Toulouse Metal Fest, First Edition - 04 June 2010
|Event:||Toulouse Metal Fest|
|Written by:||Darkside Momo, FreakyMarge|
Toulouse Metal Fest - Toulouse - 04/06/2010 by Moocher (38)
"Finally a metal festival, here in Toulouse? You're kidding, right?"
Yes, this was my reaction when I first heard the news. Toulouse, despite seeming quite active here on MS, is far from being a Metal promised land…
But it did happen anyway! And, eight bands on the bill for 32€ sounds like a good deal, right?
The doors opened at 4:30 PM, but at this hour, a Friday afternoon, only about 50 people were here. Thankfully the crowd grew with the passing hours, but sadly not really filling the Phare (that's the name of the venue). I guess we were about 700-800 metalheads, which is not bad actually, but it could have been better for sure.
In the venue were two merch booth, always a welcome addition really.
FreakyMarge: Yes, this was very good news for all metalheads here in Toulouse city! Metal gigs were missing these days and we can only salute the organisation of an entire day and night of heavy music. Too bad for the cancelling of Meshuggah (replaced by Epica and Soulfly), but never mind, it was time to support the initiative.
The caustic me would say 'there's always one'. And there was.
You see, the Phare has a quite deserved reputation of having a not-so-great sound. And it did prove true once again, as you'll see by reading below…
FreakyMarge: Yes, of course this venue isn't known for its best acoustic, but for my part, I found the sound quite decent during some shows. Sure, it's always better to stand a little far from the stage, and to wear earplugs… always wear earplugs kids!!
No, no, the REAL problem for me was the lack of food! It was mentioned that we could find something to eat there, but the few industrial sandwiches got out of stock very, very quickly…and if it's true that you can always find some interesting nutriments in beer, sometimes a real metalhead needs to feed him-herself like a basic human being.
Indeed, the small amount of food was a problem (as leaving the venue meant 'no coming back'…), but well, we somehow survived with beer!
Anyway, bad sound or not, bands we use to see in Toulouse or not, let's enjoy this long evening full of metal. On with the shows!
This band was the opener for Genitorturers on their European tour, and so they were the 'last minute addition' to the bill.
And as such they had the hard task to start the fest, in front of a very thin crowd (4:30 PM, on Friday… lots of metalheads were still at work). And they didn't really convince anyone either, as their music was, well, relatively catchy but pretty generic (they define their sound as Gothenburg 'implemented into a fusion of metal, rock and pop').
Wanna check them out anyway? Here's their myspace!
Brutal death metallers Gorod were next on the bill. I saw them last year in a small club, where their show was a fucking blast, as their technical and aggressive music was magnified by the energy and fun of the musicians onstage. So, I was happy to see them again for sure!
And once again they proved that their own brand of death metal really belongs to the stage! Hell, even my girlfriend liked them, and she's not really into that kind of stuff. Anyway, they were a little more static than usual, and on the whole I enjoyed the show a bit less, but that's also probably because the still small audience was not completely reactive. Also, the fact that the guitars and vocals were pretty low in the mix didn't help either…
But whatever, I'm pretty sure to catch them again at Hellfest, and I recommend everyone to check them!
FreakyMarge: I also saw the Gorod show last year, and kept a really good memory of it. I was really impressed by the true blast that they gave us. And they didn't disappoint me this time, even if I only saw the second part. In my opinion, they should have played later in the night, to have the benefit of a better "communion" with the audience maybe. Their performance was full of power and energy, with some really personal elements. Technical for sure, and both efficient and professional. They paradoxically succeed to provide a singular feeling of warmth to their devastating riffs and rhythms. And believe me, it was a nice experience.
Shame on me… I won't be able to report anything about them, as I missed their half an hour set… Just to meet some friends and discuss a bit.
But it seems the audience was quite satisfied, as they are a band that blasts, and did so just fine.
Their myspace is just this way.
French thrash/death veterans Loudblast are back after a four-years hiatus or so.
And now, with a new line-up (and Stéphane Buriez sporting a new look), they were for sure hungry for the stage again. And after such a long time, we were eager to see them too!
So their set was another furious half-hour, especially when they played such classics like "Subject To Spirit", "No Tears To Share" and of course "Cross The Threshold".
Icing on the cake, the sound was really good, nothing to complain about!
So, it's pretty sure that we'll get a great show at Hellfest, and it'll be finally time for you all non-French people to enjoy their music (as, strangely enough, if they're well-loved in France, they never, ever made it abroad)…
FreakyMarge: It was my first Loudblast show and I have to admit I didn't really know the band before. I was curious to see them before Hellfest, and heard a lot of good things about them. Well, I really had the feeling that they were happy to be there and to share with us what they love to do. The show was quite straight to the point and well executed. They seemed confident, motivated and hungry for more, and so was the audience!
Another great French band, aggressive yet groovy and, don't forget it, very innovative.
Genitorturers are quite, if not completely, unknown here in France.
So, apart from the 'David Vincent's girlfriend plays in it' and 'it's industrial metal' parts, I knew naught about the band. Oh, they're supposed to be about sex, too.
And well, their music reminded me somewhat of Marylin Manson (but better) and Deathstars too… And sure, they had quite a hard time to convince the audience, as their stuff was not bad… but not great either. At least the show was midly entertaining, with some sexual/shock rock fun (just like when a nearly naked man disguised as a demon when to mime a cunnilingus). Good point, the sound was, as far as I remember, not bad at all.
