Back home from a great weekend with booze, metal fans and great concerts. Metaltown definitely delivered, both in band lineup and logistics. But how good was the bands that performed? The first half of the answer is coming right here, right now.
Between The Buried And Me:
I have been dying too see this band these last couple of years and I am so glad that I finally saw them. Unfortunately, the show could have been a lot better. They played in the Close-up stage, which is the smallest stage and located inside a circus tent, and you could easily see that the small size was repressive against the band. And if that was not enough, the sound was horrible. I could barely hear Tommy Rogers's vocals. And since they were scheduled pretty early, the set list was limited to 5 songs ("Astral Body", "Lay Your Ghost To Rest", Prequel To The Sequel", "Telos" and "Selkies: The Endless Obsession"). Otherwise, they did what they do best. Play very technically and passionately. So I better buy myself a ticket next time they do a headline show in Sweden so I can experience their full potential.
Best: "Prequel To The Sequel" and the fine instrumental skills
Worst: The sound and the short playtime
Rating: 5,5/10 Astral Bodies
A main part of the set list was dedicated to the band's latest album, "The Living Infinite", and no wonder, that double album was one of the best albums by the band ever. And the response from the crowd when songs like "Tongue", "Parasite Blues" and "Rise Above The Sentiment" played was remarkable. The band itself did a great and solid job on the stage, and even though the bassist Ola Flink was shining and making a great show, the overall performance lacked something special. But it was a solid performance, and that is enough to make me happy.
Best: Ola Flink and "Spectrum of Eternity"
Worst: Why did not the rest of the band had the same feeling as Ola had?
Rating: 7/10 Tongues
The small pamphlet that I was handed when entering was describing Danko Jones as the second biggest Canadian trio after Rush. I will not argue with that statement, but I was wondering if putting a big rock band in a metal festival was such a good idea? After the show, I was proven wrong. The band them self said that they were a nice rock break from all the metal, and even though they opened up with their most famous song ("Had Enough"), they successfully kept the momentum on this "break". And even though the show was good, it was Danko's small talk in between songs that were the best. Giving a shout out to those who were in the beer tent and celebrate some of the big deceased rock legends was a good gesture. But I am bummed that they left behind songs like "Get Up" and "Conceited" for "Legs". Well, at least they had "Just A Beautiful Day" that represented the good side of their latest album "Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue".
Best: The small talk and "Just A Beautiful Day"
Worst: The band did not chose the best songs from the latest album
Rating: 7/10 legs
I tried and I tried, but I could not for the love of my life see who was behind the masks of Ghost. So instead, I tried to enjoy the performance, which was a lot easier. Ghost does not need a flashy show, they just have to perform like it was some kind of a ritual to really boost their show. Papa Emeritus II comes in with his spire and his robe (which looks incredibly awesome) and sings. Nothing more, nothing less. But I cannot let go that this show would have been a lot better if it was at the middle of the night. And even if the set list was good, the band still needs a couple of albums to really nail a one hour show. But a good show is a good show, and Ghost showed that they know how to please a crowd.
Best: "Year Zero"and Papa Emeritus II's outfit
Worst: This performance would have been much better in darkness
Rating: 8,5/10 Zombie Queens
Sabaton is probably the biggest band in Sweden right now, and the audience really showed it. After only two songs into the set list, the singer Joakim Brodén already had goose bumps. Was I as enthusiastic as the rest of the crowd? Well, not exactly. Sabaton is, according to me, one of the more overrated bands right now and even though they did a great show with flames, bangs and speed, I felt that they played too much from the latest album, "Carolus Rex" and that the guitars was not loud enough. Still, it was better then I expected and the encore was definitely extraordinary.
Best: The pyrotechnics and "Primo Victoria"
Worst: Too much songs from "Carolus Rex"
Rating: 8/10 Lions from the north
This was my first Slipknot concert, so I was completely done after the show was over. The first half hour was the craziest shit I have ever been through in a live show and it did not help that it was only just the beginning. Middle fingers, a spinning clown, Joey Jordison playing his drums in vertical position, the whole crowd sitting down during "Spit It Out", the pushing, the shoving and of course, the fucking mosh pits. The whole 1 hour and 30 minutes was just insane metal madness at its best. I have never seen anything like this. And let us not forget the constant celebrations for the deceased bass player Paul Grey that gave the show an extra level. Together with Metallica 2011 and Iron Maiden 2008, this was the best live show I have been to so far. It definitely made my heart beat 666 times per minute.
Best: "People = Shit" and the shout outs to Paul Grey
Worst: I may be petty, but I missed "Left Behind".
Rating: 10/10 Psychosocials