Gagarin205, Athens, Greece 29.11.2016
I never understood and accepted the fact that TESTAMENT are not included in the “Big 4” of the Bay Area thrash metal. They deserve it just like any of the rest “Big 4”. For me, even more than others maybe. Well, the time has come to finally see them live for my first time ever. Alongside, KARMA VIOLENS and CONVIXION; two of the best bands our country has to offer in in this kind of metal.
Around 20:00 KARMA VIOLENS hit the stage with no delay at all and they really took our heads off! Playing songs from both of their releases they delivered an amazing and passionate half an hour show. Good sound, great movement on stage and a performer (Marios) spitting his throat out! Their Swedish death metal with thrash and metalcore (not many) influences is addictive at least. Unfortunately, once again, the crowd was not as much as a few minutes later. Something usual – unfortunately – in the Greek reality when it comes about the support acts. However, time passed quickly and KARMA VIOLENS finished their set leaving us hungry for more.
CONVIXION was the next band. Maybe they are not my kind of thrash but that’s one man’s opinion. Other than that, the band was very energetic playing almost perfect and with a good sound as well. Old school speed-thrash with some firing riffs and hellish-fast drumming. A very good reason for some headbanging and some moshpit action. The band played a few songs from their latest release “Days Of Rage, Nights Of Wrath” while their setlist also included a few songs from their first album. Surely a great performance and a good warm up for the “main course”!
Now what can I say about TESTAMENT? What’s left to say that someone hasn’t said it before really? A band with thirty years of music history with ups and downs, with health issues some years ago but always a honest and respectful band. I could start stating that TESTAMENT have right now one of the best line-ups out there and also their last three albums (including the recently released “Brotherhood Of The Snake”) have brought them even more in the front of the thrash metal scene worldwide.
Well, TESTAMENT came out like a raging bull! “Brotherhood Of The Snake” was the opening track and “Rise Up’ followed to lead the fans into endless headbanging, moshpits and stage-divings!. The band is like a machine and everybody was having a great time. Next, also from their new album, was “Pale King” and by that moment on, I kind of lost the time and the place I was. All I remember is the songs coming one right after the other with Chuck doing endless air-guitar with his lightsaber microphone.
“Disciples Of The Watch”, “The New Order”, “Practice What You Preach” and “Dark Roots Of The Earth” made Gagarin205 explode! There have been moments I could see everybody headbanging like there was no tomorrow and times that we couldn’t get our eyes of the stage because of the impresive performance we were lucky to attend.
“Stronghold” was another great song from their new album and then we took another dive to their past with “The Preacher”, “In To The Pit”, “Over The Wall”, “DNR” and “3 Days In Darkness”. They also played “More Than Meets The Eye” which was not on their set-list and finally “The Formation Of Damnation” was the closer song of a live to remember!
Maybe the band was a bit tired from their recent tour with AMON AMARTH, maybe the sound at some points was not that good (it wasn’t bad for sure) but I am sure that if you ask most of the people, they would say that they had such a great time that wouldn’t be affected by those things. Thank you TESTAMENT for this great live!
Check S&D Photography for more photos.