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Metalmania festival
Katowice, Poland

Soulfly, Moonspell, Tiamat, Morbid Angel, Michael Schenker Group, Enslaved, Epica, Krisiun, Immemorial, Decapitated, Trauma

After a long trip by train from more than 17 hours I arrived in Katowice, a big city like some old german ones with grey buildings from the ’70. There is not so much snow and the sun is shining. After a long trip where I couldn’t sleep because 5 people disturbed my rest to have a look in my passport, I was very glad to see that the hotel is 10 minutes away from the concerthall. Without any problems I get my presscard that is the beginning of a long day.

The first band I see on the mainstage was Trauma, a metalband who couldn’t impress me, because I can’t remember them very well. The sound isn’t original, but for the few people in the front it is a good start. The hall is like an olympic hall: a big round circle with chairs and floorpart for more then 10.000 people.
Decapitated  is the next band. They have a great metalsound but the sound is more hardcore with technical metal and I am too tired to be inpressed for a long time.

On a small stage in the hall near the bar, some local Polish metalbands will play. Most of them I saw quickly between the acts on the mainstage. All were some ordenairy technical metalbands. A great one was the band Immemorial. I met these guys in the train, but on stage they were very different; look a likes from Dimmu Borgir: melodic, with heavy riffs and a raw grunt.

I saw Krisiun on the dutch metalfest and they realy impressed me by their deathmetal sound. This time it is the perfomance perfectly. When they start there are some 900 people and all of them realy enjoyed it from the beginning till the end of the gig. The band from the two brothers is not only impressive by the orginality of their sound, but also because it is nice to see them on stage. With a lot of emotion and energy they bring the songs from the last album “Works of Carnage” with this album they have made a very strong impression.
The voice of Alex is a bit broken in the beginning, but he grows more and more during the set. They have an agressive chemistry between eachother, what gives their show an extra vibe. It is such a big stage that they can't fill it in, so Alex is just standing behind his microphone with his brother on the left, headbaning. They don't need to move a lot, their personalities are enough to convince. After I left the photopitt, where cameras are recording the show, I have the change to see the audience. I am suprised: there is a huge moshpit int he middle, people are screaming and show a lot of energy.
It will be one of the best gigs I saw from Krisiun: perfect sound, and a great atmosphere on stage.

An totally different band that day is the Dutch gothmetalband Epica. The polish people are not wellknown with the band, but when Simone totally dressed in white, enters the stage and starts with “ Sensorium”. In the begin it is good to see that the audience has to accustom themselves to her voice and the clasical sound. By the songs “Seif al Din” and the last one “The phantom agony” most of them are impressed and were enthousiastic. That was good to see afterwards when the band was in the hall to sign some things. More than hundred of people (as much as with Tiamat after them) were waiting for the band from Mark Jansen. They made a succes and that was good to see on stage. All of them had a lot of energy. They have done what they were forget on metalfest; make some new fans.

, a metalband with a great frontman. With is long blond hear he is like an bad angel on stage. The sound on stage was great, but there was a lot of distance between him and the audience. It was a great show,good performance and the audience realy get a kick from it. He stands there, almost alone on the huge stage: screaming his longs uit. Giving everything he got and the audience loves him. Those gigs are very rare, also because Enslaved doesn't tour that often. This formation is a big name from the past, but they are still alive: powerfull, strong and very much into a raw metal sound. Many old songs were played: deathmetal what reminds me of Death now and then. Clean guitarsolo's with sometimes a folky attitude.

A strange band in the schedule is Michael Schenker Group. They played too long. It was nice to see the band, with a great rocksound on stage, but not on that time, when most of the people in the audience had a great feeling by the metalsound from Enslaved and were waiting for Morbid Angel. In the hall people were tired and sat together with some coke, because the organisation didn’t allowed beer in the concerthall (who was realy big, like a arena with places for more than 3000 people).

Tiamat made a good impression. Altough I see the same faces the whole day, some people were changing in the front: real fans from this doom metal band. This band also know how to make a great metalparty. The band was enthousiastic on stage and played some wellknown songs like “Wildhoney” and some parts from the new album. A bit strange to program them in the afternoon, because people are getting tired and it is difficult to show their energy. So it was hard sometimes for Johan to get the response back like he wanted. 
 Also it was the first gig they did from the 'Prey' album here, and the audience couldn't be more statisfied. Johan in his black leather suit, and the other guys who are realy making contact with the people in the front. Their doom feeling is a bit gone is such a big hall, but it is there on stage when the guys are trying to give more. Sometimes I think they are not ready into it, because there is silence between the songs, but afterwards I understood that it had to deal with the setlist and they were running out of time. After all Tiamat could survive between the big names of the evening.  During the signingsession it was very crowded in the big hall.

The set from Moonspell was even as great as it was on the europian tour with Lacuna Coil. The frontman is so theatral that he is a great part of the show, with his face, dark eyes, smoke and dark feeling. It gaves me a strange, but goodfeeling.
It was strange that not MA, but Soulfly had te change to end the day in Katowice, Spodek. They had a new album, and the few songs they played about it were a kind of hardcore, but with a agression we recognize from Selputura. A heavy and happy sound, but most of the audience is too tired to give a good feedback. It was a long but great day.

Than Morbid Angel the greatest band that night entered the stage a bit too late. Steve told me he had some problems with his voice, but except that he was swaity, and didn’t run too much, his grunts were as good as on the new cd Heretic. Most of the people wouldn’t noticed it. They were happy to see him back in the band and saw them for the first time in their live. Trey, in the left corner was whole the show seclouded on the stage, but his long solo was so great to see, that it gave a feeling that he’s realy a breakable artist. Peter  far away from the others had a lot of energy that night. He is a lefthanded and plays with all his feelings. It was great to see him in action, but he told me after the show that he wasen’t realy statisfied. “The sound was ok, but the stage was too big. The audience was great, but I wasn’t that great than when you saw me on metalfest in tilburg.”  Steve was realy the one who had most of them contact with the public. The setlist with new songs from the new cd “Heretic” were mixed with the old ones like “Blessed are the sick.” Together with Tony Norman (Monstrosity) he gave energy and power to the performance. Tony enjoyed on the stage, he realy played his part very greet. He is the jongest one, but he’ll have a great future when he can learn a lot with these guys. Afterwards he had a lot of people who surrounded him for a picture. It was a great show, but a but not because the impression of the songs, but more about the amazing sight to the great artists.

It was strange that not MA, but Soulfly had te change to end the day in Katowice, Spodek. They had a new album, and the few songs they played about it were a kind of hardcore, but with a agression we recognize from Selputura. A heavy and happy sound, but most of the audience is too tired to give a good feedback. It was a long but great day. When I walked back to the hotel with some other metalfans I realised how easy it is to enjoy from the music you like and how great it is when you can share it with many people together. It took a long way to get there, but it made me so happy, that I would do it again.

I would like to thank Morbid Angel for their help and kindness, but also the great festival organisation. All this wouldn’t happened alone. Together with my “short memory” Natalie van de Linden I have survived the trip home.
An other note by the pictures: I had some problems with the light sometimes and I made some anologe pictures, who couldn’t stay beautiful after scanning I am sorry about that.

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