Swedenrock 2006

Spread the metal:


The 8th – 10th of June 2006

Solvesborg Sweden

by Arto Lehtinen and Marko  Syrjala

Wow! This is the sixth time that the Finnish Metal-Rules squad makes an invasion to the mighty Swedenrock festival. Over 60 bands descended on the the southern area of Sweden for a festival that turned out to be nothing but an utter blast! The bill of Swedenrock festival 2006 covers a wide range of metal styles and even classic rock stuff (Journey and Molly Hatchet). Therefore, there was at least something for everyone who attended the festival. As usual, the whole festival was once again sold out when around 20,000 people arrived at the area every day. The Swedenrock festival has always had tremendous luck with the weather as once again the gods of weather blessed this rocking metallic heaven on the earth with an extreme hot and sunny weekend that burned red the skin of several festival goers.

As stated in the first sentence, this is the sixth time that the Swedenrock festival has been featured in the site of Metal-Rules.com, so it is quite logical for us to give a real in-depth article of several bands performing at Swedenrock. Enjoy !!!


Due to unforeseen circumstances we had to regrettably skip From Behind’s, the new band of ex-Samson singer Nicky Moore and ex-Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton, show. The first spectacle that we managed to catch from the beginning on this beautiful sunny day at Sweden Rock 2006 is the teutonic metal queen DORO, and what a brilliant show it was. Songs like "Burning the Witches", "True as Steel", "I Rule the Ruins" and even new ones, like "You’re My Family" sounded flawless. Why ever should Doro, however, choose to waste time playing a rather bland cover version of Judas Priest’s big hit "Breaking the Law" [also on Doro’s Classic Diamonds album] with so many good songs of her own to choose from? Doro is so cute that no-one, I mean no-one, can detest, dislike, the German metal vixen at all. She always gives a 100% powerful, energic ass kicking set for sure.

Oh yeah, Doro�s press conference got an unexpected, but nice start when a Finnish metal radio DJ asked a couple of hilarious questions for example how Doro herself finds these metal titles more suitable "metal queen, metal goddness or just normal metal guy". The German metal queen found that question extremly amusing and was about to crack up.





1. Intro:

2. Earthshaker Rock (Warlock)

3. I Rule The Ruins (Warlock)

4. You’re My Family

5. Always Live To Win

6. Burning The Witches (Warlock)

7. True As Steel (Warlock)

8. Hellbound (Warlock)

9. Above The Ashes

10. Burn It Up

11. Breaking The Law (Judas Priest)

12. Fight

13. All We Are (Warlock)

14. Metal Racer (Warlock)

15. My Majesty


Another German band, Bonfire, made oneself as guilty as well when they played something like 8 minute version of an old Lynyrd Skynyd song "Sweet Home Alabama" during their 40 minute set. Other than that, the band did a good set and played lot�s of classics from "Don�t Touch the Light" and "Fireworks" albums. After the show I was thinking over one question.. Why this band never made it really big time in the 80’s like many others who did it with considerably weaker material?



1. Intro:

2. Day 911

3. Never Mind

4. Hot To Rock

5. Don’t Touch The Light

6. Under Blue Skies

7. Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd)

8. Sweet Obsession

9. Ready 4 Reaction (Inc:Champion)


Swiss band Krokus have gone through numerous line-up changes but nevertheless they still sound like the same band in a good way. The band did powerful versions of classics "Headhunter", "Long Stick Goes Boom" and "Screaming in the Night" as well as a bunch of new tracks from forthcoming "Hellraiser" album. The new line up which consists of remaining member Marc Storace, Dominique Favez, and Tony Castelli are now completed with addition of guitarist Mandy Mayer (Asia, Gotthard) and German drummer Stefan Schwarfmann (U.D.O, Accept, Helloween).  Singer Marc Storace is still a hell of a kind frontman and he does have a kind of charisma that most others can only dream of. Mandy Mayer certainly has no problems to fill his predecessors big shoes and at last but not least it has to be said that Stefan is the man on drums. He certainly deserves a special mention because his excellent drumming certainly gave a new, fresh breath especially for some older stuff. In brief, Krokus put out easily one the best performances on the whole festival like they did the last time in 2003. Brilliant!!




