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  MADE OF METAL FESTIVAL DAY TWO
Hodonin, Czech Republic
15th - 17th August 2014


Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland



made of metal

Day two of the festival saw bands playing from 10.00am but after a late night that was way too early for me and most other people at the festival. I feel sorry for any band put on at that time at a festival.

There were a lot of bands I wanted to see on the main stage on the Saturday so I camped there for most of the day and didn't see much of any of the second stage bands.

The first band to interest me were Polish power metallers Pathfinder. They had some very vocal support in the crowd and they were a polished, professional outfit with some nice melodic lines and a cheery attitude. Vocally lead singer Primal Alley (I don't think that's his real name) was a strong melodic voice but I enjoyed the band's sound more when they added a female soprano voice to the second half of the set. It's hard to stand out in the world of double bass drum beats and widdling guitars that is power metal but Pathfinder gave it an enjoyable try.

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Next up were Germany's Orden Ogan ostensibly billed as another power metal band. They turned out to be much more than that, with some progressive elements and more of an old school Priest vibe than the Maiden clone style most power metal bands go for. They had some great riffs, a nice line in cheerful banter and came across as thoroughly enjoying themselves. Despite hot having a big back catalogue they have been around for some time and that experience showed here, working the crowd and having a jolly metal time of it. I'm not sure why singer and guitarist Sebastian Leverman had the remains of a car tyre attached to his shoulder though.

Sweden's all girl rockers Crucified Barbara had some travel issues of their own and the airline had lost their backdrop and merchandise but of course these girls are famous for their attitude and they just rocked up and got on with it. Opening with the sub Motorhead rifferama of 'The Crucifier' they ignored the lack of backdrop and the showers of rain that had spoiled the afternoon and proceeded to rock our socks off. No time for niceties, these rock and roll women just ooze attitude and without much fanfare between songs just pounded the crowd with riff after riff.

made of metal

I have been critical in the past about the songwriting in the band with a few too many fillers around for my liking but they seem to be improving on that front and there were some good songs here among all that fire and gritty persistence. Singer and guitarist Mia Karlsson plays as hard as she sings and is an imposing presence. There is a definite workmanlike quality to Crucified Barbara but they are adding talent and songs to all that attitude and are getting better and better. Cracking performance.

If there was any doubt in the audience whether Holland's Stream Of Passion could follow that it was quickly dispelled by the opening duo of songs, 'Monster' from new album 'A War Of Our Own' and 'Passion' from their debut album. These consummate musicians are a great live band and soon had a big crowd gathered to hear their take on symphonic metal with progressive metal elements and latin twists courtesy of Mexican singer Marcela Bovio.

made of metal

More used to playing on club stages they took to the main stage with a real appetite and energy and put together a faultless set, full of fire and power but with subtleties and melody to flesh out the sound. The crowd, many of whom were unfamiliar with the band fell in love with them and for me this was the best vocal performance and the best set of the weekend. Another great gig for this band who are going from strength to strength.

with apologies to any Leaves' Eyes fans I'm not a big fan so took the chance to get some food and drink during their set.

made of metal

Haggard from Germany are unknown in the UK but big enough on mainland Europe to headline the Saturday night here. Fronted by the menacing presence of Asis Nasseri they play neo-classical metal mixing classical music, medieval music and death metal. Yes really! The line up is pretty fluid aside from the frontman himself and tonight we got the twelve piece version including a three piece string section and a two piece woodwind section.

Vocally they split between death metal growls and classical soprano and tenor and stating the obvious here it is all a bit bonkers. Sometimes they can verge on the pompous but are not afraid to have fun on stage and when the guitarist ran out into the crowd without warning security it was a genuine wild, rock and roll moment. Musically the crowd really enjoyed it and cheered their favourite songs but I found myself enjoying the pomp and circumstance of the music but disappointed with all three singers. The wild headbanging coming from the woodwind section made up for it somewhat though!

made of metal

I enjoyed Haggard but wasn't blown away by them. I stayed at the main stage afterwards and prepared for another late night so I could catch Sweden's Dream Evil, Saturday's post headliner band.

Due to another late start there wasn't a big crowd for the heavy metal riffing of these tongue in cheek Swedes but the insistent pounding guitars and drums soon pulled people in from all over the site. Unashamedly a heavy metal band they use the word metal in their lyrics as often as possible and I am unable to take them seriously and at the same time love much of their work.

made of metal

Playing this festival gave them the chance to pull out their song 'Made Of Metal' from their back catalogue and the crowd were happy to sing along. To be honest they don't have much presence on stage and singer Niklas Isfeldt tends to wander around the stage and not connect with the audience but the riffing guitars keep everyone happy. Of course everyone is waiting for one song and they save 'The Book Of Heavy Metal' for last. A dumb metal classic it's a song Judas Priest wish they'd written. If you haven't heard it, check it out.

A great way to end the day but it's 2.00am again and time to retire as day three beckons soon.

made of metal


beer beer beerbeerbeer


2.9.14















 


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