“Metal Mania 2007” by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “Metal Mania 2007”
Label: Music Video Distributors
Release Date: 5/13/2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

The 2007 edition of the Metal Mania Festival from Poland is finally here and I say that with a slight tongue in cheek as we are only three months into 2008 when it actually arrived at my desk to be explored. Metal Mind Productions is definitely to be commended for their ability and interest in getting their releases out fast for the Metal community to take advantage of them as opposed to waiting forever to issue something. If the filming and production is done and you can capture that fan interest then get it out before something else finds their attention wandering. Released in the states by those fine folks at MVD Entertainment or Music Video Distributors to many, this DVD brings you three and a half hours of video from the famous festival and after you watch it there are many who will begin booking flights so they can catch the event when it next occurs in the coming year. For the 2007 concert event there were as always a lot of cool Metal acts to enjoy and where the MMP folks best succeed is in their placement of a wide assortment of the genres instead of just giving you Black Metal or Death Metal. This edition begins with the romping and rousing Folk Metal of Korpiklaani, formerly of Napalm Records and now signed to Nuclear Blast Records. The three selections from the band prove very well that Metal covers all types of ground and when done skillfully enough will generally work out and give the audience something magical. I love these guys and really hope they get to the states for some touring sooner rather than later. Their back catalog is a lot of fun and should be investigated. My guess is by the time you are reading this review that their new album “Korven Kunigas” will have been released worldwide.

Sadly only one track from the Symphonic Black Metal band Crystal Abyss is presented and they really seemed to show some potential that fans of groups like Dimmu Borgir would lock into in an instant. Two tracks from Darzamat come up next and while I love this band a lot as well I was not bothered by their limited presentation. This was because the two numbers featured are from their own full-length DVD “Live Profanity”. In my humble opinion, Darzamat is one of the most important bands to come out of Poland since Behemoth and if Gothic Black Metal intrigues you somewhat you should look into getting this full DVD. Zyklon comes up next for three tracks and the Emperor fans know this band very well as it features both Trym and Samoth from the legendary Black Metal group. Having never seem them live I enjoyed their mixture of traditional Black Metal and the Industrial overtones that they introduce to it. Three cuts from Vital Remains come up and this is heavy duty stuff but like the Darzamat clips are also from the bands full length DVD. Metal Mind Productions has been releasing the full sets of the bands that appear on the festival from over the years and while the stage décor is limited, it is still a great way to have a full set of live material from the industries most powerful talent. Three tracks apiece come by the way of Entombed and Destruction and these are two bands that I would enjoy seeing full length features from, and most specifically Destruction since this is a band that still does justice to the original Thrash Movement of the eighties with their sound. It might bother some when they read that I felt we didn’t need to include the Blaze Bayley tracks or the Sepultura ones. Blaze I was only a very slight casual fan of when he had his Wolfsbane thing going and I did not like him as a member of Iron Maiden at all. I realize he has a fan base and took the job when asked but it didn’t fit to me despite my trying to get into it. Sepultura I never really followed, and outside of a couple of the main tunes never really had the desire to pursue as a band of choice. They do deliver on the stage but now with Iggor Cavalera gone from the lineup have many questioning the relevance of their continuing to use the name. Clearly they have survived as a group and have a strong fan base but I think the larger Metal community would prefer they changed the name at this point.

There is only one song from the UK Gothic Metal band Paradise Lost, and it really seems out of place amidst all the Thrash that book ended it. The tune is slow and dramatic and comes off to me as a mere chance to breath befor the film sets you up for its climatic end – five songs from the Bay Area Thrashers themselves Testament. This was the perfect way to end the film and it’s quite appropriate as Testament has been touring consistently over the last couple of years with largely original members and is even set to release their newest studio album on Nuclear Blast Records. Testament is a Metal fans Metal band. There is no bullshit about them, and the always leave you begging for more during a live show. They show you that like a fine wine they have improved to perfection with the passing of the years and that against the younger bands of today show that they have still got it, and are to be complimented for all that had been done for the genre. Chuck Billy sounds great and I have long been a fan of what Alex Skolnick does on the guitar. The five tunes they do are a wide gamut from across their catalog and will send you looking for their newest album or to catch a live show if you know what’ good for you. Having seen the last few of these DVD’s I had to say that this was a really good one and a release that made me wish it was two full DVD’s as opposed to one. The audio is nice to have as a bonus but the video is really what people are looking more into nowadays so that should be taken advantage of as much as possible. This is a recommendation for all Metal fans who honor the sounds of the Old School presented on it and perhaps those with a little bit of wander lust will set out to the year’s festival and be one of the faces in the crowd on the next release. Check out the full length DVD’s as well should some of the bands who have them appeal to you and as I stressed earlier, one to watch out for is Darzamat. Trust me on them.

The CD: Carnal, Horrorscope, TYR, Witchking, Sphere, Deivos, Benediction, Forever Will Burn, Root, Ciryam, WU-HAE are the bands who performed on the so called side stage which as mentioned in a similar review of the year’s before festival is best likened to that of the Second Stage at Ozzfest or the smaller stage at shows like Sounds Of The Underground and The Warped Tour. Their inclusion of this makes for a solid way to enjoy ever more Metal and there are some standout groups delivering their wares on this one. Highlights for me was finding TYR, Deivos and Benediction among the bands who participated. I think it would have been great to see video from TYR but alas this was not to be the case.

Track Listing DVD:
1. “Tuli Kokko” – Korpiklaani
2. “Pellonpekko” – Korpiklaani
3. “Wooden Pints” – Korpiklaani
4. “Darkness Awaits” – Crystal Abyss
5. “Labyrinth Of Anxiety” – Darzamat
6. “The Burning Times” – Darzamat
7. “Underdog” – Zyklon
8. “Wretched” – Zyklon
9. “Psychlon Aeon” – Zyklon
10. “Intro: Let The Killing Begin” – Vital Remains
11. “Dechristianize” – Vital Remains
12. “Infidel” – Vital Remains
13. “When In Sodom” – Entombed
14. “Carnage” – Entombed
15. “Revel In Flesh” – Entombed
16. “Nailed To The Cross” – Destruction
17. “Total Disaster” – Destruction
18. “Bestial Invasion” – Destruction
19. “Alive” – Blaze Bayley
20. “Kill & Destroy” – Blaze Bayley
21. “Sign Of The Cross” – Blaze Bayley
22. “Convicted In Life” – Sepultura
23. “False” – Sepultura
24. “Dead Embryonic Cells” – Sepultura
25. “Just Say Words” – Paradise Lost
26. “The Preacher” – Testament
27. “The New Order” – Testament
28. “The Haunting” – Testament
29. “Electric Crown” – Testament
30. “D.N.R.” – Testament

Official Website: http://www.metalmind.pl/metalmania/index.php

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