30/6 – 2007
Reviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Pictures by: Anders Sandvall
I spent the last day of June hanging out at the Metaltown Festival which took place on a sun burnt day/evening in Gothenburg Sweden. The festival was arranged by EMA Telstar, PK Music in Gothenburg and KB in Malmoe and for the first time in the metal-rules.com history here comes a review of the festival .
Metaltown first took place back in 2004 and then with 5000 people in the crowd. The visitors have grown for each year and this year came about 12000 people to enjoy music, beer and good weather. This years headline acts were Slayer, Machine Head. Other acts playing were Candlemass, Entombed, Mastodon, Ill Nino, Hardcore Superstar and Mustasch.
It was my first visit to the Festival and I arrived with the bus at 10 a.m. It took me about 20 minutes to locate the festival area and by then I had passed many hardrockers sitting around and drinking alcohol and waiting for the venue to open.
Metal, Rock was the name of the two biggest stages. Alongside them was the Close-Up stage located inside a building where minor acts played during the day and night. My focus was set to cover the two biggest stages and after the usual body search I was permitted into the area.
The two stages were situated close to each other and you entered the photo pit to both stages from the same side. You were also only aloud to leave the photo pit after three songs together with the rest of the photographer and not on your own. And because of the extreme tight play schedule on the both stages you had to wait on your turn to get into the photo pit, therefore I couldn’t get into the action in the crowd and feel the festival mood which was a little sad. If you missed the photo entrance you couldn’t get into the pit at all.
I queued up to cover the first act of the day for me which was the Swedish doom metal pioneers Candlemass at 13.30 a.m.
Robert Lowe from Solitude Aeternus is the new singer, unfortunately for Lowe is seemed like the band hadn’t rehearsed at all. It looked like Lowe wasn’t a part of the band when he wandered around on stage looking confused. He hardly looked at the audience instead his eyes was looking into the roof or down on the floor. And it feels like Lowe is gonna have a hell of a job filling up the void Marcolin left when he leaved.
Bass player and main man Edling understood that he was about to do most of the job in between the songs in order to get the people going this day which meant getting the people to clap their hands and scream etc.
A few of the older songs they did were “At the Gallows End”, “Mirror Mirror”, “Black Dwarf” and “Under the Oak”. Even though the songs were perfect the bands conditions were not the best. The band played during the day but their music sounds best at night in a rough club with a more intimate feeling. The band did their best during the 45 minutes they were given. It was an OK show but it wasn’t their best and I know the guys have much much more to give.
After that it was time to move on to the next stage and witness one of my all time high favorite acts Entombed. It was only 5 minutes in between the bands so I ran quickly not to miss a single minute of the show.
The band is about to release their long awaited new album SERPENT SAINTS and my expectations on the band were really high because it was nearly two years since I last saw them in action. And members have left the band, since I last saw them have Peter “Flinta” Stjärnvind on drums left the band. The Entombed of today consists of:
L.G – lead vocals
Alex Hellid – guitars
Nico Elgstrand – bass, b-vox
Olle Dahlstedt – drums
Entombed had a huge back drop with a lot of crashed cars on it and when the intro started all four came out on stage and kicked off the show with a brand new song.
As usual walked L.G around on stage and headbanged through the entire show and he worked really hard in order to get the crowd going. Entombed got also 45 minutes of playing time and to make sure to use the short time well they didn’t do any un-necessary talking instead they let the music do the talking.
To my surprise the guys didn’t play any of the songs from their latest death’n’roll albums; instead they focus on playing new songs as well as the really old classics.
Despite Nico’s distorted bass it felt like something was missing, Uffe Cederlund’s departure from the band was a huge loss. They lack another guitar because only one guitar playing Entombeds music is a disgrace; their kind of raw music deserves two guitarists. So please Entombed bring in another guitarist soon.
I haven’t heard the new album yet but I think I got a few of them right.
