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Report: Vagos Metal Fest 2016

Report: Vagos Metal Fest 2016

Once again, the town of Vagos became a place of pilgrimage. Vagos Metal Fest brought thousands of people for another Metal Festival.

With a totally different promoter in charge of the arrangements, there was great curiosity to see how it would be. The festival structure was well arranged, while the placing of the stage, merch stands, drink and food stand, toilets, etc was pretty much the same, there was a lot of stands outside the festival area. This turned out a good idea since it created an incentive for people to walk around, grab a drink, check out the town’s stand, even if they weren’t attending the festival. Another good improvement was the setting up of an ATM (Multibanco) machine right outside the festival entrance.

Day 1

With a clear bet on bringing Portuguese bands to join the international acts, Correia, Ramp, Bizarra Locomotiva, Godvlad, Heavenwood and Moonspell represented the Portuguese half of the festival. And the audience seemed to be pleased about this face, since even the first bands of each day had a considerable amount of audience. Correia brought a fresh wave of Stoner Rock which slowly captivated everyone in the audience with their catchy tunes taken from the album “Act One”. French Betraying The Martyrs made everyone jump and slam with their Symphonic Deathcore, filled with many breakdowns and bassdrops. There was even time for a cover of “Let It Go” (taken from the Disney movie Frozen) and a Wall Of Death to end it with a great boom.

Vektor made the ground tremble, with their furious Progressive Thrash Metal. “Charging The Void” from their amazing new album “Terminal Reflux” initiated one hell of a journey through space. One of the best shows in the entire festival. RAMP were next in the lineup. The Portuguese veterans returned to perform a great medley of Melodic Metal at Vagos Metal Fest. Highlighting the groovy riffs and Rui Duarte’s flexible vocal style. The fans reacted well, and even though it is an oldschool band, we’re sure they made a lot of brand new fans with this concert. Fleshgod Apocalypse flew from Italy to start the blastbeat festival. Tight, well played and presented Symphonic Death Metal, filled with dramatic passages and stagings, these Italians left no one indifferent, while presenting their brutal latest album “King”.

Continuing on the blastbeat speed, Dark Funeral and Nils Dominator made sure no stone was left unturned at Vagos. Also with a brand new record in the bag, the Swedish band performed their furious Black Metal with insane speed and crushing guitars, surpassing the technical issues noticed in the beginning of the show. We were later told (by Lord Ahriman in our exclusive interview) that their guitars had been lost by their airline while traveling between festivals. It’s been many years since they last visited Portugal, and judging by the audience’s reception in this show, let’s hope it won’t take them a handful of years to return.

Last but not least, Bizarra Locomotiva brought their contagious Industrial beats with harsh electronics and Sidónio’s typical way of spitting lyrics. The show was awesome and very well received by the audience. This could be felt by the band as by the end of the show, keyboard keys were thrown at the audience as a souvenir.

Day 2

On the 2nd day, Godvlad opened the stage with their catchy Melodic Death/Gothic Metal. Driven by the charismatic female singer Vanessa, the band put up a good show. Sometimes they seemed a bit shy, but after a while got more comfortable. That’s exactly what happened here, and by the end of the concert, the band seemed like they were playing home and had established a connection with the audience, who once again showed up early to support the Portuguese opening bands, showing that not only the international bands were the captivating part of this lineup.

Heavenwood was next on the day lineup. From interacting with the audience we could notice the expectations were high for the show. And judging by the constant applause, everyone seemed satisfied. There was time to visit songs from all the records and to invite a female guest singer: Sandra Oliveira from Blame Zeus. “Suicidal Letters” marked the end of the concert.

Tribulation were one of the best surprises of the whole festival. Right after the moment they climbed the stage, they started the show just like they start the latest album. From majority of people we spook to this was the surprise band of the festival. Non-stopping motion, theatrical clothes and make-up completed the raw sonority, which made everyone bang their head and/or hit their foot on the ground. Their energy was notorious and contagious, and this was quite noticeable when the band left the stage under a huge applause.

If Tribulation raised dust in the air, Discharge made sure it wouldn’t settle. The Punk Hardcore pioneers spread chaos among the audience, with their fast and “straight to the face” music. Of course they were presented with some of the most violent moshpits in the entire festival. This kind of music makes you react, being almost impossible not to feel it within. “End Of Days” is a very powerful record and it works on stage. But of course the classics had to be played, so “State Violence, State Control” was one of the highlights, bringing complete chaos everywhere. Even though these guys are not young, they are still kicking it!

