Text & Translation by Bastian Brücher and Christian Witzgall for lebmetal.com.

  • Thursday
  • Annihilator (8/10)

Though Annihilator are counted among the veterans of the Metal Scene, the band has to play a
relatively early slot on the Black Metal Stage. Nevertheless, Jeff Waters and his comrades present themselves as a highly motivated and well-rehearsed team. Besides classics such as “King of the Kill” and “Set the World on Fire”, they also play more recent songs like “Clown Parade” from the album “Metal”, released in 2006. Additionally, with the new song “No Way Out”, Annihilator let us peek into the upcoming album “Feast”, which will be released this month. After the mandatory “Alison Hell”, an entertaining and joyful performance ends, leaving the fans with nothing more than pleasant anticipation for the upcoming tour.


1. Smear Campaign
2. King of the Kill
3. No Way Out
4. Clown Parade
5. Set the World on Fire
6. W.T.Y.D.
7. The Fun Palace
8. I Am in Command
9. No Zone
10. Fiasco
11. Alison Hell

  • Haggard (9/10)

Haggard’s performance takes place on Headbanger’s Stage in the Bullhead City Tent. Despite the tropical heat inside the tent, the Boys and Girls around frontman Asis Nasseri are cheered by their enthusiastic audience. Their mixture of hard Death Metal and Classical arrangements is celebrated during every single song, though you can get the feeling that the majority of fans is waiting for “Awaking the Centuries”. When the song is finally announced, frenetic applause surges the big tent, and a great gig is facing its outstanding final.

  • Deep Purple (10/10)

For the first time in their long carreer, Deep Purple are playing on Wacken Open Air 2013. Starting out with the song “Highway Star”, the British Hard-Rockers show immediatly that their invitation to Wacken was overdue a long time. Their well-mixed sound – a banging drumkit, pushing guitars as well as a clear bass and keyboard – stands for itself. Ian Gillian hits the high notes as perfect as he did years ago and completes a great performance. Their new, relatively unpopular, songs from their recent album “Now What” (“Vincent Price” and “Hell to Pay”) are celebrated no less than classics such as “Into the Fire”, “Strange Kind of Woman” or “Perfect Strangers”. Steve Morse and Don Airey may perform solos on their instruments and grant the rest of the band a short break. For “Smoke on the Water”, the final song of Purple’s Setlist, Uli Jon Roth appears as support on the guitar. Afterwards, the audience fully-throated demands an encore – successfully! After two Cover Songs, Purple play “Black Night”, one of their greatest and most famous songs, and finish an apperance, that will be remembered in Wacken’s History, especially because of the great sound and the highly motivated performance of all musicians.


1. Highway Star
2. Into the Fire
3. Hard Lovin’ Man
4. Vincent Price
5. Strange Kind of Woman
6. Contact Lost
7. Guitar Solo
(by Steve Morse)
8. The Well-Dressed Guitar
9. Hell to Pay
10. Lazy
11. Above and Beyond
12. No One Came
13. Keyboard Solo
(by Don Airey)
14. Perfect Strangers
15. Space Truckin’
16. Smoke on the Water
(with Uli Jon Roth)
17. Green Onions
(Booker T. & The MG’s cover)
18. Hush
(Billy Joe Royal cover)
19. Black Night

  • Rammstein (10/10)

In the forefront of WOA ’13, controverse arguments started, whether a band like Rammstein would be able to fill out Wacken’s Headliner slot or not. However, the Berliners literally blow all doubts up into northern Germany’s sky – from the first song to the last. While a big curtain hides the entire stage, drummer Christoph Schneider starts out with the first bars of “Ich tu dir weh”, triggering fireworks with every single beat. The curtain falls with a big bang, revealing the probably most complex stage show Wacken had seen so far. Huge, movable flood lights are hanging from the top of the True Metal Stage, to present Rammstein’s machinery perfectly. The setlist leaves no album unplayed, though the majority of the songs originate from the first three albums. Steam, smoke and fire cover the stage during every song, unveiling the reason why Rammstein had the only TMS slot on thursday. All the effects that are used during the concert are well-known from their recent tour: the flame-throwing guitarists during “Feuer Frei”, the Keyboarder in the cooking pot during “Mein Teil”
as well as the burning fan during “Benzin”. Nevertheless, the show is fun, no matter if one had
already been to a Rammstein concert or not. The actual surprises are to be discovered during the encore: a great, goosebumps-giving accoustic-version of “Mein Herz brennt”, with only a Piano accompanying singer Till Lindemann. During “Sonne”, German folk singer Heino enters the stage for a guest appearance, confusing most of the fans. in the first place. Heino visibly enjoys the performance, though he seems a bit terrified by all the flames on stage. Despite the confusion, the audience cheers up for Heino and Lindemann as well. With “Pussy” and the associated spermcannon, a great debut ends, showing that also the greatest names of their genres are welcome at Wacken Open Air.


