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Festival Report   

PAGAN FEST 2009 IN VILLEURBANNE



Artists : KorpiklaaniUnleashedEx Deo
Place: Lyon (France)
Hall: Transbordeur
Date: 22-09-2009
Audience: around 700 people

The Pagan Fest is a Metal Festival Metal who is known to include bands from pagan, folk, Vikings or unsortable horizons. This fest is on the road and goes through Europe. After Paris the day before, the fest is stopping in Lyon.

The Finns from Korpiklaani, the Germans from Die Apokaliptischen Reiter, the Scots from Alestorm, the Canadians from Ex Deo, the Americans from Swashbuckle and the Swedish from Unleashed are in the place tonight! But we’ve chosen to highlight these three: Ex Deo, Unleashed and Korpiklaani.
Doors opening at 6pm. Here are the first ready to rumble tonight and they’re dressed to kill. Some got their kilts, some their warriors outfits… well we’re in for a really great night.


Ex Deo

When Ex Deo comes up on stage, large Roman-style decorations (including eagles on pikes) decorate the scene. The music performed by the group is a big slow death, based on mid tempo very groovy, Amon Amarth style. If coming close to the stage, the musicians shapes look quite familiar, especially that of the thick singer. When he takes the mic in between two titles, leaving room for our beautiful cousin accent to shine. Doubt is no longer allowed: Ex Deo is the side project of the members from Kataklysm. If their music on album lacks a bit in terms of diversity, while played live it is a real pleasure to enjoy half an hour of « Roman » death. The band is square and the sound is just amazing. Maurizio plays perfectly his role of frontman whilst the rest of the band stay more stoic.
The reactions of the public are calm enough, we can still note a few applause in between songs. Yet Ex Deo is a great live band!


THE show of the evening

What more to say about this religious band ? Death is the ultimate pagan: groove, brutality, solos and texts on Norse mythology. Unleashed seem to be the reason for the coming of a lot of ancient ones tonight. Even if the fun and energetic music of Korpiklani and Alestorm has caused some excitement, it has been a long time since the pit has been that intense and lively! Sometimes a bit too much … But nothing beats some mushes to get into the warlike atmosphere of this concert!
The sound is clear and powerful, thus you can immerse yourself in the band’s music, which alternates mid tempo times with huge riffs and double pedal with moments of violent and embellished blast beats.
Fredrik Folkare (lead guitar) is not the most recognized guitarist in the death scene, not the most technical either, but certainly the most accurate. Every solo he draws stick perfectly to the mood of the song. Hedlun Johnny (vocals / bass) regularly screams at the crowd for its support and the friendly redheaded giant does not have to unleash a lot of efforts to get the audience to lend allegiance …


Johnny Hedlun (Unleashed)

The setlist flucutates wisely in between new and old gold nuggets, their latest album, Hammer Battalion, being well represented s it was supposed to be. Let’s note the really intense moments that were « Midwvnterblot », « The Longships Are Coming » and the terrible end « Death Metal Victory ». It is really amazing that Unleashed has never experienced the success of Entombed or the success of Amon Amarth, and I just wonder especially after one hell of a show like this one, quality and all.

Undeniably THE show of the evening, although many had come for the fun of the accordions and the metal drink.
To be watched again and again!

Setlist:

Winterland
This Is Our World Now
Midvinterblot
The Greatest of All Lie
Never Ending Hate
The Long Ships Are Coming
Your Children Will Burn
We Must Join With Him
The Final Silence
Into Glory Ride
Hammer Battalion
Unleashed
This Day Belongs To Me
Death Metal Victory


Let’s Dance !

Here is the time for Korpiklaani. They start with their new hit, « Vodka », a change of alcohol on their part, but that sets the spirit of the evening.
The band seems a bit off, and let’s say tired. Only Jonne is in great shape, all smiles and energy. This title just sets the room on fire, everyone screaming for more alcohol. The energy is overflowing here and all the mean guys run to the pit for some mush (love the mush when the guys are wearing kilts) or any other kind of dance (let’s highlight the bourrée kind of dance performed by some).


Their songs are so “happy” that all their fans chant with them, screaming their lungs off. Not at any moment did the frenzy slacken. And when the time comes for another alcoholic title, the room just goes wild. Let’s say that we got some divers, some moshers, some wanna-be singers, some head-bangers…well it didn’t leave no one unscathed…
Special note again to Jonne: he’s nice, funny, easy going, shares great emotion with his audience, even shared his beers! (not a mean feat for a drinker!)

The ambiance was there, the preps were there (Jonne even had a mic made out of reindeer bone), Korpiklaani was there and they delivered an efficient set that proved everybody right to have come here tonight (at least even if most of them were not that peppy, they gave us a straightforward show).
All in all, great concert as much for the band as for the ambiance.

Thanks guys for the good spirit!




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