CANDLEMASS / TROUBLE / GHOST / HELL / LORD VICAR
Date: 08th October 2011
Venue: Fuzz Club
Ticket Price: €40/45 ($54/61)
Photos: Minos Dokopoulos
Giorgos: That was a real marathon of hot burning Heavy Metal! From 5:30pm until almost 01.30 am, 1000 Greeks had the chance to watch a show that they will remember for years; eight hours of heavy fucking Metal like the way it should be! It is quite pity though that the gig wasn’t sold out. I don’t know what else a promoter should bring to this country to make a gig sold out. If the same live pack went for a live European tour, the halls would be packed. It’s like some particular bands gain the main attraction here like ANATHEMA, BLIND GUARDIAN, ICED EARTH or PARADISE LOST. Let’s hope this will change in future time. Arriving at the venue at 4:30pm the army of the immortals of METAL KAOZ were there and together with some friends of steel, we heard the call to arms for the battle that was about to start!
Giorgos: LORD VICAR was the first band of the night that started the show with a half hour delay at 5:30pm. The Finnish doomsters are mostly known because of their legendary singer Chritus who was also a member of COUNT RAVEN on the album “Storm Warriors” and also a member of SAINT VITUS on the legendary “Children Of Doom” album. Their first album “Fear No Pain” back in late 2008 was received warmly from the Doom society. A truly 100% Doom monolith! I was very glad to watch them perform live but I can’t say the same for the rest of the audience that reacted rather apathetic to their songs. The truth is that their music is a little difficult to digest if you are not into the raw style of Doom Metal. Also, the sound didn’t help them at all. Anyway, I was very happy to hear tunes like “Born Of A Jackal” or “Funeral Pyre” and I really like Chritus voice that has this Ozzy-like tint. After an hour set, they left the stage and it was about time for HELL to bring some 80’s Metal show and feeling onstage.
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Minos: After a great performance from LORD VICAR, it was time for the British HELL. To tell you the truth I hadn’t heard of them before, so when they entered the stage in their outfits I thought they were a Goth / Doom band. But when they played the first notes, I was surprised (in the good sense). As I later found out, and I’m telling you in case you don’t know, HELL were formed back in 1982 as a NWOBHM band, but due to several issues they never got to release an album (they only released 4 demos and a single). In 2008 the band got back together and after signing with Nuclear Blast, they finally released their first album.
The NWOBHM sound is distinct in their songs and of course the vocals of David Bower add to that feeling. Of course, the sound now isn’t only New Wave but they have added a modern touch and some keyboards. Their performance was solid and the sound was really good. All of their songs were quite powerful, executed with a heavy sound, helping to heat up the atmosphere for good. The crowd responded really well, yelling and headbanging for good and applauding warmly after each song. The band's members made their appearance with their faces covered with corpse paint, like they did back in the 80’s. Bower wore a crown of thorns and was using a wireless microphone. The performance was a bit theatrical and perhaps one of the reasons behind it is that Bower is also a stage and television actor. During the concert he changed twice: the first time he put a monk’s robe and he was waving a bell shouting “Bring out your Dead” (well, they are from the same country as Monty Python). The second time he put on a black t-shirt, with a white square on the very top, imitating a catholic priest’s collar. Moreover, for one song he came shirtless holding a whip, for a good old self flagellation (the wireless mic helped a lot). I can’t say, for a theatrical performance he was doing excellent.
The band seemed to be having a good time, along us, and Bower was talking a lot to the crowd, telling twice: “I’m happy to perform to the country that gave birth to civilization”, and also telling us: “we need your help, your voices, your souls”, when he was seeing that things were calming down a bit. After an hour, or a little less, the band wished us goodnight and left the stage for GHOST. Generally, it was a good show and, personally speaking, they made me wanting to check them out.
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Giorgos: After Lucifer’s attack through HELL, another band that I was really curious to see live was up next. Sweden’s GHOST have gained already a lot of lovers but also a lot of haters. Possibly because of their strange image, that I basically adore, and also because they are accused of mimic’s of the style of MERCYFUL FATE. Call me crazy but I found their style and music somehow unique. The dark image of the band follows the satanic lyrical concept and to my eyes seems very interesting. From the reactions of the crowd many shared the same thought with me. Their occult stage show and the magnificent sound got the attention of everybody. The voice of Satan and in fact Papa Emeritus is one of the most cult figures I’ve ever seen onstage. They played for almost 50 minutes with the best parts of their debut “Opus Eponymous” and also their incredible cover on “Here Comes The Sun” from THE BEATLES! The band thanked the crowd for their warm reactions and promised to come back again... and now there’s TROUBLE on the menu...
