Release DetailsLABEL Armageddon Music
RELEASED ON 10/4/2005
Armageddon Over Wacken Live 2004 (3 Discs)
posted on 12/2005 By:
The name rings synonymous with a shitload of drunken assholes watching hack and has-been bands laming their way through sets for four days.
Or that is what one would think if they were to go only by this three disc set of the 2004 (edited for accuracy) festival of pointlessness. When the high points are Mayhem and Bal Sagoth, you gotta' rethink your scene. Truly, as I wandered hopelessly through this forest of boredom, the thought that kept coming to mind was "if this is representative of the current direction of metal then I need to find the exit and get the christ off."
Bad? No. I wish it were. Bad would be something to get enthused about. BORING. My GOD the boredom. Well, not entirely. As I said, Mayhem gets a cut and slays it with relish. And Bal Sagoth also manage to wrestle some real passion from the process. And of course Motorhead is Motorhead...but even Lemmy doesn't sound quite like Lemmy here. He sounds like my elderly uncle from Brighton, which is still better than Warrel Dane in his prime.
There are a few other high points: John Bush's vocals on the two Anthrax cuts go to show why he is probably the best metal vocalist to have been born during and survived the 80s. His voice commands respect and admiration live; always has. I know for a fact you can make a fucking awful singer sound good in the studio - I have seen it done, even participated. But live is when you learn whether a motherfucker has chops. Bush has said chops. If the sound were better I would have been one happy 'Thrax fan.
Destruction plays what is simply their style of speed metal, and frankly it is exactly what this collection needed more of. Love or hate their studio output, they do what they do, and well. Just GO.
Cathedral opens the gates of hell and slices everything that emerges into bite sized chunks. A fantastic, if bass-less cut that almost pulled me back into the whole mess. Vocally, Bush has his rival here.
Orphanage, whom I do not want to listen to, actually present themselves very, very well here. The clean vocals send chills up and down the spine, and they are tight and well recorded.
The main of the recordings are of varying quality, but the performances and bands are so run of the mill as to be punishing. Cannibal Corpse, Death Angel, Nevermore, Ektomorph, Mnemic...whatever. They play their songs, and it's nice that they still can and whatever. Buy the originals...
And then, there are the sad parts. The stuff that puts the uck in suck.
Dio is old, and he sounds old. Whatever kind of power and musicality he may still have in the studio or elsewhere, on this record he sounds like Bob "Oid\m/" Dole.
I remember even back when I was your age I thought Doro Pesch was metal the way Tang was Orange Juice.
J.B.O. sounds like a lecture from your high school guidance counselor over 80s hair metal.
Blaize Bailey? Blaize goddamned Bailey?
Ex umpteen billion fucking vibrato laced power metal acts. Hell. Yeah.
Maybe you actually attended this thing and would like to have a way to remember all those sweaty, drunken bodies pressed together and singing pirate songs for the rest of your life. If so, scoop this right up. But if you just want to hear some great versions of your favorite bands' best songs played live and enthusiastically, forget it. And if you want to feel the power and fury of attending Wacken, get shitfaced and visit a bathhouse. But take the real recordings for your ipod.
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