Out Of Hand
Masters Of Death
Left Hand Path
Chief Rebel Angel
Supposed To Rot
Again, with 5 minutes in between it was time to rush to the other stage to see the first foreign act this afternoon. It was Ill Nino that were about to kick off their show. They got a little more than 50 minutes to do their stuff and a lot of people had showed up to see the show.
It looked like Ill Nino was one of the main reasons why a huge deal of the crowd had shown up at Metaltown. The band delivered a strong performance and the crowd loved it big time. When the singer told the crowd to scream, the young crowd screamed their lungs out. The lead singer said he wanted a lasting memory of the crazy audience in Sweden because this was the last show they were doing before they headed home and that was something he sure got.
The native Gothenburg act Hardcore Superstar was next up on the agenda and when I got to the stage the area in front of the stage was totally jammed with exited fans eager to see what Gothenburg finest act should deliver.
Hardcore Superstar released their current CDS called “Bastards” right at the beginning of the summer but they haven’t got a new album to support yet so I was interested if the guys were about to unveil any new songs during the show.
The show kicked of with the given party starter “Kick On The Upper class” and the audience went totally crazy. This is a band that gets better and better the more you see them live. I saw them at the beginning of the year and that performance was nothing compared to this one. The guys have become even tighter and solid as a unit in a live situation.
Lead singer Jocke Berg is the born frontman and along with the charismatic guitarist Thomas Silver the party started the minute the band entered the stage.
They used their 50 minutes wisely and delivered 7 songs from their last album HARDCORE SUPERSTAR as well as the new single “Bastards” taken from the up and coming album. And as an extra bonus they did two new songs from the new album, the songs were “Medicate Me” and “No Resistance” and it sounded very promising I can tell.
The show was an explosion of energy, high voltage Rock’n’Roll and sheer fun, if you haven’t seen Hardcore Superstar in action yet then you simple have to catch them live. It’s an amazing experience to watch these guys in action. This show ended with the amazing “We Don’t Celebrate Sundays” and it’s an excellent last song. But that wasn’t all, a representative from the bands record label Gain came on to the stage and handed over a gold album for the new single “Bastards” that’s already sold gold since its release the 6th of June here in Sweden.
It was a perfect ending of a perfect show by Sweden’s top glam/sleaze rock act.
Kick On The Upper Class
Bag On Your Head
We Don’t Celebrate Sundays
Because I was late to the photo entrance I couldn’t get any shots of the next band on my agenda which were the Swedish stoner act Mustasch.
I have seen the band live many times and it’s always an experience to see the guys live; it’s never a dull moment when Mustasch is on stage.
The band lined up classic songs like “Black City”, “Down In Black”, “I Hunt Alone”, “Teenage Pacifier”, “Dogwash” and “Monday Warrior”. More current songs played were “In The Night”, “Bring Me Everyone” and “Double Nature”. And as always did the guys a great job, the show felt solid and lead singer Ralf Gyllenhammar is a genius on stage. He talked and joked around between the songs and I can imagine the band were happy to play in their hometown on a sunny day in front of a worshipping crowd.
Mustasch delivered another memorable performance to add to the list of great shows this day.
Next act up were one of my favorite acts Machine Head. The band entered the stage as scheduled but without bass player Adam Duce. He comes on stage when band leader Rob Flynn kicks off the evening’s first song. The audience chants Machine Fucking Head and it all seems to become a perfect night in Gothenburg.
Flynn and the band literally explode on stage and took the crowd with them; the set list includes a tasty mix of both older classics and more current tunes. When “Clenching The Fists Of Dissent” plays the entire crowd on 10 000 people have their fists up in the air and were a mighty sight.
“Aesthetic Of Hate” was dedicated to all mourners of the late Pantera guitarist Dimebag, “Old” was dedicated to In Flames and for everyone who had to dealt with depression, suicide got “Imperium” dedicated to them.
