Electric Hellride

Wacken - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

We knew we wanted to get back to doing at least one metal battle band at Wacken, and for once Denmark had an interesting bid in the competition, so why not go with them?

Not only did we know Electric Hellride from earlier on, both from a couple of live experiences, and also from their E.P. Charged, which ensured us there was some quality to get from this experience, but their slot at the Headbanger Stage was also perfectly fit in time to let us start this years’ Wacken experience in their presence.
Sadly, it was almost not to be though; a lengthy line at the wristband office delayed our arrival at the camp-site, and as the band began playing a few minutes ahead of time, the only memory I have of the first song is rushing across a muddy field, trying to find an entrance into the large tent stage…
Well in there, the scene was a completely different one though; the band was well into working up a sweat on the stage, and on the ground a lot of people were getting into the spirit of things. I was in fact quite pleasantly surprised to see how many had already searched out a band to watch. This was after all only Wednesday, and the festival wouldn’t really kick in until Thursday, and on top of that it was also still pretty early in festival standards (16:15 to be exact), and normally the big party wouldn’t begin till much later in the evening.

A party was exactly what this was however, as people were quite spontaneously synching up with fist waving and shouting “Hey” as though it was a large scale stadium concert they were watching. Neither did it take long before headbanging gave way for a large moshpit with an energy level which put any doubts about the band to shame.
You see, there was actually a very good reason that the audience was acting this way, and that was the band and its performance. Sure, their take on thrashy groove metal does the trick without scaring people off with too much new stuff, but it is without a doubt the performance that is this bands forte! When bassist/vocalist Casper Willumsen shouts aggressively into the microphone, guitarist Nicklas Adamsson headbangs away and Anders Molin stands on the edge of the stage, his axe held high, and in the back Brian Olsson punishes the poor skins around him, there isn’t an eye dry in the house. Well ok, eyes perhaps, but the rest is surely dripping with sweat as everyone is moving to the music.
The really good thing here, is that the members of the Hellride not only perform, but actually manage to do it in a way that you get the feeling of being at the above mentioned stadium show, no matter what the size the stage as in reality. Not only that though, but they’ve also figured out that kicking the same horse all the way through doesn’t work either, hence they do what they can to vary the entertainment; here at Wacken it wasn’t really necessary for them to start up a shout-along as the crowd managed to do that themselves, but Molin had brought some band-shirts along which he threw into the throng once in a while, and both he and other members threw some beer out there as well. Cheap tricks perhaps, but good ones when done right, and I’d say that’s how they were done here.

Time was short though, as each metal battle contender only has 20 minutes to prove their worth. As we had also missed the beginning, there wasn’t much time to judge this band in, but from what I saw I’d say this was one Prussian Hellride Wacken will remember for a while. Yes, without having seen anyone else at this point, I’d still say that Denmark might actually have a chance at the big price after this performance!

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