Archive for HHE

More Than A Thousand w/ support – Madrid, Spain

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , on 9th February 2016 by Pieni

More Than A Thousand, Hills Have Eyes, Cannibal Grandpa
Starving Conciertos, Madrid (ES)
2nd February 2016
Promoted by HFMN Crew/Avocado Booking

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After the announcement of a no-end-in-sight hiatus, the time has come for the “Before We Go” farewell tour of More Than A Thousand. It kicked off last Tuesday in Madrid (Spain), along with their long-term buddies Hills Have Eyes. Swiss hardcore act Promethee would join from the third date on, leaving the two Spanish dates to be supported by Spanish bands. In Madrid, deathcore Cannibal Grandpa had the honors of doing so.
 photo _DSC0122 copy_zpsjcuib21z.jpgFounded in 2013 and having released their debut album, “Feed Your Food”, a few months ago, these youngsters seem to already have a considerable number of followers. Some of them were there, singing along and slamdancing like there was no tomorrow. Well deserved, as Cannibal Grandpa are indeed good in what they do. Too bad the stage was too small, otherwise I’m pretty sure there would’ve been more movement up there. Still, they managed to put up a vigorous performance, living up to the brutality of songs such as “Face To Face”, “Grey Man” or “Legacy”.

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www.facebook.com/cannibalgrandpa

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More than wanting to say goodbye to More Than A Thousand – I believe I’ll have a chance to do so in our homecountry – I wanted to see/support Hills Have Eyes outside our borders. I was even wearing my “Antebellum” tee, but the venue was freezing (the damn AC was unnecessarily in full mode) and eventually I had to put on my jacket. Oh well.
HHE’s setlist was quite even between “Strangers” and the latest “Antebellum”. When you have three amazing albums and you’re not playing as headliners, the choice gets tough, but the guys did a great job, performing the “most mandatory” songs.
“Anyway, It’s Gone” was one of them, although Vasco from More Than A Thousand didn’t join Fábio on the vocals, as he does in the studio version (and often live as well). That was kind of bittersweet – it would have been something to see those two forces together once again, but HHE didn’t have that many fans in the house, and inviting Vasco over would have felt like a cheap trick to win the crowd’s affection. And given the general response throughout the show, they did win it.

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www.facebook.com/hillshaveeyes

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When the lights went out, hinting the beginning of More Than A Thousand’s last concert in Madrid, the people clustered so tightly around the stage that it felt like their number had doubled. And then the first echoes of “Feed The Caskets” brought the place down. Like their “brothers” HHE – a title Vasco dearly used more than once – MTAT also focused on just their two latest albums. Nothing against what they’ve played – me and everybody else sang loudly along the whole time – but more like what they haven’t played. As a farewell tour, I was hoping for a longer show and a bit of every phase in their discography (although we did listen to a snippet of “The Red River Murder”, as someone in the crowd screamed for it whenever he had the chance). But it was still an intense goodbye, with Vasco using some funny Spanish expressions he apparently had just learned, or more serious remarks like the song he dedicated to The Ghost Inside and the heartfelt advice about never giving up of our dreams, no matter what/who. Those verses from the chorus in “No Bad Blood” – “this is who we are / these words will last forever” – came truly alive that night.

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www.facebook.com/morethanathousand

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

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Hills Have Eyes’ “Antebellum” release party – Porto, Portugal

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 28th October 2015 by Pieni

Hills Have Eyes, Ash Is A Robot, The Year, Dimension
Hard Club, Porto (PT)
23rd October 2015
Promoted by Hell Xis Agency www.facebook.com/hellxis/

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Hills Have Eyes released their third album “Antebellum” early this month (review here) but gave their fans a couple of weeks to learn the lyrics before presenting it live in two shows – one in Porto and another in Lisboa (Oporto and Lisbon, as you like to call them).

