Sölvesborg, Sweden, June 8, 2006


After the intro from Unreal Estate, Entombed opened their set (as usual you’d probably say) with “Chief, Rebel, Angel”, and it was hard to fight the goose bumps growing rapidly to the sound of this fantastic song. The band, complemented by session drummer Olle Dahlstedt after long time member Peter Stjärnvind’s rumoured departure from the band, didn’t waste much time before jumping into “Serpent Speech.” The sound had been a bit muddy at first, but this was soon fixed, and the band sounded loud, firm, and full. The band delivered a high energy set, highlighted by “Rebel In Flesh,” “To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth,” “Left Hand Path,” an awesome version of “Night of the Vampire,” as well as the brand new single from the upcoming Serpent Saints album: “When in Sodom.” This track sounded as groovy and powerful as anything the band has come up with so far, and every fan of the band should definitely look forward to the upcoming album.

Performance-wise, Entombed has acquired so much experience by now that there’s really no big worry that something should go wrong, and with a man as energetic as LG Petrov upfront, it’s always entertaining to watch this band. Taking into consideration their long and quite successful career, it’s also inspiring to watch how humble Petrov is, expressing his heartfelt greetings to the crowd like a star struck sixteen year old having played their first pub gig after showing a fake ID at the door.

Alex Hellid also shows that the band works well with just the one guitar player, although his unaccompanied solo was rather unnecessary. Drummer Dahlstedt has to adjust the pace up a notch during the faster songs, as they lacked a bit in tempo at times, but except for this, there’s not much to complain about. A great way indeed to open the festival –- yes, Entombed played at noon -– setting the standard for the bands to come!

Review by Torgeir P. Krokfjord


Cathedral had gathered a great deal of the audience, considering the fact that they both played very early and also at the same time as Entombed. The audience seemed to prefer to open the day calmly, but luckily the diehard front row guys (and girls?) showed some headbanging respect during the whole show. The guitar was completely lost when they began playing “Fireball Demon,” but the problems were soon resolved and the audience didn’t seem to mind at all. “Autumn Twilight” followed, along with a funky bass solo. Their next song was “Corpsecycle” from their newest album, and that one really turned the audience on, and it took off more than any of their other songs.

All in all, Cathedral performed great during this gig, and the only flaw was a human amount of vocal pitch error.

Review by Ove Eeg


Quite a large crowd had teamed up to see and hear the German Metal legend Doro, the first act to play on the biggest stage. Unfortunately, what could have been an enjoyable gig soon turned out to be an orgy in bad sound –- both the guitars and drums sounded all mushy, and together with the fact that Doro’s vocals were also far below par, this set wasn’t at all what it could have been. Not even songs like “I Rule the Ruins” and “You’re My Family” could diminish the impression that this was one of the weekend’s weaker performances, culminating with a horrendous version of the Priest classic “Breaking the Law.” Embarrassing.

Review by Torgeir P. Krokfjord


The Rockklassiker tent (sponsored by the Swedish Hard Rock radio show Rockklassiker) has become a great spot to learn more about the rising stars in Metal, and Italy’s Extrema was among the young and aspiring bands featured on this stage this year. Approximately 200-250 people had decided to watch the band play, and although their music probably was unknown to most, they sure delivered the goods with a very energetic performance. Bassist Mattia Bigi got to show that he possesses some wicked chops, and vocalist Gianluca Perotti stood forth as a skilled and enjoyable entertainer. The band’s music seems to draw influences from Metallica and Sepultura, as well as Death or even Watchtower, and for the open-minded Metalhead, this band is definitely something to check out. Their combination of good looks and exotic dance steps have lately melted the hearts of numerous female Norwegian amateur journalists too, so the band’s future should be well-secured.

Review by Torgeir P. Krokfjord


First of all – due to poor sound quality on the “Zeppelin Stage,” all the bands that played there lacked punch. That alone put a damper on all the bands that played there. Despite this, Lord Belial delivered a good show. The crowd was rather small, this probably due to it being quite early in the day, and Lord Belial being among the festival’s most extreme acts with their Black/Death Metal approach. Still, those present got to see and hear a good mixture of new and old songs. The band had a little difficulty getting the audience going. They made the best out of the situation, and delivered the goods. The song “Satan Divine” was the peak of the set with it’s snaring vocals and good drive in the guitar riffs. It would be great to see this band live again on a stage with optimal sound.

Review by Carl Engstrøm


“Faster, Harder, Scooter!” is a slogan from the German euro-tranc artist Scooter. Exchange the word “Scooter” with “Louder,” and you’ll get one for Dragonforce’s performance at the Sweden Rock Festival. You could with no problem hear them over the whole festival area, and that’s a “bit” annoying. Except for that, it was a great gig, especially if you like Gamma Ray in double time. The band is as energic as their music, running and bouncing around the stage, and they sure do their best to create a good show.

