|» Metaltown 2005||
This was the second year Metaltown was held, and the day they had chosen could perhaps have been better since it collided with another metal event. Metal Meet a small two day festival was running its second day while Metaltown was held, and even if there is an urge for metal in the city of Gothenburg there isn't room enough for two events occurring on the same day. Metaltown had two main stages, Metallscenen and Rockscenen, and one smaller, Skjulet, I guess we can call it a demo stage, and how the slots was delivered I don't know since Beseech that must be considered as a somewhat established act played at the "shed" while bands as Enter The Hunt and All Ends, which yet have to make an album debut, played at the bigger stages. Not that I complain, but it is just something that made me curious.
Saturday - 30th of July
Band: Enter The Hunt
First out on the big stage was this new band and after listening to the sound samples at their homepage, I had some expectations on this band. Enter The Hunt, if I shall describe how they sound, is a mix between Engine, (the band featuring Fates Warning vocalist Ray Alder and bass player/ producer Joey Vera), Tool and Deadsoul Tribe with a touch of Björk. We are dealing with progressive metal with a great deal of emotion and a voice that is something out of the ordinary. Vocalist Krister Linder is perhaps more known to swedes as Chris Lancelot and had some pop hits with the bands Dive and Grace in the early nineties. The rest of the band consist of ex-Omnitron and ex-Candlemass members and with the later you could expect some heaviness to the sound of Enter The Hunt. And I really liked their mix of progressive heaviness while they go much for the emotional side in their songs, something that fits the voice of Krister Linder perfectly and how he stretches out the words with his great voice. Even though this is a relatively new act I found them to sound very tight, something that is necessary for their music and it worked out better than what I expected it to do live as they really made their music come alive on stage. Visually, Enter The Hunt might not be the most interesting band to watch, since apart from the vocalists vivid moves there was not much action on stage, although it didn't feel as necessary with their living music that comes with a great flow and emotions that lets you float away.
I definitely recommend you to check this band out, when their album comes out I will be very surprised if they are not to be heard about. This might very well be the next big thing to come out of Sweden.
(Sorry, no setlist)
Cursed be you, oh wicked rain. Just when Enter The Hunt was finishing up, the sky opened and unleashed all of its redundant liquids. As tradition invites, Metaltown seems to be cursed with bad weather. Well, perhaps cursed is too early to say but after two festivals and two years with rain it sure makes you wonder. With fear of getting wet, I stayed in the beer tent and decided to merely listen to All Ends instead of getting soaked as early as it was in the day. With songs written by Jesper Strömblad and Björn Gelotte, the two guitarists from In Flames, it is quality with the songs even if the sound differs quite a bit from In Flames. All Ends has two female vocalists and of course a much softer approach then In Flames even if it more than once shines through with the guitars who lies behind it all even if the guys from In Flames didn't play with the band themselves.
The beer, which tasted even less then it had any effect, made me leave the beer tent and head over to the shed and check out the final songs from the band Enemies (hmm, didn't they used to be called Enemies SWE before?) and the sleaze rock they provide. Not really my cup of tea, but I must give it to them that they are good in what they are doing. Perhaps not the most impressive stage presence but because of people seeking shelter from the rain they get a crowd bigger than what they normally should and the vocalist gets a rather big part of them going and puts most of us there in a good mood. Enemies makes good listening music for me and is one of Sweden's better sleaze bands, and with their final song Enemy, they have song with great hit potential that even I cant resist. I wonder when the rest of the world will discover that one?
Back to the beer tent and the lame beer and I get a spot where I can
somewhat see Tiamat on stage. Didn't these
guys used to be good? And didn't they play death metal for a while? When
Tiamat changed musical direction I lost my interest in the band and this
gave me proof that I haven't missed anything since I gave them up. It
mostly sounded like Sisters Of Mercy and only with a couple of old songs
I found them worthwhile. Even though I heard more than I saw, I don't
feel that I missed anything out.
Band: Dark Tranquillity
In Sweden we have a saying that goes like this: 'There is no such thing as bad weather, only a bad choice of clothing'. Yeah, every kid hate hates hearing that when growing up while your mother dressed you up in rain clothes, and you can bet your ass that she was always right. Mikael Stanne changed this a bit and said: There is no such thing as bad weather, only damn slow songs. Dark Tranquillity played the shit out of the weather gods and made them stop for a while. This band always seems to be overwhelmed with joy when they play at home and this was an intense performance filled with energy. It was full speed from beginning to end and an endless flow of great songs where most came from the last two albums. Punish My Heaven was one of the older ones and is one helluva live track where the band really get to show their best side. This song is always a highlight for me, this time as well. I don't think that I have seen all of the guys in Dark Tranquillity so pumped up and excited before and the response they got was really good, the crowd kept shouting for them to return to the stage after they ended with the track Final Resistance. And that was not only a good song with massive energy to end the set with, it was also the final resistance to keep the rain away since it started again about as soon the music faded out. If you ask me Dark Tranquility should have played later in the evening and most of all been given more time, but they did the most of what time they had.
