Ready For Prog? Festival
(formerly Very Prog Festival)
October 12-13, Le Metronum, Toulouse, France
A brand new festival dedicated to the prog metal genre, Very Prog Festival took place on 12th-13th October 2018 at Le Metronum in Toulouse, France. Now however, after the first edition, due to legal reasons it has been rebranded to Ready For Prog? Festival.
Le Metronum, a 600-person capacity venue on the outskirts of Toulouse, welcomes bands round the year and is no newbie to hosting festivals. This time its two rooms were occupied by enthusiasts of progressive genre.
For a new festival the line up here was brilliant, consisting of French and international acts: up and coming bands as well as established artists.
The festival was opened by Amon Stehis, a French project built on the concept of the Seventh Dynasty of Egyptian Pharaohs and described by themselves as “powerful, varied, sometimes bewitching musical and visual experience.” They did, literally, set fire to the scene.
Next ones on the stage were French Spheric Universe Experience who are no newbies to internationally acclaimed festivals. Currently working on a new album, they were performing at Very Prog Festival together with bass player Julien Negro. Probably more power metal than progressive, but who cares – they did deliver a strong set.
Things got a lot heavier with Italian progressive-melodic metal band DGM on stage. The crowd was enjoying their set and showing appreciation by singing along and headbanging.
Friday’s headliners were Australian prog metallers Caligula’s Horse who only a week ago were high on the bill at the already established Euroblast Festival. Jim Grey’s clear and high-pitched voice timbre mixed up with the heavy guitars makes the base for their emotional and beautiful melodies.
A great closure to day one and it has been a great day in total and another great one to come.
The good thing starting the second festival day this late is that everyone had enough time for lying-in after partying on the night before; they had a good breakfast and another drink or few… not that anyone was counting. The result of all this? The room was full for the first act, Taotopia, a local Toulousain djent-oriented band who released their debut album Nightfall in March 2018. Since they are a very young band, I would not judge too harshly them being all over the place and a bit dull on vocals. There is great potential and with working out clear directions, they could achieve a lot.
Next ones up were Italian progressive metal five piece Soul Secret. After playing some time together they did hit the music market ten years ago with their first album Flowing Portraits, however it was the first time for me hearing them. By the look of it, not many other people knew what these guys got to offer, but soon enough the Italians won the crowd over. I really enjoyed watching the interaction between the band members – they were constantly moving around the stage and having fun.
Next band on the bill, a group that has put the small country of Andorra on the map of metal scene: Persefone came and did tear the place down. They got the first moshpit of the whole festival moving and that says something. The audience was very enthusiastic, lots of flying hair and singing along. Persefone’s set itself was a beautiful journey, a mix of superfast, heavy riffs and growls of their eye-catching front man Marc Martins who never stands still and atmospheric parts – melodic keyboards and clean vocals by Miguel Espinosa. What a brilliant highly energetic performance!
And then it was time for Saturday’s headliners, the most anticipated band of the festival, prog metal supergroup Sons Of Apollo. As Jeff Soto mentioned, it’s really great to see a full room for a prog festival. Well, easy said and done for a powerhouse that Sons Of Apollo are, but he’s still right.
The only criticism I will mention is the short stage turnover time between the bands. Ten minutes was not quite enough and made a bit of a mess in the time table, especially on day one.
All in all, I definitely had a great weekend. For a festival’s first edition it was a success.
Looking forward to see what the organizers will come up with for the next edition.
|Day 1 line up
Spheric Universe Experience
|Day 2 line up
Sons Of Apollo