Live-report and photos by Christian Tallone – translated by Tarja Virmakari
Due to various delays and schedule changes, we arrived at the Live Club in Milan at around 4pm. The first band GAME OVER had already finished, while we entered the venue accompanied by heavy and accurate notes of the Italian death metallers ANY FACE.
Unfortunately we can not enjoy their performance, for the interview with the grim Mika Luttinen, frontman and leader of the Finnish black metallers IMPALED NAZARENE kept us busy for a good half hour (listen to the interview HERE).
When we got back in front of the stage, Italian extreme thrash metal legends NECRODEATH were playing. Last time I saw them on stage was back in 2001, and I must say that Flegias (singer) still has the same drive as 13 years ago. NECRODEATH offer to their audience a powerful 40-minute thrash \ black metal blast. The guitarist Pier Gonella is impeccable, Peso is a hammer behind his drums, without any mercy. Flegias and the bassist GL drag the Live Club in outbreaks of moshing and screaming out loud, retracing right away the most important points of their already long career.
Punctual at 17:10, they let go of the last chords, and triumphantly leave the stage. Too bad it’s already over, in my opinion NECRODEATH was one of the best breakers of this festival! After a quick change of stage, at 17:25, the brutal Romans HOUR OF PENANCE attack the stage. They too have only 30 minutes time, so without wasting it with useless talk, they play precisely and violently in an excellent manner, a great and strong band. Also for the presence of drummer James Payne, proposing new, and dusting off also the older songs of their repertoire to the delight of the audience. I cannot stay until the end of their performance, as I was called in for the interview backstage with NECRODEATH. (listen to the interview HERE)
At 6:20pm it is the turn of German old school metallers DESASTER, eagerly awaited by the nostalgic audience. The band performs with lights and a band-logobanner on stage creating an infernal atmosphere. They are the perfect “side dish” to a strong performance by musicians who know what it means to drag the crowds, the audience goes crazy under the heavy bombardment with mixed black-thrash (I was unable to label their genre well) and by the huge charisma of The Frontman. The only flaw is the confusing sound – it drowns out the guitar and chokes the drums, but maybe that was the purpose, giving a touch of dirt and rough metal, played in the old fashioned way. The band closed their set promptly at 7:10pm.
At 7:25pm MASTER took the stage, the band that we really looked forward to. We already saw them backstage in the early afternoon, but then the band retired to focus themselves until showtime. We discovered their warm human side on stage, giving the audience a fabulous concert, both from a technical and entertainment point of view. MASTER played for 50 minutes, new and also historic songs of the past, without ever letting up the pressure, keeping everyone speechless. These guys didn’t need any stage sets, they conquered the audience with their dirty and perfect music. The desire to play that many times is lacking from other giants, so that when the mixer signalled that the time was up, the great Paul Speckmann asked for 5 minutes for one more song, which was allowed, and after that MASTER left the stage to IN.SI.DIA.
At 8:35pm… here they are! The highly anticipated thrashers IN.SI.DIA. from Brescia (Italy), on stage after an unexpected reunion earlier this year. The genre they are offering, has little to do with the whole context of the evening. Yes, they play thrash musically, but with almost crossover cues, resulting in a strange effect for an event of such extreme metal. But perhaps for this difference, and this expectation, allows IN.SI.DIA to leave their true mark, and with Italian lyrics they certainly were able to better involve the spectators. Perhaps technically they make some errors, but their performance goes beyond, the atmosphere seemed to be mixed joy and embarrassment, as it is when you meet a friend again after a long time. Also when the singer Fabio Lorini says “hello guys, long time no see” the people were shouting, moshing and singing along, and the affection shines through that the Italian people have for this band! The band has an hour on stage, during which they alternated with malice and melody, closing with a NEGAZIONE cover “Tutti Pazzi”. Great IN.SI.DIA!
At 9:55pm we were backstage eating chips and drinking beer, when we heard the room started to tremble, that meant only one thing: IMPALED NAZARENE had taken the stage. We ran to the side of the stage and watched the Finnish quartet offering an hour and 20 minutes of truly incomprehensible black metal. The vocalist Mika Luttinen had not finished with the whiskey that he brought with him during the interview, and apparently he had continued with it all day. Of course we wanted to see, from the filth point of view: for gratuitous violence, deep hatred towards anything and with total indifference IMPALED NAZARENE are perfect. From the musical point of view, in my opinion, the only one who saves himself is the drummer Reima Kellokoski. I could be wrong, for my personal ignorance, but I did not understand anything of what they were doing on stage. But a good part of the audience were wearing their t-shirts, and on that night, they were there for IMPALED NAZARENE! They shouted and moshed, and the band evidently was able to give the audience what it wanted, so despite my personal opinion, I have to say that their performance was great!
At 11:10pm starts the sound check of AT THE GATES… The Swedes and headliner of that night, are overdue, as real stars. I felt the voltage below the stage in my throat, or maybe that was just the buzz of the cases on which I was leaning. A yelling arises when the band’s logo appeared. On the sight of Adrian Erlandsson‘s drum kit, the band attacks furiously with about 10 minutes delay. The long waiting was understood and awarded greatly, and despite of the lack of lead guitarist Anders Bjoerler, the band was devastating. We were in front of a high level band, with typical sounds of the Swedish death metal school, the drums were fast and perfect, the bass and guitar that enter the stomach, all this without losing the right melodic element. The frontman Tomas Lindberg is charismatic and in good shape. Obviously we felt the absence of such an important member as Anders, and precisely that’s why the Guys on stage gave 200 percent of themselves, and they did a great job. The venue goes crazy, some girl was launched on above my head, and THIS is the mess that you have to see in a concert like that night!
Rounding off the set after an hour and a quarter and 16 tracks between old and new ones, leaving us with the desire to see AT THE GATES in full line-up as soon as possible! See you next year!!