Fans were expecting an announcement about this year’s Mayhem Fest, only to learn that it was delayed until today. We’ve been waiting since they announced the dates in November to find out who would be playing at the touring festival. And though this year’s lineup has been rumored and gossiped about for the past month or so, we now officially know: Disturbed, Godsmack and will indeed be co-headlining. Also on the main stage will be Megadeth, Machine Head, In Flames, and Trivium (the later three in rotating slots). Unearth, Kingdom Of Sorrow and Suicide Silence are the big names appearing on the side stages. In addition to the continuous lineup, metal cartoon gods Dethklok will be performing in place of Megadeth on the San Bernardino, CA date, while Testament will be performing in place of In Flames (on both the San Bernardino and Mountain View, CA date). It should also be noted that Megadeth will not be performing at the Montreal, QC Heavy MTL date.
First, let’s discuss the band we’re surprised to see on the lineup: Disturbed. Mind you, we’re not surprised as in “Holy crap! Disturbed is playing Mayhem Fest?!” Rather, it’s more like “Disturbed is playing Mayhem Fest? Really?” This also isn’t us saying that we hate Disturbed (hell, I’ll admit that I even love them). However, it seems less than exciting to have them as co-headliners this year mainly because they’ve been constantly touring the U.S. since releasing Asylum. First, they headlined the Uproar Tour (also organized by the people behind Mayhem Fest) last Fall, and currently they’re co-headlining the Music As A Weapon V tour with Korn. Not to mention, they headlined the Mayhem Fest just three years ago in its inaugural year. Of course, Disturbed has an enormous and loyal fan base, some of whom may even be willing to pay to see them live again within a short time frame. However, the chances are that at least half of those fans already saw them this past Fall or are planning to see them with Korn in the near future. It just seems like an over excessive for Disturbed to be performing at Mayhem Fest this year.
As for Godsmack, well though one particular Metal Insider contributor may not be a fan, many people are, and they do put on a hell of a show. I guess in theory the billing of Disturbed and Godsmack is “cool” and an unusual sight, but on paper just doesn’t personally excite us. After the rumors that started to spread last month, the rest of the bands listed aren’t too much of a shock (even though most of our first guesses didn’t match up with the finalized lineup). Megadeth seemed a far stretch until it was revealed what the Big 4 was actually planning, and we’ve learned since then that In Flames has made huge headway with their new album. If we had to choose one big “Holy crap?!” surprise moment, it probably be Machine Head. The band spent about three years touring behind 2007’s The Blackening, so we figured that they would take their good old time recording their follow up. However, they too must have made huge progress in the recording studio if they are going to be playing Mayhem Fest once again. However, it is a nice surprise to hear Dethklok and Testament’s involvement with the festival, even if it is for less than two dates.
Probably a bigger surprise than the bands announced, though, are the bands that ARE NOT playing Mayhem Fest this year. Bands like Children of Bodom and Devildriver would have been relatively large attractions on the side stages, and both specifically have new albums coming out this Winter/Spring. In addition, after interviewing guitarist Paul Allender, I would’ve sworn that Cradle Of Filth was a sure thing as well, especially after Dani Filth’s blog posting, but things must have changed since then.
So all in all, though it isn’t the biggest disappointment of 2011 so far, this year’s lineup is a bit of a lack luster. That, or it’s the whiny fan in me simply complaining that this lineup isn’t as “amazing” as previous years. Then again, I’d be kidding myself if I said I still didn’t want to go. Let’s face it, there are still plenty of bands on the bill that are awesome, and Mayhem Fest is always a fun show to attend (no matter who is onstage). The entire line up to Mayhem Fest 2011 can be seen after the jump.
UPDATE: We originally got the information regarding Mayhem Fest’s lineup from the festival’s official website. However, since our posting, the band information and list has since been taken down from the site. We are still waiting for official confirmation from the fest via the band’s site and their publicist, and will inform you as soon as we know more.
UPDATE 2: Yeah, it’s finally officially been announced. It looks a hell of a lot exactly like what we reported earlier, with the exception of the Dethklok/Testament one-offs. Carry on, all. Why is California getting all the good metal? What are your thoughts on the lineup?
Kingdom Of Sorrow
All Shall Perish
Straight Line Stitch