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Gothenburg is surely one of the metal cities. This was proved once again during the last weekend of June during Metaltown Open Air, right in the middle of the city at Frihamnen (harbour). Apart from the kickass line-up with international and national acts, the visitors could pick from a wide variety of food, could visit the huge bar area or the additional attraction "Brother Grimside Show" from the USA.
There were two Mainstages next to each other, plus a smaller tent stage, organised by Sweden´s biggest metalmag Close-Up. As if that wasn´t enough, even the weather gods showed mercy and apart from a bit rain on Friday afternoon it was sunny throughout the two days. This year Metaltown was organised as a two-days event for the first time, after the number of visitors had increased from 5000 (2004) to 12 000 (2007). Good decision! Saturday was completely sold out with more than 14 000 visitors!
Check the Avatar gallery here! Allright, the whole party started at 2 pm on Friday afternoon, Job For A Cowboy unfortunately had to cancel their gig, due to sickness, but since we were in Gothneburg, finding a replacement surely wasn´t the problem. So Avatar entered stage just after the festival opener Sonic Syndicate to play some kickass Melodeath. Simply perfect to warm up the audience and the place in front of stage was filling up quickly. Well, you can´t do anything wrong with Melodeath in Gothenburg, right?!
Because I also wanted to see Cimmerian Dome(formerly known as Necromicon) from Stockholm on the tenstage, I unfortunately couldn´t see the complete Avatar gig. Instead of Melodeath, it was time for Death Metal, pretty good stuff as well.
And over again to the Mainstages, time for Sabaton, who were presenting their new album "The Art Of War" and were welcomed with lots of applause and screaming. No wonder, songs like "Cliffs of Gallipoli" or "Ghost Division" were simply perfect to have a huge party and getting the audience going. When not trying to get in touch with the audience, singer Joakim was jumping or rather dancing around with the mic stand. Check the Sabaton gallery here!
Check the Danko Jones gallery here! Danko Jones was next to keep this great mood up. What can be said here? This is simply the perfect party music. Quite entertaining sound accompanied by some funny blabbering in between. Luckily the blabbering parts were kept pretty short this time: "So you want me to shut up and play some music? Let´s go". Yep, we wanted more music and we got more! Cool gig!
If that was too soft for some, no problem, those people simply had to move a few metres to the right after that gig, because now it was time for Killswitch Engage. Some big moshpits, lots of energy and some injured people. Luckily the only ones for this weekend! Nevertheless, good gig! Check the Killswitch Engage gallery here!
Check the Hardcore Superstar gallery here! Hardcore Superstarwere completely different after all those "brutal" bands so far. Hardrock in front of a huge red background with roses printed on it. Somehow this music didn´t work for quite a lot of people. But, the fans surely enjoyed it. I preferred going to the bar area instead and listen to the music from afar.
Check the Bullet For My Valentine gallery here! Time for Bullet For My Valentine from the UK. I have to admit that I had some doubts, whether a band, that is played on MTViva would fit in here. But what can I say? They did! And did pretty well on top of that. Songs like "Waking The Demon" definitely kicked ass, much more than I and obviously quite a lot of others would´ve expected. Despite being pretty young, those guys know how to kick some lazy asses!Thumbs up for an entertaining festival band!
Those who couldn´t or didn´t want to be convinced by the youngster on the main stage could as well pay a visit to the world of evil Black Metal. And if I say evil, I mean evil: Nifelheim were spreading trueness, darkness and whatnot on the tent stage. You can love them or them, even those who hate them have to admit, that they´re very entertaining posers with all those damn long spikes and the completely cliché outfits, not to mention the songs. Yes, they rock! Check the Nifelheim gallery here!
Check the Tiamat gallery here! After that it was time to get some food, thanks to a great variety of food it was kind of difficult to decide what to get. After that I hurried over to the Close-Up tent stage once again to see Tiamat live for the first time. Great atmospheric gig supported by an equally atmospheric lightshow. Not as brutal as some other bands that haven been playing today, but their Gothic stuff worked well!
Too bad I couldn´t see the complete gig, since I had to rush over to the mainstages to take pictures of the last band for today: Cavalera Conspiracy. No big surprises here I´d say, but The Cavalera brothers teased out the last bit of energy the audience had. Lots of headbanging, perfect finish for day number one!
Check the Cavalera Conspiracy gallery here!
Saturday 28.06.2008 After a few refreshing hours of sleep, day 2 started much better than day one. No rain at all and on top of that the festival was completely sold out!
