On 4th of July, 2019 Pula’s favourite three-day metal festival begun. It was a second edition of the GoatHell Metal Fest.
The promoters had really put all of their efforts into making this year’s festival even better than the first one. For a start, on Thursday, the first day of the festival, there was no entry fee, so anyone could have gotten in and enjoyed a mix of eight bands from all around the Europe. The concerts for the first day were held on a smaller stage, just next to the sea. Gigs ended quite soon, not much later than midnight, but considering the fact many of us had to work the next day, maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing!
Then came Friday! Being excited about the gigs, my friend and I came to the festival yard just a few minutes after 16:00. Even though Italians Crisalide were scheduled for 4 p.m. we had to wait for them to start almost and hour and a half later. Since that was a long time to just sit there in the hot sun, we used this time to mingle around the festival space and the camp side, and we also visited the art exhibition, held right next to the main stage, in the ruins of Vallelunga.
The art exhibition contained photographs of the last year edition of GoatHell Metal Fest. Besides photos, we could have seen a horror-like sculptures and figurines made of concrete or steel, and an illustrated horror story of Jure Grando. Even though the exhibition was pretty small, in my personal opinion it was a good idea!
After the long wait, the first band got on stage. There really isn’t anything bad for me to say about the first few bands, but there also isn’t anything that really caught my ear. Unfortunately for them, some of the bands had to play for an empty space. Most of the audience hid themselves in the shades, next to a bar and just listened the music from afar. Considering the heat that was still unbearable by the time the bands started their gigs, I can’t say I blame the audience for not cheering in front of the stage. However, playing for a few people is probably not a nice feeling, so I can’t say I blame the bands for not killing it at the stage, either.
The band that changed the atmosphere for a short time was Even Flow. The reason I’m singling this band out is that this Italian progressive metal band showed-off a lot of energy. I’d got the feeling they were really enjoying their performance. The singer’s clean vocals were also a thing that made them stand out a bit, after the string of growlers.
With every band that followed an atmosphere had been rising. The heat had reduced, there were more and more people gathering in front of the stage, and the bands were getting more excited – especially the ones that were playing just before the great Pestilence. At around 1 a.m. the Dutch death metal machine had finally arrived and the crowd had gotten crazy. It would be completely unnecessary to say they got everybody on their feet, even the ones that seemed too drunk to be standing up. Some of us had the opportunity to see Pestilence live in Zagreb back In March, but that didn’t affect the impression they left on me. Once again, they kicked some a**es and left us all feeling pumped and wanting more.
After the first headliner, the stage was ready for the last two bands sceduled for that day – Italian Kyterion and Czech Innersphere. The two bands hadn’t had an easy task of playing right after the Death metal Gods, but both of the bands had proven to be worthy of sharing the stage with Pestilence.
Saturday. Another extremely hot day started, but we were all too tired, and too drained to make it to the festival at 10:30 a.m., when there was a performance of the Croatian band from Pula called Arrival. Perhaps the band was scheduled a bit too early for the drinking bunch of metalheads.
We got to the festival again at around 4 p.m. This time I was hoping not everything is going to be late again, but it was. The first band, scheduled for 3:40 p.m. got on the stage around 5:15. It was another Italian band called D With Us. Young metalcore quartet was very well prepared and did their gig nicely, but unfortunately the same scenario as the day before repeats itself – the audience in front of the stage contained roughly 5 people.
The second band to get on the stage was Austrian Bad Hammer. The thrash trio had their performance well planned. The communication with the audience was rich and their guitarist/vocalist Hofa gave us an intro to each of their songs. Everything about their show was solid. The singer having a rainbow colored propeller cap was a good idea to stand out visually and made the audience remember them.
The next band that really caught my attention was Feelament. The whole band just stomped the stage exuding confidence. Personally, I’m not a fan of female vocals in metal, so I wasn’t completely focused when I saw the band on stage. But then, this Russian chick, Maria Balyasova opened her mouth and a brutally powerful growl just blew the crowd away! Way to go, Maria!
Thinking about all the concerts this weekend I have to say the Saturday show just kept on getting better. After the Feelament there were 3 more bands to hit the stage before the great Destruction – Archaic, Bloodphemy and Murder Angels. The last one, Murder Angels were also a great delight, worth mentioning! Old school heavy metal Greeks, bursting with energy, showed-off a lot of talent.
During the night there were a few artists who didn’t do their performance on stage. For example, we could have seen the two quite dexterous girls juggling with fire, and a bit later that night, a few guys remaking the scenes of gladiators’ fight.
The small, but fearsome crowd was already gathered in front of the stage when the Saturdays headliners got on it. Destruction begun their show roughly around midnight. Of course, it didn’t take long for the crowd to start moshing. For a person who saw them playing live more times than any other band, I have to say, seeing Destruction live never gets old! It’s simple: they were raw, brutal, energetic, and they passed it on to the audience who obviously had been having a great time.
After the Great German thrashers, two other bands got their time to take the stage. The first one was Slovenian Sky Eye. Another band playing heavy metal, and all I can say is they played a pretty awesome heavy metal! Just after them, a band that had gotten the honor to finish this year’s GoatHell Festival was a band with a long history, well known to a lot of fans in our territory – Evil Blood. What a great way to end a show!
If I were to rate the whole GoatHell Metal Fest, which luckily for me I am, I’d say that this had been a small, but quite rich and well planned festival. A lots of great bands played in those three days, a lot of other following contents were organized, the food was delicious and the beer wasn’t expensive. What more could I have even asked for? I hope this festival is only at it’s modest beginnings and that the next one will get even bigger and it will bring a lot more people to it.