1. Nightwolf

2. Long Stick Goes Boom

3. American Woman

4. Hellraiser (New)

5. Screaming In The Night

6. Spirit Of The Night (New)

7. Angel Of My Dreams (New)

8. Easy Rocker

9. Mad World

10. Rock City

11. Rock ‘N’ Roll Tonight

12. Celebration

13. Headhunter

14. Bedside Radio



The British extreme power metallers DragonForce did quite a catasthropic appearance at Swedenrock back in 2003 when the drummer of that time pulled out and got replaced by some Swedish unknown drummer who had less than a few days to learn the setlist. As it could be guessed, the result wasn�t pleasant at all, just on the contrary one hell of a catastropic experience for both the band and the audiende for sure. However, the British dragon metallers have achieved another level of success during the last few years resulting in a return to Swedenrock. Yes, the band was like an entire new or newborn combo having risen from the ashes. The whole five piece was in a wild mood, running all around the stage and jumping like rabbits. Both the guitarists didn�t spend a single nano second in one place, just storming on the stage like maniacs whereas the former Heavenly bassist appeared to be a little less restless and wild. The whole band is capable of performing high skilled and and hyper fast playing with their so called "extreme power metal", but in the long run that sort of powerful dragon metal might get to sound kinda monotous. It has to be admitted the British metallers are one hell of a live band indeed. Damn shame they forgot to bring a trampoline as it would have been fun to witness how these British jump. As for the setlist, most of songs have been selected from their latest effort "IN HUMAN RAMPAGE" and of course from the previous release.




This festival has a strong reputation of having at least some re�union bands here every year. Some of the attempts have been quite successful and good but Easy Action was definitely something else. I don�t know if this show was meant to be a piece of humour or not but the only words which came in mind after a few songs were "Spinal Tap". Guitarist Kee Marcello, who is probably better known of his successful career in Europe, did what he could to save this show from being the complete parody of 80�s hard rock but he had mission impossible here. Singer Zinny J. Zan looked like � Well, let the pictures handle the talking and say no more here.






The legendary Swedish old school death metal patrol, Grave, had pulled quite a lot of people to follow the nihilistic death metal maelstrom on the fourth stage called Zeppelin Stage. This kind of brutal and savage death metal does definitely not appeal to several people digging more the traditional rock approach. On the other hand, it is kinda great that more brutal deadly metallers like Grave have got an opportunity to spread their lethal metal message around the festival area. Grave could be easily said to belong to the frontline of the Swedish death metal invasion in the early 90�s along with Entombed, Dismember, Unleashed etc. Despite several line-up or other hassles during these years, the current vocalist, Ola Lindgren, led the four piece to unleash hell on the stage. Even though Grave�s new album AS RAPTURE COMES wasn�t out yet, they played a song or two from the album which was a good way to promote the new album to the festival audience. The setlist consisted of a plenty of Grave�s own classic songs like "I Soulless, You Will Never See" and the newer stuff. They gave a 60 minute lesson in Swedish old school death metal. The audience thanked and scream "Into The Grave" concluding the whole set. Frankly, Grave�s nihilistic stuff doesn�t fit to a huge outdoor festival atmosphere. Instead, their nihilistic brutality of death metal works more than well in a smoky and sweaty club enviroment where that kind of brutality gets its just atmosphere.



Before Seattle�s metallers got on the stage, we had an opportunity of talking to Van Williams a little bit. According to him, the night�s setlist had been changed a little bit due to the absence of the second guitarist, Steve Symth. The second guitarist, Jeff Loomis, was a real incredible virtuoso as a guitarist. The metal quartet pulled a huge crowd to follow when they performed an extreme technical and catchy powerful metal maelstorm. Nevermore�s frontman, Warrel Dane, appeared to be a relentless frontman on the stage. The man wildly jumped and spun around so much so that he had to place his skicap back on a couple of times. Even though his rough and wild performance looked like some kind of maniac having escaped from the local madhouse, occasionally Warrel stopped to start starring at the front audience with a grim maniac glance. Even though the set had been changed more or less,  it is was quite surpring to hear songs off from POLITICS OF ECSTASY. Nevermore is a real killer live band, but the second guitarist is a must to make the sound stronger.


