I'll start things off by saying that MDF kicked ass again this year. It had a totally different vibe than last year, partially due to a different lineup of headliners (focus on technical thrash rather than death metal). That's fine, though -- being the same year in and year out would make for a very stale festival. Best sets of the weekend were Nunslaughter (excellent antics), Hail of Bullets (a furry in the circle pit), Inquisition (intense and the sound was top-notch), Coroner (tight musicianship that went on for over an hour), Nuclear Assault (the singer can still hit all the notes) and Aura Noir (even with the bass frequently falling out of the mix, these guys rocked it).
Anyway, so it was fun times all around, even if a friend-of-a-friend was accidentally pepper-sprayed at the very end of the festival.
On to a different style of metal entirely:
The new Pagan's Mind is top notch. That said, if you're looking for a reprise of their early prog stuff, you will be disappointed. I think it should be clear to everyone by now that PM have little interest in being "the saviors of progressive metal," as they were anointed by desperate prog fans way back in the early 2000s. Heavenly Ecstasy is basically a power metal album with fairly straightforward song structure and enough crunch to keep it from being insipid. Only one track really sucks, some lame ballad about angels late in the album. In any case, the Stargate-metal vibe is in full effect (love and peace and understanding with the aliens!), Rue's vocals are wonderful, and the general Pagan's Mind experience is in full effect. I've read a few reviews of this record, and I agree the most with the one on Metal-Archives by autothrall. (for some reason, I cannot link directly to it.)
Edited by Xray the Enforcer, 01 June 2011 - 07:26 AM.