Location: Växjö (Sweden)
By: Sabine van Gameren
When I walked through Växjö before the festival started, I noticed
that it is quite a small town. When I finally understood how the Swedish people pronounce it, I was already at the end of it.
The location looked less metal as I expected it to be. I arrived at the festival
area (Växjö Parken) and the first thing I saw was a cute light blue wooden building. That was one of the two venues for today. It was the smallest.
Inside of it, there was a metal market and you were able to play the game “Guitar Heroes” in between the performances. The biggest one looked more like a place where wedding parties take place. It was all very white. And especially in the morning while the sun gave us a lot of light through the windows it did not really give me the impression of being at a metal festival.
Opening this day was an honor for the local band Chasing the Dime. The band started as a project at school. Instrumentally, I would say they kind of fulfilled the expectations, but the vocals were just horrible. Not only because the sound was horribly arranged, but also because the singer just does not have a nice voice. His backup singer a.k.a bassist would suit this position way better. At the moment he started singing I was immediately interested again. Unfortunately he was just backup singing so he could not keep my attention long. The few friends/fans, who showed up pretty early at the front row for them liked it anyway. And since that was their only audience I guess they fulfilled their job more or less.
Second band I saw on this festival was Kongh. They played in the bigger venue at the Carlsberg stage. The band started playing somewhere in 2004 but got its name in 2006. This year they released the album “Counting Heartbeats” which has five songs, but lasts 65 minutes. Mostly down-tempo metal is what they bring and I have to say that these guys know how to handle their equipment.
I don’t think this music is a genre which is very popular, but I hope these guys will make it. The show is not that active though, but that is understandable, since the music is not really made for it. It is more music you just want to listen to.
Then some hardcore metal could be heard at the blue house. Slowlife was onstage. The band, which had more then 25.000 downloads on mp3.com is showing their live performance skills. If you like a band like At the Gates, then you will probably enjoy Slowlife as well. The singer plays a little around with the audience, but I feel like he could do it a little more to get attention from them. Just to get more interaction. Now it seems a little like a conversation with the walls. More impressed I was about the guitarist. He seemed to be really concentrated in his music and still having fun.
When I saw Chamber 4 sound checking right before their performance started, I thought this one could be very interesting. I was quite shocked when the band came back onstage without their t-shirts. Not that I mind, good for my eyes I would say, but I was wondering why. I was not the only one who thought this way, since I saw many people looking to each other with question marks all over their faces. Were we suppose to judge the meat today or were we here for the metal? This action I would expect more from a boy band. When they started playing it became clear that they were giving us some good thrash metal. And after a few songs I started forgiving them. It is not like watching a boy band, which I feared first but seeing a good solid metal band.
Innocent Rosie is THE band that everyone gossips about. Even far before I knew I would go to this festival, I heard a lot about them. They have been touring through the UK and already released a successful demo and they are working on their debut album. Innocent Rosie brings us typical sleazy, classical glam rock. My first thoughts were: they sound like Mötley Crüe. Hearing them longer learned me they have an individual sound and an unique style of performing.
Nice to see.
Here was my biggest surprise of the day. Babylon Bombs. Never saw them live before, only heard people talking about them. The Babylon Bombs are a rock band from Stockholm with some glam, but not drive that glam too much. They stayed true to the music. I can not do anything else than give them a big compliment about this show. Musically they are great. They now what to do and stage performance is also very well done. They know where to be on the stage, walking around and giving us something to watch. Overall, they perfectly communicate with their audience. Let them sing and clap along. “Louder, harder, faster… alright?!”
A lot of bands can learn from them. That Babylon Bombs doing great was also visible in the increased number of visitors when they were about to enter the stage. I think we’ll hear a lot more of this band, at least I would like to see them again.
