12-08-2017 Into The Grave
On this second day it is the Finnish band Ember Falls that opens the day. In their own country some controversy has been around them as another band accused them of stealing their ideas, the look etc. But without a relevant ground in the whole, Embers Fall are simply letting the audience decide.
Luckily for them the visitors have left their beds early enough to see them. Quite some people showed up. Their music is a mix of electronics and metal, going a bit with the industrial sound and having still enough vehemence in it to serve the visitors a heavy wake up. In the beginning the response was quite mellow, but you could see the music grows on people and by the end of the set they seem to have won the hearts of many. A good start of the day we would say!
It was not so sure whether these guys would be here, but Pro-Pain made it to Leeuwarden. After some shit had been going on Brussels earlier this year, vocalist Meskil had to recover for a while but his shape was good enough to be here today. Some extra cheers from the audience for that, the hardcore formation was given a proper welcome. And we could see the dedication in their eyes as well.
Sure, here and there the guys seem to take it the safe side on the show part, but never compromise on giving their best musically. Altogether their show went well. A well brought set, good vocals, good riffs. You wouldn’t say anything happened before. Professional!
Textures is going to quit. A shocker for the many fans they have gathered around the world. Trust us, how often have we heard artist tell us their favorite act from Netherlands is Textures… we can’t count anymore! The technical approach of the guys have been noticed far beyond the borders, so it is a pity the guys are doing their final shows. The technical part makes it a bit harder for people to get into, haven’t they been familiar yet, but the average festivalgoer here has seem them and so it is clear that they are ready to enjoy it for one of the last times.
The band self is going at full throttle. Not really letting the whole stop them being energetic as ever. They simply do what they came for. We liked that they were not wasting much time with a lot of words in between. At the end of the set it is a pity that we are at the end already. We could have another few songs. Too short, but a few more shows are ahead so the fans can still see them until their last one in December.
Sodom has been at Into The Grave before. The Thrash formation is a welcome guest at any festival anyway, they always deliver. The guys had their last album out in 2016. It is called “Decision Day” and with it they are showing their class in aggressive Thrash, like we are used to from them.
They bring this album along with them on the stage today, but the typical Sodom classics like “Sodomy and Lust” are the once who get the audience going. Some crowdsurfing is going on and a wild cheer when these songs are announced are part of the Sodom experience here today. The set closes with “Caligula” which is from their latest, but by then the audience is already so hyped up of the set that they take it as equal and enjoy it just as much. Once again, the Germans delivered.
Most curious we were about Whitechapel today. The American Death core band is one we have not seen passing by too often so we were wondering how they would do here today. Quite well so to say. A certain brutality is demanding you to pay attention and the band seem quite natural performers.
The guitars are impressive enough, a wall of sound is thundering over you and with these vocals to go over that they deliver quite a package. But then, after a while we get a little bit bored. The variation in the set is not really existing and so we start to lose interest a bit. You could also notice this at the audience, which are calming down a bit. Good, it was not bad, but just a minor point that let us down a bit.
Although the transformation of Keith to Mina has been going on for quite a while already, it is still the main thing people talk about when Life of Agony is on. Sure, we can notice some differences in the vocals, but we are still listening to the good old songs. And Mina, well Mina delivers! Different yes, but still awesome.
Then of course there is more to Life of Agony than Mina and both Joey and Alan are making themselves seen during the performance. They are just as theatrical and charismatic and this trio is clearly a solid team. The drums, well they fall a back somehow, but not too many seem to be bothered with it. Life of Agony gave a good show today, and now let’s stop talking about Keith vs Mina and just enjoy Life of Agony as it comes?!
Overkill was there for some more Thrash. They are fast and keeping it to the old school. Starting with “Mean, Green, Killing Machine” the band gives us straight up something new. The song comes from their latest album “The Grinding Wheel” which released this year. Yet it follows up with “Rotten To The Core”, dating back to ’84. The contrast is there, but you feel Overkill is keeping the whole in line.
So you know what the expect. And quite some crowdsurfers has anticipated on that, so many were passing by that we can say we are very proud on the catchers for keeping up. So yes, Overkill was a band that was appreciated. What we adored most is the fact that they ended it all with a cover of Golden Earring’s “Radar Love”, a smart choice giving it all a mellow ending.
Arch Enemy is bringing some fire with them to heat up the show, but no one was cold anymore coming up close to eachother getting as near to the stage as possibly can. The originally Swedish formation got a bit more international years ago and have been seen more and more active nowadays. Soon the band will be releasing a new album called “Will To Power” of which they played some music.
