When I heard about the collaboration of Tim “Ripper” Owens (ex-Judas Priest, Iced Earth etc.), Harry Conklin (Jag Panzer) and Sean Peck (The Cage etc.), I was excited. And imagine how amazed I was, when I was informed that the trio would visit Athens for a live show! Although I hadn’t listened to the Three Tremors album, I was sure that the live show would be incredible. The Three Tremors visited Athens on September 28th, 2018, a date when their debut album hadn’t been released and that was a disadvantage for the show, since, firstly, the audience wasn’t familiar with the band’s songs, and secondly, that fact affected the attendance of the public. Nevertheless, we were there to enjoy three of the most skilled vocalists in the heavy metal scene – and there is no need for an introduction of Owens, Conklin and Peck, who have showcased their quality with their past and present bands. The band that opened the whole event was Murder Angels from Larissa, Greece. The Greeks are playing in a speed/thrash metal style and managed to warm the fans, who had already come to the venue. They performed with might and conviction, their songs sounded good, their stage appearance was interesting and they won the applause of the fans. It was the first time I listened to Murder Angel’s music and I am now looking forward to their next album release. It’s obvious that the guys have talent! Murder Angels left the stage and the fans were eagerly waiting for The Three Tremors. The three vocal masters were punctual to their rendezvous with the Greek audience. Indeed approximately at 21:00 o’clock the three vocalists and their backing band entered the stage furiously and began singing without mercy! It was a blast to listen to the three of them singing with their exceptional voice, we were all impressed and excited. But there are some facts that should be mentioned. First of all, their voice couldn’t be heard with clarity and the sound engineer failed to combine the three microphones. There were obviously sound problems and that’s a big disadvantage – we could hardly hear Sean Peck’s voice! What is more, the whole gig seemed like a screaming contest! Of course, Owens/Conklin/Peck can reach amazing high notes, but they overdid it. So, I can say that from a certain point I was tired of these high-pitched vocals!  In addition to this, I didn’t like the way the three voices were combined. We all know that it isn’t easy to organize three voices (and three egos), however, there could be a combination of a lead voice and backing vocals – instead of that, you could hear three lead voices and no backing vocals. What a mess! Despite these, it was a nice live show that satisfied the fans, a great, singular moment for every metalhead that came that night at Kittaro. Come on, Owens/Conklin/Peck were there in front of us, singing like there is no tomorrow! The Three Tremors sang almost all their debut album songs plus: Judas Priest’s “Burn in Hell”, “The Sentinel” and “Painkiller”, Jag Panzer’s “Black” and “Hell Destroyer” of The Cage. Especially in the Judas Priest covers, the fans got crazy! To sum up, The Three Tremors live show was a wonderful heavy metal experience – it is so sad that not many metalheads came to see and hear these distinguished vocalists. Let’s hope that there will be another live show of The Three Tremors in Greece.

Dimitris Zacharopoulos

 

      

Regardless of how many gigs someone attends and how often he is able to do it, you realize on the spot how much you have missed certain things. Sunday, October 7th has been one of those nights and for very simple reasons.

The weekend was an easy going and relaxing one, not may things happened before Sunday night, due to the tough schedule of the coming week, so that was another reason why this gig was really anticipated. We arrived on time for the first band, Debaser Strand was not so crowded, but as the time went by, more and more people started to gather up. Vojd, a recently formed band (with members from Black Trip, Enforcer among others), kicked off the night with their electrifying, Thin Lizzy-bred sound, playing like there was not another day left. These guys show some real guts on stage, playing with tons of energy, passion and leaving no doubt about their performance. Peter Stjärnvind (guitar) and Joseph Tholl (bass and lead vocals) impressed us more, and especially Peter, whom I have never before witnessed live, and, although I already knew pretty well his awesome drumming skills (while playing for Entombed, Krux, etc), he gave everything on that live and proved to be a kick-ass guitar player! The band delivered well-crafted melodies, edgy riffs, catchy choruses and all this under the influences of blues rock, heavy metal and that distinctive sound influence from the greats Thin Lizzy. I really look forward to catch them next time soon hopefully!

