Beast In Black, Suicidal Angels @ Gagarin 205 22/3/2023


We waited years for it. And finally happened. It’s a big deal to see a band at the peak of its career so far. Because you know, you understand, that Beast In Black are going to be huge if they keep this up. The group that Anton Kabanen created after his forced exit from Battle Beast, managed to surpass them in popularity in a very short time. The sold-out was rather expected, in the last stop of their European tour which recorded 44 shows.

The schedule was kept by the minute, something that is not a given in our country and it is good to give credit to the promoters when it is done. Suicidal Angels were admittedly not the best option for support, considering the style of their music. And they can fill the Gagarin themselves. But that doesn’t matter at all, since it’s an excellent band that took the stage and gave their best once more. With tremendous appetite (…for destruction) and flaming passion, they showed why they are rightfully considered one of the best and most important acts in the revival of the thrash sound. Although they started…in reverse, since they usually play their classic and best-known track “Apokathilosis” at the end, they made many heads bang and some people in front of the stage mosh. Very nice and surprising I can say the moment when the audience sang the melody of “Bloody Ground”. The setlist was expected, based on the amazing “Years Of Aggression”, their best and most mature album. It was a difficult task for them but they managed to win over the people who do not listen to them with their professionalism and flawless performance. The one hour they had available ended without noticing and they left the stage to a standing ovation. Now, we were very close to the epic party that would follow shortly after.

Setlist: Apokathilosis, Endless War, Bloodbath, Bloody Ground, D.I.V.A., Reborn In Violence, Frontgate, Years Of Aggression, The Sacred Dance With Chaos, Born Of Hate, Capital Of War

George Terzakis

At last! Beast in Black would finally perform for the very first time in Greece! And not only that but they would do it in the most impressive way with a sold out show at Gagarin; something that should not go unnoticed as we are talking about a relatively new band with only three albums under their belts. On the other hand, we are talking about the band of Anton Kabanen, the man whom I personally consider as one of the two top composers of the younger generation of musicians (the other one is Tobias Forge). So, when the songs “speak” and bring out the essence of first-class compositions, people will sooner or later respond…and they will do it in the most emphatic way.

At 9 o’clock sharp and with the sounds of Billy Idol’s “Shock To The System” (+ a short intro) Beast in Black make their appearance amidst a general pandemonium. Two female figures/androids adorn the stage recalling the artwork and the general concept of the last album “Dark Connection”. From the first notes of “Blade Runner” you immediately understand that the crowd will be more than involved and Beast in Black were willing to take no prisoners on their path…and they did so! The guys delivered an unbelievable show that blew everyone’s mind and with a dream set list and songs that everyone was singing along to. “Our” Giannis Papadopoulos couldn’t stop smiling and it was obvious how happy he was to be playing in Greece (he confessed to us a little earlier – in an interview that will be published soon – that this was something incredible and overwhelming for him) while Anton Kabanen stood proudly to the left of the stage, smiling often…thus breaking the cold, Finnish protocol. Energy, overwhelming enthusiasm and an incredible overall atmosphere from the crowd who literally vibrated the Gagarin singing and dancing all the time were the three constants throughout the duration of Beast in Black’s set.

Although the concert was a highlight in itself, I can’t help but make a special mention of the back to back performance of the anthems “Crazy, Mad, Insane” and “Sweet True Lies”. In fact, the former even featured a…crazy, mad, insane dude “playing” the keyboard solo. Fantastic. I won’t mention other songs as almost all the big hits from the three albums were played and I guess everyone left “full” and completely satisfied. Some people talked at the end about a lot of pre-recorded parts (instruments and vocals). It’s true and I hear it. However, in order to render in its entirety what Kabanen has in mind, all of it is needed. In closing, I’ll make this prediction: next time Beast in Black comes, they’ll either be a second name at a major festival or headliners at two sold out shows of their own. We’ll be there again!

Sakis Nikas