Photography & Report by Pavel Kovalančík / Dark Art Conspiracy


Thursday was a much more interesting day for me at the main stages. I am not so into thrash metal. I practically never listen to it at home, but when I am somewhere, I usually enjoy it. And thanks to my friend Marek, who owns many old casettes at home, Exhorder was suggested to me. As I know only some known big names this was totally new to me. Hell, this was great. Superb music, entertaining musicians. Many compare this band to Pantera, many say Pantera has even been influences by Exhorder who have been playing since the 80’s. Many fans are having a beef between each other. No matter what, this is highly recommended even if their last albums are from early 90’s.

Another thrash attack waited for us at main stage with energetic and politically attached Municipal Waste. Big poster of comic book stylized D. Trump blowing his head with a gun behind the band just says it loud and clear. People moshing, fast stuff rumbling, great energy all around.


Directly after Municipal Waste, Czech doom metal band Silent Stream of Godless Elegy was very well received too as they have been known within the scene for some time. Duo of singers, violins, inspiration by some folk music too, pretty special in our scene.

There was also other great sludge music at Metalgate tent in the afternoon including the local Czech band Blues for the Red Sun which I highly suggest you to check out. This band is considered junkie blues, though the frontman is actually a social worker in the centre for drug addicted people and people endangered by drugs and probably finds lots of inspiration for creating stuff there. Again, no funny music, but heavy as hell and deserves more praise in the world. Some hours later, another similar band was at the same tent with very nice though more doomy music. American Pallbearer was presented with more stoner doomy and melodic side compared to Blues before, but it was a great experience with lots of strong moments, too. There was a little surprise hidden in this tent for me as well – Mortiis. When I saw them last time, it was the newer music with dark rock ‘n’ roll soul. I said to myself: “Ok, no need to see it now, pity I have not witnessed him in his ambient era.” I was in the town near the fortress eating something near the car and from nowhere I started to hear quiet ambient music. I was thinking what the hell is that… It was Mortiis, who else. Packed some stuff and made a very brisk walk through the forest to the Josefov fortress to see him. I made it in time and saw the former Emperor member – one person behind a magical looking table. Great music returning you to another time and another place. The projection behind Mortiis also helped to strengthen the feeling.


A bit later that day most of Brutal Assault was in attendance to a mostly soft, ethereal being like from another realm – Myrkur. One of the best shows for me and one of two headliners I wanted to visit Brutal Assault for this year. It was a beautiful experience, the mix of soft energy with some strong moments with shrieks or roars. Mostly, she only used her divine vocal as her instrument but for some songs, her trusty B.C. Rich guitar was used. Many people see Myrkur as some cheap theater, but I disagree completely. Myrkur’s clean calm voice kinda reminds me of musician Aleah from Trees of Eternity who passed a few years ago. There will be a whole gallery dedicated to Myrkur afterwards.KOV_4426.jpg


At the same stage two hours later Slovenian controversal industrial/experimental Laibach surprised many Brutal Assault fans even through the genre variety. Firstly with music style, because many found this totally inappropriate for BA character – hello Máša. And secondly with their added humour. The singer Milan Fras just encouraged people with his characteristic and strong voice to raise their left hand, then their right one. He added with funny intonation after that: “No siegheiling, please.” Not sure if everybody took his joking with calm head, but because of the late hour and amount of alcohol, I guess it was all allright. But was it even joke? We will never know now.

A few hours later, the same stage again was shared by Swedish fast commando Marduk. I was looking forward to it but afraid as well. And I was right. Stereotype of dark strong one light fog appeared. Why? Does the band want it this way? I am not sure… Musically it was what you would expect from these guys. Fast heavy black metal classic. But you could see almost nothing. I did not enjoy it much as a photographer and I am pretty sure it was not that great even for ordinary fans who wanted to actually see their favourite musicians. On the positive side, Marduk had light even a tad bit better then another bands.


Also, there must be always some douchebag in the crowd. During Marduk‘s show many people got almost into a conflict with some guy who used full power to get in front of the crowd and to the bars and back with not giving a damn about others. On the opposite and positive side, it was only one major flaw from this point of view and people in moshpits were great, encouraging and helping each other, if someone fell down. Same applies with “crowd surfing”. Fun and friendly atmosphere most of the time.

For me, Thursday was closed with Innersphere, Czech melodic metal band from Pilsen. I was little worried it is gonna be some sweet commercial stuff but guys did great. It surely was melodic but also not too sweet and it had a punch. Thumbs up for them! What a nice surprise.

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