Following a 20 minute break, the mighty Lucifer took over the gig duties in such an emphatic way. Speaking about what I have missed so much, I have to admit, that even though that was the first time I witnessed Nicke Andersson behind his drum kit live, for me that was the night’s highlight. The way he played drums during the whole gig, with a frenzy, powerful and emphatic way, left me no room for misunderstandings and second thoughts. It was so much pleasant to see him kicking his drums, on every beat, on every kick… Absolutely massive! And of course, when we refer to Lucifer, the soul and main driver of this band can be no other than Johanna, especially on stage, ding her magic moves, seducing the audience and praising Demon. She is so charismatic, not only vocal-wise, but also the way she moves within the other band players during the songs, the way she speaks and communicates with the audience, during or before/after the songs, the way she overall performs. She is the main attraction of the band, the heart and soul. But, this band has two guitar and one bass players, devoted members of ‘Lucifer’ who play with passion and, consist along with Nicke on the drums, a solid and fully compact ensemble. An ensemble playing with raging fury at times, with fast riffing and drumming, but also delivering sweet, vintage or psychedelic melodies, perfectly fitted under Johanna’s vocals. The doomy parts were my favorite though, as these provide the perfect mingle of all influences of the band. Personally, watching them live, I felt like having memory spots from Cathedral, Witchcraft, Entombed and Blood Ceremony.

That was a fantastic gig and probably the best way to kick off their european tour, and what better place than Stockholm to host their first gig?

Till next time! Raise your beer/wine glasses and pray for Lucifer!

Antonis Mantzavinos

The prospect of watching Q5 in a live show enthused us since we don’t have the chance to enjoy this legendary 80s metal band every day. Q5 is still alive and kicking after all these years, even without Floyd Rose in the line-up. So, when the time came, we headed for the Crow club, where the Americans would play for us. We were there on time and the club was already full of many fans of classic metal. The program included also Paladine and Valor, two Greek metal bands, which would open for Q5.


Soon enough the show started, with Paladine taking their place on the stage. The band, which was formed by Chris Stergianidis, released its debut album (“Finding Solace”) in 2017 and faced recently some line-up changes. Despite that, they gave an excellent show and warmed up the audience with their melodic epic/power metal. And although it was the first live performance of the line-up, they sounded very tight and solid. When a band is mature and has worked well, the result can be easily heard – Paladine performed their “Finding Solace” songs with conviction and we all, the band and the audience, had great fun. We are looking forward to listening to the new songs of Paladine! Valor was the band that continued after the Paladine show and the beginning of their performance was an amazing surprise for everyone – they began with a tribute medley to the late Mark Shelton (Manilla Road). Well, it is always a great pleasure to listen to some Manilla Road classics, especially when they are performed with such loyalty and passion! After the medley, Valor continued with their own songs, spanning from all their discography. Their true metal music sounded really nice and their live show impressed the fans, who enjoyed Valor’s conviction and musicianship. Of course, the band’s latest album, “Arrogance: The Fall” (2017), was honored by the band and generally, we had the privilege to listen to some genuine epic metal music. It was a perfect introduction for Q5, whose live show was so much anticipated. The time had come for the Americans. And what they did, was awesome! Because they played for over an hour and a half and they kicked our ass! They were in perfect shape, they had a tremendous energy and their beauty and freshness seemed untouched by time. 34 years since the release of “Steel the Night”, Q5 was there for us and played like a group of ruthless teenagers. A sonic force took over the Crow club, and an adrenalized band led us to an orgasmic delirium. Q5 pulled the trigger, stole the night and our minds and hearts. The setlist was incredible and consisted of both classic and more recent numbers. Of course, they performed almost the entirety of their monumental debut, “Steel the Night”, and drove us insane with songs like “Steel the Night”, “Lonely Lady”, “Missing in Action”, “In the Night”, “Come and Gone” etc. The historic band faced some sound problems (especially with the bass guitar), but that didn’t stop them – they pulled the trigger, they pushed the button and shot us with their wonderful tunes. I should not bypass the fact that they played “Lonely Lady” twice, after the crowd’s request – we were all lunatics, screaming and banging our heads! Congratulations to these old guys for giving these moments of hard-hitting rock n’ roll! We are already anxious about their new album and their next show in Athens!  

Dimitris Zacharopoulos    

 

Being one of my favorite bands ever, The Hellacopters’ live at Gröna Lund in Stockholm was not just highly anticipated, but it could be characterized as the gig of the year (until next one). And someone feels lucky participating on a high energy rock n’ roll party at the band’s hometown, on a beautiful August evening.

