Vagos Open Air 2012 – 2nd day

Bands: Arch Enemy, Overkill, Coroner, Textures, Chthonic, Mindlock
Location: Lagoa do Calvão, Vagos (PT)
Date: 4th August 2012

The south of Portugal, the region known as Algarve, is well known among tourists because of its beaches and nice weather. But Mindlock is the living proof that Algarve, Faro in this case, produces more than just a good tan – it produces good metal bands as well.
Hardcore oriented, these guys irradiate energy, between smiles and crazy faces. They’ve been around for more than 15 years and one can sense that experience by the way they perform so at ease and professionally.
Their debut album “Ego Trip” was released in 2003 and it took them 7 years to come up with a second one, “Enemy Of Silence”, which was the work they focused on the most.
They’re currently working on the third album and Vagos was the first to listen to one of the new songs: “Hellusion”. But I must confess one thing: Carlos Vilhena said the title in growl-mode, so I only understood the “hell” part. I had to check with them – thanks, guys!
“Firekiss”, “Alcohol Ecstasy” and “Sing Like You Were Dead” were some of the tracks that kept the mosh pumping.

http://www.myspace.com/mindlockpt

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Don’t let the make-up and hairdos fool you – Chthonic is an extreme metal band. Their image is a cultural thing of sorts, related to the lyrical theme of their songs. Hailing from Taiwan, they sing about local myths and legends and paint themselves after the 8 Generals of Hell in Taoist lore. The name of the band itself is linked to deities who dwell in the underworld, although this is Greek mythology, not Taiwanese.
Since “Seediq Bale”, their 4th full-length released in 2005, they’ve been releasing English versions of their albums, for the international fans. So it was the English versions we heard, not the Taiwanese ones.
The majority of the setlist was based in “Takasago Army”, their latest album (2011). Songs such as “Broken Jade”, “Takao” or “Quell The Souls In Sing Ling Temple” enchanted the fans and surprised those who didn’t know them.
Freddy Lim, holding a beer bottle in one hand and an erhu (a two-string Chinese violin that frankly sounded like an electric guitar to my ears), said we were crazy for drinking beer at that time in the afternoon, under such heat. But he drank it himself. He also asked how we said “cheers” in Portuguese, but by the perfect way he repeated it after the crowd (“saúde”), he surely had learnt it before and had been practising in the backstage. He also taught us how to say it in his own language, “hō ta lah”, obviously making us screaming it at the top of our lungs.
There was another word in Portuguese that he knew, and told us that actually every Taiwanese knew – Formosa. Don’t know if you know that Taiwan was formerly known as Formosa Island. What I’m sure you don’t know is that the Portuguese were the ones who named it that way, when they got there in the 1600s and settled commercial trades.
“Forty-Nine Theurgy Chains” (2009) and “Quasi Putrefaction” (2005) were the oldest tracks played.
All boys had their eyes on the sexy bass player Doris Yeh, but trust me – this band is much more than just looks.

http://www.myspace.com/chthonictw

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Last time I’d seen Textures had been in 2007 and a lot has changed in 5 years. Half of the line-up, for instance (singer, bassist, keyboard player). But one thing remains the same – their greatness.
Except for their debut “Polars”, all their other albums were evenly represented in this gig, that started up with “Surreal State Of Enlightenment”.
And if things cooled down a bit with “Consonant Hemispheres”, they reignited right afterwards with a wall of death and consequent mosh circle in “Stream Of Consciousness”. That’s how progressive metalcore works – drastic changes in tempo.
Daniel de Jongh asked how many of us knew the single “Awake”, adding that they were free to sing along the lyrics. They did so, until the fastest part began – then they exchanged the singing for the moshing and the headbanging.
The single track from “Polars” came next, in the form of “Swandive”, and was introduced by de Jongh as “faster than anything we’ve played today”.
The Dutch said farewell with “Laments Of An Icarus”, leaving a sweaty and happy crowd behind.

http://www.textures.nl

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After a 14-year brake, Swiss technical thrash metal Coroner came back in 2010. So far, they haven’t recorded anything new in these last two years, so all the shows have been a walk down memory lane.
In Vagos, that trip started with the intro of “Golden Cashmere Sleeper part. 1”, linked to “Internal Conflicts”. Then “Serpent Moves”, after Ron Royce introduced Daniel Stössel, their “fourth member”, on keyboards/synths, And a fan guessed “Masked Jackal” when Royce said they’d filmed a video for the following song.
Coroner have always been a little neglected, maybe because they were ahead of their time. In this concert, their first ever in Portugal, they were everything but. Even those who weren’t familiar with the band were convinced by their eclectic fusion of elements with old school thrash metal and welcomed songs like “Die By My Hand”, “Gliding Above While Being Below” or “Divine Step”, among others. “The Invincible” made the encore.

