Archive for Gates Of Hell

Heavenwood w/ support – Porto, Portugal

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 1st April 2016 by Pieni

Heavenwood, The Temple, Blame Zeus, Gates Of Hell
Hard Club, Porto (PT)
26th March 2016
Promoted by Raising Legends

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In late February, Heavenwood released their fifth record “The Tarot Of The Bohemians” (review here) and the first release party took place about a month later, in a full-enough Hard Club. Other three top-notch bands from the national scene were on the bill, all of them so different from each other, making this a diverse event, even more interesting than “just” a release show.

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First band on stage was Gates Of Hell, delivering their thrash-death-’core like they owned the place. I guess one can still call Márlon “the new guy”, as he was introduced as the new singer only last December (report here), but to me it feels like he’s been there all along.
There was a couple of missteps but I believe it wasn’t entirely their fault – trust me, I’ve seen them over a dozen times by now; the sound was a bit messy at first, so my guess is that they were having trouble listening to each other. Whatever or whoever was to blame, they went on so passionately that no one cared about such slips.
The show had begun at nine, half an hour later than scheduled, but still Márlon thanked the crowd for getting there so early to see them (20:30 is pretty early for a gig here in Portugal). The title-track of their debut (and so far only) album “Critical Obsession” closed their set.

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www.facebook.com/gatesofhellband

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Things cooled down considerably with Blame Zeus, as their more progressive approach is spirited but much less aggressive. They’re about to go through some major line-up changes – both guitarists and the bassist still played the show but have already announced their departure – which Sandra called “a new cycle”. And with the beginning of that cycle, she introduced a new song, “Queen”, about her career and what she had done to get that far and how it meant having to be mean sometimes… The new song has pretty much the same vibe, so the fans don’t need to worry about these changes, as Blame Zeus will continue the path of their usual sound.
Speaking of fans, there were plenty there that night and one in particular was celebrating his birthday. Sandra spared us from singing the happy birthday theme, dedicating him his favorite song instead, “Incarnate”.

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www.facebook.com/BlameZeus
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Then veterans The Temple brought down the house with their fiery alternative rock. Personally, it was the band I was most eager to see, since it had been eleven years (yes, eleven!) since I’d last seen them. And they didn’t let me down, nor the public in general. I believe they’ve made a lot of new fans. And spicing up their own great music with a cover of Mão Morta’s “Budapeste” (yeah, I know this won’t say anything to people outside of our country, but to us, it does a lot) and a tribal drum solo to which singer João and guitarist Marcelo gave both of their helping hands, their performance was a 5-star one.

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www.facebook.com/thetempleband

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I’m having mixed feelings about Heavenwood’s gig. Maybe I had set my expectations too high, maybe I was still in an adrenaline rush from The Temple show, but the truth is that I felt something was missing. The setlist was perfect; they’d promised to revisit their whole discography and so they did, and not just one song from each previous album, as some people had joked. However they tweaked the synths of the older ones to the point that I didn’t even recognize them at first. It seems the idea was to make them  photo _DSC0141 copy_zpsubhe4jzm.jpgsound heavier, but at least “Emotional Wound”, my all-time favorite, sounded anything but. I already didn’t like its softer version in “Diva”, as the original, while they still went by Disgorged, was way heavier; and somehow they managed to tone it down even more that night. That might have helped with my mild disappointment.
The new live musicians made an impression – drummer Eduardo is quite skillful; guitarist Victor smiled and headbanged all the time; there isn’t a spot on stage that bassist André didn’t cover. Frontman Ricardo also looked to be “feeling it” deeper than usual, but his voice went out of tune a few times. As for Ernesto, it was the other way around: his voice sounded better than ever, but his mind seemed somewhere else. Something missing, I keep saying. Me and a few others, but luckily, the majority of the fans left with a smile on their face, after the “Frithiof’s Saga” and “Suicidal Letters” encore. And I won’t let one less good gig destroy my belief in them. Plus, at some point Ricardo said that “stopping is dying”, referring to the band’s sound evolution. I’ve been keeping tabs on that evolution since the first album, I definitely won’t stop now.

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www.facebook.com/HeavenwoodOfficial

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

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Raising Legends Xmas Special – Porto, Portugal

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 24th December 2015 by Pieni

Equaleft, Gates Of Hell, Tales For The Unspoken, Wrath Sins
Hard Club, Porto (PT)
19th December 2015
Promoted by Raising Legends

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Raising Legends Records, by the hands of its CEO André Matos, gathered its finest bands and put up a 2-day festival, naming it after the current season – after all, Christmas is about love and joy and family, and Raising Legends Xmas Special was full of those, along with the top-notch music.
Sadly, I couldn’t attend the first night, where the alternative/more-rock-oriented bands played. Would have loved to witness Cristovão Siano’s (PROJECTO SEM NOME) on-stage reveries, as well as EQUALEFT-Malone debut as the new BLAME ZEUS bassist, but I had already confirmed my presence at another gig.

