Movie Review – Wacken 3D – Louder Than Hell (2014)

Experience the biggest metal festival in the world, in 3D, and louder than hell.

Rating4

Wacken 3DIt’s undeniable that Wacken Open Air is the biggest, most exciting and most badass Heavy Metal festival in the entire world. For instance, it only takes couple of days after the festival is over for the next year’s edition to be sold out. If you’ve already had the indescribable pleasure of attending this 4-day monstrous gathering in your life (and I’m pretty sure that if the answer is “yes” you’ve already repeated that metallic ritual many times through the years) you have the chance to go back in time and feel that energy again by watching the awesome documentary entitled WACKEN 3D – LOUDER THAN HELL. And if you’ve never been to Wacken, this is your chance to take a special journey to the heart of the festival, with the 3D screening making you feel like you’re right there with over 75,000 metalheads from all over the world celebrating life and heavy music.

Filmed with 18 stereoscopic 3D cameras during the 2013 edition of the festival, this excellent documentary by award-winning director Norbert Heitker will show you exactly what happens once a year to a calm farming village in the middle of a Northern German countryside, when it becomes the centre of the universe for all things metal. You’ll be able to see in details what it is to camp at Wacken, the daily routine of fans and bands, what musicians think of the festival, and even go crowd-surfing and mud-diving with the more lunatic fans. Not only that, you’ll also have a good time watching some electrifying performances by metal giants such as Deep Purple, Anthrax, Motörhead, Rammstein, Alice Cooper, Lamb Of God, and many more.

12_WackenIn my opinion, as a huge supporter of the underground of heavy music, the best part of the entire documentary is when they focus on some of the national winners of the already famous Wacken Metal Battle, showing what it is to be an up-and-coming band playing at the most important metal festival on earth. There are awesome bands from Uruguay, Romania, Canada and so on showcasing their music to thousands of fans, but my favorite one in terms of creativity and feeling were the Chinese Metal Battle winners Nine Treasures. All members of the band are from Inner Mongolia, with all lyrics being sung in Mongolian, which is beyond incredible. You have to watch it to understand what I’m talking about, and if one day those guys read this review, I would like to ask them to kindly send us their material for review. It would be a huge pleasure for us at The Headbanging Moose to do that.

06_WackenIn case you live in Canada and do not have any plans for tonight (well, even if you do have plans you should definitely cancel them), there will be a special WACKEN 3D – LOUDER THAN HELL “One Night Only Across Canada” event today, October 29 at 7:30pm at several Cineplex theaters. You can check more details at the official Facebook event, see where the movie will be playing by clicking HERE, and also grab your tickets at the official Cineplex website. In addition, following the Cineplex Yonge-Dundas screening in Toronto, Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner of Anvil will be in attendance for a Q&A, and if you cannot make it today but you live near Ottawa the movie will also be playing soon at the Mayfair Theatre, located at 1074 Bank Street, Ottawa, Ontario.

Best moments of the movie: The unique moments of glory provided by the Wacken Metal Battle bands from different countries, the iconic Rammstein playing Du Hast with thousands of fans screaming the lyrics together with the band and, of course, all the classy mud scenes.

Worst moments of the movie: The fact that there were no subtitles when a fan or a band spoke in a language different than English, especially when it was in German. At least the version I saw had no subtitles. Oh, and unfortunately there were no interviews with Lemmy.

Released in 2014 Jumpseat 3Dplus/Wüste Film

Bands and artists featured in the documentary
Rammstein
Alice Cooper
Deep Purple
Motörhead
Henry Rollins
Trivium
Ragnarok
Lamb Of God
Annihilator
Anthrax
…and many more!

Album Review – The Order of the Solar Temple / The Order of the Solar Temple (2014)

A fresh and psychedelic music journey through the realms of heavy music, engendered by a very talented Canuck band.

Rating4

The_Order_Of_The_Solar_Temple_front_coverWhen you put together music genres such as Rock N’ Roll, Hard Rock and Doom Metal, the final result is at least interesting, especially in terms of creativity and feeling. But if you really want to spice things up, simply add to that some nuances of occultism and lots of groove from the dawn of Heavy Metal and you have the excellent self-titled debut album by Canadian Hard Rock/Doom Metal band The Order of the Solar Temple.

