Z7 METAL DAYZ 2006  - first day

04.08.06 at Z 7 in Pratteln (CH)




photos © by Stefan and Siegfried Vogelaar

reviews by dalia di giacomo


Boris Witta, Desi Güthlin

The public use of these photos  is strictly prohibited 

without written permission


Z7 Metal Dayz 2006 - second day
Z7 Metal Dayz 2006 - third day













by dalia di giacomo 
Hornz up and nice to see you again,  Z7 Metal DayZ! After the edition 2003, which was "graced" even by the presence of Slayer, the Metal Dayz Event strikes back at Z7  in Pratteln with important features. What impresses me the most is that this edition 2006 is "young" and sensible to some of the newest aspects of the metal flag. During this weekend, under a rainy and smooth sky which appears after the big sunny heat of the just past  July, the most important indoors/outdoors metal festival in Switzerland combines many subgenres presenting top established bands together with fresh realities (just think of Naio Ssaion, Crucified Barbara, After All, Nanowar, Epica to name just few) and great newcomers. Indeed this Metal happening is young and up-to-dated. With my great pleasure, there is again some space for Death and Death/Black. Dark Funeral is the Infernal Soul made flesh and bone, and fortunately  they are not alone in the mission of keeping the Flame burning high. All in all, young is the crowd too, i mean that  there is a marked "turnover" in the Swiss scene, the new generation is simply here, re-placing the precedent one, still a bit naive, firmly requesting new inputs, nonetheless proud to walk in the footsteps of the older metalheadz and ready to admire veteran heroes too. In spite of the fact that the Metal Dayz take place in concomitance with giant Wacken (uhhh it comes the rain!!?) and other Open Airs all over Europe (with the consequent difficulty in booking bands), and in concomitance with the Rolling Stones concert on 5th August in Dübendorf, the "Dayz crowd" is quite compact and can attend the ironic, satiric and comedian show of the first Nanowar concert out of the Italian boundaries, can share Heavy metal possession and virtuoso performance together with Rage and Blaze, can applaud nothing less than Nevermore and bang to a time-travel with Pagan/Medieval/Renaissance inspired In Extremo, within a familiar and relaxed atmosphere. In my opinion, the only flaw is that, generally, the outdoors sound doesn't always  deliver that same good  impact you get indoor, in particular i speak about  what i hear from the first -rows area. Compliments again go to the general organization, to the food/catering service (those steaks, wurst and chips are N 1, absolutely!), to the well expert, consolidated, friendly security team and to the medical assistance. Signing sessions, perfect alternating changeovers between outdoor and indoor stage, wide official merchandise tent, plus a calm camping with its very adjacent parking-place complete the comfort for the fans. . oh yes...and beer!! 

by Boris Witta

One didn’t believe, but it’s true: Metal Dayz again in the Z7, the Metal-Mekka of Switzerland. There weren’t too much “big names” this year, but the bands are in any case only 50% of the Metal Dayz. The other half are the fans, the atmosphere, the familiar feeling. And this point was very different this year compared to 2003: There were lots of very young fans, and some avowed faces were absent. Later more to this topic. But in general was it a great three-day-happening, with a lot of good friends, good music, hectoliters of beer and most of the time a relaxed atmosphere. 



AEONBLACK     www.aeonblack.de 
by Boris Witta
Aeonblack are the ones to open the Festival. Their style is the one most of the bands play in this three days: Power Metal. But these guys really deserve the word power. No keyboards, no “Lalalala”-choirs, just the impact of the guitars, a bunch of melodies, pounding drums and a great strong and energetic voice. The band is in a good mood, although there aren’t too many people in front of the stage. But the atmosphere is good, people are hungry of Metal, and Aeonblack are an excellent opener. Vocalist Holger is top active, always in direct contact with the first rows, throws some shirts into the audience and has most of the time a big smile on his face. The stagesound could be a bit better, but well, there will be some real desasters this weekend with the sound outside, so everyone should be happy. And hell, Aeonblack are just good. The more time runs out, the more banger there are. At least, Holger announces a cover. My proposal “Slayer!!!” is answered with “Well, we didn’t have enough time for that!” – with a big grin on the face. No, not Slayer, it’s Iron Maiden-time, and the fact that everyone has heard this song in dozens of cover-versions doesn’t matter at all, loud cheering when the first notes of “The Trooper” come out of the boxes. “Thank you Pratteln!” – thank you, Aeonblack! The celebration begins, the party starts, and Aeonblack were the perfect foundation for that.


