Just like Kreator, Swedish band Messugah playing some extreme metal, has to go on after the great Ozzy Osbourne. The band consisting of founding members vocalist Jens Kidman and guitarslinger Frederik Thordendal are clearly ready for the job. The trashy melodic death metal seems to take a lot of headbanging rockers by the balls. With four tracks from their 2016 release The Violent Sleep Of Reason the album is well represented. They even open their set with two new ones namely Clockworks and Born In Dissonance. Mixing the new with the old they offer us three tracks each from Koloss and Obzen and two tracks from Nothing ignoring their first release Contradiction Collapse, second album Destroy Erase Improve, Chaoshere and Catch Thirtythree completely. Pity but the fans don’t seem to care. Intense riffs and some beautiful strange tunes are taking us to the end of another great day at the festival. Rock on!
The prince of Darkness Ozzy Osbourne renewed his partnership with the infamous Zakk Wylde, taking a break from Black Label Society, to tour with one the great pioneers of heavy metal. The six string wizard simply is the best guitar player Ozzy ever worked with. Just Randy Rhoads can top the very short list. Ozzy, or should I say Sharon, doesn’t allow any photographers in the pit. The reason why is unknown since this might as well be the last show in Sweden ever. We have all heard differently but Ozzman sings really well today. Sometimes he looks at the lyrics sheets in front of him but considering his age and previous lifestyle all is forgiven. Bark At The Moon opens the show and sets the tone for what is going to be one of the best Ozzy gigs ever witnessed. Then comes Mr Crowley with a fantastic Wylde solo and I Don’t Know before entering the first Black Sabbath tune Fairies Wear Boots. Running further along through his career with Suicide Solution, No More Tears and Road To Nowhere the second Sab track War Pigs enters the loudspeakers. Then it’s Zakk’s turn to shine with an entertaining intrumental medley where one recognizes parts of Miracle Man, Desire, Perry Mason and Crazy Babies…overwhelming! After that it’s time for the obligatory drum solo to go further down the road with I Don’t Want To Change The World, the great Shot In The Dark and Crazy Train. Encores Mama I’m Coming Home, the Black Sabbath hit Paranoid and the ballad Changes close down a memorable moment in history!
For the stoner metal Baroness brings, a large crowd is gathering. The American band formed in 2003 by members of the punk metal band Johnny Welfare and the Paychecks. They released a first full length album in 2007 after three ep’s. Singer John Dyer Baizley even creates the album covers for his band and some others. Talented guy wouldn’t you say? In total they released four albums all carrying colors as title. Today they serve us five tunes each from Yellow & Green and the most recent Purple, three from Blue Record and two more from Red Album.Performed to perfection it seems the doomy sound would come over better in a more intimate setting. Still it’s a powerful and dynamic set adored by the fans.
Death metal from Holland. That’s what Pestilence stands for. The band fronted by Patrick Mameli originally started out as a trah metal band. Disbanded in 1994 to reunite in 2008 he put the band on hold again in 2014 to reunite one more in 2016. They released eight albums in total. There’s not a large crowd in the tent but as the music plays more and more people seem to take an interest to what’s going on inside…and they should because Pestilence are at the top of their game. The brutal death metal is performed with such tightness and strength the hair on your arms is standing up straight. Well done!
Stone Sour is an American made band from Des Moines and started out back in 1992 to disband after only five years. They reunited in 2000 and since 2006 the band consists of lead vocalist Corey Taylor, you know…Slipknot, Josh Rand on the guitar and Roy Mayorga on drums. To this day they recorded six albums and they are here to do what they do best at the Sweden Rock Festival. All hell breaks loose with Whiplash Pants from their latest 2017 trick Hydrograd and four more songs from that album will follow in this set with the likes of Fabuless, Knievel Has Landed, Rose Red Violent Blue and Song 3. What a treat! Only one track namely Get Inside comes of the first self titled album and only one tune from the third release Audio Secrecy released in 2010. Otherwise it’s a well balnced set with Absolute Zero and RU486 from House Of Gold & Bones Part 1 and the trio 30/30-150, Made Of Scars and Through Glass from Come What(ever) May. The alternative metal with double bass drums and heavy riffing seems to do very well live and the audience is enjoying. See ya next time!
