Sepultura, Suicidal Angels, Flames, Hammercult, Verdict Denied
Fuzz Club, Athens, Greece
Strange things happen in Greece in the year of 2012… In a moment where the whole country is under a great concern on what’s about to happen with the economic crisis, many gigs take place on summer time and this year specifically we are going to have nearly ten gigs on June and some more in July and August. It seems a little awkward but on the other hand, it’s Sepultura which came to Greece for the fifth time in their career and it’s a celebration on its own. Yes, they are not as glorious as they used to be in the ‘80s and ‘90s but they remain a great live band in any case. Three Greek bands and one from Israel filled the whole package which started at 7 o’clock and finished at 1.20 a.m! For the price of 25 euros, five bands and a gig more than six hours is something none can compain about, unless they want to nag about almost everything.
Verdict Denied entered the stage exactly at the announced time of starting of the whole gig and for half an hour, they showed how technical thrash metal can be played without getting much tiring. Skilled as players and with a good sound for the likes of Fuzz Club (I hate going to this place for gigs, despite the fact it’s very close to my house), they took the chance and showed 100% ready for this support to Sepultura. Their sound reminds me of the English thrash scene a bit with bands like Xentrix or Acid Reign, who were also technical but never forgot being fast and obsessive, and that’s what Verdict Denied are. I like their album ‘’Condamned’’ very much and it was the first time I saw them live after so many years of efforts. I hope I will see them soon enough again, surely they won much impressions and they may gain such chance for supporting a great group in the near future.
Hammercult from Israel is a good band, playing a little anarchistic their thrashing metal, they are good players who overreact a bit but they get saved because they seem to have a lot of fun doing it. The fact that two of their members wore Warbringer t-shirts made them even more sympathetic to me and they played for about half an hour some up tempo groovy compositions. Energy was there, I can’t tell the same about special ideas or something I’ve never heard before, but if we weigh things, the positive ones are more than the negative. A good band to fill thirty minutes in a big night, giving guts and sweat and headbanging all the time, none can say they were static or trying some goofing on, but I surely prefered Verdict Denied on the other hand. I will remember them with positive impressions but even if I had never saw them it wouldn’t become a loss to be honest.
Flames is the most legendary thrash metal band ever to emerge from Greece and this was the night of their reunion show after so many years. I saw many people getting obsessed to this fact and I can surely tell I witnessed an important performance in the history of the whole Greek metal scene. I was never a big fan of the band, I tried a lot of times to like them but it just didn’t happen. But I would be so unfair to deny that the band was fully prepared for this event and that they transmitted the ferocity and affinity of their compositions to the fans who started coming rapidly to the show after Flames started. They played almost one hour and they left the stage knowing they had achieved an honest performance. The sound of course was crappy but they are not to blame about that. They knew they had done their part and the fans recognised that by applausing them warmly. They promised to come back with new songs very soon, let’s see how they’re going to sound like.
Suicidal Angels are coming out with the aura of a large band and ‘’Bloodbath’’ begins the massacre on their first show in Athens concerning their latest and most mature release. Maybe their most furious gig of the band I’ve ever seen, too bad that the sound fucked them up, but they show no mercy no matter what happens and they destroy everything for an hour. Nothing new to say compared to other times, only the t-shirts they wore and the setlist were different: ‘’Bloodbath’’, ‘’Bleeding Holocaust’’, ‘’Reborn In Violence’’, ‘’ Face Of God’’, ‘’Chaos (The Curse Is Coming’’), ‘’Torment Payback’’, ‘’Final Dawn’’, ‘’Morbid Intention To Kill’’, ‘’Bleeding Cries’’, ‘’The Pestilence Of Saints’’, ‘’Moshing Crew’’ and of course, ‘’Apokathilosis’’ for the end. It’s so nice to see them becoming idols for the new generation, which came up on stage once again to share the fun with their beloved band. Suicidal Angels are so loose that they end up being dangerous, lock them in a cage if you don’t want to be bitten fatally.
Sepultura is one of the ten best bands ever, for what they have offered, for the legacy they have left and for some of the best albums someone can listen in his life. It’s been sixteen years that the fans want Max Cavalera back, more now that he’s with Igor by his side. But even without the two brothers, ‘’Beneath The Remains’’ which starts the show is enough to create chaos inside the club and ‘’Refuse/Resist’’ which follows continues the frenzy created. Smart move to start with these two and they go on with tracks from the latest album ‘’Kairos’’ with the title track and ‘’Relentless’’ preparing the ground for ‘’Dead Embryonic Cells’’. A dreamy start for the Brazilians with the American vocalist, they go on playing new tracks like ‘’Mask’’ which is followd by ‘’Attitude’’ and with the set featuring some more from the Green era such as ‘’Choke’’ and ‘’Sepulnation’’, with ‘’Escape To The Void’’ sandwiched between them, representing ‘’Schizophrenia’’. After selections from most of their albums, it’s time for them to end the show with a row of amazing tracks from their past.
‘’Subtraction’’ is a track I never thought I would listen to a Sepultura show, the new drummer Eloe Casagrande kicks serious ass and is even better than his predecessor, it’s amazing how this young boy makes the others play as teenagers too. The groove gives space for headbanging and jumping to the crowd and the cover in Ministry’s ‘’Just One Fix’’ makes things even better, ‘’Territory’’ follows and ‘’Policia’’ brings some moshing feeling, before the final massacre with ‘’Inner Self’’ and of course ‘’Arise’’. Even the ones having left Sepultura back way before, admit that the band fucks shit up when it comes to concerts and even the ones suspicious about a possible flop, wait for the encore clearly satisfied. ‘’Ratamahatta’’ and ‘’Roots Bloody Roots’’ end the show after 100 minutes and more than twenty songs played. Sepultura wave goodbye to Athens triumphantly and many men and women inside the club feel proud for the tribal S tattoo marked on their bodies. Until next time, we will remember that Sepultura gave a remarkable show, in the best performance of them I’ve witnessed so far. Under a pale grey sky we shall arise again…
Report: Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras.
Photos: Manos Spanos.