DARK DAY DUNGEON   www.darkdaydungeon.com
by Boris Witta
Hell no. Dark Day Dungeon are not my cup of coffee at all. Metalcore at its best – or worst. Hysterical screaming, fast-forward-in-your-face-riffing, deep guitars with influences from Death and Thrash Metal and a bit of Hardcore. Originality: zero. After one and a half song, I leave the hall to salute the rest of the Gryphonteam, which just arrived, and to get some beer. Metalcore…. hurgh.


THE DREAMSIDE   www.dreamside.nl 

by dalia di giacomo 


The Dreamside , female-fronted combo from the Netherlands founded in 1994, should provide for Gothic/Esoteric flair. Pity that the show, which takes place on the outdoor stage,  is not so self-confident, fluent and persuasive like it should be. Although the rhythmic session and then the whole instrumental contribution tries to give push, the result is not optimal without speaking about the singing which is far from a  top-notch performance. Somehow the band  doesn't feel at ease and this affects the whole interaction between musicians and crowd. Composed  more by Heavy Metal/Death fans than by Gothic ones, maybe this is not the most ideal crowd for Dreamside, anyway nothing can forgive the mediocre insipid acting of their vocalist. This is the pathology i personally detect: Lack of energy and no trace of the expected power in the voice, the higher notes are not hold with the due authority, something always seems out of rhythm: or main vocals seem out of place or the rest of the band, and finally the stage acting isn't able to inspire any mysterious sensation. Where is "the seventh daughter of Queen Nefertari"? Moving back many meters and following the concert from another angle doesn't let appear things different. In my opinion,  the problem doesn't lay on the propagation of any sound setting but on the band and on the band only. Pity cause the various facettes of the repertoire, both from the linguistic and musical point of view, cannot be fully appreciated. The best artist performing is bassman Roman who can put on the table some strong vocal interventions too. At this point, if vocals would be left to him only, the general picture would be very enhanced. However,  in general, the rhythmic session is the element  of the band that is saving the situation, because  bass and drums become more and  more commanding. No Dracula's Ball atmosphere here, only a stage that  must be conquered with  sweat, force and adequate skill, so  the band members themselves must create the atmosphere with conviction, and no matter whether they  play Gothic/Ethereal/Melancholic  genre or not. The Dreamside don't accomplish this task but  the generous crowd supports anyway with applauses. Among the songs, Into a Frenzy, Forsaken and Dreaming all of you are presented.  





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CRUCIFIED BARBARA  www.crucifiedbarbara.com 
by dalia di giacomo


Play me Dude, Going Dude, Dude from Hell, Burned to be dude, Bad hangdude, Dudefucker, In Dude we trust, R'n'R Dude, Losing the Dude. More or less this is the "dude list" of Crucified Barbara. Is it a joke? Hehhehe actually the setlist is written really so, and certainly these girls seem to be animated by true and lively passion for heavy Metal/Rock'nRoll under every aspect.  Needless to say that Crucified Barbara is  a Swedish four- girl-act who is " in" and just back  from a  successful sequence of tours and shows with bands like Motörhead, Jon Oliva's Pain, Doro, Sonata Arctica, Killing Joke and currently busy in playing major European festivals. All in all a nice and energetic presence that makes a decent honor to the female sex engaged in Rock and Metal world!! This evening guitarist/singer Mia Coldheart is protagonist of a good show very appreciated by the crowd, and Mia is well supported by the rest of the band, in particular by the drumming that,  in my opinion, is the best ingredient of the group. A bit more power from the bass would have just been better but the concert is one of the highlights of these Metal Dayz.  And it's surely with Crucified Barbara that  the Z7 Metal Dayz 2006 definitely takes fire, and precisely with the song Bad Hangover.

