The Estudantino café, a venue known in the Metal underground for hosting a high number of concerts received the 2nd edition of the OMG Fest. An independent festival organized by Omega Som, an entity focused on featuring some of the best bands that the Portuguese underground hides within its ranks, but without losing its interest in the most obscure, unique acts.
After a successful 1st edition back in 2013, this year’s edition was noticeably more ambitious, better designed, prepared and arranged, showing an increase in professionalism, thus a higher quality event.
The first band was O Cerco, a Black Metal trio who seemed a bit shy at first, but after some time became more comfortable. Presenting not only the EP “O Homem Esmorece… A Natureza Prevalece” (out via Signal Rex), but some new material from an upcoming trilogy release. A bit of a meager performance, but we’re looking forward to see them again soon.
Next came Nevoa, a young group that draws a lot of inspiration from acts such as Wolves In The Throne Room or Krallice. They managed to create great ambiance with their dissonant and chaotic style of Black Metal. The long songs from “The Absence Of Void” filled with hypnotic riffs and rhythms took the audience on a cosmic journey. This show was better than the previous time that we saw them opening for Satanic Warmaster earlier this year in Porto.
Presenting the excellent debut album “Adversarial Light”, released via Signal Rex, Vaee Solis were the next band on the bill. Mr. Pedro Roque, a friend of the band lent his vocal skills in the beginning of the concert, quickly giving place to the peaceful-looking female singer Sofia Loureiro. What happened next was a positively-convincing showcase of slow paced Blackened Doom Metal with a bit of Sludge elements, delivered by a band who seemed mature on stage, making us think of Khanate during the slower songs.
Don’t Disturb My Circles started their show and all hell broke loose. Playing quite a different style, filled with dissonant riffs, weird rhythms and demented screams, these guys brought their chaotic hardcore mess to the festival, catching some people by surprise. The first band that’d come to mind would be Converge, for sure… For a bit more than half an hour, DDMC pulled an incredibly energetic concert with a lot of twists and tricks and for sure released a lot of tension that might have built up in the previous show. Performing songs from both the band’s releases, it was a crazy time.
Slowing down the pace again, and losing almost all of the sonic aggression, Memoirs Of a Secret Empire were up next, after Orok’s cancellation. The band performed well and it almost made us feel that we were in a totally different event, due to the sonority of this band. Slow paced Post-Rock that slowly builds up in a cloud of guitar effects always backed up by a strong bass support. Opposite to the previous band, this performance made us feel peaceful and embark on an introspective yet cathartic moment. The audience seemed to be pleased as well.
Back to chaos, Infra made a thundering appearance in the OMG Fest stage. Without time to waste, the trio unleashed their filthy and unmerciful ritualistic Blackened Death Metal! “Initiation on the Ordeals of Lower Vibrations” is their only release and it is killer! Without communication with the audience, everyone was expecting this show, so once again chaos emerged among the present. And just like it began… it ended, leaving us wanting more of it. We felt like we had taken a vicious beating.
Redemptus were next, and after the Infra show, it wasn’t easy to come afterwards. Still, this band didn’t disappoint. Seemingly obsessed with death itself, like the title of the debut “We All Die The Same”, Redemptus brought a good 45 minutes of a crushing mixture of Doom and Hardcore with some heavy guitar riffs, pounding drumming and powerful vocals.
The task to end the festival belonged to Katabatic. They’re a well-known band in the Post-Rock/Metal scene in Portugal, with a pair of good albums in the pocket. This is a good example of a band that doesn’t need much use for vocal lines, letting the instruments speak for themselves. The band felt mature while performing and after wandering between “Heavy Water” and “Weighs Like a Nightmare on the Brains of the Living”, it was time to end the hostilities. A good closing show from this minimalist band.
In conclusion, this year’s edition of the OMG Fest seemed to be quite successful, giving us hope for future editions. The band bill was quite good, and we are happy to emphasize the band choices. Thumbs up for the organization, the venue, the people and the mood that settled at the Estudantino café. Thumbs down to some delays in the timetables, and the lack of stage lights.
Special thanks to Omega Som for their collaboration with us. See you next year!!