Malmo Festival 2017 – Frantic Amber, Altair, Hysterica, Oliver Rock, Team Anarchy, Dead Sleep, Va Rocks and more

November 4th, 2017
by Anders Sandvall

Saturday

Suffering from some sleep deprivation after having attended the Wacken Open Air during the previous weekend, I decided to get some well needed sleep during the second day of the festival and arrived a bit later that evening. My aim was to see Frantic Amber and Hysteria live at Rock Stage. The Stage has so many bands during the week that it’s impossible to see them all. I had to pluck out the most interesting ones, otherwise I would have to live there during the week. During Saturday, 11 acts performed and on Sunday there were 4, so you understand what I mean when I say there was a lot to see and hear.

As with previous years, the Rock Stage was located right across the Central station which is the perfect spot to be. Inside a huge storage container the bar was placed where you could buy alcohol as well as soda, water, and food, and on top of it the DJ’s resided. The area was a little smaller this year and it felt a little more crowded outside at the bar area. The tent with the stage in it felt spacious and it was easy to get in and out of it. The stage looked a little bigger this year and had a pretty well organized photo pit put up as well.

Frantic Amber was the first band out for me and the band comes from Stockholm Sweden and released their debut EP 2010 called WRATH OF JUDGEMENT. The debut album came 2015 titled BURNING INSIGHT which was re released this year. The band have toured in Sweden and the rest of Europe as well as in Russia. They have been opening acts to Six Feet Under and Entombed AD and have performed at numerous of festivals. So the band isn’t a newcomer in the game.

Frantic Amber

“Burning Insight” kicked off the show and singer Andrews moved around across the entire stage trying to get the crowd going. Even though the stage is bigger than last year and had a lot more space to move around on the rest of the band members mostly stood still. “Bleeding Sanity” followed and Andrews thanked the audience for the support. She said the band was really glad to be in Malmoe this night and that it was time for “SOAR”, the line-up in the band is:

Elizabeth Andrews – lead vocals
Mac Dalmanner – drums
Madeleine Gullberg Husberg – bass
Mio Jäger – guitar
Mary Säfstrand – guitar

The best description of the bands music would maybe be melodic heavy metal influenced by thrash metal and growling vocals by Andrews. Andrews said she wanted to see all the horns up in the air in “Self Destruction”. Despite the fact that the band is no stranger to live shows, it felt like something lacked in the communication with the crowd. The band mostly banged their heads on stage looking at their instruments, the only one who made an attempt connecting with the fans was Andrews but she alone couldn’t save the band. I wasn’t impressed at all, in fact I thought if felt like the band played a bit above their own capacity. It wouldn’t hurt if they could look up from their instruments from time to time looking at the audience. Andrews wanted the fans to headbang in “Entwined” but she had a hard time get the crowd going, it seemed like I wasn’t the only one that began to get a bit tired of the performance.

Andrews urged the fans to buy some merchandise before they left the area and said that the band was going to be at the stand singing and talking with the fans after the gig. “Drained” followed and the band played a few songs from the debut album despite it’s a bit old today. “Wrath Of Judgement” continued the show and Andrews once again tried to get the crowd going with some hand clapping, it didn’t turn out too well. She thanked the fans once again for being there and fired off “Gráinne Mhaol”, the lights worked really well and did the sound system and luckily the smoke machine didn’t go bananas. The last song for the evening was “Ghost” which was followed by a thank you from the band. “Do we have time for another song?” the band asked looking at the Rock Stage crew that said no. The band had already exceed their playing time with 5 minutes and it was time to get off stage and let the crew prepare the stage for the next band.

Well, Frantic Amber didn’t do much for me, sure the band handled their instruments with skills and but they hardly delivered any contact with the audience which made the performance lack soul. Was the music really that hard to play that they had to look at their instruments the entire show through? At least if felt like that. This was not one of the most memorable shows I’ve seen.

Set list
Intro
Burning Insight
Bleeding Sanity
SOAR
Self Destruction
Entwined
Drained
Wrath Of Judgement
Gráinne Mhaol
Ghost

It was 45 minutes until the next band was going on stage and while the crowd scattered outside the crew began to make the stage ready for the next act. It was Altair that was going on stage at 8, a band that I never heard of before but since I was there I decided to stay and watch.