"1,2,3,4, five more give me some more I've got a bad hangover
World is turning upside down" ...

...and the venue is turning in a very appreciating communion. In this song the girls are at the top of their energy after a precedent moment where a veil of tiredness was visible. Moreover this is a very enthralling interesting   song  concerning chords and musical proceeding. Hand-clapping from the crowd and some singalong burst out naturally magnifying the enthusiasm which was already unleashed at the very beginning with Play me Hard. If i understand well Motorfucker is dedicated to Jon Oliva too, while the pounding In Distortion we trust is another top shot. Best  stage acting moment is when the pretty bassist fangs an orange/red rose from guitarist 's breast.  The good instrumental coordination and a big quantity of self -confidence are other plus points for the girls who get a deserved encore request.  Minus points, in my opinion,  are, on the contrary, the general ideas which , apart  a couple of songs mentioned above, are not so original and new  and some  "dolly" attitude that i personally cannot stand. Moreover this band is too coloured and how! from the upsetting pink bass till the golden top and red trousers of the drummer.   Have i enjoyed Crucified Barbara? In a way yes, although this kind of music is none of my fav food. Would i like to attend them again ? Yes but not immediately. So tomorrow i will not see them a second time, when they will take the stage again substituting Vanden Plas whose guitarist is unable to perform  due to an allergic reaction


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DEADSOUL TRIBE   www.deadsoultribe.com 

by Boris Witta

The first outdoors highlight appears in total rain. Petrus is not a Metalhead at all today (and neither in the following two days), but it doesn’t matter, Deadsoul Tribe need to be seen. No way to describe their music in one word. Hypnotic, desperate, full of emotions, an ingeniously voice, so touching, tribal-drums, music, made to be drowned in. I only know one song of the four heads, but every hymn they celebrate is a deep adventure. Devon Graves, almost shy, with special, eccentric gesture, the eyes often closed, makes as good as no announces, lets the music do the talking. The sound could’t be worse, as good as no guitars and voice and only a little piece of the dreadlocked bassman. But noone cares, some people bang, but most just go with the music, enjoying these fiering moments. With calm words, Devon Graves saluts his friends from Rage and says that it’s always a great thing to play on the same billing with well-known guys. Deadsoul Tribe is a trip through everyone’s soul, through the spirit that makes mankind to mankind. The weather is shit, the sound is shit, but anyway, Deadsoul Tribe are a great, an intensive and a very worthy experience. The four men take a bow, and the applause is warm, thank- and respectful. Fantastic. Intelligent music with impact.



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BLAZE        www.planetblaze.com      www.blazefans.com 


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by dalia di giacomo 


Former Iron Maiden/Wolfsbane Blaze Bayley is not only possessed by Heavy Metal as if it were a religion, he also masters his job like few others, and knows how to manage the interest of the audience. The first time i saw him live was in Vienna, some years ago... i think i remember it was February and Blaze were playing at Planet Music with Savatage... if i compare that far gig with the one of today, well now i see the band Blaze much more mature and compact, even much more reflexive with damn good  guitarists and a precise rhythmic section. Only the same raptured, commanding and inspired mood in Blaze Bayley never changes and it's good that it's so. He is so concentrated on the singing, although nothing what happens in the pit  and on the stage escapes  his control. Strange thing 'cause, at the same time he seems so run-in in the routine that  you get the impression he is purely doing his job also, hardly tolerating any distraction. A mixed image between true heart and cold brain methinks, but one point remains certain: Blaze sings so mighty with  range and power, actually no wonder he fronted Iron Maiden. In this exact moment, during this relaxed concert which celebrates pure metal supported by an enthusiast audience, any comparison with Bruce Dickinson are totally out of discussion, cause Blaze gives all  anyway and his clear solid vocals, (good for me) typically a bit downtuned for this genre,  perfectly fit this band. Yet my mind runs often to the Iron Maiden era's of  The X Factor and Virtual XI, personally albums i liked very much . Whatever and whatever, because this show is worth, is class and is generous. Sweat runs in rivers, riffs are crunchy and the setlist wide. The whole band is working with commitment. This is the key, although Blaze Bayley is the main figure, it's the whole band that sustains and shows a proper behavior. With this line up, less gymnic than in 2002, but , in my opinion, more dedicated to the pleasure of music and totally fresh, i think that Blaze Bayley can be only satisfied, and indeed at the end of the show he introduces the band finding very kind words for all members and in particular for guitarist Luca Princiotta.
From the album "Blood & Belief", the song 10 Seconds appears like a hymn, with razorsharp solos that have a good quality concerning distortion too. 10 seconds shakes the audience under Bayley charismatic vehemence at the point that he must say that he is very glad to be at this festival and more: "Thank you so much! this is our last appearance before the release of the new album!" . Great applause of course. Later on Blaze will shout as if  telling a proclamation "Some people think that Metal is dead but we prove that metal is Alive!!!" . One of the best moments of the concert is surely the mixed force between ballad and powerful heavy tempo of the song Regret (again from the "Blood & Belief" album) with its awesome "...I still breathe " passage.
I still walk, I still breathe
I'm not the man I could be
The hole here in my chest
Is filled with all of these regrets

