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Various Artists - Metalmania 2007 (CD/DVD)

Various Artists
Metalmania 2007 (DVD & CD)
by Grigoris Chronis at 09 March 2008, 2:45 PM

European Metal Festivals: the epitome of living the Metal life. Or - the other way - a perfect motive to travel abroad (or to a long distance in your native country) to have a nice Metal time along with some few short-term holidays. End if back then - in the 80s - it was somehow difficult (in mind) to travel e.g. to the UK (or other installments) for the Donington Monsters Of Rock festival, now times have changed and (really) dozens of Metal fests (most of them held during summer, for obvious reasons) await thee to fill in your Metal thirst. Poland's Metalmania Festival is one of them.
The biggest and the most prestigious metal festival in Central-Eastern Europe, as Press Release-d by its organizers, will take place this year on the 8th March 2008 at Spodek Hall in Katowice, Poland. With two stages and over 20 bands, the 'headliner' title is taken by none other than MEGADETH while performances will alo be made by OVERKILL, IMMOLATION, VADER, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, SATYRICON, ARTILLERY, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, MARDUK, PRIMORDIAL an others. Still, this DVD/CD release herein reviewed refers to 2007's edition of Metalmania fest, where more than 20 bands (with TESTAMENT headlining the gigs' queue) performed in two stages. More known bands took the main stage while BENEDICTION headlined the side stage. The DVD disc of the combo offers a visual aspect 'sample' of the main stage while the CD disc handles the audio portion 'sample' of the side stage. Breaking down, now:
KORPIKLAANI: The well-known Finnish Folk metallers perform three songs in good mood, with an adequate sound (running for the whole fest) and some warm response. Tuli Kokko from the Tales Along This Road CD was a nice surprise.
CRYSTAL ABYSS: These Russian Pagan metallers flirt with both symphonic parts and blastbeats while featuring some 'opposing' female vocals. Darkness Awakes - herein performed - was released as a single cut in 2006. A good take, with nice melodic parts.
DARZAMAT: These Polish Death/Goth warriors have a cool base in Katowice (as expected) and heir set was hailed with enthusiasm by the crowd. Their Metal approach is not my cup of tea, so I cannot comment this much on their performance, anyway.
ZYKLON: Samoth/Zamoth has chilled out a little bit or not? Ha ha, ZYKLON perform a high-quality Death/Black storm in this disc, with some magnificent drumming and - all in all - a respected behavior onstage, finally hailed by the whole arena. Both first tunes come off 2006's Disintegrate CD while hell breaks loose in Psyklon Aeon (as expected, again).
VITAL REMAINS: Dechristianize was nominated as one of the best Death Metal releases when it first came out in 2003. Was it the one and only Glenn Benton (DEICIDE) joining the veteran US Death Metal band's camp back then? In any way, the vocals-meets-music-meets-profile-meets-purevil set appearing here (with all cuts off the 2003 masterpiece) turned the venue into a blasphemous altar. The band has released a separate DVD featuring the whole performance, entitled Evil Death Live (2007).When you know how to play US Death Metal music, you can rule the 'hell' any chance given…
ENTOMBED: One of the most honest Metal bands around, even if I do not dig this specific style (apart from their initial recordings). Groovy and in-your-face, with as-brutal-as-needed vocal lines by and enough (still) Thrash (fire)paths, I do not think this Swedish legends will ever betray the loyalty of their fans. As depicted here, tracks like When In Sodom and (for my likes) Revel In Flesh raised hell. Nuff said. The ENTOMBED walls came tumblin' down…
DESTRUCTION: A performance by this legendary Thrash band means total desaster. If Schmier is in good mood, obey your master. Such is the case here. The 'reformed' DESTRUCTION offerings have raised enough of questions (while not being less than good, anyway) and - after the Nailed To The Cross opener - it is Total Disaster's and Bestial Invasion's time; just watch the (average-shaking) crowd going mad this time. Classic curses never die. Fuck, who's as bestial as these fiends anymore?
BLAZE BAYLEY: An unlucky man? I like his WOLFSBANE deeds, his IRON MAIDEN CV section breathes criticism(?) and - above all - Blaze stands tall in trying to convince us he's a man on his own, standing the test of time. No matter what you may have heard, Blaze Bayley is Alive, does he cry out and - throughout this 'excerpt' action - Blaze and Co. deliver a groovy/fast-tempo New Hard Rock/Metal recital, enriched by a Sign Of The Cross take of special interest.
SEPULTURA: A band that developed(?) its sound to different fields of extreme(?) music, SEPULTURA succeeded in letting in and out thousands of fans within each period of relative releases. Derrick Greene seems a convincing frontman; my issues have to do with the music vibe the band performs the last years. Anyway, it's their own decision to make. Convicted In Life and False come off 2006's Dante XXI CD and both the band and audience seem to enjoy; there's a good groove I admit. Dead Embryonic Cells - on the other hand - seems petite for this current lineup (you know, when the spine's absent). Or vice versa (better). Andreas and Paulo can stand the test of time? We'll see…
PARADISE LOST: Only one song listed here? Dunno, did the UK band performed just one song???…Anyway, Say Just Words, a beautiful 'advanced' Goth Rock/Metal tune that made a grand success for these Halifax, England musicians, serves are the whole deal for a pleasant evening in Poland. The audience enjoys the vibe and Nick Holmes is winning onstage.
TESTAMENT: Oakland, CA, USA's pride. Forget the rest! Waiting - in high anticipation - for the new TESTAMENT album in mid-spring 2008, this visual teaser was a real 'goodie'. The band (also) known as the 'strongest weapon' against disbelievers of virtuosity in Thrash Metal music worked on a trouble-free ass-kick set and - judging from the clips inserted in this DVD disc - really delivered the goods. Chuck Billy is the master of the ring, Alex Skolnick preserves the 'velvet blues razor' identity and the whole gang seems unstoppable. Maturity can get along with faith preservation and - watching to The New Order and Electric Crown again and again - it is not that difficult to figure so.
The audio disc: apart from veteran British Death metallers BENEDICTION, no other band was I familiar prior to listening to the audio disc. FOREVER WILL BURN (melodic Death Metal from south Africa, with some Metalcore blend), ROOT (epic Black Metal from the Czech Republic) and TYR (Viking Metal from the Faroe Islands) helped out for the billing. The Polish Metal scene donated bands like WU-HAE (a weird blend of music…not that Metal-related), HORRORSCOPE ('updated' Thrash paths, as expected by such a name!), DEIVOS (Detah Metal a la MORBID ANGEL), CIRYAM (a Goth/Prog taste), CARNAL (some Doom/Death/Dark Metal atmosphere lurks in here), SPHERE (Death Metal their way) and WITCHKING (in Power/Epic Metal fields do they ride) and the 'audio section' review proves to be rather 'short' since there's not much to write about when you have only one live cut from (by the time unknown) bands. A brief 'style' focus is enough, I guess.
The performances were filmed with 7 cameras, plus the DVD disc also includes detailed info about all bands (biographies, discographies, web links), photo gallery, the festival's history, desktop images and short interviews with all 'main stage' bands featured on the DVD. This Metalmania 2007 DVD/CD combo is already out in Europe and will be released on 13th May 2008 in USA (via MVD). I think it's worth the money, even if - for justice to be given - the 'side stage' bands should also be represented 'in vision' in this release.