1. Ich tu dir weh
2. Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen?
3. Keine Lust
4. Sehnsucht
5. Asche zu Asche
6. Feuer frei!
7. Mein Teil
8. Ohne dich
9. Wiener Blut
10. Du riechst so gut
11. Benzin
12. Links 2-3-4
13. Du hast
14. Bück dich
(mit Rammstein-Intro)
15. Ich will
16. Mein Herz brennt
(Piano Version)
17. Sonne
(with Heino)
18. Pussy

  • Friday
  • Soilwork (6/10)

Soilwork has to play on the slightly smaller Party Stage in the Infield, and is therefore encountering several problems that couldn’t be solved throughout the entire show. Their sound seems undifferentiated and, unfortunately, much too silent. That’s why about half of the fans get to hear more of Agnostic Front, playing parallel on the Black Stage, than of the band they actually want to hear – Soilwork. Frontman Björn Strid’s overwhelming voice also disappears in that mentioned jumble from time to time – giving the gig a bland aftertaste, even though Björn may easily be counted among one of the best in his business. Especially sad, as Soilwork are generally known as an outstanding live act and have written more than enough songs to blow up the audience. What a bummer!


1. This Momentary Bliss
2. Parasite Blues
3. Weapon of Vanity
4. Spectrum of Eternity
5. Follow the Hollow
6. Tongue
7. Nerve
8. Let This River Flow
9. Long Live the Misanthrope
10. Rise Above the Sentiment
11. Late for the Kill, Early for the Slaughter
12. Stabbing the Drama

  • Sabaton (10/10)

Though founded already in 1999, the band counts towards the most uprising formations within the past years and is constantly praised for their great live performances by both fans and press. Rightly – as the guys around singer Joakim Brodén and bass player Pär Sunstström make no exception to that on Wacken 2013. The five musicians enter Wacken’s True Metal Stage to the last tones of Europe’s “Final Countdown” and start their triumphal procession with “Ghost Division”. The sound is outstanding and the band is in a constant movement, flirting with the audience, supported by an appropriate amount of pyros. The fans react with circle pits and loads of crowdsurfers seeking their way towards the stage. Between the songs, Joakim seems partly confused, until he realizes they are playing a German festival – and that German fans are different from the rest, as the crowd does not yell the typical “SABATON!!” chants between the songs…….they are constantly yelling “Noch ein Bier”, demaning more beer. After resolving this issue, Brodén immediately grabs a beer and downs it.
He however declines the fans’ demand to drink even more, as he expects himself standing on stage nakedly after too much beer – and says nobody would like to see that. Instead of that, he exchanges his original vest with a fan. After all, it’s exactly these kinds of fancy little games with the audience that amount a Sabaton show and make it a really unique experience. Besides all the show elements, there are of course some songs as well, one even in Swedish, leaving the fans satisfied and proving once more that Sabaton’s live performance is one of Metal scene’s highlights.


1. Ghost Division
2. Gott Mit Uns
3. Carolus Rex
4. Into the Fire
5. The Carolean’s Prayer
(Swedish version)
6. Swedish Pagans
7. Midway
8. Cliffs of Gallipoli
9. Sun Tzu Says
10. The Art of War
11. Primo Victoria
12. Metal Crüe

  • Motörhead (5/10)

