Crimson Glory, Wardrum, Out Of The Lair
Mylos Club, Thessaloniki, Greece

The third time for the American metal pioneers Crimson Glory, proved to be also the best one, definitely. This time, the band exceeded all expectations and played their hearts out. Still after a few days, I recall every moment of the whole gig and I can’t find anything negative. To all these, we must refer to all conditions that made this experience memorable, starting with the fact that the whole night started at 9 o’clock sharp as indicated on the posters and tickets. Also, the two support groups managed to warm up the crowd in the best possible way, proving they deserved to open for such a great band.

Out Of The Lair is a very experienced band, especially on stage. I have caught them live many times, knowing that they always give the best they have. I hadn’t seen them for some years, so it was the first time I saw them with their recent drummer. A band that has opened for acts such as Candlemass, Sentenced, Nevermore and many others, knows better what to do when called to prove its worth. Playing for forty minutes with a good sound and a cover of Annihilator’s ”King Of The Kill” among the set, they waved goodbye with their trademark track ”Nosferatu” and gained the applause of the crowd fairly enough.

Wardrum is a new all-star  band containing an elite of musicians from the city of Thessaloniki, plus a great Italian singer named Piero Leporale, who has also served for Uli Jon Roth. The founder drummer Stergios Kourou, formerly on the progsters Horizon’s End, has recruited two of the members of this band, the great bassist Kostas Scandalis and the guitar genius Kosta Vreto, a guy who is the master of non-picking riffing. Add one more Kostas on the guitars and the quintet delivered high class heavy metal for forty minutes, with a cover of ”Neon Knights” by the masters Black Sabbath. In overall, an excellent performance, one of the best support groups I have ever seen in my life, which once going like this, is ready for great things in the near future. Well done guys. It was the first time to see them and for sure,not the last.

Crimson Glory came up on stage at 11 o’clock and for the next 110 minutes (?!) they played almost entirely their first two albums (”Crimson Glory” and ”Transcendence”) with songs that we have loved and grown up with filling our ears. Entering ”Valhalla” as initial track, the place became a room of cult worship for the band and the debut album had its presentation in the first six songs, with ”Dragon Lady”, ”Angels Of War”, ”Azrael”, ”Mayday” and ”Queen Of The Masquerade” following. Few could believe that such voice was coming from Todd La Torre’s throat. This man is one of the best singers I have heard and seen in my short lifetime, and without being extreme in words, not even the godly Midnight made me feel this way five years ago. The band is really blessed to have him and if they release an album with him, we may have a new hero to officially pray to.

It was about time for ”Transcendence” to be represented and ”Lady Of Winter” marked the beginning of some more frenzy to follow, with ”Where Gragons Rule”, ”Painted Skies”, ”Masque Of The Red Death”, ”In Dark Places” (the absolute CG track in my humble opinion), ”Burning Bridges”, and ”Red Sharks” (every single person out of control on this one) closing the main set after 80 minutes. The band returned for two encores (!) with the first starting with ”Lost Reflection” and La Torre wearing a mask, in a tune where every single soul collapsed under the weight of the haunting melody and the memory of legendary Midnight coming to us in a blink of an eye. ”Lonely” closed the first encore with the fans trying to understand just what happened. Time for a second encore with La Torre taking ”War Of The Worlds” and launching it out of space. Jon Drenning was pretty amazed after that one.

The set closed with ”Dream Dancer”, a song they hadn’t played since 1986 and ”Eternal World”. Outcome of the night: One of the best performances in Greece ever and the band showing more than triumphant, in what proves to be their second homeland. We must refer to the fact that the band members were hanging out for three nights in the city with their fans, coming as close as they could to them. The t-shirts were cheap and everybody left more than happy. They promised to come back soon and we wait for them eagerly. Such bands that play straight from the heart, I can witness live every single day. Still transcending…

Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras.