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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Live review: Powerwolf, Orden Ogan, Xandria at Doornroosje, Nijmegen, 4 October 2015


On the 4th of October, I and a good friend of mine named Jorrick went to the Powerwolf gig in Doornroosje. There were two support acts, Xandria and Orden Ogan. A little before 19.30 we arrived at the venue, where most fans were already waiting to get inside. Once we were in I asked the friendly personal at Doornroosje to let me go and park myself front row. This because if too many people stand in front of me, I would see anything because there were no special spots for people in wheelchairs. It was a great spot and we could see very well from there!

Xandria was the first band of the evening and when you think of it, it might not be the best choice for a support act, because where Orden Ogan fits perfectly with headliner Powerwolf, it seemed to me that Xandria was a little out of their element. Lead singer Dianne van Giersbergen often moved uncomfortably on stage and struggled to keep the audience interested. The rest of the band seemed a little boring to me. Regarding van Giersbergens´ vocal talents I can honestly say she has a beautiful voice and she knows what to do with it. Her vocal range is huge, but I could not always hear what she was capable of because the drums were way too loud, causing the vocals to partially fade away most of the time. The band didn’t use the singer´s many talents if you ask me!

After that it was time for German power-metalers Orden Ogan. From the moment this band got on stage it became clear that the catchy and folk-like themes made a better impression to the audience than the beautiful operatic voice of Xandria. With a lot of humor it wasn’t hard for vocalist Sebastian "Seeb" Levermann to win over the audience. What bothered me though, was the fact that he constantly asked to scream harder and harder, even though most of the audience already did so. It was very distracting. I am there for the music, if I want to hear a singer talk all the time I can always go to a U2 concert. But despite of that, it was a good setlist with very powerful vocals.

I was already aware of the fact that power metal is usually very theatrical and over the top, but Powerwolf takes that to a whole other level! The first thing I want to talk about are the canvasses with absolutely beautiful artwork hanging in the back and on both sides of the stage. These canvasses immediately set the dark and gothic mood, which remains present during the whole show. Vampires, werewolves and religion, these are without a doubt the most important themes in the bands’ music. The canvas in the back showed werewolves hooded in priest cloaks and all band members wore priest sashes and religious crosses. There was even a cross nailed on the microphone stand. Their faces were also painted black and white which made me think of Kiss.

There’s no question on why Powerwolf was the headliner this evening. They were much better equipped than the support acts and the sound engineering was a lot more professional. Everything was perfectly balanced and in harmony with the vocals. But that didn’t actually mean that I could understand what they were singing because there’s a lot of Latin or Gregorian in Powerwolfs’ lyrics. It’s no use to completely recap the show. Instead, I shall cover the parts that I liked the best.

First I would like everyone to know that Powerwolf has an amazing drummer. Man, this guy is absolutely great! His timing was spot on and his drum-solo really kicked ass. The band was probably aware of this man’s talents as well because they put him in the spotlight more than once. I also want to mention the keyboard player. If the man spent ten minutes behind his keyboard that would be all, instead of playing, he constantly ran from one side of the stage to the other while entertaining the audience. He was more like an entertainer than he actually was a keyboard player. At one moment there was even a Powerwolf flag which he was waving above people’s heads. Front man Attila Dorn had his own methods to entertain the crowd. With his slogan “fight for heavy metal” he encouraged them to put their fists in the air and sing along with the songs. Halfway during the setlist he divided the crow into a right side and a left side making it into a cheering contest. Later in the set he raised a golden chalice in his hand to announce that it was time for the song “We Drink Your Blood”.

The most memorable moment of the show was when the audience kneeled on the ground during a song near the end of the show. The crowd literally prayed for heavy metal with Powerwolf as their messiahs. A great sight to behold.

Powerwolf does clearly succeed in their way to put the power in power metal. It was a great show to be part of despite the fact I didn’t know what to expect. Fans of the band are extremely passionate and that amazing to see, however it’s also the reason I sometimes felt a bit out of place. But hey, powerful heavy metal and a great show, what more can a metalhead wish for?

Written by Glenn van der Heijden

Check our review about Powerwolf's latest album Blessed And Possessed here.

Check our review about Xandria's latest album Fire And Ashes here as well as an interview with Steven Wussow here.

Official website Powerwolf
Facebook Powerwolf
Facebook Orden Ogan
Official website Xandria
Facebook Xandria

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