Impressive was the sound of the helicopters approaching, as a backdrop for the band’s entrance on stage, heating up the crowd and setting the levels of attention to red alert, like the backdrop of the stage, with the Hellacopters logo in flames. “Hopeless case of a kid in denial” started everything, and here we have a band massively starting the show on full throttle. Nicke in the middle of the stage with his white Gibson SG electrifying everyone possible with his amazing performance. Dregen, one of the original members of course, has been in contact with the public all night long, playing solos and rhythm guitars his own special way, reminding us how much we like the first Hellacopters records, and his energy and motion, a trademark of each one of the members throughout the band’s years. Dolf De Borst (an old friend of the band, since 1998), has already replaced Sami Yaffa, who toured with the band the last period, and who also replaced the all-time bass player of the band Kenny Håkansson, did great, both on bass and also on backing vocals on several occasions. The other 2 members of the band, Anders “Boba” Lindström (keyboards) and the mighty Robban Eriksson (drums) were just awesome... Either taking over Dregen’s guitar (Boba) and doing a Sex Pistol’s cover (‘Bodies) which was a highlight of the night, or being one of the most massive, awesome and trademark drummers out there… Magic!

Set-list wise there cannot be anyone left unhappy, as they played a really good bunch of their whole career, including their most recognizable hits but also some not so expected ones, which was a very welcomed thing!

It feels so great to see Nicke & Co. live on stage, playing their tunes, giving an exceptional show, giving it all for the crowd and proving one more time that this bunch of dudes are one of the best act to see live! No question about it! We are talking about the original High Energy Rock N’ Roll act, one of Sweden’s finest musicians, but also band to make us wanna see them soon again, but also record new songs soon, why not?! In 2008, we had “The Tour Before the Fall”, drawing the curtain down as a farewell, but, but… You never know what comes next and we were always wanting this to happen, a Hellacopters reunion, that might lead to record new stuff...! So, bring it on boys! Skål till nästa gång! (Cheers till next time!)

Antonis Mantzavinos

 

King Crimson was one of the greatest bands of the 70s progressive rock scene. They have released classic prog rock albums, which were ahead of their time and influenced a lot of music genres and musicians, from the 70s until now. For example “In The Court of the Crimson King” and “In the Wake of Poseidon” are considered to be innovative works of art, monuments of pure inspiration and musicianship. But apart from the peerless technique, King Crimson always expressed their feelings through their music and as a result, music journalists include them in the “sentimental” prog rock class. Indeed, I personally grew up with the music of King Crimson and so did countless other music aficionados, who support the band even now, 50 years since the formation of the band - King Crimson may not release new albums frequently, they are still touring now all over the world. Imagine my surprise, when I learned that King Crimson have included my town, Rome, in their tour schedule. We have the luck to see several artists/groups in Italy, but the news of a King Crimson show is always special news. I bought my tickets and I picked with anxiety my old King Crimson vinyls from the dusty shelves of my record collection! A night of nice prog music would follow.

The Rome concert would take place at the Auditorium, a perfect place for sophisticated gigs since there are only numbered seats for the audience and no arena. I can’t think of another, more suitable place to enjoy King Crimson. We arrived there on time, and took our seat, waiting eagerly for the show to start. During the waiting time, you could hear strange sounds from the speakers, obviously selected by the band itself, good enough for us to get in the right mood. We couldn’t help waiting for the band to appear on stage - and when the musicians did so, the audience burst into a big applause. We couldn’t believe it, Robert Fripp was right in front of us!

The band selected an ideal playlist, which included all its classics. We had the chance to listen to great prog rock songs, which the band performed excellently. You can’t ask for more, when you listen to such legendary songs as “In the Court of the Crimson King”, “Moonchild”, “Epitaph”, “Starless”, etc. It was a blast to listen to King Crimson play all this stuff, with their remarkable technique, with their true passion. We witnessed a flawless performance, which sent shivers down our spine and will never be forgotten.

But you will understand what I am describing, only if I mention that the band played with three drummers, whose drum kits were in front of the rest of the band! The drummers performed at the same time and in turns - it was a strange and beautiful spectacle.

Watching King Crimson playing live, it was a dream that came true. I almost shed tears of joy and excitement because of this wondrous live show. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that our jaws were dropped off during this fantastic live show, which ended with the heavy prog epic “21st Century Schizoid Man”.

Every moment of what we experienced this evening will live in our hearts forever. And when King Crimson said goodbye us, we thanked the mythic band with a long standing ovation. Only true music lovers can enjoy such state-of-art concerts, from a band which prefers to speak through music and lyrics. These things happen once in a lifetime!

Giuseppe Caprani