0 Star Rating

Disc 1

KORPIKLAANI - Pellonpekko
KORPIKLAANI - Wooden Pints
CRYSTAL ABYSS - Darkness Awakes
DARZAMAT - Labyrinth Of Anxiety
DARZAMAT - The Burning Times
ZYKLON - Underdog
ZYKLON - Wrenched
ZYKLON - Psyklon Aeon
VITAL REMAINS - Intro/Let The Killing Begin
VITAL REMAINS - Dechristianize
ENTOMBED - When In Sodom
ENTOMBED - Carnage
ENTOMBED - Revel In Flesh
DESTRUCTION - Total Disaster
DESTRUCTION - Bestial Invasion
DESTRUCTION - Nailed To The Cross
BLAZE BAYLEY - Kill & Destroy
BLAZE BAYLEY - Sign Of The Cross
SEPULTURA - Convicted In Life
SEPULTURA - Dead Embryonic Cells
PARADISE LOST - Say Just Words
TESTAMENT - The Preacher
TESTAMENT - The New Order
TESTAMENT - The Haunting
TESTAMENT - Electric Crown

Disc 2

CARNAL - My Salvation
HORRORSCOPE - Killers Breeding
TYR - Brother's Bane
WITCHKING - Flame Of Udun
SPHERE - Next Morning's Mass
DEIVOS - Blackness Incarnate
BENEDICTION - Suicide Rebellion
FOREVER WILL BURN - It Ends In Darkness
ROOT - And They Are Silent
CIRYAM - Lowcy Swiatla
WU-HAE - Pacan
Record Label: Metal Mind


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