Flotsam And Jetsam, Memorain, Desert Near The End, Hailsteel // Kyttaro Live Stage, Athens, Greece // 20.10.2016

It’s that time of the week, when we head down to Kyttaro club once more. FLOTSAM & JETSAM, the legendary speed/thrashers from Arizona, are back for a gig in promotion of their brand new self-titled album. Third time here in Greece within the past six years, they seem to have quite a fanbase compared to their underground status, which is extra important for such bands that don’t really live from profits of their music. All that aside, let’s see what the night has in for us.

First support act to hit the stage exactly at 19:30 was HAILSTEEL. A brand new band, that got its chance to support a major act, before releasing something. Their style is an old school power/speed metal, influenced by early Helloween and Running Wild, while they were extremely enthusiastic on stage (their frontman even stage dived at the end!), reminding us why we need fresh underground bands that are thirsty for music. From the first band, they crowd started coming in and filling up one quarter of the venue, which at that point, was a lot more than what I’m used to see at underground openers. All the best in the near future for HAILSTEEL, I truly enjoyed them!

Up next, without any ado (one of the main elements that made this night go on smoothly, exceptional organization), DESERT NEAR THE END, who came to shake Kyttaro to its foundations, with their brand of power/thrash. The influences I noticed, were mostly Iced Earth, along with some modern groovy passages, as well as a couple of blast-beats to spice up the mix. A great frontman, in the vein of the beloved Matt Barlow, but also trying to do his own thing, started warming up the audience with material off their latest album “Theater Of War”, that showed the band’s potential. Hope they’ll grow into something bigger eventually.

Time for the final support: MEMORAIN. Well known heavy/thrash band of the Greek underground scene, in support of their latest album “Duality Of Man”, they managed to shake off the audience for good. Their style for those who have no idea what they’re all about, is influenced by Megadeth, Annihilator, Iced Earth and such. A great live band mostly, and very energetic frontman. They had enough time on stage, so they presented material from their latest album, as well as their previous works (over a decade in the scene gives you more material to play live).

After the great performance of MEMORAIN, it was time for FLOTSAM & JETSAM to hit the stage. The lights went down, and the band hit the stage with “Seventh Seal” from their new album, and the crowd started headbanging like crazy, showing that even the new material is well-received. After that, it was time for Athens to dream “Dreams Of Death” and for us to see some of the most lunatic old school stage dives! We heard songs off “Flotsam And Jetsam” (“Monkey Wrench”, “Life Is A Mess”, “Iron Maiden”), “Drift” (“Smoked Out”), “No Place For Disgrace” (“No Place For Disgrace”, “I Live You Die”, “Hard On You”) and of course off “Doomsday For The Deceiver” (“Hammerhead”, “Doomsday For The Deceiver”, “Desecrator”, “She Took The Axe”).

It’s expected of people to have more fun during the old school stuff, but most of us had also fun during the new material, which the band definitely enjoyed. They didn’t forget to thank us all for coming and showing our love and support for the band. Erik AK, was in exceptional form, one of the most consistent frontmen in the old school of thrash. Witnessing a man decently pulling off “She Took The Axe” in his 50s, was truly a pleasure. It goes out to show that if you know what to do with your voice (how to maintain it etc.), you have nothing to fear.

When the lights went on after “I Live You Die”, we were all very happy to witness an old school speed/thrash band, still going strong and still kicking ass on stage. We can’t wait to see them again. Till next time, props for the exceptional organization and Flotsam ’till death!

Photo: Lefteris Tsoureas (Rock Hard)