Live Reviews : METALCAMP – DAY 3 of 5 (Slovenia) – 08/07/2010
METALCAMP – DAY 3 of 5
w/ Destroyer 666, Behemoth, Eluveitie, Epica, Decapitated and more!
Tolmin, Slovenia – 8th July, 2010
A truly awesome lineup, ticket prices towards the cheaper end, great weather and a picture-perfect location. And the question I’m posing now and going to attempt to answer is; is this the best beer infused heavy metal camping festival Europe has to offer…? Well almost! The location I’m talking about is Tolmin, Slovenia, and the festival, the seventh edition of Metalcamp.
Offering the heavy metal pundit with two ticket options: the 5-day pass or the 3-day pass, I as a Euro-less backpacker arrived with the cheaper 3-day pass on Thursday morning and pitched my tent amongst 12,000 long haired revelers in the sweltering summer heat. And after quickly becoming acquainted with an icy cold Slovenian beverage, I kicked off proceedings for my day 1 with a short sharp sprint to catch Polish death metal gods Decapitated.
I first saw the band in 2007 on their first Australian tour where they completely outclassed headline act Nile, and then in 2009 on their second tour where they fully convinced me to fall in love with more of their music than “just Spheres of Madness”. Therefore it was no surprise to me that on the first band of the festival I had already torn my neck muscles as a smallish but energetic crowd moshed in the penetrating heat to a modern legend of the genre. Up next, Epica kept the ladies entertained with their female fronted gothic rock, while the men were kept entertained by lead singer Simone Simons and the fan that made sure her hair looked like it was blowing in the wind. Not being my favourite band in the world, they did surprise (as many bands in their genre do) by sounding better live than on their recorded material, coming across a little heavier, and maybe also a little less lame. Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for us, the icy cold water of the Metalcamp Beach Bar became too much of a temptation, and we had to get wet, asap.
Aside from the music, the biggest attraction Metalcamp offers the metal obsessed is the amazing location of the fest. Tolmin is situated in the Triglav National Park among lush forests, steep mountains with rocky outcrops, and the most tempting sparkling emerald rivers that you are ever likely to find. And with the festival stages set up not more than 100m from the intersection of two rivers, it was no surprise that often there were more people swimming than watching bands. And why not, with the aforementioned Beach Bar, a “Heavy Fucking Food Stall” and a PA system cranking out everything from In Flames to Immortal, the Metalcamp location truly is ‘Hell Over Paradise’.
With the sun’s rays marginally abating in the late afternoon, Swiss folk metallers Eluveitie were still causing a sweat on the main stage – be it from their energetic music or the lack of oxygen space on stage for their (count them) 8 band members! Either way, they were well received as the played through tracks predominantly from ‘Slania’ and ‘Everything As It Never Was’. The only surprising development from their set was a certain dabble in inciting a wall of death – hardly something I expected from a folk band! Next was the second Polish band for the day, Behemoth, who showcased a number of tracks from ‘Evangelion’ alongside their older classics in a good but unremarkable performance.
To round out the day on a high and half local note, Deströyer 666 closed the day’s proceedings to a fairly sizeable second stage crowd shortly before midnight. I think I’ve owned a cd of theirs for a few years now and have heard countless good things about them; however this night was the first time I had actually seen or listened them! And let me say that the hype and respect that these guys have is more than justifiable as they played an uber-tight 1 hour set of their mighty fine material to a very appreciative crowd.
Stumbling back to my tent with a stomach full of pommes and beer, I reveled in my much needed sleep, dreaming about how good this festival has been already, and how it would only get better from here!
Reviewed by Brendan Amos with Mathew Boelsen.
Photos by Jess Day.