Like other festivals around Europe, Leyendas del Rock doesn’t kick off early in the morning every day, it does start until 4 pm every day. So you have all day to recover from the day before, or you can go out and check out the town and see what is special about this Southern Spanish city,
After checking out part of the El Castillo De la Atalaya (The castle of the watch), because yes, there is a huge castle in the middle of the town that dates back from the 12th century, that makes this place even more metal, I head out to the Polideportivo of Villena for the second day of Leyendas Del Rock
Steven ‘n’ Seagulls opened the day with interesting bluegrass covers of different metal anthems and some interesting versions of already popular metal songs, a great way to kick start the day. I see why so many Spanish people were thrilled to see them live at Leyendas this year.
After that Finnish Melo-death titans Insomnium took on the second stage on the biggest Insomnium show I have ever witnessed, I have seen Insomnium a couple of times at small clubs during US tours before, but nothing prepares you for their live show at a European festival, their presence, and sound it gets huge at an outdoor festival. Interestingly enough, this was the second time I saw guitar player Marcus Valhalla pull a double duty show on the same day as later that evening he was up in the ‘Mark Reale‘ stage with his other band Omnium Gatherum.
The turn now was for Alestorm the pirate metal crew that added a different tone to the party as they put the crowd to sing with them. It’s been a while since last I saw Alestorm and the feeling was a lot different as it seems the band has left behind their pirate looks for a more punk rock band type of thing, even though they still play folkish metal. Regardless of their change of look, people still go bananas for their music and their live shows.
Up next was Rage, one of the German classic heavy metal bands along with Helloween, Running Wild and Grave Digger. Their show was everything you can expect from a German metal band, it was loud, it was fast, it was awesome. To be the first time seeing Rage, I think they are a pretty energetic band that displays a powerful live show.
Epica was next, It’s been over a year since the last time I saw Epica, and with a new EP coming up (The Solace System) they definitely stole the early evening show, even with the threat of drizzle rain that showed up over the festival grounds. Epica is well known for delivering strong and energetic performances, and the one at Leyendas was not the exception with fire effects, smoke machines, and Coen randomly running out of the stage towards de first row with his portable keyboard and playing right in front of the people there. It was an amazing spectacle of stage performance and musical epicness.
After Epica, it was a tough night to follow as some choices had to be made, So I decided to stay and see Blind Guardian for a little bit. The German power metal veterans delivered an amazing show (for what I got to see) that drove the crowd to sing along some of the songs. I left the Blind Guardian show to catch a bit of the Omnium Gatherum show that was at the Mark Reale stage.
It’s always a thrill to catch Omnium Gatherum live, ever since their first US show some years ago I got impressed by their musical style and their stage vibe. They are an in many ways similar to many melo-death bands, but at the same time, they have developed their own signature sound, Which I can only describe as gloomy and a bit technical in some aspects. Their show at Leyendas due to the size of the stage was pretty solid and was pretty full counting that they played almost at the same time as Blind Guardian was playing.
I decided to stay in the Mark Reale stage as I wanted to see Masterplan, as they are one of those bands that never tour the US, or better yet, they have never toured the US. So, this was the best opportunity to see them live. Independently of some people’s opinion, they sounded great, I know people wanted to see them with Jorn, but Rick Altzi does an amazing job singing those songs. It was a great show as I got to see and crossed them off my bucket list. Songs like; Spirit Never Die, Keep Your Dream Alive, Crawling From Hell & Crystal Night were amazing to see perform live at Leyendas del Rock.
Once I left the Masterplan show, I quickly realized that I have already missed a good chunk of the Arch Enemy set, and there was no way to get near the front, so I settle for getting some tapas and a glass of beer and watch them from the food area. They played one of their new songs The World Is Yours (which it sounds really kick ass live) out of their upcoming album Will To Power and the rest of their set was a mixed material from War Eternal and classic Arch Enemy songs. I think Arch Enemy had found a new level of comfort with this new line up as their new songs reflect how they have been getting used to each other’s talents, but they still have that extreme signature sound that makes them unique.
The next band I had to check out was Obus, which is a classic Spanish heavy metal band whose origins dates back from the early 80’s. The first thing that impacted me about them was how loud they were, on that level, they can be compared to Motorhead, Some of the other bands that played before them, had their sound set for the whole festival, Obus was going up to 11 with their sound, they really sounded crisp and loud. Their style was more like a mix between NWOBHM and speed metal, and it seems to me that a large percentage of the crowd had no problem singing along their songs. So it was an interesting show as it was another band that I could check off my bucket list.And with an Obus blast, I was closing the second day at Leyendas del Rock. I went home, rest and got ready for the third and longest day at Leyendas. Day 3 review coming up next.