Once again the small town of Vagos becomes a real “Metal Meca” to most metalheads in Portugal. The festival takes takes place at Quinta do Ega, Vagos, Aveiro that has been upgraded along the years. Repeating the 3 day format, the festival starts on August 11th and stretches until Sunday the 13th. This special festival is seen as a time to clear the mind, meet old friends, drink, and overall have lots of fun. The nice festival environment and behaviour will once again be the complement to promising concerts that will surely raise a lot of dust.
The first day will start with Tales For The Unspoken, a band from Coimbra, Portugal which plays a groovy and melodic Death Metal. The band brings their album “CO₂” in the pocket and will be a great opening to the festival. Next on the lineup is And Then She Came, led by charismatic Korean singer Ji-In Cho, they come from Germany to infect Vagos crowd with their Modern Metal grooves and catchy choruses.
Revolution Within are next on the schedule. This band is almost a local band, since their rehearsal place is in the festival whereabouts and many shows have been performed in Vagos region. After experiencing big stages like the ones of Wacken Open Air and Raça & Co they will present to everyone their muscled Thrash Metal. Because one Thrash metal band is not enough, Gama Bomb comes from the UK to raise the stakes and keep the circle pits going.
Legendary Power metal band Rhapsody, hailing from Italy, will be saying their goodbyes to the Portuguese stages, as this is their farewell tour. The lineup will include the original members Luca Turilli (founder and composer), Fabio Lione, Patrice Guers, Dominique Leurquin and Alex Holzwarth. Alex Staropoli (keyboards) will be missing from this tour, to focus on work with his current band. This show is also part of the 10th anniversary “Symphony Of Enchanted Lands” album celebration, so the full album is expect to be heard in full.
Arch Enemy returns to Portugal just a few weeks from releasing their upcoming album “Will To Power”. This is their second album with the current singer Alissa White-Gluz and the fans should be very enthusiast about this comeback and it is expected that the band will play some new songs.
The Finnish Symphonic Melodic Death Metal band Wintersun will be showcasing their highly-praised album “The Forest Seasons”. The band led by Jari Mäenpää has recently been in the spotlights due to the polemical circumstances that surrounded the development and release of this album. Therion, the masters of Symphonic/Operatic Metal are also highly expected due to their 5-year hiatus period in terms of album releases. Even though lack of new albums in a handful of years, the announcement of their appearance generated a hype within the Portuguese metal scene.
Ending the first day, Grunt will turn to the Vagos Metal Fest stage into a bizarre place of fetichism, BDSM and other bizarre sickening fantasies. This band is known for including BDSM performances during their concerts, something which is not adequate for the faint hearted.
For those who managed to catch some sleep after the freaky scenes of the previous night’s closing act, the second day will start with a blast: Implore plays a furious Blackened Death Metal/Grind and are coming to introduce their upcoming record “Subjugate”. Slowing but not softening things down, Brutality Will Prevail, from Wales, might please the fans that fancy more hardcore-influenced bands. “In Dark Places” is their latest album and it should create quite an impact.
From hardcore to melodic Metalcore, the Portuguese Hills Have Eyes have quite a fanbase in the country and are known for their highly energetic concerts. Metal Church are also a big name on this festival roster. Maybe more orientated for the older metalheads who lived the Heavy Metal boom in the 80’s and the 90’s. Even though there were some hiatus periods, these veterans formed back in 1980 came a long way without losing their roots and characteristic sound.
Irish Black Metal with Celtic Folk roots Primordial are a band which has a significant big fanbase in Portugal. They are known for their powerful live performances led by the great Alan “Nemtheanga” Averill. “Where Greater Men Have Fallen” (2014) is one of those records that doesn’t get boring, which you can witness in the “Gods to the Godless” live album. Continuing on folk-influenced bands, the Finnish band Korpiklaani will bring the party mood with their Folk Metal covering topics such fantastic mythical stories, alcohol and parties.
Max Cavalera and Co brings Soulfly to Portugal, and it is expected to be epic! Even though it’s been more than 20 years since Max’s departure from Sepultura, Soulfully seems to always get compared with his previous band. The latest album “Archangel” managed to return to the origins of the band, so basically the band will take you “Back to The Primitive”. Interesting trivia: Max’s son Zyon is the official drummer. Completely changing musical genres, true essential Power Metal is also a part of Vagos Metal Fest, this time with Powerwolf from Germany. This horror-themed theatrical act has risen from the underground based on the shoulders of good quality albums such as “Blood of the Saints” or the latest “Blessed & Possessed”. Since it is their first appearance in Portugal, we’re sure it will be a concert to remember.
Last but not least, the stage will become a religious altar for the mysterious figures of Batushka and their Eastern Orthodox ritual. With only one album released this is another highly expected performance. Hopefully, due to the characteristics of their performance, the show will take place during night time. One may consider that a festival is not the most appropriate environment to experience a ritual like this, but we can only comment after we witness it.
Reaktion, Spanish Thrash Metal band, has the responsibility of starting the 3rd festival day. The band will showcase their debut record “Blackmailed Existence”. The first Portuguese band of the day will be Attick Demons, one of the best national Heavy Metal bands. Sounding a lot like Iron Maiden (like that’s a bad thing?), the band is still going through the country to promote their second record “Let’s Raise Hell” (2016).
Miss Lava is perhaps one of the bands which differs the most from the rest of this festival’s bill but will for sure to conquer those who do not know them. With their sludgy/stoner kind of uncompromising Rock n’ Metal is hard not to tap your foot on the ground. The band is currently showing off the new EP “Dominant Rush” which came out this year. Then, from one unexpected genre to another, Chelsea Grin will bring some melodic Deathcore coming from the USA. Featuring electronic elements, catchy clean singing choruses and breakdowns, this is a band for those seeking an opportunity to blow off some steam.
Also coming from the United States, Havoc brings the Thrash Metal back into the 3rd festival day. Their latest record “Conformicide” didn’t gather an unanimous consensus when it comes to its reviews. Nonetheless their live performances are known for destroying everything. Because one Deathcore band was not enough for the hungriest, Whitechapel are coming to burn down anything that has been left standing so far.
Swedish Heavy Metal titans Hammerfall are returning to Portugal. Promoting the latest album “Built to Last”, this band seems a living imagem of that album title. With nearly 25 years of existence, they are here to last… For sure it will be a fantastic opportunity for the fans of oldschool Heavy Metal attending the festival. From catchy Heavy Metal choruses to dissonant technical Death Metal, masters of dissonance Gorguts are back to Portugal after three years. After the brilliant “Colored Sands”, a new EP has been released entitled “Pleiades’ Dust”. This has the particular characteristic of being composed by only one track which lasts for 33 minutes. This is one of those bands who never disappoint.
And last but not last, the American Stoner/Sludge/Doom metal act Cough will have the honor to close this year’s edition of Vagos Metal Fest. Expect to be in pain because these guys don’t kid around when it comes to their performances.