Z7 METAL DAYZ 2006  - third day

06.08.06 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 - first day
Z7 Metal Dayz 2006 - second day




















DARKMOON      www.darkmoon.ch 



Of Bitterness and Hate
Darkmoon in Little Creek Studio
Darkmoon live Deathwish 2005
Darkmoon live Gryphonparty II
Darkmoon live Deathwish 2004
Darkmoon live MetalForces VI
Black Domain

by dalia di giacomo

It takes both Darkmoon and the rain

It takes both the sun and the rain to make a beautiful rainbow, but it takes torrential rain and MelodicDeath/Black Metallers Darkmoon to make a great concert in spite all forecast. Indeed, concerning weather, the third "Metal Day" outdoor begins in the less auspicated way. It rains cats and dogs and Darkmoon, on the outdoor stage, are not  lucky today yet they must be very satisfied about themselves and their devoted fans. It's clear, there cannot be a huge crowd under such a water and it is still morning, nonetheless the concert is followed by many persons who find shelter in the wide restaurant/service tent,  which is soon packed; without speaking of those approximately 80  die hard fans who support the band banging  and singing along with incredible enthusiasm in the pit, braving the shower. On the whole, more or less 400  wet souls are attracted by the mighty and addictive music of this band from Basel ( signed since one year to CCP Records), that always is able to be  enthralling. Jokingly and ironically, frontman Matthias Borer told me yesterday that he  would have being attempting suicide in case of unmerciful sky during the concert!! Obviously, on the contrary, and as professionalism  demands, there is no trace of  discomfort or sadness, Matthias Borer looks self confident and sinister as always. His deep and strong ,agreeably harsh, vocals again launch the quintet  in the battle. In particular, the songs  Dust in my Eyes and Drowning (from the debut album "of Bitterness and Hate")  get an even more threatening nuance. Bitter End is pure resonating fire. Obviously Darkmoon's  very trademark and hymn and philosophy Black Domain (from the EP Black Domain) cannot be missed in the setlist and precisely closes half an hour of  compact, powerful show, mastered with energy against Jupiter Pluvius,  and comforted by the true love of fans who are there for them, knowing all  lyrics and attending in full of pleasure. Darkmoon  show that they are extremely mature and so refined concerning stage acting, while, musically, the twin guitar work is excellent and flawless.  The synchronous force of the strings creates powerful walls of sound ready to change then into fountains of fierce tremolos and melodic phrases. The Alsatian motor (this is to say the drumming of the new French member Laurent Strack) is thunderous and now well confident  and amalgamated with the rest of the band. Darkmoon "in toto" worked out the change from ex long time drummer "Hubi" and Laurent, a change that was  official in January 2006 (see photos - review will follow). Supported for months by the fans, by the band and by "Hubi" too, Laurent is Darkmoon 100% now. The group is ready for the many concerts in sight, scheduled for this next fall and winter, many of them in Germany. May the moon be always dark!! Darkmoon irreplaceable, Darkmoon never disappointing, Darkmoon as priceless as  a rainbow after  the downpour.


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NAIO  SSAION        www.naiossaion.com




Out loud

by dalia di giacomo

Funambulist and joker of the devil

Again indoor to follow a band signed to Napalm Records who has caught the attention of gryphonmetal.ch in the person of Matthew Haumschild who reviewed recently their album "Out loud". Now it's my turn to attend them alive,  to see how they impact and if the promises will be kept. Yes they are. Vocalist Barbara Jedovnicky is no dolly, she is a very energetic singer, a good frontwoman and of course a handsome girl, who gives the impression to remain natural without artificial posing. The music is enthralling, interesting enough spanning from  elements of Pagan Eastern European melodies till the shores of modern metal. Sometimes they let us remind to the hardest Evanescence or to Lullacry and their show is quite original, lively, simultaneously inspired from modernity and from nostalgic moments of the first decades of the past century. Yes of course the electric violin gives the tone and the one who plays it, Rok Kolar conveys the biggest part of the attraction and the attention. Almost like a funambulist, a joker of the devil , Rok Kolar jumps, walks, "stumbles", stops at the very edge of the stage, with incredible ability, almost defying the  force of gravity.... The violin does give problem at the very beginning of the gig, when no sound is heard coming from the strings, but when the problem is solved (as usual here, in a fast and competent way), the voice of the instrument becomes immediately protagonist and tight partner of singer Barbara Jedovnicky. One can see that the band is well used to live shows and such a relentless violinist underlines that sense of general training the band surely has. Is this a band that must be seen, beyond any personal musical taste? Yes. is this band to be attended often? No, in my opinion no. At the long run what seems now original and agreeable could soon turn paradoxically into something boring. But as long as you attend them from time to time, you will appreciate the whole show very much. On the contrary a frequency in the listening of the album is totally advisable. Always beautiful when members of a band come closer to the crowd: at the end of the shows Rok Kolar plays in the photopit, shaking hands then with the fans of the first row(s). 


