In my opinion still the best Metal festival out there bears the name “Bang Your Head” and finally is available on DVD, bringing you the 2005 edition. Packed on two DVDs we have 41 tracks from 21 bands, the first DVD bringing the first day and the second enclosing the second day of the festival. The 2005 edition was also the 10th of its kind, so a kind of “Best Of” opportunity to invite the bands which have been well received in the past, so the crème de le crème of traditional Metal are bustling on the main stage, which offers the bands a lot of space to be up to their mischief.
The Swedes from MORGANA LEFAY are starting the show, always a guarantee for a good live show, being one of the best live bands out there and they really kick ass with “Hollow” from the 2005 album “Grand Materia” and the classic “Maleficium”. They are followed by EXCITER and the Canadians are really unleashing some power with their Speed Metal and fit completely in the tradition of this festival, with a very flip Jaques Belanger, who shortly after has parted ways with the band once again. KAMELOT are unfortunately allowed only one glimpse with “March Of Mephisto”, but which proves that they should have been given the space for another track as well. KROKUS are not bad, but somehow they are not really carrying you away…
DESTRUCTION have never appealed to me, so we skip to one of my favorite bands: AMON AMARTH. Technically speaking not really in the stylistic context of BYH, in spite of that the Vikings are a live-authority, who are able to bring everything under control. After that DORO plays a completely different tune, but “Für Immer” is simply an awesome hymn, a la carte, whereas U.D.O. Dirkschneider, who still comes across as the Metal version of Joe Pesci, is still an institution in classic Teutonic Metal. For some strange reasons SAXON and MOTÖRHEAD are featuring only with one track, probably has something to do with the rights or something like that, but the quality is not an issue!
The Brits from DEMON still have the dark aura they had for decades, VICIOUS RUMORS without Carl Albert are still something to get used to, but both songs are taken from the “Welcome To The Ball” album, which is a timeless classic for me and that holds good for this line-up as well. NASTY SAVAGE leave me cold once again, which changes with the following JAG PANZER tracks, especially “Iron Eagle” is a must!!! TANKARD are entertaining but not my world, Axel Rudi Pell came up with a very old one, with the usual stretched solo parts, before CANDLEMASS unpack their awesome epic Doom, always worth to see and hear!
Seb Bach gives a SKID ROW classic, before HANOI ROCKS one of the most controversial bands at BYH, announced as the big surprise, as “Very Special Guest” and being mostly disappointing, they are not bad, but if they really deserve this slot, well…Then MIKE TRAMP’S WHITE LION follows, of course bringing the old classics and the GOLDEN EARRING classic “Radar Love”, before TWISTED SISTER cap it all.
Unfortunately I could not be on site, but this compilation (where unfortunately GAMMA RAY and NEVERMORE have been completely ignored) allows me to be there at least partly. The quality of the sound and image are very good and should show all those who have not yet been to Balingen, that this is a world class festival, maybe the best one out there! (Online September 12, 2006)