It seems to me that these days stoner rock/sludge metal is going up. Bands like Clutch, Kyuss, Orange Goblin are gaining more and more fans each and every day. And many of us didn’t see it coming, but there you have it! Friday night was going to be another stoner party for the Athenians! Red Fang, after only eight months since their last appearance in Athens with Cancer Bats, decided to do another gig along with fellow Americans The Shrine and Lord Dying.
I showed up at the venue a bit early. The doors opened on time at about 8:30 and the few of us that were there chose our spots and got comfortable. The fact that by the time Lord Dying were about to start the number of people hadn’t increased had me a bit worried. Thankfully though, I was proven wrong later on. And cue for the first band of the night! Lord Dying took the stage and without wasting time begun their set. I must admit that I wasn’t familiar with them before the live, and I’m guessing that this goes for many attendants, but they did quite a decent job, warning up the few of us. Even though the sound wasn’t on their side, their interesting mix of sludge/doom with kind of thrash vocals kept us going for forty minutes, with songs from their debut album “Summon The Faithless”.
Fifteen minutes break and I was ready for The Shrine. Rock n roll with punk rhythms, the trio from California was certainly a blast! With better sound and bigger crowd below them, The Shrine rocked us well with songs from the debut album “Primitive Blast” as well as from the upcoming “Bless Off”. Singer/guitarist Josh Landau even started joking about their previous show in Athens, when they ended up in a police department. Eventually we found out that the police officers didn’t like Judas Priest (the horror!), but they did like Manowar, and Landau dedicated to them “Bless Off”. Forty minutes later, they closed their set with the new “Nothing Forever”, with pits forming in the crowd and with the impressions and expectations for the future.
The hour had finally come. With a brand new album released, Red Fang paid a visit to Greece for the fourth time, for those unlucky ones who were unable to see them in June. And once again they caused havoc! Yelling, crowd-surfing, mosh pits, broken cymbals, the show had it all! The start was powerful with “Hank Is Dead”, “Voices Of The Dead” and “DOEN” triggering the enthusiasm. And the band showed why their live shows have the impact they do. They gave their best self (even though the sound was a bit off in the beginning and I couldn’t hear the vocals most of the time from the spot where I was standing), headbanging like crazy, guiding the crowd when needed, joking around about their songs of sharks, birds, dogs and other beings of the animal kingdom. “Number Thirteen”, “Dirt Wizard”, “Shark”, “Crows In Swine”, “Blood Like Cream” and “Wires” were a few of the songs that were played that night. Around half an hour past midnight the show was about to end with nothing else but “Good To Die” and “Prehistoric Dog”, among the cheering and applauding of approximately 600 fans.
Ask anyone who attended this concert on Saturday night about their overall experience and I’m sure they will all sum it up in one single phrase: Money well spent. Contra Limit and Potergeist, two promising Greek bands were the opening acts for The Shrine, three crazy guys from Los Angeles who’ve probably sworn a secret oath about showing the world what it really means to rock on stage.