Progpower 2006 - Progressing progressiveness
Personally I’m not a traditional progressive metal lover, but this year’s Progpower line-up was so diverse and even daring that I really wanted to go. So I decided to visit on the Saturday, which had Ephel Duath and Textures in the line-up. So off I went on my bike to a little town only a couple of miles from where I live, with two cans of beer in my pocket and the sun in my back. Loving it!
As I arrived at the crime scene, Another Messiah had already started. I have seen them before and I’ve had some discussions about the quality of this band, but I still don’t like it. The singer occasionally sings out of key and I seriously do not like oboe material in my metal. I guess it’s just not my band.
Next up was the Italian band Chaoswave, which was funny for one song. They played your regular progressive metal, with as an eye catcher a good guitarist and a male and female vocalist. They provided that I found it funny for one song, because they BOTH sang out of key in every damn song. Too bad there was no grunting involved (as far as I remember) because that would have restricted the damage a bit. So I decided that sitting outside in the sun with a beer and smoking a joint with Ephel Duath was a way better idea.
Speaking of that band, they were up next. They played about the same show as I had seen two days before in Nijmegen, but this time it was really interesting to see how prog metal people respond to it. As I have explained many times, Ephel Duath are Italians that have combined avant-garde fusion jazz with extreme metal, thus creating something highly intelligent and unorthodox. Not fit for most people, not even the average Progpower visitor I thought. But I was wrong, after three songs everybody had gathered in front of the stage and they were received with the respect and honour they deserve. Fascinating. Although I think most people didn’t understand jack shit that was going on, just like me! Well, they delivered the most complex musical execution of this entire festival, and they did it flawless.
Sweden’s Scar Symmetry was up next to turn up the fire a bit. They play a form of progressive melodic death metal, with grunts and clean vocals. There were some very fine brutal death metal riffs, but as they were constantly interrupted by emo vocals I got bored pretty soon. And if I remember it well, this guy was singing out of key as well. So I again left to chill outside, waiting for the best Dutch metal band to go and do their thing.
Yes, Textures was up next and I was in for some moshing. All day we had these prog guys standing around who at max do some headbanging, so I thought of it as a nice little experiment in terror to see what would happen if I started to mosh. Well, as Textures kicked in, so did I. And it definitely wasn’t appreciated! After just one song I was asked to watch my arms and I got a whole lot of angry faces. So I continued to bump into people at the sides of my own pit. Quite interesting. The show the band gave was very progressive orientated, they played the full ‘Polars’ song and left out some brutal tracks. Still it was very enjoyable to hear some headbang worthy music. Both parties enjoyed what was going on, and afterwards I chatted with the guys about that this was the first time that they had a moshpit on a progressive metal festival, thanks to me! Represent!
Headliner for this day was chosen in the form of the Danish heavy metal band Mercenary. At this time I was quite drunk and a bit tired, so I didn’t pay too much attention. But what I did see looked like a quality act. For once there was a band that I didn’t like with vocals that weren’t out of key, but they were excruciatingly high. Fortunately he also uses a more brutal voice, so my balls didn’t hurt after this show. The fans in front of the stage were really enjoying the show but I had more interest in pizza leftovers from Textures.
All in all it was a very nice experience to be here, I learned something today to say it in a South Park way. I hung out with the cool guys from Ephel Duath and Textures and I got drunk, like you’re supposed to at a festival. I just hope they keep making such a versatile line-up, going in to the depths of what progressive really is. I want to thank Rene for the guestlist and the nice day attached to it, and perhaps until next year then!