Headbanger Ball's Fest was fun, awesome and entertaining. We were there to enjoy a slew of fantastic bands. And of course to give our opinion. This is what we think of HBBF.
The reason we produce this review this late is. It took us a while to produce the movie from our collection of photo's. But of course those require some supporting text. In general we really enjoyed the day. The festival is very well organized and entry is very easy and smooth. I also like the fact that you can grab a pair of earplugs on the entrance, to protect those precious ears. Something i value very very much. You even have a choice between a box containing a bunch and a glass bowl. at the front side of the building, just outside the festival you can fill your stomach with a variety food and liquids. Inside, a barber can finetrim that ruffed up beard. And the local cd merchant offers his latest wares in cd and LP form.
So the first to climb the stage and kick off the fesitvities is Immanent Distance. A West-flanders based group rocking it out since 2009. They perform a solid mix of medolic metal and progrock.
At the Front followed swiftly after them. As the organisation of HBBF manages to clean up the previous band's equipment and stage the next band in under half an hour. Which is very fast. ATF brings more traditional Trash metal from Belgian soil. But they do so with fire and energy behind it. It is hard to stand still on furious riffs and energetic drums. Definatly a surprise early on the day.
Fields of Troy leans more to the rock side of metal but still provides a punchy sound and good grooves. However they fell a bit short to really convince. nevertheless they put on a good show and played on a professional level.
Thurisaz are again Belgians in what is almost a fully Belgian lineup. They describe themselves as Atmospheric Avant Garde Metal. which is a whole mouth full. On paper this seems a weird bunch of people. But rest asured, they rock on stage. Personally i would describe them as a mix of armospheric black and a tiny strain of doom. The sound carries you to bleak visions, melanchoulous riffs and hair raising drums. Which turn quite rattling and murderous at times. Top notch performance! This is one to remember.
Then on to the bigger boys. Cowboys & Aliens are no stranger to anyone being in the Belgium Metalscene for the last 20 years. You can put these gentlemen in the area of a good mix of stoner and heavy rock. As usual they bring high quality metal music straight from the fertile lands of Bruges. They never disappoint and never fail. The performance is always tight, professional and engaging. I really enjoyed them. And the crowd who has turned up in big numbers agreed with me.
Freedom Call are the first Non-Belgian's this day. Hailing from Germany they are known to provide top notch power metal as only Germans can do. And they managed to really jolt the crowd awake for the first time. Chris Bay really knows how to energize the crowd and it is not long before many hands raise up. And aparantly some people are really furious fans. When occasionally looking back at the crowd while photographing, i saw a couple of people really screaming their lungs out. I knew the night was complete.
Dyscordia is turning up the heat a few notches again with their furious progressive metal. Hailing from Kortrijk they are nearly playing a home match in Izegem. And it was apparrant the majority of the people attending came for this sixtet. Their own fanclub the Dyscordia Army Fanbase has turned up in huge numbers. You just know a big metalparty is set to happen. And so it happened as well. Delivering a very energetic powerfull show, it energized the crowds bigtime. Some crowdsurfing happened and lots of headbanging and moshing. All the ingredients of a successfull metal evening. Hands down one of the best performances of today.
Amaranthe will draw an end for this night. But not without some massive partying. There is no passing anymore of the crowds. The place is absolutely packed. People as far as France and Spain are present. It is hard to top Dyscordia but still Amaranthe did it easily. Call it partymetal or Eurosong meta if you wish. The poppy sound with clean vocals and occasional grunts combined with strong riffs is a success. No matter how you look at it. And on top of it we have the beautifull aparition of Elize Ryd. What was truly impressive was the swift exchange of clean female vocals and the raw grunting power of Henrik and the clean male vocals of temp fallin Nils Moline.
And if you want to know how the bands look onstage, then watch on.