Desertfest Athens Day 2nd // Iera Odos, Athens, Greece // 08.10.2016

[page_title text=”PROLOGUE”]

By noon, everyone had read the news that COUGH, ELDER and COLOUR HAZE wouldn’t play that night, because of a strike that was going on, in the local airport. The company that organized the event, informed us that OMEGA MONOLITH, would join the festival as a starting band and PENTAGRAM, would play a second set to cover the time when no band was playing. In advance, the tickets (for those who bought them on that day) cost minus five euro from original price and everyone who had already bought the ticket for both days, would get a free beer.  No refunds. Maybe the organizers should have allowed the refunds, but that would risk a cancelation of the second day, which also had six more bands that were scheduled.

Achileas Noir



Unfortunately, Stelios and myself, weren’t able to watch OMEGA MONOLITH due to circumstances. Our apologies go to the band. But we did start the festival’s second day, watching BLACK HAT BONES. By that time the second stage had about a hundred people and the mood was not right. The band did their best, but the crowd was numb. The mood would change during the day, but at that time, while this band was playing, no one had the appetence to rock. Though, I must say that, even though the sound was not quite good, the band showed how professional they are, performing their  new songs that were quite promising.

Achileas Noir



After a forty-five minute break (and some more beers for us) RELENTLESS GHOULS, walked on first stage, like a PENTAGRAM cover band, wearing make-up that resembled ghouls. Liebling, was in a good mood and although the place was not packed, he and his band gave a worthy show, that featured “The Ghoul”, “Evil Seed” and “Review Your Choices” amongst others. They ended their forty minute show with “Wartime”, being also the highlight. The old man surely showed the youngsters how you can rock, even at the age of sixty – plus, not taking things that serious and having fun while you are alive.

Achileas Noir



Back to the second stage, we saw the revelation of the day! STEAK, taught us Europeans, how stoner rock should be played… the way KYUSS did it! Excellent performance with plenty, entertaining songs, that brought the desert climate, in Athens. I was surprised by how good this band was. Of course, they are not the prototype band of desert rock, but they brought the spirit of Palm Desert in that festival. By that time, I found out that standing behind the stage’s speakers ,made the sound bearable, so I did stay behind them and enjoyed the concert at its most.

Achileas Noir



These guys from Germany have been my favorite band in the genre, for some years. They have joined me in many good/ bad and more peculiar phases of my life and I was eager to watch them perform live. The mood was great, the time was right and starting track ”Ahimsa” was exactly what I needed! We all took the trip through their psych grooves and fuzzy stoner guitars, that get active but not necessarily aggressive, which gave us energy and power to overcome whatever problems that day[cancelled bands/last night’s hangover etc.]Professional  and compulsive, during their time on stage everyone cheered and asked for more. A truly great band, despite the difficulty they had to overcome with their tech engineer on keyboards, who had to rehearse the tracks the previous night! Well done MY SLEEPING KARMA!

Stelios “Powertrip” Makris



After watching RELENTLESS GHOULS who filled the gap of cancelled bands, came the time for the real PENTAGRAM! With no delay they started pounding our ears, with their heavy doom sounds and old timer Bobby Liebling, giving us a show to remember! ”Death Row”-”All Your Sins”-”Sign of the Wolf”-”Sinister” for starters and as time passed we were all overwhelmed by their power and energy, that left nothing standing to its passing! Highlights of the show ”Dying World” -”Dead Bury Dead” a full set of nearly fourteen tracks, that blew our minds. Serving us the song ”20 back spin” as a ‘dessert’ with Liebling playing dead below the speakers, and guitarist Griffin’ dragging him along the stage after throwing his guitar away, which previously offered for touching to those in front raw. A greatness of an amazing show and a proof that heavy metal never dies! Absolutely and utterly satisfying.

Stelios “Powertrip” Makris



Due to cancelations and rearranged timelines KARMA TO BURN, were placed on main stage headliners [thank god!] after the mighty PENTAGRAM. No surprises here, no paints or running around the stage, just William ”riff machine” Mecum and his mates giving us a storm of well played tracks, throughout their back catalogue. KARMA TO BURN, is all about riffing and jamming, not lyrics or song titles and believe me, they don’t need it. Lesson in drum performance by Evan Devine, bass lines that exceed our expectations and a superb build up, for a band that has stood high on our preferences, for far too long. A suitable closure, for a great festival. Cheers!

Stelios “Powertrip” Makris


Although, we were very tired after the riff attacks of the previous three bands, we had to check out AUTOMATON’s collaboration with DR. SPACE and so we did. The band performed material from their remixed album and it was interesting to hear their post/drone metal tracks, all ingrained with the sounds that DR. SPACE was creating in his analog synthesizer. After a while, though, it was so noisy and loud, that it became a torment. My ears are still ringing to this day. Please promoters/event organizers,  do not let any band play again in that room of sound torture! Overall, it was a successful festival that had it all. Excitement and disappointment, let downs and ultimate highlights, doom and stoner, sun and rain. Like in life, you can’t have one without the other.

Achileas Noir

[page_title text=”EPILOGUE”]

I personally enjoyed the festival despite its technical issues! Stage 2, was awful, COLOUR HAZE, ELDER and COUGH cancelations were a bummer! A good line-up for a true desert fest, price for a two-day ticket could have been a bit cheaper though, together with the food and beverages inside the venues. But don’t forget this is what rock n roll is all about! Excitement /disappointment, ups and downs, you name it. We had the privilege to watch great bands, these two days and it was an experience to remember. ROCK N’ ROLLLLLLL… (loud and whirring actually)

Stelios “Powertrip” Makris

[page_title text=”GALLERY”]

Photos by Tilemachos Kouklakis & Chris Lemonis