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THE FIRST DAY: 01 August 2003



photos by: ©Stefan Vogelaar      

review by  dalia di giacomo

The public use of these photos   

is strictly prohibited without written permission



Today is August 1st, a particular day for Switzerland from the moment that is the Swiss Independence Day. Flags everywhere in urban centres and factories: a lot of parties, traditional fireworks in the evening. The Z7 Metal Dayz Festival opens its doors in this happy national day with the best spirit: guesting many visitors coming from different part of Switzerland and Europe (i hear German , a bit of Italian and much Français around here) under the sign of music that is an international language; and the weather couldn't be better: sunny with some cotton white clouds coming and go, agreeably warm. Simply ideal. 

The act  who opens the dance is the Swiss Zellzius that starts off at 17:OO. and indeed Stefan and me reach the festival area around 17:00 when Zellzius play on the outdoor stage. This festival will shoot metal and rock notes 3 days long : it is an open air with camping area and 2 stages, one outdoor and one indoor, this latest being the one of the venue Z7 whose doors are completely open so that people can easily move from the outside place to the venue and vice versa : the superb cathedral of metal is bound without interruptions with the open air sector becoming an expansion of this sector. the outdoor stage is huge and completely equipped, offering practically the same space tools and plugs of the inside one : it is placed beside the venue directly attached to the wall that looks onto the usual entrance street, which is closed for the occasion, so that the festival takes the whole place in front of the venue . The festival becomes slowly to be crowded : queue for the tickets, backpacks and sleeping bags. many indeed have still to pitch their tents in the camping. You can understand immediately that it is a festival created in order to have a great time drinking eating speaking meeting and listening to music from the fact that there are only few essential stands: one for the official merchandise (shirts and CD's) , 2 stands in the venue of more general stuff but always focused mainly on CD's and shirts . no last minute piercing and tattoo tents, no boots, no display of rings, chains, clothes and knick-knacks : what you have you have, how you are, you are. protagonist: music. At the stand of metalworld we will follow many signing sessions. A medical  first aid placement watches over health , while the huge food tent is there to satisfy sins of gluttony : bratwürstel, potato salade, penne alla bolognese, big steaks and pommes frites, sandwiches and much more, sauces and fresh bread ( it will be possible to get fresh bread even during the evening of the last day, which is a sunday just to say). Obviously you can wash everything with a good beer, mineral water, ice tea, cola, orange juice ohhh prost!! As we have already done during the festivals visited, for the metal Dayz too we have specific targets, concerning both fotos and reviews: we will make a personal selection of the gigs we want to attend , extending photos also to some not reviewed gigs. The Bands playing today are Zellzius, Godiva, Shakra, Belphegor, Destruction, Blaze, Stratovarius. But my targets are exclusively Belphegor and Destruction. We will see more bands tomorrow and sunday, including signing sessions. Again we will try, through our reportage, to give life to this festival so that you can feel like being there together with us. 

Let's enjoy together these 3 dayZ of metal marathon.

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...well, i'm just eating one of those super steaks waiting for Belphegor when the second band gets the outdoor stage. We are speaking with Morgenstern of (by the way hell-o! it was nice to meet you!), but i realize that i hear something that doesn't come new to me and at the same time interesting. I give a look to the timetable: now Godiva should play. I remember them when i saw them in December last year, the voice was rather good and the music enjoyable, but the whole gig of Bätterkinden was immersed in a kind of semi ridiculous stage acting among shaman sceptres, crap dollies, suitcases and i don't remember what else. The frontman Anthony de Angelis is really an extrovert and eccentric guy, to say the least, but a talented one . And now i hear a rather elastic voice, an intense rhythmic session, a more mature and well executed hummering uptempo heavy-power- rock oriented. The crowd is interested . Are they really Godiva? i go near to the stage : yes they are. You can recognize their frontman among thousand : i don't know what kind of extra- vocal performance he had done till now, but i see him more confident, the band good engaged in music. Obviously the shouting Anthony de Angelis is absolutely "sui generis" smeared with a kinda false blood he is waving a Swiss flag, better said a double sided flag: Switzerland on one (red) face, skull and bones on the other (black) one. i don't know how he has entertained the crowd till now, but hey,  i was not minded to see Godiva. If they have attracted my attention exclusively through their music is for me much more important. I must say that, in spite of some errors, Godiva's seem to be far better today than they were last winter at Bätterkinden. Here some pics.
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BELPHEGOR      belphegor
19:33 first great moment for Black metallers and connoisseurs in general. 

The Austrian quartet Belphegor starts ,after the intro, with uptempo drums and speed tremolos . They slow down and speed up with ease and the speed is absolutely brutal though a sense of harmonic loop is not missed. I mean, this Black is all in all enjoyable without losing any infernal charme typical of the genre. It's really the case to say Purity through Fire and Diabolical Possession (both presented) also in the ideal meaning of the word . A quite classic Black with Death influences affecting the rhythm . To an untrained ear the various tracks seem to sound very similar, but fact is tha you never get bored, always attracted by the well executed complex structure and by the mighty growled voice. The instruments play well together: guitars and bass are there to picture a virtual fire line from which massive attacks are launched together with  guitar embroidery. Virtuoso and atmospheric feeling inside violent riffings and hyperblast bass drums. The flowing passages are welcomed and appreciated more and more; splashes of beer reach the monitors (the blessing guys are quickly stopped by a well attentive security), while the predictable headbangings underline the approval of the metalheads. Necrodemon Terrorsathan arouses the enthusiasm of the Black lovers, enthusiasm which will go on when Helmuth announces "Vomit upon the fucking Cross", where Belphegor offer a superb drum powering and a great guitar work. 

"Hallo Leute wie geht's?" 

Obviously very fine and even more when brand new tracks from the upcoming CD Lucifer Incestus are proposed like the impressive Diaboli Virtues in Lumber est, which lets understand that the new album should be very interesting also under the innovative point of view: indeed in these songs i notice a speed Black with an insertion of mid- tempo almost melodic loops enriched with dynamic guitar virtuoso . Anyway moshing and banging go on and on . Impressive was the whole concert: strong, resolute, executed with a lot of ability. No stage show, no particularly entertaining qualities but music shot in a breath-taking way - 

"Danke Leute und viel Spass mit Destruction! - is the goodbye greeting

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DESTRUCTION     destruction
Destruction are one of the much awaited poles of this evening and i personally would say that the attention around Destruction, who will release very soon their new album Metal Discharge, is extremely high: they will play indoor and the venue is slowly but inexorably getting more and more crowded while the stage is prepared with an essential but effective scenery with such a care. One could think that is a preparation around headliners and indeed, under a certain point of view, Destruction are the "moral" high moment of this first day: they will play a very good and long gig under VO Pulver's watchful eye (let's not forget that Destruction recorded at GurD's little creek studio, and in front of so many fans who don't want to be disappointed. Schmier, Mike and Marc are a bit like an example, an icon, a point of reference for many thrashers. . 20:15 soundcheck for drums followed by the check of guitar and bass done by VO Pulver in person. Pyrotechnical effects are ready. 20:39 everything seems ok.
20:43 De- stru-ction- de-stru - ction- " the crowd is anxious, eager and impatient. Finally lights are fading into darkness ,intro, the panels with the picture of the typical angry skull look infernal , reddened by the lights behind , Destruction emerge from this sinister atmosphere and the first heavy grenades of hammering sound begin to fall down on our heads, 2 high fire spits are shot in the central part of the stage edge, almost unexpected though everyone was very conscious that a first pyro would have been activated very soon.

   Destruction play from the very beginning with energy , full charge, aggressiveness and mobility. Nailed to the cross and Mad Butcher set off enthusiasm. Schmier moves from one microphone to the other covering with his action all the stage, alternating his place with Mike. These 2 guys powered by a very good drummer also optically make a nice "pair": Schmier the teutonic giant, the charismatic and mighty frontman, Mike on the contrary is the agility: the long haired German Rock spirit with a bit of French flair imo. Schmier shows a good vocal spectrum while Mike is doing a great relentless work with his guitar, i wonder what Destruction would be  without this guitarist.

 "Hi Metal Dayz!" Schmier is very content to see "jede Menge Thrashers diesen Abend" ,translated: to see lots of thrashers this evening!. I can believe it, many are really in rapture "hey-hey-hey" a chorus is underlining the rhythm of songs. In few words the ice is broken and the first impact has been more than positive
"Believe in fucking metal!" is Destruction's exhortation; words are also spent in order to express how much important the spirit of music is. "United we stand!" and here we go again with full gear and a new pyro. Heavy , raw, aggressive but all in all catchy , Destruction are taking you back to the golden era of Thrash. To tell the truth i personally find that many cadences sound a bit too similar in almost all songs that are presented, but it is out of question that the audience is having a great time. Again new fire spits. Eternal Ban , Life without Sense, Tears of Blood trigger approvals before the second intro. Pyro, Thrash till Death and its metal revolution and its musical Death touch of course - 

Metal revolution - possessed we fight hand in hand
Eternal conviction - only in union we stand

"Danke schön!" - for Destruction it is a success. 

Pity that lights are too dark, a too dark claustrophobic red reigns in average over all other colours. Highlight of the evening is when Schmier announces a song taken from the upcoming Metal Discharge. Which one? The title track: Metal Discharge: virtuoso short guitar solo, heavy grenades, tempo changes, general fast tempo thrash. Among the following tracks we are whipped by Bullets from Hell and Bestial Invasion. A short drum solo is also remarkable. at 21:51 the encore is called: Destruction are energetic as if they should start a concert again, though a certain shadow of tiredness cannot be hidden. The trio offers a couple of songs , in spite of some light problems. Fuck the U.S.A. is the final hymn.

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written  by dalia di giacomo   05.07.2003 




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