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~ Review and pictures by David

City: Växjö, Sweden
Venue: Kaskad, Folkets Park
Date: 18 Nov. 2006

We could now celebrate a year of different metal concerts in Växjö Folkets park, starting with Växjö Metal Festival in November 2005 and continuing with among others U.D.O., Tony Martin and Rage. I was pleased to notice that this time there were a lot more people, almost the double of the just above 400 at last year's festival. The event had also expanded with more bands on two stages and a lot of merchandise. That way there were plenty of possibilities to spend your time during the day, even when there were pauses at the main stage or bands of less interest playing. The only thing I missed was some more food facilities than a cabin selling hot dogs and hamburgers, with bread only. A bit scarce for some hundred people to live on for a whole day. The lineup consisted of a great mix between local (My Curse, Violent Work of Art), national (Evergrey, Sabaton, Nasty Idols) and Axxis representing the international. Also a great mix between different genres of metal, from sleaze to power metal.

- Most repetitive: Hammerfall's Chapter V seemed to be the only pause music available at Carlsberg Stage.
- This year's trend I: Two singers. Sonic Syndicate, Axxis and Sabaton all used more than one voice on stage.
- This year's trend II: Female rock musicians. Violent Work Of Art, My Curse, Sonic Syndicate and Axxis all had female members.
- Most drunk: The guy who got handcuffed by the security before two o clock in the afternoon.
- Comment: "The others just want to be with their girlfriends, but I love metal, so I'm here." (Lenny Blade, Bullet, about his bandmates)

Violent Work Of Art

Time: 12.30-13.30
Carlsberg Stage

I don't know if there is any connection, but at Växjö Metal Festival 2003 (not the same arrangers as this event) Violent Work of Art was one of the last bands to play. Then they have had the whole day to sit backstage and drink beer. Now they opened the festival on the main stage… A smart tactic anyhow. This was the first time I saw VWOA since then, over three years ago. A few things are new. First and foremost some new songs from forthcoming album, Automated Species. Then the new member on keyboard, Maria Simonsson. But the drum machine is still there. And Magnus Karlsson's voice is still a weak spot. He excused some missed tones with a cold, but it didn't sound that much better last time as I can recall.

By now you might think I don't like VWOA. Wrong. Actually I got home very late from Sabaton and Bullet in Kristianstad the night before, but managed to drag myself up very early to drive to Växjö anyhow just to be in time for the local industrial heroes. They delivered - as always - energy and joy on stage. Songs like Different Problem Same Solution still works fine and they know how to make a crowd wake up. Actually there were a lot more people at this early time than I expected. A great start of the day.

6 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)

My Curse

Time: 14.00-14.45
Löfbergs Lila Stage

My Curse played at last year's festival. As far as I can recall, I think they have roughed up a bit since then. Still melodic hard rock, but with a bit more edge and energy. Linéa Helgé knows how to tame a crowd when she sings and acts. Perhaps a bit more commitment in the stage talk might do further good. The band are about to record their debut album, without any record deal ready. The potential to succeed is there.

6 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)

Now I had some time to make an interview with the guys in Sabaton. Although they were not really prepared for this it was no problem at all to get them to put up with short notice. I was satisfied that I would have time to do this and still catch most of Elohim. But then a zealous guard refused to let me into the backstage area, even though I was in the company of the band and they tried to explain that I was just going to make an interview in their dressing-room. The guy had his orders. The press was not allowed in that area - under any circumstances. And there weren't any other empty, quiet and unlocked local to do this in at hand… After a few calls and a bit of waiting, we got the right guy to the place. I was let in. But now I could at best hope to get ready in time for half of Elohim's gig. When finally settled down to begin the interview we got interrupted by a couple, somehow related to another band (I didn't get which one) and their baby. As polite as the guys in Sabaton always are, they took their time to talk to their new fans. Now Elohim was out of the picture for me. Or actually I managed to catch the last song. It seemed like they've matured further during these three years since I saw them the last time. But anyway, you will be able to read the interview with Sabaton on this site shortly.

