It’s the beginning of June and it’s that time of the year again. Another Sweden Rock Festival is coming your way. The festival still is one of the best around Europe or for a matter of fact around this world. The organisation manages each year to capture what’s hot and heavy on the globe. Rock fans travel from a diversity of countries to witness what SFR has to offer in 2018.
This year they gathered some of the biggest names in metal world to fit this very exciting bill. Iron Maiden are playing the festival for the very first time, Prince of Darkness Ozzy Osbourne is teaming up again with his partner in crime Zakk Wylde to rock the fields of Sweden and Judas Priest is at the top of their game come to break the law again. So here we go!
Closing down the Sweden Stage for first night are the sleaze rockers from Hardcore Superstar. The band formed in Gothenburg Sweden in 1997 and released their first effort It’s Only Rock And Roll in 1998 and had several hitsingles since then and tonight they seem to be having a rock and roll party. They are really big in Scandinavia and a huge crowd formed before the stage to watch their local heroes perform wonderful tracks as Electric Rider and Above The Law. Very energetic and exciting gig.
With seven tracks from their most recent release Dust To Gold Bullet are challenging themselves to the limit. It’s not often a band plays that many songs from an album and it must be said that this sounds really well. Another three from Bite The Bullet, two more from Storm Of Blades and one of eache from Full Pull, Heading For The Top and Highway Pirates along with the Angel Witch cover Dr Phibes make this gig an interesting mixture of old and new. Flawless performance!
The British bad boys from Quireboys always deliver and that is a well known fact. Spike’s voice sounds more and more as if it’s coming from a piece of sandpaper but they are still around to play real rock and roll. Straight forward with pumping melodies as classic rock should sound. From There She Goes Again from their very first album over Mona Lisa Smiled, This Is Rock And Roll, I Don’t Love You Anymore, Hey You? Sweet Mary Ann and closing with Sex Party The Boyz are hitting the nail on the head and merited an invitation to come back again to the festival as they did many times before!
Nocturnal Rites is a Swedish power metal band. They started out as Necronomic in 1990 when they played death metal. Their very first album In Time Of Blood And Fire was released in 1995. It was the time when guitarist Mikael Söderström decided to leave the band to be replaced by Nils Norberg, altough being a rhythm guitar player, took the lead. At Sweden Rock they are casting their spell on the audience with perfect versions of opening song Before We Waste Away, Still Alive, New World Messiah and Repent My Sins to finish of with the fabulous Fools Never Die. A perfect cocktail of old and new!
Cyhra saw the light of day only back in 2017. This is what reviewers call a heavy metal supergroup. Why? Because the band is made up of lead vocalist Joacim ‘Jake E’ Lundberg who used to reside in Amaranthe, rhytth guitarplayer Jesper Strömblad from former boss In Flames, German drum animal Alex Landenburg who used to handle the sticks with Annihilator and Axxis and six string slinger Euge Valovirta from Shining. It’s very clear where they all come from if you listen to the music they perform at Sweden Rock. An energetic and powerful performance!
This is a true must see. Original Thin Lizzy drummer Brian Downey gathered some young musicians around him to relive the days of Lizzy. They throw you right back to the early days with that kick ass music Phil Lynott and his boys used to write. His lead singer inclusive big Afro hair do comes very close to the legendary frontman as are the twin lead guitars but it’s still not the same thing. Still we get to listen to superb renditions of opening song Jailbreak, Are You Ready, Emerald, Rosalie, Still In Love With You amongst a few others to close down with The Boys Are Back In Town. Great start for a great festival.