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Minos: So after the Pope and his minions had left the stage, we underwent another half an hour of stage changing, sound checking and crappy music from the speakers. Thankfully having someone to talk with does the trick. Again the lights went off and TROUBLE made their appearance on stage.
I have to say that I expected a closer to Doom show since they started as a Doom band and since they were appearing before CANDLEMASS. But I sure wasn’t expecting what we finally watched. Although it was a very good performance, with a good sound, it was closer to an 80’s Hard Rock / Metal show. Kory Clarke who brought a WARRIOR SOUL touch to the band, reminded me of Robert Plant, in the appearance, and of David Lee Roth, in his movements and attitude. To tell you the truth, in some moments it was like SKID ROW was on stage. Nevertheless, as I mentioned, their performance was very good and the songs executed really well. Their setlist was consisted mostly of songs of their past albums, like “The Sleeper”, “Come Touch the Sky”, “At The End Of My Daze”, even “Assassin” from “Psalm 9” and “Wickedness Of Man” from “The Skull”, but definitely in a more stoner way, although there were generally many moments with fast and heavy parts that offered many chances for headbanging. All the members, and especially Bruce Franklin with his excellent guitar skills, gave their best. K.K. from Greek band NEED, filled Shane’s shoes (who had to stay in the US) and he was great, although a little tight in the beginning. It’s not easy after all performing with a band with such a history behind it. After 2-3 songs though, he felt more relaxed and gave his best.
The crowd did seem to have a good time, cheering and applauding after each song. TROUBLE left the stage without playing their two last scheduled songs, “The Tempter” and “All Is Forgiven” (I took a look at the setlist), probably due to the fact that the concert at the beginning started with more than a half hour delay and maybe the promoter or the venue wanted the night to finish right on schedule. TROUBLE received another warm applaud and cleared the stage for the Gods of Doom.
02. “The Sleeper”
03. “The Eye”
05. “Come Touch The Sky”
06. “Hunters Of Doom”
07. “Trouble Maker”
08. “Wickedness Of Man”
09. “At The End Of My Daze”
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DimKar: You start to understand that you have grown older when the members of your favorite band are at their 50s and when the younger metalheads remember the lyrics better than you... Nevertheless, CANDLEMASS night was a great night; a perfect time travel from HELL and GHOST - they were both awesome, and a large question mark on why TROUBLE wasn’t a thousand times more awesome than any band that played that night. Then came CANDLEMASS, simple utterly awesome... Ok, what do you thing: that here in Greece we believe that our favorite bands never grow old and we expect in every concert to be like it was 30 years ago? CANDLEMASS were very good like a legendary band that has so many years on the back, nothing exciting just a sum of very powerful memories that coalesces into images when a song you loved so many years is performed live. Some of you might think I am bitter but it’s not that; it’s just the realization of a 30 plus year old metaller. But when bands that molded our Metal characters play live, then the memories that the young fans do not have yet, come to overwhelm us; just like CANDLEMASS did.
Giorgos: As Dimitris said above, yes the show was full of such kind of moments when a 30 year old man feels like a youngster. CANDLEMASS delivered a hell of a show and the memories remain deep inside our hearts and minds for years to come. If I could try to find something negative from CANDLEMASS’ performance that would be the sound, which is not their fault actually, and the general performance of Mr. Lowe that was disappointing. Not only because he was forgetting the lyrics, not only because his voice wasn’t in great shape that night, but his whole appearance on stage was at least humiliating for his standards. After the show I’ve learned his going through some rough times and considering the rough times I’m getting through, I totally understand how things life can squeeze you right next door to hell!
Of course, the top moment of the show was the entire “Epicus, Doomicus, Metallicus” set. This legendary sextet of songs, that wrote history in Doom Metal, was performed live in the best way I could have imagined. I can’t really tell you my feelings hearing live one of the voices that haunt my childhood. Yes, Johan Langqvist was in front of us performing those magnificent songs in a way, that I wonder where the hell he is lost so many years. Another top moment was the performance of “Darkness In Paradise”, during which Langqvist and Lowe shared the singing duties! How much I pity those who decided not to be there...
P.S. #1: Harry (the promoter), if we didn’t have you, we would be forced to see BLIND GUARDIAN every six months! Thank you for everything! Don’t give up, don’t give in!
P.S. #2: A friend of mine that came to the show, having just arrived from South Africa (!) asked me to write this... “Leif Edling I beg you, keep Johan in the band!”
01. “Mirror Mirror”
02. “If I Ever Die”
03. “Hammer Of Doom”
04. “At The Gallows End”
07. “Demon’s Gate”
08. “Crystal Ball”
09. “Black Stone Wielder”
10. “Under The Oak”
11. “A Sorcerer’s Pledge”
12. “The Well Of Souls”
13. “Emperor Of The Void”
14. “Darkness In Paradise”
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