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Mystic Festival 2022 Day Three (Gdansk, Poland)

Photo of Mercyful Fate

Band Photo: Mercyful Fate (?)

The final day of Mystic Festival 2022 had arrived. It was bittersweet in a way, but I was totally exhausted by this point. After arriving at the festival grounds, I had to check out the Death Mask exhibit. Most of the masks and art had a very Tom G. Warrior influence. I wasn’t sure if this was his exhibition specifically, or a tribute to him by Mystic Festival itself. In any case, it was worth checking out even if it was for only 5 minutes because yours truly was kicked out for having a beer in hand. I’m sorry, I can’t read signs written in Polish, Mr. Polish security dude…

Today was avant garde day for me because the first two bands I checked out were Igorrr and Imperial Triumphant. If you’re feeling adventurous and have never seen either of these bands, I highly recommend it for the visual aspect alone. Both of their stage shows blew me away. With Igorrr, you get the feeling you’re at some bizarre, metal performance musical/opera. On the other hand, with Imperial Triumphant, you’ll see their incredible costuming with cacophonic bursts of jazz metal thrown in for good measure. If you want to broaden your metal horizons, these two bands will do the trick.

Igorrr

Imperial Triumphant

I also was able to check out a little bit of Weigedood. They were excellent and exuded a “the end of the world” atmosphere with some black metal overtones for flavor. After a couple of songs, I had to haul ass to the main stage to catch Poland’s hometown heroes, Vader. Exclusively for Mystic Festival 2022, Vader played their “De Profundis” album in its entirety. In addition, they played a KAT (One of Poland’s most influential metal bands) cover and introduced new song, “Of Moon, Blood, Dream and Me,” which had never been played live before. Even with the amazing pyrotechnic show and 17-song set, their crowd was still chanting for more after they finished.

Vader

To mellow out before the festival’s headlining band, Mercyful Fate, I went back to the Park Stage to catch Solstafir. The more I catch this band live, the better they sound to me. I’ve tried to just listen to them and it never really works for me. Visually, they are so much more entertaining as a live band. They use the whole stage to move around and even the monitors in the security/photo pit area.

Solstafir

After my 3-song allotment for photos, I returned to the Main Stage for the festival’s headliner, the legendary and omnipotent, Mercyful Fate. They opened up their 11-song set with “The Oath.” I missed seeing Mercyful during my teenage years so this was a huge bucket list band for me. I caught myself singing along to several of the songs tonight such as “A Corpse Without Soul,” “A Dangerous Meeting,” “Melissa” in addition to several others.

Mercyful Fate

The stage decor was similar to King Diamond’s most recent touring stage set with just a couple of details that were different. King Diamonds signature face paint was on point tonight; however, it was King Diamond’s headdresses that stood out the most. One was a black ram’s skull and another was a black, five-point crown with an inverted cross in front. After several songs, he switched to his most popular look, the simple yet effective, black top hat.

Mercyful Fate

During the finale of Mercyful Fate’s set which was “Satan’s Fall,” I started to re-play back these four awesome days in my head. A ton of new and joyful memories were now ever present in my memory bank and the drought of metal festivals that started in 2020, had now come to a resounding end. The organizers of Mystic Festival did a bang-up job on all fronts, bravo to all of them. I will be back and I’m positive that I wasn’t the only one thinking this same thing departing the festival grounds that night.

Greekbastard's avatar

Metal isn't just a type of music, it's a lifestyle for Nikos Mixas. In addition to playing guitar for the Phoenix's own Mosara, he's a contributing writer for V13 and The Sludgelord. And when he's taking a break from it all and on vacation, you can almost be certain he's banging his head at a metal festival somewhere interesting.

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