|Date:||11th to 13th August|
After two long years, the legendary Party.San Open air took place from August 11 to 13. For me a special occasion, because it should be my tenth visit. With a more than good line up my expectations were high and what can I say, I was not disappointed.
After quickly setting up my tent, the first day started with High Spirit as the first band for me. The Party.san is known to book exotic bands, which at first glance may not necessarily fit on a festival that is dominated by black and death metal bands. And once again the organizers have proven a lucky hand. Despite the warm weather High Spirit ruled hard! Singer Chris Black knows exactly how to heat up an audience. From the main stage I went directly to Total Hate, who played on the smaller tent stage. It quickly turned into a witch’s cauldron. The German black metal band spread a gloomy atmosphere. Especially drummer Tobias Bezold doesn’t seem to be human, unbelievable how fast and brutal someone can play.
After a short lunch break at the Green Republic food stand, (many thanks for the delicious food at this point) Sinners Bleed were already on stage. Unfortunately, there were technical problems, especially concerning the microphone of the singer. But instrumentally the guys delivered a more than solid show. If you like technical death metal, you definitely got your money’s worth here.
My first big highlight should be Der Weg einer Freiheit. You could tell how proud the black metal quartet was to finally play at Party.san. Matching the sunset, songs like “Morgen“, “Lichtmensch” or “Zeichen” conveyed a breath-taking atmosphere. Maybe not “trve” and “grim” but for me, this band has been one of the absolute best black metal combos from Germany for years. What was clearly proven with this gig!
Cannibal Corpse were the headliner for the first day. I think there is hardly a better song than “Scourge of Iron” to start a gig! In general, I found the idea very interesting to start the set with slower songs like “Evisceration Plague” and the just mentioned opener. But this should change quickly when they clearly step on the gas pedal with “Fucked with a Knife” or “Kill or Become“. Especially positive to mention is Death metal mastermind Erik Rutan, who fits very well in the current band line-up. Whether you find the humour and jokes of George Fisher funny or not is up to you but one thing cannot be denied, this gig was more than good. A perfect end for a warm first day.
The second day remained similarly hot. Matching the midday heat, LIK from Sweden tore up the mainstage with their HM2 chainsaw sound. Rarely have I seen so many people in front of the mainstage so early. But it should be worth it. In a good mood the Swedes played hits from each of their albums they released so far. Especially songs like “Necromancer” or “Le Morte Homme” made your neck ache. Every now and then, the wind puts a spanner in the sound’s works, but that shouldn’t diminish the gig.
A bit unusual was the line-up of Malevolent Creation, who were only three piece on stage. Unfortunately, Phil Fasciana was missing. But even without him the band worked very well as a trio. Especially the song selection was on point, mainly classics from albums like “The Ten Commandments” and “Retribution” were played. I wouldn’t have thought that Malevolent Creation would work so well without Brett Hoffmann (R.I.P), a more than successful surprise!
Misery Index are a force to be reckoned with. They are tight as hell, when it comes to their live performances. Their gig this year should be no exception. With a new album released a few weeks ago no prisoners were taken in the mosh pit. Besides classics like “Manufacturing Greed“, “Ruling Class Cancelled” and “Traitors” they also played songs from their latest release. During “Infiltrators” and “Complete Control” one or the other fan went bonkers in the pit.
Even after the gig Misery Index clearly showed why I like this band so much. At the signing session they took their time for every fan. A short chat with Jason and Mark and of course one or the other vinyl was signed.
After some mango shakes the heat was slowly enjoyable. Shout out to the Afghan food stand!
Profanity teared everything and everyone apart on the small stage. Of course, you cannot deny their love for Suffocation or technical Death metal in general. Besides “The Autopsy” and “Melting” they even played “Catatonia” as a cover form New Yorks legendary death metal band at the end. A very good performance, which really woke up the audience.
Without losing much time, I immediately went to the main stage. There the Dutch death metal legends Asphyx opened their set with “Botox Explosion“. Singer Martin van Drunen obviously had fun to finally be back at Party.san. If a band is a welcome guest here, then it’s Asphyx. Of course, classics like “Death the brutal way“, “The Rack” and as a crowning finale “Last one on earth” were played. Rarely had I seen so many old men going completely ape shit in the pit, insane.
Carcass then had the honour to end the second day. Even though I’m not a particularly big fan of “Torn Arteries“, I really enjoyed hearing the newer songs live. In general, Carcass delivered live! When they performed “Incarnated Solvent Abuse” I couldn’t hold back and started making a fool out myself. Jeff Walker wasn’t really in a talkative mood. Less words and more classics like “This Mortal Coil“, “Corporal Jigsore Quandary” and “Heartwork” made the crowd go nuts. There is nothing to complain about, Carcass did their job more than well. A worthy ending for the second day.
