The second day of GOLDEN R. FESTIVAL 2022 was even more powerful giving emphasis to more extreme genres along with some melodic ones. What’s more, it seems that the presence of SEPTIC FLESH as headliners was enough to bring more fans this day (along with the fact that it was Saturday of course). The festival in general was a great experience, a flawlessly organized event, there were no major delays, the sound was great and most importantly all the fans had a great time.
Apart from the impressive Septic Flesh I must admit that I was a bit let down with the cancellation of Yoth Iria on the same morning of the festival. They were replaced by the super energetic Domination Inc. who traveled from Athens, Innerwish were very good too, but the big surprise came from the local blacksters Isolert. Earlier in the day we also saw Reflection, Dark Nightmare, Stormbringer and Deus Dethroned.
The good thing about festivals in nice smaller towns away from Athens is that you can enjoy a two-day music festival with some day excursions around the area. That’s why on Saturday morning many fans visited nearby beaches for swimming, or some small village, while others preferred to relax in a café, or a local tavern in town.
“aerials of death…”
The first band that opened this day got on stage as it was scheduled, right at 17:00, thus a few minutes before I got inside, so I missed the first song. DEUS DETHRONED played under the burning sun, something that always reduces the impact of a band’s music style. They play straight black metal that bring in mind famous Greek metal bands and they add some nice breaks in their compositions that create some balance. The band from Volos used wisely the limited time they had in their hands and played the four songs that are included in their first studio EP, this year’s “Humanity In Decay”.
Deus Dethroned setlist:
thanatosis / deus dethroned / walking in the woods of chaos / aerials of death
“sword of destiny…”
At 17:35 STORMBRINGER, another local band from Volos, got on stage. These guys are into power heavy metal. I wasn’t familiar with their stuff, but I was intrigued from their thirty minute long set that has no experimental or weird elements and just follows the classic heavy genre, mostly of the US power style on the way they build their compositions although the keyboard layers left a European aftertaste. Most people enjoyed their cover on Warlord’s “Lucifer’s Hammer” near the end so a good show by Stormbringer in total.
quest for eternity / tears of angels / beyond the crimson portal / further beyond / lucifer’s hammer (warlord cover) / stormbringer
“take me to the dragonlakes…”
At 18:15 DARK NIGHTMARE got on stage, a great band from Grevena. They kicked off with “The Blood Land” from their legendary first album “The Human Liberty”, so their fans got excited but I am sure that they won many new fans instantly. Their melodic epic metal manages to win you over with the simple but powerful elements of the epic genre with great quality playing by all members. They are very tight as a band that shows and that shows their experience (not usual in the underground scene). Of course, the great vocals by Papadimitriou topped the final result. For those still in doubt they played the amazing “Dragonlakes” and yes, everyone felt the exaltation of the soul that good epic metal can produce when you play it right. Epic indeed!
Dark Nightmare video:
Dark Nightmare setlist:
the blood land / crown of innocence / hawks of war / beneath the veils of winter / dragonlakes / defenders/borders
“moshing like beasts…”
A few hours before the last day of the festival begun it was announced that Yoth Iria had to cancel. It was a great disappointment for those who traveled there to watch them, but things like that happen all the time. The organizers had alternatives anyways (kudos to them!) so there was no gap. DOMINATION INC. had tο fight against time, leaving Athens at 15:30, arriving in Volos at 18:00 and getting on stage at 19:10! In the meantime, they were supposed to be tired, but the whole situation gave them a boost and they were great for their thirty minute long set that gave us super blistering thrash metal tunes. They showed up as a trio (they are a five piece band normally) but as I said they were great, especially Aris on guitar that was running up and down the stage nonstop.
The funny thing is that we didn’t know any of the songs, as they all came from their upcoming album.
Domination Inc. video:
Domination Inc. setlist:
shiet’s ’bout to explode / burn ’em down / to all the ones / generation hate / through the scars
“take the sword…”
Then, we had REFLECTION on stage, a band that I saw live on March, when they played at “Metal From Hellas IV” festival in Gagarin Club in Athens. Once more, they had many friends/fans in front of the stage that they kept teasing them. They play epic/heavy, they were in good mood, but also focused on their music and their epic storytelling that has lot of references from Greek mythology. Talking about this, they said they were so happy to play in the land where ancient Iolcus, the town where Jason departed with his Argonauts for the Golden Fleece, was located, since they have written a song about this story, “March of the Argonauts”. The fans favorite couldn’t be missed though so once more the fans were more energetic during “When Immortals Die”.
glorious victory / the iron tower / time traveller / fire / march of the Argonauts / when immortals die / ruler of my own land
“no hope, no light…”
The sun was already away and only the full moon was left above the theatre as I was thinking about the cancelation of Yoth Iria. And suddenly ISOLERT got on stage and oh man, for the next thirty minutes turned out the big surprise of the night! Their setlist was short but so powerful, darkness covered us all as the band was offering a pure black metal attack! What a blast!
intro(Sørgelig)/your hypocrisy / fire, ash, blood / as we die / extinction / empty memory (hate for mankind) / isolated soul / world in ruins
“behind these burning walls of silence…”
Five minutes after ten INNERWISH got on stage. This is definitely a band that never disappoints me during their concerts and this was the case this night too. For fifty minutes they offer melodic heavy/power tunes through a bunch of great compositions. They covered different albums but all the songs were familiar and people had no problem to follow them, the guitar players Thimios and Manolis were fantastic as always and in general this was a great performance by all the members of the band, not a big surprise of course as they are an experienced group. I just hope now that they will return with a new studio album, six years are way too many after the release of “Innerwish”.
Silent faces / modern Babylon / burning desires / rain of a thousand years / inner strength / the chosen one / needles in my mind / ready for attack
“fallen angels burn the night…”
At 23:20 the stage was ready for the big name of the night. SEPTIC FLESH have played many times in Volos creating a unique link with the locals but this time because the festival got bigger they attracted even more fans. Thankfully, the band left everyone satisfied.
What they have achieved all these years is impressive, which explains why they are so popular abroad too as a great symphonic death metal band. The way they present their music is really imposing. They look grandiose as performers, their sound is extra massive and they can create great impression easily, no matter which song they decide to play. I have seen them live many time, so this time I was curious to see who the new songs, from the recent album “Modern Primitive”, would sound live, and yes, they sound great. Also, usually they don’t have Sotiris Anunnaki Vayenas on ever show, so it was great to see him up there on stage contributing his great and unique vocals. Needless to say that they are all top class players, the beast on the drums, the two guitarists and Seth on bass/vocals. Tributes to a demigod Titan (“Prometheus”), or to their other obsession/love, Egypt with a song about another god (“Anubis”) where Seth was amazing, “Communion” and all the other songs that makes no sense to mention one by one as each and every one of them was great.
As we were walking outside all the fans had a big smile on their faces which means they will carry good memories from Golden R. Festival 2022…
® text/photos/video: Konstantinos Mindcrimek Vlachos
Septic Flesh video: