Monday, August 04, 2008

Heavy Duty Rock and Roll

Via Spiegel Online comes an interesting article (another one is also available in English, but for some reason they seem to have taken all the interesting bits out...) about the Wacken Open Air music festival.

Wacken is a farming village in Schleswig-Holstein, population 1800. It seems like a quiet little place.

Wacken Open Air, in contrast, this year featured bands such as 3 Inches of Blood, Hatebreed, and Massacre. (CAUTION: a couple of these links lead to crunching guitars and furious wailing. Not the sort of thing you necessarily want to broadcast at your workplace. Though I suppose that depends on your workplace.)

Iron Maiden headlined.

The festival -- which has grown tremendously since it began in 1990 -- attracted some 75,000 fans of this kind of music.

The locals really do not seem to be the sort of people you think of when you hear the words 'death metal'.

But still, they seem to be really good sports about the whole thing.

And, so far as I can tell from the reports I've read, there is a remarkable amount of, um, harmony between the residents and their guests.

The weird charm of this event seems to have been central in the mind of director Cho Sung-hyung when she made it the subject of her film 'Full Metal Village' .

Here is a sort of trailer-type thing, which makes for good watching, as worlds collide:

Not least since I've been re-discovering my inner-metalhead recently (though my tastes run a bit more toward Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Motörhead than, say, Cannibal Corpse; nonetheless, I'm open-minded about these things) this looks like great fun.

I would like to think the atmosphere is as good as it seems from the articles and videos. (Although a toilet was set on fire at the festival this year, the police said things were -- all things considered -- very peaceful. You see, heavy metal is all about love. No, really.)

And happily, it gives me another excuse to offer a Mountain Goats video:

'The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of Denton'

So, till next time, remember kids... Hail Satan!

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