Muskelrock Day 1 @ Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE)

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WYTCH HAZEL / SATAN / ANTICHRIST / ROCK GODDESS / FLIGHT / VARDIS / TAIWAZ / TYSONDOG / LECHEROUS GAZE / ZEX / AGGRIVATOR / SEVEN SISTERS

Date: 03rd June, 2016
Venue: Tyrolen, Blädinge
Ticket: 899SEK 3-day Ticket (€89/$99)
Promoter: Muskelrock
Photos: Erika Wallberg


It’s always hard to plan the vacations to fit all the summer festivals. Of course, it's questionable if beginning of June can be considered summer in Sweden, since there’s been years at ‘Muskelrock’ when it’s been heavily raining with temperatures barely above 0oC during the night-hours. The planning kind of failed this year but instead the weather was very nice.

Upon arriving and checking into Tyrolen just before TYSONDOG were about to kick-off their set what people were talking about was the band ZEX, which, based on the description would be something in class with ROCKBITCH. How did they sound? No one really mentioned that, it was the show that was mentioned. Anyway, I first saw TYSONDOG on ‘Malta Doom Festival’, perhaps an odd booking for a Doom Metal festival but no matter what, they sounded really good at that time so it was with great anticipation I was looking forward to this show.

And as in Malta, TYSONDOG took over the stage and delivered a high energy set full of NWOBHM classics. The downside with the stages like ‘Muskelrock’ is that, and especially for the big outdoor stage where TYSONDOG played, the intimacy got lost a bit. This was the main difference between the two gigs. No matter how intense the band plays or how cool the performance is, if you have the band is right in front of your face or a few meters up with a photo-pit in between, are two different experiences. And from this perspective I enjoyed the Malta show more, but from a musical perspective both shows were equally good. I’m fascinated every time this happens; it seems like all these classic NWOBHM bands have come in to a second breathing or something, all seem to be on fire. So much that new bands in their 20’s have trouble keeping up and TYSONDOG is no exception from this. They did a fantastic gig and it sure was a fantastic start of the Festival, even if it started later than I was expecting.

TYSONDOG

Tysondog @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Tysondog @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Tysondog @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Tysondog @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Tysondog @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Tysondog @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Tysondog @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Tysondog @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Tysondog @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Tysondog @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Tysondog @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Tysondog @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Tysondog @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Tysondog @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Tysondog @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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Moving on to the indoors stage with all the cheerful paintings of traditional Folk-Park fun and the extremely colorful sunset as the stage backdrop, TAIWAZ felt a little misplaced. I mean, we are talking about really fateful and evil type of old school Doom Metal. Imagine Tom G Warrior wearing a Hawaii shirt, it hurts doesn’t it? Just as “right” felt the background for TAIWAZ.

My first encounter with the band was at ‘Doom Over Scania’ festival a few months prior to this one. I willingly admit I didn’t get it completely what TAIWAZ was all about that time. I liked most of what they were doing but there was something missing. No expectations at all this time but an idea what to expect was what’s needed. And I think TAIWAZ’ performance surpassed the one at ‘Doom Over Scania’, a little bit more intense and more direct with better connection with the crowd. And what true metalhead can really dislike CELTIC FROST roughness in heavy Doom Metal music? So I’m really glad I managed to see TAIWAZ at ‘Muskelrock’ too, the show was a turn-on and boosted the already enhanced party-mood.

TAIWAZ setlist:

01. “Intro”
02. “Play With The Devil”
03. “The Escape”
04. “Dark Season”
05. “Dance On You Grave”
06. “Fire Of Hell”
07. “The Northman”
08. “I Am All”
09. “Evil Church”

TAIWAZ

Taiwaz @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taiwaz @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taiwaz @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taiwaz @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taiwaz @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Taiwaz @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taiwaz @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taiwaz @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taiwaz @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taiwaz @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Taiwaz @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taiwaz @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taiwaz @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taiwaz @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Taiwaz @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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VARDIS came into my life when they were announced to play at ‘Keep It True’ a few years back. For some reason, I never picked up the albums back when they actually were available in the stores. But I really have tried to listen to the records now in recent days but it’s definitely too much standard Blues and too little Heavy Metal for my taste. I must admit though, their most recent release “Red Eye” is a smoking hot record, full of energy and groovy tunes. Still, too much Blues to really get me hooked. But when VARDIS hit the stage it’s something completely different. Some (too many) beers inside and a high spirit and this really works, mainly because the musicianship of the band. The way Steve Zodiac treats his guitar, his tone and attack are fantastic and when standing out on the lawn, forgetting about the mosquitos biting me, I can’t for my life understand why I don’t like VARDIS on record; but it is what it is. The addition of Joe Clancy on drums and Martin Connolly on bass works really well. Especially Martin seems like he’s been doing this for all his life, which of course is the case just not with VARDIS. His bass playing style suites the style of music perfectly and he fills in very good during the solos. So all I can say that VARDIS blew me away one more time and I still don’t understand how it all sticks together.

