Heaven Shall Burn gloriously close Wacken Open Air 05.08

Author Benedetta Baldin - 6.8.2023

All good things must, unfortunately, come to an end, and so even Wacken Open Air has reached its fourth and final day on August 5th. But before closing the gates of the Holy Ground, we experienced a day filled with enthusiastic acts, countless sentiments and marvellous music. We would like to sincerely thank the whole festival organisation because we felt at home in the United Area and between the stages. The most wonderful thing that happens at Wacken is the music but also the union of all kinds of metalheads, helping each other, supporting each other and cheering for each other.

Enemy Inside

Saturday starts with some local talent, Enemy Inside, who are ready to rock the W:E:T stage at 11:00. Their music is a blend of modern, alternative and symphonic metal, and their performance was an electrifying display of raw power and musical prowess that left the audience utterly mesmerized. As a formidable metal band, their stage presence was nothing short of captivating, commanding the crowd’s attention from the very first note. On various occasions, lead singer Nastassja asked to the audience to duck, wait for the drop and then rise, jumping. That was a really fun way to engage with the crowd, and it made their set very enjoyable. The thunderous riffs, delivered with precision and intensity, reverberated through the field, infusing the atmosphere with a strong energy. We will definitely be keeping an eye on them!

Photo: Silvio Colombo.


We’re moving back to the main stage at 12:45 to be in time for Delain. Their performance was an awe-inspiring testament to their evolution as a metal band, showcasing an undeniable increase in quality since the last time we saw them in Pratteln. From the moment they took the stage, it was evident that they had honed their craft to perfection. Wacken is a pass-or-fail test for all the bands, and they passed with flying colours. The band’s energy was infectious, and their stage presence commanded attention, drawing the audience into their world of metal enchantment. All the members displayed remarkable skill, delivering intricate guitar solos and thunderous drumming with precision and flair. Diana Leah proved to be a powerhouse, captivating the audience with her mesmerizing voice, effortlessly weaving through melodic passages and delivering raw emotion in the more aggressive sections. Delain’s ability to connect with the crowd and deliver a memorable show was unparalleled, leaving no doubt that they have reached new heights in their musical journey.

Photo: Silvio Colombo.


There are many Finnish bands that have a flair for folk metal, but I personally think that Ensiferum beat them all. Their set was a breathtaking journey to the depths of their genre, proving that their strength is alive and kicking. Toivonen and company delighted the Wacken audience with a spectacular concert that focused on their latest release, “Thalassic”. It’s simply impossible to stand still on “Lai Lai Hei” or “Token of Time“, and they are well aware of the effect they have on the crowds. The passion they have on stage is unmatched, and that is exactly what we are looking for. Not merely music, but full-on entertainment: in the 21st century, bands can do so much more than just play! Lindroos and Hinkka do an outstanding job with the rhythmic section, Montin was in perfect shape, and Parviainen was hammering the drums like his life depended on this. In conclusion, Ensiferum‘s captivating blend of folkloric storytelling and powerful metal anthems created an unforgettable experience that will linger in the hearts of the audience long after the final note of “From Afar” faded away.

Photo: Silvio Colombo.

Burning Witches

We returned to the W:E:T stage to see the Swiss band Burning Witches. They delivered an electrifying performance that set the stage ablaze at the prestigious Wacken Open Air. As the sun shined through the festival, the all-female metal band took the crowd on a dark and captivating journey through their powerful repertoire. Lead singer Laura explained that since they are witches, they were older than anyone in the audience. They certainly do not show their age! With fiery riffs and thundering drum beats, the band’s harmonious blend of traditional heavy metal and modern influences enveloped the audience, leaving them in awe of the witches’ mesmerizing stage presence. The energy in the air was palpable as the crowd chanted in unison, fully immersed in the sheer raw power of Burning Witches‘ performance. It looks like this amazing band can enchant bigger and bigger crowds, and we were happy to fall under their charming spells.

Photo: Silvio Colombo.

Two Steps From Hell

The heavy metal world can be paired with many other genres and arts, and this is the prelude that anticipates the first-ever performance at Wacken Open Air of the notorious Two Steps From Hell. They have gained success composing music for movies, tv shows, video games and much more. So of course, we could not miss such an incredible performance at the festival. And if our expectations were pretty high for this, they might have even exceeded them. All of the musicians on stage had stupefying skills and techniques, starting from Bergesen and Phoenix, switching instruments with ease. They prepared a variegated and sophisticated setlist, which included tracks from different releases. Wacken was delighted with an epic spectacle that transcended musical boundaries and ignited the crowd’s passion. As the haunting melodies and thunderous percussion resonated through the venue, a mesmerizing aura engulfed the crowd, transporting them to mythical realms and epic battles. There was no better way to come to an end to this fourth day.

Photo: Silvio Colombo.

Heaven Shall Burn

While for the other three days, I was quite familiar with the headliner bands, the last day at Wacken got me not fully prepared for Heaven Shall Burn. I was almost sure they were a melodic death metal group, but my knowledge ended there. And I was absolutely shocked at the immensity and majesty of their performance. With the use of pyrotechnics, explosions and fire, it was not only a pleasure for the ears but for the eyes as well. I have never seen so many people crowd surfing like during their set; it was almost mandatory to fly above other people’s heads to fully absorb the power of the band’s concert. As the show progressed, the band’s flawless musicianship and tight-knit performance further solidified their reputation as one of the genre’s finest live acts. We got treated with two covers, “Black Tears” by Edge of Sanity and “Valhalla” by Blind Guardian, which made this show even more special. Heaven Shall Burn’s relentless dedication to their craft and unwavering commitment to their message left an indelible mark on the festival, reminding everyone present that metal can be both a force of pure aggression and a vehicle for change. The perfect ending to a perfect festival. Returning to our normal lives after such a week will be very hard. So Wacken, thank you for four days of music, entertainment and passion.

Photo: Silvio Colombo.