http://www.coroner-reunion.com

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Now old school for real was on the way: Overkill! It had been a decade since the New Jersey thrashers visited Portugal for the last time, as Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth recalled, but he could see how they “still have many friends here”.
The band released its 16th full-length of originals last March (“The Electric Age”) and its first track, “Come And Get It”, that started up the show. And oh how it started! As Blitz would mock later, “when was the last time you got your ass kicked by an old man?”. At 53, he does kick ass indeed.
After “Wrecking Crew” he asked rhetorically if it felt good. “It makes your heart beat faster”. And it always felt like that in Europe, especially in Portugal. Yes, I know they say that everywhere they go, but there’s no one who doesn’t like to hear it.
They played a few songs from the new album, of course, but the rest of the set was made of classics, one after the other. I’m still sorry that they didn’t play “Bastard Nation”, but I must understand – it’s not easy to reduce 32 successful years to less than one hour and a half.
“Old School” was introduced with the first verses of the chorus, but Blitz “personalized” it to the Portuguese reality, by saying “we drank some beers – some Super Bocks”.
And speaking of introductions, I have to mention the band’s, when it came to D.D. Verni and we were told he was “the most evil man in Portugal tonight”.
“We learnt this a long time ago. You do this not by yourselves, you do it together. You do it faster, you do it louder, but together”. If you know a minimum about the band, then you know this speech would end in “In Union We Stand”.
They left “Deny The Cross”, “Rotten To The Core” and “Fuck You” for the encore – the latter a song originally performed by the Canadian punk band The Subhumans, but that Overkill made famous.
Somewhere in the encore, Blitz asked the crowd to scream and wasn’t satisfied with the first outcome (I wonder if they ever are…). So he used the oldest trick in the book: “is this Portugal or España?”. After we booed and screamed three times louder, Blitz smiled and said “works every fucking time”.

http://www.wreckingcrew.com

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Like the night before, a Swedish melodic death metal band was headlining – Arch Enemy. “Yesterday Is Dead And Gone”, despite being a recent song, was welcomed with a roar. And then with “Ravenous”, probably the first big hit with Angela Gossow on vocals, the crowd just went ballistic. And there was no turning back from there.
Loud “hey”s and jumps went along “My Apocalypse”, as well as “ooooohhhh” in its guitar solo, as Angela wanted to hear us sing.
Then they were screaming her name and the singer thanked for it and several other things, like “thank you for rocking hard with us, you fucking rule!”. She thought we were “ready for the next one”, and she wanted to see “fucking blood and hair and bones flying up in the air” while the band performed “Bloodstained Cross”.
Daniel Erlandsson is already a very respected drummer for his playing skills. Now, he’s also respected for his bravery, as he played with a broken finger on his right hand. And he didn’t miss a beat! I can’t even imagine the ordeal that must have been. Me and the whole Valkyrian Music team wishe him all the best. Anyway, Angela asked for a shout out for him, some “Daniel choirs” instead of “Angela choirs”, and she didn’t have to ask twice. And despite the following song being “a bit like he feels today”, “Dead Eyes See No Future” was dedicated to us, the crowd.
After that, Nick Cordle, the new guitar player that replaced Christopher Amott in March, started a solo that Michael Amott would continue with “Intermezzo Liberté”, an instrumental song featured in “Rise Of The Tyrant” and that I still think is a bit Steve Vai-influenced.
“No Gods, No Masters” was for those who “stay rebel at heart”. That verse, as many others from other songs, were playing on the video-walls, with sequences of images, instead of the concert. So if you didn’t know the lyrics, you could always look up for the main verses – although most of them clearly didn’t need it.
Another brilliant gig that ended another brilliant edition of Vagos Open Air with the song “Fields Of Desolation”. According to Arch Enemy’s official facebook, we sang “louder than the PA sometimes”, even after “two long days of sun, heat and heavy metal”. More to come next year!

http://www.archenemy.net

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by Renata “Pieni” Lino

6 Responses to “Vagos Open Air 2012 – 2nd day”

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