The XIth edition of the Extreme Metal Attack took place last month, for the third time at Side B Club, in Benavente. Another intense weekend of pure blasphemy was carved by dedicated underground performers alongside with a quite numerous audience, fact that somewhat surprised us once the band bill was less appealing than in recent years. Unfortunately we couldn’t make it on Friday and so we missed DEMONOMANCY, WAR MASTER, INTERFECTUM and ARMNATT, in one of the most underground band bills of the last 12 months in our neighbourhood.
In an edition more focused on the speed/thrash sonorities than the previous ones, Saturday started with the almost anonymous INFRA, which entered the stage one hour after scheduled, thus cutting the dinner pause previously announced. They are a recent obscure death metal project, counting with well known members from bands like Alchemist, Corpus Christii or Oniromant. And, knowing this, what could you expect? Another intense ritual off course. The tracks are still unknown to everyone, but their dark death metal, with some fastest blackened parts and a touch of rotten doom ambience, made this a very promising debut presentation by the Lisbon trio, which were able to shake the audience wellbeing, on the always difficult role of opening band.
After them, another live experience with Porto’s SCARIFICARE. Again in a two man live format, the band stroked us again with their occult black melodies, this time with the latest “Postulado” (2013) as their attack platform. From there they unveiled their two best moments with “Praise of Nut” and “Omega”, which definitely sounded good live, even if in a 45 minutes performance the absence of the live bass makes the show became not as heavy as it could be.
After the black atmospheres, Dutch DISTILLATOR putted their thrash metal on stage, in an entertained performance. This young band was able to deliver some old school thrash metal, in a nine songs gig, which included a Slayer cover. For the lovers of this kind of sounds they seem to have a promising road in front of them.
MARTELO NEGRO marked the return to the Portuguese sounds. It may seem strange but this was the first time we’ve seen them live, and the reaction turned out to be pretty cool. They don’t seem to pretend “hypes” and so they went directly to their subject: rotten and satyriric lyrics played with an old school speed metal feeling, alongside some death and thrash influences, always with a considerable stage rotation. “Servos da Cúspide”, “Hierofante em Chamas” and “Un Dia en Texas” (cover from the Spanish punk band Parálisis Permanente) were the main highlights of their performance.
Then Spanish heavy metal band IRON CURTAIN went on stage on the break of an already solid musical career. Old school heavy metal attitude, towards some speed metal influences were the mark of an entertained concert that seemed to have pleased the more old school fans, especially towards the end of the show, namely with “Scream & Shout”, “Burning Wheels” and even the more thrashy song “Southbangers”.
The last black metal attack of the festival was THE SORCERER, on their second live appearance after a long hiatus. They’ve come back last year, and went into Side B’s stage for the debut of the new “A Graveyard of Fallen Dreams”. Maintaining the “super live line up”, the Portuguese performance benefitted this time with a more accurate sound, in a dedicated performance that seemed to be the final launching ramp that was missing for their future longer flights. Darkness and mysticism took over the room during 45 minutes.
For the final act, headliners BLIZZARD showed for the first time their traditional speed / thrash metal in Portuguese lands. Already counting with a respectable career, the Germans concert presented no significant musical breakthroughs, even if some solid songs like “Whiskey Demon” tried to increase the agitation level in the audience, whose support to the concert made it, maybe, more entertained than expected.
And that was it. In a time of financial foreign disastrous occupation, the organisers couldn’t pass through it without being shake. But, even with a less appealing line up, we got surprised by the well filled venue, where a well cared sound and entertained ambience gave us the feeling of being home. A blaspheme one. See you next year.
Photos courtesy of Hellprod & Nélia Olival.