BLAZE BAYLEY seemed to take a few tracks to warm up, but to their credit, the guitars were tight through out. Blaze was up to his usual persistent encouragement for crowd participation of chanting and fisting the air, and not forgetting his usual banter between songs. Great selection of track though keeping the audience entertained throughout.
XANDRIA use a range of riffs for their gothic metal. These German rocks more than filled the stage with ease with their running melodies and stunning vocals curtsy of Kerstin.
POWER QUEST played their last show with the current line up, in fact, the entire line up will change with the exception of the bands mastermind, Steve Williams. So basically this show was a celebration and performance of the bands greatest hits. You have a pretty much know what you're going to get with a power metal band, but when they have 'power' in their name, they must be that extra bit special, and they truly are! Solid songs performed at the highest standard, this blended with the party atmosphere of their last performance together, happily playing requests, made a performance to remember!
CIRCUS MAXIMUS brought some prog fussed with power metal to the festival. Inspiring drumming, heavy melodic riffs and slick beat changes. A great wall of vocals, though I'm not entirely won over by the lead vocalist who seemed to lack the qualities of a good front man.
MARSHALL LAW gave me a sense of excitement, I felt as though I had gone back in time to the creation of heavy metal to thrash metal with their dark riffs and strong vocals. There's always this great atmosphere with a band that has been around for so long, and that is because they know what they're doing!
CIRCUS INSANE almost got it right, but forgot one vital component, crowd control. If you're going to do shock stunts, you need to talk to the crowd, warm them up, excite them, and get them to think "oh no, he's not is he" and then you go in for the kill and do it. This didn't happen, the stunts just got performed with no introduction or commentary which kinda left me in a place of limbo.
BRAINSTORM have an awesome chuggy heavy metal groove to their sound. Certainly had the best crowd I'd seen this weekend. Vocalist, Andy, may have played with the crowd but they sang straight back, and going on for some time after they finished the song leaving the band speechless. This even continued after their set almost up until the next band!
PRIMORDIAL I find hard to describe. They play a slow despairing metal with a bit of melodic, mixed with pagan tones. Vocals and lyrics so full of conviction you almost feel it yourself. Some interesting drum beats and changes, unfortunately the sound guys forgot to turn the bass up. It did get a bit repetitive towards the end however, and maybe could have done with the set a song less to prevent any boredom.
PRIMAL FEAR played a fantastic set; solid, tight, powerful, strong - pure heavy metal! A few technical problems with the fold-back, but soldiered on regardless, a great end to Saturday night.
Metalfest sure went for quality over quantity providing a spectrum of European metal acts on one stage at comfy venue. Having just the one stage meant you could see everyone and not have to rush about to other stages to catch the next band, instead you got to have a break and chill for a bit, though some better outside facilities would be welcomed and I'm sure will come for next years festival. The sound wasn't up to scratch and I felt they were simply just school boy errors, such as forgetting to turn the bass on for the outward speakers. There was a calm atmosphere for the festival, which felt good, though a little subdued for the bands, but however, they received kind reception! Here's to next years Metalfest!