Electric Wizard, Agnes Vein
Eightball Club, Thessaloniki, Greece

Whoever told me some years ago that I’d be able to write a live report for a show of Electric Wizard in Greece, and especially in the city of Thessaloniki, I would surely recommend him to see a doctor immediately, as it would seem more than uncertain. I guess miracles happen still in the year of 2011 and I had the first chance to really watch them live, my 2009 experience in Hellfest festival in France can’t be characterized as optic, for there was a huge stream of smoke inside the tent they were playing, so it would be better to say I just heard them playing. Of course I knew what to wait and that it would be a full heavy experience, but this time all were better and in the end, they were twice as better compared to two years ago.

Agnes Vein couldn’t fit more to the whole occasion. It’s the fifth time I see them in less than a year, and for sure it was the best performance of them. Be it because they seemed more focused, be it because they had a great sound, maybe I was in good mood also, but still the 40 minutes they played passed very quickly. A band that works very hard and has started to have some kind of acceptance from the local fans. Their debut album ”Duality” is one of the most special and unique albums the Greek scene has offered and it is very nice to see that they can produce live their difficult to listen to music. Also, they seem they don’t mind at all no matter where or with whom they are playing. They just do the part the way they know better. Well done once more folks!

Electric Wizard entered the stage at 22:35. With a sickening cult/fetish video movie on the background, the first sounds of ”The Chosen Few” from their previous album ”Witchcult Today” enter our ears and what can be easily tracked down is the fact that we’re going to witness a very special gig. The sound tears the place apart, Jus Oborn and Liz Buckingham throw simple but stony riffs through the air, the groove is unbelievable and is greatly accompanied by the rhythm section of full tattoo addict Tas Danazoglou on bass (welcome home boy) and Shaun Rutter on drums. They both tortured strings and skins, helping a lot Jus and Liz by filling the gaps of the riffs. The crowd is astonished and the band goes on with no hesitation at all.

Two tracks from ”Black Masses” are the next ones to be played with ”Scorpio Curse” and ”The Nightchild” being the driving force of the newest album’s presentation. Again the sound remains great and all we had to do was put our heads down and slowly follow the riffs. Especially when ”Return Trip” was played, many diehards didn’t believe their eyes. Until today their first two albums are considered by many fans as their best, with ”Come My Fanatics” especially being characterized as a landmark of doom music in general. ”Satanic Rites Of Drugula” only made matters worse with the main crawling part raising all the undead to spread their plague among the living. Without many words, the band enjoys the whole atmosphere and the weed process keeps going on inside the club.

”Black Mass” was the up tempo moment of the gig, with none able to resist the headbanging, especially when after that came the title track of ”Witchcult Today”. I saw even people stagediving, something that shows that sometimes, Greeks can really feel the music and can have fun. The fact that the club got almost full added extra joy to all of us, wandering how so many people loved the band, a great thing to see nonetheless. ”Dopethrone” was the lust nail in the coffins of our corpses, with Jus and Liz waving goodbye to us, leaving Tas and Shaun close the set with some extra grooving rhythms. Many fans complained about playing 70 minutes and eight songs only, but I guess this is the nature of this music. It was still enough for all to go home smiling and wishing this could happen pretty soon again. The first Electric Wizard show was succesfull, even with some nagging about the absence of ”Funeralopolis” or tracks from the first same titled album. Vinum Sabbati!

Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras.