August 12, 2013

Artmania Sibiu 2013 - Concert notes up there with the best of them!

Initially I wanted to do a large scale post about my whole trip to Sibiu this past weekend that would include lots of additional information about surroundings, great food, driving perks and beer. However, given that after a ten day vacation (meaning this festival plus some other days spent loitering, not sleeping much and generally procrastinating) I have an awesome feel that's come upon me, something close to a mother whale giving birth then wishing for a month's worth of rest (which I don't have, of course, that would require a vacation after this actual holiday).

More so, after a quick google search I found that there's not really so many visual or auditory information I could pass on to you about the happenings of these past days, other than some branded pictures and some foggy, poorly shot phone videos. So yes, the big ensemble you're seeing above with the red background is actually a snapshot from last year's festival, because why not! I'm the reviewer here, and if y'all don't like it you can move on and generate traffic on some other music blog! *j/k: Stay and read minions!*

Unfortunately, you'll have to make do with just some quick mental notes I've taken, which will appear as something of this kind:

1. Amaranthe!

Long story short: pop tunes over chugga-chugga metal riffing. And no, I've not gone completely over the edge yet, as wiki states exactly the same thing (although I didn't know it before hand, I'm just that good at music): 

Amaranthe is a Swedish/Danish band that fuses melodic metal with pop melodies. The band's debut album, Amaranthe, charted in Sweden and Finland. The album features a combination of modern metalcore-style breakdowns, harsh screams and heavy guitar riffs with soaring clean vocals and synths reminiscent of modern metal. The musical style of Amaranthe has been described as "a healthy dose of pop fused with a heavily metalcore-inspired melodic death metal sound".

And how does that fair? Well, to tell you the truth, it sounds even worse than it reads, to the point that I can't even give a more proper description without risk of repeating myself to death.

Final Rating: 2/10 would not listen to anymore unless I was piss drunk and I couldn't tell apart songs from monkey screams (which wasn't the case, evidently). 

2. Haggard!

No strangers to Romanian lands, German metalers from Haggard have landed in full force and shook the audience to its core like the worthy musicians they are. While not really being my cup of tea, this being a band I've listened to (very) sporadically in the past, I can't deny the power of their representation and moreso, the excellent communication with the crowd.

Final Rating: 8/10 in the sense that I got bored to the end of the show and a more appropriate description would be left better to the actual fans.

3. Within Temptation!

For me, this band had an evolution close to what happened to Tristania (and this is where the comparisons between the bands end): they started out with an interesting style and slowly but surely diluted it to the point of rendering newer songs impossible to listen to. With this particular show, it felt very much like club music pushed over a generic rock background, every sound I heard being utterly cringe inducing (and the background projections didn't help either). I could only take in about twenty minutes before relocating to a local pub and then calling it a night.

Final Rating: - \infty/10 would not make my children listen to it even if there was an axe hanging over their heads.

4. Xandria!

Opening the second day were the lads (and lady) from Xandria, another German outfit with roots deeply planted into symphonic metal, nice enough to grant us with their presence now in 2013. While being completely aware of them, I've never actually listened to their music, yet a single thought was revolving around my head the whole time they were playing: 'gothic metal for impressionable thirteen year old chicks'. I'll give you points for the effort, guys, but I don't think I've a heard a more boring sounding band in quite a while.

Final Rating: 5/10 the most generic music ever, guitars, drums and vocals included.

5. Orphaned Land!

I may look and act like Jesus Christ, but I swear to you I am not him!
*or something of the sorts*

This was the band I actually came to see, and if some of you remember, I actually reviewed one of their albums (arguably the best) as my first article here on TZEEEAC. Needless to say, however short the collective present this year was, they put on a hell of an appearance, playing some of their best tracks in the light  (pun intended) of being given only fifty minutes of stage time; which, for a progressive death/doom band with oriental folk elements that has five monster releases under its belt, is nothing short of an organizational disaster.

Final Rating: 9/10 am waiting for them to grant my ears again with their blessed music, but on a dedicated stage and maybe a 3+ hours performance.

6. Lacrimosa!

At this point during the show, it started raining. At first gently and appealing, like all summer rains tend to be, then slowly turning into a clusterfuck of a thunderstorm as the night was nearing its end (or start, as each of us preferred it). Normally, I don't mind a little bit (or more) of water, but what I didn't mentioned to you is that for the past three days I was plagued by what possibly could have been the mother of all colds, complete with aching chills, sensations of exploding eyeballs, massive headaches, non-stop sweating and some of the worst sleep sessions one could thing of (I was feeling poorly, to put it into small words). 

So, when the guys at Lacrimosa started, I knew I only needed to do one thing, and that was to MOVE. Continuously! It didn't even matter that I was listening to some of the worst gothic rock this side of Mordor and I cursed at every moment they decided to slow things down, eventually handling about one hour and fifteen minutes of the whole show. I actually could haven taken in some more (yeah, I know, I like to suffer like that), but my companion for the night was freezing cold so we decided to quickly head home, without the comfort of a taxi (as all were taken already, evidently) and with the soothing splashes of walking heels deep in puddles, as the ups and downs of the roads quickly gave way to torrent waves for us to bathe into!

And that's it. Maybe I could have written a full ten more pages to add to this article, but now I just want to crawl into a bed and sleep my brains off, waking up only once per day in order to receive nourishment and other bodily satisfactions from female amazonian warriors!

P.S: I haven't been to many festivals lately (as I largely prefer club venues), but I can't even remember the last time our local sponsor beer, WHICH I WON'T NAME HERE BECAUSE THEY'RE LIKELY TO SUE ME FOR BRAND PROFANITY, tasted so poorly as to I'd rather drink horse piss filtered through a camel's hump than be forced to go through that ordeal again. It was so goddamn awful that I had severe stomach pains during the second day of the festival, after three glasses consumed in the first.

I can only thank whoever I can for extremely long sound checks and cheap prices at a local supermarket. Cheery-oh, brother, and may our paths cross again in the future!

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