Amon Amarth, Clutch, Cult of Luna, My Dying Bride, Myrkur si The Vintage Caravan are part of the first wave of confirmations for the 15th edition of ARTmania Festival that will take place between 24 – 25 July 2020, in the Large Square of Sibiu
- Individual tickets for the anniversary edition of the festival, for 190 lei, are already available in a limited number of 500 pieces at artmaniafestival.ro, the official event website.
Amon Amarth (SE) are carrying the metal banner for 25 years, being inspired by the same idea that helped them come out the dark of their beginning in Tumba (their native Sweden town) and into the international limelight and turn into one of the most appreciated metal bands in the world, modern masters of heavy metal music and house guests at some of the most important festivals of this type. The Swedes’ history that consider heavy metal not just a musical genre but also a lifestyle officially beings in 1992 in Tumba. The project’s roots come from the death metal group Scum, active since 1988. The subjects influenced by mythology, especially the Viking one, or with historical allure can be tracked right to the band’s name – Amon Amarth being translated into Sindarin (the language invented my J.R.R. Tolkien) as “The Mount of Destiny), one of the Middle-Earth volcanoes.
The band received public appreciation and began catching the eye of the international scene since the release of its debut album “Once Sent from the Golden Hall”, characterized as “a complex mix of complicated riffs, melodic harmonies and soul crushing rhythms, completed with hard cries of death, that make us relieve the experience of Norse battles and treasons. Or, according to Allmusic “their songs bring the chaotic sounds of wars, the cries of those dying and the racket of the weapons they’re facing”. With releases that impressed both fans as well as critics, as “With Odin On Our Side (2006)” or “Twilight of the Thunder God” (2008, which charted 10 in Swedish tops and 50 in Billboard 200), Amon Amarth has consolidated its success in the international metal scene, thanks to the explosive energy of its shows, that constantly offer fans a memorable experience.
Clutch (USA) are coming to Romania for the first time to celebrate 15 years of ARTmania Festival. Clutch are a refence name of the international rock stage, who has managed to attract the admiration of specialized publications. Loudersound, for example, considers that “Clutch are just one of the best rock bands on the planet and have had this status from the beginning. The band’s albums, which vary from hardcore to blues, to stoner rock or funk influences, are complex compositions, valuable, but can be appreciated fully by connoisseurs, these compositions winning them international appreciations. However, the band has enjoyed the acknowledgement it deserved only in the last couple of years. It’s true, the four founding members have started pushing the borders of rock since high school, since the moment they met. Appearing on the music scene in 1991 Maryland (USA), the band has initially used the names “Glut Grip” or “Moral Minority” before deciding of using Clutch. Floating through different approaches or different genres, the band has been labelled as hard rock, blues rock, southern stoner rock or alternative metal by publications and fans, but Clutch members consider they are nothing else but the quintessence of an American rock band.
Aside from the albums that have attracted the attention of the music industry, the group became known from the very beginning because of their tours where it shared the stage with Lamb of God, Iron Maiden, Primus, Thin Lizzy, Mastodon or Motörhead. And in 2020, Clutch will meet its fans at their first Romanian concert, on the ARTmania Festival stage.
Cult of Luna (SE), will bring their post-metal compositions on the ARTmania Festival, to meet their fans once again on the 15-year festival anniversary. Formed in 1998, from the remains of the hardcore punk band Eclipse, Cult of Luna has gained the appreciation of the underground scene from its first albums, “Cult of Luna” (2001) and “The Beyond” (2003), while the 2004 “Salvation” brought them the success in the international music industry, consolidated with their next album, “Somewhere Along the Highway” (2006). Over the years, the band went from playing doom metal in the beginning to post-metal, the themes included in their songs including disgust towards the parties in power, propaganda, state control over the individual and reduction of civil liberty through surveillance as well as spiritual themes like the ones found on “Salvation”. This album received 10/10 points from the well-known Metal Hammer Magazine, the only other album that received the same points was “Black Album” by Metallica (the band’s fifth album). Eternal Kingdom (2011), Vertikal (2012) and Vertikal II (2015) followed, releases followed by tours. After a silent period that lasted until 2019, when the band resurfaced on stage and in the studio to bring to light the new album, “Dawn of Fear”, album crowning the 20 years of heavy music, full of emotion, depth and creativity.
How Johannes Persson, vocalist/guitarist and main composer says: “For every album so far, we knew very well what we wanted to do, what we wanted to get and how we wanted it to sound. For each of these albums we have a specific theme chosen by what we wanted to tell those around us. But, with the ne album we wanted things to be different. We could see that each of us, the band and myself included, have gone through a lot of changes during the last few years when it comes to thinking, behaving, interpretation. And we wanted this new material to be born from a spontaneous process, that will express at a melodic level all this evolution.” And the final result will be shared with concert fans in the Large Square of Sibiu, with the celebration of 15 nonstop editions of the festival.
My Dying Bride (UK) return to ARTmania, 12 years after they first played on the stage in the Large Square. The British band, present in the international music world for almost 30 years, is one of the bands that have made popular the gothic metal and death doom metal genre, along with Paradise Lost and Anathema, the three bands being known as the “Peaceville Three” since all of them were part of the same label at that time. The group that would be known as My Dying Bride started in 1990 in Bradford (UK), when guitarist Andrew Craighan and drummer Rick Miah wanted to start a new project after their leaving the band Abiosis. They were joined by vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe and guitar player Calvin Robertshaw. Short time afterwards, the young project released its first single, “Good is Alone”, a song so well received by the public that it soon became sold out.