We saw bits and pieces of this and that for the next couple of hours, some good stuff, but the next complete show to watch was U.S. AOR legend Journey. It must be said that guitarist Neal Schon is still truly a master of his instrument. Singer Steve Augeri (ex -Tyketto) has been with the band since the late 90�s and fits the unit like a glove, and his soaring vocals are a joy to hear. Drummer Deen Castronovo (ex-Ozzy, Bad English, Hardline) might be a superb drummer, but his multiple lead vocal parts, with someone of Augeri’s caliber in the band, are something of a mystery. Perhaps Mr.Schon thinks that his voice sounds more like Steve Perry (the original voice) than Mr.Augeri does? The excellence of the show’s first half came as a pleasant surprise, unfortunately it was followed by a rather sleep inducing cavalcade of "cheesy ballads" and songs of somewhat less rocking variety. Anyway, the present version of Journey, having only two surviving members left from the past glory days, were the most pleasant surprise at this year festival. This band could easily have been a headliner of the first day?



Friday’s headliner was Deep Purple. This British band doesn’t need too much introduction but let�s still do it briefly here. The band started in 1968, and now drummer Ian Paice is the only surviving member from the very early days. In 1970 band did some changes and the classic line-up of Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice was born. This band released classic albums: "In Rock", "Fireball", "Machine Head" and "Who Do We Think We Are" before Gillan and Glover left due to different reasons and they were replaced with current Whitesnake front man David Coverdale and bassist Glen Hughes. Ritchie Blackmore left after two more albums in 1974 to form his own band, Rainbow, with then unknown singer Ronnie James Dio. The band decided to continue with new guitar played Tommy Bolin but after one album they announced a farewell tour and disbanded in 1976. It wasn�t a big secret that Blackmore�s successor Bolin had some personal problems and he died of a drug overdose later on the same year.

The classic lineup of Blackmore, Gillan, Lord, Glover, and Paice reunited Deep Purple in 1984 for a new album, the platinum seller "Perfect Strangers" but soon the problems within the band started. In 1989 Gillan left once again and he was briefly replaced by ex-Rainbow singer Joe Lynn Turner. Gillan came back at 1992 and band released "The Battle Rages On" but on the middle of tour Blackmore left for the final time. After finishing the tour with the help of Joe Satriani they started searching for a new guitarist. In 1994 Steve Morse took over the slot and he�s been with the band ever since. Keyboardist Jon Lord decided to retire from music business in 2003 and he was then replaced by another veteran Don Airey (ex-Rainbow, Gary Moore, Ozzy, Whitesnake, etc.). Last year the band released their 18th (!) studio album called "Rapture of The Deep" and here they now are again as a headliner, playing in the front of something like 20,000 people.

Deep Purple played all the classic tracks from "Smoke on the Water" to "Highway Star" as well as some new tracks from "Rapture of the Deep". As usual, the eighties and nineties stuff was once again almost completely ignored and that�s a thing which I don�t like at all! Musically these guys are still superb, especially drummer Ian Paice who can still show younger candidates how drums should be played. They did a professional gig but to be honest they sounded a little tired and this was clearly more or a less just a routine gig for them. It must be said that they could use more imagination when they are making plans for the set list?! Deep Purple with such a long and comprehensive back catalogue should have more balls and play something else but just the obvious choices. Despite that, it�s still an obvious fact that Deep Purple are still very much alive and well in the 21st century.




1. Intro:

2. Pictures Of Home

3. Things I Never Said

4. Hush (Joe South)

5. Rapture Of The Deep

6. Strange Kind Of Woman

7. Guitarsolo:Steve Morse

8. Fireball

9. When A Blind Man Cries

10. Keyboard Intro:Don Airey

11. Lazy

12. Keyboardsolo:Don Airey (Inc:Mr. Crowley(Ozzy))

13. Perfect Strangers

14. Space Truckin’

15. Highway Star

16. Smoke On The Water

17. "Jam" (No! )

18. Black Night


Read on for coverage of Friday’s bands at Swedenrock 2006!