With Full Force XIII
Summer Open Air 2006
Date: June 30th - July 2nd 2006

After a 700+ km drive from Denmark to Roitzschjora near Leipzig in Germany, we arrive at the gates of With Full Force at approximately five in the morning, only to learn that the press check-in doesn’t open until ten. So we resort to leaning back in the car seat for a couple of hours and then to tour the not exactly eventful countryside surrounding the festival.  

When the tent is up in the backstage area, we survey the festival grounds in the midday sun. They’re not open for the audience yet, but security and volunteers are swarming the place and getting everything ready for the invasion in a few hours. A few tour busses have also arrived, and we spot Dez Fafara from Devildriver among others.


The gates open at 14.00 and the masses pour in. The honour/ungrateful task of opening WFF befalls German newcomers The Anti Doctrine (T: 65/100, B: 55/100). At first it seems as if The Anti Doctrine have a winning recipe with their nu-metal inspired moody metal, but in the long run it becomes clear that they lack structure and that the crowd isn’t overly interested in their show. Not exactly a bad start for the festival, but not at all the hammer either.

A visit to the tent stage proves that things are not notably better here. German metalcore outfit Deadsoil (T: 69/100, B: 42/100) have not changed or progressed one bit since the first time I saw them. There is one difference today, though; the bass is hardly there in the sound picture. Front man Friedric Weber is still a force to be reckoned with and the energy level alone makes them worth the while.

Back on the main stage, Devildriver (79/100) causes the first really impressive experience of the festival. Dez Fafara and his lads create a massive mosh pit in front of the stage. Whatever anyone thinks of Fafara’s past fling with nu-metal in Coal Chamber, the man has a voice to be reckoned with and he just is very metal. If the band manages to top their very promising debut album, they are indeed ready to become festival favourites across Europe for years to come.  

Next up on the main stage are the great new hope of heavy metal, Trivium (74/100). Expectations are high, of course, since we’re finally going to see this hot, new name. And there are really good songs in there, but a few mediocre (ok, boring) songs ruin the overall good impression. A couple of extra points from Benny for the German heavy metal attitude…  

Now things start to get a bit surreal. In these times of the World Cup in football, it is of course possible to watch the games during the festival. In fact, during the next two main stage concerts, the monitor on the left-hand side of the main stage is going to play an important role, since our host nation is playing the quarter finals against Argentina . Slipknot front man Corey Taylor’s side project, Stone Sour (T: 78/100, B: 66/100), is the first band to suffer the momentary lapses of attention from the audience who inadvertently have to turn their heads every now and then. Stone Sour shows other aspects of Taylor ’s vocal talents, and the band’s groovy and heavy style fits the vocalist well. Despite the distraction of the game, the show is entertaining and good fun.  

As we move into the second half and the over time of the game, Madball (68/100) have taken to the main stage. Frankly, not many notice what the band is playing, really, and those who do get a dose of straight on New York hardcore. “If we could have your attention for just one minute…” - Madball singer Freddy makes a feeble attempt, but to no avail. Germany has won the game and luckily for Madball, the last song of their gig becomes a joyful affair, although the band can’t really take the credit for that.  

Thrash veterans Kreator (80/100) enter the stage with green smoke and stuff. And of course with a box filled with classics. Über-thrasher Extreme Aggressions is aired as is Pleasure to Kill, Betrayer, Violent Revolution, Trauma, Phobia and more. Although Mille’s voice can get on your tits, he and the boys deliver the goods to the wanting German thrash audience throughout an uncompromising set.  

Skipping the Soulfly set in favour of some grub, the big moment has arrived: the return of Celtic Frost (90/100). Whatever our expectations were, the Frosties are heavy beyond any reason. From the initial creepy notes of Totengott from the comeback masterpiece ‘Monotheist’ to the last ring of Winter that concludes tonight’s triumphant return, Celtic Frost make no compromises what-so-ever. We’re witness to an audiovisual whole that is perhaps not perceived by everyone, but surely by the two Powermetal.dk representatives. Imagine some of the doomy Black Sabbath material and then multiply by ten, and there you have it. Circle of the Tyrants, Into the Crypt of Rays, Procreation of the Wicked, Ain Elohim, tonight we witness a tour de force of doom. Majestic in every sense of the word.  

Finishing off this evening for us are the ever-energetic Brits Napalm Death (82/100). After Celtic Frost, everything, even Napalm Death, seems more down to earth, even if the grindcore kings from Birmingham have a blast of a night with high points like Suffer the Children, The Code is Red… and the obligatory Dead Kennedys cover Nazi Punks Fuck Off. Yet another lesson in crushing music.


One of the beautiful things about WFF is the lake right next to it. The lake is basically a flooded gravel pit with lovely, clear water and hundreds of hot heavy metal fans in it. After a good swim we feel ready for the opening of day two. Since both stages open at the same time, we decide to go for the main stage and German nothingcore (?!) outfit A.O.K. (T: ?/100, B: 78/100). Ready as we felt just before the insane asylum was unleashed upon us unsuspecting foreigners, just as big is our surprise as we slowly realise that this band insists on giving us the full Monty. Literally.

