La laiterie, Strasbourg 17/04/03


Well, here we may say that finally a real metal bill came to the town!!!! And that's surely why this time the audience was more composed of real metalheads, and that the proportion of the usual pitiful posers (understand new metal pansies, and pseudo misanthropic pre puberian goth/black metal faggots) was weak.


The festival began with DARKANE. OK, these Swedish blokes know how to handle their instruments, but I feel sorry not to have been impressed by their modern thrash metal. It's well played, well done, but I don't get really any feeling there. I'd rather have seen CARNAL FORGE or THE HAUNTED in the same category. But the audience enjoyed their set pretty much. An OK appetizer.


MALEVOLENT CREATION followed right after, and it was a bit strange to see some old musicians, and Tony Laureano (ex-ANGEL CORPSE, NILE drummer) with a singer that looked an sang like an hardcore tough guy. The set was really professional, without wasting the short 30 minutes imparted. I have never been really into MALEVOLENT CREATION's music, and I understood why here. OK they play quality deathrashing metal, with a lot of hooks in the songs, but I still find that something is lacking in the music in order to make it more enjoyable. I found it a bit without relief, except for the songs from the first album. Don't get me wrong, I don't say it's a bad band, but I just wasn't impressed that much. Anyway it was a pleasant but short show.

Then DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER came to give us a good laugh. This band is pathetic, and their attitude on stage is nothing but pure funny posing. Argh!!! It was awful to see these losers taking part in this festival. The keyboards were (badly) handled by a loser with an S&M leather mask, the guitarist durely didn't have check if his guitar was accorded, or maybe he just didn't know how to play??? The drummer should have better fitted in SOULFLY, and the bassist and singer were just ridiculous. The only positive side with this band was that people could have a pause and drink some booses in the bar.

PRO-PAIN played as a trio, and did it good. I am not that much into their music, but they do it with conviction and I like the way this band leads its career. They delivered a really good performance, and a lot of people were there to see them. that's true that the lack of second guitarist could be felt during the soli, but hell, it was not bad at all. I couldn't say which songs were played, but it seemed that the audience supported this honest band very much. A pleasant set, made by professionals.


And from here something magic began to happen.... NUCLEAR ASSAULT was soon to attack our mental sanity.... Yeah, the adrenaline was pounding all over the body, and one could feel that this band was really awaited. And seeing little John Connelly, Glenn Evans (who obviously haven't forgotten to drink and eat a lot during the past 10 years...) and of course Dan Lilker right before our eyes, with a session guitarist (man, give me that RIPPING CORPSE t-shirt!!!) was incredible. Who could have imagined to see NUCLEAR ASSAULT on stage after all these years? Shit, it was pure mayhemic thrashing madness in the pit, while the band opened with "new song" from the "Handle with care" LP!!! Fuck, John Connelly is one of the best front men
I ever saw. He's absolutely not lost his unique and hysterical voice, and he's moving everywhere on stage at the same time he plays the soli!!!! He also asked to the security guys to treat us good, and to let us go on stage if it happened!!!!! Don't worry that it was stage diving all over the place!!!! Hhahahah!!! We even took a 150 kilos heavy guy on our shoulders, which impressed John! hahahah!!! One could feel that both NUCLEAR ASSAULT and the audience were having a pure moment of "good friendly violent fun". Connelly made a lot of mimics with his face, and had a lot of humor. He dedicated the song "Wake up" to the roadies!! ahahah!!! Everybody went crazy when the band played the excellent "Sin"... "Can you can you hear me, can you can you see me...". Everybody knew the songs and believe me it was the "fistbanging mania" all around. Glenn Evans looked so quiet behind his drum kit, as he was hammering the skins with a rarely seen violence!!!! And Dan Lilker is quite discreet, but doesn't lack of charisma either. Shit, I mean everything was perfect during that gig, the true metallic spirit, the feeling to be united under the flag of real metal... aaaaahhhh. This was godly!!!! No new metallers pollution in the pit, no posers in the audience. Just pure THRASH FUCKING METAL. The band played only titles from the "brain death" ep, to the "handle with care" album, and nothing was to throw away. These old dudes have shown to the whole modern thrash metal movement who are the masters. NUCLEAR ASSAULT is simply as godly as DESTRUCTION in a live situation, period. Maybe one of the best gigs of the festival.


