The first edition of the melodic metal festival “Made of Metal” took place between 15th and 17th of August 2014. In three days the festival which is mainly focused on symphonic metal, folk metal and power metal gathered around 50 bands from 15 countries.
The festival location was next to the Morava river outside of the city of Hodonin (East part of Czech Republic, quite far from Prague but very close to the Slovak and Austrian border). The space used was previously a military training ground so enough space to host a decent sized festival. During the 3 days around 4 000 people gathered to celebrate metal music and atmosphere. Perfect and not too crowded. The tickets were sold for 1200 CZK for all festival days and for 700 CZK for one festival day. Discounted tickets could be purchased in advance and/or for disabled persons. At the entrance there was a small problem with the scanners and visitors had to wait in a que to have their tickets scanned but all that was sorted out and everybody forgot their distress.
The festival had its own camping ground which was fenced, had showers, toilets and deposit places for the guests. The visitors who purchased the festival tickets in advance enjoyed free camping. The rest of the visitors had to pay a fee of 200 CZK for all festival time. A great plus was the shop from the camp area where you could find bread and pastry, water, toilet papers and all what you can imagine finding in a small supermarket. There was also a special bus line running almost hourly (by “coincidence” named 666) who connected the train station from Hodonin to the festival grounds.
Another option were also available as accommodation in the hotels and pensions from Hodonin. The parking for visitors not camping on the festival grounds was nicely arranged and spacious enough. The only back draw here (not to be blamed on the organizers) was the exaggerate police attitude. Last festival day, after the last band all traffic was stuck as the police blocked the exit from the parking and were checking each and every car before allowing them to leave. Would be curious if such police movements are happening around discos and other similar places. There were two stages situated in in reasonable distance one from another without any sound interference. The sound was though generally problematic. Sometimes you could say the second stage had a better sound than the main one due to the echo between the metal buildings on the main stage. Not sure if the location for the main stage is that great and a move should be considered. The breaks between bands playing on same stage were too long but that is not necessary a complaint as you had time to grab some beverages or food.
The beer offer was awesome. There was a wide variety of small brewery beer type for decent prices (30-35 CZK for one beer). So many nice beers to choose from. Hard choice and funny names (as the devil, the mayor). The food offer was though not that great (regular festival offer as sausages, langos, burgers and pizza, donuts, croissants). Would have been nice to find a bit more variated food, also something suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
The metal market was nice and had quite a large selection of goods from music to clothing and souvenirs. Covered tents and indoor places to sit in case of rain and cold during night represented a great advantage. On Sunday somewhere midday most of the stalls for food were already closed and packed so if you stayed to watch the last bands you had very low choice of food and drink. Nights were also quite chill so was brilliant when few stands started to sell hot wine (even if boiled in a kettle).
The toilets (toi-toi) proved to be enough to comply with the festival capacity and they were regularly cleaned. For the more fancy visitors there were also regular indoor toilets available for a small fee. Though we heard a few complaints the security proved to be nice and polite.
Friday 15.08.2014: Porta Inferi, Dalriada, Edenbridge, Suidakra, Atrocity, Wisdom, Alestorm, Rhapsody, Sirenia, Passion Of Hate, Dragony, Desire For Sorrow, Cast Of Mind, Cruadalach, Root, Brainscan.
Suidakra delivered a nice solid show but with sound problems. The legend metalheads from Atrocity with the charismatic singer Alex Krull provided a nice professional show. The sound was not the greatest but the band took care to overcome such aspects and delighted the audience. Almost at the end of the show the singer invited two girls from the audience on stage and kept them there to dance. Though we heard very nice words about Wisdom and they were very spontaneous, sophisticated and took care to deliver no mistakes we still found them as a younger version of Manowar. Their show was very energetic and well delivered but the singer should take care more about his voice rather than about his look. A few singing lessons won’t harm anyone. The cheerful Scottish pirates Alestorm definitely had the biggest crowd for all evening. Was a very nice show with a lot of crowd involvement (there were lots of eye patches, pirate costumes, plastic swords, pirate flags). The band was almost all time drinking various kinds of spirits (beer/rum/whisky) to ease their mood and make sure they deliver a fun unforgettable experience. Their songs were about stealing beer, whisky, wine, squids from space. Between the songs to make the audience go mental was “we drink your beer and steal your wine”. A lot of jokes and good mood: “bye-bye photographers, we love you, why do you have to always leave after 3 songs, I never understood that”. Close to the end of the show the singer said the thing he loves the most in this world except beer and women is Luca Turilli. Rhapsody, the headliners for the day had a very professional appearance, a very well elaborated show with nice lights and effects (there was a girl with led lights wings in the dark). The female singer had a very nice voice. The show started earlier and finished much later (more than 30 mins). The dazzling audio visual projections were closer to the end joined by a nice drum solo. Sirenia did not manage to perform a too accurate show mainly due to the sound difficulties they faced. Cruadalach were a nice musical surprise and talent, all was ok except the vocal (too “punk” appearance considering the style of music). Root had a very nice throne on the stage and their performance was more like a black metal stand-up comedy with a lot of jokes (about pedophiles, Nazism).
