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Report: River Stone Fest 2023

Rui Pereira 30/10/2023 Festivals, Reports Comments Off on Report: River Stone Fest 2023
Report: River Stone Fest 2023

On September 23rd, metal lovers gathered once again in Penafiel, for the seventh edition of River Stone Fest!

It was just after 4:25 pm when Blind The Eye arrived, to present us with their Melodic Death Metal and promote their second album “The Lion Of Lions”, released in September 2022. This band was born in Santa Maria da Feira, in 2015 and features Nuno Rodrigues on bass, Rui Rocha on drums, Ramiur Sekh and Ruben Oliveira on guitars and the most recent member Rui Antunes on vocals.

The band started the festivities of this year’s River Stone Fest by performing songs such as “The Lion Of Lions”, “Tauroctony”, “Imperial Thunder” and “Mars! Rejoice!” which warmed up the arriving public and prepared the ground for what would follow.

Soon after, Evil Seeds followed, coming from Basque Country and with a classic Heavy Metal approach to their music. This band had their latest album “Theory of Fear”, released in 2020 in their luggage.

Composed by Tello Oraá on bass, Josu Liona and Iñaki Sena on guitars, Sergio Dosal on drums, and Roma on vocals, this band gave us songs such as “King Of The Ring”, “To Hell With It All”, Theory Of Fear “, “Inside The Viper’s Nest” and “Against All Gods”, also presenting us with a cover of “Electric Eye” by Judas Priest. The audience responded quite well.

It was to the sound of Wanderer that the festival continued. A band from Porto, formed in 2010 and featuring Luís Ferreira on drums, Nuno Machado on guitar and vocals, Rui Freitas on bass and André Ribeiro on guitar, came to River Stone to show us their Heavy / Speed Metal in themes such as “Oblivion”, “Spellbound”, “Dark Age” and “Freedom’s Call”. If you haven’t listened to their album “Awakening Force”, released in 2020, you are missing, a lot. What a fantastic record!

It was during their show that the first bales of straw began to be undone at this festival which, since 2018, has had a tradition of unraveling bales of straw and throwing them into the air and into the crowd.

After 8pm, Dark Oath arrived, bringing their Epic Melodic Death Metal from Soure. This band was created in 2009 and this is their second appearance at River Stone, having last been in 2017. Featuring Joel Martins and Sérgio Pinheiro on guitars, Afonso Aguiar on bass, Luís Moreira on drums and Sara Leitão on vocals, this band brought us, from their 2016 album songs like “When Fire Engulfs The Earth”, “Land Of Ours”, “The Tree Of Life”, Thousand Beasts” and “Watchman Of Gods”. Experiencing good stage sound and great stage presence, Dark Oath left no one indifferent. Everyone’s waiting for a new record, guys.

After dinner, Analepsy followed. Celebrating a decade of existence, Analepsy quickly climbed the ladder of the international Slam / Brutal Death Metal genre. Coming to promote their latest album “Quiescence”, released in 2022, these bulldozers destroyed everything through songs such as “Locus Of Dawning”, ” Impending Subversion”, “Edge Of Chaos” and “Stretched And Devoured”. With Marco Martins on guitar, João Jacinto on bass, Calin Paraschiv on guitar and vocals and Léo Luyckx on drums, this band has a large international presence and following and it was visible how eagerly the fans awaited to see this quartet.

Right after a short break, it was time for Devil In Me. This quintet formed in 2005 has Pedro Matos and Jonathan Fonseca on guitars, Carlos Rocha on drums, João Brito on bass and Apolinario Correia on vocals and came from Lisbon to show off their very energetic Harcore Punk music. Not holding back on their performance and featuring great communication and interaction with the audience these musicians conquered everyone who did not show any signs of tiredness. With songs like “Knowledge Is Power” and “Soul Rebel” from the 2015 album “Soul Rebel” and “Will” and “Awake” from the 2021 album “On The Grind”, this band has a remarkable stage presence and spectacular performance that brings the audience to their feet.

Also coming from Santa Maria da Feira, Revolution Within made sure the party kept on. Formed in 2005 and with “Matador” and Flávio on guitars, Raimundo on bass, “Tozé” on drums and “Raça” on vocals, these fellas delivered quite tasty modern Trash Metal to this festival, with songs such as “Back From The Sadows”, “Chaos “, “Days Of Anger”, “Silence” and “Surrounded By Evil”, blasting through the festival speakers. Moshpit and chaos quickly ensued. Their performance was without a doubt the highlight of the festival, with lots of hay in the air and an euphoric audience!

To close this spectacular festival we had the unmistakable ZURRAPA! This band from Viseu brought their Punk Rock, with António Fonseca on guitar and vocals, Nuno Mendonça on bass and Pedro Sales on drums.

And tt was with hay flying everywhere that this spectacular festival ended, with well-known songs themes such as “Cerveja”, “Hey! Quero Trotil!”, “Nós Não Cantamos Canções de Amor”, “Queimei o Casaco C’um Morango”, “Toureiros Assassinos” and “Afogado em Cerveja”, filled with the band’s well-spirited themes.

We can only thank the organization, which once again showed what it is capable of and brought, in addition to a good lineup of bands, several improvements to the venue, one of the most appreciated being the tent for the public, which protected from the sun during the day and from the dew at night, the latter helping to keep the hay looking its best!

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