Prophecy Fest 2023 shifted into full gear: With 1401 visitors from 40 countries, some arriving from as far as Australia Japan, India, Brasil, Columbia, Uruguay, Canada and the United States, the fest in the Sauerland again brings international flair to the Cave of Balve.
Gates opened punctually at 14:00 CEST and with a slight delay, Seattle duo YEAR OF THE COBRA opened this year's proceedings on the second stage about an hour later. Impressive front woman Amy Tung Barrysmith set the high energy mood of the day. On the main stage, Dutch mask bearing LASTER took the cue and hammered a dynamic set into the well-filled cave. The experimental post-black metal trio delivered a massive wake-up call. Meanwhile the merchandise stand got under siege from a host of fans wanting albums and t-shirts. This only lifted late at night. Leipzig's DISILLUSION enchanted their audience with their complex avant-garde tracks that still remain catchy and melodic. Following extensive touring, the East Germans are in excellent shape. For many visitors, THE VISION BLEAK performing their debut album "The Deathship Has a New Captain" was already the highlight of the weekend. This horror metal classic had the crowd cheering. The Germans were visibly loving it. The cave turned dark next, when DARKSPACE from Switzerland did not only look but also sounded eerie on a shortened stage as their fierce ambient black metal does not feature a drummer. The Swiss trio channeled their inner SAMAEL perfectly. What a brillant show: MY DYING BRIDE took the energy from the hypnotised audience and turned all hum suffering and pain into 'The Cry of Mankind', welcomed with a collective scream. Classics like 'Turn Loose the Swans' and new favourites such as 'Catherine Blakes' reaped frenetic applause and the Northern English insular doom veterans repaid the favour with an outstanding performance. The Belgian art collective Church of Ra sent their musical emissaries AMENRA and their modern vision of hardcore-infused dark post-metal sound in connection with bleak images of humanity's self-destruction pulled the huge crowd into their harsh sonic web. A stunning performance to end the night. The second stage witnessed two more magical appearances by Salem's lot 1476. The wayward occult rockers from New England have won many new followers this weekend judging from the ever growing audience in front of their stage. CRONE topped the evening on the second stage with another hard rocking show and a juicy dark gothic touch. A wild round of applause was the well deserved reward for the Northern Germans.
Martin Koller comments: "We are thrilled to report that all bands that had not cancelled prior to the festival arrived safely and performed amazing shows yesterday", declares the fest founder. "The safety of visitors and guests are our top priority and we are glad that again there were no serious incidents. Following the siege at the merchandise stand, we can already announce that the system will be changed next year to reduce waiting times. The weather was excellent and the forecast says, it will continue to remain sunny. Please make sure to stay hydrated and enjoy the final day of Prophecy Fest. A quick recommendation, please check out the great newcomers on the second stage as well. Have fun, take care of each other, and be nice to the hard working crew, as always."
(Photographs by Carsten Brand)