 photo _DSC0618 copy_zpsyhice6a3.jpgPeople here are used to underground events starting late but forgot that Hard Club is an on-time venue (especially when it has other shows taking place afterwards). Such neglect resulted in WRATH SINS being welcomed by a far smaller audience than they deserved, but their performance didn’t suffer from it – they still thrashed away like there was no tomorrow. Which is where they got most of their popularity, actually – their debut album, “Contempt Over The Stormfall”, was released late September (review on the way) but they already had a solid fan base due to their heated live shows, the aggression of Miguel’s main vocals backed up by the graver tone of bass player Ricardo’s working pretty swell. That and the medley of cartoon themes, thrash metal style, which pumped the mosh squad that night as well. Promoting the aforementioned album, the rest of the set was comprised of songs from it, like the title-track and “Watching Time Collapse”.
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www.facebook.com/Wrathsins

 photo _DSC0788 copy_zpsfll2zcce.jpgWhen TALES FOR THE UNSPOKEN got on stage, the crowd had considerably grown bigger, but it wasn’t at its full yet. The absentee’s loss – TFTU are always great live but there was something about this gig that made it better than the several others I’ve seen of them.
2015 saw the release of the band’s sophomore album, “CO2” (review here), which features EQUALEFT-Miguel Inglês – who went by “Jedi Mig” that night… – in the song “I, Claudius”. He was obviously called on stage and singer Marco Fresco told the crowd that later it would be EQUALEFT’s last show with drummer Marcos, as the band had already found a replacement named Miguel. It was a joke, of course, regarding the recent announcement of new guitarist Miguel, making him the third member in the band with the same name. The singer called it the “Miguelification process”. Fresco, the everlasting amuser.
Other recent songs included “Taken” and “Soul For A Soul” (introduced as “soul for a fucking soul”…) but also oldies, from “Alchemy”, like “Say My Name” or “N’Takuba Wena”, had a major role in this party.
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www.facebook.com/talesfortheunspoken

 photo _DSC0272 copy_zps7donk7gy.jpgGATES OF HELL’s show was highly anticipated – not just because they’d been away for a while, but also because they would finally reveal the identity of their new singer. A new song/single, “My Path”, from the band’s upcoming second album, had been made available about a week before, but the name of the singer remained a secret. We were teased to guess, but no one could, since he indeed has some name in the underground scene but for his work behind the drumkit! The new GATES OF HELL singer is no other than Diogo Márlon, the WRATH SINS drummer. And boy, can he sing! Also, if he was any nervous – I can only imagine the difference between holding the mic instead of the drumsticks – one couldn’t tell. He just belonged there – in that role, in that band. Without any kind of disregard for the previous singers, but I feel like Márlon is the best fit in GOH so far – third is the charm indeed.
“My Path” was the only new song performed, everything else came from the debut “Critical Obsession” – the title-track finishing the set – but they also played “happy birthday” to a fan named Jessica. What a great comeback!
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www.facebook.com/gatesofhellband

 photo 2904_zpsv2fqtvjy.jpgIt wasn’t Marcos last show with EQUALEFT but it was Veggy’s. We told you about the guitarist’s departure (read article here) but since he had come to visit family and friends for Christmas, he took this chance to say a proper goodbye to the fans. EQUALEFT is one of those bands that never lets you down, but given the significance and emotional level of such show, it’s impossible to put into words just how intense their performance was. And the matching response of the crowd.
Near the end of the show, for “Hymns Of Obedience” and “Invigorate”, Veggy gave place to Miguel Martins, making this also a welcome party and official introduction of “the new guy”. And while Jedi Mig was wielding his lightsabre in the last song, Veggy stagedived and crowdsurfed.
But there was still one minute and half left, and they wanted to make the best of every second; so they went back to the EP “… The Truth Vnravels” and played “Uncover The Masks” – a song that originally lasts 2:11. Not sure if they simply played it faster or improvised some tweaks – the whole night had been a bliss for me to notice – but whatever it was, it worked wonders.
Before the group pic with the fans in the back, Jedi Mig gave away cookies to the fans in the front. He gives a whole new meaning to “Come to the Dark Side – we have cookies”…
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www.facebook.com/equaleft

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

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Vagos Open Air 2014 – 1st day

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 19th August 2014 by Pieni

Kreator, Epica, Soilwork, Sylosis, Kandia, Gates Of Hell
Quinta do Ega, Vagos (PT)
8th August 2014

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This year’s edition of Vagos Open Air was bigger in every sense of the word – it lasted one day longer than usual, it had more people coming in, and it had also the greatest bill so far. Kudos for promoters Prime Artists!

