I'd didn't know what Metalmania was until I got my hands on this disk, which I grabbed because of the appearances of Tiamat, Moonspell, and Soulfly. What I learned was that Metalmania is a festival celebrating metal, mostly of the extreme variety, that takes place in Poland each year. It has been a yearly occurrence since 1986. They play host to a number of metal bands from Europe and around the world. It has varied in size, occasionally spanning a few days, other times just one, and even others filling two stages with metallic insanity.
This is a set which features a DVD running nearly two hours focusing on the nine main stage acts. Plus, there is a CD featuring the thirteen second stage acts. It is a great way to be introduced to metal acts that you may or may not be familiar with all in the same place. The set also shows that Europe has a thriving extreme metal scene with a lot of respect for the older metal styles of the 70's and 80's which has been left behind in the US, at least at a large scale.
First, I'd like to take a look at the main stage acts on the DVD, which is the real substance of this set. It features 23 songs split between the 9 bands. I will also give a star rating for each act, for what they are worth.
The first band was Trauma, and we are served 3 doses of their style of heavy. Each song gets successively better, and they have some good riffs, but in the end I found it rather unremarkable. their stage presence was not all that imposing, as they just stood there. Not a bad way to open up the show. **
Next up is a band called Esqarial featuring Grzegorz Kupczyk (don't ask how to pronounce either, please!). This was a step up in the technical department, featuring a nice Mozart inspired opening, and some Iron Maiden inspired sound. The vocals were decent, but were a little sporadic over the three songs presented here. This is an act I would be interested in hearing some studio work from. ***