Let’s say that if people asked me to describe The Order of the Solar Temple in just a few words, I would call it a psychedelic heavy music journey. This Vancouver-based band was capable of sounding fairly original during the entire album even using only really old music elements in all compositions, mainly due to the above average skills and the passion for music of each musician involved. Not only that, the production of the album, which also seems to be inspired by the music from the 70’s, helps enhance that classic occult sonority regularly found in the music by bands like Blue Öyster Cult and Black Sabbath.

The album opens with the groovy Fallout Woman, a pure Rock N’ Roll song that makes me feel like I’m listening to an album from the 70’s, with highlights to its smooth vocals, soft and melancholic atmosphere and a soulful guitar solo, followed by Aeon Of Horus, a dark tune with lots of Doom Metal elements from bands such as Danzig that curiously starts with an ominous intro but ends in an acoustic way  and, of course, focus heavily on all the obscurity in the lyrics (“Mother Egypt sets the stage for the dawning of an age / Har-par-Khered / Ancient magick is exhumed to free us from our doom / Abrahadabra”) to make the entire song more vibrant and meaningful to the listener. By the way, their classic but unique lyric themes are one of the greatest strengths of the band, staying far away from all the repetitiveness and lack of depth so common in the world of music nowadays.

the_order_of_the_solar_templeGetting back to the album, The Cult (Of Rock’n’Roll) sounds like a “tribute” to the good old KISS, with an awesome work done on riffs and drums, elevating it to the status of best track of the album. Moreover, it’s perfect for becoming a Rock N’ Roll radio hit as it would certainly please not only traditional hard rockers but also any fan of some good quality music. Then we have the psychedelic rhythm and melody of Jervas Dudley, a song that could be summarized as “when Black Sabbath meets Jethro Tull” and also an excellent “journey” for guitar players that enjoy the groove from the 70’s, followed by another fast and classic tune the likes of Deep Purple named Pale Horse, which I’m pretty sure you’ll get addicted to its melodic riffs and keyboards.

The last part of the album consists of the excellent Back Home, a song with lots of elements from good old Blues that sounds like a “pub song” perfect for having a beer with friends; the most Hard Rock track of all, Dominance And Submission, which also reminds me of the good times of Deep Purple, with kudos to Matt “Macabre” Emery for his performance: he might not have the most powerful voice in the world, but it fits perfectly into the musicality of the band. And finally, closing the album we have the obscure track The Order, which is good (especially if you’re a fan of “black magic”), but maybe more variations would make it a more intense song.

Sorry if I kept repeating the expressions “70’s”, “journey” and “psychedelic” every two or three sentences, but there’s no better way to describe the music from The Order of the Solar Temple: it truly is an awesome combination of past and future, carefully brought forth to people like us who live and breathe Rock N’ Roll and Heavy Metal. Even the album art is a tribute to the music that enchanted the world 40 years ago. Not only that, these guys are here to remind us how magic Rock N’ Roll was in its inception and how it can still be exciting even after all those years with the music industry trying to kill everything that sounds real, and we all should thank them for keeping on rockin’ and staying true to the roots of heavy music. And if you don’t want this magic to disappear, you can support the band by listening to their music and purchasing their album at their BandCamp page.

Best moments of the album: The Cult (Of Rock’n’Roll), Pale Horse and Dominance And Submission.

Worst moments of the album: The Order.

Released in 2014 Independent

Track listing
1. Fallout Woman 3:47
2. Aeon Of Horus 8:31
3. The Cult (Of Rock’n’Roll) 3:09
4. Jervas Dudley 6:58
5. Pale Horse 5:31
6. Back Home 5:01
7. Dominance And Submission 5:23
8. The Order 6:37

Band members
Matt “Macabre” Emery – lead vocal, electric guitar, theremin and primordial howls
S. Mulleady – organ, synthesizers, guitar, additional vocals
A. MacGreagor – bass guitar, additional vocals
M. Morrison – drums