Good light show, great self-confidence holding the various note-lengths and utter emotion from the crowd
among the excursus in his repertoire. Blaze doesn't miss to greet Z7 and its crew and is able to trigger another peak with the track The tenth Dimension sung along by so many people. And in the much requested encore Blaze gifts us with the song Identity.






GURD     www.gurd.net 


by dalia di giacomo 

Bang! Another unstoppable hammering concert delivered by  the Swiss Titans of groovy Thrash (peppered with some Metalcore and tons of Rock'n'Roll vibes). GurD never and never disappoint, GurD in shape...as usual , as you expect them! Tonight they headline the outdoor stage before the final indoor act of the first day, Rage. The rainshower falling down during  the turnover fortunately ceases at the moment of the concert and the remaining light rain certainly doesn't disturb the show supported by many dedicated  fans that see in GurD not only the legend but above all the  models, the representatives, the heroes next door. When GurD play at Z7 they play home as they already did at the Metal Dayz 2003 and during the celebration of the tenth anniversary 2004, just to name  2 gigs i too attended. Here the biggest love of their admirers embraces them. GurD always play brilliantly but of course, under these optimal circumstances, the pleasure and the enthusiasm run in full gear. Something is different though, a recent line-up change brings the new guitarist Pat to the stage: long time former guitarist Spring left the band in order to focalize  his strength on his own project "The Order". I am an "arch- enemy" of covers and line-up changes, only rarely i am positively impressed by one of these two kinds of occurrences. Concerning GurD i see that Pat is already  integrated in the band (just only the mobility-coordination on the stage between Pat and V.O. still must be refined), the new guitarist also provides for solid backing vocals and high energetic mood (a must to have in GurD!!) , only i honestly say i miss Spring and his style. Surely Spring is hard to be forgotten in GurD and i wish to him all the best  in The Order (also "home" of GurD drummer Tschibu and Pure Inc singer - www.theorder.ch /Dockyard 1). For the rest, the show is agreeable, self-confident, full of activation. Tschibu delivers a powerfully exact drumming...as always, while  bassist Franky  is the director of strong and dynamic bass lines ...as always. V.O. provides effective shredding vocals, leading the group with natural control...as usual!! As usual super vibes and  a metal celebration! It's really the case to say so, from the moment that just on 31 July GurD released worldwide their eighth studio album called "Bang!", through Dockyard 1.

