Review by OFFICER NICE


METAL TO INFINITY


Last year the first edition of the Ages Of Metal festival was a blast! The organization, from which Bart Calis is the driving force, is totally into Eighties Metal and who are we to complain. Last year was sold out, this year this little Festival was sold out again. It’s clear that there still are a lot of True Metal fanatics in Belgium but if we’re honest the scène needs more youngsters to really be re-activated.  

Anyway I adore this festival because of its location and because of its public. This venue is a youth house and it’s a big advantage there are a lot of parking spots, a good pub to relax and enough possibilities to eat in the neighborhood. Another positive points is that, next to the merchandise, also sellers of CD’s found their way to this festival. Hopefully there will be a real Metal Market next year. Anyway the question is of this festival can stay in this youth house because the organization had to disappoint too much people and therefore needs a bigger place… for a bigger festival. There are opportunities and I can only hope this festival will grew. The biggest advantage is the fact that this organization isn’t after any form of profit; it’s Metal that counts and besides Alcatraz concerts I don’t really know that much organizations who are keeping the flame of true Metal so burning in our country! 

At first SAVAGE GRACE was announced but the band had to cancel their appearance. To me there were scheduled too early anyway but it’s a pity they didn’t show up. US Metal is the only kind of music this festival still misses and I know there is a big fan in the organization but this costs money…  I’m hopeful for the future anyway. GAE BOLGA, a Belgian Thrash band, was their replacer and I just missed their gig. I saw them the week before in front of James Rivera’s Sabbat Judas Sabbat concert and back then they were pretty good. This band is growing and I believe in them. True fact is that Gae Bolga signed a well deserved contract with France based Emanes Metal Records and their first full length effort will be released very soon. We at MTI definitely will write down our thoughts on GB's output when the time is right!   

 

The leading Thrash Metal band in Belgium is nowadays AFTER ALL. Okay, I hear some people say the reunited Channel Zero is but for a part I don’t count them into the true Metal scène anymore. Since Sammy Peleman joined After All they become an amazing interesting band!  Sammy is in fact a Heavy Metal singer but he and only he lifts the band up to a higher level. With friends we discussed the fact if After All shouldn’t even change their band name and to start all over again because they sound new but I can understand if they shouldn’t. Nowadays After All is ready to compete with plenty of bands in the Thrash Metal scène. The good musicians are there, the front man is one with so much more possibilities! He’s probably the best Metal singer Belgium ever contained and we should be proud! The fact he stays so cool and so ‘Metal’ is only fantastic and what I expect him to do! The show was good and I can’t wait the band to record a new album.   

 

Next in row was ADAM BOMB and I will be short on this one; this wasn’t my thing! Nor the music nor the vocals were able to please me although this man is experienced enough to write music that would blow us away. He was in TKO before and did you know he worked with Geoff Tate (Queensryche) as well?    

 

KISSIN' DYNAMITE gave mixed feelings to many spectators. I am quite sure when  everybody must have closed their eyes they would have adored this gig. Now there were several negative responses because of the fact these musicians were looking so gay and this public isn’t really in for it. Okay, Glam Metal musicians have never looked convincing male but these guys were incredible. In a rough scène as our Metal movement it isn’t always accepted and the battle between Thrashers and Posers isn’t finished for the oldies amongst us. To me it doesn’t matter that much because the music count and I am sure if everybody is fair they should have heard this band played fantastic songs, performed first class sounding Heavy Metal and were awesome on stage. These guys were convincing for me and I really enjoyed their show.     

 

JAGUAR is a NWOBHM band every Eighties fanatic should know. They appeared on the Metal Batlle album with “Run For Your Life” and that’s wee I’ve learned about the band. They released two good albums in the eighties but disappeared for so many years.  They came back in 2000 with the “Wake Me” album and ever since they gave some shows all over Europe. As far as I know only Garry Peppard  is still an original member, I mean who was there from the 

beginning. I’ve witnessed a good show although I saw better gigs before. The best NWOBHM band is till Satan and I am still hoping Brian Ross will come next year to this festival, with Satan or Blitzkrieg.   

 

It’s rather strange but the very first concert I have ever been to was Ostrogoth with Picture in the ‘ATC’ in a place called Zottegem. I was thirteen and I also remember that legendary Metal pub over there, The Smash. Meanwhile Picture disappeared also to reunite again a few years ago. I saw them at KIT and HOA before and I know the band still sounds good. Their last album “Old Dogs…” was a decent comeback album but “Diamond Dreamer” and especially “Eternal Dark” are still their best efforts. PICTURE played old and new songs and was ultra professional as always!   

 

Headliner OSTROGOTH! Who could imagine the band would reunite again? I know Oliver from the KIT organization have asked so many years for the band to reunite and appear on the festival but it took seven years to agree. So, Ostrogoth will appear on the next bill of this  festival and it was something to look forward to. It was because what I have seen tonight I am not looking forward to that show anymore! This was painful, this was awful and this wasn’t a deserved headliner of this fantastic festival! Marc De Brauwer, who was a first class singer in the Eighties, lost his voice and isn’t able to sing the oldies anymore. “Full Moon’s Eyes’, “Paris By Night”, “Too Hot”… they all sounded very bad! I don’t know why Peter De Wint wasn’t asked to rejoin the band because I know he still has his voice. Sorry Marc, these are hard words but they’re true! The band itself still plays still good and these oldies have a young guitarist from Ostend amongst them. This guy was good, so was the band but the vocals… made me run away. I couldn’t face this anymore and it was also for me painful to witness this.  

This was another remarkable edition of the Ages Of Metal festival but for the second time the headliner was disappointing. Nevertheless this is one of the best and most pleasant festivals in Belgium. The place, the crowd, the organization and most of the bands… all are good to have a memorable day. I will be back next year, be sure!

Special thanks to photographer in charge named RIK BAUTERS - check out more about Rik's pics at: http://www.myspace.com/rik.bauters  

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