Archive for Kandia

More Than A Thousand w/ support – Porto, Portugal

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 8th December 2014 by Pieni

More Than A Thousand, Devil In Me, Hills Have Eyes, Kandia
Hard Club, Porto (PT)
6th December 2014

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Last Saturday, Hard Club welcomed what is probably the best metalcore band in the country and their special guests, who are also high in the ranks of popularity around here. The result? An unforgettable, explosive night!

 photo _DSC0028_zpsf3c3054b.jpgFirst band on stage was Kandia, the “only local band”, as singer Nya would remark. She would also motivate the crowd by saying something like “let’s show these bands from the south that Porto knows how to rock”. Having just 20 minutes to play (“but sometimes quickies are good too, right?”, she teased), and also to give something different to the fans who have been seeing their recent shows, they’ve replaced “Caution + New Breed” with “Noise + All Is Gone” as the kick-off of the gig. The crowd was very responsive to Kandia, which was really good to see, since the other three bands were much more aggressive and I wasn’t sure how their fans would react to Kandia’s alternative rock.
As I said before, when reviewing their concert at Vagos Open Air, even though all musicians put their heart and soul in the performance, it’s Nya who gets the ultimate prize in stage attitude, enhancing the energy and emotion of the songs – the last one of their short but enthralling set being “Karma”. (5 / 5)

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www.facebook.com/Kandiamusic

 photo _DSC0095_zps1558035b.jpgHills Have Eyes took some time to get on stage as there was some problem with the sound. People were getting impatient and eventually the show started, even if the tech wasn’t 100% satisfied with the sound. But the crowd clearly didn’t care – when a band puts up a show like Hills Have Eyes does, imperfect sound is a minor detail. Such an adrenaline discharge! At some point singer Fábio Batista asked who was seeing Hills Have Eyes for the first time and a bunch of arms were raised. But that didn’t mean they’d never heard of them before, ‘cause the choir of voices singing along the songs was way too loud. And those who weren’t singing, were vigorously headbanging or moshing – Hills Have Eyes are definitely loved and everybody wanted to shake Fábio‘s hand when he jumped in the pit and greeted the fans.
When you don’t have too much time to play, it’s only natural that you focus on your latest work and neglect the older stuff. That’s what Hills Have Eyes did (as much as I’d have loved to listen to “Daydreaming Isn’t So Good After All”, for instance)– the set was almost entirely focused on “Strangers”, the “almost” meaning a new song called “Bringer Of Rain”. Since “Strangers” was released in 2012, it’s about time its follow-up starts getting shape!
Just like the studio version, Vasco Ramos from More Than A Thousand joined Fábio on stage to sing “Anyway, It’s Gone”, and then the title-track of “Strangers” closed a gig that lasted a bit longer than Kandia’s but still not long enough. Hills Have Eyes have just been added to my bands-to-see-as-headliners list. (5 / 5)

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www.facebook.com/hillshaveeyes

 photo _DSC0482_zps4ee3ba12.jpgDevil In Me was the only band I didn’t know, even though, apparently, they’re quite big. But then again, hardcore isn’t really my area of expertise… Their light show was poor, so I could barely see the guys. Singer Poli paced around like a wild animal in a cage, guitarist Matos stretched his legs in high jumps… I guess that even if the lights were clearer, I’d still have trouble seeing more than blurs of movement. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but I can’t find another way to pass through the idea of the blitz that was going on up there. And down there too, as the mosh and crowdsurfing was soon matching the aggression of the sound.
Three albums out, the fourth, “Soul Rebel”, is on its way. So among songs like “Only God Can Judge Me” and “The End”, we got to hear the title-track of that upcoming record and even sing along the chorus, as singer Poli made us scream “like a lion” in response to his “soul rebel”. The crowd roared like lions indeed.
There’s no hardcore band who doesn’t point a finger to the joke that’s our political and economic situation, but among that Poli said something else, something more positive – “when you’re at home, listening to music, listen to it with open ears, ‘cause music is much more than clothes and appearance, it sends a message”. Nice! (5 / 5)

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www.facebook.com/devilinmeband

 photo _DSC0573a_zps8488e600.jpgI won’t say that there were “more than a thousand” people watching the show not just because it would be a tacky pun but also because it wouldn’t be accurate – one thousand is precisely the capacity of Hard Club and there was still room to breathe. But barely! And since they’d played at that very venue, for the same number (give or take) of people, just nine months before, that says A LOT about More Than A Thousand. And if we used emoticons here on Valkyrian, here’s where I’d put a heart.
The setlist was pretty similar to that one of March (and this is a mere statement, not at all a complaint), replacing “Lost At Home” for “Cross My Heart”, and “Black Hearts” and “Make Friends And Enemies” for an “old school 5-track medley” – something Vasco claimed that they’d never done before.
And the order of the other songs was changed, like opening with “Feed The Caskets” (my personal favorite) or “We Wrote A Song About You” being played more or less in the middle of the show. For this one, like in March, and in so many others whenever Fábio is available, the singer of Hills Have Eyes joined in. The two bands have been close friends for a long while, and one can tell by the way Vasco and Fábio insult each other – “but we like each other very much. It’s something gay”, said Vasco.
Unchanged were “Midnight Calls” and “In Loving Memory (Life Flashes)”, when Vasco stood alone on stage, playing the guitar himself. And the mandatory “No Bad Blood” closing it up with golden key – hearing the whole room singing “this is who we are, tonight we’ll stay together” is especially flesh-crawling. (5 / 5)

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www.facebook.com/morethanathousand

Vasco thanked the other bands and everybody who got out of the house to support Portuguese bands, but he forgot someone: the ONLY security guy who did a hell of a job handing the moshers and crowdsurfers all by himself. I tip my hat to you, Joel!

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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