VARIOUS ARTISTS
Metal Mania 2008
(Metal Mind Productions)
approx. 225:00min

Poland’s Metal Mania Festival has a long history by now… Its first edition was setup way back in 1986 already and since then the festival took place ever fuckin’ year! As far as I know this is the first time though that a DVD was released in support of it, and considering the great quality it has to offer, I wouldn’t mind getting more of those in the years to come. "Metal Mania 2008" was the festival’s 22nd edition, it took place on March 8, 2008 in Katowice, Poland and featured 12 bands on the main stage, of which eleven also found their way onto this DVD (only the rather unknown POISON THE WELL and the bands from the side stage got left out). Each of the bands is featured with 2-4 songs and a rather short (and also mostly very unispired and boring interview plus a written bandinfo). I’m not sure why the number of songs vary from band to band and would have prefered to get the same amount from each of them, but that’s just my personal opinion of course. The DVD kicks off with Russia’s INSIDE YOU, which were totally unknown to me previously. They deliver a very early TIAMAT influenced type of Dark Metal with keyboards and partly grunted, partly very melancholic sounding vocals. Even though I totally like old TIAMAT, these guys don’t really do anything to me… Next up is Ireland’s PRIMORDIAL that I unfortunately never really managed to check out properly (shame on me!)… I only read and heard lots of great things about them and their contribution to this DVD really proves all of those statements right! What a fantastic performance, from a really exciting, unique band that I definitely have to hear more of now! IMMOLATION hopefully won’t need no further introduction to the readers of VOICES and as always they are impressive as hell! Pure unholy fuckin’ Death Metal right from the pits of hell! I totally had lost sight with Arizona’s Speed Metal merchants FLOTSAM AND JETSAM over the years, but still consider their first two albums as milestones of the genre. I was really surprised to see that the guys (especially original frontman Eric A.K.) still manage to pull it off very impressively after all those years. Their newer material may not be as good as their early stuff, but their performance is still killer! Denmark’s ARTILLERY has always been a love / hate kinda band… I personally totally worship their first three albums and the power they still set free on stage these days is simply unbelievable. I’m not really a fan of their new vocalist’s partly very Power Metal – ish voice, but at least the guy still does a really good job as a frontman on stage. It’s been a loooong time for me that I last saw Sweden’s MARDUK live, but considering the number of tours they had done over the years, I expected them to be highly professional, experienced and crushing from start to finish… Well, I hate to say this, but they weren’t anything like that at all! To me it all looked totally boring and the material heavily lacks in memorable elements, so that I already had forgotten about their songs when VADER’s contribution started. While I still enjoy MARDUK on CD, I am not really a fan of VADER’s discs… But it’s a totally different story with them when they hit a stage. The energy they set free is almost compareable to a MORBID ANGEL meets SLAYER performance with awesome riffing and lots of headbanging from the members. Totally great! SATYRICON is a quite strange band in my book… I like all of their releases, but somehow I never really saw a performance of those guys that fully managed to impress me. Same here… solid, but still a bit boring… Boring is a word you probably will never use when you try to describe a show by New York’s legendary OVERKILL. Blitz and the guys are obviously born to go out and play live, cause even though I only listen to their old material, they still totally know to impress in a live situation! I better not talk too much about DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN here as I don’t understand their "music" AT ALL… a hysterical screaming frontman, mixed with totally heavy grooving modern NU Metal and I even partly noticed trumpets (or something like that) in the background… Why got they booked on such a festival??? After that MEGADETH’s set sounded totally polished and far too melodic for my ears. Even though they are probably more professional than ever before, they unfortunately never managed to regain the raw edge that made their early albums so enjoyable many years ago. Nevertheless, this DVD offers some really great material (perfect sound and lots of different, great camera shots) from all of the featured bands. You can either play it in its entirety (just the live songs, approx. 2 1/2 hours in total) or select a band directly (and there you get the aforementioned additional interview and band info). A high quality picture gallery and a couple of Metal Mania desktop images for your computer sum up a very cool release worth checking out. For more info go to www.metalmind.com.pl.

Frank Stöver

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