Metaltown – First Day

This year festival was really good. Metaltown did a great work with many improvements since last year. I did not menage to see some early bands on the first day because I arrived quite late. It really takes more time than planned to pick up everyone and the traffic was very busy. I had the pleasure to travel with the band Unangel that played on the Nemis camping stage later that day.
And to not forget that one big tent with three smaller tents in it deserves true organisation and quite a big space.

After getting ready, fixed the festival’s pass and changed to warmer clothes. (The weather was extreme psychopathic) it was time to watch the bands!

As I wrote before Metaltown has done many improvements this year. The disposition of the stages are so much better, not at all near the entrance but more regular in the center of the festival square. You could watch the two main scenes even directly from the bar section. Totally there were 4 stages in the festival area. The main two, Blood and Fire Stage in the middle and the “tent scenes” Death and Close Up Stage farther away. I suppose it’s a very nice idea to put two scenes under a roof, especially when it rains, but if you are running between different bands, as I did several times, and you don’t make it in time to the beginning of a show, then you are “locked” outside and can’t see or hear much. Many scandinavians men are even really, really tall, they likely build a handbanging wall in front of you, most surely in a tent where the space is limited.

The walking areas were wider and the ground was better prepared for the rain. Even the camping was well-organized with a very friendly staff always there to help if necessary. For those that had huge problems with the busses last year I heard that even the transportations went smoother. About the sound: it was impressive good at the main stages, even if I changed side I could hear it very clear, but it should be louder, It’s not pleasant to hear the soundcheck of the stage nearby. In the other side unfortunately closing a scene in a tent will make the sound more confined.

OPETH  + + + +

Photo of Erik Normak

Mikael Åkerfeldt has jumped from the 70’s into modern time rock festival. His style represents his influences from the progressive rock of the 70’s into their newest album “Heritage“. They have always taken music inspiration from earlier prog rock music but this time shows it more than ever. Starting with The Devil’s Orchard it’s time to forget the deep growl of the same singer or the scores of the first works’aggressive and progressive rock, in the following 4 songs imagine an elegant atmosphere with soft keyboards and drums on the same sound level as the guitars as together make sometimes a fusion of a harder and tougher “Wathershed” but even with a lighter and more uptight “Damnation” as you can strongly feel in I Feel Dark and Slither. A psychedelic let’s call it jazzy-indie progressive The Lines In My Hands ends the Heritage set list letting the crowd enjoy 3 songs from earlier albums, Demon of the Fall, The Grand Conjuration and Deliverance.

Opeth is down to earth, often very close to the crowd. Even if on one of the biggest scene Opeth transforms a big concert into intimacy. Always with humoristic words and  a soft comfortable mood.
Åkerfeldt asked the crowd to headbang without music! Many did it. And Mikael said “That was actually very ugly” and laughed.

Clear beautiful voice through a great untouched sound which couldn’t be better this evening!

DEATH DESTRUCTION + + +

This is one of the band that succeed of making a great sound in Close Up Stage. This tent went really crazy. It was here where the real party was in full bloom. Almost the entire crowd sang along, jumped, and many of them actually danced! Me included. Death Destruction filtrate their energy directly to the crowd from the first moment they are on stage to the minute the last song ends.
Jimmie Strimell, (singer Dead by April) has a really strong growling voice. He fits into this band more naturally than ever and takes the crowd with storm! When Fuck Yeah, their more known single begins, you just must move and jump along with the rhythm, along with the atmosphere and along with your horns up! Death Destruction has a powerful music, strong and aggressive, which speed up all your senses.

LAMB OF GOD + + + +

Photo of Camilo Pozo

If you want to trig a crowd only with a name then you should book Lamb Of God to a metal festival. The crowd was in full ecstasy, already screaming before the band went on stage. Randy Blythe (voice) knows what to say when to say it to encourage the crowd into the right mood.  First of all you can hear their return to the roots of a violent band, burying all the melodic post-skepticism of “Wrath”, but keeping the groove that characterizes the sound. They push the pedal into more speed and incredibly shows new techniques much better than the past form. When the show starts already here with “Desolation” from the new album Resolution you can listen to the tight detached riff-attacks that Wille Adler and Mark Morton (guitars) play in full aggression. Songs like Walk With Me In Hell, Ruin and Black Label just made you imagine yourself in a high-speed action movie until the end.

MARILYN MANSON  +

Someone should know when it’s time to just stop. Let’s say it. Mr Manson is not able to either sing or make a show anymore. He was unfocused and he mumbled most of the time when he sang. The lyrics just went lost in his trembled voice. His was already tired from the beginning and song after song he breathed deeply and his voice didn’t make it through. He tried to save it with letting the crowd sing a long but it didn’t last. The sound is tiny and short, the mystique that he had before it’s not there, and he should stop before it becomes more embarrassing. It was simply sad.

HYPOCRISY + + +

I was more than glad to run off in the middle of Marilyn Mason concert to go to listen to Hypocrisy at Close Up Stage.
It was so crowed that I couldn’t be able to take some good pictures or hear the show perfectly. From the beginning was the sound quite unclear. The base was too loud in proportion with the other instruments. But after two songs the sound became stable and Hipocrisy did a really good show.

IN FLAMES + + +

In Flames promised to all the fans and especially to their hometown Gothenburg that the show would be enormous and special. So it was, as always, In Flames gives the crowd fireworks and special effects on stage, just 20 meters from the first line. The stage design was really cool. In the background different cubes of different colors were projected where each one in the band was playing! Even if Anders Fridén (Voice) appeared to have issues with his voice, as he was having irritations with his throat, his energy leveled up with each song. Although they really had bad luck with the weather. The rain became more and more intense and sadly many left the crowd after a while, but there were so much people that the difference was small.

/Viktoria Colonna


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