The sun keeps on shining in Vallamand, and the bands keep playing at Rock The Lakes. With the first day focusing mainly on extreme metal subgenres, Saturday was full of folk and symphonic sounds. The only sad note about this was the cancellation of Hämatom‘s performance due to the sudden loss of bass player West. But our team was ready to document and review the rest of the acts planned for the day.
The first band to open the performances was Deep Sun, a symphonic metal band from Switzerland. Deep Sun delivered an engaging performance that left the audience captivated by their intricate melodies and powerful orchestral arrangements. The band’s fusion of symphonic elements with metal undertones created a rich, dynamic sound that resonated well with the crowd. However, keen observers noted a slight strain in the lead singer’s voice, which, while not detracting significantly from the overall experience, did introduce a subtle hint of vulnerability to her otherwise commanding presence. One critique that emerged was the familiarity of their melodies and sounds, which bore a resemblance to those of other established symphonic metal bands. Despite this, Deep Sun‘s performance still managed to weave a spellbinding atmosphere, showcasing their potential to further refine their unique musical identity in the symphonic metal landscape.
We continue with another band from Switzerland, Silver Dust, formed in 2013 by lead singer and guitarist Lord Campbell. Until now, I have not heard of this group, and I was not ready for their show. They provided a truly magnificent performance that left the audience (us included!) spellbound by their unique blend of music and dramatic flair. Their presentation transcended the boundaries of a traditional rock show, as they skillfully incorporated captivating stage props such as a vintage telephone and the iconic Lord Campbell’s cloak, adding an extra layer of enchantment to their act. These meticulously chosen elements not only highlighted the band’s commitment to storytelling but also played a pivotal role in creating a wondrous atmosphere that transported the crowd into a different realm altogether. Silver Dust‘s artful fusion of music and theatrics showcased their exceptional ability to engage the audience on multiple levels, making their performance an unforgettable experience that resonated long after the final chord had faded. What a delightful surprise that Rock The Lakes had in store for us!
Visions Of Atlantis
Let’s just cross the border and enter Austria to find the next group to perform at the Iceberg Company Stage, which is Visions of Atlantis. The band, led by the vocals of Michele Guaitoli and Clémentine Delauney, had a captivating performance that skillfully drew the audience into their mystical world. With a remarkable ability to engage the crowd, the band effortlessly established a strong connection, ensuring that the spectators remained entranced throughout their set. However, while their stage presence and interaction were commendable, there were occasional hiccups in the technical execution. The mixing, unfortunately, faltered at times, resulting in moments where the powerful guitar work was barely audible amidst the symphonic layers. Despite these minor audio inconsistencies, Visions of Atlantis managed to keep the energy high and the atmosphere enchanting, underscoring their professionalism and determination to provide a memorable experience for their dedicated fans.
Fit For An Autopsy
It’s time to completely change the mood and the atmosphere at Rock The Lakes, returning to the extreme metal with Fit For An Autopsy, scheduled to perform at 15:55. The dynamic ensemble hailing from the USA delivered a performance that left an indelible mark on the Rock The Lakes stage. With their colossal soundscapes and relentless energy, the band commanded the attention of the audience from the first note to the last. Their ability to engage with the crowd was nothing short of exceptional, creating an intense and symbiotic connection that had fans roaring in unison. The massive sonic assault they unleashed showcased their technical prowess and dedication to their craft, resulting in a performance that left an electrifying imprint on the attendees. Fit For An Autopsy‘s capacity to meld immense sounds with an unwavering connection to their audience solidified their position as a standout act of the event. Even if I am not very familiar with their genre, they surely put up a hell of a show.
Rock The Lakes decided not to book another act to compensate for Hämatom‘s absence to respect the band and this situation, and we applaud their choice. They played some of the songs of the band with an empty stage, but the audience responded with cheers and applauses. The metal community once again proved to be united in front of all the ups and downs of life. We also would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the band members and to the family of West.
