Mystic Force, Agnosia, Until Rain
Block 33, Thessaloniki, Greece
I could only write ”Psychotic Waltz live for the first time in Greece, it was epic and amazing” and finish my report in these few words. But this site depended on me to write a proper live report. It was something, that not only me, but also the 400 people, who came in Block 33 expected. To be honest, here in Thessaloniki, we felt a little jealous, because in Athens the gig had Pagan’s Mind and Royal Hunt too, but anyway it was an explosive show, if you count one or two good appearances of the support bands and the astral trip of Psychotic Waltz’s music. A unique live show by this great progressive metal band, that left us with a sweet dizziness in our heads.
The gig started around 20:30 and the first support band were Until Rain. They presented their work from “The Reign of Dreams” and “Pandemic” EP. They tried too much, but still they tired us, even when they played the cover of “Kasmhir” of Led Zeppelin and only their friends in the front row seemed to enjoy them. Well it was time for a couple of beers and waiting for Agnosia, who came on stage half an hour, later. They played surprisingly well and they seemed worthy to support such a great band like Psychotic Waltz. Agnosia are a very tied group, with a very good vocalist and a very capable drummer and warmed up properly the audience, with the songs from their album, “Trace Decay”. “A Drift Into Lie”, “Another Promise”, “The Patterns Of A Dream” and “Picadily Circus Nights” made a lot of positive impression specifically to me, since I saw them for the first time, and the highlight of their appearance was with “Eye To Eye”, a cover from Fates Warning.
It was past 10, and more and more people were coming, until the club was full. Then, Mystic Force entered the stage and they were ready to play. I didn’t expect that I will like them, because I thought that they will be a classic progressive metal band, who has resonance in some middle-aged people. But what I saw was too far from what I thought. The new vocalist was incredible, the new rhythm guitarist was equally good and both of them seemed tied with the grandpas. Their music wasn’t the boring progressive metal style, but it was a mix of extremely high vocals and speed riffage. They stood up worthy for almost 40 minutes and they presented songs from all over their career. “Awakened By The Dawn” and “Among The Infinity” were a great warm up for the headliner band, in “Answers Of The Mystery” the crowd was getting hotter and “Modern Day Fury” from their upcoming demo was simply perfect. Finally, with “A Step Beyond” and “Eternal Quest” panic was created by some nostalgic fans of this underrated band. Now, it was time for the headliners and a special meth trip.
Psychotic Waltz came one by one on the stage at 23:40 and then many dreams came true. “Sleeping Dogs” started and after that, this mind blowing show started with “Ashes”, with this ageless hippie who is none but Devon Graves starting to move his body in the psychedelia of the music. The really hot stuff was with “Out Of Mind” and honestly this show was surelly out of mind with the lyrical voice of Devon and the “Into The Everflow” songs continued with “Tiny Streams”. Then we thought that the title song will be next (because they took its turn), but they played something from their first album, something irritant. “In This Place” came as fucking stone on our heads and there was none not worshiping Psychotic Waltz and especially their singer. My pulse didn’t stop there, but it continued with one of my favorite Psychotic Waltz song, “Mosquito”, to sting and send us to an astral trip, before some good mosh pits with “Faded”. “Locust”, “Northern Lights” and “Haze One” were a truly strong slap in our faces, but the really shocking track was “Into The Everflow” for sure, when we all took a deep dive in the psychedelic trance of the Americans. Then, we broke in little emotional pieces with “Hanging On A String”, when all the club was singing together, before Devon grab his flute to play two other great songs, “My Grave” and ” I Remember” and making everyone travel in a dream.
Nothing was going to stop that trip, especially the next working day. In “Morbid” and “Cold” we started to get carried away by the psychotic vortex and in “Shattered Sky” we took in our hands our damaged brains by Devon’s voice. Next stop of Psychotic Waltz spaceship: “Drift” but the journey wasn’t about to end yet. “Freedom?” was the next song of “Bleeding” album and “Freakshow” was another crack-brained hit. Perhaps, you’re looking for more frenzy, so let the band make put more jelly in your head with “All The Voices” and “Mindsong”. At the end, the band presented songs from “A Social Grace”, “Another Prophet Song” revolutionized the people for sure and in “Halo Of Thorns” Devon (who sounds even better in live shows ) passed into a higher level. The final strike were “Nothing”, in which we banged our head in ecstasy and the concrete psychedelia of “I Of The Storm”, that left us astonished. Of course they didn’t stop there, for the encore we had two great surprises which were “…And The Devil Cried”, maybe the greatest track in their career and “Spiral Tower”, which was the final stop in the Psychotic Waltz planet.
After two and a half hours and 28 songs we couldn’t realize what we just saw on the stage. With live shows like that, you call yourself lucky that you had the chance to see them. The applause is going to all the band members who gave something more than themselves and especially Dan Rock, with his awesome solos, and that goddamn crazy hippie on the vocals. Only a few words can describe that experience. It was something like a deep trip in the dream, through psychedelic space wormholes. A dance in the psychotic side of life…
Stathis “Sethianus” Ntailianas.