The past few years have introduced me to the glory that is Poland's Metalmania festival. 2006 marked the 20th anniversary of the festival which brings together metal bands, old and new, from all over the world to share a stage in front of a horde of hungry metalheads.
Ranges of styles are always on display from thrash, to black, to death, and all manner in between. I can only imagine what a great time it is to actually be there. Regardless of the language barriers, we all know the language of metal! I have never heard of many of these bands, a few others I have heard of, and others I have been a fan of for awhile. The collection of bands serves as a good reminder that while I like a lot of bands, there are always more waiting around the corner to be introduced to my ear holes.
The show opened with black metal band Vesania. They were represented by a single song, "Marduke's Mazemerising," an interesting excursion into the black with a touch of progressive and a flair for the dramatic. They were onstage wearing face paint, standing still, and creating a pretty imposing image. The performance was very good. I loved the liberal use of keyboards and the jackhammer of the double bass. I had no idea what he was saying, but the growled vocals had a nicely evil feel.
Next up was Hieronymus Bosh with a pair of songs - "The Apogee" and "Blind Widow Stare." This band out of Russia had a good sound and a style of progressive death, complete with growled vocals. It is those vocals that are the weakest part of their sound; they just didn't stand out for me. On the other hand, the music was pretty was intense and very technical. The performance was interesting. I wouldn't mind hearing more of them.
The third act to appear suffered from slightly muted audio. It sounded a little flat. I am sure this wasn't due to their performance. They were pretty cool and took a different direction than the first two bands. They are called Hunter, and their submission is called "Plytki Dolek." They are a Polish metal band whose name was inspired by the Def Leppard song "Die Hard the Hunter." Their performance was good despite the diminished audio. It had more of a mainstream sound, although it was more unique than that sounds. They incorporated violin into the music which added another layer of interest. I definitely wish they had more than one song to show off what they could do.