While packing for my first travel abroad since 2019, I had the feeling I ‘ve forgotten how it’s like not only being on a plane, but also attending to such a fest! Two years out of our concert (comfort) zone I was praying to metal gods that this festival won’t be cancelled. Thank Gods it wasn’t! Tremendous organization once again by Oliver, all the covid measures were applied and followed in detail. Friday 19th and we finally passed the gates of our Valhalla (Posthalle Venue in Würzburg, Germany). The joy and excitement of everyone joining the battle was more than obvious. Beers, music chatting with people from all around the world, vinyl’s buying and a KIT stage ready for the killing made it a time to remember. Smaller but with a bunch of staff were bands’ merchandise and music stores’ market. The venue was true enough but didn’t miss out in sound’s quality or any other tech detail, all leading to an astonishing outcome that both bands and audience enjoyed to the bone!
The horns have sounded and Austrians, Venator, invaded the stage! Having released only an EP in 2020, same as the Swedish, Century both bands impressed with their roughness, extreme energy and heavy riffs, preparing the audience for what was about to come. Night Eternal, with a full length, “Moonlight Cross”, gave a glimpse of the old days. Exciting was also seeing the goddess Jutta on the frontline again with Velvet Viper after their 2017 reformation, having also released their seventh album within 2021. With Ostrogoth keeping it true since ‘81 and a great Josey Hindrix on vocals and steady Mario Pauwels, one of the founding band’s members, we couldn’t help banging our heads throughout the whole setlist. Acid gave as a max overload by all means. Kate was demolishing on stage, being a living proof that rock ‘n roll never dies. Triumph Of Death, Tom Gabriel Fischer’s tribute to his legendary early band Hellhammer, the seed a second wave of black metal back in the days, was unfold before our eyes, preparing us for first’s day headliners, Candlemass. Top notch moment in my opinion of the setlist was “Samarithan”. The atmosphere got heavier, more atmospheric and dark. Couldn’t have had a better epilogue.
Friday’s Highlights: Seven Sisters
Well this band was an apocalypse. Perfect sound, great groove and amazing compositions smashing your brain exactly when and where needed. The latest album of the British, Shadow of a Fallen Star Pt.1., is more than promising.
With more or less beers (I think more) the warm up was undertaken by Sphinx and Megaton Sword in best possible way. Steel met steel for the holy trinity of Belgians, Killer, while Demon went along with another great performance with mighty Dave Hill even costuming,creating this misty scenery. Life on the wire stood out. Atlantean Kodex following their Sensus Fidei, 2019 demo, plus their double ‘20/‘21 live releases, Coralie Baier, band’s new guitarist, was the star of the evening shredding the stage with her great guitar skills and sound.
Saturday’s Highlights: Praying Mantis, Nestor, Blind Guardian
Cry for the nations, new track by Mantis, was performed live by the NWOBHM pioneers. Too bad though that was not included in their setlist more songs from Time tells no lies, as the band already had devoted a UK tour dedicated to its 40 years’ anniversary! Professionalism, melody, attitude every fucking time. Never disappointing.
Newcomers Nestor was a surprise, even from day one when they were announced to be part of Keep it True rising edition festival. No need to say that they are more alike a melodic hard rock band. It’s less than a month from the release of their very first album – Kids in a Ghost Town – having thrilling reviews so far. In “Tomorrow” instead of Samantha Fox, we saw Marta Gabriel (Blazon Stone, Crystal Viper) blowing off the stage along with Nestor’s frontman, Tobias Gustavsson. With their most catchy song, On the Run, the band sent us on a quest back to the late ’80s. I’m sure I was caught singing along on the frontline caaall the poliiiiice.
Last but never least, Blind Guardian. Although already melancholic as we were shortly coming to the end of it all, once Hansen’s voice reached The Ninth Wave I let myself loose into the thirsty for more crowd! Despite not having an exclusively old-school set as promised, Guardian were once again terrific. Anticipating to see them again in Greece, hopefully in the summer of 2022, I hold in memory Nightfall, and Majesty from this night.
And Then There Was Silence …. till it gets loud again. Keep it True (even its rising edition) keeps the fire alive for our music, lifestyle, and beliefs. For me, it was a reminder of who I am and what I need for being mentally healthy and feeling alive. Lockdown in every form cannot prevent music from being written and evolve. Support the bands you love to hear and are part of your souls. This scene needs to be heard more than ever and I really thank all KIT coordinators and especially Oliver for making it happen!
But keep the fire burning
You’re the steel that never fades away
And be forever after standing bright
We’re Steel and Starlight