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by Boris Witta

Not enough power, not enough heaviness

Well, one thing first: I am not the one to call himself fan of Melodic Power Metal, but I seem to remember Mob Rules as one of the bands I like to listen from time to time, so I am ready for the gig in time. Nice intro, bombastic, opulent, the calm before the storm. But no, storm is the wrong word: Vocalist Klaus Dirks seems to explode, a bunch of energy, constant animating the watchers of the concert – some leave because of the coming rain – but the rest of the band shows as good as no activity at all, at least Matthias Mineur (reviewer of the Metal Hammer) offers his ability in posing, but all in all, it’s just not enough. But that would be just one part, the second part is the music, and for me, it’s just too soft, there are two guitars on stage, and all I hear are the much too dominant keyboard-melodies. I don’t say they are bad or anything like that, but there’s not enough power, not enough pressure, not enough heaviness. Of course there are some hooklines and licks which are indeed great, harmonic and touching, but most of the time, it seems that with heavier, fatter guitars, Mob Rules could develop at least 25%. But the fans like it – of course – and spend warm applause, although there isn’t the biggest atmosphere, also because of the lack of people. Conclusion: Someone who likes melodic Power Metal will get what he wants, but those who like it a bit harder will have their problems with Mob Rules.



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UNREST    www.unrest-metal.de  



by dalia di giacomo


Are you Lycans?

The German Heavy/Power band from Bremen around vocalist Sönke Lau has replaced Savage Circus in the billing of the Z7 Metal Dayz . It is a good occasion  to attend  this band in order to realize that Unrest 's ingredients for success are very simple but sufficient to let this group appear different from the usual things in this genre: indeed they present a huge Heavy metal feeling  anyway differently flavoured. The crowd is really involved, frontman Sönke Lau is witty, and arises the sympathy and interest of the fans just with few but proper interaction only slightly colored by a positive irony. I got the impression that these German "wolves" inject some straight-forward and solid attitude typical of metal/hardcore, modulating it on Heavy Metal and on the  old school characteristics too. In this way the stage acting is massive, direct, dry . The band offers a great participation concerning backing vocals, a sector where bassist Andre Neuhaus plays an important role. From forward-looking fast attacks and  pounding mid tempo's  to old school elements and walls of riffs we find everything that can offer musical pleasure in this genre without coupling trite things with  trite image. At least live, Unrest kill with the same determination of a Death metal band, thanks to the great solidity and determination and thanks to their look. It's a kind of classic metal played on stage for the new generations too. Even an excerption from the upcoming album "Back to the Roots" is part of the setlist, if i am not wrong . Very appreciated songs are  Master of Disguise, I hate you and Don't X the Line, coming from different era's of the band. At the end of the show Sönke Lau expresses his greetings to the Swiss audience and to the Z7 team. Sönke also saves us from that usual , prefabricated going away and coming back for an encore. Sönke, ironic on the concept of encore in itself and with a fine self -irony too, tells us something like, we are quite big, you want  an encore surely, ok let's spare leaving the stage and coming back afterwards and let's play another one.  Of course everyone appreciates a lot, is amused and enjoys the sequel. The encore follows immediately, without  useless ceremonies, with the song Watch out, methinks, and an announcement: Unrest will be back at Z7 Switzerland on 30 December this year. Practical effective, "square", Teutonic, pragmatic and able to make a booking practically on the stage as well as able to be melodic too. That's cool: hey are you lycans? 




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by Boris Witta

 I know, the Swiss are always a bit calm, because they are neutral!

