METALDAYS 2013 – Day 2 – Tolmin, Slovenia

METALDAYS 2013 – Day 2 – Tolmin, Slovenia

Walking into the festival this afternoon, a few rockabilly songs courtesy of Spitfire were overheard in the distance from the main stage.  Didn’t sound too bad at all.

Today began formally with a set from Greece’s Acid Death.  This death/thrash band has been around since the early 90s, being one of Greece’s long-standing metal bands.  Great set of which I’m glad I decided to come early to catch.  Lots of good riffage and a solid presentation made Acid Death stand out positively.

 Gloryhammer, the over the top power metal project of Alestorm’s Christopher Bowes, was up next.  These guys are pure cheese to the infinity power, and that’s what makes them awesome.  Playing tracks from their album "Tales from the Kingdom of Fife", and dressed in armor and medieval garb, the band made for an entertaining and well-done 40 minutes.  These guys are just a ton of fun.  A bunch of fans smashing each other with inflatable swords also made for some hilarity.  They were very tight, too, especially since it was only their second ever live show.  Hope to see these lads again!

GLORYHAMMER live @ Metaldays 2013
(Photo: Dan Barkasi)

A couple hour break ensued after this, which was used hanging out with various peeps and delving into the various stands in the market.  Found myself a nice hat, and that’s about all.  A few stands had a nice variety of band shirts and hoodies, but nothing that was essential.

Russia’s own Arkona were the next band on the list.  Having seen them multiple times, a well-done folk metal onslaught is the norm.  They’re one of the few bands these days doing the folk metal thing right.  Their show further proved their rising significance in their chosen style, with singer Masha Scream bellowing her little head off.  How vocals so ferocious come from such a small and innocent looking lady is beyond me.  So awesome!

STEEL ENGRAVED live @ Metaldays 2013
(Photo: Dan Barkasi)

It was decided to bow out of the last few songs from Arkona in order to catch Steel Engraved, which ended up being a fun time.  A few friends who went on the last 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise saying they were worth the time, and indeed they were right.  A little cheesy at times, but the guitar work was good, and the songs had a degree of catchiness to them.  Nothing that’ll get me all worked up, but nothing offensive either.

The mighty Alestorm, part two of today’s Bowesfest, was on the horizon.  Like a bunch of drunken Scottish pirates looking to pillage.  Oh wait, that IS what Alestorm is.  Good times, per always.  Lots of fans dressed for the occasion, too.  There also were massive rowing sessions, in which people would drop to the ground in unison and row like mad.  Kudos for the creativity!  How can one not enjoy the shenanigans that occur at every one of their shows?  And the band is pretty damn good, too.

VICIOUS RUMORS live @ Metaldays 2013
(Photo: Dan Barkasi)

A quick viewing of Vicious Rumors was in the cards after the Scots finished up.  Their addition was bittersweet, as they were the replacement for My Dying Bride.  A huge blow personally, as MDB is a personal favorite.  Cancellations always happen, unfortunately.  That’s just a really lame one.  Anyways, Vicious Rumors put on a tight performance of their traditional metal styling.  Having never been a huge fan, I enjoyed them for what they are, and there isn’t a negative thing to be said.

Samael and their blackened industrialness were up on the main stage, and what a performance!  Having seen them many times, and having loved their turn to the more electronic side of things, they’ve only gotten better in recent years.  Not a single bad showing, and having seen them six times in the last few years, I’ve had a good sampling!  MetalDays may have been the best performance yet seen by this dude.  The big stage fits how grandiose their show and music has become.  Intense and spot on, Samael never disappoint.  If you can see them at a festival with a large crowd and their production on a large stage, do it.  This is where they’re most in their element.

EYEHATEGOD live @ Metaldays 2013
(Photo: Dan Barkasi)

A change of pace to some sludgy goodness with Eyehategod on the second stage was happening next.  A good size crowd, the usual heaviness, and tongue-in-cheek comments from singer Mike Williams all made this one of the better sets of the day.  These guys define what good sludge metal is, showing the sea of pretenders out there how it’s done.

Nervous anticipation is the best description that can be mustered for the next band.  The band most legendary for their extracurricular "activities".  Yes, Mayhem.  Having seen them three times – once at Maryland Deathfest, once at Wacken, and once on Barge to Hell – all three times weren’t pretty.  Sloppy and comical.  Unfortunately, the fourth time was more of the same.  They were so off that it was literally funny.  Singer Atilla seemed keener on fondling a skull than actually performing, and the sound was awful even by their usual fuzzy standards.  The only reason to see them is the novelty of being able to claim to have seen the infamous Mayhem, even though there’s only one original member left.  What a joke.  Officially done with this band.

Exhumed were due to be the last band of the night, but this guy wimped out due to being exhausted.  Having seen them a ton of times, and their frequency of touring in the US of A, it wasn’t a massive loss.  Will see them in October, so just have to make that show count!  Crash out time!