Heavy metal has never been known as a particularly polite or accessible genre of music. Many misperceive it as a rowdy and violent genre with even rowdier and more violent fans. The reality is quite the opposite, though – heavy metal fans are simply enthralled by the diverse array of sounds that you can find within the genre. Despite the stereotypes, it has a very inclusive, welcoming culture.
You might not know it, but Malta has a surprisingly large heavy metal scene, with dozens of active bands and plenty of gigs and annual festivals. Event organisers also tend to invite some of the biggest names in the international metal scene to our tiny island, and the Metal Over Malta Festival, happening on the 10th and 11th of March, is further proof of this. If you’re a new fan of the genre, a seasoned rocker who remembers the glory days of the 80s, or someone who is simply looking to enrichen his musical palette, Metal Over Malta is unmissable!
Currently, in its third edition, the Metal Over Malta festival will be taking place at Chateau Buskett in the outskirts of Rabat. Its secluded feel makes it the perfect venue for such an event! Anyone worried about transport need not worry, as the organisers are providing solutions – but get in touch as soon as you can!
If you don’t recognise any names from the line-up listed on the festival’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/events/673140919501836/), the 400+ attendees should definitely indicate that the event is definitely a big deal, considering the usual scale of more underground music concerts in Malta. Headliners Orphaned Land and Civil War are both substantial names in the genre.
Orphaned Land, from Israel, have amassed an incredibly wide following since starting out in 1992, and are famous for playing ‘Oriental Metal’, which is a combination of Middle Eastern musical influences and themes pertaining to Abrahamic religions. As you might have been able to tell, they’re pretty unique:
Civil War are a more recent band, having formed in 2012, but these hard-hitting Swedes quickly found themselves signed to a major label and gained plenty of critical acclaim for their catchy hooks and melodies. This band loves to explore themes of war and history, which means that their appearance in a historically-rich island like Malta is quite apt!
These bands are so well-known that the festival organisers even saw it fit to organise meet-and-greets for both of them! Fans can meet with Civil War on Friday 10th March at 9 pm, and Orphaned Land on Saturday 11th March at 8 pm. The rest of line-up is made up of plenty of lesser known (but still great quality) international act and four local bands, namely Animamortua, Weeping Silence, Abysmal Torment and Forsaken. Though Animamortua is a newer (but still formidable) band, the other three names are respected as big names locally as well as on the international circuit. Indeed, all three bands have played at numerous festivals abroad throughout their long histories (Forsaken celebrated its 25-year anniversary just last November).
Weeping Silence is also the band responsible for organising the Metal Over Malta festival year after year, making them excellent curators in addition to great musicians!
You can find specific information about the running order here: https://www.facebook.com/metalovermalta/photos/gm.782621745220419/1564451396915716/?type=3amp;theater
Ticket prices at the door for the festival run at 40 euro for both days, or 20 euro for Friday/30 euro for Saturday. That might seem slightly pricey if you’re a more casual music fan, but considering the impressive headliners, overall quality of the acts, and guaranteed excellent of the festival in general, we can promise that the price is well worth it.