Metaltown – Second Day

It rained almost the entire night and the festival camping was more quiet than expected. Many were hidden in their tents from that heavy rain. We all were relieved that the sun took the rain’s place that Saturday morning. Although the weather was more phsycopathic than the day before, a mix of sunny weather, cloudy and rainy hours.

It is so nice with festivals, you meet old friends, new people, musicians and almost everyone is in their best mood. While Pain and Candlemass had their show on Blood Stage I was catching up with friends that I hadn’t seen for several years. Amazing how the years go by fast. I met a friend that I haven’t seen for 11 years!

This Saturday was amazing but quite stressed. I can call myself a wide-listener,  and many bands that I wanted to watch performed  at the same time. So there were hours where I ran from a stage to another, rain or no rain I tried to watch the most of them on my “wanna-see-list”.

HAMMERFALL + + + +

Photo of Andreas Carlsson

After this summer will Hammerfall take one year break and they seem to have planned to come back 2014 with a new album. They will be missed on the rock scene and it became a bigger reason to see them on Metaltown.
The show started with Patient Zero from the latest album Infected. This song is quite more experimental and progressive than the other ones.  After 15 years career Hammerfall has come to a point where most of the fans expect the band’s sound to be untouched. When I listen to older songs I can feel the traditional heavy metal groove that stays stable in the older albums, but in their new songs I can feel a wish to expand their music in something more, maybe it will be more clear in the future upcoming album.
When it was time for Last Man Standing and Hearts on Fire not only the crowd was singing a long but even the festival staff and many other people far away from the stage! Hammerfall sound was as setting play on a CD-player. Clear and professional.

Hammerfall was so great that I watched the entire concert, so I already missed a half hour of Unleashed, 15 min left of the show and as I could imagine, the Death Stage tent was too crowdy and I didn’t see much so I just listened for the last 2,5 songs. Not enough to make an entire thought of the concert.

ANTHRAX + + +

One of “The Big Four of Thrash”, all the way from NY they went to Metaltown to give us a splendid show! Of course they had to start with Caught in the Mosh, their most famous song. More mosh pits the better! During Indians, Anthrax directed the crowd to mosh pit but it was too small for the band so they asked the crowd for a war dance instead!
Anthrax had many covers on the set list like Neon Knights (Black Sabbath), Antisocial (Trust) and Got the Time (Joe Jackson), and for the first time in Sweden they played The Devil You Know  from the album Worship Music.

Three bands were going to perform almost at the same time. Primordial ++++, Mastodon +++  and Gojira ++++. I had planned of course to watch all three. I started with Primordial at the Death Stage tent and I fortunately was in the front line. He was the truth word of magic. The tent was not too crowdy ’cause I imagine that many had the same issue like myself about wanna see different bands at the same time. But Alan Averill (voice) had all under a spell from the first beginning. Stage smoke and mysticism grew more and more through the first song As Rome Burns and Alan kept intense the eye contact with the crowd and me. After No grave is Deep Enough and Gods and the Godless even if under the spell I had to detach myself from it and go to the other bands.

Gojira played in the tent nearby Close Up Stage and it was impossible to get in when so many people were there. I listened for three songs anyway from the back and what I heard was absolutely great! The sound was correctly balanced and I can completely agree with many others that this concert was one of the best at this festival! Mastodon kept the spirit up even if the rain visited the festival area time to time. They presented their obscure progressive metal rock with verve and passion, but they sometimes wandered away in a jamming session which distanced itself from the audience, which may had created a lack of interest. Mastodon is after all related to its genre and impressive. I still don’t get it how Mastodon and Gojira had to perform at the same time when their music is so similar. They even made a tour together!

SABATON + + + + +

At least 10 000 people were in front of Fire Stage that Saturday night. This time for Sabaton with the new members Thobbe Englund and Chris Rörland (guitars) and Robbie Bäck (drums). The rain stopped and the crowd was already calling them out! It was clear that Sabaton was one of the biggest festival attractions this year.
Although I was very confused when Final Countdown of Europe was playing before they were on stage…Why?
Fire smashed directly before the first song Ghost Division started. The power and energy were loaded to the max. Joakim Brodén (voice) was very very happy! He smiled continually and joked with the audience about small things. He took funny chances more than often. In front of the camera for example, he even poke in his nose! But the jokes answered back at him at the end of the concert when his pants cracked in the crotch and the camera zoomed in immediately! It was really funny! He actually made even a bigger joke telling the crowd that the next song as imagined will not be about his penis!

It was a nice surprise when Peter Tägtgren (Pain, Hypocrisy, producer of Sabaton’s last album Carolus Rex) appeared on stage and sang Gott Mit Uns with Joakim, they even danced together a waltz. They sang the song in Swedish and that was very appreciated. Like Carolus Rex in Swedish, the main-single of the new album, everyone sang along and jumped higher and higher. Together with Primo Victoria and Cliffs Of Gallipoli, it was the best song of the show, meanwhile Joakim even waved a big Swedish flag on stage. Still the pyrotechnics were showing unlimited. Even far away you could feel the heat!

Joakim told different times under the concert how much he appreciated the audience and their support. Sabaton gave everything on stage. Professionally and with true feelings. The band’s self-esteem was powerful and the performance natural as they were directly born veteran musicians.

The last festival night ended perfectly with a light touch of Dark Tranquillity (it was too crowdy again to go into the Close Up Stage tent) and Slayers ordinary marvelous festival finale that I watched while being with my dear rock friends and a cold beer in my hand.
Cheers and Rock on!

/Viktoria Colonna

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