June 24th through the 26th, Ferropolis, Germany is hosting the growingly popular Full Force Festival. Germany is one country that does not take rock and metal music and festivals lightly. Full Force is one festival that is slowly staking their claim as a big dog festival in Europe. In the past, bands like Slayer, Judas Priest, Parkway Drive, Limp Bizkit, Arch Enemy, and Motorhead have headlined the weekend long metal camp. Like all other German metal festivals, Full Force spares no expense for lights, stage setups, and intense imagery that will instinctually make someone throw some horns in the air with breakdowns happening on stage. This years lineup is very exciting to see, with a lot of familiar names showing up on stage. There is a wide variety of acts too, ranging from pop punk all the way to super heavy deathcore.
Though the poster does not show very many names at the moment, there are plenty more names to be added still within the next year. Looking from the bottom of the list to the top, we see that this festival is just stacked already with more to come later. Initially, Stick To Your Guns is the name that caught my attention, veterans of big metal festivals and alumni of this particular festival. STYG is one of the most consistent bands I have ever seen, the vocals are spot on and the energy given out is unmatched by any other band. Fusing elements from hardcore, metalcore, and speed punk, there is nothing quite like a set from these Orange County vets. Another big name that has been around the block a few times is Canadian easy-core band, Silverstein. This band was one of the first bands out there to do the “one vocalist does all” game plan, clean and unclean vocals coming from the same person. Many years of playing shows are under their belts, but they still play every set like they are in their twenties.
A somewhat surprising name that pops up on this lineup is Neck Deep, as popular as they are, it does not seem to me like they are going to be a crowd favorite, their music is great but at a festival generally focusing on much heavier sounds? I am not too sure, I hope they are received well as they are very talented. Now, remember how I said this festival focuses on the heavier side of music? Exhibit A, from Oldham County, Kentucky is Knocked Loose. One of the few bands out there today with the actual potential to make hardcore mainstream, which would be both a blessing and a curse for the genre. Their stage presence is a ten, sound quality is a ten, crowd interaction is a ten, and their overall image is a ten. These guys scream hardcore (literally and figuratively). One of the bigger bands on the bill that is not a “headliner” is Killswitch Engage, I have always given this band a lot of praise as I see them to be one of the founding fathers of metalcore and one of the first breakout bands of the new American heavy metal scene from the early 2000’s. Unbelievable live performances and hilarious crowd interaction, these guys are a smash hit every stage they play.
The last few of the really notable names on the undercard are, Creeper the goth rock band from the UK who can be seen at so many different types of festivals, all the from events like Download to an event like Coachella where I would not be surprised to see them. Counterparts from Canada are almost globally known as one of the best metalcore bands out there today, their music is instantly recognizable due to the powerful vocals of Brendan Murphy. Finally, alt-rockers from the UK Boston Manor are an energetic group, with catchy choruses and hooks for days. I have seen this group more than a few times and each set is better than the last, these guys do put on great festival slot performances but they are made for the clubs.
Our headliners thus far, The Ghost Inside will finally be making their triumphant return to live music and touring circuits, across the board one of the most consistent bands from recording to on the stage. Riffs that always raise eyebrows and some of the heaviest breakdowns to date. The hometown heroes of this festival most likely will end the weekend, German extreme metal group, Heaven Shall Burn. They are known for their diverse metal stylings and their lyrical content that ranges from anti-racist, anti-facist to oppression and resistance.