Hard Rock Laager 2006

Event: Hard Rock Laager
Written by: Ivor, drynwhyl
Published: 11.07.2006


Hard Rock Laager 2006 by Ivor (34)
Table of Contents
1 Introduction
1.1 Lineup
2 Friday
2.1 Me, Myself & I
2.2 Herald
2.3 Horricane (by Rainer)
2.4 Tiamat
3 Saturday
3.1 Mannhai (by Rainer)
3.2 Skyforger
3.3 Shadowdances
3.4 Whispering Forest
3.5 Pedigree (by Rainer)
3.6 Deathstars
3.7 Beseech
3.8 Satyricon (by Rainer)
4 Epilogue
5 Links

1 Introduction

For the 5th year in a row Vana-Vigala was shaken by the heaviest festival in Estonia - Hard Rock Laager which translates as Hard Rock Camp. A fitting name for a two-day festival because most people camp in tents anyway. Although Rabarock is the biggest rock festival around, Hard Rock Laager is far more Metal oriented. Even though it means smaller crowds, it also means that more genre specific big bands may headline the festival. Thus, this year offered two very anticipated - different, but excellent - headliners: Tiamat and Satyricon.

1.1 Lineup

16:00 These Broken Remains
17:00 Vigilia Mortum
18:00 Me, Myself & I
19:00 Herald
20:00 Must Missa
21:00 Decapitated
22:00 Metsatöll
23:00 Horricane
00:00 Tiamat

12:00 Hell Can Wait
13:00 Nihilistikrypt
14:00 Nitrous
15:00 Mannhai
16:00 Skyforger
17:00 Shadowdances
18:00 Manatark
19:00 Malicious Death
20:00 Whispering Forest
21:00 Pedigree
22:00 Deathstars
23:00 Beseech
00:00 Satyricon

2 Friday

I went to the festival by one of the special buses that ran to Vana-Vigala that day. Moreover, I was surprised that I was there in time for the first band. That doesn't mean that I went to see them. Unfortunately, the two opening bands, These Broken Remains and Vigilia Mortum, don't really suit my tastes. However, I still got my share of their music. I set up my tent on the camping ground, which this year was far bigger and covered an area beyond the football field it was on. As a side note, given the bigger area, the camping ground left a bit of a desolate impression throughout the whole festival; but one must not complain over the feeling of freedom and space it gave. Lying besides my tent in the Sun, I could easily listen to the music playing on the second stage which was located off the camping ground down a small hill and turned towards the camping ground.

2.1 Me, Myself & I

Hard Rock band Me, Myself & I have been around and about for 10 years already. They've even been to USA. Yet, this was the first time for me to see them live. For some reason I'm not too enthusiastic about their performance at the festival. Although their music drags you along, the pauses made between the songs and the interaction with the crowd were annoying. This happened too often and a lasted a bit too long. I can understand the hot weather, the blazing sun and the need for a drink but somehow I felt that the band was playing for time rather than for the crowd.

2.2 Herald

It's been a while since I last saw Mart Kalvet and Herald on stage but my memories of their gigs a couple of years ago had made a pretty lasting impression. Thus, I was expecting a solid Heavy Metal performance which Herald delivered with ease. Performing songs from their previous album and the fresh promo single "Hevilihas" which, when rendered through a prism of humour, brought to mind an analogy with famous saku lihas that is used to refer to a beer belly. This and some free CDs for the crowd got us cheering. Herald ended their good performance with the mandatory "Heavy Metal Wakes the Beast" and left the stage to great applause.

2.3 Horricane (by Rainer)

Death Metal and keyboards - should this combination even be allowed? Can anything good come of this? Well, certainly if you give the stage to Estonia's own Horricane. Just like the horns decorating their otherwise humble logo, so too adds the use of keyboards a kind of ominous twist to the band's music. The result together with the unusual use of the ride cymbal by drummer Madox is an awesome display of modern Death Metal power. In addition, the sound was close to being perfect and the performance of the musicians so precise that listening to Horricane there with one's eyes closed gave the impression of enjoying the music from a CD. Only beyond full volume. The darkening Summer Solstice sky and the somewhat diabolical atmosphere of Horricane's music resulted in a truly great new wave Death Metal experience.

