Night of the demons yesterday, and the occult rockers Year Of the Goat visited Greece for two concerts, one in Athens and one on Thessaloniki. Their very first destination was Athens and Second Skin, performing along with Aherusia, Mahakala and Speedblow. Speedblow and Mahakala would be the first bands to rock the stage with their doom magisterial acts and then provide the stage to Aherusia, the black metalheads who combined black metal along with elements of traditional Crete music. Afterwards, Year of the Goat would have their chance to drive the night through pagan paths…
I arrived on Second Skin while Speedblow was about to open the concert. The crowd was desperately small but the band did their best to entertain those who decided to show up late in the show. Speedblow numbers three releases and their music style is described as a craft of heavy metal and doom metal music. Most of the parts are classic doom metal groovy riffs, although they mix them with heavy metal eruptions of fast riffs and guitar solos.
The band with energetic mood performed songs of the past as well as all the songs off their new EP, titled ‘Resurrection’. Their sound was loud and clear and the stage got heavier with all those doomy melodies. Costas Papaspyrou is an excellent guitar player and I loved his energy and his guitar solos on stage. Nick on the vocals was awesome too. His deep, harsh vocals combined with all those sharp melodies were the best beginning we could have for this concert!
After Speedblow the stage was warm enough (actually burning-warm), for Mahakala to start their set. Mahakala made quite an impact in the Greek music scene with their latest concept record, ‘Devil’s Music’. The band has been having a busy concert program as they were supporting a numerous of bands this year. But why did Mahakala get so many chances to support great bands? What is so special with this band? Well if you haven’t seen Mahakala live, you won’t get an answer to those questions..
Mahakala were explosive! The band is so much bounded together and they sound great. ‘Devil’s Music’ in my opinion sounds ten times better on stage. With a setlist including most of the songs off ‘Devil’s Music’, the band performed classic hits like ‘The King is Dead’, ‘Evil Man’, Pact with the Devil’ or ‘Promised Land’, with great energy and Jim saluted the audience with his spectacular performance. The crowd was still small in number and numb, but Mahakala tried their best to stir up everyone, leaving behind the best memories.
Right after Mahakala, it was time for Aherusia to perform. Aherusia is a unique black metal band, because of their use of Cretan lyra, a traditional music instrument from Crete in their music. I was really curious to watch Aherusia and find out myself how those songs would be performed. With plenty of new songs like ‘Archipelagos’ off their new music record ‘As I Cross the Seas of My Soul’, the band thrilled everyone with their pompous melodies and strong, spiritual black metal. Although I’m not a fan of traditional instruments I must admit that the Cretan lyra completed the music in a creative way, something that I enjoyed very much!
All the support bands completed their performances and the pagan rockers from Sweden were about to begin their rituals… With a great sound the band started their show, performing about one hour and five minutes. They performed classic songs like ‘This Will Be Mine’, ‘Thin Lines of Broken Hopes’, ‘ Spirits of Fire’ and many more off their latest full-length record ‘Angels’ Necropolis’ as well as ‘Of Darkness’ and ‘Vermillion Clouds’ off their first EP.
Goatlust Supremacy Festival Vol.1:Nipenthis, Impure Worship, Devathorn, Enshadowed, Embrace of Thorns // 7 Sins Club, Athens, Greece // 02.02.13
Last Saturday was an unholy one. And how could it be anything but unholy, when the event of the day goes by the name “Goatlust Supremacy Festival”? Five black metal bands were summoned to perform their rituals at the stage of 7 Sins Club, and even though this festival was carried out for the first time, it had nothing to be jealous of any other black metal festival.
So, on Saturday I answered the calling and at 18:30 I found myself at the venue just when the doors opened. According to the program, the first band would come up on stage at 19:00. Sticking to the schedule, Nipenthis took their place on the stage and began their set powerfully with “Astral Prison”, a song which will be included in their upcoming album. In the next thirty minutes, the songs that followed were taken from their EP, and “Gnoll Stronghold” and “Till The End Of Times” were the highlights. A thing that really surprised was how good the sound was, in comparison to opening acts of other concerts. Another plus goes to the band; they were well rehearsed and their previous live performances have given them a certain ease while on stage.
Next on stage and for the following half hour were Impure Worship, another Athenian band. The duo Fallen Angel Of Fornication and Black Priest Of Impurity, as well as the session bassist, did their best. Their set was based of course on both their demo and EP, with the old-school black metal “Rites Of Perversion” and “Goathorns” and with the death metal infused “Impure Worship” and “Praise The Goat”. Their best moment though was when Archfiend DevilPig, singer of Embrace Of Thorns, jumped on stage unexpectedly to do some guest vocals.
It was now Devathorn’s turn and the hooded quartet appeared on stage, with their backs to the crowd and the spooky intro “Prelude To Possesion” started playing. Thumbs up for the intro! “Veritas Universalis” was the first song of their setlist, a token from the upcoming album. “Ars Diaboli” continued the forty five minutes trip into black metal, full of “Qliphothic” elements, as Devathorn themselves say. “Diadema”, “Principles Of Chaos” and “Vultus Mortis” were well received by the crowd, which had grown bigger since the beginning, but the headbangers were still scarce. The last song of Devathorn for the night was a surprise; “The Venomous Advent”, another new song from the upcoming full-length album. The cherry on top was that for the performance of this song, Acherontas V.P.9, singer of Acherontas, joined the band on stage and the result was maddening.
Fourth band of the night was Enshadowed. They came on stage in black and corpsepaint, like the rest, but now there was only one hooded figure, the singer. They began with “From A Carnal To A Spiritual Fist” from their debut album, “Messengers Of The Darkest Dawn”, but their set would be based naturally on “Magic Chaos Psychedelia”, their third full-length that has just been released. In one hour we listened to six tracks from the new album and among them the amazing and personal favorite “Black Holes, Death Planets”. But even though the songs were new, the audience responded really well to them. And they responded even better to “Suicidal Lunacy”, again from the debut album. Unfortunately, it was during this set that there were a few noticeable sound problems, but they didn’t affect neither the performance of the band, nor the crowd.
Last chapter of the Goatlust Supremacy Festival were Embrace Of Thorns. They opened with “Intronomacy” to set us in the right mood, but after that they were merciless with “Praying For Absolution”. With a selection of songs out from their discography, they lead us down the nihilistic path of their black/death metal. “Atonement Ritual”, “Debris Crowns His Earthly Worms”, “Tombs Of Desecrated Zealots”, “Nemesis Of Impurity” were only some of them. But Embrace Of Thorns were unlucky in two ways. First, the sound problems seemed to persist and at some points the drummer signaled that he couldn’t hear a thing. Second, halfway their set people started to leave. For me this is unacceptable. If you pay the ticket for a live show, why not see all the bands and not just your friends? Anyway, I’m not the first one to say to support the bands with our presence, and I will certainly not be the last. Embrace Of Thorns showed their disappointment by not completing even an hour on stage and leaving suddenly and we were left with the question “Was that it?”
In the end though, the 200 people that showed up, made Goatlust Supremacy Festival a success, apart from that last misfortune. We had the chance to listen to some good black metal by five accompliced bands of the Greek scene. Their performance was great and they showed that they really dig what they do. And with the first attempt of this festival being this good, I can only imagine what the next will be like.
Report & Photos: Stella Papaspyropoulou