2012-08-09_11 Party San Open Air 2012, Schlotheim, Germany

After a long year waiting for a new edition of Party San, the festival was finally here and it was over in the blink of an eye. Now we have to wait another year (again....). I don't know who was in charge of the weather but he or she did a great job. No rain, no mud, not too much sun (and too little either). But the weather was just one of the basic ingredients of a mighty fine Party (San). Beer, food, cocktails and friends were some of the other basic necessities. And of course some music....As far as we are concerned we noticed just one downside: the sound. If the wind or a defective PA system was the cause of this problem we're not sure. It was sometimes pretty annoying and that's all we want to say about this. The smoke and great light show were nice for the overall experience although it makes it harder to take good pictures. Party San is not a sleeping fest, in fact it's quite exhilarating, but you can find lots of sleepers near the stage area. Take care of them and don't trip over them.

There would be no Party San without the spectators. People are having fun all over the place. They all have a few things in common: their love of brutal metal and their lust for Party.

As always Party San starts on Wednesday with a special early metaldisco. And of course all over the campsite you can find partying metalheads. Is it an honour to start a festival or is it the worst thing that can happen to a band? This year Dead Congregation had to kick-off the festival. It was dinner time so they played for a pretty empty field. As the gig raged on people started to gather to have a look at the men that were responsible of brutally interrupting their meals. These death metalheads from Greece sure know how to start this festival in the right way, the brutal way!
We're still not sure if In Solitude was the right band for Party San. Their music is more on the heavy and melodic side of the metal spectrum, but they showed us heavy metal can be raw too.
It was a bit hard to here the difference between the two singers. It's a real mixture of styles during the start of the festival. Next is Necros Christos. They really fit on this extreme metal Party. Their doomy death is nice to bang your head on. They even played their almost 10 minutes Doom of Kali Ma / Pyramid of Shakti Love / Flame of Master Shiva from their latest album and that was almost a quarter of the time they were allowed to play. And they grooved on. After banging your head it's nice to lay in the grass and listen to their tunes. Then it was time for the old school black metal band Nifelheim to climb the stage. The vocalist dresses completely over the top, but his performance is how it supposed to be. Full of energy and an evil presentation. He really is into his evil lyrics. They haven't made a album for 5 years, so they only played their old stuff, which isn't really a bad thing, it's black metal after all.

Vallenfyre played their third gig ever here on Party San. But all members are pretty experienced in playing live on stage (Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, At the Gates), so performing on stage is not new (just quite new in this line-up). The influences from the previous mentioned bands is hard to deny. The band has released their first album last year, so it's obvious from which album the setlist was. It all sounded pretty solid, but in our opinion their doomy parts sounded a bit better than the fast parts. Sólstafir mainly played songs from their last two albums. They put up spheric show. Their slow (almost dramatic) sound isn't my cup of tea. The vocalist (I am not even going to try to write his name) sounded off key. I am not sure if he did that on purpose.
The last two acts for this first day are some oldies, Bolt Thrower as headliner, but first we got Sodom. This band is producing metal for over 30 years now and still plays loud, fast and heavy. Their golden (or maybe blackened is a better term) oldies Sodomy and Lust & Agent Orange were great to hear. They didn't forget their latest album either with In War and Pieces. To end the first day of Party San Bolt Thrower was asked to play some tunes. As usual they know how to choose their songs from their whole works. For me it wasn't their best concert I have seen them perform. That doesn't mean it was shitty, no way! After a whole day working and partying I didn't have enough energy to fully focus on the concert. Bolt Thrower is a band, who in my opinion, is better off in a small venue.

Malignant Tumour opened on Friday. The way they looked made them some kind of a parody on themselves. I counted at least one fake beard, one fake moustache and a wig. Nevertheless they played loud and heavy. In style they crawl somewhere between grind, punk and a little bit of heavy metal. Fun to watch (for 15 minutes, then it got boring). One of the bands I had never seen before but was eager to see was Gospel of the Horns. Old school black without paint or show elements. Just music. And they did a good job. It sounded good (at least as long as you stayed near the stage). The band played with power and enthusiasm. No disappointment here. Entrails have their roots in the old school swedish death metal and it's hard to miss that. The drums were much louder than the other instruments and that made it hard to give an opinion about the band, more an opinion about the sound tech (but we don't want to mention that again). When you see a band dressed like surgeons covered in blood, you know it's time for General Surgery, although they also looked like the mad butcher. This kind of outfit worked good for pictures, although it takes your mind away from the music a bit. Dressed like this you cannot make music about gardening, so grind/death it is. Real mosh pit material. 45 minutes of banging and moshing. And finally it was time for Immolation. These death metallers from New York are on the verge of their 25 year anniversary. And in these they have brought us a lot of brilliant material. From the first notes of Close to a World Below the crowd went wild and so was the band. Furthermore they played Majesty and Decay, Under the Supreme and a so what faster version of Unholy Cult. What Bolt Thrower was for most people, Immolation was for me: The death metal masters of Party San 2012.