2.4 Tiamat

Tiamat has been one of the bands that I have wanted to see since discovering them about four years ago. I was surprised when the first band announced for Hard Rock Laager 2006 was Tiamat. The joy of that was overwhelming. Basically, Tiamat alone would have been worth all the trouble of visiting the festival for me.

Having seen Tiamat's DVD a couple of weeks ago, I knew what kind of set list to expect from them. The show was kicked off with "Children of the Underworld," a song first featured on the "Brighter Than the Sun" single. Tiamat continued with a couple of songs from every album starting with "Clouds." I don't recall Tiamat having performed songs from the first two albums in recent times, so "Clouds" is as far back as it goes.

From the beginning Tiamat was awesome on stage and the late summer evening created a perfect atmosphere to enjoy the emotional world of theirs. The band themselves seemed to enjoy the gig. Johan tirelessly kept repeating that they were Tiamat, from Sweden, until Anders commented "No shit, Sherlock!" The memories of the show are vivid and bright, although I must say the whole gig wasn't as colourful as the one on the DVD. One of the reasons is that the stage was smaller and lighting not as powerful. Nevertheless, this was a kicking show, especially "The Sleeping Beauty" and very emotional "Gaia" in the end. It was one memorable experience to have seen Tiamat live. I want those moments back!

1. Children Of The Underworld
2. Cold Seed
3. Whatever That Hurts
4. I Am In Love With Myself
5. To Have And Have Not
6. In A Dream
7. Cain
8. Brighter Than The Sun
9. Clovenhoof
10. Phantasma De Luxe
11. Wings Of Heaven
12. As Long As You Are Mine
13. Vote For Love
14. Love Is As Good As Soma
15. The Sleeping Beauty
16. Gaia

3 Saturday

Saturday morning turned out to be an impossible time to sleep. My short rest ended at about 8 AM when the sun drove me outside; the heat in the tent being unbearable. Thus, I had the wonderful opportunity to enjoy the weather and fry myself for about the next 5 hours, skipping the first two bands of the day, Hell Can Wait, the Estonian AC/DC, and Nihilistikrypt. The first thing I went to check out was Nitrous and although they are good at what they do, after a brief glance at their performance I decided to wait for Mannhai.

3.1 Mannhai (by Rainer)

Hard Rock Laager has been consistent in providing a variety of musical genres through the years. And for sure Stoner Rock deserves to be represented. This year our northern brothers forming perhaps Finland's most well-known Stoner group Mannhai gave a small detour to the hedonistic side of human existence - sex and drugs. Not only did they preach it, former Amorphis vocalist also provided a living example. I thing the crowd in front of the stage did not find it difficult to relate to what was radiating from the stage - it was already the second festival day and many a metalhead had an army of conquered bottles behind him. After Mannhai played "Gazers at the Red Hot Stones" I was satisfied. A great song, allegedly talking about the pleasures of sauna. Afterwards one could get a glimpse of the band in the sauna bus; so these guys surely knew what they were talking about!

3.2 Skyforger

Having heard mostly excellent comments on Folk Metal band Skyforger, about them being as popular in Latvia as Metsatöll in Estonia, I was really expecting something stunning. But, as it turned out, Rainer's comment a while earlier turned out to be the closest to the truth. Skyforger seem to have a quality of being boring on stage. In fact, so boring that I almost fell asleep to their music. If I am to draw a parallel between Skyforger and Metsatöll, I'd conclusively say that Skyforger's music is too one sided, a quality which Metsatöll seems to have been able to avoid in their works.

3.3 Shadowdances

When Shadowdances performed at Green Christmas festival last December I only managed to get some 15 minutes of their show. However, back then they left an impression of something that I would have liked to see in its entirety. Thus, I was really waiting for this new opportunity. Shadowdances' music is very emotional and reminds very much of their idols Anathema whose cover "Fragile Dreams" concluded the show. Even though I loved Shadowdances on stage there was something amiss with their performance. Most likely it has to do with the blazing sun, which is not really fitting for their music and left a bit of a pale image of the band. In the dark of the night Shadowdances would have had a deeper impact on the crowd.

