Kreator however is up for the challenge to perform after the blazing Iron Maiden rollercoaster. They have always been one of the better trash metal bands Europe produced over the last thirty odd years. They succeed in getting multiple circle pits going with a diverse setlist and amazing but dark stage production. Playing five songs from Gods Of Violence with the likes of Fallen Brother, the title song of the album, Hail To The Hordes, Satan Is Real and Totalitarian Terror together with three tracks from Phantom Antichrist, two from Endless Pain and one of each from Coma Of Souls, Enemy Of God, Extreme Agression, Hordes Of Chaos, outcast, Pleasure To Kill and Violent Revolution an overview of their career so far is presented in a beautiful mix. A great way to close down Sweden Rock on the Rock Stage!

Heat is facing the heat as well because as Kreator they have to go on before Iron Maiden. They carry the burden to close down the Sweden Stage for this second festival day. Many headbangers are tired and a large part is already heading home or back to their tents. The melodic rock they bring is fantastic but it’s hard to hold people’s attention after the Iron Maiden war and just before the trashing show of Kreator. Five songs from their previous 2014 album Tearing Down The Walls and four from the latest Into The Great Unknown like Bastard Of Society, Redefined, Eye Of The Storm and Shit City are taking a large part in the setlist. Still the Swedish hard rockers are having a diffuclt time getting everyone involved.

It’s the biggest and most successful band of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal first appearance at the Sweden Rock Festival. It was the first time one day festival tickets sold out long before the actual date. What an achievement! They are using Churchill’s Speech again as an intro just like in the eighties and roll into an explosive Aces High showcasing a Spitfire airplane as a giant backdrop above the heads of the first rows. The audience is going out of their minds. Where Eagles Dare and 2 Minutes To Midnight follow and it seems likely Iron Maiden is heading out for some sort of greatest hits show…and they do. The Trooper, Revelations, Flight Of Icarus, The Number Of The Beast, Iron Maiden, Fear Of The Dark and even the Blaze Bayley song The Clansman are hitting us in the face with such energy you can’t deny Maiden is at the top of their game. Encores include The Evil That men Do, Hallowed Be Thy Name and the inevitable Run To The Hills. Then Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life is heard through the speakers and real Maiden fans know and realise the show is over but return home with a smile on their face! See you soon Iron Maiden and come back again please!

British blues musician Mick Clarke started his career with Killing Floor in the late sixties. In de mid seventies he also co founded Salt, a powerful blues rock band earning some decent respect in the London scene. He also embarks on a successful solo career. Hos first solo album Looking For Trouble came out in the early eighties and sold very well. Now he and his band are guests at the Sweden Rock Festival to present an overview of this blues great’s career. Not many people are attending this gig in the tent but this doesn’t mean it’s not a fantastic gig.

Rapper, actor, songwriter, producer and executive Ice T is slamming the stage with his Bodycount. This band was formed around 1990 together with guitarplayer Ernie C. They shared a mutual interest in heavy metal music with ice T singing and writing lyrics while Ernie C wrote the music. The well known track Cop Killer caused a great deal of controversy. Starting with the Slayer cover Raining Blood they win over the metalheads immediately because the rap flavoured metal is not for everybody. Playing six songs from their self titled debut album alongside covers from The Exploited and Suicidal Tendencies is truly a feast to the ears. Standing out are tracks like KKK Bitch and of course Cop Killer. Well done Ice T and Bodycount!

The Australian rock and roll outlaws from Rose Tattoo are heading out to the Sweden Rock Festival with their 2018 Blood Brothers Tour. Today’s band comprises baas legend Mark Evans from the early AC/DC days, guitarist Bob Spencer of The Angels and The Skyhooks, Dai Pritchard on slide guitar, drummer John ‘Watto’ Watson and of course frontman and enfant terrible Angry Anderson. If you have never seen a Rose Tattoo gig there’s only one thing you can say and that isthat the music they play simply sounds timeless. Like everywhere on this tour today is a run through the classics and they are all present on the setlist. From anthems like Bad Boy For Love, We Can’t Be Beaten, One Of The Boys to Rock ‘N’ Roll Is King and Rock ‘N’ Roll Outlaw every song sounds perfect and raw. The bad boys garantee and deliver some pure and unadulterated Aussie rock!

