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Hultsfred, Sweden
18th July 2009
Sonisphere Festival 2009: Dead by April, Adept, The International Noise Conspiracy, Lamb of God, Cradle of Filth, Mastodon, The Hives, Metallica

The touring Sonisphere festival landed in Hultsfred, Sweden on Saturday the 16th of July on what at first looked like to be a sunny and really warm day - but we all know how deceiving the Swedish summer can be and usually are. MySpace users from more than 80 countries was involved with recommending totally 1,500 bands, 20 finalist bands were chosen and then the MySpace users voted on which band was the most worthy of winning the price and play on the Sonisphere festival with METALLICA. ADEPT won and they were of course very happy with so many people discovering them and their music and that so many people had voted on them.

Before the first band DEAD BY APRIL started, a speaker came on stage and announced that the band ANTHRAX had cancelled their planned concert at the festival because the singer had become ill and forced the band to cancel this concert as well as the first three on their tour. Because this happened so close to the festival opening there was no time to find a replacement for them.

Dead by April (Stage 2)

DEAD BY APRIL is a Swedish metal band, formed in 2007. The band members are Jimmie Strimmell (vocals and growl), Pontus Hjelm (guitar and vocals), Johan Olsson (guitar and growl), Marcus Wesslén (bass) and Alex Svenningson (drums).

Music & Performance
DEAD BY APRIL was the band that opened the Sonisphere festival. They started with the song ‘Angels of Clarity’ followed by ‘Promise Me’; the guitar player Johan Olsson introduced the song by saying that it’s one of his favourite songs. The vocalist Jimmie Strimmell told the audience that they had such a short amount of time on stage so they did not want to spend the time talking. The band really tried to get the audience moving but the crowd did not seem to have the energy to rock yet. DEAD BY APRIL also played the songs ‘In my arms’ and ‘Erased’. Before their last song ‘Loosing You’ Jimmie told the audience that the band were collecting video memories from their shows and asked the crowd if they wanted to be recorded. Then he introduced “nakenputte” (it means naked Putte) a man who were almost naked on stage when he recorded the audience.

Music: 8
Performance: 7
Light: - (daylight)
Sound: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10

Adept (Stage 1)

ADEPT is a Swedish metal band formed in 2004. They released their first EP in 2006 and in 2009 their first album ‘Another year another disaster’ was released. The band consists of Robert Ljung (vocals), Jerry Repo (guitar), Jacob Papinniemi (guitar), Tobias Ottoson (bass) and Gabriel Hellmark (drums).

Music & Performance
After the first song, the singer Robert happily announced how great it was to be there on stage since they had won the MySpace competition. He also said that ADEPT must be the band with the fastest career when it comes to moving up on the stages in Hultsfred, since they played as a rookie act on the smallest stage on the Hultsfred festival a week ago and now they were playing on the festivals largest stage. ADEPT did not impress us, they had a smaller audience in front of the stage who seemed to like it, but probably some were feeling they way we did because we were not the only ones leaving after a couple of songs. ADEPT did not have the charm or presence to act on a stage this big, they just looked small and that is too bad because on a smaller stage this band would have been a lot more.

Music: 4
Performance: 2
Light: 5
Sound: 4
Total: 3.6 / 10

The (International) Noise Conspiracy (Stage 2)

The band was formed in 1998 by the singer Dennis Lyxzén after his old band Refused broke up. THE (INTERNATIONAL) NOISE CONSPIRACY is a Swedish rock band who plays a blend of music from 60´s punk, garage rock, soul and jazz. The band members are Dennis Lyxzén (vocals), Inge Johansson (bass), Lars Strömberg (guitar) and Ludwig Dahlberg (drums).

Music & Performance
THE (INTERNATIONAL) NOISE CONSPIRACY was on their third song ‘Smash it up’ when we came to the stage. There were a lot of people who seemed to like the show and the music. You could tell that the band enjoyed being on stage and the singer Dennis Lyxzén was interacting with the audience and did his best to get them moving to the music.

Music: 6
Performance: 7
Light: 6
Sound: 8
Total: 6.6 / 10

Lamb of God (Stage 1)

LAMB OF GOD is an American metal band formed in 1990. LAMB OF GOD has gone far since 1999 when their debut album ‘Burn the priest’ came, they have made five studio albums before their latest album ‘Wrath’ was released in February 2009. The band members are Randy Blythe (vocals), Mark Morton (guitar), Willie Adler (guitar), John Campbell (bass) and Chris Adler (drums).

Music & Performance
In front of the stage where LAMB OF GOD was to play the largest crowd for today had gathered and here you could tell that the people had woken up because they were chanting “Lamb of God”. Before LAMB OF GOD came on stage two people from the web radio station Bandit came and introduced the pre act to LAMB OF GOD. The pre act was a band who had won the Danish guitar hero competition - a band called CARNEVAL (?) who came on stage and did the METALLICA cover ‘Enter Sandman’ on Guitar Hero. Then LAMB OF GOD came on stage and told the audience how much they appreciated to be back here in Hultsfred (they played at the Hultsfreds festival in 2007).