As a side note, Evil D (David Vincent himself) wasn't part of the tour, as he's busy with a little something called 'a new Morbid Angel album'…
FreakyMarge: Well, first of all I must confess that I didn't stay the whole show. I'm not a big fan of Manson, and even less of Deathstars …But I'm pretty sure that I didn't think this was better. The identity of this kind of music is based on industrial effects but even more on its… visual side. And I'm not one of those who are easily seduced by everything that surround the music except the music... Even more when the music isn't so motivating to me. Genitorturers gave to the audience a gently subversive show, which must have ravished the teenage boys and girls who are discovering the joy of hormonal ebullition. Anyway it was kind of funny and interesting, but I think that it's fully appreciated when you don't search further. We cannot complain about the great variety of style during this fest!
It's now time for a radical change of sound and atmosphere! Almost no light, a tenuous sound… And we enter a dreamy, meditative state with "Veil Of Maya". Or well, we should have, if the sound was good. Because theirs was probably the worst show of the fest, soundwise. Seriously, can you imagine Focus with guitars so low in the mix you can barely hear them? Well that's what happened to us, as the first four songs of the songs were the first four of this wondrous album.
Granted, the problem did subside gradually, and at the end of the show (with "Wheels Within Wheels") the sound was great, and Cynic's was really entrancing.
Or, more precisely, entrancing for the fans, less for the others. After all, Cynic's music, with its technicality, jazz flavour and meditative mood, is not the usual fare of most metalheads.
FreakyMarge: Let's welcome the progressive and most profound band of the day! Cynic has this almost magical aura, and they proved us that they deserve their reputation. If you're looking for a strong personality, delivering a subtle music, elaborate and intense, that mixes softness with strength, melancholy with power, Cynic is clearly for you. One could think that this kind of music is better on CD…well, I would say it depends. It depends on your mood, your wants, the sound condition. In my case, I was easily transported elsewhere. Even if the laser lights were wonderful, you can be tempted to close your eyes and just enjoy without thinking too much. It was classy, smart and moving.
What struck me first with this show was the fact that Nick Holmes was feeling quite assured on stage, even more than the last time I saw Paradise Lost live (in 2008). I guess that he is clearly confortable with his frontman role now! And that's really good, as he now adds dynamics to the band's show.
And well, this was a good one! Paradise Lost as usual, so I once again enjoyed it. Especially with the great setlist we had; very varied, and they played "Pity The Sadness" and "Embers Fire"!
Only thing marring this idyllic picture… the sound (you guessed it, right?). This time, it was with the vocals we had a problem. For all the instruments it was great, but Nick was even more buried in the mix than usual.
Whatever, this didn't prevent some moshing to happen on "As I Die".
FreakyMarge: Paradise Lost can be very versatile. It's true with their music, but also with their gigs. I saw them twice before tonight, in and outdoor and I've kept some kind of uneven feelings. The band members appeared static, almost elsewhere, in a show very controlled. This time, I've been more easily captivated by their performance. The set list was excellent, the members were convinced and convincing and they brought a particular atmosphere to the venue, helped by the intense ambience created by Cynic. A very good moment.
Well, this sure is a bit biased now. I never enjoyed Epica's music, and I always managed to avoid them. Not this time.
Well, I can't say it was bad. The musicians were totally into it, the music was well played, Simone sang perfectly well, the only gripe being the guitars once again too low in the mix.
And the audience enjoyed it… but I'm still totally unmoved by their stuff.
FreakyMarge: Sorry about that, but I have to share Momo's feelings concerning Epica. The band is objectively very professional and is getting better from year to year. They evolve and try new things, and everything seems to be perfectly done and mastered. The musicians are good, Simone is a perfect front woman, the music has a good balance between the different aspects of a good symphonic metal band. As long as you already love that.
For my part, I've chosen this moment to call a delivery guy to bring me a pizza. Yes, I did it.
(Now I'm jealous for the pizza).
Well, was tired, so yours truly left after 2 songs and a half.
But these two songs didn't manage to impress me at all. All I noticed was that the sound was louder and better than for any previous band. And, it seems to me that Max does try to go back to his old Sepultura roots, but what I felt is that he quite fails at it; Soulfly does sound better with its tribal drumming and quirky guitar sounds than with this 'old-style' revival.
But maybe the fact I was dead tired influenced my judgement, as many friends enjoyed the show.
FreakyMarge: Thanks to the pizza, I was ready to enjoy the last hours of the day. And I did! Once again, a very particular kind of metal was proposed here. Soulfly often suffers of bad reputation, but if you're not against the very raw kind, with no technical solis or beautiful vocal harmonies, you can possibly be really receptive to the brazilian rage of Mr Cavalera and his friends.
First of all, you must be ready to move. You have to be cool with jumping. And you should be ok with try to reconnect with your wild roots. Back to the primitive, right?
This show was more brutal than the previous times that I've seen them play. Even if you don't like Soulfly, you must admit that they still believe in what they're doing. Their shows should seem mechanical for some people, hypnotic and entrancing for others. But it's clearly full of this kind of anger and faith that can sometimes sorely lacking in others.
Apart of the sound problems, I really had a good, enjoyable evening. A great and varied bill (even if it was maybe on the safe side for the headliners), some friends, not-so-expensive booze (with an 'happy hour' included), all this made of a great event. The perfect appetizer for Hellfest!
Now, let's hope there'll be a second one!
FreakyMarge: Nothing to add, rendez vous next year! (with selling pizzas maybe?)
Yes indeed, pizzas. Or kebab. Any food in addition will be appreciated!
All pictures by Moocher. Thanks a lot mate!
Also, many thanks to Base Prod for the accreditations.
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