With Dynamo Metalfest‘s pre-party having been an overly sunny day, the main festival day proved to be a mix of sun and rain. Luckily sound level issues were a much smaller issue on the main festival day.
Alien Weaponry (***1/2)
As the early festivalgoers entered the festival grounds, lots of vocal noises were suddenly heard through the festival speakers. Glancing at the stage, it seemed Alien Weaponry had started their show off by performing a Maori haka. After the haka, the band played a variety of heavy metal songs in English and Maori, among which, PC Bro, Rage – It Takes over Again and Raupatu. I would assume that quite a few of the late arrivals were awoken at the camping grounds due to Alien Weaponry and that their intriguing Maori vocals made them come back to the festival earlier than they had originally planned to; as the row for the coffee stand after the show was huge.
Tribulation was unable to really draw me in. In general, the black metal songs were alright, but the performance got a little downplayed due to the often overwhelming sound of the flanger effect on the guitars. Tribulation‘s get-up consisted out of black clothing and black & white facepaint. It made for an interesting opening, but it didn’t leave a long lasting impression on me. While songs like Melancholia had me interested at first, I felt myself needing some coffee out of boredom during Nightbound and The Lament.
Armored Saint (***1/2)
The men behind Armored Saint may be getting old, but their sound sure isn’t! The American heavy metal band played mainly old songs. But even after all those years, they still fit right in. With Can U Deliver, Last Train Home and March Of The Saint, Armored Saint surely delivered. Frontman John Bush couldn’t be stopped. Literally! He was physically all around the place. It goes beyond me how he managed to still deliver his lines that well without sounding exhausted! Though I also have to say that Last Train Home did feel a little repetitive near the end. I didn’t feel this way about it when I heard it on cd, but live it certainly stuck out like a sore thumb to me. I almost forgot the song had more lyrics than just those few words.
Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals (**1/2)
Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals as part of the lineup… It seemed like it could be a very interesting show. Sadly it was far from perfect. As it was the last show of the European tour, it wasn’t a surprise that the band might have thought “Fuck it. Let’s get stoned, it’s the last show anyway”. or so it seemed for Philip at the very least. I wouldn’t say the performance was a major disappointment, but it was definitely subpar. Though performing only Pantera songs meant that most people knew the songs and would chant along anyway, I certainly had expected better.
Besides the music, the weather also wasn’t favoring Philip and the Illegals, as it started to rain during Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit, the third song of the setlist. The open fields were quickly deserted in favor of the roofed sides of the ice skating rink as the rain intensified during I’m Broken. A decent amount of people remained between the stage and the FOH (front of house) despite the rain, which then turned into heavy hail, lasting several minutes. By some miracle, the rain briefly cleared when the band played Walk, along with special guest Max Cavalera. The weather continued to worsen again after that. Due to these weather conditions, the show even had to be cut short.
Metal Church (***1/2)
In a way, Metal Church felt like a continuation of Armored Saint and Grand Magus, in a good way. More old-school heavy metal to alternate with the heavier vocal styles of other bands. Though Metal Church‘s start was still caught in the ongoing rain from earlier, it finally cleared up during Badlands, though the crowd still remained reluctant to enter the soaking wet fields for some time. The stage presence remained rather passive too, making the performance mostly interesting for the fans whom were already familiar with the band’s material. Though even for newcomers, songs like By the Numbers and the closing song Fake Healer were certainly entertaining and well executed.
With the sun having returned and the fields drying up, the air got quite muggy during Soulfly‘s performance; especially under the roofed sides. Due to this, I found myself often walking about causing me to miss out on some of Soulfly‘s songs. Though I personally don’t have a strong connection with Max Cavalera‘s vocals, I do have to admit I gained a newfound admiration for their drummer (Zyon Cavalera). His moves were very impressive to say the least. Though Soulfly wasn’t my cup of tea, the crowd sure seemed to enjoy the show, shouting and moving along with the band as they performed songs like The Summoning, Babylon and Ritual.
Carcass‘s frontman, Jeff Walker, appeared to be a man a few words. with only 60 minutes to perform, Carcass goes through about 15 songs. So there wasn’t much time left to say anything outside of the songs other than the occasional “Thank you!” small talk. Though there the rain stopped according to the weather forecast, the frontman occasionally made it rain again. Water, beer and a whole lot of guitar picks were tossed into the audience. It wasn’t a surprise that the audience happily did as the frontman asked of them. Clapping, shouting or simply putting a fist into the air to songs like 316L Grade Surgical Steel, Keep On Rotting in the Free World and Heartwork. If I was in the front rows during that performance, I’d be doing it too if it’d increase my chances of getting some memorabilia.
Steel Panther (****)
Steel Panther… You either love them or you hate them. A glam/hair metal band whose gimmick is being the typical 80’s rockstars living the sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll life. Say what you want about them, but their performance was rock solid… well… almost. Musically there is no denying that these guys are talented. But when it comes to their choreography, they still have a thing or two to learn. Several times during their opening song, Eyes of a Panther, Satchel and Lexxi attempted a synchronized move of tilting their guitars back and forth but in most cases the only synchronized part of that move is when they start and stop, as they certainly weren’t in sync with each other. Other than that, there wasn’t much to complain about.
If you didn’t care too much about the lyrics or the repeated “show us your tits” remarks, Steel Panther‘s music would have been rather enjoyable. with Death To All But Metal and Gloryhole being the final songs, it became apparent that time had flown by rather fast. I had honestly expected more songs, but alas, their time was already up. In hindsight I suppose they did spend quite some time goofing around in between songs.
Arch Enemy (****1/2)
Arch Enemy delivered a pretty strong finish to Dynamo Metalfest. Lots of songs that were well executed, and quite a bit of stage pyrotechnics… And lights. So many lights. Welcome to the land of the blinded. Ouch! If I wanted a light show I would have attended an EDM festival. But last time I checked, it was called Dynamo metalfest… Less lights, more fire! Whoever programmed the lights had a terrible feel for the songs or was very lazy and hit the ‘randomize’ button a bit too often. It felt random and often more like a nuisance than an addition to the performance. The pyrotechnics were nice… most of the time. Whenever they went off at the same time, they were well timed with the music, but as soon as several individual fires were to be set off rapidly, it was often off-beat. Though musically, there was virtually nothing to complain about. With songs like The World is Yours, The Eagle Flies Alone and Nemesis they definitely put up a good show.
A wonderful longer edition of Dynamo Metalfest this time around, we’re already looking forward what 2020 will bring for the successful event! A special thanks to Josh M. Skeleton for the use of his pictures!