MetalCamp 2009 – Tolmin, Slovenia, 02/07/2009 – 08/07/2009

September 17th, 2009
by Hanntu

Day 2 (3rd July, Friday)

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HannTu: Day 2 started in earnest with lunch at one of the restaurants (8 euro for bean salad, mixed grill and a dry-as-sawdust slice of cake) and a lazy lounge in the sun down by the beach with more pina coladas and awful DJ-ing to keep us company. The water was blue-green and freezing cold, but for some of our group, the urge to clean off some of the campsite muck led to teeth-chattering, muffled cursing and numb blue feet. It was absolutely surreal: the idyllic river and towering forested hills and sandy beach, the flies, the smell of burning charcoal and hamburger, the burning sun, and Twisted Sister at volume 11…

The weather turned ugly at around four, a foreshadowing of what awaited us over the coming days. A thunderstorm in Tolmin takes on tropical proportions, and you can see the storm clouds literally rolling over the hills and breaking into rain right over your head.

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This didn’t stop me from catching Hackneyed, a German deathcore band barely out of their nappies. They were so young that the singer’s speaking voice sounded like it had barely broken, and his “Hello Metal Camp!” was pretty funny when it cracked halfway. There’s a lot of buzz surrounding these youngsters, mainly because of their age, but not much in their music impressed me, as their trite deathcore riffs mixed with touches of melodeath and complemented by bellows and pig squeals weren’t anything to write home about.

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Kids, they’re only kids!

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HannTu: Alestorm were on next, and they put on a stale and insipid performance, uncharacteristic of them it must be said. Maybe it’s due to me having seen them more times than is healthy, but they definitely lacked energy, and Chris’ intro speech into ‘Wenches and Mead’ was decidedly half-hearted. Below average performance at best, especially when the crowd seemed pretty pumped up for them.

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Terry: In support of last year’s speed-black metal album, KOLOSSUS, Norway’s Keep Of Kalessin took to the main stage to pummel our senses with a tight, guitar-driven assault. Opening with an instrumental, ‘Origin’ set the tone for the performance, with the skill of the lone guitarist Obsidian reaching and staying at staggering speeds as the set progressed. The same unfortunately cannot be said for the drumming. Falling in and out of time at these speeds were readily noticeable and disappointingly frequent.

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The set list was also fairly odd, with the previous album ARMADA taking up the lion’s share of the set time. A pre-ARMADA song was also included, but not even the headbangers up front knew its name upon the frontman’s command. With a lack of KOLOSSUS songs, which were getting a greater audience reaction, and uninspiring drumming, its a shame to see this outfit perform to such a low standard.

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