DEATH ANGEL followed, and it was hallucinating to see these little Asian Americans taking our souls without mercy!!!!! I didn't think that so much people remembered these guys who started in 1986 with the magnificent piece of vinyl "The Ultra Violence", and who quit in the beginning of the 90's. Titles like "Mistress of pain", "Welcome to the third floor" and the last song they played, "Kill as one" drove the crowd totally crazy. Mark Osegueda, the singer amazed me with his incredible voice, and also because he has drunk a whole bottle of gin during the gig!!!!! And though he was totally brilliant. One could feel the difference between the songs from "the Ultra violence, and the others from "Frolic through the park" and "Act III", because the last ones are less thrashy and more punk, ad sometimes a bit funk oriented, but believe me,
all was totally delivered with anger, aggressiveness and heaviness. The drummer looked like a totally insane monkey killing his drum kit blast after blast. He was so wild and tight at the same time!!!! And the guitarists made a good demonstration of what a real thrashing right hand is. Pure metal cult. The singer was really full of charisma, and it was cool when he said "We play for every body here. You may be a thrash metal fan, a death metal fan, an hard rock fan, we don't care, we are just here to bang our heads on good fucking metal." These words are so wise!!! KILL AS ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!


It was more like a joke when the most pitiful joke metal band entered the stage after the angry boys of DEATH ANGEL... Yeah, MARDUK was here, as usual. hahahahahaha!!! And tell me that I only have to thank them for giving to the audience the opportunity to make a pause before TESTAMENT. Simple as it is, all the posers reentered the place to watch MARDUK, and all the real bangers left this pitiful show. 15 seconds after the first note, some guys in the audience have thrown some water and plastic glasses to Legion, some other did a high FUCK OFF, and some guys threw some toilet paper to the band too. hahahahahahaha!!!!!!! Do you think that they still will say in the big pseudo metal press that Strasbourg is one of their fave places to play? hahhaah????? They were ridiculous. Pretending to be evil while smiling like children, and playing such
a boring and flat music.... It's not because a band sells a lot that the audience isn't able to see that this band became pure shit. hahahaha!!! MARDUK SUCKED!!!!!!


And after the pause it was time to die again for the sake of thrash metal... TESTAMENT was here for the first time in Strasbourg. AAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGHHHH!!!!!!! They opened with the first title of "the gathering" and played some more songs of this album like "True believer". It was really tough and Chuck Billy seems to have recovered from his tumors very well. Shit, this guy has such a presence on stage. It was awesome. A pity that the sound was a bit muddy, but as everybody knew the songs, it wasn't a big problem. "A trial by fire", "the haunting" and such classics were played for our greatest pleasure. When Chuck announced the song "Over the wall", he asked to the audience to jump over the wall of the security guys in order to come on stage!!!!!! Hhahaahahaha!!! Which we fucking did. The security tried to catch me, but Chuck took my hand and I was here, on stage with TESTAMENT!!!!!!!! AAARRGH!!! On of the fucking best stage diving of my life! ha!!! Eric Peterson is really an amazing guitarist, and the other one was quite good too, but not as fluent as James Murphy on the soli. The Norwegian drummer was OK, but lacked a bit of intensity, even if he was really tight. On the fretless bass we had mister Steve Di Giorgio himself, and believe me this guy is amazing. The whole band is so used to play gigs, that everything went great and every musician moves a lot and communicates much with the crowd. TESTAMENT still kicks ass big time, and I can't wait for the new album....

All in all it was one of the best METAL festival I saw in a looooong time. The crown for the best performance definitely goes to NUCLEAR ASSAULT. These guys killed all. They will release a live album of this tour soon. DEATH ANGEL will release a new album next year, and TESTAMENT should give us a new piece of thrashing death metal soon..... And when you think that DESTRUCTION will play here in December, one can easily say that Strasbourg is a good place for the metalheads.



- DARKANE, MARDUK and TESTAMENT (1,2) photos taken by Anne Gaelle/ Metal storm zine during the No   Mercy fest in Strasbourg.
- MALEVOLENT CREATION and TESTAMENT (3,4,5,6) photos by Frederic Lemaire/ No Mercy Fest in Paris.
- NUCLEAR ASSAULT Photos taken from the official website and varied sources.
- DEATH ANGEL Photos taken during the No Mercy fest in Vienna, from the official website.