The turnout for Uriah heep is absolutely impressive. Maybe they should have been out there on the big festival stage. So many people have gathered to see British boys Heep perform. The band formed back in 1969, nearly fifty years ago and guitarist Mick Box is the only remaining original member. Lead vocalist bernie Shaw has been with the band since the mid eighties. They released twentyfive studio albums and eighteen live recordings. What a ride! Today’s setlist is a mix of songs coming from only seven different albums. Hitting of with Gypsy from the …Very ‘Eavy…Very ‘Umble lp which was the very first music composed by Uriah Heep is truly the most amazing way to start this show. Of course iconic tracks The Wizard and The Magician’s Birthday are taking us back in time with a modern 2018 feel to it. They say goodbye with Easy Livin’ to make sure Sweden won’t forget Uriah Heep and believe me they won’t. What a fantastic gig!
The Darkness, another British band, came to surface back in 2000 and was formed by the Hawkins brothers. Justin took the lead vocals and plays some guitar while Dan took the lead and sings some background. The music they write doesn’t fit just one category. It’s a sometimes odd mix of many different musical styles. They really came to the attention of the international music press with their debut album Permission To Land. Thanks to the singles I Believe In A Thing Called Love, Growing On Me, Get Your Hands Off My Woman and Love Is Only A Feeling the album achieved platinum status. In 2006 Justin left the band due to alcohol and cocaine problems to reunite with his brother in 2011 and today they rock Sweden with a set that dazzles your mind and eyes. Eight tracks, including all hit singles, come of the very first album stating that this album is the most important piece of music they have ever written. In addition with three songs from Pinewood Smile, two from Last Of Our Kind and one from One Way Ticket To Hell…And Back it’s great to see them perform with such drive and enthusiasm. Justin by the way is a real piece of work to look at but the attention goes mostly to the music and that’s a good thing wouldn’t you say!
Originally formed by the Petrucci sisters the band was first active in the beginning of the eighties. The glam rock orientated band even consisted of future Skid Row singer Sebastian Back. Till this day Roxy is still handling the drum parts for Vixen, another all girl rock band. Vixen is also on the bill today so this means girl Roxy is playing two sets. Hats off! Today’s performance features Bret Kaiser on vocals. You either like his voice or you don’t. Looking like a copycat Elvis presley he’s doing his thing, singing his lungs out performing six songs from their debut We Reserve The Right mixed with seven other glam rock wonders. Not the best we’ve seen this festival but yet so amusing!
Thijs van Leer is a keyboardplayer, vocalist and flutist formed Dutch band Focus in the late sixties. One moment in time even guitar wonder Jan Akkerman was part of his band. It’s with their second album Moving Waves they gained some attention for their music which has a progressive nature and mature sound. Today’s set consists only out of three songs from only two albums and these are Focus II and III. Hocus Pocus, Focus III and Eruption sound musically correct but a little bit outdated as does Thijs van Leer. Surrounded by young and skillfull musicians he takes a trip down memory lane but that’s all this is. Easy listening music under a beautiful and sunny Skandinavian sky!
1981 is an important year for Danish hardrock and heavy metal music. Singer Ronnie Atkins and guitarist Ken Hammer form Pretty Maids. Playing classic hard rock with a very melodic ring to it, they never had a major breakthrough although they have sold hundreds of thousands of records. They are well loved guests at the Sweden Rock Festival. The power they produce onstage is quite catchy. They have been writing decent and powerful songs over the last thirty years and hard rocking fanatics around the world pick up on them. No intro and Mother Of All Lies from Motherland is punching you straight forward in your face. It’s the only song from that album. Second song Kingmaker from the release with the same name hits you hard again before entering two tunes from the well know Red Hot & heavy album. Little Drops Of Heaven, a true pretty maids ballad sounds just beautiful and before you know it they’re ending with Love Games from Futureworld. All good things come to an end and this gig is ending too soon!
Girl rock band Vixen enjoyed some commercial success in the late eighties and early nineties and mostly in their home country. Often referred to as the female Bon Jovi they really were the first female rock band. They bring a mix of pop and rock and this is a perfect way to start another day at the Sweden Rock Festival. There are a lot of female fans in front of the stage while the male rockers are still waking up from the previous night. Starting out with Rev It Up from the second album with the same title is a smart choice because everybody knows this song. Playing four songs from this album and four from the first one called Vixen means they had something to say back in the day. True most of them tracks are love songs but who doesn’t need love! Edge Of A Broken Heart ends their set perfectly with each and everyone singing along.