Since the after-show party went a little longer than expected, I slightly overtired managed to see Nunslaughter on the last day. “Power of Darkness” and “Satanic Slut” worked better than any coffee though. With a lot of playing mood and a punky attitude Nunslaughter had a lot of fun while performing. Especially drummer Joe Lowrie enjoyed fooling around his kit.
I didn’t have too much time after their gig, because Bösedeath were already entering the tent stage. All wrestling fans got their money’s worth with songs like “Cthulu Clothline“. “Cantona Facekick Festival“was the perfect title for making a statement against right wing scum. It didn’t take long until a bigger crowd walked around in a beautiful circle pit. Brutal Death metal was the right decision after two long and warm days. Bösedeath delivered!
For the next band I stayed directly in the tent. Scalpture, who are currently making a lot of noise in the underground scene with their album “Feldwärts“, rolled over the small tent stage like a tank. Already from the first song I was completely convinced how much the current hype is justified. But the rest of the audience probably felt the same way. “To End All Wars” made the crowd escalate completely. You can’t deny their Bolt Thrower influence and I love it. For me, this performance was one of the best I’ve seen in the last few days.
From one highlight to the next. In 2018 Blood Incantation were an insider tip for some metal heads when they destroyed the tent stage at Party.san back then. But with the release of “Hidden History of the Human Race” they have made a name for themselves. I still wonder if Blood Incantation are even human, because rarely have I seen bands performing as tight and on point as this one. Whether it’s “Awakening From the Dream of Existence to the Multidimensional Nature of Our Reality (Mirror of the Soul)“, “Slave Species of the Gods” or “Hovering Lifeless“, all songs sounded like they are being played by a higher life form. For me Blood Incantation are currently the best Death Metal band on this planet by far.
Benediction with Dave Ingram as singer was a surprising debut for me. So far, I had seen the death metal titans only with Dave Hunt on the mic. Hats off to Dave Ingram! Show me another 53-year-old singer who can perform as good as him. Benediction clearly showed that they are all masters of the high art of death metal. Songs like “The Grotesque“, “Foetus Noose” and “Subconscious Terror” made the floor shake. The Brits are still one of the most underrated bands ever.
After long years of waiting, the time finally came. I got the chance to see Dismember live. There were some critical voices concerning the past Dismember gigs, I was kind a sceptical. But it didn’t last long. With “Override of the Overture” as opener they had me immediately in their chainsaw sound grip. The band had some technical problems concerning the sound, but this should not diminish the performance. Dismember played all classics from the first three albums. A nice feeling to finally hear “Skinfather” and “Casket Garden” live. There couldn’t have been a better ending than “Dreamin in Red“. The perfect song to end the festival.
After three long and especially warm days I went straight home.
I have to admit, I really missed the Party.San. Two years without this festival seemed like an eternity. This year’s line-up was really impressive. Also, the prices for merchandise and food were more than fair. This is not easy to manage due to the ongoing pandemic and economic situation, hats off to Party.san! Unfortunately, I also missed the NSBM Security this year. Is there a reason why no one was critically watching merch booths or battle jackets? I don’t think that Infernal War merch belongs to a festival which made a shirt like “Party.San Open Air – against NSBM” just years ago! The same goes for Absurd and Hate Forest patches. Please bring back the NSBM Security for next year’s edition. See you hopefully next year!
Edit (Roman Transcended)
Especially after the festival, though, it became evident that there definitely are some difficult tendencies regarding this festival. When Eremit vocalist Mo posted a video in which he recaptured his perspective about what he experienced on this festival, a disgusting shitstorm was casted towards him and his band that showcased a very questionable position of a damn lot of people. Be it whatever you want about your political perspective, I surely have to admit that what was recaptured in this video clearly remained within the scope of a moderate point of view from an antifascist mindset. Taking into consideration that even the perspective of accepting this festival as a neutral ground was somewhat considered as a possible perspective (although not fully accepted) I surely felt as if what was being described when taking a look at fans wearing merch of highly questionable bands was more than legit – keeping in mind that working against discrimination seems to once have been the aim to a certain extent here. However, after this video was released, people started disgustingly hating this perspective and him as a person, which in my opinion only showcased a drastic problem regarding a certain share of the audience, when even a rather moderate perspective already leads to people aggressively barking at a person trying to reconceive the status quo on a festival ground, I might be bold enough to remark that your issue is located somewhere entirely else than within what is said in this video.