Various Metal Mania 2006 XX Edition

The Metal Mania DVDs are always a fun jaunt, a taster platter of live music performances and a brief glimpse into the big Euro-metal fest experience from the comfort of your couch. The quality of these videos depends a lot on the festival’s main stage line-up and the talents of the bands that take to it. In 2006, Metal Mania (for its 20th anniversary, no less) brought together Nevermore, Moonspell, Anathema and Therion, all top-notch acts whose three-song segments tease and tantalise. To satisfy your corpse paint fix you’ll find mini-sets by 1349 and Vesania, plus the concert footage features a couple of bands less known in this part of the world (Hunter, Hieronymus Bosch, Acid Drinkers). Every side stage artist appears as well via album tracks on the accompanying mixed CD. The videography is, as usual, satisfying, with lots of long shots and intimate close-ups from a variety of angles and it’s well edited. The sound, also as usual, is a little thin, in terms of audience noise, which drains some of the energy but allows you to focus more on the bands. Bonus feature highlights include interview clips (with some unintentional humour) but it’s the festival footage that makes this package. Anyone with last year’s Anathema DVD will recognise their three songs performed with the support of a string ensemble. Redundant? Perhaps, but a welcome reminder. (Metal Mind)