Killswitch Engage is one of the better and most influential bands of the American metalcore. They have produced some great riffing melodies throughout their existence and remain one of the metalcore pioneers. Their set is a perfect blend of old and new sounds. Opening song Strength Of The Mind and third track Hate By Design come from their 2016 release Incarnate. Always and In Due Time come from Disarm The Descent mixed with A Bid Farewell and The End Of The Heartache from the album with the same title of the last song. The set sounds so energetic and vocalist Leech has a splendid connection with the audience. They close their set with the Dio cover Holy Diver and that turns out to be a mistake. Everyone understands they want to pay tribute to the great Ronnie James Dio but it’s daring to cover songs from one of the greatest singers the rock world has ever known!

The voice of rock Glenn Hughes is cruising the world revisiting his past with Deep Purple. The nearly seventy year old singer and bass player has worked with every great in rock history and started many bands himself. Today the sun is out and Hughes is taking the ‘Hug(h)e(s)’ crowd right back to the seventies with a setlist consisting only out of eight songs…but what songs! Opener Stormbringer and Might Just Take Your Life are just amazing. Everybody is loving it as is the master himself. Then he throws Sail Away, the wonderful Mistreated and You Keep On Moving he co-wrote with the mighty David Coverdale our way. Again sensational. After that it’s Smoke On The Water with a little Georgia On My Mind sending shivers down our spine to close down with Highway Star and the majestic Burn. What more can a rocker want?

What is there to write about In This Moment? An American metal band formed by singer Maria Brink and guitarist Chris Howorth in 2005 back in Los Angeles California. They started as Dying Star but unhappy with their musical direction they changed it later on. They released their first born Beautiful Tragedy in 2007. Today at Sweden Rock we watch a static band performing some kind of industrial shock rock fronted by a blonde long-legged chick. Haven’t we seen this before? Did Alcie Cooper do that back in the seventies and didn’t Marilyn Manson show what het got back in the eighties? Yes we did and altough the music is basically well written and a huge crowd gathered to see them play live it remains cheap Broadway-like entertainment.

Avatarium from homeland Sweden is a progressive rock doom metal band originally founded by songwriter and bass player Leif Edling from Candlemass in 2013. At first he asked his friend and Opeth frontman Mikael Akerfeldt but he couldn’t make the line up due to other activities. Guitarist Marcus Jidell from Evergrey and Royal Hunt offered to help him out. Tiamat drummer Lars Sköld and keyboard wizard Carl Westholm were added and deep bluesy voice from Jidell’s wife Jennie-Ann Smith brought a new touch to the heavy and doomy riffs. Opening with Into The Fire/Into The Storm from their latest release Hurricanes And Halos together with Medusa Child and The Sky At The Bottom Of The Sea states they really like playing the recent stuff. Avatarium and Moonhorse are taken from the debut album where you can here the difference with the newer songs. Leif is no longer in the band due to health reasons and so aren’t the heavy doom riffs.

Californian rockers Buckcherry fronted by tattoo covered Josh Todd are mostly known for their self-titled debut album including the hit singles Lit Up, Check Your Head, Dead Again and For The Movies for which they received gold.. After the second one Time Bomb the band broke up to reform in 2006. Today at Sweden Rock they seem to have an off day and the show sounds brutally flat. Altough the setlist includes three songs from their second release, an Icona Pop cover Say Fuck It and tracks from nearly each album they produced, the vibe isn’t hitting the audience. It seems to be a show on automatic pilot!

Sweden have produced multiple great rocking bands over the last thirty odd years and Dark Tranquility is one of them. Together with bands such as In Flames they are the pioneers of the Gothenburg metal scene. On this second day of the Sweden Rock Festival they bring their melodic death metal to the stage and they really hit it of. Starting the show with Encircled from their latest 2016 relase Atoma they are throwing bullseye. Clearing Skies, Forward Momentum and the title song from that album brings the total up to four ‘new’ songs proving they don’t rely on the old stuff as some other bands tend to do so often. The remaining of the set is a mix of older songs from Damage Done and Fiction, three and two tracks and one of each from Character, Construct, haven and Projector. Satisfaction guaranteed!

Swedish Glam band Crazy Lixx is another example stating that their home country is an important player in the hard rock scene worldwide. They are clearly influenced by the likes of Whitesnake, Aerosmith, Def Leppard and Motley Crue. Founded in 2002 it was the intention of Dirty Child Danny and Vic Zino to bring back the traditional glam metal and in 2007 they released Loud Minority, their first album. Zino left the band in 2009 and found salvage in Hardcore Superstars. After that they signed a deal with Frontiers Records and everything moved fast. With five albums to choose from, including Ruff Justice released in 2017, they present a sublime mix of old and new warming up everybody for the rest of the day!