Thanks to fast procedures at the entrance, I managed to jump into the photopit, just when Lillasyster (formerly known as Rallypack) entered stage. Compared to yesterday the place in front of stage was already quite packed and all seemed to be in party mood. No wonder, the lyrics were all in Swedish, everybody was singing along and when the vocalist wanted them to jump to the next song, to proof that this is not only possible during the headlining bands, everybody of course did so. Emphasis was put on the actual CD "Hjärndöd Music För En Hjärndöd Generation". (Braindead music, for a braindead generation) Check the Lillasyster gallery here!
Check the Dark Tranquillity gallery here! Luckily Dark Tranquillity were next on the other stage, otherwise I would´ve had doubts whether the next band would´ve been able to keep the great vibes. No problem for DT though: Home game and Mikael wrapped the audience around his little finger with ease! Constantly grinning like a Cheshire cat, talking to the fans he seemed to be in a great mood - like always. Absolutely nothing to complain!
Check the Soilwork gallery here! No time to rest on Saturday, Soilwork were already waiting and played the next damn great gig of this day. Vocalist Björn Strid has obviously really improved his singing, so I got nothing to complain here anymore like I did two years ago. Thanks to the headliner there were more than enough Melodeath fans at Metaltown and thus the gigs of bands like Soilwork, Dark Tranquillity and Co simply had to be a success. Especially in this town!
Time for a little visit in the bar area again, even there you could see people dancing to Finntroll. This is also one of the bands touring constantly, playing on all smaller and bigger festivals, but still, the party music works everytime, no matter how often you have seen them before. Check the Finntroll gallery here!
Surprise, surprise for some who were now waiting for Opeth. They unfortunately had to cancel their gig due to sickness, but a great replacement was found in form of Satyricon from Norway. No real "replacement" of course, but a very atmospheric band as well. Quite a lot who had been complaining before the gig, were at least a bit satisfied after Satyricon had played. „K.I.N.G.“, „Mother North“, „Hvite Krists Dod“ and so on, simply work live and the Norwegians managed to bring up a cool and evil Black Metal atmosphere on a sunny day. And surely convinced some pouting Opeth-fans. Check the Satyricon gallery here!
Check the Amon Amarth gallery here! Amon Amarth - is there a festival they don´t play? Well, some might complain that this Viking stuff gets boring after a while. Granted, BUT, it´s great live music. The tempo is great for headbanging, songs like "Death in Fire" are made to scream along, headbang and have fun. Who thinks about boring or not then? The synchronously headbanging vikings succeeded once more and celebrated their viking party at Metaltown! Horns up!
Check the Dimmu Borgir gallery here! For those who didn´t get enough Black Metal so far, were surely eagerly waiting for the second BM band of day two: Dimmu Borgir. I´ve never seen a BM band so far, that was constantly smiling, doing evil faces and all that, communicating with the audience and posing for the photographers that much. Galder alone did so many funny faces to keep the photographers busy for quite a while. The pyros of course added that special something to the atmosphere and provided us with After the Intro, hell broke loose with „Spellbound“, „Vredesbyrd“ and„Progenies Of The Apocalypse“. Only the actual output got quite a raw deal.
Check the Nightwish gallery here! Only two bands to go, the festival was (unfortunately) nearly over. Nightwishwere the second band of the day, where I was having doubts how they´d be like live, since I hadn´t seen them for quite a while and never with their new vocalist. The first and most important thing that can be said is, that Anette seems to be much happier and enthuasiatic on stage. Constantly smiling and all that. Her voice is still something I have to get used to, especially in connection with the old stuff, but with the new stuff it works pretty well. Oh and not to forget, lots of pyros once again. Even more boom and bang and glitter and fire than Dimmu had before. Quite a solid gig, very bombastic.
Check the In Flames gallery here! Last band already! The photographers didn´t see that much of the first four songs, since we had to wait on the side of the stage thanks to masses of pyros being fired from stage. The audience went off the rails from the first notes on, that was the band that most had been waiting for all day! The setlist contained a nice mixture of older and newer stuff, so even those, who didn´t like the actual output at all, shoudl´ve been happy with it. The audience headbanged and sang along to „Cloud Connected“, „Only For The Weak“ or „Take This Live“, as well as to „I Am The Highway“ from the newest CD. This was surely the best headliner they could´ve booked for this festival. Great finish for this 2-day-party.
All in all I can say that this was the first (and surely not last!) visit at Metaltown: It was very relaxed, even though the area was packed on Saturday, pretty friendly and cool security, loads of great gigs, good food with acceptable prices. So in the end the ticketprice of 130 € was quite ok. Chances are pretty good, that I might go back next year. Definitely a recommendable festival!