The majority of Wacken’s visitors is waiting eagerly for the next 90 minutes of show on the Black Stage when Motörhead is finally announced. Motörhead, the band that always said about themselves they were louder than everything else. Motörhead, the prehistoric rocks within the scene. However, the news about frontman Lemmy Kilmister’s heart surgery and several cancelled concerts (all expect Wacken) are still in the back of the heads. And, sadly, after as few as three songs or even less, every single fan must have noticed that Lemmy doesn’t have a good day that day. He seems weekened and sometimes hardly able to carry the weight of his bass guitar, clearly visible that Motörhead’s frontman is torturing himself, trying to get through the gig and perform as good as he can. In the meantime, his band supplys him with a short break, when guitarrist Phil Campbell performs a long guitar solo after only five songs. Sadly, Lemmy is quite done after that and leaves the stage after “The Chase is better than the Catch”. A few moments later, Thomas Jensen, head of Wacken’s organization team, appears on stage, stating that Lemmy is already to his way to Hamburg to get medical assistance. The only good thing to say is that Lemmy could personally give the all-clear
only a few days afterwards, stating that he is on a good way of recovery and will now continue
working on Motörhead’s next release.


1. I Know How to Die
2. Damage Case
3. Stay Clean
4. Metropolis
5. Over the Top
6. Guitar Solo
7. The Chase Is Better Than the Catch

  • Amorphis (9/10)

Amorphis are one of this festival’s great surprises. While the fans expected the well-known mixture of melodies and death metal, a lonesome saxophone player enters the stage and plays a solo. Gradually, the members of Amorphis appear, bringing only accoustic instruments. An idea with a great impact onto the wondering audience: the songs eradiate a very special athmosphere, of which the majority of fans is amazed quickly. The changing, beautiful and song-matching stage themes as well as Tomi Joutsens voice support the accoustic songs perfectly. After “Signs from the north side” the stage is turning dark and Amorphis pick up their electric instruments which we all are familiar with. The crowd celebrates hits like “Shades of Gray” or “Silver Bride” and quickens the band to musical peaks. Visibly, all participants -the band as well as the fans- are enjoying the gig. With the final song “My Kantele” a great concert is concluded, leaving the feeling that the fans were part of
something special that night. Magic!


1. Enigma
2. I of Crimson Blood
3. Empty Opening
4. Rusty Moon
5. Sign From the North Side
(with Karelia intro)
6. Shades of Gray
7. Nightbird’s Song
8. Silver Bride
9. Narrow Path
10. The Castaway
11. Hopeless Days
12. House of Sleep
13. My Kantele

  • Saturday
  • Alestorm (8/10)

Coming with best weather, Alestorm bring the party to Wacken’s Party Stage on Saturday afternoon. Despite the early slot, the site in front of the stage is crowded when the band around front-pirate and keytar player Christopher Bowes opens their set with “The Quest”. Though it seems as if every song came into being with the same scheme, Alestorm’s self-called “True Scottish Pirate Metal” is well received by the fans and even encourages them to perform some funny rowing action on Wacken’s holy ground. The crowd loudly sings along to new songs like “Shepwrecked” or “Keelhauled” as well as classics like “Nancy the Tavern Wench” and “Wenches & Mead”. After the gig’s last song, “Rum”, the title is taken literally and singer Bowes and his crew let themselves being carried by their fans – towards the Captain Morgan counter nearby, where they drink the rum they sing about and give out pirate’s hats to their fans. All in all, a good performance by a real sympathic band. Simply fun.


1. The Quest
2. The Sunk’n Norwegian
3. Wolves of the Sea
(Pirates of the Sea cover)
4. Shipwrecked
5. Nancy the Tavern Wench
6. Back Through Time
7. Wenches & Mead
(2nd half sung in German (Weiber & Wein))
8. Midget Saw
9. Keelhauled
10. Rumpelkombo
11. Pirate Song
12. Captain Morgan’s Revenge
13. Rum

  • Lamb of God (10/10)

Lamb of God are armongst modern American Metal’s spearhead and achieved a solid fanbase over the years. According to this, the site in front of the Black Metal Stage is crowded when Randy Blythe and his band open their set with “Desolation” from their recent album “Resolution”, followed by moshpits and lots of crowdsurfers. Their sound is one of the best throughout the whole festival, their drums are loud and powerful like no other band’s are, their guitars push against the crowd like a bulldozer. With the last three albums, the band landed a lot of Hits, so one highlight is chasing another. Nevertheless, their older songs aren’t neglected. During Lamb of God’s gig, Heaven opens its gates and sends what makes Wacken a real Wacken: RAIN! A short, but heavy shower turns the Infield into a muddy lake. Anyway, the majority of the fans does not care and keeps celebrating songs like “Set to Fail” or “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For”. The band also honours this dedication between their songs and keep on driving their audience. After some time, the monsoon ends as quickly as it started and one of Wacken’s best gigs is getting closer to its final as well, marked by their mega hits “Redneck” and “Black Label”.


