Sölvesborg, Sweden, June 10, 2006


Fronted by super-shredder Gus G, the Heavy Rock band Firewind has managed to put out three full-length releases so far in their career. The style is very traditional Hard Rock/Metal -– Gus’ riffs and solos resembles Yngwie, the vocal lines are very much like Halford/Lynn Turner, and the guitar/keyboard duels add to that cool, 80s feel. Instrumentally, the band are up there with the best, and although balancing on a thin line at the edge of being annoying, singer Apollo (ex-Majestic, Time Machine) does well on most parts, but the band basically needs the quality songs to keep up with the big boys. This was evident live also, as it was a bit like watching Rainbow -– just that it was not Rainbow. Some insane Neanderthal of a music journalist once advised Yngwie to listen to Rap and Reggae to broaden his horizons; such idiotic actions will not be advocated here, but the band does have to work on an identity of their own, both in terms of music and stage performance. Gus G rips, though.

Review by Torgeir P. Krokfjord


With last year’s Rocket Ride being their best album in years, German rising stars Edguy are actually one of the bands that really live up to the hype. They have produced several high-quality releases now, and are also a rock-solid act in a live setting. The band, although far from technically brilliant, has evolved into a tight and professional unit, allowing singer Tobias Sammet to indulge in every possible Heavy Metal cliché there is. Combining Dio-inspired moves with Coverdale’s trademark screams, all draped in a thick layer of signature jokes, of course, he sure knows how entertain a crowd -– and Edguy’s crowd was among the very loudest of the weekend.

Edguy Rocket Ride was represented by “Catch of the Century,” “Sacrifice,” “Save Me,” “Fucking with Fire,” “The Asylum,” and “Superheroes,” and especially the latter three came out very well. Some had hoped that the fact that Edguy played at the same time as Sweden faced Trinidad & Tobago in the football World Cup would make the band perform the ultimate party-tune “Trinidad” (if not just to provoke the Swedes), but unfortunately, this never happened.

Instead “Lavatory Love Machine” made for the set’s humoristic track, and along with “Tears of a Mandrake,” “Babylon,” and the title track from Vain Glory Opera was one of the set’s highlights.

An Edguy show will never be an Edguy show without Sammet’s jokes, and this time he even included a bit of self-irony in his introduction of the song “Vain Glory Opera”: “… and the next song is … ”The Final Countdown!” (Edguy has been widely criticised for being too much of a derivative of other bands, and this song is undoubtedly influenced by Europe’s mega-hit.) During the ballad “Save Me,” Sammet asked the crowd both to wave their lighters and cry –- the crowd always has to cry during ballads –- but at the same time the crying had to be loud; “Cry louder, it is a Heavy Metal show goddammit!” At least it was very funny when he said it …

A great performance it was too.

Review by Torgeir P. Krokfjord


The mood was set by the sound of a thunderstorm, and Obituary chose to open with an instrumental piece; a slow and groovy beat that set the standard from the beginning. The first ordinary song was from their new album, Frozen In Time. The guitar sound was excellent with a great crunch. They played songs from their back catalog, including songs from the album Back from the Dead and The End Complete. The highlight of the evening was probably the song “Rotting Ways,” which featured plenty of cool riffs. There was also time for “Back Inside,” off their latest release, which sounded pretty cool. Before they went off stage, they also took the time to play another instrumental, this time clearly inspired by Celtic Frost in a cool way -– dark, groovy, and grim sounding.

It was quite difficult to get the name of the songs because the vocalist growled even when speaking. It was also quite odd that they had 3-5 minutes breaks between the songs. It almost seemed like they were discussing what song to play next. These breaks seemed quite unnecessary. Also, as an encore, Donald Tardy played a drum solo. This was probably the festival’s tenth solo, and cannot be described as anything but a waste of time. Having so many quality songs, it seemed strange to include a drum solo instead of one of those. Unfortunately, there weren’t too many people watching the band, but the fans did enjoy the show, especially when the band ended their set with their “hit” song “Slowly They Rot.”

Review by Carl Engstøm


Cooper’s set for the evening included a lot of hits: “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” “Billion Dollar Babies,” “Feed My Frankenstein,” and “Schools Out” were all played. The show was stripped off a bit when it came to the theatrical bits compared to what fans were used to from Alice Cooper. Yet, his trademark props like his money-decorated sword on “Billion Dollar Babies,” the crutch for “I’m 18,” and so forth were there.

The tunes played from “Welcome To My Nightmare” came out the best, as they are far more emotional -– both on record and live -– than most of the newer material, which tends to lack that little “spark.”

The crowd clearly enjoyed what they saw, and for the diehard fan, is was especially fun to see how Alice’s daughter had followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a dancer in his show. The show’s high point in terms of drama came before the band began “School’s Out,” when Alice got his head chopped off in a guillotine. Thrilling indeed. The night’s final song was the number one hit “Poison,” and for Alice Cooper there’s really no better way to end a show. The crowd absolutely got their money’s worth.

Review by Carl Engstrøm


WhitesnakeDavid Coverdale and his Whitesnake were the Grand Finale at this years Sweden Rock Festival 2006. Headlining the same stage in 2003, this gig brought back more of the vintage Whitesnake-stuff, including visits to “Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues,” “Love Hunter,” “Ready An’ Willing,” “Slow An’ Easy,” and, of course, the ultimate sing-along “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City.”

With Doug Aldrich, Reb Beach, Tommy Aldridge, Timothy Drury, and newcomer Uriah Duffy on stage, Whitesnake cannot really go wrong with a strong line-up like that. The one and only complaint is what has been the problem for many years now, and that’s Mr. Coverdale vocal capabilities.

Two days prior, Ian Gillan stood on the exact same spot and sang wisely — meaning that he didn’t try to pull off something that was his trademark 20 years ago. With Coverdale, it was the exact opposite, and sadly enough, it fell a bit through.

Nevertheless, with quite a few surprises in the setlist, with starter “Burn” and closer “Still Of The Night” — Whitesnake is still worth watching, and the guess is that 20,000 people from the Sweden Rock Festival 2006 would agree on that.

Review by Odd Inge Rand


  • 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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