Second round: today we write about Tuesday, July 24th in Tolmin (Slovenia). After driving through the wonderful road among valleys, fields and mountains, with some ’90s trash in the background, we finally get to the heart of Metaldays 2018.
At our arrival, Slovenian death/thrash metal band Sober Assault was already playing, with not so complicated riffs and an easily boring sound.
Next in line are Croatian neighbours Cold Snap. The band, formed in 2003, plays some sort of groove metal with heavy riffs, framed by the voices of Jan Kerekeš and Dario Berg alternating between clean, screaming and growling vocals.
In the meantime, comes the news that Lords Of Black cancelled their show, but we don’t know the reason.
Not sad about that, I admit, I’m impatiently waiting for the next band, Tesseract.
Unfortunately, I discovered them just lately and I was looking forward to see them live: I appreciated their latest album “Sonder“, out last March, but my obsession was definitely its predecessor, “Polaris/Errai” (2016).
The British come on stage one by one, from the tall James Monteith to the pretty small bass player, Amos Williamson (barefoot for the whole show), and singer Daniel Tompkins.
Obviously, the show starts with the latest effort’s opener “Luminary“, continuing with “King” and “Smile“. After those, time for older ones like “Of Matter – Proxy” and the closing one “Acceptance – Concealing Fate Pt. 1“.
The musicians move on stage in a transcendental way, totally captivated by their own music. Tompkins’ voice is moving, probably better than the studio recordings. Goosebumps from start to finish.
Important stage (and genre) change now. The main stage area is full of people for Battle Beast, heavy/power metal band led by the charismatic Noora Louhimo. They start with “Straight To The Heart“, opening track of their latest LP “Bringer Of Pain”, out in 2017 on Nuclear Blast.
The Finns are at ease on stage, with a great energy that entertains easily the Slovenian crowd. I admit I didn’t expect all these success from them, but the singer’s abilities are indeniable, in terms of vocal range, energy and grit.
After the classic “Black Ninja“, comes the drum solo and the encore, with “King For A Day” and the last one “Beyond The Burning Skies“.
Unfortunately, the changes in the main stage times didn’t allow us to see Caronte and Pallbearer, but we were back for The Lurking Fear and Rotten Sound.
About the former, what can we say if not “wow”, a band with no frills and right to the point, with an intrinsic and peculiar sound that only a legend like Tomas Lindberg could bring with him in every situation. Impeccable performance, charisma and stage presence proper of an institution in extreme metal. With a full smile on my face, I pay my homages to Tompa and go away.
THE LURKING FEAR
The second stage sees now the performance of one of the heaviest and most violent band in the bill, Rotten Sound. The bands comes on stage in a discreet way and after a few seconds they hit so hard the audience was speechless. Evil, violent, rotten and abrasive like only they know how to be, with a simple but efficient show, turning the second stage in a slaughterhouse. Breathtaking show.
Back to the main stage for one of the main acts in technical thrash metal: Coroner. After a long period of inactivity, the band reunited in 2010 with Ron Royce on vocals and bass, Tommy T. Baron on guitar and the new entry Diego Rapacchietti on drums, playing pretty heavy music: definitely something to enjoy for the most aged metalheads and the nostalgic young ones as well.
The setlist is full of great classics taken from their whole discography, from “R.I.P.” (1987) to “Grin” (1993).
No time for any pauses: the crowd has invaded the whole area by now, and many people are also standing up the hill, waiting for Ensiferum. Wintersun’s Jari Mäenpää’s former band doesn’t need any introduction and I find myself subconsciounsly humming “Land Of Snow And Sorrow” before the intro “Ajattomasta Unesta” takes me back to reality, followed by “For Those About To Fight For Metal“, opener of their latest album “Two Paths” (2017).
With folk metal it’s hard to do wrong, especially in this kind of festival and this region. The audience has gone crazy, with moshpits and crowdsurfing along with ten thousand voices chanting.
The band seems in top shape, entertaining the crowd, but time is never enough when you’re having fun, so it’s already time for the well known “Lai Lai Hei” with its medieval rhythms and the final song “Iron“, from the eponymous EP.
It’s just a short time before Accept‘s “Die By The Sword” resonates through the valley. When Mark Tornillo makes his appearance, he’s greeted by a general ovation. The age doesn’t seem a burden for the band, with a great show, impossible to criticize.
The Germans obviously gifted the public with great classics like “Princess Of The Dawn” and “Balls To The Wall“, sang by the whole crowd, followed by “I’m A Rebel” and the closer “Burning“.
It’s kinda late, but we move towards the trees in front of the second stage, adorned with tridents and flames everywhere, welcoming one of the most controversial black metal bands. How many metalheads fit the stereotypes that people have in mind? How many satanists do we really know? Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t know any. Except for one, Watain‘s Erik Danielsson. Contrary to other black bands, Mr. Danielsson really believes in it!
The show is great to see also for those who, like me, don’t particularly love their music and especially its contents and ideas.
For the Swedish singer, concerts are proper odes to Satan, so much that he often refused to play in venues where’s not possible to light torches. Absolutely understandable, since about 80% of the show is imagery and scenery.
Speaking of music, the band opened with “Stellarvore” from “Sworn To The Dark” (2007), following with some older songs but giving space also to their latest work “Trident Wolf Eclipse“. The show comes to an end quickly, the time at the band’s disposal is not much, and they close with the 15-minute long “Waters Of Ain“. I must admit, I appreciated this song more than others, probably because of its melodic riffs and goosebumps from the solo.
Finally, at the end of the concert, Danielsson accomplishes the ritual, with deranged eyes on his face.