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~ Written by Thomas, July 2006

The curse had been lifted…

...the spell had been broken. No rain? Was somebody pulling my leg here? Nope, the sun actually shone the entire day and it was hot as hell. After two years of constant rain and heavy clouds over Metaltown, I was prepared for the worst and when I woke up at the morning and saw grey clouds and that it had rained recently I kind of felt that it figures. But the clouds had shattered by the time I left home and headed towards the festival with a great anticipation. This was the third year of the Metaltown and probably the hardest one if you look at the line-up with bands like Entombed, Soilwork, Cradle Of Filth, The Haunted and Satyricon among others in the starting grid.

Friday - 7th of July

Band: Entombed
Time: 14.00-14.45

Entombed, this band is an institution in Swedish death metal. Why they played as early as they did is a riddle to me, although it turned out to be a good band to start the day with. Their performance felt a bit unfocused at the beginning and vocalist L-G Petrov appeared to suffer from a hangover or perhaps he was already starting to get drunk? Anyway, he seemed to be really catching his breath between the songs and looked a bit fatigued and out of shape, but there was nothing wrong with his vocal chords. 15 songs in 45 minutes was what they delivered but it wasn't until halfway through and with songs as Like This With The Devil, When In Sodom from their new EP and Night Of The Vampire it started to sparkle around the band. Moreover, after Left Hand Path and the following last songs, it actually became really good. This was the first time I saw Entombed live and I surely believe that they must have done more inspired concerts than this one. It is obvious that they have a great amount of stage routine and can deliver, but a little more effort put into their performance wouldn't have hurt.

(Sorry, no setlist)

6 chalices of 10

After a quick and short walk after Entombed had finished, I found myself to be in front of the other big stage waiting for The Haunted to enter. I have never caught on to The Haunted even though it musically ought to fit me perfectly, so I decided to give them a second chance live to see if they could not perhaps win me over this time. But nevertheless how inspired they seemed to be on stage I couldn't enjoy them, and I still cant see what the hype is about this band.

So after a few songs I headed over to the shed where the third stage was, a smaller stage with modest lighting located in a warehouse or something like it. The first bands playing on this stage where unsigned ones that got a chance to showcase themselves. On stage when I arrived I found a local band called Zero Illusion that did a good job of presenting themselves even if it wasn't that much people in front of the stage at that time. Although their music that seemed to be inspired by US power metal it came out fairly ok and I found them more pleasant then The Haunted to listen to.

Band: Soilwork
Time: 15.40-16.30

Soilwork has never impressed me that much with their albums but to see them perform live was a positive surprise. This was entertaining as well as captivating and these guys surely know how to deliver their metal. Björn Strid does not only sing great and handles the changes from growls to clean vocals nicely but he is also a natural front-man that can hook a grip on the audience. The entire band looked determined to deliver and to enjoy their performance, not least bassist Ola Flink who was goofing around on stage.

SETLIST: (might be slightly incorrect)

Stabbing The Drama
Bastard Chain
Rejection Role
One With The Flies
Chainheart Machine
Follow The Hollow
As We Speak

7 chalices of 10

Band: Manimal
Time: 16.20-16.45
Kajskjul 103

Last band out among the unsigned ones that played in the shed was Manimal, and every once in a while you stumble on a band that simple knocks you off your feet and Manimal is definitely one of those. The band plays melodic metal and it is powerful such with the emphasis on metal where Judas Priest can be mentioned as an obvious influence. The band delivered their songs with a great force during the twenty-five minutes they had at their disposal and I would surely have liked to have heard more from these guys. What impressed me the most though was vocalist Sam Nyman that has one helluva set of pipes, although yet a bit unpolished but he surely has some amazing vocals resources there. Manimal is without any doubt a band for the future. Memorize the name because I am sure that you will hear it again, and remember from whom you heard it first.

(Sorry, no setlist)

8 chalices of 10

Band: Evergrey
Time: 16.40 - 17.30

Every time I have seen Evergrey they have delivered, because it is a band that you can always rely on that they will give you a great show. That is why I was so disappointed with their performance here because they didn't live up to the high standard that they have set for themselves. This was a strictly routine gig and no more than just a day at the job for the guys, nevertheless it sounded good but not nearly as good as they are able to sound. I do not think I have ever seen Evergrey as uninspired and performing as untight as this time and that is not what I am used to from Evergrey, but sadly that was the cold hard fact. Things started to improve towards the end but then it was too late to save the day.