We return to the heaviest sounds with Soilwork, the renowned melodic death band from Sweden, which delivered a powerful performance that left the audience captivated. Their set was filled with energy and a seamless blend of melodic hooks and aggressive riffs. However, the overall experience was slightly marred by some technical issues with the mixing during the first three songs. Despite this setback, Soilwork‘s professionalism and talent shone through, as they flawlessly adapted to the situation and continued to engage the crowd with their intense stage presence and exceptional musicianship. By the end of their set, the audience had been completely won over by Soilwork’s performance, making it a memorable night for all.
Up north we go for the next act of Rock The Lakes: hailing from Finland, the mighty Ensiferum take the stage at 19:50. The group did not disappoint: their mesmerizing performance left the audience enchanted. With their infectious and catchy melodies, they captured the hearts of the crowd, drawing them into a world of epic tales and mythical landscapes. Ensiferum‘s stage presence was captivating, as they engaged with the audience multiple times, creating an immersive and interactive experience. Everyone sang their hearts out on “In My Sword I Trust“, because it’s simply impossible to resist joining in. Their union of traditional folk elements and heavy metal riffs created a unique and powerful sound that resonated throughout the open air. It was a show to remember, as Ensiferum showcased their talent and passion, leaving the audience craving for more.
Alestorm, the innovative folk metal sensation, commands the stage with a vibrant and modern musicality that effortlessly bridges genres and captivates even those unfamiliar with their music. In one hour and ten minutes of show, they are a remarkable spectacle that transcends boundaries, as their catchy and contemporary sound fuses seamlessly with folk influences to create a one-of-a-kind sonic experience. What truly sets Alestorm apart is their unparalleled ability to engage and enthral audiences, drawing in both dedicated fans and newcomers alike. Their charismatic presence and infectious energy turn every show into an exhilarating event, leaving even the uninitiated in awe of their captivating performance. With a magnetic blend of modern sounds and folk elements, Alestorm masterfully crafts a live experience that not only entertains but also introduces their unique brand of music to a diverse range of listeners, ensuring that their live shows are an unmissable journey of musical discovery. The audience had so much fun dancing and jumping to “P.A.R.T.Y.“, sealing this concert as one of the funniest ever!
Out of all the Swiss bands performing, there is one that, to our mind, is the first one that comes in order of importance. And this group is the headliner of this second day, the wonderful Eluveitie. Their sounds are a mixture of folk, death and Celtic music, and their unmistakable style makes them stand out on all fronts. All the members are in excellent shape, with vocalists Chrigel and Fabienne leading the charge and engaging quite a lot with the crowds. The continuous and synchronized headbanging of violinist Lea-Sophie and hurdy-gurdy player Annie added layers to the performance; the rhythmic section composed by Kay, Rafael, Jonas and Alain was gloriously holding on their shoulders the heavy parts of their music. Let’s not forget that Matteo, Fabienne and Chrigel also exchange instruments, from harp to mandolin to flute and bagpipe. The talent overflows in this band: I could not find a single flaw in their spectacle. Just at the beginning, Chrigel’s bouzouki was a bit difficult to hear, but when later in the setlist Matteo played it during “Aidus“, the volume was perfect. Then, we got treated to the French version of “The Call of the Mountains” before the encore, which consisted of “Aidus“, “Ategnatos“, and “Inis Mona” which the crowd sang with all of their hearts. Their spot as headliners was well deserved and solid now more than ever. I dare to find a single soul that wasn’t having the time of their life during Eluveitie‘s show.
The non-metal people usually finish their night out dancing, so why can’t metalheads do the same? And that is probably the thought that the organizer of Rock The Lakes had when they decided to put Fiddler’s Green as the last act of Saturday night. Because everything we could do during their show was to move, to jump and to have fun! Their Irish folk music was perfect to close the amazing day of performances because also the band members were having the best time on stage. With a repertoire brimming with upbeat and irresistibly catchy songs, their performances become vibrant celebrations of music and life. They sure know how to boost the mood! Fiddler’s Green‘s live shows become immersive experiences that transform the stage into a communal dance floor where everyone is united by the magnetic pull of their spirited melodies. And dancing, we left the grounds of Vallamand, reminiscing about the marvellous day of concerts we witnessed.