It's Friday night in Athens and on this last night of January everybody was waiting for one of the Greek audiences' most beloved bands: Iced Earth with classic metal newcomers Elm Street and the already established Thrashers of the new breed, Warbringer. One hell of a package for a Heavy/Thrash fan!
First one on the billing was Elm Street who seemed very energetic and whipped the Athenian crowd into a frenzy with their Heavy metal stuff influenced by Accept, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden (they were even playing "Metal Heart" during the soundcheck) and created even the first moshpit of the evening. They thanked Iced Earth for taking them on tour as well as the audience for being so intense from the very beginning of the show. They played some songs off their debut album "Barbed Wire Metal". A solid support act who are given the chance to make something better in the future.
Coming up next we have the crazy Thrashers from California, Warbringer! With one of the genres' most passionate frontmen according to the writer, John Kevill, they hit the stage with stuff off their brand new kick ass record "IV: Empires Collapse" called "Scars Remain" opening up the first big moshpits of the night as well as with the next one called "Iron City". Things got out of hand with "Total War", "The Turning Of The Gears", "Living In A Whirlwind" and "Severed Reality" which set the pit on fire and caused the first crowd surfs as well (including one from the writer). The band was in an amazing mood and everyone could tell, on the final track "Hunter-Seeker", John even crowd surfed with the audience going nuts about it. He didn't forget to thank us all as well as feeling honoured to play "in the land of the ancient gods". We just got a glimpse of what this band is about during live shows. Let's hope they'll visit our country again as a headlining act so that we can enjoy more of them!
Time now for the headliners of the evening, Iced Earth. In with the heavy title track off their latest strong album "Plagues Of Babylon" whipping the crowd into a headbanging frenzy, singing and chanting along with Stu Block and Jon Schaffers' riffage. Up next the fast track on "Plagues" called "Democide" brought back the moshpits in the show. We heard songs off the "Plagues Of Babylon" ("Cthulhu", "The End?", "If I Could See You", "Amongst The Living Dead") "Dystopia" (the ripping title track already a classic amongst fans and "V") "The Glorious Burden" ("Red Baron/Blue Max" never thought they'd play stuff off that record) "Something Wicked This Way Comes" ("Burning Times", "Watching Over Me" with a amazing sing along part towards the end, one of the most heartfelt ballads for Jon, "Disciples Of The Lie", "Blessed Are You" dedicated to us, "My Own Saviour") "Dark Saga" ("Dark Saga", "Vengeance Is Mine", "A Question Of Heaven"). Stu didn't forget to thank us for the amazing energy and passion towards the band that night and ended their show with "Iced Earth" off the self titled first record in cheering and applause from a crazy Greek audience, showing its unconditional love for the band. Jon Dette behind the skins was the best guy they could pick for the tour. After an hour and 40 minutes, everybody was happy and feeling full with pure Heavy metal. Wish them well on the tour as well as every contributor of the night and hope to see such well organized events in the future.