Reitermania! Everytime the band from Weimar celebrates a concert, this means chaos, fun, banging, moshing, going wild, shouting along and just have a good time, although the lyrics of the five men very often have a deeper sense. But most important: Go fucking crazy! It seems that everybody on the campus stands now in front of the stage, and well, I have to say that this year’s Metal Dayz won’t have the best number of visitors. Anyway, finally the sun is shining, like one of the Reiter’s song, quite awaited by the fans: “Die Sonne scheint (mir aus dem Arsch)”. The music of this non-describable band is a very original, sometimes obscure mixture between Death, Thrash, True and Black Metal, Grindcore and a dose of Haligali-influences, like played on beer parties. Also the characters on stage couldn’t be more diverse: Frontman and part-time guitarist Fuchs runs and jumps around all the time, always a big smile on his face, can’t stand still for a second, a very congenially entertainer with humorous, but intelligent touch – “Well, I know, the Swiss are always a bit calm, because they are neutral!” – and last but not least –hehe – a brilliant, variable voice, from strong clean to unleashed screaming. Keyboarder Dr. Pest, with a nice Sado-Maso-mask, stands still all the time, just when the blasts appear, he marches to the edge of the stage and twists his whip in the rhythm, and – also a tradition on Reiter-concerts – a fan, who enters the stage, has the honour of being whipped by the doctor. Bassist Volk-Man and six-stringer  Pitrone are the metalheads in the band (Volk-Man also well-known as journalist for the magazines RockHard and Legacy), and together, they are the five riders of the apocalypse. Some classics like “We Will Never Die” and “Erhelle Meine Seele“ rotate with new stuff like the opener “Friede Sei Mit Dir” (great!) and the titletrack of the upcoming album “Riders On The Storm” (no HammerFall-cover!), and to satisfy the childish element in every metalhead, big fat pink rubber balls are kicked from the stage into the audience, and well, you should have seen the faces, and some pink balloons aren’t missing neither. Very atmospheric also the fire-spitting and very bombastic the Tribal-only part, where Fuchs, Pitrone and Volk-Man are punching on a kind of Congas, while Sir G. penetrates his skills. The longer the gig lasts, the better the mood in the crowd gets, and in the end, I would say the Reiters-concert was one of the best at the Metal Dayz 2006. “Wir leben den Wahnsinn deiner Träume, wir sind das, was du nicht wagst, wir sind Heroin, Gott, Teufel, Tag für Tag –Reitermania!“


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The Neonai (review in Italian)

by dalia di giacomo

Lake of disappointment

Return of The "Ravens": appreciation but much disappointment too, here indoor for a group signed to Dockyard1: Lake Of Tears,  who surely wakes up demanding expectations. Maybe too many expectations...

personally, i have always had mixed feelings concerning this Swedish band. From one side, if i think to the discography, this band is able to create moments of unique emotions thanks to delicious superb songs like So fell autumn Rain, Cosmic Weed or Sweetwater or Come Night I reign...or To die is to wake; but , on the other side a certain subtle, insidious, dangerous lack of force has always cast a shadows of weakness, corrupting the beautiful image and judgment in my mind. And here we are: unfortunately, this evening, the lack of energy is evident, predominant. Some of the songs mentioned before have been actually presented but, on the whole,  the setlist seems to me a non optimal one. In spite of the flawless excellent job done by their sound engineer Franky Winkelmann (GurD), the concert never takes off completely. Pity. The music is inspired and deserves a mightier impact. You could make an objection and precisely that this band prefers to let emotions flow instead to express volcanic force. This is an error cause Lake of Tears' music owns those characteristics of  superior quality, which  need to be expressed through power nonetheless. It's the first time i attend them live, so i really cannot make comparisons with other shows, but it's pure disappointment when i see that  bassist Mikael Larsson is f*cking spitting blood and sweat, doing an excellent work, (but let's consider the good behavior of the drums too) while singer Daniel Brennare delivers a poor performance in terms of energy and conviction, although he lets surface often an evil timbre in his voice, although he hides sardonic propulsion.  Regrettably, he remains too cryptic, almost too "aristocratic", without performing action neither ravenous  hunger for souls. Anyway the gig knows positive moments during the start with Return of  Ravens, Cosmic Weed, or , later on, with So fell Autumn Rain and Sweetwater. On the contrary i find that  the highly hypnotic , slow, at times even Pink Floyd-ian The Organ ( from the album Black Brick Road, released 2004) comes out a bit boring. Hold on Tight, The Greymen, Raven Land, The Shadowshires, Boogie Bubble, Forever Autumn don't shine and strike like they should. The crowd thin out.  Fortunately, Crazyman reawakes the mood. As one can notice, Lake of Tears have passed through much of their albums: Headstones, A crimson Cosmos, Forever Autumn,  The Neonai, Black Brick Road, nonetheless a best attention to the sequence of the tracks, also paying care to the typology of show and crowd, would be worthy. Worthy would be energy added to energy, better if combined with live violinist/violoncellist and less samples That way we  could see "into those eyes of fire".