The band played songs like ‘In your worlds’ and ‘Walk with me in hell’. During the song ‘Now you got something to die for’, the audience was chanting the chorus line back to the band. I believe that it was before the song ‘Ruin’ that the singer Randy Blythe announced “this is to my own favourite band that are playing next on the second stage - Meshuggah”. Randy Blythe interacted a lot with the crowd and got them going and dancing to the heavy music.

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Light: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10

Cradle of Filth (Stage 1)

CRADLE OF FILTH is an extreme metal band from England formed in 1991. They play extreme Vampiric / Goth metal. The band members are Dani Filth (vocals), Sarah Jezebel Deva (backing vocals), Paul Allender (guitar), Dave Pybus (bass), Charles Hedger (guitar) Martin Škaroupka (drums) and Rosie Smith (keyboard).

Music & Performance
CRADLE OF FILTH live was an interesting experience, I had not expected the singer Dani Filth to scream like this and sometimes it was hard to hear the difference of his screams and the guitars playing. The set included songs like ‘Dusk and her embrace’ or ‘Honey and sulphur’. They finished with the song ‘Her ghost in the fog’ and that was the song I liked best in their set.

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Light: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10

Mastodon (Stage 2)

MASTODON is progressive metal band from Atlanta, USA. The band was formed in 1999 when the band members meet on a High on fire concert. The band consists of Brent Hinds (vocals and guitar), Troy Sanders (vocals and bass), Brann Dailor (drums) and Bill Kelliher (guitar).

Music & Performance
I had never heard of MASTODON before and the fact that the sky decided to pour buckets of rain on the crowd in front of the stage during MASTODON’s concert should not have improved my feelings towards the band and their music. But standing under a tree that gave some cover I heard song after song that I really liked and this become a really interesting concert! MASTODON really delivered a good show on stage and did not let the pouring rain affect them or their music; luckily the crowd in front of the stage felt the same way - they just didn’t care about the rain they just stood there and enjoyed the show.

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Light: 9
Sound: 8
Total: 8.8 / 10

The Hives (Stage 2)

THE HIVES was formed in 1993 and has made a great success both in and outside of Sweden. The music they play is garage rock. The members of the band are often dressed the same way in either all black or white, this is something that changes with each record release. Band members are Howlin' Pelle Almqvist (Per Almqvist - lead vocals), Nicholaus Arson (Niklas Almqvist - guitar, keyboard), Vigilante Carlstroem (Mikael Karlsson – guitar), Dr. Matt Destruction (Mattias Bernvall - bass guitar) and Chris Dangerous (Christian Grahn - drums, percussion).

Music & Performance
THE HIVES had a big crowd in front of the second largest stage on the festival and the people there were really into the music. I had never seen this band live before and really enjoyed the show! THE HIVES lead by the singer Howlin´ Pelle did their best to get the crowd going and the drummer Chris Dangerous did an impressive job behind his drums. The set included songs like ‘Hey little world’, ‘Won’t be long’ and ‘Two timing touch and broken bones’. The singer went down from the stage to be directly in front of the audience, it was probably fun for the people standing there but the security people seemed to not be as happy. THE HIVES did a really good show and finished their set with the songs ‘Hate to say I told you so’, ‘Tick, tick boom’ and ‘Return the favor’ and the audience loved it!

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Light: 9
Sound: 9
Total: 9 / 10

Metallica (Stage 1)

METALLICA is an American thrash / heavy metal band formed 1981 in Los Angeles, USA. Metallica is one of the most important and influential band in their musical style. The band members are James Hetfield (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Kirk Hammett (lead guitar, backing vocals), Robert Trujillo (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Lars Ulrich (drums, percussion ).

Music & Performance
I have never been a fan of METALLICA but of course heard a lot of songs from them through the years and it was a cool experience to stand there in little Hultsfred with all those 35,000 people who where there for one reason - to see METALLICA live. The space in front of the largest stage was really crowded with people who shouted for the band as they waited for them to enter the stage. Then finally the band came on stage and started the set with the song ‘Battery’. I had four friends helping me with the set list and that was a great luck since I don’t really know the songs. Thanks to those who helped me with nailing the set list!

James Hetfield seemed to really enjoy being on stage and he interacted and talked a lot to the audience who really enjoyed the show. I believe that just before the song ‘Of wolf and man’ James Hetfield declared that all the fans of METALLICA is a family and he welcomed all the fans who saw METALLICA live for the very first time into the METALLICA family. The band showed what a great performance they can make and with the help of pyrotechnics which created high pillars of fire on both sides of the stage and sent fireworks blazing into the dark night sky they proved that they are one of the greatest bands in the world. It was a magic night when METALLICA hit Hultsfred and this show is not something that will be easily forgotten.

01. Battery
02. Creeping death
03. Fuel
04. Of wolf and man
05. Fade to black
06. Broken, beat & scarred
07. Cyanide
08. Sad but true
09. One
10. All nightmare long
11. The day that never comes
12. Master of puppets
13. Dyers eye
14. Nothing else matters
15. Enter sandman
16. Last caress (Misfits cover)
17. Hit the lights
18. Seek & destroy

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Light: 10
Sound: 10
Total: 10 / 10

All pictures by Helena Torstensson
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