Report: Children Of Bodom + Support Acts – Athens, Greece

Another Saturday night for Greek metalheads to have a great time. This time one of the most unique modern metal bands of our time visited our country for the second time: Children Of Bodom from Finland for the "Halo Of Blood" tour. Along with the well-known groovy Deathsters Decapitated from Poland and Medeia from Finland. The place was jam packed with young and older metalheads waiting to see their favorite band playing live. The show started according to the schedule with Medeia. A really promising band, I didn't expect an opening act to be so energetic and warm up the crowd so well. If someone walked in when these guys (and girl) were playing he could have mistaken them for a co-headlining act. So warm was the welcome from the audience. Music wise, they sounded like a mixture of metalcore at its finest with Machine Head, some really well put female vocals by their keyboard player, a bit of blasting and great amounts of energy (had to say it again). Their frontman didn't forget to thank us all for being so loud and proud from the beginning without him even asking us to do so. I'd love to see them playing live again in Greece. They were really friendly after the show as well. After the great warm-up with Medeia, in came Decapitated, one of Polands best known Death metal bands alongside with Behemoth and Vader. They kicked in with "Pest" off the "Carnival Is Forever" record, making most of the crowd headbang like crazy and start the first moshpits. "Carnival Is Forever" was also represented by the next track "404", "View From A Hole" and "Homo Sum" that caused some bigger moshpits and stagedives here and there, showing that even though they changed towards a groovier direction, they still sound like a killer Death metal act live. The song "Flash-B(l)ack" came from the last record with fallen drummer Vitek behind the kit ("Organic Hallucinosis"), with his replacement doing a great job tormenting the drum skins. Their setlist ended with their classic "Spheres Of Madness" causing the biggest moshpit in their set. The band was really in the mood to kick serious asses and that's what they did. We just wish to see them again with a bigger setlist. Then we had the headliners of the evening, Children Of Bodom. This band has really attracted many young metalheads to this genre of music over the last few years. Many 15-plus-year-old kids have come to know metal music via Children Of Bodom while at the same time older people seem to really enjoy their style. So they came in like actual headliners ripping it out with "Silent Night Bodom Night" and the crowd was whipped into a frenzy, making the moshpits even bigger. The 2 first songs from "Hate Crew Deathroll" ("Needled 24/7", "Sixpounder") came up to keep us moshing and headbanging like crazy! We heard stuff from "Follow The Reaper" ("Hate Me!" and "Kissing The Shadows" with that epic guitar/keyboards solo duo in the end), "Hatebreeder" (the ultra-classic "Downfall" and "Towards Dead End"), "Something Wild" (only "Lake Bodom" even though its an amazingly addictive song), "Are You Dead Yet?" ("In Your Face" and "Are You Dead Yet?") "Hate Crew Deathroll" (the amazing title track as well as the headbanging anthem "Angels Don't Kill"), the title track off "Blooddrunk" and nothing off "Relentless Reckless Forever". Their new album "Halo Of Blood" was represented by the amazing title track, "Scream For Silence" and "Dead Man's Hand On You" which seemed well received by the audience as an absolute return to form. The band sounded so fresh, as if it was a phase of renewal for them releasing that album. The setlist as a tribute to the Greek tradition included (right before "Downfall" I think), a keyboard cover of the Alexis Zorbas theme, highly representative of the Greek musical culture. Alexi Laiho lead the way for COB as the natural frontman and one of the ultimate sex symbols in modern metal music (ladies, please contain your screams), not that the rest of the guys had less of a success, since every one of them is a shining star in his own right. Roope with his rhythm guitar work backing up his guitar partner, Janne Warmen with his incredible keyboard solos, Jaska Raitikannen/Henkka Seppala holding it all together as passionate musicians and brothers on stage (that's how they feel about each other). Only that time it was way more evident. Their setlist ended with "In Your Face" (one of their best choruses ever, Gagarin shook when we first heard the chorus) including the Medeia frontman backing up on the vocals. The band had a great time as well as the audience that gave in everything they had. And the event was well organized in order not to tire the metalheads more on their way home. Wish even more luck to the bands doing what they want to do and we hope seeing events like that in the future.

Report: Orange Goblin, Stonebringer – Athens, Greece

It’s been numerous times that British heavy metallers (as they like to declare themselves) Orange Goblin have visited our country and this time they came short enough compared to their last year gig. Once again we had a tremendous professional behaviour towards the fans and I was very happy to see many new young fans entering the show. A sample that the youth of today find quality in the really essential bands and don’t get affected by the hype of the era or the needless effort of media to promote bands that don’t deserve it at all. This time we also had a very good support band that made its presence more than notable and the whole show finished just two hours after its beginning in half past nine, so everyone had easy access to transportation and left more than satisfied. Stonebringer is a Greek band that plays the American style of sludgy heavy rocking metal music and they are surely showing they are proud of it. Two guitarists that also share the vocals and bang their asses and heads, a bassist that follows them where needed and also can’t stand still even for a second and a crazy but also very capable drummer that hits everything hard and loud is what you’ll see in this band. I apologize to the guys for not knowing them so far, but I really declare myself a fan of them and I suggest everyone who encounters them in the future to take a good notice of them (and buy one of their very elegant t-shirts as well). Imagine a mixture of Pantera, Crowbar, Down, some Clutch (or even Orange Goblin) here and there and hints of Black Label Society. Music for beer, beards, filth and riffs until the end. Well done to the guys, who gave all they had and gained the sincere applause of the crowd. I wish them the best to come. Orange Goblin is a live guarantee every time you see them. The result is always the same (if not better) and the only thing that changes is the t-shirts the band members wear and the amount of beard they carry. When a gig starts with ‘’Scorpionica’’ which is most times the last track they play, you understand they came to conquer everyone from the first second. It was show number 147 for this year as they said, but they didn’t show any sign of tiredness or lack of fun. With tracks such as ‘’Acid Trial’’, ‘’Saruman’s Wish’’, ‘’Round Up The Horses’’ and ‘’The Fog’’,

