With 9 bands scheduled and just one stage, as expected an early start. Hardly awake, the first metalheads gathered in the front of the stage. Much more than you would have anticipated at 11:30. Maybe the article in the local newspaper about the first band of the Saturday had been helpful.
Curious all waited for opener Alien Weaponry, which started with the Haka, a ceremonial performance related to the Māori. The songs of the New Zealand-based band are about all the ancient history of Māori land. Lyrics are mixed, English and Māori. The slow thrash by the trio was a pleasant surprise and great opener. The three voices matched very well and with ‘Blinded’ the first mosh pit and dust clouds were a fact. Their tribal background is reflected in songs like ‘Kai Tangata’ and ‘Raupatu’. An interesting young band that served a dynamic set with influences of Metallica, Slipknot and Sepultura. The start of day 2 was a good one. The ones that were late, missed something. An new opportunity at Alcatraz and/or Into the Grave.
Theatrical blackened death metal in bright sunlight is not the best setting. Swedish Tribulation made the best of it and delivered a good set. Their debut album “The Horror” was received very well and opened the first doors. Their 3rd album “The Children of the Night” made them the revelation of the year in 2015. Songs from that and the latest album “Down Below” filled the set list. Due to sound setting, the beautiful guitar melodies didn’t get the conditions deserved. Nevertheless songs like ‘The Motherhood Of God’, ‘The World’ and ‘Strange Gateways Beckon’ could keep up and got the interest of people who didn’t know this band. Eye catcher with his orange lenses was feminine dressed up guitarist Jonathan Hultén, who moved dancing over the stage. Leaving the ones that were not familiar with some thoughts. A good show, great music but it left me curious how it would be in a dark intimate venue.
30 Years ago Armored Saint landed in Europe. The first show, the American Heavy Metal Band played, was at Dynamo Open Air. After quite some ups and downs, they were back to celebrate this anniversary with a special set. Frontman John Bush seemed to be happy and was in good shape. The vocals and screams were more than OK and he was everywhere on stage. He climbs on amplifiers, jumps off, runs around and sings in the meantime as powerful as in the band’s early days. The set list is a journey through the legacy of Armored Saint. With classics like ‘Can U Deliver’, ‘March of the Saint’ and ‘Madhouse’, Armored Saint delivers a musical highlight.
Phil Anselmo and The Illegals opened with a question. Not sure whether the audience’s answer would have made a difference. Anyway, the festival booklet hinted at Pantera songs and we got a little more than that; a show filled with just Pantera songs. Today’s show was the last of the tour. Phil Anselmo had some voice issues and was quite static on stage (tired and/or stoned). The set was a bit delayed and kicked off with ‘Mouth For War’. The crowd had gathered in front of the stage and had a good time, a lot of jumping and singing. During ‘Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit’ heavy rain showers started. It didn’t have any impact on the die-hards in front of the stage. Others looked for shelter under the ring of the Ice Centre. With ‘Walk’ (joined by Max Cavalera) the rain was gone and the rain was looked upon as a ‘refreshment’ and the crowd took over the field again. The set closed with ‘Fucking Hostile’ and a joined ‘Domination’ and ‘Hollow’. The Pantera songs made the show, not really the musicians. Anyway, the break could be used to wring off T-shirts and to dry a little bit.
Metal Church is also a band with a Dynamo history, in 2016 at Metalfest but in the early 90s already at Open Air. Just like Armored Saint, they bring in a lot of experience. With Mike Howe, back on vocals, latest release was “Damned If You Do”. The show was part of the promotion of this album. The rain spoiled part of the pleasure of the set, however not for Mike and the gang. They stayed cool and focused on the music. Early in the set, ‘Badlands’ was played. It was not that bad, the rain stopped and the sun returned. Mike Howe is an excellent vocalist and Metal Church used it by filling the setlist with songs made with him on vocals. Unfortunately no old classics. But included ‘Watch The Children Pray’, ‘Beyond The Black’ and ‘Fake Healer’ the show was fine. It was good to see them back again.
