Aria Complex, a much larger venue with a really big stage impressed immediately. Yes, definitely a better place than Chateau Buskett and The Garage. It was not a surprise this venue will host Dee Snider (later this year). And yes, light and sound were great too. The space was adjusted to the number of visitors to get the feeling of a full house and with the wide stage plenty of space front-row.
Opener of Day 2 was once again a local (Maltese) trash band: Angelcrypt. The genre of this band was no surprise, it just continued what was offered on day 1. Although there was a different accent right away. The, in the basis old school Trash Metal had quite some Power Metal elements. The years of experience of the musicians on stage, gained in various Maltese bands, ensured that it was came together pretty well and delivered with confidence. And excellent warming up in a not too warm (semi-open) location.
From now on only bands from abroad. Next up was Abigail from Romania. These guys proved that the slow heavy doom of Victims of Creations could be provided at even slower pace. A well sounding slow mix of Doom, Death, Melodic and Atmospheric Metal about grief, pain and sorrow. Either you get totally depressed or cheered up because you realize that it’s not yet that bad at all.
That also up-tempo exists was demonstrated by the Swedish band Hexed. The only band with a female (singer) in the ranks. Which made a difference in vocal lines. I missed their show in the Netherlands the week before. Here a new opportunity and with a longer set when being support. Their last album ‘Netherworld‘ impressed already last year (in my annual Top 10), live is even much better. The well-fitting voice of Tina Gunnarsson and a very dynamic stage presentation made it a great show. The crowd reacted very enthusiastic at the up-tempo Metal/Heavy Rock. It may be obvious that this is more into my area 😊. But even then there can be a positive surprise.
Latest News: Jay Matharu (stand-in in Malta) is now a formal guitarist in Hexed.
From the Northern Europe back to Central Europe with something really different; longer atmospheric songs. Harakiri for the Sky with a progressive interpretation of (post) black metal. In January I’ve seen the Austrians play in Baroeg Rotterdam (Netherlands) when touring with Draconian. There they made an excellent impression and here they reaffirmed this.
Back to the Northern regions. The Finns of Omnium Gatherum delivered a nice dynamic show. The public (and the space) had been warmed up and went almost crazy. The death metal with power elements is great but it couldn’t keep my attention. Maybe because of being already the fifth band of the evening or the focus on photos and music or the need for the social aspect of visiting a festival.
The headliner of this evening was Leprous. Because of Metal over Metal I missed them on Friday in Eindhoven (Netherlands). But with the airport over there and the flight to Malta available Leprous could make it to Malta to be here Saturday. Also Leprous is known, I saw the Norwegians perform at Dynamo Metal Fest (Eindhoven), Biebob (Belgium) and de Effenaar (Eindhoven). However, this show in Aria seemed to be better than the previous ones. Is it the Maltese atmosphere that makes this happen? The totally crazy audience was very clear. Despite the late start (00:30 am) the public remained present. A affirmation and a surprise in one. For sure the worthy closing of another successful Metal over Malta edition.
Day 1: Friday 22 March – The Garage, Zebbuġ
Set lists (thanks to Rainer Kerber – keep-on-rocking.com) & Link to larger set of different photos in the name of the band.
Serpents Of The Somme
On Killing Fields
Guardians Of Asgaard
We Are The Dead
The Black Hand
The Mind Replays What The Heart Can’t Erase
Remake My Soul
Harakiri For The Sky
Calling The Rain
You Are The Scars
The Graves We’ve Dug
Gods Go First
Over The Battlefield
New World Shadows
From The Flame