W:O:A 2017 Preview


The 28th Wacken Open Air will take place between August 3rd and 5th, 2017. The show is sold out for the 10th time in a row (if my memory serves) and it will host amazing bands again. You can read below our preview and comments for our personal highlights. Please remember: There are 150+ bands and these here are just a few – mainly the headliners. The complete list of billing bands are here: http://www.wacken.com/en/bands/bands-billing/.

As regards the facilities, W:O:A has totally taken it to the next level with the newly set-up drainage system and the unique beer pipeline. Wacken is famous for its rain and mud but with the installation of the new drainage system less water accumulation is expected in the Infield area. The beerpipeline, which cost € 1m, will help the ground stay even by way of eliminating the need for beer trucks rolling into the festival area. It is also expected to minimize the beer queues and waiting time.

The long list of great bands and the newly introduced infrastructural developments are the reasons why you should be there this year again. See you at Wacken. Rain or Shine!

If Wacken is a game, Accept definitely has the home advantage as the pioneers of German Heavy Metal. They destroyed the stage in 2014 and I am expecting a similar show this year as well. The W:O:A website announces the band with the note “Very Special Show”, which will feature an orchestra. I am expecting a night to remember with Accept classics combined some songs from their upcoming album “The Rise of Chaos”.



What can one say about him? He was there when nobody else was and he’s still kicking ass. I watched them years ago in Istanbul and the show he put up on that relatively small stage makes me wonder what he will do at Wacken. Only one way to find out…



The Vikings are always a highlight of the festivals and they are always fun to watch. Expect a decent stage show, inflatable hammers held high, and much cycling headbang.


It’s a nice coincidence that I’ve been growing my beard.



The one man army is back in Wacken after two years. The last show was doused in mud but it was still fun. They don’t have any new releases, either, but a band like Annihilator has enough songs to play complete different setlists many times over (Please play Sonic Homicide this time!!!).



Aura Noir is old-school as old-school goes. Still without compromise, the trio will serve us the well-known speed/black/trash from decades ago.



Batushka is a god-sent. Their single work “Litourgiya” came out in 2015, out of nowhere, and simply blew everyone away. Their heavy Orthodox chanting induced musical structure or crowded and ritualistic stage presence should not trick you; Batushka is extremely fine black metal underneath. And what a fine specimen of Polish extreme metal. The simple prospect of seeing them live makes me ecstatic like a 10 year old.



If you are tired of all the concerts ans stuff, you can go on a spiritual journey with Candlemass. Personally, I have not had the chance to watch them and I am looking forward to their ritual.


Omg omg heart heart heart



This is an exceptional band. Their crowded, bagpipe and heavy percussion playing and heavily costumed stage presence and trademark stunning medieval music is sure to amaze the audience.



Only German Show

I just have to lay back, read the name again over and over to digest the fact that I will, finally, see Emperor on stage. Ihsahn may have put Emperor to rest to follow a solo career, but he is also such a nice guy to still do live shows. I have missed every chance to see them live but 2017 will be it.



Another band which I have waited for years to watch live. It makes you feel so bad that such a great band has been so underrated throughout their career. I am sure they will put up a show worthy of them – and us.



Honestly, I have just discovered them with their latest album Sword Songs, and it really grew on me. They play heavy doom metal with pagan/viking themes. I am looking forward to their show.



Kadavar is as huge a success as Ghost in terms of their instant popularity. Both bands display musical  similarity although Ghost is on the dark side. Kadavar will show us the ways of the light side with their minimalist setup, catchy tunes and embracing sincerity. May the force be with us!



The Teutonic Lords are back with another fist of fury called Gods of Violence and they will spread it all across Wacken under the leadership of Mighty Mille Petrozza. Expect the classics, the new stuff from the new album, crowdsurfing, moshpits and walls of death.



Not much has been left unsaid about (The True) Mayhem, one of the bands (if not the band) to set the standards of the second-wave (or Norwegian) black metal. Unlike the majority of the extreme metal bands though, the early Mayhem had severe difficulty in dissociating fantasy from reality, resulting in the infamous early 90’s that saw Dead’s suicide, concert incidents and the single album that changed it all, “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”. The first ten years containing several demo’s, an EP, a live album and the aforementioned studio album, largely acclaimed as the classic era of Mayhem was brought to an end by the murder of Euronymous. Founding bassist Necrobutcher, long-time drummer Hellhammer and vocalist Attila still pursue Mayhem, still with ever-changing line-ups (with the total number of musicians nearing 20). Leaving the cult where it was, probably rightly so, the new band ventured into much experimental pastures, receiving both harsh criticism (Grand Declaration of War) and acclaim (Ordo ad Chao). And now they are touring to play that masterpiece De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas in its entirety, with no less than 3 (ok maybe 2) actual musicians present. An experience of a lifetime, especially for those who missed all that in the early 90’s. Still, it will be interesting to see the new Mayhem play the old one.



Probably following the man for more than 20 years now so I guess I should be ready for a live presence. I may be wrong.



Seen them in Istanbul. Jumped a lot. Hurt my right knee in the process. No regrets. Will do again.



Post-Youthanasia Megadeth has been receiving ever so falling praise and we saw a constant shift in line-up, leaving Dave Mustaine, who Megadeth was all about honestly. David Ellefson and his sweet basslines have returned and 2016’s Dystopia is a glimmer of hope that Megadeth is back. Maybe more wrinkly and pot-bellied, but Mustaine and his friends are as fierce and artistic as ever, dead-cert to offer us another feast in classical thrash metal.



Perhaps the band that brought the sweetest doom-infused death metal moments to our ears, Morbid Angel has consistently produced fabulous albums. Except “Illud…” which was played by another band with the same name, but with extremely less talent and creativity. The band saw some 20+ musicians come and go, with Trey Azagtoth leading through the whopping 34 years of activity. And it is his insane vision and artistic mastery that sustained the sound of Morbid Angel that we all know and love. Sadly, long-serving musicians Erik Rutan and David Vincent are gone now. Maybe even sadder, one of the fastest death metal drummers Pete “Commando” Sandoval was also recently forced to leave due to health issues. WOA 2017 will see the 3rd front man helm of Steve Tucker, along with new recruits in drums and guitars, accompanying Trey Azagtoth.



I am a sucker for old bands and as a result, the inventors of grindcore are in my focus – and so should be in yours, too. I watched them in W:O:A 2007 and had the chance to meet Barney, who was a really cool guy. Still full of energy, they are bound to destroy the stage with their blastbeats, aggression and unintelligible lyrics.



Possessed is the founder of death metal genre both with their sound and their track named “Death Metal”. Make no mistake, I am talking about 1985! I had the glorious chance to watch them 10 years ago at W:O:A 2007 and also met Jeff Becerra! He is the real deal. He is probably the most energetic and most humble frontman ever! This show is an absolute must. No matter which genre you listen to, make sure you add them to your own running order to watch the day-1 of death metal.



The former Manowar guitarist Ross the Boss has a Manowar setlist which will make up for a Manowar show at W:O:A. Remove colored clothing, ready your leathers and raise your fists high!



Another band reminding me of W:O:A 2007. An absolute must-see for die-hard thrashers.



Warrel Dane! Probably better known as the awesome singer for Nevermore is actually back in his old band. Decent heavy, groove, prog metal from US.



Tankard is your number one go-to band if you just wanna drink and listen to matching music. The Frankfurter Kings of Beer has their new album out and I am sure they will deliver a show to remember.




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