|» Metaltown 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
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
(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.
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)
7 chalices of 10
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Thomas, July 2006