“Bang Your Head Festival!!! 2006” by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “Bang Your Head Festival!!! 2006”
Label: Locomotive Records
Release Date: 11/6/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3/5

Much to the delight of Metal fans everywhere the 2006 edition DVD of the “Bang your Head” festival in Balingen, Germany is finally here (even if it was only last year since they have been waiting for it). The festival itself is a cornucopia of Heavy Metal greats from the past along with healthy doses of up and coming bands that should be looked into. The festival runs for a couple of days and as one would expect this DVD is but a small sampling of what the attending audience was able to witness and band their own heads to. I’m always of a mixed opinion on these kinds of releases since I would prefer they release either a third and fourth DVD as well or at least do them in two part installments to get the maximum metal effect. I am sure that such prospects are on the pricy side so be that as it may lets review a couple of the acts that are present on this edition. The first DVD includes some cool stuff but right off the bat I would have dropped the Foreigner tracks because their own full length DVD is out now and features these same songs from this same concert. My guess is that they didn’t realize that the Eagle Vision release was coming out. We get Helloween, Communic and Jon Oliva’s Pain, but why only one song from each was featured is beyond me since these bands are all so amazing. We instead get a double shot of Raven and three from Hellfueled and while Hellfueled sounds pretty good I felt Raven has long lost whatever luster they once had and sounded a bit too dated for my liking. They have not been the same since drummer “Wacko” left the fold so many years ago and then changed their image.

DVD1 closes with two stellar performances by In Flames who had still been supporting their dominating release “Come Clarity”. DVD2 continues the mayhem by starting with Powerwolf, a caped and made up group who look rather silly in daylight but must be intense in the darkness of the clubs. Canada’s own Anvil is up next for three numbers and was apparently playing to a very early morning crowd based on some of the commentary from singer/guitarist Lippz. I admit that I enjoyed hearing Robb Reiner slam out the drums once again as the old Anvil stuff helped define the Metal scene so long ago. Y&T delivers a track but with its only being one number you are advised to seek out their own full-length release as well. Triumph’s guitarist/singer Rik Emmett hits us with three numbers of his own but no matter how good the band sounds I am going to be one of those who says how much better that it sounds when Triumph is doing it. Come on Rik it’s time to get some reunion things going on and this display just makes me want it all the more. There are also a cool couple of tunes with Armored Saint and you just got to love that John Bush up in the front. He is always an energetic front man and it shows in every video we see from him. It closes up with a slamming number from Stratovarius. My thoughts were that it would have been nice to see a few more of the bands included and perhaps with everyone being given two songs we could have had more of that take place. Visually this is all about wide angles and close up and there isn’t much in the way of super special effects and stage settings. If you are looking for that you need to keep on from this but if you can deal with it this is a good way to spend a couple of hours. I did have one problem with the sound from time to time as I felt it was uneven at times more than it should have been. Since this is the third or so release of this kind you would hope that inconsistencies are accounted for by now.

I think that if this DVD serves as anything it is best to be viewed as a “reasons to get oneself to the Bang Your Head Festival” and hey if you are someone who can do that kind of thing at the drop of a dime then by all means do and send us a postcard to hang on our refrigerator.

DVD2: “Lucifer In Starlight” – Powerwolf, “Winged Assassins”, “Forged In Fore”, “Metal On Metal” – Anvil, “Chicks On Display” – Victory, “Leaving The Warzone”, “High On Infinity” – Count Raven, “Winterland”, “Into Glory Ride” – Unleashed, “Tribal Dance”, “Seducer” – Armored Saint, “Midnight In Tokyo” – Y&T, “Lay It On The Line”, “Head Case/3 Clouds”, “Magic Power” – Rik Emmett, “Phoenix” – Stratovarius.

Special Features: “Misanthrope” – Abandoned, “Words Of Wisdom” – Beyond Fear, “Mind Over Metal” & Inquisitor” – Raven, “Lawmaker”, “Raven Ride”, Scream” & Headless Cross” – Tony Martin. Backstage Gallery and Concert Gallery.

*** The special features on the release include several tunes from the bands that played in the clubs at the time of the event. I loved getting to see Beyond Fear with Tim “Ripper” Owens as that band can really cook and it was nice to see how Tony Martin (formerly of Black Sabbath) had come along over these years since many of us last saw him. Martin gets four numbers while Ripper only one and when I saw that the features included two more songs by Raven I had wished they had been a little more equitable with the tunes and who was actually included in this section. Bands from the main program should not have been featured on these segments and instead others should have been allowed to shine. The club footage is VERY uneven and the sound bad in the final mix. It’s very muddled and muffled but I think it’s meant to be enjoyed more from a fan perspective than an audiophiles.

Track Listing: DVD1
1. Hellfueled – Born To Rock
2. Hellfueled – Midnight Lady
3. Hellfueled – Rock ‘N Roll
4. Communic – Fooled By The Serpent
5. Leatherwolf – Season Of The Witch
6. Leatherwolf – The Calling
7. Flotsam and Jetsam – Escape From Within
8. Flotsam and Jetsam – Secret Square
9. Vengeance – No Mercy
10. Raven – Live At The Inferno
11. Raven – Rock Until You Drop
12. Jon Oliva’s Pain – Time To Die
13. Death Angel – Devil Incarnate
14. Helloween – Future World
15. Foreigner – Urgent
16. Foreigner – Hot Blooded
17. In Flames – Come Clarity
18. In Flames – My Sweet Shadow

Official Website: www.bang-your-head.de

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