So this was the first edition I attended to this festival which is also organised by SWR inc. the same organization that arranges and manages the Steel Warriors Rebellion Fest every April.
The Festival took place in an old cinema inside a Mall in the center of the city Braga (North of Portugal); there were two stages (as in SWR Fest), one called “+” for the most loud and extreme bands and the other called “-“ for things more melodic and doomish. The bar of the cinema was used for beverages and was a food stand was placed nearby (something that was missing in the last edition so I’ve heard), after the concert there was an after party with some Dj’s.
In terms of sound, I think was very decent and clear, since this was and old cinema there werent any kind of echos or bouncing effects, but the steps inside the old theater proved to be a little challenging, even for people who was moshing in front.
Unfortunately Altar of Plagues had cancelled and so the organization swapped the schedules of the first bands, so Trocotombix who was the second band of the night came to play first and Aathma played in second.
Zatokrev (Stage -)
Good Stoner Doom, nothing to point, some remembrance of old Anathema.
Holocausto Canibal (Stage +)
Despite some problems with the drums, the Portuguese gore death HC gave a pretty brutally amazing show, with some short themes and humourous intros that kept the concert dynamic, the band was always asking the crowd to headbang and mosh.
As romantic as ever they dedicated one of their old songs for the ladies “Violada pela Motoserra” which translated to English is something like “Raped by the Chainsaw”
Daylight Dies (Stage -)
This was their first time in Portugal for these American doomers; it was a pity the place was near empty with very few people attending.
Napalm Death (Stage +)
Barney was very communicative, using music as always as a manifesto against racism, war, and religion. They presented a varied set, full of classic and new songs such as “Quarantined” of the forthcoming album. Unluckily they also had problems with the drums taking at least a couple of minutes to get fixed which might cooled down a little bit the atmosphere.
Some of the songs they played were:
When All Is Said and Done
The Code Is Red... Long Live the Code
Nazi Punks Fuck Off (Dead Kennedys cover)
Suffer the Children
Mar de Grises (Stage -)
Unfortunately the Vocals Juan Escobar decided to leave the band in May so in this tour the band counted with the presence of their first vocalist Marcelo Rodriguez. The show started pretty well although the vocals wasn’t clear and loud enough, I had the impression that Marcelo wasn’t well prepared, his shyness when addressing the crowd left people a little baffled. Through the middle of the show things got a bit monotonous but in the end they recovered the pace.
Fleshgod Apocalypse (Stage +)
The place was fully crowded, as they entered on stage dressed with a kind of ragged Victorian black suit and corpse paint, the keyboardist looked like uncle Fester from the Addams Family, I have to say that their sound reminded me of Anorexia Nervosa.
FA was to me the surprise of the night; it was the fastest, symphonic, technical metal I’ve seen in awhile and since I didn’t know them before it really was a “bitchslap” of unholy black/death metal right in the face. They had great guitar solos and the mixture of gutural and clean vocals were the icing on the cake.
In Honour of Reason
Thru Our Scars
Skepticism (Stage -)
The heat, the smoke and the dim lights offered a kind of hypnotic trance; the band was all dressed up as they were indeed going to a funeral in the 19th century. For the fans of Funeral Doom this must have been an obscure and profound experience, but the rest of the mortals just went outside to get some fresh air and a cold beer.
Aborted (Stage +)
So what’s better than Belgian chocolate? If you said nothing you’re wrong; Aborted gave an awesome and powerful show from the beginning to the end with a pretty balanced setlist including songs of almost every album from Engineering the Dead, Goremageddon: The Saw and the Carnage Done, The Archaic Abattoir and such.
Following the “chivalry” of the previous Holocausto Canibal, Sven also took the opportunity to dedicate a song to the ladies of the fest: “Meticulous Invagination”was as romantic as it gets. But no fear, the guys also received a dedication.
Sven incited the crowd to mosh and they even started a “mini wall of death” that probably didn’t work out since after all it was a small movie theater with steps.
Enslaved (Stage -)
They started with two songs of their latest album “Ethica Odini”, the band was very cheerful and Grutle was always making funny remarks and jokes, probably the most joyful “black metal” band I’ver seen interact with the audience. Grutle made many toasts during the concert.
Towards the end they played a cover by Led Zeppelin “Immigrant”, ending with Allfadr Odinn. In the end they bowed to their audience, some people were hoping to hear “Isa” but with no luck, anyway the whole setlist compensated this lack.
Fusion of S&E
Immigrant (Led Zeppelin Cover)
Decapitated (Stage +)
They played plenty (if not exclusively) tracks of their recent albums such as Organic Hallucinosis and from their more recent album Carnival is Forever. The only exceptions were Winds of Creation and Spheres of Madness, but tasted like charity for the old school fans that were at least expecting to hear “The Negation” or even the “Mandatory Suicide” cover.
Post (?) Organic
Winds of Creation
Spheres of Madnes
Summarizing this festival, which started to grow a couple of years ago, is showing solid evidence that it is also getting stronger and better every year and perhaps in a medium term perspective it will be one (if not the greatest winter fest) in the metal scene. Once again SWR inc. showed that they are indeed listening to their consumers and won’t stop making improvements for a better projection of their festivals. I’m grateful for the support they always shown to every one of us Portuguese headbangers and I’m confident enough to say that their next edition will be much better.