 photo _DSC0023_zps55cl8mfw.jpgAlong with that enthusiastic crowd of 200 people, give or take (I’m terrible with numerical estimations, sorry), three other bands joined the party. First one on stage was Dimension. I’d seen them back in August, at Casainhos Fest, but this was the first time they were playing in Porto, promoting their own debut album “Life Is A Mystery”. The latter has been getting a very positive feedback and their shows are a match, but it took a little while for the crowd to engage completely in their groovy hardcore. Singer Poli himself said he wasn’t “recognizing the people of Porto” (he has played there several times before with his other band Devil In Me). He was also a little disappointed when no one seemed to know about Luaty Beirão, the Portuguese Angolan musician and activist who had been on a hunger strike after being arrested for speaking his mind (the Angolan authorities saw that as an overthrow attempt…). But after Poli enlightened them and dedicated a song to Beirão (“Times Of Grace”, if I’m not mistaken), everybody applauded. Meanwhile the mosh circles had gained strength and the overall response to Dimension had grown intense, so when they finished their set with the title-track of “Life Is A Mystery”, Poli had a big smile on his face.

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www.facebook.com/dimensionptband/

 photo _DSC0288_zpsomgsdkq8.jpgI confess The Year was a novelty to me, but many in the audience were happily singing along most of the songs, so I’m guessing they have a fair share of popularity. Deserved, for what I could see in this show – not only for the music but for the posture on stage. And the professionalism when facing sudden setbacks – Jaca’s guitar was silent for a while (I saw him fumbling with the wire, maybe it got disconnected, but I’m not sure) and the rest of the band went on playing, singer Johnny jumping around, while waiting for the problem to get solved. Improvisation is always a plus.
They’re working on a new album – two days prior to this show they even released a teaser for an upcoming video/song, “Omotenashi” – but they’ve only played “oldies” that night, like “Karma Farmer” or “Death By Media”.

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www.facebook.com/theyearofficial/

 photo _DSC0654 copy_zpshncibefg.jpgAsh Is A Robot’s exquisite sound – a kind of progressive post-hardcore, seasoned with synths – may not agree with everybody’s ear, but Hard Club’s audience that night was pretty open-minded and overjoyed with those Hills Have Eyes neighbors (Setúbal, a little south of Lisboa, is turning out a big talent breeder). And even if the music was taking a bit to sink in, singer /keyboard player Cláudio surely got the moves to catch your attention: that guy’s restless! And funny. Like when no one reacted to his mention of supporting the underground national bands and so he repeated it, slowly, with a cursing word in the end. Or when he said they were going to play a new song (don’t think he introduced the title – if he did, I missed it) and so it would be shit. Or when he asked for a wall of death as soon as “the following relaxing moment” was over – the latter being no other than Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”. Impossible to stay indifferent.
Like in their self-titled album (the follow-up it’s in the making, by the way), Dado Nunes from Ella Palmer joined on stage to sing “Philophobia Part 1”. And it’s also worth saying that Cláudio joined the mosh pit twice and, unlike last time I’ve seen them, managed to come out of it without bleeding (it seems he needed to go to the hospital after the Lisboa show the next day, though, so I wish him a full recovery soon).

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www.facebook.com/AshIsARobot/

