Arnhem Metal Meeting - Arcane's experiences
Your Arcane went to the Arnhem Metal Meeting last weekend and I am going to tell you how it was, if you like it or not.
Well, I will begin with the trip to Arnhem. The Dutch people might have an idea why it was hard to get to Arnhem last weekend, but I guess the rest of the world does not even know where the Netherlands is, and especially where Arnhem is. No it is not in the U.S.
Well the last couple of days were hard for the Dutch because of the stormy weather. We were plagued by a huge mass of snow. So it was a nice ride to Arnhem with the car if you know what I mean. The weather might have been a pain in the ass, but the Dutch metal heads would not be stopped by it.
Well, the Metal Meeting was held at Musis Sacrum, a venue which is normally used for classical concerts. A very nice looking building. The main stage was in a great hall, with a great balcony (access not allowed). Everything about this place was perfect except for the sound. The sound in all 3 halls was absolutely horrible. But next to that it was great.
The first band that played was Volbeat. I had never heard of this band before, so I was very curious. The band started to play and three names came up in my head: Life Of Agony, Metallica and Elvis Presley. What a great band! Volbeat’s front man has great voice which sounds very similar to Keith Caputo from Life Of Agony. The musical style of Volbeat can be described as a mix of Life Of Agony, Metallica during their ‘Load’days and Elvis Presley. What a great mix. Their show was very energetic, but because of the fact it was the first band of the day the crowd was not so energetic, because of the lack of beer.
After Volbeats gig I went to the main stage to watch Callenish Circle. Acctually I’m not a big fan of the modern Goteborg thrash, like Callenish Circle is used to play. But I really enjoyed their show for a while. After about 20 minutes I was a little bored though and my tummy was screaming for some fast-food. But the rest of the audience seemed to be really amused.
After filling my tummy I went to the small stage to check out Fluisterwoud, an oldschool blackmetal band from the Netherlands, with Dutch lyrics. Normally I really love old school blackmetal with its raw sound, but I really had the urge to leave after hearing the first song. Damn, the sound was terrible, all you could hear was drums and some vocals. Nope, sorry, not my thing, that was too ‘true’ for me.
So I went to Mercenary, a power metal band from Denmark. Alltough the sound wasn't very good I really enjoyed it. In my opinion this is one of the better bands in its genre, with some great musicians and a frontman with a great voice. He really has this metaaaaaaaaaaaal voice, if you know what I mean. And when the vocals were combined with those of the bass-player is was even more awesome. Mercenary’s performance was very energetic. Those men know how to perform.
After Mercenary is was time for Ensiferum, a folk/Viking metal band from Finland. I really like folk and Viking metal, and I’ve never seen this band before, so I was very curious if it is live as good as on cd. Well how could I even ask myself that question I thought when Ensiferum started playing. The atmosphere in the hall was great, the audience kept running to the bar for beer, and beer, and beer. Alltough this band had the same problem as any other band at this festival with the sound it was very nice to listen to and watch the audience mosh in front of the pit.
After Ensiferum I had to make up my mind. Should I take a look at Leng Tch'e or should I go to the stage where one of my favorite bands, Enslaved, had to perform? Well, Leng Tch’e sounded too much like some sort of tea to me, so I went to Enslaved. Damn, I really love this band. The first 2 songs they played were from their latest album Isa, and it could not start better than that. But not only new material was brought to the audience, older material form the ‘Frost’ album was played as well. After some nice energetic songs some of the more experimental songs were played which set the audience in trance. But then the audience was woken again by some powerfull riffs, and the headbanging could start again.
For some reason I never really liked Dismember. I don’t know why. So I hoped they would convince me with their live show. Nope, although Dismembers performance was quite okay, their music could not convince me again. But it was very clear that a huge part of the audience were enjoying the show. Perhaps I would have liked it when the sound wasn’t so terrible. You really couldn’t hear what they played. The slower parts sounded very nice to me, but as soon it was getting thrashy again it was just a bunch of noise to me.
Another choice had to be made, should I go to Officium Triste first, and then Grave, or first Grave and then Officium Triste? Well for some reason I never heard anything from Grave before so I chosed to go there first. I guess it was their name which sounded too ‘cliché’ to me. How could I be so stupid again? Damn this band rocks! Grave totally overwhelmed me. Great death thrashing metal with a nice touch of groove. Yeah I liked this, and it seemed I was not the only one. In front of me was a nice pit, directly from the moment the band began to play. And it was there the entire gig. You can imagine the people in the pit were a little tired at the end, it was more hanging than moshing actually. The show ended with the song ‘Into the grave’, I surely won't forget that one!
Then it was time for the Candlemass show. Actually I didn’t really care for Candlemass in the first place, I did not know the band very well. All I’ve ever heard were 2 songs and they sounded okay to me but that was it. But how wrong was I? When I entered the hall of the mainstage I saw they had build some huge crosses on stage, it looked like a graveyard to me. So, that was a plus, stage looked nice. Then the band came up and started to play. Damn, I thought, these guys rock! I never knew their music had so much groove and also sometimes hightempo parts. I always thought it was just a doom metal band. From now on I really love this band, I already ordered their last cd, Candlemass. I enjoyed the show very much, especially the vocalist, Messiah Marcolin (Yeah I immediately checked out their website) acts like an insane lunatic. (I know that is double, but just lunatic would not be enough). Candlemass totally convinced me why they're one of the best doom bands.
Sorry Thyrfing, no offend but I was waiting for a Totenmond show for some years. I really love this band with their mix of death, thrash, doom and hardcore. Before the band did get on stage a huge amount of smoke was blown into the room. I stood 3 meters from the bar, but I really could not see it. Yeah I like that! The first 15 minutes I was not able to see the band, but then the smoke got thinner. After about 15 minutes the band stopped playing, and were telling the audience they came from Russia with the message ’We are Totenmond from Russia, and we come to destroy your country.’ Well, why would they say they were from Russia, they are German. Well I think it was just a reason to drink wodka with the audience. They asked everyone who like wodka to come to the stage and get a glass of wodka. The audience sure liked that. But unfortunately Arcane had to drive, and drinking and driving is not a good mix (especially with these weather conditions), so I passed. Then we were treated with some more great music and a lot of smoke. I sure will not forget this show. I’ve never seen a band so close with their audience. Great!
Then it was time for the headliner, Destruction. Destruction had just like Candlemass a very nice decorated stage. But musically I could not enjoy this band. It is the same problem like I told you about Dismember. The sound was really too bad for this kind of music. Normally I like this band on cd, then you can hear what is played, but live it really sucks when you cannot hear what is played by the band if you don’t know a song. If I know a song and the sound is crap, it doesn’t really matter, because I can image what is played, but now it was just very much noise to me. Although Destruction is one of the better thrash bands I couldn’t enjoy this show.