(Sorry, no setlist)

4 chalices of 10

Band: Cradle Of Filth
Time: 16.40 - 17.30

Cradle Of Filth is one of those band that you every once in a while find yourself in a position with where you have to defend them. Either against people saying that they are just a lousy band making a lot of noise with a terrible vocalist, or that they are not "true" enough. Well, to hell with that since I sincerely like this band. Well, I like their albums at least, since their performance at Metaltown I neither can nor will defend. This felt like a massacre with bad sound and where Dani's high-pitch singing did not seem to work at all and it could barely be heard since it drowned in the other noise. He also seemed to be aggravated over something and it did not really feel like he wanted to be where he was at the time. So I walked towards the bar area and listened from a distance instead and the sound was actually better from there while I was standing in line for an eternity before I could order myself a beer. Rather than to suffer through the entire Cradle Of Filth performance that left me with grave disappointment, I headed back into the shed again.

(Sorry, no setlist)

2,5 chalices of 10

On stage this time when I entered the shed was the local band Engel with members with merits from bands like The Crown, In Flames, Gardenian and Passenger. The band had in my opinion improved greatly since I last saw them and this felt rather refreshing compared to Cradle Of Filth. Engel's performance was an adrenaline-raiser and it sounded very tight. Danko Jones was next on one of the big stages and unfortunately this collided with Enter The Hunt that I did not want to miss but I had time to catch the first couple of tracks of Danko. Safe to say, Danko Jones is a band that is always to be trusted, once again with full intensity and great deal of energy they gave hell. And "one-eyed" pirate Danko (he was wearing an eye-pad after an eye surgery he has gone through) was blabbering as usual between the songs. The band seemed to be in high spirit and from what I could hear from the shed waiting for Enter The Hunt to go on it sounded greatly.

Band: Enter The Hunt
Time: 19.00 - 19.45
Kajskjul 103

Enter The Hunt played last year as well at Metaltown and I was happy as hell to see their return as their performance then made a big impact on me. In my review from last year I said that this band could very well be the next big thing out of Sweden. Nothing has happened so far but they have yet to release their debut album that is due soon, and I still stand by that statement. This was nothing but bloody brilliant, I found myself complete lost in their wonderful music and before I knew it their time was up. Their blend of heavy aggressive metal rhythms with a large progressive touch on that has a nice flow to it and it is music filled with emotions that make you forget all about time and space. The music might be introvert and experimental and the band itself is not that arousing to look at but it is vocalist Krister Linder that really lifts this band with his truly amazing voice and devoted performance. To hear him bend his voice and gracefully as in trance move around on stage gives that final touch to the already perfect music.

(Sorry, no setlist)

9 chalices of 10

Opeth had to leave place for food, beer and a toilet break, and it took about all of Opeth's set to get these three things done, so I would not say that this is best organised festival concerning those matters. Satyricon vs. Motörhead - what to choose? Tough choice so I chose both even though I have seen Motörhead more times than what I can recall. Satyricon drew without a doubt the biggest crowd in the shed and perhaps they should have had a spot on one of the big stages instead. Satyricon provided a healthy dose of aggression with their black metal and the new songs from the Now, Diabolical album sounded splendid even if they are not as much black metal. Motörhead, what can you say? You know what you get with this band and what you get is always good.

Band: Tool
Time: 22.30 - 24.00

Tool provided an audio/visual experience as headliners at Metaltown. Four screens with video-projections made the backdrop of the stage to enhance the suggestive rhythms of their progressive metal. Tool is not an ordinary band in the sense of having a vocalist as the natural front man. Maynard Keenan had his position next to the drums and that was his ground to hold for the entire concert, while guitarist Adam Jones and bassist Justin Chancellor hold their positions at each side of the front of the stage. With tasteful lighting and projections on the screen they let the music talk for itself, and man did they ever. The tasteful lightning and the great performance from Tool created magical moments even if they suffered from a "showstopper", as Maynard said, when they ran into to troubles with the drums after the first song that took several minutes to fix. But with the start of the next song; The Pit you forgot all about it right away and once again found yourself being carried away by their great music. If you have not heard Tool before you see them I guess you could be a little bored with the non-activity on stage but if you like me are into their music I believe that you are in for a refreshing experience out of the ordinary, that is how I felt when leaving the festival.


The Pot
Forty Six & 2

8,5 chalices of 10

Till next year...

…things must be improved with the matters of food, bar area and toilets. The only selection in food you had was either burgers or hot dogs, Yippy-Ki-Yay. And don't get me started on how long you had to stand in line to get food, or to use the toilets, or to just get in to the bar area. We should also not even mention how long it took to actually get a beer when at last arriving at the bar. And luckily the beer was tasteful and not watery at all...NOT! There are some things that seriously need improvement until next year, but as much as I bitch about that I must also praise the things that actually where good: the organisation concerning the concerts, which was the actual reason for being there. The sound was mostly very good in front of all of the three stages and the schedules where kept flawlessly so in that aspect the festival was a success.

Related links:

See also review of:
Metaltown 2006 (by David)
Metaltown 2005
Metaltown 2004

Thomas, July 2006