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SHAKRA    www.shakra.ch  



by Desi Güthlin  

After  a playing time of about one hour some are rather glad that Shakra end now

Point 19 o'clock Shakra entered the Open Air stage in front of  the full audience, with good weather and began their gig with "Chains Of Temptation".

While the remaining band starts to release the Opener, singer Mark Fox ran slowly, covered with a headscarf with death's-head pattern on it and for my taste with too much make up on him, with a grin on the face to the middle of the stage.

The next song "Too Good For Me" began with continuous held riff, drums and voice start quietly, however, elegant - more nicely respectable hard rock, like it should be.

Blunier stood quietly and calmly with his lead-guitar during the concert, he only took a few little moves, nevertheless, not further badly.

Songs like " She's My Ecstasy ", "Take Me Now" and "Walk On Water" from the newest album followed with Fox's powerful voice.

Guitarist Thomas Muster lashes out hard in the strings, from time to time he lets his hair whirl and bassist Oli Linder delivered suitably the deep tones to the rest.

Also drummer Roger Tanner knows how to handle with his sticks and he inserts good drum-parts. Over and over again Mark Fox’s varies voice between high and a little deeper vocal positions what provides certain swing together with the instruments .

Older tracks like "Don't Try To Call", " She's micron Pride " or "Why Don't You Call Me" come suitably to the train during the set which well provide for change to the newer ones.

"Now Or Never" and "Trapped" completed the track-list which was generally well put together, nevertheless, a convinced mood did not arise during the complete concert what could have depend on the fact, that the concert in general was a little more weakly played than quite a lot of others of their concerts.

They finished the gig with the earwig "Rising High" where Fox's voice almost consistently swung in the higher tones.

After  a playing time of about one hour some are rather glad that Shakra end now, but a big part of the audience applauded when the quintet left the stage.

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NEVERMORE     www.nevermore.tv  
This Godless Endeavor
Enemies of Reality
Dreaming Neon Black


by Boris Witta


We all live in a yellow submarine

And then finally, the magic moment, the band I have been waiting for three days: Nevermore from Seattle. Creator of the best album 2005, namely “This Godless Endeavor”, masters of progressive Thrash Metal with heart, spirit and soul and a band that needs to be counted to the Top-Five-Metal-bands at the moment. Already before the gig starts, the atmosphere couldn’t be better, everyone seems to remember the legendary headliner-concert from last years, and some fans chant “Yellow Submarine”, while one of the guitarists plays the obverse chords from beyond the stage. Then the intro, long, dramatic, Jeff Loomis enters the stage, Van Williams behind the kit, Jim Sheppard with sunglasses, and on the second six-string, temporary replacement for Steve Smyth, Chris Broderick from Jag Panzer. Warrel Dane marches to the microphone, and with calm voice, he speaks the words “We all live in a yellow submarine… God is dead.” into it. First track, first highlight: The gloomy “Final Product”, and goddamn it, it’s almost as ingenious as on the headliner-gig last year, only the sound is not optimal, the second guitar is most of the time invisible. Anyway, Nevermore make sure why they have grown so much in the last year. Engagement, tightness, motivation, great, honest posing, and a frontman, psychotic, with one of the most independent, touching and own voices in the whole Metal-scene. It doesn’t matter if he screams, growls or sings clear, the charisma is always the same, when he is raving around on stage, banging wild, making his intelligent, with a touch of black humour furnished announcements, Warrel Dane is simply a frontman with spirit, with character. 

“Today we make everything Metal”, raising a beaker of water, “even water is Metal!” “The River Dragon Has Come”, “Narcosynthesis” (both from “Dead Heart, In A Dead World”), the epos “This Godless Endeavor”, of course “Enemies of Reality” – “Some of you are definitely high! How does it come? Are you fleeing? Fleeing from reality?!”, and one of the greatest highlights of the Metal Dayz 2006 is the moment, when Warrel sings the depressive, melancholic intro of “Dead Heart, In A Dead World” all alone, hell what a goose-skin! The crowd gives the maximum, banging all around and of course loud cheering and screaming after each song. To see this five men in action is just impressing. Songs, all of the hard, exacting, with catching, touching parts, thrashy destruction, but feeling and emotions, too. But it just can’t be that a band like Nevermore only has ridiculous sixty minutes to play! Ten minutes, people still are screaming for more. Final song is “the hardest for the end!”, and then it comes, “Born”, the opener of “This Godless Endeavor”, with the most touching, the most emotional, the most griping chorus, the ultimate hymn, well, I don’t find any more superlatives. “Born, we are the same, within the silence, indifference be thy name – torn, we walk alone, we sleep in silent shades – the grandeurs fades, the meaning never known.” Spoken words of wisdom by Warrel Dane. Fantastic concert, but much too short. Next time headliner, please.