After such energy discharge, it was time to dance and party with Finntroll! Folk Metal at its finest generated another huge storm in the public. But this time, everyone was dancing and having a good time. The chemistry band/audience was incredible. While the band visited 5 of their albums, the setlist was mostly based on the latest album “Blodsvept”. A great and fun concert by these Finnish trolls with the big bang of the concert happening with “Trollhammaren”.

Helloween, the German titans of the Power/Speed metal genre returned to Portugal after many years and what we could witness at Vagos Metal Fest was a horde of enthusiastic fans, eager to see such an influential band. Even if you are not a fan of the band’s sonority, for sure in your life time you have stumbled into one of their most famous songs.With the biggest crowd of the whole festival, Andi Deris and his friends showed what an experienced band show looks like. Everything was synchronized, with excellent lightning synched with the music. Time traveling through different albums took fans back to the “Keeper Of The Seven Keys” albums for the encore with “Future World” and “I Want Out”. Andi was very communicative with the audience, making them scream words or simply make noise. Even though it took a long time for Helloween to return to Portugal (10 years?), no one could complain after the fantastic show provided by such experienced band.

Internationally acclaimed Portuguese band Moonspell had the honors of closing the festival. And they were up to the challenge! Opening up with “La Baphomette”, the band told everyone at Vagos Metal Fest to “Breathe” so they wouldn’t become “Extinct”. With a huge fanbase, it didn’t take long until everyone started banging their heads when “Night Eternal” kicked in. Then it was time to go back to 1996 and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fantastic “Irreligious” album, with 6 songs played from that album, making the older fans nostalgic and overjoyed. Overall a great show, gifted with the occasional Pyrotec show  to make it even more stunning.

In conclusion, the first edition of Vagos Metal Fest was a big success. Well organized, there weren’t big delays on schedules except for the Dark Funeral show (due to technical issues and lost guitars). The staff was friendly and helpful and there weren’t major issues with this year’s edition. For sure next year some upgrades will be implemented, like the access ramp, an alternative staircase is utterly urgent. See you next year, Vagos!