VARDIS

Vardis @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Vardis @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Vardis @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Vardis @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Vardis @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Vardis @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Vardis @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Vardis @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Vardis @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Vardis @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Vardis @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Vardis @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Vardis @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Vardis @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Vardis @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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It was perhaps a mistake but prior to the festival, I decided I wasn’t going to chase around to make sure to see all bands and write about them all. I wish I would have put in the effort though to go and see FLIGHT since it sounded really good when catching a glimpse of them walking by the stage area. So, instead of FLIGHT, it was ROCK GODDESS that was the next focus for me. They’ve really kicked serious ass the times I’ve seen them and Jody Turner sure is one hell of a guitar player. It’s wonderful to see how effortless she handles all the guitar as well as vocal duties and still hassle with the crowd.

I really like the “Hell Hath No Fury” album and I never get tired of hearing these songs live. So with that, “God Be With You” and especially “You’ve Got Fire” were a real pleasure to hear live, as they always are. But what I enjoyed even more is that the ROCK GODDESS set held a whole bunch of new tracks which shows a very bright future for the band. These songs are right in style with the classics without sounding retro or forced in any way. They feel like they belong in the set and I really hope they’ll get a new record out soon. Just listen to “Drive Me Away”, it sounds bloody fantastic.

I should perhaps have stayed off the strongest beer on the planet though, they kind of messed it up. And no, it was chili in them, not alcohol strong, so it of course messed with my head too but mainly my stomach. But nothing a few Bullens Pilsner Sausages could fix, right? (Not really, no...)

ROCK GODDESS setlist:

01. “Satisfied Then Crucified”
02. “God Be With You”
03. “Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right”
04. “You've Got Fire”
05. “To Be Betrayed”
06. “Make My Night”
07. “My Angel”
08. “Drive Me Away”
09. “This is the Day”
10. “Back Τo You”
11. “Heavy Metal Rock 'n' Roll”
12. “Love Ιs a Bitch”
13. “Heartache”

ROCK GODDESS

Rock Goddess @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Rock Goddess @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Rock Goddess @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Rock Goddess @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Rock Goddess @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Rock Goddess @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Rock Goddess @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Rock Goddess @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Rock Goddess @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Rock Goddess @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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That the number of beers was a bit too high showed after ROCK GODDESS. I just stayed by the stage and talked for a few minutes after the show and then SATAN kicked off their set. Obviously, ANTICHRIST played for more than a few minutes. Regardless I completely missed it but luckily I was right in position since SATAN started playing. I hold Brian Ross as one of my absolute favorite vocalists, his voice is very special and he always delivers and looking cool while doing it too. What more could you ask for? A good back-up band perhaps? And that is just what he has. The intensity and drive in SATAN’s music these days are awesome. The recent records have been fantastic but when these songs are played live they rise to another level. Steve Ramsey and Russ Tippins’ sync and power is rare in the Heavy Metal genre but without the rest of the band it wouldn’t have been this good. It doesn’t get much better than “Trial By Fire” and “Blades Of Steel” if you ask me. The dumb thing is that these songs have started the SATAN sets the last couple of times I’ve seen them and I’ve always been in the photo-pit for them. “The Devil's Infantry” was the third one out and one of my favorites from “Atom By Atom”, so again, a little frustrating to not be out in the crowd. Don’t get me wrong, I love the photo sessions, but sometimes, when the music gets so good, it becomes a little frustrating from time to time. But ok, I got “Ruination” and “The Fall Of Persephone” from the right spot in the crowd at least.

Just as the other times I’ve seen SATAN play, they gave a fantastic performance this very nice summer evening. Yes, still nice and cozy outside, even though the clock struck midnight during the SATAN set, not very common for ‘Muskelrock’. So, it sure was a fantastic ending of an intense first day. WYTCH HAZEL was still on the bill but the day ended with SATAN for me.

SATAN setlist:

01. Intro - “Into The Fire”
02. “Trial By Fire”
03. “Blades Of Steel”
04. “The Devil's Infantry”
05. “Twenty Twenty Five”
06. “Break Free”
07. “Ruination”
08. “Siege Mentality”
09. “The Fall of Persephone”
10. “Testimony”
11. “Oppression”
12. “Time To Die”

SATAN

Satan @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Satan @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Satan @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Satan @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Satan @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Satan @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Satan @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Satan @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Satan @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Satan @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Satan @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Satan @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Satan @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Satan @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Satan @ Muskelrock, Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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Damien Thorne @ Keep It True XVII @  Lauda-Königshofen (GER) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)