Malevolent Creation, Krisiun, Vital Remains, Hatesower
Eightball Club, Thessaloniki, Greece

What a perfect way to enter March, a gig including three pioneers of traditional old school death metal approach, having also on their company an Italian band called Hatesower. As usually happening with the gigs of Dosera Arts, the schedule went perfectly in order and the whole thing started as 8 o’clock sharp, finishing right at midnight, with all the bands playing very well and the crowd leaving satisfied. What was a little better compared to other times in such gatherings, was that more than 250 people attended the show. It’s not a big and satisfactory number of course, but I’ve seen more promising gigs in Eightball Club with much less crowd (a perfect example would be Entombed two months ago), so the picture inside the club was much better than many thought it would be. Also, the crown was rather energetic on all bands. Not bad at all.

Hatesower stepped on stage right on time and for about half an hour they made quite a good effort, playing well, brutally and technical. It was the first time to get to know their music and it seems that the Italians who have reached their fourth release with their latest album ”Humunperfection” are skilled players, mixing many kinds of death metal in their music. Blastbeats and diverse riffs following the growling vocals and the quartet was lucky enough to have enough people inside the club watching them (we all know that many times, the fans don’t honor the first support bands). The fact that all the other three bands acknowledged them and told the people to applause them, showed that they have gained the respect within this tour and that’s maybe the best achievement they could get. Even better from the experience written on their bio.

Vital Remains is more than a cult situation for the whole death metal scene. The Long Island based band appeared as a force ready to obliterate all fans inside the club and they surely did it easily, though the sound was not by their side throughout their demanding performance. The enormous Tony Lazaro may be the only remaining founding member but he’s more than enough. His emblematic presence and his amazing shredding guitar skills were the reasons for the high level kept for about 45 minutes. Seeing him showing his heart to the fans and his smile on his face, was a great thing,as he really seemed to enjoy it. Tracks like ”Icons Of Evil” or ”Let The Killing Begin” leave no doubt about what happened while the Vitals were playing. They based their set on ”Dechristianize” and ”Icons Of Evil” but I see no problem with that, though some fans would prefer some older material. The fact is that their first (and hopefully not the last) visit in Greece was a pure success.

Krisiun appeared on stage about ten minutes later, showing ready to continue what Vital Remains had already started. They played about 55 minutes a great setlist including tracks from their latest very good album ”The Great Execution”, combining them with older dynamites such as ”Vicious Wrath”, ”Combustion Inferno”, ”Sentenced Morning”, ”Ravager” (that one was quite a good surprise) and they left their trademark title track off their first record ”Black Force Domain” for the end. A great performance, surely their best in Thessaloniki by far. The three brothers are very tied and improve their skills as the years pass by. Alex didn’t stop headbanging except when growling, Moyses shows he can offer us even more as a guitarist in the future and Max is a total devastator of skins, without needing to blast, just pounding his ass out on the poor drums. I guess that’s what we call Trio Brasileiro and Krisiun are the definition of it. We hope we see them on their next tour also.

Malevolent Creation were the headliners especially for Greece (Krisiun were on the rest of the tour) and guess what: It was a legendary performance with an infuriating Bret Hoffman unstoppable on all terms. Headbanging like a maniac, spitting every lyric like venom and showing on a great mood in general. On his side, leader Phil Fasciana showed that the band can kick serious ass even with one guitar and the new drummer Gus Rios is a lethal weapon that pays respect to the old songs with his playing. The set was based on their first two legendary albums ”The Ten Commandments” and ”Retribution” and it was quite a good reason for fans to come and see them again (especially after the unluckiness they had during their performance with Pungent Stence five years ago, where the power fell off in a major part of the city and they appeared on stage at 2 a.m).

”Eve Of The Apocalypse” starts the massacre and for the next hour, playing as much songs as they could, the club was on fire. ”Coronation Of Our Domain”, ”Slaughter Of Innocence”, ”Monster” and ”No Flesh Shall Be Spared” were played from ”Retribution” and ”Remnants Of Withered Decay” (Stagediving part 1 for the writer), ”Multiple Stab Wounds”, ”Injected Sufferage” and ”Malevolent Creation” (which ended the show) were played from ”The Ten Commandments”. Add three more surprising tracks with the new ”Slaughterhouse” and the amazing duo ”Blood Brothers” and ”Manic Demise” (stagediving part 2) and you get the picture of a great setlist in the end. The four bands showed that when it comes to pure traditional death metal, simplicity and obsession are the two things needed and Dosera Arts showed once again that they have a great vision in bringing great bands. A gig which took part only in Thessaloniki, as happened with Nile about a year ago. Until next time, we salute all the great bands and wish them the best.

Report: Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras.