SWR Porto Hard 2012 – 2nd day

Bands: Exodus, Death Angel, Heathen, Suicidal Angels
Location: Hard Club, Porto (PT)
Date: 18th June 2012

The second night was 100% old school thrash metal, in another near-sold-out Hard Club.

Greek SUICIDAL ANGELS set the crowd on fire right away with the title-track of their fourth album “Bloodbath”.

It took the band 8 years (and several line-up changes) to achieve a certain status among the thrash community, with their second album “Sanctify The Darkness”. Yet, they seemed pretty unknown to the majority of the Portuguese audience – although some loud voices sang along Nick Melissourgos. But knowing or not, they all raised their fists in the air and screamed “hey!” when they had to, clearly enjoying the show.

“Bleeding Holocaust” and “Chaos (The Curse Is Burning Inside)” were some of the highest moments, but the peak was reached during the two final tracks – “Moshing Crew”, for which Nick asked for a mosh pit “to the end of the room”, and the “hit-single” “Apokathilosis”, where the same Nick conducted a wall of death.

http://www.suicidalangels.com

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HEATHEN’s name wasn’t on the posters or tickets, but almost everyone knew about them (let’s hear it for the Internet).

Born in the golden age of thrash and in its golden crib (The Bay Area), HEATHEN seemed even less known than SUICIDAL ANGELS – despite EXODUS-Lee Altus being their guitarist and founder member. I guess the 9-year hiatus they engaged between 1992 and 2001, and the other 9 years they took to release a new album (“The Evolution Of Chaos”, 2010) explains the general lack of knowledge of the crowd.

General, not absolute. There was still a few who knew the lyrics to songs like “Open The Grave”, “No Stone Unturned” or “Death By Hanging”. And like with SUICIDAL ANGELS, the audience also quickly surrendered to HEATHEN.

http://www.myspace.com/heathenmetal

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EXODUS were the headliners, but DEATH ANGEL could have been so as well. What a show! A lot of jumping and movement, with natural technicism – Rob Cavestany just wants to play good thrash metal, not prove he’s the best in the neighborhood.

Mark Osegueda went down memory lane, to the first time they’d played in Porto, 3 years before. They didn’t know what to expect, but barely a couple of songs afterwards, they knew they had to come back. With a closed fist over his heart, Mark said it felt good to finally make it.

This year sees the 25th anniversary of their famous debut album “The Ultra-Violence”, and in its celebration, as it’s now common to do, the band’s been playing it in full. Mark even said that this particular night was special, as it was the precise date of the release (although Wikipedia says it was in April…). Whatever the case, that show was special indeed.

Unlike the rest of the dates, they still had time for an encore, which consisted of “Truce” and “Thrown To The Wolves”. Brilliant!

http://site.deathangel.us/

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This was my third EXODUS gig and definitely the one I enjoyed the most. Rob Dukes’ good mood certainly helped, as well as the awesome response of the crowd.

Seems like they drank A LOT on their way there, and that bass player Jack Gibson spent the day throwing up. But there he was (a bit pale, true), willing to play some thrash for us.

They also strolled a bit through the city and apparently Rob liked it very much. And apart from the city view itself, he appreciated the sight of the people, saying the men in this town had the opportunity to “fuck some of the most beautiful women”. Previously, he’d already said to a female fan in the front row that her tits were distracting him, and to the crowd in general, “tits and money, that’s all that matters”.

Jokes apart, we heard all the classics like “Piranha”, “Shroud Of Urine”, “Scar Spangled Banner”, “A Lesson In Violence”… And a surprising “Deranged”, with HEATHEN-Kragen Lum replacing Lee on the guitar.

I believe it was before “Blacklist” (my all-time favourite) that Rob started to tease us with comparisons to Madrid, Spain (if you don’t know it, there’s this old rivalry between the two countries for centuries). He said that at least in Madrid there was always a “motherfucker” who would climb on stage and dive. Well, since the beginning, while I was shooting inside the photopit during the allowed first three songs, several crowdsurfers landed beside me. So I think the only reason they didn’t reach for the stage was the security guy. But when the singer himself says such a thing, there’s not much the security can do anymore. And given Rob’s earlier speech, I think he was quite pleased to see that one of the first stagedivers was a girl.

The encore was ace – “Bonded By Blood”, “Toxic Waltz”, “War Is My Shepherd” and “Strike Of The Beast”. A hilarious moment in the middle of “War Is My Shepherd”, when Tom Hunting, “the best thrash drummer” (according to Rob),started to play SCORPIONS’ “Rock You Like A Hurricane”. The rest of the band tagged along, resuming “War Is…” one minute later or so.

And “Strike Of The Beast” provided the biggest wall of death Hard Club has ever witnessed.

As a fan of Gary Holt, I was saddened that he was still touring with SLAYER, replacing Jeff Hanneman, who hasn’t fully recovered yet from that spider bite last year. But I must admit that Rick Hunolt did a hell of a job with his guitar skills and lively presence.

Rob said we were definitely the best audience. I wouldn’t say THE best, but one of the best, oh yeah!

http://exodusattack.com/

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Renata “Pieni” Lino

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