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Bang Your Head!!! Festival - 2006

Company: Locomotive Records
Release: 2007
Genre: Mixed
Reviewer: Vinaya

  • A fairly strong and diverse roster of acts



  • I always get jealous reading about or watching footage of these fantabulous European metal festivals, with Sweden Rock and Wacken Open Air drawing particular ire for their overwhelming displays of awesomeness. Whatís captured on this double DVD set is not quite the grating level of greatness often attained by those two festivals (the first time I saw a magazine ad for Sweden Rock, my eyes nearly popped out of my head as I surveyed the ridiculously bountiful bill), but itís still an impressive gathering of greats and cult sensations. And for old-school metal and hard rock fans such as myself living in the United States, this begs the question: Why the hell canít we get half of these bands to play on our shores, let alone all in one place?

    Anyway, Bang Your Head!!! Festival 2006 features a fairly strong and diverse roster of acts, ranging from Canadian thrash pioneers Anvil to decidedly non-thrash hit-makers Foreigner, with a smattering of other respected veteran acts thrown in amongst a bunch of interesting lesser-known combos of varying quality. The video and sound quality throughout are adequate, if often underwhelming, particularly with regard to the mix, which sounds a tad muddy to my ears in some places.

    Visually, the presentation is more than competent, albeit with some questionable judgments made by those who put it together, in my opinion. I mean, nothing against Hellfueled, for example, but I fail to see why they are allotted three songs in the main set (while Raven and Tony Martin each get a total of four!), even as quality acts such as Stratovarius and Death Angel are relegated to one each. Also, the non-musical bonus footage is interesting visually, but for those of us not fluent in German, some subtitles would have been nice.

    Most of the performances are good, but not great, although some of these bands--i.e., Armored Saint and Vengeance--are a treat to see, simply because of the dearth of pro-shot live material available from them. The grease-painted and somewhat idiotically-named Powerwolf are just plain strange, Triumphís Rick Emmett is on form, if a bit out of place; and In Flames are a crushing disappointment, all watered-down and overly choreographed, lacking the authenticity and charisma I had hoped to see in such a respected band.

    Overall, this video extravaganza is a nice little souvenir for those who were there, and yet another compelling reason for those of us in the Western Hemisphere to make that pilgrimage to Bang Your Head!!! or one of those other enviable European festivals. Question: Why does just about every band featured here appear to be performing in broad daylight?



    About this Writer:
    Vinaya Saksena // Vinaya is either a writer who dabbles in guitar playing, or a guitar player who dabbles in writing. A Maximum Metal staffer since 2004, he has also served as a reporter for several newspapers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Although his obsession with music is such that it does not allow time for much else by way of hobbies, he also enjoys traveling, trivia, photography, British comedy and the occasional A-Team re-run.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

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    Bang Your Head!!! FestVarious Artists
    2007
    Vinaya Saksena1/13/2009


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