“Metalmania 2005” by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “Metal Mania 2005”
Label: Music Video Distributors
Release Date: 6/6/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 7/10

The Metal Mania Festival is one of the most well-known events of its kind to come about in Heavy Metal music history. This 190 minute DVD brings you to the front stage without costing you the plane fare to Poland to see it in person and offers you several performances from 11 of the bands who appeared. While it is only a sampling of them I found that you are able to form some opinions on the bands if you are not entirely up on their background. I feel the inclusion of more than one track apiece allows you to better enjoy and perhaps gain a little added interest in the groups that will prompt you to look deeper into a few of them. There are only two tracks from Amon Amarth and Pain, but these groups have full-length DVD’s of their own which makes this portion of the film a little bit of a prompt to the viewer to seek them out. Amon Amarth is a true band of Metal Vikings who really deliver, while Pain is fronted by Peter Tagtgren of Hypocrisy (who is serving up a Gothic Industrial vibe with this group). The tracks from Napalm Death speed by like you expect from this Hard Core influenced Metal group and Dark Funeral, who get 4 songs really failed to do it for me. Some Black Metal is powerful and interesting but I was truly unimpressed by their performance and delivery on this one. One of the greatest segments ends up as the closer with cello-bearing rockers Apocalyptica who do two of their originals and one Metallica cover. If you never thought cello players could be cool just wait until you see Apocalyptica perform. They truly showcase some of the limitless direction Metal music can take and I hope a full-length performance piece comes out from them soon. The bands are all using the same stage equipment it seems in many cases so there is very little visual dramatics to enjoy besides creative lighting and camera work.

A bonus CD is included for you to enjoy a little more of what happened at the Festival. The 12 bands showcased here performed on the side stage (much like the second stage of Ozzfest). Here is a rundown of the bands on this 52 minute CD: Thunderbolt, Hermh, Hedfirst, Hell-Born, Quo Vadis, Pyorrhoea, Supreme Lord, Mess Age, Abused Majesty, Naumachia, Ded By Dawn, & Valinor. I would have liked to see a little more of a booklet with this release documenting more of the Festival and a complete rundown of the bands who played. This could have served as some worthy bonus features for while they do have some with information on what appears there is not much outside of the realm of the DVD contents. Overall there is enough to enjoy for most Metal fans.

Band Listing DVD:
1. Darzamat
2. Dies Irae
3. ANJ
4. Amon Amarth
5. Dark Funeral
6. The Haunted
7. Pain
8. Arcturus
9. Turbo
10. Napalm Death
11. Apocalyptica

Official Website: www.MetalMania.com

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