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And so the party begins! In less than an hour the facility has become a great celebration. The cues to charge our cash less card are infinite, the festival merch sells out in a wink of an eye and if you have forgotten the sunscreen, you will be the looser of the day. Headliners announce it is going to be a great day: Motörhead, Lamb of God, Slipknot, Judas Priest, Sodom, Alice Cooper and Meshuggah are long time expected for many. And not least, the stages get packed to enjoy with Enthroned, Arkona, Satyricon, Shape of Despair, Chilren of Bodom, High on Fire or Mastodon.

We start the day at the Valley stage with the Germans Samsara Blues Experiment. Psychedelic riffs with an indian tanpura base and deep drums charges comprise our breakfast. The band brings long works like Singata Mystic Queen, Into the Black or Shringara, a whole display of bluesy and doom influences with Chris Peter’s elegant and ethereal voice.

We remain in Valley, don’t want to miss the great Truckfighters, which came as the day’s special for many. Drinking from legends like Kyuss, this desert-stoner Swedish band, heavy and saturated, made a top of the notch show with songs like Desert Cruiser, The Chairman or Gweedo-Weedo. They rose up both loyal fans and astonished newies. To get to know more about the Örebro band, watch their documentary “Truckfighters”, made by Joerg Steineck and Christian Maciejewski.

We wanted to see High on Fire burn more than ever, but chose not to miss Motörhead. I’d lie if I say it was a master gig. We saw a tired Lemmy; it is indeed a miracle that this man holds the line after such a life of excess, and we worship him for that. The setlist started with Shoot you in the Back and followed plenty of anthems like Rock It, Ace of Spades, The Chase is Better than the Catch and Over the Top. The eve was owned by Phil Campbell and Mickey Dee. They dressed up the gig with impressive drums and pure rock ´n´ roll guitar solos. Orgasmatron was a highlight, for it was not in their setlist since 2012. Lemmy was barely listened but he fought till the end, and shot us all with his Rickenbaker while the audience cried his name at Overkill. Hats off to this monumental trio, who’s next album Black Magic is about to see the light (Agust 2015), we bet it will taste like Jack Daniels!

Afternoon turned into evening with Lamb of God. Now that problems with the law are finally past, Randy Blythe and the band from Virginia got on top with a brutal setlist and great complicity. Starting with Desolation and Ghost Walking, Adler’s prodigious guitar drove the audience crazy and created a hurricane-spinning circle pit. Blythe was as active as usual, jumping and running around the stage while singing Walk with me in Hell, which he dedicated to Rob Halford. Still Echoes and 512, works of their last album Sturm und Drang (to be released July 24th), had a positive reception. This band definitely has the guts to show why they are more than just a groove metal band, but a musical reference with a respectful career. The band left us with Redneck and Black Label; that was an emotive gig indeed.

The night came in and, what to do? Judas Priest or Meshuggah? That is a flipside in all festivals, when great bands overlap and you have to choose one or Split between both. We approached to Judas Priest for their first 30 minutes, crawling among the crowd. They headed the gig with Dragonaut, from their last work Redeemer of Souls. One can tell Halford’s voice is not the same anymore, but he sorted it with powerful delays and versioning himself with creativity. The band cheered the crowd to sing choruses of great anthems such as Metal Gods, Turbo Lover, Breaking the Law and the great Hell Bent for Leather. One never gets tired to see this awesome band, with such an experience throughout their long career; respect for the “Birmies”, who always enter onstage with enthusiasm.

We run fast to Meshuggah, who made a wild show worth the race. With Rational Gaze, the Umeå guys headed by Jens Kidman left us all open-mouthed with their energy and the complexity of every song they played, almost blowing down the arena. ObZen, Do Not Look Down and The Hurt that Finds you First made everybody jump till breaking necks. Thordendal showed his virtuosity and clean technique at Demiurge or Bleed and, after a short intermission, Meshuggah attacked again with Minds Mirrors and In Death-Is Live. This gig was another highlight of the day, the general feeling of the crowd was a huge smile.
This is the end of day one, and it was just a bit of what will come in the following days.

Writer: Beatriz Yoldi
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