This concert offers a release party flair: a copy of Bang! is baptized with  beer, much headbanging and moshing and finest ROCK'N ROLL feeling! Let's write it in capital letter cause  GurD inject a charge of fantastic rock'n roll rhythm. If you don't jump, bang and mosh you are dead , my friends!! Songs like Razorblade and Learn immediately give gas, followed by Rule the Pit and What  do you live for. The presentation of the new album introduces the bright new titletrack  Bang! characterized by an impressive rhythmic. It's a very angry song , maybe one of the angriest ever composed by the Swiss Thrashers, showing a clear  evolution of style. Later on Down the Drain will impact as dynamite unleashing an implacable catchy mighty Thrashy metallic Rock'n' roll: enthralling!. Spirit of Rock  is another new song shot straight to our teeth, while Black Sabbath's cover "Children of the Grave" (again from the Bang! album) is sung by former Poltergeist singer Andre Grieder . Chosen by the fans Face to Face is preferred to  We will resist, while Skin Up is a classic mark , it simply EXISTS! Skin  up is such a damned incredibly track, so  catchy, cadenced, mighty! Each time it's a blast! During the song there are also 2 short  vocal interventions by Inga Pulver. A pyro effect closes the gig so as it opened it at the very beginning. But the crowd wants more: it's around midnight and the bands performs the encore for the adrenalized, hungry fans  throwing 2 grenades which are more powerful than any pyrotech: Get up and HxHxHx (although i would have inverted the two, playing Get up as last bullet) 


....as usual!! \m/


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RAGE        www.rage-on.de 



by dalia di giacomo


Today's indoor headliner Rage crown the first chapter of the Metal Dayz 2006.  In almost 2 hours of concert Rage gives all with  proficiency of songs, nice entertainment and virtuoso solos performed by drummer Mike Terrana and eclectic guitarist Victor Smolski. Songs from latest CD "Speak of the Dead" (which entered the German national chart at position N° 58) open the concerts and are mixed then with  tracks from the previous productions or other songs of the same new album. The result makes of this concert a kind of Best of...offered with much generosity from the band. Highly acclaimed, there is no doubt that the crowd appreciates this band as one of the most influential among Heavy Metal/Power German acts. Rage (as well as Blaze) is not my music but each time i saw them live, i enjoy them nonetheless cause some songs are class. And i remember that  Unity was for me one of the best albums ever during far 2002.  Tonight : best Rage possible. Cannot say anything about the recent success in St. Petersburg, where the show was filmed for  the upcoming dvd, but i suppose that the gig of tonight is much of a gig of the heart for this group.  Veteran Peter "Peavy" Wagner is another of those leaders that gets everything under control and knows how to administer  not only his voice but also the general talent of the band. The best moments of the show  are brought by  some highlights as Speak of the dead, No fear (the 2 songs which open the gig), Down , Soul Survivor, Straight to Hell, the Drum solo,  Baby i'm your Nightmare, Suite Lingua Mortis with the balladesque and melodic No regrets,  the Guitar Solo, War of Worlds, Human Metal, Don't fear the Winter, Full Moon, Higher than the Sky . Soul Survivor  is moreover a kind of exclusive gift offered to the Metal Dayz 2006, from the moment that it  was not played during the last tour "Speak of the Dead".  The 2 usual instrumental solos, obviously, are not missed: a long drumming solo where Terrana masters all kind of rhythm from tight till tribal, with different speed and powerful double bass. He is an  absolute stick-juggler too, able to stop a stick in air in the middle of  a rotation or of a launch as if he would stop time. A drum-machine or a drum savage? both!! and always spectacular. The guitar solo seems to create an interaction between sound in itself and the produced sound-waves. Everything  in  a guitar repertoire is available from Smolki's hands: from heavy distortions to melodies and all virtuosos inbetween. Higher than the Sky is the final "firework" of the encore with a great participation and chorus from the crowd, while  Don't feel the Winter precedes the encore and triggers the greetings to the venue and to the organization. Suite Lingua Mortis was played after Baby i'm your Nightmare and is long , articulated in more parts beginning instrumental and epic, with Morituri Te Salutant and developping through the proper passages till the beautiful embedded songs Innocent and No regrets and again instrumental till the last component Beauty . Awesome in its genre. Straight to Hell, delivering a touch of Blues and another of the many guitar  virtuosi, was performed after Soul Survivor which started dynamic and fast providing  then melodic phrases which appear unpredictable. And  Down was played before, another hymn and typical feature of the band. These 2 hours will be remembered as an event of empathy and musical culture even by those who are not fans.


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