(Sorry, no setlist)
Sentenced are about to send themselves to the grave as this is their final tour before they put the band to rest, for good. I cant say that I will grief their decision since this was a pretty lame performance and I also found the music to be insignificant and when they also were boring to watch, I didn't get much out of it. The only one moving around at all was their vocalist and the choice to end the career of Sentenced seems to be wise, I got as tired to watch them as they seemed to be of performing on stage.
So I felt it was time to leave Sentenced and their funeral to themselves
and those that cared and decided to try to get something to eat instead.
I went back to the beer tent and had another go at the beers while I listened to Hanoi Rocks seeking refugee from the rain. Not my kind of music and it didn't sound that exciting from where I stood, but they had a lot of people watching so I decided to head out in the rain for a little while to see what the fuzz was all about. Hanoi Rocks did a dynamic performance and even if I wasn't impressed, most in the crowd seemed to enjoy the band and I guess you shouldn't be counting out these Finns just yet.
Rain, rain and bloody rain, it felt like it would never end. But the four guys headbanging while playing cello didn't seem to care. Apocalyptica has expanded their band with a drummer and visually this was really cool to watch. But to see an entire concert that is instrumental makes me lose interest and when it is the Metallica covers that is the best in their set, I found it wiser to take shelter from the rain instead of getting wet.
Beseech is band that I have heard about many time but never actually listened to so I went to the shed to check them out. But this turned out to be a band as boring to listen to as to watch. Beseech has the typical male/female fronting with vocals and the stage personalities in this band need to be improved by all in the band. Musically it is somewhere in the realms of Lacuna Coil and even if the female vocalist sang good she felt out of place, like she was more suited to be in a pop band than in a metal band.
Hammerfall, what can I ever write about
them that I haven't already written? This was the third time I saw them
on the same tour and I suggest you check out my reviews from the other
two occasions instead. No news under the sun really, but as always it
was a pleasure to see them and the joy they have on stage. There is no
doubt that they are dedicated to their task. Hammerfall is a band that
is very professional and a band that likes to play live and knows how
to do it well.
I was almost about to give up and surrender to the rain, but I am glad that I stayed since this was mostly impressive. The rain that was not falling as heavily now gave another dimension to the stage set and performance from Rammstein. It is more than just metal when Rammstein enters the stage, it is also an act, and the gray and machine like stage set and their robotic moves only became more enhanced by the darkened gray sky and the lightly pouring rain. The band made its entrance and you could see that it was well rehearsed and their performance shone with German efficiency and precision. If you like fire, and who does not, Rammstein is the band to see when it comes to heat things up. They went the full length to provide a show out of the ordinary with lot of effects and not seldom big effects, massive pillars of smoke reaching up to the top of the stage, lots of pyro and not least all the fire. They started with Reise, Reise as first song and then the band became a machine that was pounding out song after song. There is nothing to complain about with the songs delivered, great intensity and even if they looked busy keeping up appearances of looking cool and machine like on stage, you could see that there was human life and not least joy in their faces.
The concert never lost its momentum, it kick started and kept the pace all through the set, and the fact that there was something happening on stage in every song made it a visual feast as you never got time to lose the interest but instead kept your eyes opened wondering what would happen next. In the song Mein Teil vocalist Till Lindeman dressed as a chef all bloody and with a giant butcher knife brought out a giant kettle that the keyboardist was playing in, and then Till aimed at it with a flame-thrower and shot massive flames at it, pretty effectual if you ask me. When massive flames wasn't shooting up from the stage or the guitarists microphone stands was burning, there was considerable impressive and big effects with the lightning and pyro, and along with the pounding heavy monotone rhythms from the music it was mighty. Most cool effects was perhaps when Till and the guitarists equipped themselves with devices over their heads and it looked like they spat fire, and it were no small flames.
The only thing that might count as negative is that there was little
interaction with the crowd. Apart from the usual "point the microphone
to the crowd and let them sing the words" they lived in to their
performance and stage act and there was practically no times when Till
addressed the audience. Although it was another pretty cool moment when
the bass player hung off his bass and step into a rubber boat and sailed
on the ocean created by the audience hands that brought him pretty far
out from the stage before the boat was turned around. The heavy pounding
music and all the effects made this a memorable concert and Rammstein
had enough hits to fill their performance with, but if the set had been
longer and the effects had been less, I think it would be hard for them
to be as good. And even if I missed the track Engel, I am glad that I
endured the rain, this was definitely worth it and I am sure that most
in the crowd felt the same way.
(Sorry, no setlist)
I was glad to see the return of Metaltown for a second year and I damn
well hope that there will be one next year as well, the need for metal
still exists in this town. The organizers did a great job even if I found
the line-up from last year to be better, but the schedules were kept really
well and mostly the sound was really good at all of the stages. What can
be improved to next year is the stuff in the festival area with merchandise
and other stands but mostly the food issue need improvement and perhaps
beer that is stronger next time. Crowd wise, there was a good show up,
so in that sense this years' addition must be seen as a success. Last
year the attendance were about 5000 and it appeared to be twice the amount
this time. Rammstein is a probable because why there were so many attending
Metaltown this year, judging by band-shirts Rammstein's where the ones
hugely most represented. And once again I hope that there will be another
festival next year, and that the curse will lift so we won't have to endure
another Metaltown with an endless pouring rain.
Related links: www.metaltown.se
Thomas, August 2005