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Mystic Festival 2022 Day Two (Gdansk, Poland)

Photo of Judas Priest

Band Photo: Judas Priest (?)

Today, I woke up a little hungover. Realizing that Day Two of Mystic Festival was going to start in a few hours had a greater effect than the bland coffee at the hotel and I was soon on my way to the festival grounds. My must-see list for the day included a total of six bands with a lot of stage hopping in between. I started my day at the Park Stage and finally witnessed the Polish stoner/doom legends, Dopelord.

Dopelord was everything I would hope they would be. They’ve never toured the United States so to see them on their home turf was something special. There was a lot of Sabbath worship, but it only added to their aura. The bassist even had a shirt that said “Sabbath Worship,” at least they have no shame! A couple songs into their set the PA went out but it really didn’t matter; they carried on with the song and then conquered the crowd for the rest of their set.


Next up were NWOBHM legends, Saxon. This was my first time seeing this historical band and afterwards I knew why they’ve stood the test of heavy metal time. At this stage of their career, they may appear that they should be at the bingo hall snacking on prunes but all jokes aside, they command a stage like they’ve have been for 40 years or more. Their style of heavy metal may sound dated but it in all actuality, it has aged like a fine black leather jacket through the decades.


After Saxon, it was Benediction on the same stage. I haven’t heard much of them as of late and even had to Google them to find out when was the last album they put out (turns out it was in 2020). That doesn’t really matter anyways because Benediction’s brand of death metal went over well with the Mystic crowd. They were super energetic and enthusiastic throughout their whole set. Lead vocalist Dave Ingram was quite a jokester between songs. On more than a couple of occasions he made sure that everyone within an earshot of the stage knew that Friday was “Benediction Day” and we should all drink. Ok, dully noted.


The next two bands I caught overlapped, so I had to cut out early during MGLA’s incredible set and rush over to see one of Poland’s most underrated death metal bands, Azarath. I saw Azarath for the first time at Fall of Summer Festival in 2017. I had never heard of them before that festival and their sheer brutality kept my jaw on the ground throughout the whole show. Since then, I’ve kept their name alive by telling everyone that’s into death metal, this is a band you need to check out. Tonight, most of the material they played was from “Saint Desecration” which was released in mid-pandemic 2020. The room was packed for them and there were some rabid fans in the front of the security barrier going nuts the whole time, like they were possessed. I know Azarath could have the same effect if they ever made it to the United States for a tour sometime.


The final band of the night, and celebrating 50 years of heavy metal, were the metal gods themselves, Judas Priest. Their intro music was “War Pigs.” This was quite appropriate considering what is happening just a few kilometers past the Polish border to the east. It took a couple of songs for Halford’s voice to warm up but by the time they started “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” he was exceptional for the rest of their historical,16-song set. They played just about every popular metal anthem they had, and we all know that there are a ton of them. The outro music was Queen’s “We Are the Champions.” Yes, we were that night, we were…

Judas Priest

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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