According to the program Altair’s been playing together since the late 90’s and their music is influenced by thrash metal acts like Kreator and Overkill. In 2015 the band released the EP ICE CREAM MAN and during the later years the band have done festival shows in Sweden as well as in Finland and Slovenia. Just like Frantic Amber Altair comes from Stockholm Sweden. After a short sound check the clock had turned 8 and it was time for Altair to bring it to the Malmoe crowd.

Altair

“Altair Attack” began the show and it set the mood from the start, it was full speed ahead and singer Andersson looked really mean. “Thank you all” he said, we’re from Stockholm and it’s nice to be here, here comes “Above The Law”. Compared to the previous band on stage Altair knew how to take on a crowd and kept the momentum going. The bands American thrash metal music seemed to be working pretty good amongst the crowd and since their music had a lot in common with Exodus I found myself quite liking it. Altair is:

PH Andersson – lead vocals
Kalle Stenberg – guitar
Michel Isberg – guitar
Daniel Hällams – drums
Martin Forssman – bass

The next song the band dedicated to a young Swedish female journalist named Kim Wall who was murdered earlier this year during a job in Denmark. “Preemptive Strike” followed and the band headbanged and used the entire stage to their purpose. It’s hot as hell here Andersson said and kicked off “Reign In Terror”. I thought the band had some pretty good songs and the music felt well executed, but despite that I saw some people that looked really reluctant towards the band. The next song the band dedicated to everyone that is stuck in prison and it was “Guantanamo Bay” that followed.

Besides singer Andersson, the two guitarists Stenberg and Isberg really impressed me with their axe-work and their skills were set to the test in “Piranha” and “The Only Way”. The final song for the night was about a German pervert Andersson said, beware of the “Ice Cream Man”. In the middle of the song a guy dressed as a clown came up on stage and threw out ice cream to the fans, unexpected but fun! The band did have time for yet another song which turned out to be the Annihilator cover “Alison hell” which the band executed really well. Thanks Malmo, now you’re rid of us Andersson said, thanks a lot for tonight and good bye.

Even though I hadn’t heard the band before I really enjoyed their 45 minute performance and their Exodus smelling thrash metal really impressed me.

Set list
Altair Attack
Above The Law
We Vs Us
Preemptive Strike
Reign In Terror
Guantanamo Bay
Piranha
The Only Way
Ice Cream Man
Alison Hell (Annihilator Cover)

The next band on the agenda was the all female act Hysteria that began their career back in 2005. The band comes from Stockholm and released their debut piece METALWAR 2009. In April the bands EP ALL IN was released and it has been pretty quiet about the band the past years. Members have come and gone and the only remaining original members today are the bandleader/guitarist Bitchie and drummer Hell’n.

After preparing the stage and a short sound check it was time for the band to kick off their show at 9.30.

Hysterica

The members all came on to the stage, got ready and fired off “Heels Of Steel” as the first song. Singer DeVil said that the band finally was in Malmo, it had taken them over 10 years to get here but now we here! We are from Stockholm and thank you all for coming out and see us live. “Metal War” and “You’ll Remember My Name” followed and to be honest the band felt a bit un-tight. They felt un-rehearsed and they tried to look cool but they failed. The singer felt lost on stage and the overall impression was that the band felt a but rusty. DeVil took a glass and toasted with the fans and fired off “Breaking The Walls” in which she tried to get the fans to scream at her command which didn’t go so well. “Helloween” followed and the bands line-up is:

Onni DeVil – lead vocals
Satanica – bass
Bitchie – guitar
Hell’n – drums

The tent was semi full and the crowd clapped their hands when De Vil thanked them for coming. Are you with us she asked and fired off “Lock Up Your Son”. She then introduced the band members and said the band was selling merchandise at the back and that the band was going to come over there to talk with the fans after the show. “Wreck Of Society” followed and even though the band had a shake beginning of the show they now had turned it into a more solid performance. Bitchie took the mic thanking the crowd saying it was fun being in Malmo and that it was nice to meet Frantic Amber again. The bands have toured together before in Russia. The last song out for the night was “We Are The Undertakers” and the crowd now felt a little more friendly towards the band and clapped along in the song. The band took off their instruments and thanked the fans and according to my watch the band had been on stage for 40 minutes.

