Magazine: Rock Hard / Germany
Report: Death-Benediction-Crack Up
Venue: Markthalle-Hamburg Germany

Written by: Sonja Lattwesen
Published: December 1998


"Just" 400-500 people were neither scared off by the resigning of Benedictions Dave Ingram nor by the bad "Death" messages from the Dynamo Open Air, and knew what they came for tonight: "Death Metal"!!

Crack Up opened for just a half filled hall. The guys have toured their asses off this summer and gained, right here in Hamburg, a lot of fans who were here today to party. This time the band played as if they had been drugged with Valium, only the old hit "Blood On The Floor" had some spirit. The inspiration only came when guest guitarist Florian from Dew Scented stepped in and took care of some firework.

The new Dave (Hunt/SL) on the microphone with Benediction hardly knew any lyrics by heart (the cheat sheet did wonders) but had an agressive way of performing. That's how the songchoice appeared: "Subconscious Terror" from the eighties was digged up again, also the songs from the "The Dreams You Dread" album. From the recent work the "Britt-deathers" played "Deadfall" en "Agonised". The four oldies served the songs very heavy and let their new man free, but the Benediction fire, that makes them who they are, just wasn't there.

In the meantime the entire Hammerfall crew was amongst the audience, taking a break from a Hamburg studio, waiting to see their to-be-tourmates of the States: Death who were even honoured before the show started. The yelling for an encore was shouted before they even played the first song(!) and Chuck "mother fucking genius" Schuldiner took it all with a grin and posted himself with his guitar in the spotlights. The audience went crazy with "The Philosopher", got in a "break-extasy", got completely insane, needed every space they had, increasing with every song that was played. Announcements still aren't the masters speciality, but the crowd, without hesitations, took over his task spontaeniously with a little "what's the next song"-game, From "Leprosy" (which wasn't played) to "Symbolic" from all different corners of the hall songs were being shouted. Chuck grinned again and in a little "best-of-part" only stuff from "Spiritual Healing" and the title track of "Leprosy" were left out. Within two hours the Markthalle turned into a sauna and Chuck was dripping as if he was standing under a shower. Scott Clendenin and Shannon Hamm didn't have to be ashamed of themselves for anyone about their playing skills, and took over the contact with the audience more and more. Unbelievable but the gig improved with every unbelievable minute of the two unbelievable hours up 'till the encore and released the audience with an absolute curiosity: "Zombie Ritual" from 1985 !

Sonja Lattwesen

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Translated by YK/AS for EmptyWords-Published on March 31 1999