So, the fans had a bit of a preview on that but the seem careless for the songs self. The band self, Alissa the Amott brothers and co as well as the production they are putting down there is relevant to them, no matter what’s ont he setlist so much. After about an hour the show is over, but the audience seemed to have hoped for an encore. It can’t be the next band has quite some material to put on and so the band leaves them. Luckily the band has just announced a new show in NL, so the fans have something to look forward to again.
Amon Amarth was headlining this edition. A whole vikinghelmet appeared on stage and the flames were all around it. The band self moves around on the stage but is not hyperactive like other bands are, you are never coming short though, there is plenty to see.
The impressive “First Kill” from their latest release is an interesting one that comes rather early in their set. It is setting the mood fully, where before the audience was still a bit more awaiting what would come. After that the guys have some more to spread, some older material first but also “Raise Your Horns” one of those catchier tracks that you hear once and remember long afterwards.
Them vikings were an interesting headliner, they made the festival come alive for the last time this year, a closing act that does the job very well.
Altogether we had another great year at Into The Grave. We don’t have much to remark at all, so all is good. Some good surprises and a little bit of rain has not stopped us or anyone else to enjoy this edition big time. We are looking forward to next year..!
Posted in Concerts/Festivals
Hard Rock Laager 2017
Psychiatric Ward, Sky Down, Nordjevel(NOR), Dead Furies, Herald, Sungehel, Hate(Pol), Goresoerd, No-Big-Silence, Progress, Estoner, Intact, Tankist, Val Tvoar, Condescension, Sanctimony(LAT). DND, Asphyx(NED), Shower, Arcturus(NOR), Loits, Katatonia(SWE)
It is end of June and this part of the world is full of amazing festivals and concerts. In Finland there are Tuska (also it is the festival’s 20th anniversary), Provinssirock, Guns n Roses and many more. Then there is HRL, 180km south of Finland, in a tiny village called Vana-Vigala in Estonia. I cannot promise that you will read about the most exciting festival of the year but it is indeed interesting to get to know about the biggest metal festival held in a tiny country. Isn’t it? When I told people that I would be going there the reactions were similar: “But why?” Perhaps, I just wanted to experience a festival in Estonia this year. When I noticed that how little I have been involved in Estonian music scene even though I have been living here for couple of years, it hit me hard and I prepared my backpack to head to this biggest metal festival of Estonia. Do not get fooled by the adjective “biggest”. Honestly, it is probably one of the smallest “biggest” metal festival you can imagine. Yet, it does not change the fact that it still survives while there are big brothers around and gathers up almost 2.000 metal lovers from around Estonia.
Dear readers, are you ready to meet with some cool Estonian bands and go to a muddy festival journey with me? Let’s go!
Weather forecast for the festival weekend was not promising at all. But I do not fully count on the forecasts so I still packed a skirt, swimming suit, flipflops and my sunglasses with me. Guess what? I didn’t even touch any of them. My beloved boots, rain jacket, leggins and woolen socks were my best friends throughout the festival. Honestly, it was a mud-bath all around the festival area which was located in a forest south of Estonia.
First band of the festival was Psychiatric Ward from Estonia which I unfortunately missed due to transportation failure. Second band was Sky Down. They played in the B-lava (B-stage) which was the smaller of two stages.This power metal band from Tallinn with a female singer gathered a big crowd to watch them. Next band was a black metal band from Norway in A-lava called Nordjevel. During Nordjevel’s performance it was raining cats and dogs but it did not create a obstacle for the black metal lovers.
Next band to see was a famous Estonian band called Dead Furies and for me they were one of the stars of the first day. Hearing their names and music many times but not seeing them up until that moment, I knew that it was going to be an enjoyable performance and it so was! Dead Furies rocked the B-lava and made people mud dive. These current example of Estonian rock n roll, garage rock kings were more than energetic on the stage. And I have to add that I loved their huge Elvis Presley poster on the stage!
I guess, for many the star of the day was Herald. Before they started playing the A-Lava was full of people who claimed to come to festival only for this band. Herald is a heavy metal band with a heavy influence of thrash and heavy metal classics. No doubt that they had an exiting and amazing performance for many.
For me the main band that I have been waiting for this day was Hate from Poland. This death metal band from Warsaw that dates back to 1990 was amazing and it was an honor to see Adam Buszko(aka ATF Sinner) the founder of the band live.
Goresoerd is another band from Estonia that is focused on grindcore as their names suggest. Their performance was impressive in my opinion as they made so many young kids and elderly and young to headbang together. My new homework is to get familiar with the grindcore scene in Estonia as it seemed very vivid and lovely.
And the headline of the day: No-Big-Silence! Just as their name suggest, they did not let their fans be silent. Originally known as Agressor, No-Big-Silence is an industrial metal from early 1980’s. Even though they have changed drastically with time it seemed like their fans stayed loyal to them.
Posted in Concerts/Festivals