Moita Metal Fest – 2nd day

Awaiting The Vultures, Nuklear Infektion, Shape, Primal Attack, Brutal Brain Damage, Dementia 13, The Firstborn, Omission, Web, Revolution Within, For The Glory, Simbiose
Sociedade Filarmónica da Moita (PT)
23rd March 2013

Moita is a village south to the capital of Portugal (Lisbon) where every year is held an underground metal event – Moita Metal Fest. 2013 saw its 10th edition.

It’s a “one-and-a-half-day” fest promoted by local band Switchtense, the half being the evening of a Friday in March and then the following Saturday starting up at 3 p.m.. As I live in the north of the country, some 190 miles away, and I work on Fridays, I’ve never been able to attend the first part of the event. But I’ve been there on the Saturday of a few editions. There are always a couple of bands from the north playing the fest, usually on Saturday for the same job-related reason as my own, and they get together and hire a travelling bus so friends and fans can go along.

There weren’t long delays this time, but still we got to our destination almost at 4 p.m., meaning we missed the first band, Awaiting The Vultures (sorry ‘bout that), and Nuklear Infektion were already playing. These kids from Lisbon started their band in 2011, having released the EP “Weapons Of Massive Genocide” about a year later. Old school thrash metal is their thing, as you’ve probably guessed by their name and EP title, and despite the early hour, the mosh circles kept up with the shredding guitars and fast beats. Nuklear Infektion was no stranger to many of those moshers, one of them shouting the lyrics of a song on the mike before stagediving into the crowd. And those who didn’t know tracks like “Preachers Of Lies” or “We’re In Command”, they could always sing along Motörhead’s “Ace Of Spades” and Sepultura’s “Troops of Doom”.

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It is well known that Switchtense are great supporters of the “peace campaign” between metal and hardcore. So they got two hardcore bands into this event, the first one being Shape. After all, even having its roots in punk, hardcore music is just as extreme as metal. And given the reaction of the crowd, they also don’t see any sense in such rivalry – they slamdanced just as violently as they moshed to the thrash sound of the previous band. Singer João said he wanted to see everybody moving and dancing and he surely got what he asked for. “Rotten Inside” and “W.Y.L.D.” seem to be some of their most popular tracks, but the band also took the chance to introduce some new stuff, to be featured in their upcoming album.

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Back to the thrash, this time with a bit of groove, Primal Attack got on stage and did justice to the “attack” in their name. With barely one year of existence but many of experience in other bands, there was no way of considering Primal Attack a newbie. The crowd certainly didn’t. Singer Pica, also in Seven Stitches, let us know that they’re working hard on their debut album and that it should be out soon (in the second half of the year, according to their Facebook). “Despise You All” is already available at Bandcamp and YouTube and maybe that’s why some people were screaming along. “Strange Attraction To Tragedy” and “Not Enough” also peeked the adrenaline chart.

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Grindcore had a couple of slots in the bill as well, and Brutal Brain Damage took the first one. Without a bass – an option and not a temporary casualty, for what I understood – their sound is even harsher than your average grind band. Singer Carlos Lopes does a hell of a job growling and squealing while charging his movements with a matching high voltage. He dedicated two songs to the girls, one of them to the girls and to guitarist Marco, implying some private joke. I didn’t understand which songs were those either, but I believe the dedicatory must have some irony to it. Looking at the titles of the songs in their debut album “Brain Soup”, released last November, there are at least three possibilities – “Scum On”, “Sex Ritual” or “Pussy Grinder”. And also “Desire” from the EP “Borderline Syndrome”. So I won’t take a guess. In the end, Carlos stagedived. He was convinced they still had time for a couple more songs, but the time was up. At the same time, I think that being carried in the arms of the crowd is a great way to finish a gig.

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The last band before dinner break was one of the bands I took a ride with – old school death metal Dementia 13, who were playing their first concert ever. The band was put together by members of Pitch Black, Holocausto Canibal and Biolence, with the intention of doing something a bit different from what they usually do. And also to pay tribute to their favorite death metal bands… as well as cult horror movies. All four songs in their debut EP, “Tales For The Carnivorous”, are inspired by horror movies, like “There Are Those Who Kill Violently” which draws its backstory from Abel Ferrara’s “The Driller Killer”. The physical CDs were supposed to be on sale that day (the digital version available since January), but due some unexpected circumstances, it was delayed until the official release party, to take place a week later. Given the background of all people involved, excellency was expected and excellency was achieved. And there was still time for a little treat in the form of a cover of Six Feet Under’s “The Enemy Inside”.

