released some classics. Also these guys are
“middle aged” now but believe me if I say nobody noticed it. DEMON has
always been a very instrumental band and their song writing is a strong point.
Not that every track during this gig blew me away but when the crowd was singing
along with “Night Of The Demon” and of course “Don’t Break The Circle”
once again cold shivers were making part of me. I saw every single person in the
hall sing along with this track and it must have felt fantastic for these guys
to see how the crowd, thirty years after DEMON was formed, freaked out!
was a special show announced for this festival but Oliver kept it secret. For a
little part it was clear ACID
would appear on stage because a signing session was announced. Indeed Kate from
ACID was asked on stage and she was extremely nervous. “Max Overload” was
played and ‘the bitch’ was surprisingly strong! I heard there will never be
again a reunion of ACID again and that’s a disappointment after this act.
Afterward Kate seems to be surprised because plenty of people asked her
autograph or wanted to be with her on photo. On this festival it doesn’t
surprise me at all because this crowd knows the classic ones!!! And yes, Kate
should be proud being the very first Belgian Metal head ever on stage at the
Keep It True festival!
The second part of the surprise act was a TRIBUTE TO MIDNIGHT. At the 8th of July 2009 this Metal God, singer of CRIMSON GLORY, died and it was another big loss for the Metal community. I can only respect the fact KIT honored the man who appeared on some of the most remarkable Metal albums ever written. CRIMSON GLORY was one of the best US Metal bands ever, lots has to do with Midnight’s incomparable voice.
Due to circumstances the vocalists, who should have appeared on stage for this tribute, were replaced by Mike Vescera and Harry Conklin. Both didn’t have much time to practice their songs but no matter how good these singers are, once more was proved how unique Midnight’s voice really was. Musical wise there weren’t any problems but nor Mike nor Harry could deliver the magic Midnight was worshipped for. Three songs were played to end with “Lost Reflection” through the speakers… It made the crowd calm, something I have hardly seen before at this festival. I suppose a lot of people were anyway touched by this tribute and I didn’t hear anybody criticize the fact the tribute ‘an sich’ wasn’t really a blast.
saw lots of people staring at the pictures of Midnight, on a big screen next to
the stage. A moment of lucidity, that was what this tribute was meant for and it
worked out! Midnight and CRIMSON GLORY will unfortunately never make it to this
festival but tonight at least Midnight’s spirit was present. Rest in peace my
friend, you will never be forgotten!
FIFTH ANGEL is a band that released two fantastic albums in the eighties to vanish for a long time. This band was far underrated but I suppose everybody knows classic songs like “In The Fallout” and “The Cathedral”. Peter Orullian, a man I saw before with HEIR APPARENT, was asked to replace Tim Branon behind the microphone. He had only two weeks to rehearse but he did a fantastic job. FIFTH ANGEL is a very professional band and their strong song writing could be witnessed here.
classic ones could be heard and the band didn’t take much time between the
songs. The fans were enthusiastic, singing along with every single track. Fast
fingered guitars, great arrangements, fantastic vocals, a classic and
unforgettable show! I am glad I finally saw this band because it was another one
I was longing for to witness. Thanks to the organization of the Keep It True
festival another dream came true…
matter the misfortunes Oliver suffered, this was once more another memorable
edition! I saw unique concerts and the atmosphere was once more ‘top’! No
fights, no drugs, no unsolvable problems… Metal fans might look though but
even bartenders from the neighborhood said this public was once more fantastic.
I had fun and I’ll be back again next year to see MALICE, GRIFFIN, VICIOUS
RUMORS (with Carl Albert’s son), SATAN
(original line-up), OSTROGOTH (First Belgian band ever!!!), SLAUTER
XSTROYES and still unknown headliners. Buy your tickets as soon as possible and
keep your eyes on http://www.keep-it-true.de
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