The festival began to lead to the end but there were still two days remaining. The first band on Thursday for me to see was another local act in Wolfsblood, that had 45 minutes to play. Wolfsblood was founded in 2012 by Richard Lion (ex- Tenebre) and Stefan Elfgren (ex- Moderat Likvidation) both guys well known musicians in Malmo. A 4-track demo was recorded the same year and according to the festival program, it combines the rawness of punk music with the simplicity and edge from metal. I haven’t heard the band before but I was a huge fan of Tenebre so I was really excited to hear what Richard Lion had been up to since ending that band. From what I read, singer Divina has both left and re-joined the band and they haven’t played very much live before this.
As always, I arrived a bit early to the festival and took a look around at the premises while the DJ blasted rock and metal music from his booth at the entrance. During the days at the Rock Stage, the organizers held contests where you could win free tattoos and other metal related stuff. The members in the band arrived shortly, accompanied by friends and family and it took a while until everyone was in place and could begin the sound check. The band and crew worked pretty fast but there seemed to be some problems with the sound again. It felt like the sound system problems haunted almost every act that performed during the week. People started to fill the tent but it wasn’t as much people as for Van Haven or Andromeda the previous day.
The members faced the warm welcome from the crowd and fired off right away and played two songs after which singer Divina thanked the crowd and said that “We’re Wolfsblood and it’s nice being here”. Divina wore a short dress, a t-shirt and leather west, she had also contacts a la Marilyn Manson and she looked quite cool. “Bruised” followed and the one that moved around the most on stage was naturally Divina. The line-up in the band is:
Divina – lead vocals
Richard Lion – guitar
Anders Francke – bass
Fredrik Täck – guitar
Stefan Elfgren – drums
Divina once again thanked the crowd for the applause and said it was time to do a piece from the debut album and “Kamagra” followed. It felt like the crowd mainly consisted of friends and family, as the amount of people left to be desired. “Sealed In Blood” continued the night. I think the band sure has a foundation in punk but they have also incorporated influences from thrash metal. The speed was fast, it was mean and hard, and Divina varied between singing and growling. Both guitarists had a mean approach and they complemented each other perfectly. The rhythm section did a solid job with keeping the beat and the entire show was run through in a crazy tempo. Wolfsblood was the most extreme performance that played the Rock Stage during the festival and I think they did a great job promoting harder, extreme metal.
“One Your Knees” followed, and Divina impressed me big time with her voice and magnificent stage approach. Divina said that it was nice that the Rock Stage finally became true and that many rockers longed to have their own spot at the festival. “Bury Your Heart”, “Unalive” and “Serpents of Ritt” followed and the sound system actually worked pretty well. That wasn’t the case with the lights that left the majority of the band in darkness and most lights on the singer. The closing song was “Wolfsblood” and that ended 45 minutes and the band thanked the crowd and went off the stage.
I thought the band pulled off a great show and they really impressed me with their music and performance. It’s hard to give their music a fair judgment since I never heard them before but I liked what I heard and am definitely going to look more into the music of Wolfsblood.
Set list (not in order)
Sealed In Blood
On Your Knees
Bury Your Heart
Serpents Of Ritt
Wolfsblood was the only band of interest for me on Thursday as the other acts that performed during the night were Lancer and Kerbera which were bands that didn’t appeal to me. You can’t see every single band and I decided to focus on the ones that I really wanted to see or bands I knew do a great job.
The last day of the festival and the week had its ups and downs when it came to bands. It was too bad that the festival hadn’t booked any harder and bigger acts on the larger stages, however it was nice that the Rock Stage took matters in their own hands and offered somewhat harder bands to the fans. I do think that the main organizers should re-think when it comes to booking bands next year and offer more rock and metal acts on the main stages. After all, the festival should offer something for everyone. This year’s Rock Stage didn’t have the capacity area-wise or stage-wise to host larger acts but maybe next year the stage could grow larger. This Friday, just as the opening Friday, there were more acts that performed at the Rock Stage than during the week and bands that were going to perform this night were Pretty Wild, Deceptic and Lizett&.
First out was a band called Stonekillers but I was there to see Kamchatka. The evening began at 5.30 with the last act at 11.45, the Rock Stage closed at 1. Altogether during the week, 31 bands performed and I have to give the organizers of the Rock Stage a warm salute for arranging everything so well. The Rock Stage sponsors and partners were Regstans, BMG Chrysalis, RoastingHouse, Masterlite and Oresundsadvokat and I really hope that everyone was satisfied so that the Rock Stage can grow and become an annual happening.
As mentioned earlier I was there to see Kamchatka whom I hadn’t seen before and I was at the premises in time to see the band’s sound check. The band is a power trio from Varberg Sweden, débuting in 2005 while their latest album was released this year titled LONG ROAD MADE OF GOLD, released by their new label Despotz Records. Altogether the guys have released 6 albums and their music incorporates influences from blues, progressive rock, stoner rock and jazz. It went pretty fast to get the bands gear in order and at the stroke of 7 it was time for the band to kick off their show.
The band played two songs after which singer/guitarist Andersson thanked the audience for being there. The small but brave crowd did their best to give the band a warm welcome and the show continued rapidly. The bands groovy stoner rock/hard rock appealed to me and I thought the show was great. None of the members stood in the middle of the stage and Andersson and Wiberg stood on each side with drummer Strandvik at the back. The line-up is:
Thomas “Juneor” Andersson – lead vocals, guitar
Per Wiberg – bass, vocals
Tobias Strandvik – drums
Andersson once again thanked the crowd that politely clapped their hands and said that if we hadn’t bought the new album yet it was possible to purchase it after the show at the merchandise stand. I went to see the band primarily because of the fact that the legendary Per Wiberg was a member but the bands music was really great and I was pleasantly surprised with what I heard. Every time Andersson did a guitar solo he walked over to the center of the stage but that was also as much of a movement the two frontmen did. They let the music do the talking time went by really fast and soon was it time for the last song of the night.
The show was definitely a positive surprise and I wished that the band had more time to play. Their stoner rock/hard rock was filled with energy and it felt like they thought it was fun to be on the stage in Malmo. It’s not often I get so positively surprised by a band I haven’t heard before but Kamchatka sure gave me a great musical experience.
This show ended this year’s festival for me and what a great way to end the week. The members all walked out to meet the crowd and were really polite and friendly, I had the chance to have a talk with Wiberg who I also met earlier this year when he performed with the doom legends in Candlemass.
I really hope the Rock Stage is able to book bigger and better known acts next year but I guess the first year gives the organizers more of a hint of what the crowd wanted to see and hear. The stage has all the opportunities to grow because rock and metal fans are a loyal bunch of people that will surely keep on visiting the Rock Stage next year. Maybe the organizers should take a look across the sea and see what Denmark has to offer band-wise?
I really hope the organizers look into the poor sound system as well as the lights because it really needs to be upgraded. It’s sad that the Malmo festival didn’t book any bigger rock/metal acts this year. If you look back in history, bands like Hammerfall, Hardcore Superstar, Backyard Babies and The Hellacopters all have performed on the biggest stage so why was it so hard to book a harder act this year?
The Rock Stage should have all the cred for making a rock/metal stage come true and I hope that it returns next year.
Thanks to Johan Fridh head of communication at Malmoe Festivalen for help with photopass.
More info about Rock Stage here.This is all in Swedish this.
More info about the bands here