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The commotion stopped for dinner and also afterwards, as The Firstborn isn’t a band to mosh and crowdsurf to – which doesn’t make them less heavy. It’s just a different kind of heaviness, as it adds an Oriental vibe to their experimental, yet metal, perspective. Perfect for headbanging. Still promoting their fourth album, “Lions Among Men”, the already intense work of three guitars had a special extra touch of a sitar by the hands of guest musician Luís Simões (Shrine), which he’s been providing for the band in their last three albums. Enthralling is the best word to describe this concert.

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It’s not the first time that Moita Metal Fest welcomes foreign bands (German Dew-Scented and Contradiction having played in previous editions) and this year Spanish Omission were “the guests”. In full gear, a.k.a. long hair, leather, spikes and bullets, you knew what to expect even before their speedy thrash echoed. The pentagrams and makeup – not quite corpse painting, but close – also gave away the hints of black, but which only the lyrical theme is present (“Satanic Feelings”, which they played close to the end, being the most evident fact of it). The title of their first full-length, “Thrash Metal Is Violence”, translates the effect of their show… Singer Patillas, torn between the fact of playing in a foreign country and that Spanish and Portuguese are very similar, addressed to the crowd in both languages, to the point of saying “Thank you por tudo” at some point. Funny.

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Moita Metal Fest and the upcoming release party of Dementia 13’s EP mark the two last shows of Web’s Deviant tour – even though there’s no talking of a new album yet. “Life Aggression” still opens the set, and “If Only There Was Light” still ends it, as it’s been in the rest of the tour. In-between, the chorus of “Mortal Soul” was screamed at the top of their lungs by the majority of the audience, “Resilient Casket” was dedicated to Tiago, son of the original singer David Duarte (R.I.P.), who turned 18 that day, and a fan got his wish granted when he asked for “(In)Sanity” (although I think that song was already set to be played next). It was the first time I’ve seen guitarist Filipe so loose, jumping around, and I’ve seen Web A LOT in the past 17 years. He’d extracted his wisdom teeth that week and we joked around, saying that was the reason for him being “wilder” on stage. But the truth was that he had just bought a wireless device for his guitar.

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Another of the underground finest – Revolution Within. Raising hell with songs from both of their albums, “Collision” and the more recent “Straight From Within”, the boys from Santa Maria da Feira put up a thrash & core party like there was no tomorrow. Two cellphones were found and delivered to singer Raça, not at all a surprise, given the violence of the mosh pits, but remarkable how they returned to their rightful owners unbroken… The wall of death was also a beautiful moment. And as expected, Hugo Andrade from Switchtense helped singing “Pull The Trigger”, whose studio version also features him as a guest. As soon as he got on stage he laughed, telling Raça that he had said more “caralhos” than himself. “Caralho” is one of those vulgar words that can bear either positive or offensive meanings – like the English “f***ing”. And both Raça and Hugo are famous for using that word a lot on stage (in a positive way, of course).

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For The Glory is considered by many the best national hardcore band. If they’re not the best, then they’re pretty close, for both the music itself as their posture on stage. Similar to what I said before regarding the “war” between hardcore and metal, singer Congas thanked the Switchtense guys for giving them the opportunity of playing in a metal fest and showing that we can all have fun together. Hugo once again got on stage, to help sing “Life Is A Carousel” and then in the end, for “Survival Of The Fittest”, the most excited moshers went up there too, in a big stage invasion. I’m still frustrated for not managing a clear shot of one of their spread-leg jumps. Maybe next time.

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The crust/grind of Simbiose closed this year’s edition of the fest. When some people started to leave in the middle of their show – past 1 a.m. that is – and singer João pretended to pout, asking them not to go, the party wasn’t compromised at all. As their lyrics focus on social critique, João couldn’t stop mentioning the latest political joke in our country that is having our former Prime Minister José Sócrates – the major responsible for the acute financial crisis we’re in, and I’m not talking only of bad decisions that he took… – now as a pundit on public TV.

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This was definitely the best Moita Metal Fest I’ve attended so far, in terms of diversity and quality of the bands, and the number of people and their response to all bands. May it endure for another 10 years!

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

10 Responses to “Moita Metal Fest – 2nd day”

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