“Through the Fire and Flames” and “Soldiers of the Wastelands” came out as the highlights of the show, along with a very entertaining solo spot with a guitar/keyboard duel playing old-fashioned videogame tunes … fast and loud, as always. They closed their gig with “Valley of the Damned” –- a definite crowd pleaser. A very good performance, which would have been even better if they’d had the balls to turn down the volume just a bit.

Review by Ove Eeg


This band made their comeback in Sweden on this day, and have not been there since 1977. Disappointingly, the band lacked enthusiasm. It seemed like they played on auto pilot. During the songs, there wasn’t a lot of contact from the stage to the fans. They played some of their old hits and there was also time for songs from their newest album, which is true to their old material.

They gave the audience the songs they’d come for, but unfortunately, not much more. Journey’s lack of eagerness clearly affected the atmosphere of the show. It was a shame seeing them give the crowd so little after all these years.

Review by Carl Engstøm


Nevermore, who in the shape of This Godless Endeavour produced what by far was the strongest album of 2005, is not an overly frequent visitor to Scandinavia, and it was obvious that the crowd was ready to finally experience the band live … and what a performance they were about to witness!

“The Final Product” and “Engines of Hate” opened the ball, and it soon became evident that the absence of guitarist Steve Smythe (who had gotten ill) was almost unnoticeable, as Jeff Loomis played like very few can do after him. Alongside Loomis, and always at the center of attention, stood Warrel Dane, who dressed in his trademark wool hat and a very cool Immortal T-shirt. His wicked, twisted appearance is truly unique in the ocean of semi-heroic and jubilantly posing Metal frontmen, and combined with the festival’s best vocal performance, he owned the stage until the very end. “I, Voyager,” “Never Purify,” and a downright phenomenal version of “The River Dragon Has Come” was next -– only let down by some minor sound issues during the latter.

In contrast to other rising stars also to play the festival (read: Kamelot and Arch Enemy), Nevermore was also aware of their past, pulling off both “This Sacrament” and “Seven Tongues of God” off Politics in Ecstacy. At Dane’s request, the mosh pit in the first rows almost reached Bay Area standards during “Seven Tongues …,” and it was almost possible to notice a slight grin on the singer’s lips. Maybe that was what his girlfriend noticed too, as she waved him over for a quick kiss during an instrumental part, making Dane wiggle his butt in return. Cute.

The vocal highlight of the gig came in the unaccompanied intro to the title track from Dead Heart in a Dead World, and when this fantastic composition was succeeded by “Enemies of Reality” and a magnificent version of “The Heart Collector,” there was not one dry eye in the darkness, which slowly surrounded the stage. “Narcosynthesis,” “This Godless Endeavour,” “Inside Four Walls,” and, of course, “Born” completed the set, and the weekend’s best gig was over almost before the festival had begun. Together with drummer Van Williams –- who, although he chickened out on the fastest double bass parts, did a great job keeping it all together, and rock steady bassist Jim Sheppard – dressed in a very appropriate yellow and blue “Sweden” shirt, Dane and Loomis ruled beyond belief; and in case you hadn’t realised this already – Nevermore is the very best band on the entire freakin’ planet at the moment. Period.

Review by Torgeir P. Krokfjord


The legendary quintet that is Deep Purple, a band that arguable has produced some of Hard Rock’s most classic songs ever, has played the Sweden Rock Festival several times through the years, and judging by the size of the crowd, they were most welcome this year as well. There had been some negative comments among the band’s followers about singer Ian Gillan’s voice lately, but judging from this performance, he definitely still has “it,” and he sure sang the ass off fellow oldie David Coverdale. The man’s gentle and polite appearance also has to be mentioned, judging by the way this true British gentleman talks, it’s almost impossible to think that this man is among Rock’s biggest names, having sold millions and millions of albums.

The band opened with a great version of “Pictures of Home,” and their set featured lots of snacks, both old and new -– “Highway Star,” “Strange Kind of Woman,” “Space Truckin’,” “Hush,” and “Fireball” were played as well as “Perfect Strangers” and “Rapture of the Deep.” Still, what topped them all was “When A Blind Man Cries” –- this incredible beauty of a song was played in the most heartfelt way, and left the 15000+ spectators in the uttermost awe.

The band’s newest members, guitarist Steve Morse and veteran keyboardist Don Airey, both had unaccompanied solo spots –- the latter’s being a very entertaining mix of Beethoven, Rick Wakeman, and John Williams -– and both sounded very good. To once again compare with Coverdale’s performance two days later, Morse definitely is in a different league than both Reb Beach and especially Doug Aldritch, and although it may not look/sound that flashy to the untrained eye/ear, his alternate picking technique is truly unique. Deep Purple clearly showed they still re a band to watch.

Review by Torgeir P. Krokfjord


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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