Then it is time for a little heavier metal. Death metal from Eventide. The band, which started already in the year 1998 and released three demo’s and a full length album is, at this moment, working on their new album “Planet Plague”. What I liked about this band is that they make quite melodic death metal. Comparable to Soilwork and Dark Tranquility. Compliments to the band for their performance. It looked like a complete picture and that while they are looking for a new guitarist and had to work with someone from outside the band. I am curious about their upcoming release, you might read about it here on Tempelores.
Those We Don’t Speak Of (TWDSO) is a band of former Beseech guitarists Manne and Robert. On drums we have Christian and the latest added members of this bands are bassist Peter and singer Emma. The band just started to conquer the world, but it’s second performance was on the famous Sweden Rock festival. Now here on Växjö metal festival for the first time with Peter and Emma. TWDSO makes some gothic rock. Although female fronted, don’t make
the mistake by putting it in the fairy metal corner. Not much dreamy stuff here.
Surprise for me, that the song “Innerlane” was on the setlist. It is a Beseech song and I did not expect it here.
The whole setlist was:
Left Me Blind
My Own Summer
Down On Me
A band I could not avoid today was Crazy Lixx. They placed promotion posters everywhere. They also had people walking around to tell me to see this band. Maybe a little too much actually, since it started to annoy me. I decided to give it a go and waited till they were done with rebuilding the stage. A few fans were placed by the band members themselves to let their long hair wave
in the air and I made a comment that they just look like Sharon (Within Temptation), Floor (After Forever) Simone(Epica) and that sort of gothic chicks. The diva’s did not seem to appreciate this comment, since I got some angry faces. Up to the readers to judge the pictures whether I was right or wrong. This all was just before the show started, so I might start telling you about the performance of this glam rock band. It was clear that the promotion worked since the venue was quite filled. The band just released a new album “Loud Minority” so they played some songs from it. From the reaction of the fans I could find out which songs were already more known and which are quite new. Crazy Lixx played an ok show, though I wondered how much they enjoyed it themselves.
If you are really into this genre you will probably like it, but there is not that much new under the sun. I was not convinced by the lack of originality. A little more enthusiasm might work as well. Many people worked hard to promote them, and with them being on stage in a mood like someone just told them a relative died I hope they did not disappoint too many people. I hope they find some more to give to their audience next time, because it was not that they were playing bad. And maybe they should not take my comments that seriously either. Life is fun, enjoy it… A smile will work as well.
Heed was up next. I think their music is quite unique. With typical heavy metal vocals and harder vocals it has a few things in common with the nowadays popular emo core but the difference is that here the vocals do not bore me after a few songs. If I made you curious, I would highly recommend you to visit the myspace to listen to their music. They also released a demo at the start of this year, which is worth listening.
From Göteborg, All Ends was present to represent their city in this festival.
Fronted by two chicks this gothic metal band is trying to breakthrough since 2003. Lately they have gathered some success with their single “wasting life” which made it into the Swedish charts. Their album is released on the 7th of November so there was a lot of material to play. I like the way they enjoy playing their music. They all show that they like what they are doing and that makes it interesting to see. The band has been supporting bands as Apocalyptica and Candlemass and have been touring in quite some European countries already. So no surprise that they will cross your road someday.
Jorn Lande, also known as the singer of Masterplan was closing the festival.
He is often considered to be one of the best classical rock singers. Personally, I had him already on my wish-to-see-list for ages. The man started of a little stiff. Not much that got me at this first stage. After a few songs It went clearly better. Jorn has an incredible voice which he uses very nicely. Just music to listen to but not music that moves you. This is an act you just have to see once. I don’t feel the need to see it again, since it is not a very energetic show but overall this is a very nice closing of the festival.
More pictures may be available at sabinevangameren.com
Växjö Metal Festival
Chasing the Dime Myspace
Chamber 4 Myspace
Innocent Rosie Myspace
Babylon Bombs Myspace
Those We Don’t Speak Of Myspace
All Ends Myspace
Jorn Lande Myspace