New Long Fest Day 2 – Suicidal Angels, Naxatras, Need, Πεθαίνουν Στο Τέλος, Agnes Vein, Desert Monks @ Πολιτιστικό και Αθλητικό Κέντρο, Νέα Μάκρη 31/7/2022

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What better than to close a July full of open-air concerts with New Long Fest? The first day left us with some very good memories and music and the odds were that the second would be even better, at least for my taste, with Suicidal Angels fittingly replacing the mighty Sacred Reich who canceled several shows due to the illness of Phil Rind.

Desert Monks marked the beginning, a name that easily refers to their heavy rock style. They had less people in front of the stage compared to the first day but this did not discourage them at all. With two records already released (“Dark Grooves” of 2018 and “Sympan” of 2022) they did the job just fine without flinching from the sun that was burning at that moment. Respect also to their guitarist/singer Andrew for the The Exploited t-shirt he was wearing.

Next on stage was Agnes Vein, who had an even more difficult task than Desert Monks, mainly due to their doom/black metal style which is not the easiest to listen to with the sun over your head. The power trio from Thessaloniki did their duty, however, having a lot of experience due to the fact that they have been on the scene since 2001. A solid performance that left me wanting to see them again in an indoors venue, where their music will certainly sound different.

The pleasant surprise of the second day was the punk rockers Pethenoun Sto Telos (translated to They Die In The End). Not yet having released a full-length but only a digital EP, they gave a very promising performance. Very nice songs (including some unreleased ones), interesting lyrics (even if some people still have the idiotic opinion that Greek language and heavy music don’t go together), nice energy and ease on stage. If they continue like this, their name will be heard even more and I believe they will succeed in gaining a diverse audience since they have all the necessary ingredients to do so.

The time had come for my beloved Need, who I consider the best Greek band of the last eight years. I didn’t manage to see them at the concert they gave in May at Gagarin but I couldn’t miss them here. A terrific performance based on their latest excellent record “Norchestrion: A Song For The End”, with John on vocals reminding everyone how a proper English accent sound like and Ravaya on guitar trying to stir up the crowd with his faces and…dancing attempts. Impeccable technical brilliance from all members, magic moment once again with the masterpiece “Mother Madness” and closure with the wonderful “Nemmortal”. The audience was not apathetic by the wonderful things that took place on the stage, since after the headliners of the first and second day, Need had the most fervent reactions.

Setlist: Avia, Circadian, Tilikum, Rememory, Bloodlux, Mother Madness, Nemmortal

The night had fallen when Naxatras from Thessaloniki took the stage and I can say that they were the only band of the two days that didn’t click with me. And I’m not saying that because they played badly, not at all. They already have four full-lengths and a strong name on the scene, but their psychedelic rock from one point forward tired me out. Basically instrumental music (only two tracks had lyrics), well played and well written for the style they serve but not to my taste. However, they kept enough people in front of the stage, objectively giving a very good performance. They probably acted like the calm before the storm.

And when I say storm, I mean thrash storm. Suicidal Angels did nothing less than the usual. That is, an appearance in which they took scalps. Right from “Endless War” with which they started, the pit opened and didn’t close until the end (same with the hand flares, but I don’t want to write about orcs again). Several people from the stands descended in front of the stage and the attack did not stop. Concert to present in a seminar. The sound wasn’t that good at the beginning but it improved afterwards, Nick (guitar, vocals) at points thanked all of us who were present there with great warmth and I don’t think there was anyone left who was not impressed by the rage and professionalism with which the guys played. In “D.I.V.A.” there was crowd surfing, in “Moshing Crew” which was dedicated to everyone (but mainly to those who didn’t stop moshing from the beginning) there was a wall of death and stagediving and the evening closed ideally with the classic “Apokathilosis”. Many words are not necessary. The best (for me) band of the thrash metal revival wave, showed how the game is played.

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

A wonderful two days had come to an end. Unique atmosphere, music for different tastes, prices for food and drink that you don’t even find in bars anymore (don’t let me start about other festivals), bands that successfully responded to the call. You’ll have a good time at New Long no matter who’s on stage. An institution in the Greek underground scene that keeps getting better and better. Who waits now for the next year’s event?

George Terzakis