1. Desolation
2. Ghost Walking
3. Walk with Me in Hell
4. Set to Fail
5. Ruin
6. Now You’ve Got Something to Die For
7. Omerta
The Passing (Intro)
8. In Your Words
9. Laid to Rest
10. Redneck
11. Black Label

  • Anthrax(9/10)

Seeing Anthrax live is an adventure every time. The loss of long-time member Robb Caggiano, who switched over to Volbeat, is hardly noticeable. Jonathan Donais plays the second guitar, besides the last founding-member, Scott Ian, and does an excellent job. Despite the short rehearsal time before the gig, both harmonize very well. A great portion of Anthrax’ setlist remained unchanged throughout the years: songs like “Among the Living”, “Caught in a Mosh”, “NFL”, “Indians” and “Got the Time” are presented practically on every gig since the reunion with singer Joey Belladonna. All songs are presented in a great sound, earning great reception among the fans. As the band’s last publication is a pure cover album, they also present their interpretation of AC/DC’s “T.N.T.”. Though one notices that Belladonna’s voice is too soft for singing an AC/DC-song properly, Anthrax’ gig is absolutely worth its time.


1. Among the Living
2. Caught in a Mosh
3. Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)
Hymn 1
4. In the End
(Dedicated to Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag Darrell)
5. Deathrider
6. T.N.T.
(AC/DC cover)
7. Indians
8. Got the Time
(Joe Jackson cover)
9. Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t
10. I Am the Law
11. Madhouse
12. Antisocial
(Trust cover)
Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll
(Rainbow song)

  • Devildriver (8/10)

The band around frontman Dez Fafara enters Wacken’s Party stage without a big fuss and starts out with “End of the Line”. Unfortunately, the Party Stage’s sound issues continue, and so some songs of DD’s ballbreaking setlist collapse in the mix. Still, the crowd keeps a good mood – at least it’s loud. Frontman Fafara encourages the fans to start Circle Pits and other typical stuff, having his fun. The band also presents their brand-new single “Ruthless” from their upcoming album. Overall, the setlist covers their whole discography, satisfying every taste. When “Clouds Over California” starts, the fans start celebrating frenetically, driving the band to their top form, but also heralding the final phase of the gig, which ends with “Meet the Wretched” and another great circle pit.


1. End of the Line
2. Cry for Me Sky (Eulogy of the Scorned)
3. Dead to Rights
4. Ruthless
(first time ever)
5. These Fighting Words
6. It’s in the Cards
(first time since 2010)
7. Not All Who Wander Are Lost
8. The Appetite
(first time ever)
9. Before the Hangman’s Noose
(first time since 2011)
10. I Could Care Less
11. Head on to Heartache (Let Them Rot)
12. Clouds Over California
13. Hold Back the Day
14. Meet the Wretched

  • Trivium (10/10)

Trivium have a very special reputation within the scene. Even on tour with big names such as Amon Amarth, Mastodon, Slayer or Arch Enemy, when the band was either support act or co-headliner, their excellent sound has always been praised. The same is to be said about this Saturday evening: the band around frontman Matthew Heafy is hard, it is fast, it is loud – all Wacken needs. The majority of songs played are from their two latest albums “In Waves”(2010) and “Shogun”(2008), only three songs are from their first three albums. Nevertheless, the frenetic reactions of the fans show that every song was picked correctly. After years of experiments, Trivium succeeded in splitting the singing between the musicians. Additionally, the band members’ quality drastically increased over time, so that bass player Paolo Gregoletto does no longer sound like a beat-up cat in the rain, but rather enhances the songs with a melodic voice. Besides all hits, Trivium also presents two new songs from their upcoming album “Vengeance Falls”, namly: “Brave This Storm” and “Strife”. With an overwhelming gig, the band shows that they belong to the big names in metal business, raising the question if they should have gotten a slot with a longer playtime. Nevertheless, one of the best performances on this year’s WOA.