It is as if the Bermuda shorts of the two singers have been soaked in oil because they just won’t stay on for long. On and off they go, and all the while food is flying through the air, starting when the band plays a song called Baguette, Baguette, Baguette and has prepared a few for the audience. The baguettes are followed by a couple of glasses of Bockwurst, a fat Lolita doll, three boxes of heads of lettuce, a broom stick and a guitar(!). As it later appears that the guitar doesn’t come back, one of the singers throws out the guitar case as well as a polite gesture. To conclude the food circus, several boxes of corn flakes rain over the first rows of the audience.

The music? Well, none of us pay much attention really. It doesn’t sound that good, to be honest. Except perhaps the song that the band decides to mime.  But then again, the show isn’t really about (good) music in the first place. The German versions of Madonna’s La Isla Bonita and Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit don’t win A.O.K. extra points. Downright weird, that.  

Up-and-coming Danes Raunchy (72/100) play a decent show without impressing as much as I had hoped for. Focusing mainly on the material from the brilliant ‘Death Pop Romance’, Raunchy could be rolling all the way, but instead they appear a tad insecure.

Owing to the complex chorus structure on the album, the band uses playback on some of the chorus voices. This is much to the dismay of a German ‘fan’ who inadvertently keeps yelling ‘Playback pussies!’ Look, if you can’t face the fact that not all bands are Motörhead and actually want to try something else, then change the fucking channel and let the rest of us have a good experience, dimwit.  

After trip back to the lake, a tour of the camping area and a heavy intake of asian food, we head for the biggest death metal experience of the festival, namely Obituary (90/100). Today, the boys from Tampa are the kings of death metal as they launch into the groovy Redneck Stomp from the comeback album ‘Frozen in Time’. The sound is divine, the vibe is good. More or less presenting a best-of selection, the band looks comfortable and relaxed. The title track from the band’s debut album is received by the audience as a lost son and I get the goose bumps as I’m propelled 15 years back in time to Rock Hard Festival in Berlin where Obituary killed everyone, included the then mighty Sepultura. It strikes me at some point that Allen West is the only guitarist so far during this festival who’s been able to play a decent solo that actually sounds good. And he manages to do so twice, even.  

Taking over from Obituary and moving us all into an entirely different musical ballgame is Clawfinger (T: 90/100, B: 78/100). Earlier this year, the Norwegian/Swedish combo returned with a more than decent release, and today’s show cements the fact that Clawfinger are back with a vengeance. The enthusiastic performance from Zak Tell and the boys turn the area in front of the main stage into a veritable mosh and jump party. New songs What We’ve Got Is What You’re Getting and The Faggot In You go down really well and fit in nicely with smash hits of the past like Nigger, Truth, Rosegrove, Do What I Say and Biggest & The Best. Only song really missing from this party was Pin Me Down, but let that rest for now…

Benny: It does, however, subtract from the overall score, that Zak forgets some of the lyrics in Rosegrove, and the fact that it simply isn’t loud enough. There had been some feedback problems on the main stage earlier, and perhaps turning the volume down was the initial way of solving them.  

In Extremo (85/100) offer a pleasant break from the round-of-the-mill festival music. With fire and flames and colourful attire, the band pours their hard pumped Middle Ages rock over a grateful audience who doesn’t for once feel the obligation to mosh but to just stand back and enjoy the sights and sounds. 

And the winner is…In Flames (T: 95/100, B: 100/100). What a show! It is not a if there’s anything new under the sun; the band is tight as a virgin’s arse, the riffs are shot at us like machine gun fire, there’s fire and flame and the crowd goes berserk! If Clawfinger was a party, then this is a sodding ball! The atmosphere is absolutely fantastic as In Flames hammer out hits like Leeches, Trigger, Take This Life and the mighty, mighty System. It would seem that there is no stopping this band. WFF didn’t, that’s for sure.

The show ‘only’ lasts around 75 minutes, but that is about all we can take. Completely soaked in sweat and gasping for air, we can do little more than just gaze at the fantastic 20 minute fireworks show that follows the concert. In fact, it almost seems like part of the concert, because the first rockets start to go off even before the band has left the stage (and the crowd is still demanding “Zugabe”).  

Although we love to get our beauty sleep, two bands on the tent stage keep us awake a bit longer. The second Danish feature on this festival, Volbeat (T: 88/100, B: 75/100), line up at 1 a .m. If Elvis had been into metal, this is what he would have sounded like. The bouquet of songs from the fabulous debut album ‘The Strength/The Sound/The Songs’  aired get a deserved positive response and wins over a bunch of new fans. Groovers like Caroline #1, Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza, Danny & Lucy show that Volbeat have grown into a convincing and tight act. As a little treat, the ballad Soulweeper has been beefed up with an interlude that is nothing less than the opening riffs of Reign in Blood. Nice one!  

Concluding Saturday night’s programme is German techno-metal phenomenon Die Krupps (T: 80/100, B: 72/100) who to some are most know for their Metallica cover album. There’s a lot more to Die Krupps than Metallica covers, though, and this late-night séance is another proof of that. Although there’s been quiet around the band for some time now, there is still energy left and the danceable industrial metal tunes speak for themselves as the crowds enjoys that last party on Saturday night.  

For all sorts of silly reasons, we have to return home Sunday morning, thus missing a major part of the great programme of this festival. Too bad, so sad, shit happens. But there is a festival in Roitzschjora again next year, and we’re certainly not going to miss it!  

See the images from the festival here! (Opens a new window).

Attending: Thomas & Benny