Flynn had really grown as a frontman since last time I saw him and the band and the way Flynn and Demmel delivered twin guitar riffs was amazing. Duce took more place on stage and he helps out with the front work.
Machine Head delivered many new songs but that didn’t matter for older fans, it seemed like many of the visitors had come to see Machine Head even though the Swedish black metal band Marduk played at the same time on the stage nearby. I chosed to cover Machine Head over Marduk first and foremost because I haven’t seen Machine Head since THROUGH THE ASHES OF EMPIRES tour a few years back.
The brilliant act called Machine Head ended their show with the equally brilliant song “Davidian” and by then the crowd is totally ecstatic. What more can I say that it was a mindblowing show by one of the true legends of metal. The band shows that they still are a mighty force to be reckoned with.
Clenching The Fists Of Dissent
Aesthetic Of Hate
Descend The Shades Of Night
Take My Scars
After the Machine Head performance it was time to stand in line to witness one of the biggest metal acts of all time Slayer. This particular show was the bands second to last in Europe before they headed back to the U.S. It has been two years since I last saw them at the Giants Of Rock in Copenhagen, Denmark so my expectations on the show were really high.
The intro started and the gods entered the stage, the entire venue boils and when the darkness has sunk over Gothenburg you could hear “Disciple” roar over the stage.
During the first three songs it was so much smoke across and on the stage along with blistering white lights so it was impossible to get any good shots, that’s why there’s so few shots of the band.
The show continued on with “War Ensemble” and “Jihad” in a furious pace. Even though I kneel in front of the band I’m the first to agree with that the band looked pretty tired. Araya did hardly any talking at all and there were long pauses in between the songs when the audience only was told to scream.
“Show No Mercy”, “Captor Of Sin” and “Seasons In The Abyss” followed with Araya standing in the middle headbanging and King and Hanneman standing besides him solid as rocks.
As headline act Slayer got the most playing time with about 1 hour but with encores the show clocked in on about 1.30 and the show closed with “Silent Scream” where Araya thanked everyone for coming. The band got cheered back on the stage for encores which they did, they were “Dead Skin Mask”, “Raining Blood”, “South Of Heaven” and “Angel Of Death”. Araya’s voice sounded very tired and he had smaller problems with singing as fast as he normally does.
Slayer is a solid and reliable thrash machine that you know you can count on. They delivered a strong show no doubt about that, but it did feel like it was another day on the job for the guys and I do think that they could have a stronger effort for the Gothenburg fans that had paid a lot of money to come to the festival to see Slayer.
Die By The Sword
Show No Mercy
Captor Of Sin
Seasons In The Abyss
Eyes Of The Insane
Dead Skin Mask
South Of Heaven
Angel Of Death
My first visit to Metaltown Festival was a fun experience and if the festival is coming back next year you bet I will be there. Overall it was a festival with a great atmosphere, a great mix of bands and there were bands for all kinds of taste. The festival was well organized and the staff very friendly and helpful. A big plus was that every show started as schedule, there’s nothing as boring as waiting for bands that never start their shows on time. The sound on all of the stages was really good something that I’m not spoiled with. And for once, the weather was great with sun and more sun.
The only negative things I experienced during the festival were the long queues to food stands, the beer tents and the toilets. Even though it was a great place and a great ides to place a festival down town it was hard on your feet. It’s not fun to be standing on solid concrete during an entire day. The fact that it was only 5 minutes in between the show was strange and stressful and the food was too expensive as well as the beer. And it was really annoying to hear the other stage sound check while you were listening to your band.
But despite those errors it was a fun and loving festival and if you’re about to visit any city festival next year I hope you choose to go to Gothenburg and Metaltown. For me the only thing left to do was to take the bus home and prepare for the Roskilde Festival that were about to take place the following week.
Thanks to Kristian Kornhag at Kulturbolaget for press/photo pass to the festival
More info about the festival
Websites to the bands in order