Despite the rocky start I thought the show got better the further on it proceeded and the band did the best they could in order to get the crowd going. Their heavy metal didn’t feel new and surprising but it filled its purpose with giving the fans a good time.

The evening at the Rock Stage moved along with a performance by The Unguided but I decided to head on home.

Set list
Intro
Heels Of Steel
Metal War
You’ll Remember My Name
Breaking the Walls
Helloween
Lock Up Your Son
Hysterica
Wreck Of Society
We Are The Undertakers

Sunday

A new day at the Rock Stage that kicked off with a cd/vinyl sales fair. It was the first time in the Rock Stage three year old history a fair was hosted and it was held in between 12 to 3. At 4 the young kid Oliver Rock, known from Swedish television show Talent Sweden 2017, was going on stage to sing some rock n roll cover songs and do some DJ work. I was on spot to check out the record fair, it was mostly vinyls for sale and I did some buying before the shows was about to start. Oliver Rock didn’t have a band with him, he did his performance singback and after a short soundcheck it was time for the 12 year old kid to do his thing on stage.

Oliver Rock

First song out on Oliver Rocks list was the AC/DC cover “TNT” and the crowd clapped their hands for the guy. Rock thanked the audience and wanted the people to give a hand to his friend that stood beside the stage and that suffered from stage fright. “Born To Be Wild” followed and the crowd that mainly consisted of parents with their kids cheered for him. It was then time for him to play his new single which executed great.

It was fun to see Oliver Rock doing his thing on stage, even though he wasn’t an artist per se, it was a fun initiative from the organizers to book Rock, it’s nice to see that the hardrock and metal genre continues to grow and vitalize.

At 6.30 it was time for the Malmo based band Team Anarchy to perform, the band was founded 2014 and plays political hardcore inspired crust punk. The single “…Still Just A Thief” was released 2016 and shortly after the video to “Heartheat Revolution” was a fact. Many of the members are well known in the Malmo music society and I was really eager to see the band live.

Team Anarchy

The members made their entrance to a recorded speech by Donald Trump and the show began right away after the intro was over. All of the members moved around on stage but it was particular singer Vio that drew attention to her, she jumped, crawled on the stage and ran round across the stage demanding our attention. Line-up in the band is:

Vio – lead vocals
Micke – guitar
Brorsson – drums
Francke – bass
Mikael – guitar

The bands hard, edgy and furious sound really blew me away and the five piece act impressed me big time. The next song up was about the biggest threat against humanity (the guitarist Mickes words) in “Christ The Redeemer”. Strangely the crowd wasn’t going mental at all, it was only the hardcore fans at the front of the stage that put in some efforts in their support, the rest of the crowd clapped their hands calmly while looking at the show.

Micke said it was time for a fast song in “A Lament” which was followed by “Divine Lies”. “The New Red Times” followed instantly and the last song for the night was “Heartbeat Revolution”. The band felt solid as a unit and it was sheer fun to see their commitment to the music and the cause and Team Anarchy sure adds something new and fresh to the Malmo music climate. All in the band shared the lead vocals in the last song which made the experience a little different and fun. When the band left the stage I took a look at my watch and saw they only been playing for 30 minutes, which by the way wasn’t too bad with the thought of the fact they only released one single so far.

Team Anarchy sure delivered a rock solid show with a lot of attitude and energy and they have the potential to take their music far in the future. In this day of age we need music that takes a stand towards all the craziness in society and it feels like Team Anarchy is ready to take on that mission.

Set list
Intro
Martyr Or Slave
Swallow Poison
Divide
Christ The Redeemer
A Lament
Divine Lies
The New Red Times
Heartbeat Revolution

For me, Team Anarchy ended the Sunday at Rock Stage, tomorrow it was time for more hard rock/metal music and since the festival goes on for a week there were a lot of bands looking forward to see live. But then again, why the festival hadn’t booked harder bands is beyond me.

Read more on the next page…

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