Sepultura, Cavalera Conspiracy and Soulfly do have one man in common; Max Cavalera. Soulfly was created in 1996 when Max left Sepultura. The show in Eindhoven is part of the tour named to the latest release “Ritual”. Sometimes the performance of the band is not that well and Max can have an off day. DMF was lucky. Max Cavalera was in very good shape and Soulfly delivered a very good performance. New work was integrated well with older songs. Early in the set ‘The Summoning’ and ‘Under Rapture’ were quite convincing. ‘Fire’ got a lot of response from the audience. ‘Porrada’ did well as well. Max managed to create a large singalong choir during ‘Arise Again’. The frontman got half of the crowd in the field kneeling and jumping up. A perfect fit to DMF and a lot of fun.
Not much words during the set of Carcass. They let the music do the job. Up tempo, 14 songs in a hour. An amazing pace. The music of the British metallers is somewhere between death metal and grindcore, but definitely at reasonably high speed. The slow passages, if there were some in a song, didn’t last that long, soon riffs took over and moved up the fast side. The few words were sufficient to get response. Next to a pit, quite some crowd surfing, so a lot to catch for the Dynamo crew. A range of songs from the past like ‘Exhume To Consume’, ‘Keep On Rotting In The Free World’, ‘Corporal Jigsore Quandary’ and ‘Heartwork’ was opened with the newest ‘316L Grade Surgical Steel’. Carcass delivered at high standards and pleased quite a lot.
As indicated the second day also a ‘battle’ for headliner. The type of music is that different that there will be a group that will choose Steel Panther where other for sure go for Arch Enemy. With Steel Panther, the first to appear. A lot more words on stage. Quite obvious because of the comedy / gimmicks of Steel Panther. Is it heavy metal or just Glam (Rock / Metal). Not bothered by wrong jokes, incorrect wording or whatsoever, Steel Panther gave the show as expected, mostly filled with the obvious jokes but also some new ones with subject Alissa. Not sure if she was that happy with this. However, it’s Steel Panther art making jokes. Anyway, they had a lot of fun on stage. Oh yes, they also played some songs. It kicked off with ‘Eyes of a Panther’ and ‘Goin’ in the Backdoor’. It’s mainly old stuff but the new ‘All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)’ worked out quite well and got a nice choir. One of the highlights was ‘Crazy Train’ (Ozzy Osbourne cover) where Michael Starr came on stage dressed as Ozzy Osbourne. His lookalike of ‘the Prince of Darkness’ was very good and especially his walks were funny convincing. Of course with ‘17 Girls In A Row’ and ‘Community Property’ the stage was filled again with ladies. This time it was kept very polite and decent. The big hit ‘Death To All But Metal’ followed by ‘Gloryhole’ closed the serving. All in all, a great Steel Panther show, very entertaining but maybe a bit out of balance; comedy or music.
The first edition of (Phoenix) Dynamo had Arch Enemy headlining. With the 5th edition they were back in the same position on day 2. For me and a lot more, they were the real headliner. They offered a spectacular and dynamic show. An interesting light show (not always that suited for photographers) in the meantime dark arena and loads of pyro. Right from the beginning the originating Swedish formation was present. The opener ‘The World Is Yours’ could easily be renamed ‘The World Is Ours’. Everything shows that Arch Enemy has grown into a solid, well-oiled and well-organized institute. Every footstep and attitude of the musicians seems to be thought out and Alissa White-Gluz embraced her role as a front woman very convincing. But it never appeared mechanical, it still looked like they enjoy what they were doing. And with that positive vibe they concurred the crowd. The strong songs ‘War Eternal’, ‘My Apocalypse’, ‘Under Black Flags We March’ and more made clear the Arch Enemy is ready to deal with this position at many festivals. The set ended with ‘Nemesis’ and with this also this edition of Dynamo Metal Fest.
It’s always good to see and know that the next edition is scheduled already. It will be again two days (17-18 July 2020) and they revealed already an interesting name; Sepultura will hit the stage. Also great that all on the campsite behaved that well that no complaints have been received. With that the campsite is secured as well. It was a great party for all at the Ice arena. Metal on Loud will be happy to join again.
Full set photos: Arch Enemy, Steel Panther, Carcass, Soulfly, Metal Church, Phil Anselmo, Armored Saint, Tribulation, Alien Weaponry and Atmosphere.