METALDAYS 2018 – DAY 5 @ Tolmin (SLO) – 27/07/2018 (ENG)

by Giuseppe Piscopo

It’s Friday, June 27th, last day here ad Metaldays. Melancholia already finds its way on metalheads’ faces, a bit under the weather because of heat and alcohol. But another full day of concerts awaits us.
And besides that, what better way to end the festival, if not with a solar eclipse? Surely that was also part of the show, this day…

Italian version

Let’s start with an all-female band, except for the drummer. Sisters Of Suffocation play a pretty heavy death metal with an equally heavy growl by singer Els Prins, who is at ease in clean vocals as well. The girls from Eindhoven surely know how to gain attention and it’s no wonder they recently signed with Napalm Records, at the beginning of the year.
A band worth keeping an eye on and, speaking of that, they’re working for a new album planned in early 2019.


Time for another Dutch band, Death Alley, with their metal-influenced rock ‘n’ roll. It’s pretty interesting, although the performance isn’t captivating enough to hold the attention of the audience. They’re signed under Century Media and their latest album, “Superbia“, came out last March.


The unmistakable bite of an HM2, that sound that calls loudly sludge, violence and healthy viciousness gets our attention: a quick check and Mantar are ready to go. No compromises for the duo from Hamburg, without frills nor filters, with a heartfelt, gritty, violent and desperate performance. Of course, with only two elements live there are some deficits, but they manage to give a pretty solid structure to their powerful and complete sound. Part of their setlist draws also from their next album “The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze” (out in two weeks) and, besides a couple imperfections, it was a pleasant and entertaining concert. For sure, a band to follow and delve into.


Hey! What’s this smell of swamp and sulfur coming from the second stage? Ah! Fucking Goatwhore! What a band, ladies and gentlemen. Another proof that taking yourself too seriously can only paint a huge bullseye on your back: the self-irony of the New Orleans band is evident live as well, and it’s the cherry on top of the cake, this being one of the most powerful and inspired gigs in this 2018 edition. Music oscillating between total viciousness and good ignorance, stage costumes worthy of the truest of blacksters, evil faces and jokes, a band that despite their heavy, heavy set spends their time laughing. What else could we ask for?


What answer could you expect from Tony Foresta if you go ask him “Municipal Waste…”? “Is gonna fuck you up!”, obviously. Aside from this funny, true story, it’s the moment that we were all waiting for. Municipal Waste come on the Slovenian stage with incredible energy, taking no prisoners, with the giant backdrop showing Donald Trump shooting himself in the head. Countless t-shirts with this graphic among the audience, with the phrase “The only walls we build are walls of death” on their backs.
Breathe Grease“, from their latest work “Slime And Punishment” (2017) is the opening track, but there’s space for other gems like “Sadistic Magician“, “Headbanger Face Rip” and, closing the set, the mandatory “Born To Party“, echoing through the whole Tolmin valley.


From the top of the VIP terrace, we can see a tall and heavy figure going straight towards a bucket full of water, putting his head inside of it and heading towards the stage: it’s obviously Cannibal Corpse‘s George Fisher.
The US death metal band, notorious for their macabre and straightforward lyrics, gory and without censorship, despite the age is still smashing everything on its way. They start with “Code Of The Slashers“, from their latest album “Red Before Black” (2017), followed by other tracks like “Scourge Of Iron” and “Evisceration Plague“. Before “I Cum Blood“, Fischer challenges the audience asking to do a circular headbang faster than him, warning them of the impossible task. Needless to say, no one could beat him!
Besides that, at some point he asked the crowd if the next song should be their last. After the loud and sad “Nooo“, he goes like “I don’t care, I’m in charge and this is the last one!
But of course, after “Stripped, Raped And Strangled“, the Americans are not going to leave the ten thousand people like this. And here it is, “Hammer Smashed Face“, closing performance in balance between macabre and real fun.


Kinda conflicting with the previous one, Epica‘s holographic backdrop goes up. The band is still supporting their latest album “The Holographic Principle” (2016) despite having released, in the meantime, the two EPs “The Solace System” (2017) and “Epica vs. Attack On Titan” (2018).
The Dutch band, unfortunately, has just one hour available and for this reason the setlist is pretty ordinary and without any surprises for the die-hard fans.
They start with the intro “Eidola“, followed by “Edge Of The Blade“, “The Essence Of Silence” and “Storm The Sorrow“. Simone Simons couldn’t help but dedicate the next song to the “black moon”, which we can catch a glimpse of above the valley: it’s the classic “Cry For The Moon“.
With “Sancta Terra“, lead guitarist Isaac Delahaye and keyboardist Coen Janssen descend among the crowd and interact with the first rows, with the latter doing some crowdsurfing with the security guy holding his foot.
The band knows their way on stage, even though they always do the same scenes and movements, seen multiple times by the most affectionate fans (like me).
It’s time for the cheerful – a bit too much, maybe – “Beyond The Matrix“, announcing the great ending with “Consign To Oblivion” and the mandatory wall of death.


We’re all ready for the grand finale with this evening’s headliners, Children Of Bodom. And is there a better way to start, if not with “Are You Dead Yet?“. The Finns break through without any doubt, with Alexi Laiho biting vocals alternating with more melodic parts and quick guitar riffs, everything framed by the one and only Janne Wirman on keyboards.
Besides the crazy audience, there are some sound problems. After a while, the singer is forced to leave the stage and take a pause to fix his guitar.
The band starts again without hesitations and now the show goes smoothly, with “Needled 24/7“, “Downfall” and “Everytime I Die“. A quick salute introduces us to the encore, with “Bodom Of Midnight” and “Towards Dead End“.
Awesome performance by the band from Espoo, although I’m a little bit sad they didn’t play Britney Spears’ “Oops!… I Did It Again“. But we really couldn’t have asked for more than this.
Enlightened by the full moon, we reluctantly bid farewell to this Metaldays, thanking the whole staff from the bottom of our hearts and impatiently waiting for 2019!


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