Saturday 16.08.2014: Eagleheart, Krampus, Pathfinder, Oden Ogan, Crucified Barbara, Stream Of Passion, Leaves Eyes, Haggard, Dream Evil, Morthys, Enrage, Headfire, Odraeldir, Arch Of Hell, Tezaura, Titanium, Lunatic Gods, Welicoruss.
The power metal Eagleheart started to play and soon after a strong rain followed. Most people went to hide so there was not much audience remaining to watch them. Krampus offered an interesting mix of folk with metal. Oden Ogan sounded quite ok (considering the general sound problems), maybe even better than on the album. The band had a unique show outfit- they were wearing tire parts on the shoulders. Enthusiast youngsters from Enrage served a portion of metalcore. They had a very alive singer and generally an ok performance. Crucified Barbara delighted the male part of the audience and maybe also the female part if you like classy rock’n’roll stuff mixed with small traces of metal played by entirely a girls band. Tezaura had a show with soap bubbles, tutu dressed singer and stripper poles. If the intention was to manage to move the attention out from music they clearly succeeded. Titanium offered a high speed with melodic solos and keyboards show though they had just a few people watching. Leaves Eyes: an excellent trained female voice over the years that proves all experience behind. Energetic and sharing a good mood amongst the audience who seemed glad and enjoyed the show. The symphonic band Haggard were the headliners for the day. About twelve members on stage, generally good sound. Their main characteristic proved once more to be successful: classic rock instruments combined with epic orchestration and metal, female opera voice and songs like “Awakening the centuries” which anyone close kept watching. Very professional show without doubt. The Russians from Welicoruss had a perfect show and performance, they had a very good start for the band.
Sunday 17.08.2015: Silent Stream of Godless Elegy, Ancient Bards, Gormathon, Heidevolk, Dark Moor, Amaranthe, Ensiferum, Therion, Eponine, Latex Jesus, Rimortis, Neutral, Misty Ways, Desdemona, Dead Label, Far’n’Hate.
Silent Stream of Godless Elegy gave a show full of energy with a nice mix of female voice and growling. Swedish melodic Gormathon delighted with an excellent performance. Their singer looking like a fairytale dwarf (or Odin or some character from Lord of the Rings as some said). One of the long awaited bands by the crowd was Ensiferum and they did offer a good show, they had a lot of interaction with the crowd which responded positively sometimes singing so loud that even the band was covered. The Czech band Misty Ways offered a lighter show from musical point of view. Soft melodic gothic rock/metal with electronic elements. Rimortis gave us all a portion of speed metal and the Irish Dead Label took care to wake up everybody with a metalcore show with death metal elements and a female drummer full of energy. The Dutch Heidevolk were very well received by the audience and delighted with their non-typical pagan/folk mixture. There have been quite a few band members’ lineup changes but this was definitely not a show stopper. A very enthusiastic and well-structured show. The audience can clearly confirm it. The modern metal Swedish from Amaranthe also had a pretty nice crowd. Their show was good but not many words come by in memory. Dark Moor did not have the best sound, they faced tech problems at the start but they did take care to deliver a solid show proving their professionalism. And the biggest star of the evening many have been waiting for: the pioneers of symphonic metal Therion who recently celebrated 25 years of activity in the metal world. Seems like the lead Therion Christopher Johnson seems to receive lower and lower results due to his musical ambition and perfectionism accompanied by the often band members change. Even though they played songs covering their known musical repertoire it somehow gave the impression of a Therion karaoke. Also the sound was not great and at some points the younger female singer sounder louder than anyone else in the band. Overall not a bad show but definitely not the Therion that used to be. Fatigue gets even over the biggest stars.
Made of Metal 2014 (MOM) was a nice festival with a few aspects that should never change: relaxed and peaceful atmosphere as the top mention. There is of course place for improvement but we cannot be too harsh on the first edition which in the end was successfully organized. Cannot wait for next year and the second edition of MOM :-)
The full gallery is available here.