Video & photos by: Filipe Gomes
Text by: Ana Duarte

Special thanks to Amazing Events



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1 Comment

  1. António Mortágua Soares 27/08/2016 at 16:18
    Estávamos Todos nós Todos ansiosos pelo dia 13 do corrente mês, pelo MetalFest – Vagos Open Air 2016, para saber o que nos reservavam os dias 13 e 14, em termos musicais e organizativos, foi um sucesso generalizado; quem vos afirma é o ex repórter do metal das Tardes e Noites Metálicas, assim como também de a Ferro e Fogo. Programas pioneiros na cena radiofónicas dos anos oitenta, noventa das Rádios Independentes existentes em Aveiro, no estilo Heavy Metal
    Comecemos pelo dia 13:
    A primeira banda atuar os Correia, cujo é o mais recente projeto dos irmãos cujo nome de família deu nome à banda, Apolinário Correia (Poli) – Devil In Me / Sam Alone , e Miguel Correia (Mike Ghost) – Men Eater / More Than A Thousand, começamos da melhor forma, à portuguesa com a esta grande banda dos lados sul do nosso querido Tejo.
    Poli e Mike criaram a música que sempre estiveram destinados a fazer neste novo disco, juntando todas as influências musicais das suas vidas..
    Sem meios termos o vocalista Paulo Brissos deliciou nos com as suas letras caracterizadoras da margem sul.
    Logo de seguida tivemos a banda francesa de Symphonic Deathcore de Paris, França de seu nome Betraying the Martyrs, que começaram a proporcionar grandes voos no público e assim começou a Moshada na quinta, para mim grande banda e uma pequena boa surpresa, com os desafios constantes ao público e o mesmo a responder da melhor forma.
    Depois de grandes correrias , eis que chega uma das bandas do cartaz com
    Vektor, banda de thrash metal de Tempe , Arizona (e com sede em Filadélfia desde 2012 ) . A banda foi formada sob o nome Locrian torno de junho de 2003, mas mudou seu nome para Vektor em 2004. O seu vocalista David DiSanto continua como se fosse um puto a cantar, pese a sua voz já se note um pouco desgastada mas mesmo assim acompanhado com Adam Anderson, Kian Ahmad, Mike Tozzi, deram grande show….é de continuar acompanhar a evolução desta banda.
    Mais uma vez temos a presença dum banda Portuguesa, Os RAMP, Os Ramp são uma banda portuguesa de heavy e thrash metal, formada em 1989, no Seixal. Obtém um grande sucesso com a faixa “For a While”, vieram a Vagos e nos deram uma pequena surpresa com os seus show’s de guitarra e de bateria….na minha modesta opinião, outro grupo a rever mais tarde mas que foi uma boa aposta. Mais uma banda portuguesa o que é sempre de salutar
    DE seguida chegam nos os Italianos de Perúgia Itália, que para mim foram uma ligeira deceção, pois estava à espera de mais deste grupo, com os seus toques de Symphonic technical death metal, mas pelos vistos o people, que isso foi o que interessou, na generalidade me parece que gostaram de….mas esqueceram-se que ainda faltavam mais duas excelentes bandas para fechar o cartaz deste primeiro dia. Pese tenham apesentado alguns temas que fizeram mexer, de que forma o ´publico duma maneira geral, não foram muito convincenb«ntes
    DE seguida tivemos mais uma banda que gorou as expetativas de Todos , os Dark Funeral é uma banda de black metal da Suécia. Foi fundada em 1993 por Lord Ahriman e Blackmoon em Estocolmo. Com os seus temas satânicos conseguiram, de que forma, mover a multidão que estava presente no recinto, grande e estrondosa banda que nos presenteou com grandes temas antigos e dos dias de hoje.
    Nada melhor do que encerrar o primeiro dia com o provocador de multidões, sim o vocalista, Rui Sidónio, dos Bizzarra Locomotiva, com o seu estilo metal industrial . se encerrou o primeiro dia do Festival, com mais uma aposta da autarquia de Vagos e dos seus pares, e muito bem no meu entender de critico mediano do metal, em bandas portuguesas, Sim porque o que é Nacional é Bom e de que forma, apenas necessita de ser mais divulgado,
    E eis que chega o dia tão desejado, dia 14 dia do assalto à quinta do Éden em Vagos, nem a autarquia contava com tantos metaleiros; assim se provou que a nossa força está bem viva e que se livrem de para o ano não manterem o nosso tão já épico/histórico festival que teve melhor classificação, perdoem-me as pessoas que moram em Corroios, que o de lá de baixo de baixo…quiseram roubar nos o mesmo e deram-se mal.
    Grande começo com a banda de Hugo Ribeiro, de Vagos, os Godvlad, em que nos deliciaram com os seus temas virados para o Gothic/Melodic Death Metal, grande abertura e mal sabíamos Nós no recinto o que nos esperaria pela tarde e noite dentro.
    Logo de seguida entram os Gaienses Heavenwood, outra grande surpresa no que a mim me diz respeito e que só me leva a concluir cada vez mais que o que é Nacional, também é muito bem; excelente show a começarem aquecer o público,
    porque logo de seguida começa a revolução da tarde com os Suecos Tribulation e as suas letras viradas para o Progressive Death/Black Metal;
    mas mal sabíamos nós que a “dança” estava aquecer, cito o verdadeiro Mosh e ainda estava para chegar com os Discharge, tal como os HELLOWEEN, a idade não lhes pesa, excelente concerto e o público retribuiu e de que forma, só mesmo quem lá esteve.
    E antes de vir a banda do dia, eis que nos chegam os Finntroll é uma banda de folk metal da Finlândia, a sua música combina Death metal melódico e uma espécia de polka finlandesa chamada de humppa; não me desagradou mas tb não foi banda que me tenha chamado muito atenção, e penso que foi duma maneira generalizada, talvez por estarem à espera do que ainda estava para chegar.
    E PUMBA, rebentou a Bomba , não o tema Bomber dos Motorhead, mas rebentou mesmo a bomba no recinto do concerto, mas o que foi aquilo, fiquei sem palavras, como é que aqueles gajos, que passávamos em 84, 85, mais pareciam uns putos a tocar, mas que grande espetáculo, não existem palavras para descrever o visto e escutado…..por isso eu ainda sou viciado nas musicas dos anos 80 e 90, mas me parece que eu outros tantos que estiveram no final a curtir o som do DJ António Vieira, apenas uma palavra para o que vi HELLOWEEN, forevermore.
    DE seguida coube aos Lisboetas MOONSPELL, a responsabilidade do encerramento destes dois excelentes dias do MetalFest, que dizer desta banda….como o Vinho do Porto, quanto mais velho s melhores, quem lá esteve e viu o que nós escutamos do vocalista e seus pares deve com toda a certeza ter tirado essa brilhante conclusão.
    Nada melhor que fechar um excelente evento deste à portuguesa e pela sexta banda.
    Encerrando da melhor forma com o público a retribuir e estávamos ali para toda a noite se nos deixassem, com…
    Grande festival e grandes bandas passaram pela quinta a prometer mais e melhor para o ano