3.4 Whispering Forest

Whispering Forest has been one of the bands I am always pleased to see live. As someone remarked, Whispering Forest with choir had definitely the most interesting sound check. Moreover, the performance was also great and turned neatly into a fashion show; their lead singer Vika switched her dresses at every possible moment. Even though, the evening was still young and the light bright, Whispering Forest managed to reach out to the crowd from the stage and make their performance enjoyable. In the end Mart Kalvet also joined the band on stage for the sake of the old times. About a year ago, Whispering Forest changed their musical direction a bit and I thought long how to describe their music. Finally I came to conclusion that the band has a similar touch as Within Temptation on their first album "Enter." However, this comparison is to be taken more like a starting point for an argument than a conclusive opinion.

3.5 Pedigree (by Rainer)

You can either like or dislike Pedigree but you won't argue that their performances carry energy. And this is basically what every Industrial band worth its salt should have. There were two interesting cover song surprises this year at the festival. First Shadowdances played NIN's evergreen "Hurt" and did it quite well. Perhaps owing to the fact that there is little difference between Reznor's original, Johnny Cash's and Shadowdances' versions. Perhaps because the message and the atmosphere of the song is inherently incapable of changing drastically in the interpretation of various musical minds. This is can be due to the fact that "Hurt" has probably come as close to speaking the truth as it is possible. Secondly, Pedigree performed Type O Negative's "Black No. 1" for which I - and I am sure also all the black people at this year's festival - sincerely thank them. It's a great song and Pedigree managed to communicate it well.

The thing I probably will remember the most of Pedigree's live was the use of harmonica in one of the songs. This was really awesome and deserves a lot of praise - mixing Industrial rawness and everyman's traditional instrument in such a crazy and unexpected way. Keep on sailing, guys!

3.6 Deathstars

Having skipped Pedigree I was not feeling like I wanted to see Deathstars too. I think I was a victim of prejudices. However, when the first song started on stage and reached me at the camping ground, I came to think that maybe they are worth checking out after all. Thus, I found myself in the crowd, listening to catchy music that was coming off the stage. A mix of glamour, dark Metal, a touch of Gothic and Electronic - that is Deathstars. I wouldn't go as far as say that their show made me want to listen to them but their performance was a pleasant interlude.

3.7 Beseech

Beseech has been one of the first bands on my to-listen-to list for a long while. Yet, it came out so that the first time I listened to them was live. And for that I'm grateful because Beseech made a huge impression on me. Their vocalists Lotta Höglin and Erik Molarin easily pulled the crowd along with the band and the music was thoroughly enjoyable even though the sound may not have been the best. The band performed many memorable tunes, like "A Bittersweet Tragedy," "Last Obsession," their cover of ABBA's "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme" and the impressive "Lost" which Lotta sang accompanied by Mikael Back on keyboards. Beseech was a definite discovery of the festival for me.

3.8 Satyricon (by Rainer)

With all due respect to Satyricon, I would have never thought that they could be such a strong live act. Although Hard Rock Club has brought many great bands to Estonia throughout the years, I believe Satyricon is by far the best choice. Moreover, I can't think of any other band that could beat this year's headliners in Vana-Vigala. To be honest, I was feeling a bit the same after Katatonia's live last year but the Norwegian extravagant rebels in Black Metal proved to conquer the midnight fields in a greater way. The atmosphere I found myself in amidst Satyricon's awesome show goes beyond the scope of words.

After the human drum-beast Frost warmed up the drum-kit the stage was set for "The Pentagram Burns" to kick off the show - an introductory specimen of their new material from the latest "Now, Diabolical" album. Along with "Delirium" a number of songs later Satyricon showed the might of their most up-to-date musical condition - one does not need blast beat and ultrafast riffs to carry the audience into an eerie state of mind. Their second song "Dominions of Satyricon" from "The Shadowthrone" album sounded as rich and powerful as though it wouldn't have been written a decade ago. Just like Satyr commented, the title track of the newest album made the crowd go crazy and diabolical. "K.I.N.G" - the band's latest video representative carried on igniting the souls gathered beneath the dark blue sky.

Next, the ground-breaking riffs of Black Sabbath blended in perfectly with the catchy single "Fuel for Hatred" from the "Volcano" album. The hordes of hands pulsating in the air showed that Satyricon have discovered the key to get the people moving. "Now, Diabolical", "K.I.N.G" and "Fuel for Hatred" are all songs that need no blast beat and sophisticated ultrafast riffs to make up a great song.