ANTHRAX Featuring JON DONAIS, JON DETTE: Athens Fan-Filmed Video Footage Available

Fan-filmed video footage of ANTHRAX's July 28 performance at Gagarin 205 in Athens, Greece can be seen below. ANTHRAX's current touring lineup includes SHADOWS FALL guitarist Jon Donais, who has been touring with ANTHRAX since Rob Caggiano's departure in January, and former TESTAMENT/SLAYER and currentANIMETAL USA drummer Jon Dette, who is filling in for Charlie Benantewhile Charlie is "dealing with personal issues." Dette previously filled in for Benante on ANTHRAX's European tour last fall as the support act for MOTÖRHEAD and Australia's Soundwave Festival in February/March. Asked how he landed the ANTHRAX gig, Dette told "The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show": "Actually, Jason Bittner from SHADOWS FALL, who was filling in for Charlie on this last ANTHRAX run last year, couldn't do one of the tours that was coming up and called me and asked me if I would be available to do it. And I said, 'Of course. It would be great.' And the next day Charlie called me — which, Charlie is one my biggest influences ever, next to [Dave] Lombardo [of SLAYER], so it was kind of a surreal moment for me to get a call like that, saying, 'Hey, can you help me out?' Which, of course, I said, 'Absolutely"

Report: Slayer + Support Acts – Athens, Greece

It was 1st of July. A new festival that we truly hope and wish to be established and continue in the future was about to begin. By arriving at Plateia Nerou where the festival took place, I got amazed by the wonderful sea-side place having the historically Averof ship in the background just opposite from the live-stage. Definitely one of the most beautiful places for an open-air festival that I have been before! But let’s get to the chase! When we arrived Kvelertak were already on stage and we should have missed the first two tracks. If you read you definitely know our sympathy for the Norwegian. Second time in Greece, they had enough audience and gave their best to rock the fuck out under the hot sun. Erlend was plowing the stage up and down spitting his guts out in every song while he also didn’t afraid to do stage-diving! Playing songs from both their two albums they had overall a good appearance with only negatives the sun and the not that good sound. It’s time for Napalm Death to hit the stage and the British need no introductions. I was really expecting their appearance cause I haven’t seen them before (how the fuck did that happen?). However I couldn’t enjoy the show and unfortunately I can’t even describe it because I would injustice the Napalms. It started to blow and that had as a result a really bad sound which in comparison with some technical problems

SCORPIONS: ‘MTV Unplugged – Live In Athens’ Due Before End Of Year

On September 11, September 12 and September 14, German hard rock legends SCORPIONS will play three concerts in Athens, Greece under the banner "MTV Unplugged - Scorpions Live In Athens" at the Lycabettus Theatre over the roofs of the ancient city. For the first time in the history of the "MTV Unplugged" series, a concert in Greece under the open sky will take place. The SCORPIONS will perform their biggest hits, album classics as well as some exclusive new songs in the typical sound and arrangement of "MTV Unplugged". They will be supported by national and international surprise guests, to be announced at a later date. Says the band: "'MTV Unplugged' was already top on our wish list and therefore we have gladly accepted the offer to stage these concerts as part of our farewell tour. We are [happy to be working] together with MTVon this very special event in Athens."

Report: Red Fang, Cancer Bats – Athens, Greece

Night of the beasts this Tuesday on Gagarin205 and prehistoric dogs meet with bats from hell to give us a full scale animalistic experience! I arrived at the venue moments after Cancer Bats had released their merciless assault on the Greek audience’s ears and I was taken aback from the vast attendance on such an early point of the concert. I’m talking about 800-850 people in a 1000 people maximum venue! But after I started realizing what I was seeing, I also realized what a fool I had been thinking that someone would deliberately miss Cancer Bats’s set. These guys were out of this planet! The lead singer’s performance was the essence of the phrase “human tornado”. He was explosive, so energetic that at some point I caught myself thinking that if he keeps going like that for the rest of their set, he is definitely getting a heart attack. Luckily for all of us, he didn’t. He kept jumping up and down all the time, running across the stage when not singing,

Report: Riverside, Playgrounded – Athens, Greece

Sunday night was THE night for the lovers of the progressive sound. Three years after their latest visit in Greece and with a new and exceptional album at hand, Riverside decided to come to Greece once more. And with a little over ten years of existence and five great albums, they showed us why they are rightfully considered one of the best progressive bands. The doors of Gagarin were to open at 21:00 and I arrived at the venue 15 minutes later, only to find Playgrounded, the opening act, on stage and already halfway through their set. The first thing I noticed though, was that the band was really cramped up; they were literally taking only 1/4 of the stage, as most of the space was occupied by the drum set and keyboards of Riverside. Apart from that, their appearance was decent, with a few sound problems. Since this was the first time I saw them live and listened to their work and since I managed to see them only for 15 minutes, I can’t say much. But Playgrounded definitely earned a warm applause at the end of their performance.