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To the sound of a snippet of The Weeknd’s “The Hills” (yes, you’ve got it – the part where Mr. Tesfaye sings “the hills have eyes, the hills have eyes”), the party hosts got on stage and… well, singer Fábio said something about starting a fire before the last song “Strangers”, as that’s precisely its first verse, but the arson lit up right on the first moment of their show. The sound was a bit messy at first (eventually it got straightened out), but the crowd was singing along so loud –  photo _DSC0961_zps9fb6bbda.jpgmyself included – that I believe only a few of us noticed it. And no one cared. The passion HHE put in their performance makes up for any technical detail. After all, as said in the aforementioned album review, I call them “probably the best Portuguese metalcore band” – that includes the live aspect of the thing as well.
“A new phase in HHE’s life”, using Fábio’s own words, so they went through all the previous ones – even the one that included a split album with My Ocean and Last Reunion, in the form of the song “Ending The Cliché”. And because a party needs its special guests, this was the first song of the set featuring one – Ricardo “Congas”  photo _DSC0984 copy_zpsnubriidl.jpgDias, from For The Glory. Then Vasco Ramos from More Than A Thousand – a good friend and producer of the band – joined in to his usual “Anyway, It’s Gone”, and also Di Noise gave her beautiful voice to “The Bringer Of Rain”, just as she does in the studio version.
I’ve lost count of how many times we were told “thank you”, not just during the show but afterwards, on social media. But I think I speak for everyone who was there that we’re even on gratitude grounds – we all had a blast of a night. When the time comes to write an overview about 2015, “Antebellum” will be listed as number 1 in my album chart. And this gig of Hills Have Eyes will surely top the live performances.

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www.facebook.com/hillshaveeyes/

Full gallery here.

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Hills Have Eyes – Antebellum

Posted in 'Core, CD with tags , , , , , , on 2nd October 2015 by Pieni

Hills Have Eyes
“Antebellum”
Metalcore / post-hardcore
Release: 2nd October 2015
Via Hell Xis Agency

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Formed over a decade ago, I only took notice of Hills Have Eyes early last year. But they caused such an impression, both on stage and in studio, that I’ve been dearly referring to them as “probably the best Portuguese metalcore band” (the “probably” being there just so I won’t sound pretentious – to me, they are indeed the best). So even though my rational side tried to control my expectations, I’m only human and they sky-rocketed pretty much on the same day I learnt a new album was on the way. Luckily for me, these guys seem to never disappoint.

If I had reviewed the debut “Black Book” and the sophomore “Strangers”, both would have got 5 stars; but in “Antebellum” HHE stepped up their game. They’ve always exceled in combining the most in-your-face riffage with the catchiest choruses – probably because even the more melodic passages kept a spunky spirit to them. But here there’s a bigger balance between those elements, producing a more mature sound.

Whenever they’re shredding away like there’s no tomorrow and entwine a certain darkness in the process, in songs such as “Eternal Bond” or “Answers In Blood”; when the heaviness of “Oathkeeper” or “Hide Your Scars” mingles with an upbeat rock vibe; the vibrancy of “Red Serpent” or the title-track; the silky touch of a female voice amidst the sharpness of “The Bringer Of Rain”; the molten guitar solo in “The Outspoken King” or the power in the ballad “Make It Right”; all songs were carefully written, filled with unique details, so that each and every one of them leaves an imprint of its own. What more can a music lover ask for? And when Hills Have Eyes say they’ve put their hearts and souls on this album, as much cliché as it may sound, you just know that there are hardly better words to describe it.

5/5

by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Hills Have Eyes launch new video

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 26th July 2015 by Pieni

In anticipation to their third full-length “Antebellum”, Portuguese metalcore act Hills Have Eyes have just released a video for the song “The Bringer Of Rain”. The track is already known to some of the fans, as the band’s been playing it live for some time now, and it’s now available for purchase on iTunes (click here).

Regarding the upcoming album, which was financed by a crowdfunding campaign, HHE say:

“A brand new chapter is coming for Hills Have Eyes.

After a couple of years, we’re back with a new record that will be released in September. A record without the support of any radio or media, in a country where our music style is often ignored & forgotten – even if several times these bands have a lot more followers than the hipster bands that are cool to support and to be related with. But no worries, ’cause we got the most important support of all: YOU that listen to our music; YOU that come to our shows; YOU that buy our merch and YOU that keep pushing us forward. On the 26th July the first single for ‘Antebellum’, ‘The Bringer of Rain’, will be online and it’s all because of you. THANK YOU.”

And here it is:

www.facebook.com/hillshaveeyes/