Golden R. Festival – Nightrage, Spitfire, Anorimoi, Aherusia, Power Crue, Bio-Cancer, Convicted, Deified – Day 1, 9/9/2022

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The troubled Greek metal scene despite of it pathogenicity constantly grows on every level. So, it was no surprise that during the last months we had several metal festivals taking place all over Greece and a typical example was the one in Volos town which managed to gather 21 Greek bands on a three day feast for the Greek scene. This years was also its 20th anniversary and kicked-off with a warm up day with Meden Agan, Human Genom, Ephemeral, CORAX B.M., Industrial Area. The two main days with 8 bands on each one followed. Unfortunately, there were two last minute cancellations but on both cases (Battleroar, Yoth Iria) the organizers had alternatives with other bands.

The first day of Golden R. Festival 2022 featured NIGHTRAGE as headliners and along with them we enjoyed  SPITFIRE, ANORIMOI, AHERUSIA, POWER CRUE, BIO-CANCER, CONVICTED, DEIFIED.

The festival took place at the municipal open air theatre of Nea Ionia, an area about three kilometers north of the port. Nothing fancy for the visitor around there, but some great local taverns to enjoy some tsipuro was more than enough for us. The doors opened at 16:00 but first we had a quick stop at the cafeteria outside the theatre and then we got inside because at 17:05 the first band started to play.

“Forged! Brothers… Fight!”

DEIFIED had the unglamorous role of the opening act. They are a heavy/power metal band from Athens with only one official release, the EP “Chaos, Blood & War” (2015) from where they played the title track, but they decided to focus more on their upcoming work. They only had given 20 minutes to play but they made the most of it covering the usual epic themes of the genre and thankfully they were not intimidated by the few fans that were in the theatre at that time. Most people were checking how cold and/or cheap was the beer (for 2,5e it was acceptable), how clean were the restrooms (only two so they turned into a real “battle zone” after a while) but also the merchandise corner where you could buy stuff from the bands (vinyls, cds, tshirts).

Deified video:

Deified setlist:

phovos / blessing / the betrayal (Ephialtes) / chaos, blood & war

“minds of war…”

With a quick passing of the baton at 17:40 CONVICTED brought their no flashy decorations thrash metal/hardcore on stage. They kicked-off with a new song showing quickly what they carry. Coming from Volos helped a lot to have many of their fans and friends in front of the stage, fans that had no problem to headbang with them despite the burning sun, the band’s groove made it easy to stand up and mosh anyway. Evaggelia was steady on the rhythm guitar while Apostolis on the leads looked like Kerry King. Their 25-minute long set of the band included two compositions from “Convicted” (2010) but also three new ones from their upcoming release “Seeds of Deception”.

Covnicted video:

Covnicted setlist:

sanitized / objection / inside of me / chasing my tail / code red / cop killer

“ear piercing thrash…”

At 18:20 BIO-CANCER got on stage and for thirty minutes they gave a storming and razor sharp thrash metal performance. The band from Athens were super energetic and their setlist covered their two albums. Fast tempo, aggressive staccato guitar riffs kept the fans busy with their blistering speed while the high pitched vocals may sound strange to some fans but I really dig them and I can’t imagine this band with different ones.

Bio-Cancer video:

Bio-Cancer setlist:

ear piercing thrash / boxed Out / f(r)iends or fiends / tormenting the Innocent / you scream you die / bulletproof

“stay heavy…”

The next band on the billing supposed to be Battleroar, but covid had other plans so they had to cancel. They were replaced by POWER CRUE, one of the older band of the Greek metal scene (they were formed in 1986). They played for 35 minutes presenting us a setlist similar to the one at Horns Up Festival at Trikala a week ago. Classic heavy power metal and I must admit that this time I enjoyed them much more, most probably because in Trikala it was in packed sweating small venue while here we could enjoy our beer in the fresh air. Plus, the band seemed brighter and more cheerful with a big smile on their faces, something that easily reflects to the fans as well.

