Mercyful Fate, one of the most influential bands of the international metal scene, the iconic King Diamond’s brainchild, chooses ARTmania for their first show in Romania. The new additions to the festival line-up also include (a-z) Dordeduh (RO), Leprous (NO) and Pain of Salvation (SE), being strengthened by (a-z) Bucovina (RO), Cult of Luna (SE), Taine (RO) and The Vintage Caravan (ISL) who reconfirmed their presence at the next year’s edition.
These new names join the previously announced bands (a-z): My Dying Bride (UK), Testament (SUA), Transatlantic and The Pinneaple Thief (UK), artists who, after two full pandemic years, will help us remember and rediscover the closeness and the human connection brought to life by live music.
The 15th edition of ARTmania Festival will take place during 22nd - 24th of July 2022, festival passes being already available on artmaniafestival.ro, eventim.ro and iabilet.ro. All passes acquired for ARTmania festival during 2019-2021 remain valid for the event’s 2022 edition without any price change, ARTmania using this occasion to thank once again and express the sincerest gratitude to all fans who decided to keep their tickets and support the festival in this way, in spite of the difficult time we are all passing through.
Mercyful Fate, which was part of the first wave of black metal in the early to mid-1980s and which exerted an undeniable influence over renowned bands like Metallica, Exodus or Kreator, began its story due to King Diamond (voice) and Hank Shermann (guitar) in 1981, in Copenhagen.
The band succeeded to draw music critics and fans’ attention even from their first EP, launched only one year after they were formed, EP aired in heavy rotation by the metal radio stations due to the brand-new approach and sound brought to the heavy metal world. In just a few years, due to a series of legendary albums (from „Melissa” to the iconic „Don’t Break The Oath” - 1984, to „In The Shadows” and up to „9”), Mercyful Fate rose to the top and became pioneers of some of the directions later adopted by artists, thus having a massive impact on the Scandinavian black metal scene to come – from the occult-obsessed lyrics, to the singer’s theatrical aesthetic, King Diamond being among the first black metal musicians to use the now famous corpse paint. After the second hiatus which lasted from 1999 to 2020, Mercyful Fate made a full force comeback and will fascinate, in 2022, ARTmania fans with the legendary energy which brought them in the limelight of the international music scene.
Pain of Salvation return on the Large Square stage after six years, bringing their latest album in front of the fans. „Panther” is a material which explores meanings and depths yet untouched, being dedicated to the restless, the shy, the motormouths, the passionate, the ones who go far beyond the point of reason for what you believe in, the outsiders, the diagnosed, the medicated, the hungry, the sad, the ones walking around daily trying to understand how to fit in with this species, with this era.
The band, who succeeded to stay for almost three decades in the forefront of the international progressive music scene, are well-known for their concept albums, and this latest work does not contradict this tradition. „Panther” comprises 9 music pieces, comes after three years after the „In The Passing Light Of Day” launch, and was recorded, mixed and produced by Daniel Gildenlöw (band’s leader) and Daniel Bergstrand (In Flames, Meshuggah, Devin Townsend). If the themes approached in the past were referring to war and its effects on human race and families, environmental problems like nuclear energy or the nature of the divine, „Panther” focuses on the individual, on its inner universe, on the painful conflicts born from the lack of lack of meaning and from the contradictions of the modern society.
After four years of absence, Leprous return to ARTmania with „Aphelion”, their seventh album which had Adam Noble (Placebo, Biffy Clyro, Nothing But Thieves) for the mixing and Robin Schmidt (The 1975, Placebo) for the mastering part. „Aphelion” is filled with energy, life and freedom and was composed, according to the band, without overthinking or exaggerated perfectionism. This new material, launched after only two years after „Pitfalls”, the band strengthens their position as rising star which does not fear to experiment, to surprise or defy any attempt of belonging exclusively to a certain genre. In a world in which progressive music offers a large range of options, a great amount of courage and originality is needed in order to turn public’s attention to you. And Leprous is one of the bands which succeeds to do so. And is coming back to ARTmania Festival in 2022.
Dordeduh is a name which doesn’t need any additional introductions, being well-known as a band which has been contributing for over a decade now to the development of the Romanian music scene and which managed to impress this year both international critics and fans with their latest work, „Har”, an album for which Jens Bogren (Opeth, Dimmu Borgir, Sepultura, Soilwork, Moonspell, Kreator, Ihsahn, Dark Tranquillity) was in charge for the mixing and mastering parts. Loudersound review stands as solid proof, „Har” receiving 4,5 stars out of 5 and is strengthened by the Prophecy Productions statement: with their second album, «Har», the Romanian band Dordeduh created a rare and unique metal album which defies any labelling attempt, surpasses any limits and offers something new and unheard of. The founders, Edmond «Hupogrammos» Karban and Sol Faur aka Cristian Popescu, were expected to bring a material which will travel between dark folk and black metal worlds. And even if they indeed used these two roots, they also integrated without fear electronic, gothic, psychedelic, prog or even pop elements, without being prejudiced against these genres. «Har» is a milestone and not only for the Romanian metal scene. Dordeduh made a quantic artistic leap and this album promises to be recognized as one of the best albums of this year.
During the three-day festival, on the main stage from Sibiu’s Large Square, the following acclaimed bands will perform (a-z): Cult of Luna, Leprous, Mercyful Fate, My Dying Bride, Pain of Salvation, Transatlantic, Testament, The Pineapple Thief, The Vintage Caravan together with Bucovina, Dordeduh and Taine. Other important announcements will follow in the close future.
Festival passes for the ARTmania Festival anniversary edition can already be purchased from the official pe website ( www.artmaniafestival.ro ), eventim.ro and iabilet.ro at 390 lei/ pcs. + taxes, within the available stock but not later than the next announcement, scheduled for November 2021.
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About ARTmania Festival:
ARTmania Festival, the first Romanian festival that has brought on the local market the concept of combining the art with entertainment, is a platform dedicated to promoting all forms of artistic expression inspired by rock culture.
With each edition, ARTmania has consolidated itself as a major regional promoter of contemporary music. However, ARTmania Festival does not simply refer to shows of famous international and local bands. Music is the main component from which everything emerged, but it is only a part of the experience the festival was designed to offer to Romanian and foreign art lovers.
Since the very beginning, ARTmania has been designed as a cultural platform meant to offer the public various events and ways to experience different forms of artistic expression, such as concerts, exhibitions, book launches or film screenings. This common meeting place of artists with the public at the level of sound, colors, images or letters, hosted by the Square and the medieval fortress, creates the space of fairy tale and magic which is essentially comprised in the spirit of the festival.
Being the longest-lasting and largest rock festival in Romania and one of the longest-standing traditions of the regional cultural scene, ARTmania has shaped its own identity through a bold concept and a special ambience: the Large Square of one of the most beautiful fortresses medieval times in Eastern Europe.
ARTmania is constantly exploring new directions, building on the experience of previous editions, when a number of important artists and bands went on stage, international names like: Steven Wilson, Peter Hammill, Serj Tankian, Devin Townsend, Dream Theater, Opeth, Die Toten Hosen, Nightwish, Within Temptation, Apocalyptica, HIM, The Gathering, The Sisters of Mercy, Anathema, Apocalyptica, Lacuna Coil, Helloween, Lacrimosa, Poets of the Fall or Deine Lakaien among many others.