And finally Lisbon had its own metal festival. An underground one.
Goodlife HQ dared to dream this event, while RCA Club accepted the challenge, reveiving 24 bands in just two days. As you can imagine, it was only for the brave, once each day the concerts started at 14:30 h.
On Saturday, still suffering from Vallenfyre’s headache, we missed nationals WELLS VALLEY, and it was REDEMPTUS oppenning the hostilities for us. Also formed recently, this Portuguese power trio delivered some well balanced sound, with a strong bass and a correct strong presence on stage all the way. From the UK, OLD SKIN took the task louder, once their powerfull hardcore tried to push deeper breaths from everyone, with an high rotation vocalist. Sadly, after them we had no MOTHER ABYSS due to their cancelation, and that’s why Norwegian TOMBSTONES, schedulled to play the day after, took the chance to present a different set. Focused on older material, their stoner made us balance during the whole 40 minutes, enjoying their good vibes, well cared sound and a weight that felt much more present than on studio albums. A comparison to Bongripper comes as a natural compliment for these guys, that towards the end offered us a Melvins cover. But, even though they had the best performance that far, we must not forget German IMPLORE, that played just before Tombstones, and came to us as a violent surprise. Direct harsh sound mixing hefty sludge and fast death/grind that grabbed our attention since the first shout. Plus, the band, specially the frontman, showed a constant interested presence throughout the whole festival, leaving a very positive first impression.
Nationals BESTA had some line-up changes since the last time we saw them, but we eventually had to choose a time to eat, and that’s why we came back when Spanish ADRIFT were starting. We know these neighbours for quite a while and, even so, we were hit by a non expected violence, once they sounded much more intense , fast and heavier than on studio albums. To some considerations of a “too much noise gig” we argue with a well executed, complex and somewhat proggressive deathened sludge metal show. Well done.
If you were still expecting for some kind of “Lisbon stoner festival” you must have lost your final hope when HIEROPHANT went on stage, once they came to put even more weight on it. Brutal hardore mixed with some form of Black Metal was the weapon these Italians used to attack us. Pulling out some dragged parts towards the end, the overall outcome of their performance, even if reduced to a trio formation, as to be a positive one.
One of the main atractions of the first day was offcourse North American MUTILATION RITES, on a European tour that Goodlife was able to pull to our sunny seaside. Carrying one of the highlights of last year (“Harbinger”), they delivered exactly what was expected: fast, hellish and unorthodox Black Metal. The lead vocals reproduced perfectly the rotten feeling that invades us when listening to MR at home in a very recommendable concert, even if a lot shorter than expected. They simply went on stage, demolished it during no more than 30 m and left. Like an hurricane, spreading strong winds in the form of songs as “Black Pyramid”or “Suffer the Children”.
If the audience was already very close to the stage, the remaining space was taken before OATHBREAKER’s performance. Actually, it seemed that a significant part of the attendees was there mainly because of these Belgiums. And the band did prooved the reason why. An intense performance and harsh vocals commanded a devoted audience which stood contaminated by Caro’s misterious presence. You don’t always have to play complex proggressive music to shine amongst your pairs. Sometimes the feeling you put on things is the most valuable weapon.
The level was high as you can imagine, but Italian headliners THE SECRET took the concept of aggression to another level. With some fine and intense studio works, they hit us harder than we could predict. Their prolonged frightening intro provoqued everyone’s nerves, inviting us to stand and fight till the end of the set. We believe everyone has accepted that invitation. “Antitalian”, “Geometric Power” or “Where it Ends” were some of the major moments. A very intense, direct and powerfull exibition , conquering Lisbon for one night.
With our ears and neck devastated, we couldn’t stay for BLACK BOMBAIM’s surprise act, and so we shipped outside, facing the freezing cold that blew in Lisbon that weekend.