National Gates Of Hell must feel proud, and not just for kicking the festival off: it’s not easy for an underground band to gather so many people on a hot Friday, at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, but they made it! There was a sea of people like there’s never been for an opening band, in all the 6-year history of the festival! Of course they’ve been working hard for it in the last few years, especially since the release of their debut album, playing all over the country and winning fans with their ballistic live shows. But it still was a wonderful surprise to see such a crowd screaming and moshing for them. And the size of the wall of death on the last song, “Critical Obsession”! Singer Raça thanked everyone – both fans/friends and those who were watching them for the first time – but truth be told, they wouldn’t have got that response if they weren’t just as good. The credit is all yours, boys! Keep it up! (5/5)

Gates Of Hell official facebook

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Things cooled down a bit, but only in terms of “brutality” – Kandia is a modern/alternative rock band, so no mosh pits for them. But that doesn’t mean that their show was less electrifying. It was just a different kind of voltage. Especially singer Nya Cruz, who looked totally at home on stage. They’ve released two albums so far, but neglected the first one completely, focusing just on the latest “All Is Gone”. Last year, they won the international music contest Global Rockstar with one song from that album, “Scars”. “We’re not going away, we’re here to stay!” was the introduction to that song, as its first verse reads “I’m here to stay”. But more than an introduction, it’s a statement, a motto – and the grip they had on this gig is proof that they will stick to it. (4,5/5)

Kandia official facebook

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It was the first time Sylosis were playing in Portugal (after pulling out of the Epic Industrialist Tour, in 2012) and Josh Middleton admitted they weren’t expecting such a reception. The crowd was happy to finally experience live songs such as “All Is Not Well” and “The Blackest Skyline”, so the circles began spinning once again, at full force. And when Josh asked for TWO circles – one at the left, one at the right – they were eager to comply (same as the headbanging to the sound of nothing, but that’s been done before by other artists – the two circles, now that was new). At some point Josh said that this was the last gig of Rob (Callard, drummer), since he would be pursuing a career as a singer… in a Mariah Carey cover band. Such talented musicians and so humorous… no wonder no one cared about the “little” fail of asking if we were ready for Kreator while playing a riff from Slayer’s “Raining Blood”… (5/5)

Sylosis official facebook

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It had been 11 years since I’d last seen Soilwork – which was the last time they’d played in Portugal. So I don’t know if it’s usual for them to use The Alan Parsons Project’s “Sirius” as intro, but for me, it was a really nice surprise. And it links so well to “This Momentary Bliss”, the first song of their set! A set that I confess was hoping to be a bit more diverse, given the years of absence from the Portuguese stages. But their latest album is a magnificent double piece, so it’s only natural they wanted to focus on the killers of “The Living Infinite”. Still they went back a couple of times – “The Average Stalker”, “Bastard Chain”… –, closing with a golden key with “Stabbing The Drama” (“I think you know the chorus to this one”, said Mr. Björn Strid). The circles weren’t as constant as in the previous band but only because Soilwork’s sound doesn’t require so – there’s a reason why it’s called “melodic” death metal. In terms of intensity, they were just as “crazy and wild” (to use Strid’s own words). (5/5)

Soilwork official facebook

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There were LOADS of Epica fans in Vagos, so whoever thought it was a mistake to invite them again (they performed at the first edition of the fest) couldn’t be more wrong. Simone Simons’ voice was better than the last time I’ve seen them, in the “Requiem For The Indifferent” tour, but still a bit “shaky” here and there. The most blatant case was “Cry For The Moon”, where her voice was smothered by the choir backtracks and not because something failed with her mic. It’s just that female voices also change with time and it’s been 10 years since Simone first recorded that song. Maybe that’s why she took the chance to introduce the band, singing the names and their instruments instead of the original lyrics. Nice trick! But no one seemed to care anyway, as the strong and positive attitude of the whole band made those flaws look like small details.
They played a few songs from the latest album, “The Quantum Enigma” – including the first three tracks plus the new hit “Unchain Utopia”, but Simone said they would be back in November, in a promotional tour for this album. The crowd was thrilled to hear that. (4,5/5)

Epica official facebook

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Okay, it’s true that a Kreator gig is always a Kreator gig, and even when they’re bad, they’re still pretty good. But sometimes they’re REALLY awesome – like this time! From “Mars Mantra / Phantom Antichrist” to “Flag Of Hate / Tormentor”, Mille Petrozza got some of the best “Portuguese circle pits” that he kept asking for – having played here so many times before, he knew what he was talking about when he specified the nationality, giving them an unique identity. But with such a performance it was hard not to raise hell – the stage wasn’t big enough for their fire show, but the human heat made up for it.
For the encore, and the aforementioned medley of “Flag Of Hate” and “Tormentor”, Petrozza got on stage holding a flag, saying that when they released that album (“Endless Pain”), back in 1985, Michael Jackson was still alive. The rest of the band played a few chords from “Billie Jean” and the crowd roared. But the roar was much louder when he talked about the album that Judas Priest released five years later, as its title was the opposite of “Endless Pain”“Painkiller”, with the main riff of its title-track echoing. The true explosion came, of course, when Petrozza stopped talking and the medley itself began. (5/5)

Kreator official facebook

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Nevel a dull moment on this first day – except for the background music between songs, which was literally the same over and over. The metal DJs that took the graveyard shift should have been hired for the day as well…

Text & photos: Renata “Pieni” Lino

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