Power Crue video:

Power Crue setlist:

believe / torture / dark path / never again / last command / pleasure for flesh / stay heavy

“crossing the seas of my soul…”

A bit after 20:00 AHERUSIA got on stage, actually this was their second performance on the festival because they also played at the warm up gig the day before at Lab Art. It was kind of strange that there was the banner of Spitfire at the back of the stage, but that was the case throughout the festival (they could have just covered the banners with a black one when a band didn’t have their own one but OK, not a big deal).

Aherusia changed completely the mood of the festival, because they are a band that easily pulls all eyes on them with their unique style. Once more they gave a great performance where black metal outbursts blend with some traditional Greek tunes and the (not so usual in metal) use of Greek language on the lyrics. In any case, the fans seemed to get excited with this great band. All the musicians were in great shape but the extra addition this time were the female vocals by Iony Moschovakou. It’s amazing how time flies when you are having a good time, so their forty minute-long setlist got to an end quickly, so I hope to catch them again soon on full set which I guess won’t be late as they are ready to release a new album before the end of the year.

Aherusia video:

Aherusia setlist:

archipelagos / lux occulta / ασκι κατάσκη / ανάβασις / αντ’ άμαν παλικάρι / arbor martyrum

“αποβλάκωcic…”

While I was still trying to recover from Aherusia’s performance we saw ANORIMOI getting ready to hit the stage. I must admit that I never was a big fan of bands with parody lyrics and such but there are always fans that dig them and this explains why we always had similar bands and this one popped up and lasted through the years because they can really play good. So, it’s no surprise that the fans were singing all the lyrics of their famous hits, all these “hymns” that they managed to fit in their 45 minute- long setlist. There were the usual breaks with “poetry” by Count Vargsteiner and all the cliché they bring during their shows, one thing is for sure: people had fun.

Anorimoi video:

Anorimoi setlist:

καριόλα / ο πανίσχυρος μεγιστάνας των νίντζα / 12.000 / Κάμα σούτρα / ο Μήτσος ο Λάννιστερ / πέος παρηγοριάς / το μέγεθος μετράει / άσε κάτω το δίκανο γιαγιά / στο πρώτο ραντεβού

“can’t you see I’m burning for you…”

At 22:05 the stage was ready for one of the most historic Greek heavy metal bands. The legendary SPITFIRE shouted “stand and fight” and for the next sixty minutes they gave a substantial show with many classic songs but also some from the latest album “Denial To Fall”. Fans seem to like their latest album but personally I prefer the old style without the modern touch they have now but OK, this is a matter of taste and at the end we all got satisfied.

At the end of their show Antonis Koumiotis (organizer of Golden R.) awarded Elias Logginidis for his contribution to the Greek metal scene all these years. Elias received the award from Marios Iliopoulos (Nightrage) who had been awarded last year, a typical but nice link between the musicians from different generations that shows the continuity of the scene.

Spitfire video:

Spitfire setlist:

Stand and fight / ready to attack / guilty dreams / denial to fall / underground / gates of fire / lady of the night / taste the fire / wasted / lead me on / street fighter

“time to wipe away all that we became…”

A few minutes after midnight the time had come to watch the headliners of the day. It wasn’t the first time NIGHTRAGE played in Volos town but this was the first time in such a big place (which seemed a bit empty though because only big commercial bands can pack places like this).

Marios Iliopoulos (leader of the band and the only founding member) is a down-to-earth guy, he was in the festival area from the start talking to fans. He was on the left of the stage focused on his guitar while the band kicked off with “so far away” from “Insidious” (2011), one of the last albums I have heard by the band to be honest as I lost track of them for some reason, but that was a mistake by my side because all the new tracks seemed to be on the same catchy path I liked from them. Having said that, the band tried to pick up songs from different eras and they managed to satisfy their fans that really got excited with them and you could easily notice that because on almost every song you could see small mosh pits here and there along with the flares. Ronnie Nyman was super energetic without losing a breath on vocals, while Marios was really good on guitar offering us the melodeath style that Nightrage is known for. Nice show in general with only one complain, that they only played for about an hour.

Nightrage video:

Nightrage setlist:

intro/so far away / abyss rising / being nothing / the venomous / by darkness drawn / insidious / falsifying life / embrace the nightrage / affliction / scathing / from ashes into stone / nauseating oblivion / spiral / the tremor / outro/lytrosis

® text/photos/video: Konstantinos Mindcrimek Vlachos