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by dalia di giacomo

Wonderful Vollmond and cheap Nur Ihr allein

"Rasend Herz" is the name of the galleon which acts as set scenery and occupies the whole outdoor stage where German In Extremo are expected to give the final outburst of this edition MMVI. The last performance of the festival is sustained by a large crowd and relieved from the recurrent rain. In Extremo, engaged in festivals shows and back from the recent releasing of the live DVD Raue Spree, from the latest album "Mein rasend Herz", without mentioning the participation in the TV show Bundesvision Song Contest animated by Stefan Raab (unbelievable . Is this a way to gratify German metal in Germany?) are awaited here in Pratteln and welcomed: people raise their hands , sing alone and welcome with a very positive reaction the Pagan band firmly rooted in the German Hard Rock/industrial tissue. In Extremo deliver a well routine concert, nothing more spectacular than what In Extremo do in average, but always impressive, where every step and every tune is precisely calculated, with care for every detail, without appearing formal or prefabricated. This band is extremely prepared, experienced and very practiced. The set list is wide and includes many new tracks besides the bands more historical ones. The song Raue See opens the set with optimal impact. Things are easy from the beginning, the audience is in the hands of singer Das Letzte Einhorn. The well known Spielmannfluch (one of the tracks that simply portrait the band) unleashes the following wave of excitement. the lyrics of the refrain are repeated loud spontaneously by a lot of fans, as the words were a kind of symbolic (and ethnic) seal:
Es regnet, es regnet Blut
Es regnet den Spielmannsfluch 

Choirs support the instrumental passages, and i suppose that In Extremo can have no doubts that Spielmannfluch belongs to the cultural baggage of each metalhead present. Horizont is the third track, again bagpipes cover the role of lead guitars. Das letzte Einhorn seems a master out of time and age. Medieval, Renaissance and Piratesque symbols meet Ancient Egyptian heritage and adorn the band. Before Krumma Visur i get  the surprise to be noticed by the singer who wonders who strange kind of being i can be with a notebook in my hands and invites the whole audience to applaud me. Cannot believe those applauses are really directed to me and evoked by such  frontman! Nothing escapes Das letzte Einhorn 's control, sign that although he might have seen everything in his career, he  is still well interested in his publicum.
Of course pyro- effects cannot be missed, the song Ave Maria (from album 7), for example, is provided with a beautiful pyro-shower appearing  already during the sound of the first chords. Omnia Sol temperat is followed by Macht und Dummheit and we go from cadenced midtempo to a faster one always supported by catchy melodies and by the enthusiasm of the attenders. From the moment that the crowd is still eager for more songs without feeling any need to leave and go home, as singer "Das letzte Einhorn" checks asking the crowd, In Extremo launch Rasend Herz, eighth song of the evening: we are just in the middle of the way and no tired. The new and almost title track Rasend Herz is perfectly appreciated and offers another of the numerous pyros that scatter the concert.  The "new" In Extremo (mainly i refer to their latest album)  remind often of Rammstein concerning  the structure of the songs. This symmetry is noticeable live too, in spite of all particular medieval/pagan/renaissance instruments used.. In Rasend Herz too a certain similitude with Rammmstein surfaces as one of the typical German ways to compose heavy music. In Extremo 's show is intense and solid, lyrics are rich , the stage acting , although quite usual for this band, captures constant attention. Nonetheless, 
as mentioned before, no one is tired. Wessebronner Gebet can be played with intense feeling followed by Poc Vecem and Liam . The new Liam (released also as single) unleashes the definitive passion among the fans. Wind precedes another (and wonderful) hit of the band: Vollmond. It follows the song Nur Ihr allein (from the latest album) that really reminds me too much of the popular German punky/rock band Die Toten Hosen and this is no compliment, in my opinion. It reminds of Die Toten Hosen so much that you begin to look for Mr. Campino. Although this song is sung loud and enthusiastically by the fans, it is in my opinion such a cheap track that cannot be possible it is presented by the band of Vollmond. Among the songs delivered in the encore, Erdbeermund  fortunately lays on another level . When the band definately leaves the stage, the crowd applaud tight and sincerely: on the whole In Extremo gets another deserved success. And Das letzte Einhorn' s greetings to Switzerland, expressed during the show, still brighten the heart of the Swiss fans. 







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