Gallery: Metal Over Malta 2017
Photos by Rainer Kerber and Written by Rainer Kerber
Location: Château Buskett (Malta)
Date: March 10th/11th 2017
For the third time was the sunny island in the Mediterranean Sea, located 81 kilometers south of Sicily, the venue for the Metal over Malta Festival. After I was enthusiastic in the previous year, I flew to the island again this year. From the cold and rainy weather in Hamburg into the sunny south. Unfortunately, the island group has recently lost an attraction, the Azure Window, a striking rock group on the beach of the island of Gozo, collapsed on the day of my departure after strong storms. All pictures are available on Flickr.
It has become a good tradition that the organizers of the festival, the Maltese band Weeping Silence, invites on the eve to a pre-party. Well go to the small island called Manoel Island (about 246 km³). Funky Monkey Club was the place to drink beer and listen to good music together with fans from Malta and Europe. Of course, the members of Weeping Silence were there too. As a special treat, I also met Daniel Myhr (keys) and Kelly Sundown Carpenter (vox) from Friday’s Headliner Civil War.
Openers on Friday evening were Animamortua from Malta. According to their Facebook page, the band plays Thrash Metal. In my opinion, however, Power Metal with rather high screams in the style of the early NWOBHM bands is more likely. The Italians of Desecrate name In Flames as a reference – Melodic Gothic Death Metal with partial catchy melodies. Vocally dominated by growls, occasionally Gabry Giorgi also sang with a very good clear voice.
I was enthusiastic about Forsaken. For the past over twenty years, the Maltese present their flawless Epic doom metal in the vein of Black Sabbath in the days of Ronnie James Dio. But unfortunately, the volume of the international breakthrough was denied. Prog / Alternative Metal followed. To my taste Poem from Greece exaggerated the fiddling around a little.
I had already met the singer and the keyboard player of Civil War the night before on the pre-party. Shortly after midnight, the Swedes started their set. Civil War was founded 2012 by three former members of Sabaton. After singer Nils Patrik Johansson left the band surprisingly in December last year, the remaining members started the search for a successor. And that was found with Kelly Sundown Carpenter (inter alia Adagio, Beyond Twilight). The appearance at the festival was thus the baptism of fire for the new frontman. And this was a complete success. Logically, not everything went 100% smooth. Thus, e.g. “Road To Victory” was stopped and the musicians started from the beginning. But this did not make Civil War impressive and they presented an excellent show. A class-completion of the first day.
The Saturday session started three hours earlier, already at 17:00. With Dimlight again a band from Greece was on the stage. After the departure of Sanna Salous in August 2014 Eva Fourlanou is the singer. She could convince me with her clear and powerful voice. Guitarist Peter Miliadis (aka Invoker) contributed deep and brutal growls. This was excellent symphonic metal with some Death Metal elements. Unfortunately, the bass and keyboard parts were recorded as samples.
Loch Vostok come from the Swedish university town Uppsala. The Thrash-enriched mixture of power and progressive metal was definitely worth listening to. And the musicians had fun on stage, of course, was also transmitted to the fans. On the other hand, the Death Metal from Abysmal Torment (Malta) could not really convince me. The permanent growls and the constant “penetrating” of the instruments hardly showed melodies.
Also Saille from Belgium could not meet my music taste. Black Metal, filled with many growls. In addition, a stroboscope thunderstorm, which strained the eyes extremely. Afterwards, another Swedish band was on stage with Preach. Finest Power Metal has been enriched with Thrash elements.
As a last but one band of the evening Weeping Silence came on stage. The band members have already organized this festival for the third time. I was able to experience the band live twice, in 2015 at the Dames of Darkness in Robin 2 and last year’s Metalover Malta. I am always impressed how musicians from this sun-drenched island bring such a dark sound to the stage. Although the band members slept on the night before the performance probably only three hours and certainly also before that a very stressful time have brought, was of tiredness felt nothing. Great! Less nice was that my camera conked out during the concert.
I could experience Orphaned Land from Israel live, as a special guest on the “Beyond The Red Mirror” tour of Blind Guardian in Hamburg’s O2 World, in May 2015. And this weekend they were also headliners at the Metal Over Malta Festival in 2017. The band was founded in 1991. At first the sound was characterized by a mixture of Death and Doom-Metal underlined by oriental folk sounds. The Death-share was reduced over time. Now the musicians present ethno-rock / metal at its finest. So also in the Chateau Buskett. Singer Kobi Farhi stood in a long black coat and as usual barefoot on stage. And the fans before the stage went along. A super graduation for the two-day festival.
For the second time, I spent a varied weekend in Malta, sun, blue sky, sightseeing and naturally many hours of good music from different metal genres. Just like last year, the festival was organized with a lot of heart and passion. A big thanks to the band members of Weeping Silence and all the helpers who made this event a unique experience. Also this year I met many friends and made new friends. I enjoyed the friendliness of the hosts and the family atmosphere at the festival and will come back next year.
For our German speaking fans here is the original German review from Rainer click HERE