Ghost Brigade was one of the surprising and promising bands on Party San 2010, but this year it became a bit boring. Good band to get a bite to eat and a new drink. As Nile is one of the more technical bands, they depend of a perfect sound. If not it will sound like shit. You needed to be less than 10 meters from the stage to get the best experience. I liked the first two songs best: Sacrifice unto Sebek and Defiling the Gates of Ishtar. Great death metal. Brutal performance with loads of energy. An Immortal concert is always something to look forward to. All right, they don't always play a perfect set and it's also a fact that some gigs don't sound too good. But it's the show, the feeling you know every song, the feeling of never knowing if this is the last time you can see them. It was great to see them play, but it looked like they weren't all playing the same songs. They started at the same time and they ended at the same time but in between it didn't really add up. It was sometimes hard to figure out which song they were playing. Of course they played Damned in Black, Tyrants and All shall Fall but I am not really sure about the rest. All Shall Fall would have been literally the case if Horg wasn't there keep it all together. Despite of all of this, a lot of people seemed to enjoy their performance, or the drinks.

Early in the morning, around 12.00, Rectal Smegma climbed the stage. The grind fans were ready for them. The real die hard grinders were there with their funny costumes, inflatable animals and other toys. Goregrind might seem the best way get over the usual festival hangover. Rectal Smegma got this opportunity after the cancellation of Rompeprop. The first band on Saturday traditionally must be grind. There is no other way to wake up. This Dutch band got the crowd going and rowing with their powerful set. As you might know Cattle Decapitation isn't your average grind band. They play a little more complicated version of grind. They also use much more death influences then other bands in this genre. But it didn't work out like I had hoped. On stage it was almost a normal grind band. The vocalist was making handicapped faces and was screaming/grunting his brains out. The other band members were working their asses off, but in the end the technical part didn't come out. Too bad. As Archgoat started to play it was hot and sunny and that is not the best weather for fans of black metal. But a lot of them got over their fear of the sun and came to the stage. Although this band plays a different style of black metal than Gospel of the Horns they had to conquer them for the title best black band on the festival. Angelslayers gore throat wouldn't be out of place in any grind or death metal band. But this truly was a good show. They don't play too many shows and that's a pity. And again an American band enters the stage, Incantation takes over. Again a band I haven't seen before, for as far as I can remember. And I would have remembered these guys! They started slow but speeded up very quick. Most remarkable is the incredible grunt John McEntee produces and it seems to cost him no effort at all. Furthermore it's 'just' death metal for 45 minutes. Nice....

Tankard started with two songs that were very suitable for the state the public was in, Zombie Attack and The Morning After. As far as we could see there were a lot of people who looked like zombies with the morning after syndrome. This year Tankard is playing their 30(!!!!) years anniversary tour. That means they play songs from most of the albums, but with 15 albums and only 45 minutes of playing time it's impossible to play from every album. We finally got to meet the girl called Cerveza. Unfortunately I wasn't able to see her very well, because I was just ordering a new beer. I have one favourite to ask singer Andreas: "Please stand still for 10-20 seconds (at least during the first 3 songs) so we can take a picture of you". Party San is nearly over and we need just one more warm up show before Behemoth. Naglfar is good to warm up your ears and neck. Black metal with just a little more melody than usual. They kicked off with Pale Horse and Spoken words of Venom. During the Darkest Road they needed some extra light to find their way so they called upon some flames (burn your eyebrows). They closed with Harvest, a melodic end to make some contrast with the last expected band. Behemoth is back after more than a year of mandatory absence. And lucky for all they're back with Nergal. It seemed he lost a little power in his voice. Maybe the overload of gigs they had the last few weeks were the reason. Again they put up a brilliant show. I don't think Deicide could have done it any better, for those who didn't know: Behemoth replaced Deicide, who couldn't come....again. Ov Fire and the Void was followed by Demigod which was a nice way to start. After more than an hour they ended the show with Lucifer and a silver paper storm. Again this was a great concert and worthy end of this years Party San.
Sa Night
As closure: Cheers to the organization for making this annual Party happen. Thanks to all the bands for their effort. And a big thank you to partying people. See you all next year!

Pictures and review by: Marjaaah & Metaldude666