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013 (Tilburg - Netherlands)
Paganfest 2010

Well this year we of course had to have another paganfest with some big names from the Folk-metal district. The venue was 013 which can host a lot of metalheads, however this time the venue didnít reached the capacity it can deal with. At the beginning the room was only half filled. However in the end during Finntroll the room was pretty packed and filled.

But letís start with the first act which was a replacement for Equilibrium. Equilibrium had some issues with some bandmembers leaving the band. They found replacements for the leaving bandmembers but those couldnít be flown in fast enough for the concert. So Svartsot was chosen. Iíve seen them once and I noticed this time they had a new vocalist. Now I donít know if it was the venue or the vocalist, but he didnít sound as capable as the previous vocalist. He seemed to have some trouble now and then to keep the harshness going. And as always, this first band couldnít get the room going either.

Up next was Varg. I never heard of them before so I gave their latest record, Blutaar, a listen. Quite good I had to say, some very active and aggressive Folk. With a lyrical theme about Wars and battles, brought in the same way as they probably were fought, Fierce, fast and very aggressive. This vocalist was pretty lively and active causing the crowd to move along a bit more. They kept this up through the entire performance, nicely done if you ask me.

Then came the most surprising and astonishing act of that evening, ĎArkonaí. I have reviewed their latest record ĎGoi, Rode, Goi!í. And I always thought that the harsh vocals were done by a man. Well as soon as Arkona started I witnessed how a short and slim woman gave it her all and blew away the entire crowd with her harsh vocals. Low foul growls came out of her mouth. And it was amazing how lively and active she was on stage. Arkona was truly the band that got the crowd going, the Entire crowd. Well she proved that size doesnít matter, I was truly impressed. The only thing that was a small let down was that they only had a guitarist, bassist, vocalist and drummer. Their latest album is so remarkable because of the many folk instruments on it, but they used none of those live on stage. The vocalist only used a tambourine now and then. But I can understand that itís almost impossible to use all those instruments live on stage. So the other instruments where played from a tape.

Well after that it was dinner time. It was because the next band in line was Dornenreich. I checked out their music on their myspace band before the concert and I wasnít really caught by their music.

When I came back it was almost time for Alestorm. They are known for their Pirate-metal style. Iíve seen them before and I wasnít really liking what I heard that time. But they seem to have quite a lot of fans. I also wondered for a long time why no band has ever used pirates as theme for their music. Their show was decent and solid. However also with this band the sound wasnít perfect. I was now starting to think it was the venue.

But that seemed to be wrong when Eluveitie was up. The sound was perfect through the entire concert. Words could not describe how good Eluveitie was. I came to Paganfest for this band and it was unbelievable. They were really going strong and had the entire crowd in their hand. Each song was as good and beautiful as the one before it. And every instrument that can be heard on their cd was seen on stage. Songs from every record were played, even some slow and sad sounding ones. And one would think that with a room full of Folk-metalers this would be something hard to do, but you couldnít be more wrong. Everyone was touched by these songs. The crowd really gave it her all.

And as final act we had Finntroll. I didnít stayed long during their act since Iíve seen them live many times now. Also the crowd seemed less lively and active during the three songs I watched. I donít know if that changed afterwards but it was awkward for Fintroll. The stage had a dark and grim atmosphere just like the theme on their latest epos, Nifelvind.

In the end I can conclude that this day was perfect for me. Having witnessed Eluveitie finally and with the credit they deserve(seeing the long playtime they had). The venue also had their things settled properly and every act played on time according to the schedule.


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