One cannot help but admire Satyr's ability to find things to say to give the crowd something they can relate to. Apart from the great songs, reminding us about our common heathen roots and cultural space in bygone years is something to be greatly thankful for. This is something worth remembering as we are fighting our way; not becoming another repined bastard nation. And as an attempt to clarify this point even further, Satyricon played "Mother North" as bonus track. "How can they sleep while their beds are burning?" - this was worth contemplating on as Estonia sang together with Satyricon. The crowd singing the melodies of the "Nemes Divina" album - this is a special Black Metal experience, one that is hard to forget in this lifetime.

1. The Pentagram Burns
2. Dominions Of Satyricon
3. Now, Diabolical
4. Du Som Hater Gud
5. K.I.N.G
6. Repined Bastard Nation
7. Delirium
8. Fuel For Hatred
9. Mother North

4 Epilogue

In conclusion I can only say that this year has been one great Hard Rock Laager for us. I've enjoyed the company of friends, the great weather and the line-up. Although you cannot like every single band there is, the festival is diverse enough to offer something for everyone. The only thing I wonder about is when someone will bring a good Prog Metal act over here. That's the only genre that is missing from the festival. Maybe next year, who knows...

5 Links

Me, Myself & I: http://www.mmi.ee
Herald: http://www.metal.ee/herald
Horricane: http://www.horricane.com
Tiamat: http://www.churchoftiamat.com
Mannhai: http://www.mannhai.com
Skyforger: http://www.skyforger.lv
Shadowdances: http://www.shadowdances.666.lt
Whispering Forest: http://www.whisperingforest.net
Pedigree: http://www.pedigree.org.ee
Deathstars: http://www.deathstars.net
Beseech: http://www.beseech.net
Satyricon: http://www.satyricon.no

Special thanks to Hard Rock Laager and Rainer for the collaboration. Apologies to those who waited long, collaboration takes a bit more time than I thought.



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Comments: 7  
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Bad English - 11.07.2006 at 22:51  
Damn one of my dreams was see live whispering forest, so I miss it, hope thay had soem more shows in soon future.
Shadownadnces, I never had seen this Lithainian band live, but songs are great,
Skyforger, I had seen them enought
Beseech well I love them, so damn I miss it,
About tiamat I like old Tiamat, new not so, but still fun, I miss so damn great festival.

Ivor Does this Beseech chick in real lives locks so cute how in pics
Bad English - 12.07.2006 at 01:06  
Henrik it was about me well Im not drunk today and well Im...alcoholic cheers Tequilla
Bad English - 12.07.2006 at 14:03  
Written by Henrik on 12.07.2006 at 09:18

Hehe, I was actually referring to myself. I apologize for any inconvinience I may have caused.
Alcoholic cheers ? Fuck yeah, man.
Drunken salutes to Latvia and Lithuania aswell. So glad to have seen so many of our Baltic neighbours at HRL2006.

Ok :friends: I just think it was about me, because soem well lets say my grammer isnt perfect, and I want there,I want go, but money, money, money, maybe next tiem but those bands I just want see live,
And it prooves Estonia are metal cappital of Baltic States, Lithainia are well some bands remeber it, but latvia are province sienwhere in Sibiry, it was about metal, because well maybe Whispering Forest come, same about Shadowdances, but no Beseech and Tiamat

Cheers friend, I hadse soem lil' bottle of Vanna Tallina what i by on farry and forgot drink, this is perfect time for it.
Markku - 12.07.2006 at 20:36  
Nice article. Yeah, the festival was great as always. I actually liked Skyforger's live act, maybe the interludes were a bit repetitive but overally the show was good.
UnholyMenace - 17.07.2006 at 23:53  
Too bad I couldnt go this year. It would have been great to see Decapitated and Satyricon live. Hope Ill be there next year and the line-up will be as good or even better than this years one.
.:Jux:. - 21.07.2006 at 10:40  
All I have to say is WTF!!?? Skyforger live was absolutely brilliant. That time I really felt that we the Baltics are borthers afterall ... or atleast bloodbrothers when the time comes. If I had to put top 3 ... ok 5 personal favorite performences, it would be:
1. Satyricon
2. Decapitated
3. Skyforger
4. Horricane
5. Herald
Slyfang - 29.07.2006 at 02:41  
yeeah.. pedigree also covered PJ Harvey's 'A Perfect Day Elise' and Shadowdances did Anathema's 'Fragile Dreams'

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