No one does metal festivals like the Europeans, and no one does live videos like the Polish. Put the two together, and the result is goat-throwing couch potato bliss. Metalmania is Eastern Europe's largest metal festival; in 2006, it took place in Katowice, Poland.
The familiar Metal Mind live video trademarks are present: quick editing and many, many cameras, with one on a track at the front of the stage, and another flying through the venue for sweeping overhead shots. This yields the most professional live footage in underground metal today, with bands like Krisiun, Obituary, and Grave reaping fine results in recent years.
This DVD avoids the festival trap of metal overload by showing only a few songs by each band. The roster: Vesania, Hieronymus Bosch, Hunter, 1349, Acid Drinkers, Nevermore, Moonspell, Anathema, and Therion. Poland's Hunter incorporates surprisingly rocking violin. Russia's Hieronymus Bosch fires off stunningly technical thrash/death; think prime Megadeth gone prog. Moonspell gets the best response with a fist-pumping set, while Anathema gets artsy with a string quartet. Oddly, the sound is best for the early bands, but the mix is enjoyable throughout.
The DVD's extras are just that – a somewhat pointless photo gallery, and band interviews that are often awkward due to language barriers (the interviews with Polish bands are conducted entirely in Polish). However, the almost two hours of main stage footage is more than enough. The package includes a 12-track CD sampler of bands on the festival's second stage, including Antigama, Archeon, Centinex, and Suidakra. Over three and a half hours of content featuring 21 bands – a fantastic way to see old favorites and acquire some new ones.