The successful debut attracted the attention of Peaceville Label, with whom My Dying Bride signed and launched its first EP „Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium”, soon followed by the first full-length album “„Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium”, a European tour and another EP, “The Thrash of Naked Limbs” (1992), a second studio album, „Turn Loose the Swans” (1993), another tour, another EP,„I Am the Bloody Earth” (1994), and just a year later a new album „The Angel and the Dark River” followed by a tour. The creative effervescence continued from album to album, all followed by tours, building in during the thee decades a record that includes 12 albums, 3 EPs, 1 demo, 1 box set, 4 compilations, 1 live album and a CD/DVD, materials that have left their mark on the music industry and served as a source of inspiration for a lot of young artists and that has established their status of founders of a new musical genre. And next year, their songs that have hypnotised generations of listeners will once again sound in the Large Square of Sibiu.
Myrkur (DK), returns to the ARTmania Festival line-up and will play its long-awaited concert as part of the anniversary edition. Myrkur, that can be translated as darkness in Icelandic, is the name of the black-metal project and alter ego of artist and Danish model Amalie Bruun. Born from the darkness of Scandinavia, Myrkur combines the brute intensity of masculine energy with black metal sounds and the sophisticated musicality and somewhat delicate of feminine voices. The debut album, “M” (coproduced by Ulver with members of Mayhem, NIdigngr and Arch Enemy) brought Amallia Bruun the award for “Best Hard Rock Album” at the Gaffa Awards, in 2015 and the “Band of The Year” and “Metal Album of the Year” awards at the Hight Voltage Awards. She was highly praised by music critics (Steppeulven – The Danish Association of Music Critics), she has long tours along established artists like Behemoth or Opeth and has hit the stage of some of the greatest festivals: Hellfest, Graspop or Wacken Open Air.
Her second album, “Mareridt” (nightmare in Danish), represents an intense juxtaposition of darkness and light, translated in tonalities, sounds and intense rhythms, that have brought her the award for “Album of the Year” at the “Golden Gods Ceremony”, organized by Metal Hammer.
The Vintage Caravan (IS), alternative classic rock from Iceland, is one of the young bands with a rapid ascension in the international music scene and they will play for the first time in Romania at the ARTmania Festival. After causing a stir with their first live show in 2012, at Eistnaflug festival, the band has played an impressive number of concerts in European tours along names like Blues Pills, Europe, grand Magus or Orchid and has hit the stage of some of the most known profile festivals like Roskilde (where they have already played twice), Wacken Open Air (played 2 times), Hellfest, Rock Werchter, Summer Breeze (already visited twice), Graspop (two shows played) or Ramblin’ Man Fair, to mention just a few. With three released albums, of which the last, “Gateways” being once again well received by the public and critics, The Vintage Caravan has its road to success paved. “Gateways”, for example, has attracted some of the best reactions from profile publications. ROCK IT (DE) considers that “The Vintage Caravan songs are a milestone, a reference point for the new hard rock artist generation”, while KERRANG (UK) says that “in the most charming way possible, The Vintage Caravan sounds like they have always been present in the musical landscape. It’s hard not to be fascinated and intoxicated by the unbridled joy of the to take its listener in the most fantastic musical journeys”. While Rock Hard (FR) thinks that “The Vintage Caravan is one of the moset fascinating bands in the new retro rock wave”.
Passes for the anniversary edition of ARTmania Festival are already available online on the official site at www.artmaniafestival.ro, the first 500 being sold at a special price of 190 lei, available until sold out but no later than December 31st 2019. After this date, a new pre-sale will start with passes being sold for 290 lei.
ARTmania Festival, the first Romanian festival that developed the idea of joining art and entertainment, is a platform dedicated to promoting all forms of artistic expression inspired by the rock culture. Over the years, ARTmania has established itself as a regional promoter of contemporary musical projects. But, ARTmania Festival does not mean just concerts from big international or local artists. Music is a base component that started everything, but it represents just a part of the experience the festival has tried to offer Romanian and international art lovers.
From the beginning, ARTmania was built as a cultural platform destined to offer the public as many events and modes of experiencing various forms of artistic expression: concerts, exhibitions, book launches or film projections. This common meeting space of artists and audience at a sound, color, image or literary level, hosted by the Large Square and by the medieval citadel, create the space where the story and magic represent, in essence, the festival spirit. As the longest rock festival in Romania and one of the traditional brands in the regional cultural scene, ARTmania has outlined its own identity through a bold concept an a special medium: the Large Square of one of the most beautiful medieval citadels in Eastern Europe – Sibiu citadel.
ARTmania constantly explores new paths, capitalizing from previous editions, when on the festival stage a series of important bands played; from Steven Wilson Serj Tankian and Devin Townsend, to Die Toten Hosen, Nightwish, Within Temptation, HIM, Tarja Turunen, The Gathering, The Sisters of Mercy, Lacuna Coil, Helloween, Lacrimosa, Poets of the Fall or Deine Lakaien, along many others.