Sonic Syndicate

Time: 16.30 - 17.15
Löfbergs Lila Stage

Sonic Syndicate stood for the most positive surprise for the evening. With a sound that falls somewhere in between Soilwork and The Haunted, they gave a solid performance. To use two singers/screamers, Roland Johansson and Richard Sjunnesson, gave a great energy and dynamic to the music. Maybe they are a bit too similar in their song style though to really complement each other though. Even a third voice, that of bass player Karin Axelsson was used, which further enhanced the sound.

7 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)

Nasty Idols

Time: 17.00-18.00
Carlsberg Stage

This was my first experience of Sweden's answer to Mötley Crüe. It was all you can expect from a reunited sleaze act. Eye-liner, greasy hair, bandanas and dirty rock about sex. This usually works well live, and Nasty Idols this evening was no exception. On the other hand, they didn't attract that large a crowd in front of the main stage, which took down the overall impression a bit.

7 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)


Time: 18.30 - 19.30
Carlsberg Stage

This was only the second time for German metal veterans Axxis to play in Sweden. Therefore they got quite a lot attention. Axxis of today is a schizophrenic band. The first half they performed in their updated version with partly female vocals from Lakonia and a modern power metal sound, reminding of Nightwish latest two releases. The last part was back to the melodic heavy metal from the late 80s/early 90s à la Krokus or Victory. Strangely enough it worked just perfect both ways. Maybe Bernhard Weiss' exercises in Swedish phrases were a bit outstretched. After all it's not that fantastic that a person is able to learn some phrases in different languages. But the band had fun and so had the crowd in Växjö.

7 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)


Time: 20.15 - 21.30
Carlsberg Stage

This was the third concert with Treat that I have witnessed since the reunion this summer. Therefore there were few surprises. But these guys have delivered each time. There might be nothing special about the music, it is standard 80s hard rock all the way. A bit nostalgia and a couple of light hits but not anything really spectacular. But the smiles on these guys' faces are contagious. They love to be back in business. And they give it all on stage. The complete opposite to their contemporary fellows in Europe, who have the songs but not the ability to still play them with true inspiration. And by the end of the set, songs like Get You On The Run, World Of Promises and Rev It Up make the audience move and sing along. Not just the once with memories from the 80s but also new young fans. A new record, with perhaps a bit rougher sound, and Treat will have a second career going.

7 chalices of 10


Ready For The Taking
I Burn For You (?)
Too Wild
Ride Me High
Love Zone
We Are One
Mr. Heartache
Soul Survivor
Get You On The Run
World Of Promises
Rev It Up


Time: 22.15 - 23.30
Carlsberg Stage

This was the seventh time I saw Sabaton in on and a half year. The fact that I keep coming back must mean that they deliver every time. There are bands who can play at a party and there are bands who bring the party. Sabaton belongs to the latter. So far they have always made the crowd wild and pleased, no matter place, size and mood. This evening the party was even wilder than ever. Joakim Brodén told the crowd that they were among the craziest he had ever seen, and as far as I know that was true. By the way, Primo Victoria must be the first real Swedish metal hit since The Final Countdown. When Brodén shouts: "Through the gates of hell…", everyone knows and replies.

8,5 chalices of 10


Panzer Battalion
In The Name Of God
Rise Of Evil
Into The Fire
Attero Dominatus
Purple Heart
Back In Control
A Light In The Dark
Primo Victoria
Metal Machine/Crüe


Time: 00.30 - 02.00
Carlsberg Stage

I had decided to give Evergrey one more chance live. The fourth one. I actually think they have made some great music on record. But it is not the kind that works for me live. It must be possible to do something more than just stand straight up and play as harmless as possible. Especially after Sabaton's energy outburst this felt like a great yawning. The conditions were not the best either. People started to get tired and there was almost an hour long pause between Sabaton and Evergrey; while the other stage was finished for the day and most of the merchandise were scrutinised in detail already. The result was that people started to leave even before the main act. Then instead of a wake-up call, they got a quite sleepy, uninspired appearance. Musically indisputable, but as grey as ever.

5 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)

Related links:

See also review of: Växjö Metal festival 2005

David, November 2006