1. Throes of Perdition
2. Becoming the Dragon
3. Down from the Sky
4. Brave This Storm
5. Watch the World Burn
6. Black
7. Strife
8. Dusk Dismantled
9. A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation
Capsizing the Sea (Intro)
10. In Waves
11. Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr

  • Nightwish(10/10)

Nightwish gather a big crowd of fans in front of the True Metal Stage, most of them in curiosity
whether Floor Jansen can replace Tarja Turunen’s magnificent voice or Anette Olzon’s charismatic airiness. Before the concert starts, a speaker announces that this evening’s concert will be recorded for a DVD release, which additionally fuels the good mood of the crowd. It is also recognizable that even for the band it is more than a regular concert, when they enter the stage, after a intro by Hans Zimmer, to open their set with “Dark Chest of Wonders”. All concerns about Floor’s qualities are wiped away. Surprisingly, she is a great replacement for both Tarja and Anette. She sings Tarja’s songs with their opera-like chants as well as Anette’s charismatic songs absolutely clean, passionately and very close to the original. Therefore, several songs are back on Nightwish’s setlist which have not been heard live for quite a while: for example “Bless the Child” or “She is my Sin”. The show is supported by a massive amount of light and pyro effects as well as a huge LED screen in the back that shows appropriate videos or images. All this creates a breathtaking athmosphere that perfects
Nightwish’s musical performance. The marvellous sound raises expectations for a good recording on the DVD, showing once more that magic moments may be created in Wacken.


Crimson Tide(Intro)
(Hans Zimmer song)
1. Dark Chest of Wonders
2. Wish I Had an Angel
3. She Is My Sin
4. Ghost River
5. Ever Dream
6. Storytime
7. I Want My Tears Back
(with Troy Donockley)
8. Nemo
(with Troy Donockley)
9. Last of the Wilds
(with Troy Donockley)
10. Bless the Child
11. Romanticide
12. Amaranth
13. Ghost Love Score
14. Song of Myself
15. Last Ride of the Day
Imaginaerum (Outro)

  • Lingua Mortis Orchestera feat. Rage (10/10)

According to the metal press, the collaboration between Rage and the Lingua Mortis Orchestera was born under a bad sign. It has been said that both parts would play against and not together with each other, taking the 1997 gig on Wacken Open Air as an example. However, nothing of all this is noticeable on 2013’s  Wacken, when the metal trio and their classic’s collegues enter the stage. The sound is transparent and full of pressure, therefore giving all instruments and singers enough clearance to pass through the audience. The musicians are having a good time on stage and are harmonizing amazingly, the splitting of the singing between altogether four singers works perfectly. The show’s absolute highlights are “Empty Hollow” and the entire “Suite Lingua Mortis” from the 2007 album “Speak of the Dead”. The set is closed by the mandatory “Straight to Hell” in a new metal-meets-classic version and another great gig ends.

Setlist (incomplete)

1. Cleansed by Fire
2. From the Cradle to the Grave
3. Scapegoat
4. Empty Hollow
5. Lament
6. Witches’ Judge
7. Straight to Hell

  • Subway to Sally (6/10)

The final slot of Wacken Open Air 2013 is, as several times before, reserved for the German band Subway to Sally. Many visitors are already on their way back home or sleeping in their tents to rest for their journeys, therefore, the audience is rather small. It is obvious that the earlier concerts drained the fans’ energy and, despite several nice fire and explosive effects, there is hardly any excitement within the crowd. Eric Fish and his band show a respectable performance, but still are unable to reanimate the fans’ spirits, thus letting the gig degenerate to a rather unimportant final act of the festival. Furthermore, the band seems to lack a bit of quality to earn a better slot in the running order.


1. Das Schwarze Meer
(with Eisblumen Intro)
2. Henkersbraut / Falscher Heiland / Knochenschiff / Das Rätsel II
3. Mephisto / Unsterblich
4. Auf Kiel
(with Santiano)
5. Kleid aus Rosen
6. Tanz auf dem Vulkan
7. Sieben / Ohne Liebe / Veitstanz
8. Maria
9. Carrickfergus
10. Sag dem Teufel
11. Julia und die Räuber