Back to Platia Nerou (translation: Water Square) for a hot metal three days that started on Monday with the representatives of nu-metal and metalcore, Disturbed and Bullet For My Valentine respectively, accompanied by Nova Twins and OYD. The crowd was noticeably smaller than Helloween, but their presence was loud and soulful.
The band that opened the Release Athens’ 3-day-metal bracket was none other than O.Y.D., having already 10 years of presence in the Greek metal scene. Their music is characterized as a mixture of modern metal with influences from Slipknot and System of a Down. Having released two albums and toured with bands like Pantera and Hammerfall abroad, they impressed the audience that had gathered early to watch them. The singer gave it his all, getting off the stage and singing in the front rows with the crowd. All in all, we are talking about a band that is very much worth seeing not only supporting, as they have both the experience and quality material to perform as a headline act.
Escape from Monkey Island, Jungle High, Nanohopes, Bring them to justice, Gunpoint, Going Ballistic, Indigo flow, Landslide
Nova Twins needed just fifty minutes to prove us that they are the future of our favourite music. The duo Georgia and Amy got us into their groove within seconds, rocking Water Square and forming the first moshpits of the day. Their music is a mixture of rap, rock and electronic making you think that they are mainly influenced by Rage Against the Machine. One after the other their songs are undeniable hits, with Amy leaving us speechless with her vocal abilities. Who can resist to the electric riff of “Taxi” with Georgia on bass introducing a new playing style with lots of pedals shaping her unique sound. It didn’t take long for the crowd to cheer their name which will be remembered as the most up and coming band that in a few years, if they keep it up like this, we will most likely see them in arenas.
Fire & Ice, Cleopatra, Toolbox, Taxi, Puzzles, Wave, K.M.B. , Losing Sleep, Sleep Paralysis, Antagonist, Choose Your Fighter
Bullet For My Valentine
Wrecking ball! That’s what came to my mind just a few seconds from the beginning and during the first notes of “Knives” with which the Welsh opened their show.
Bullet For My Valentine, in their third show in Athens, were even more thunderous! They gave an incredible 75-minute show full of power, energy which was accompanied by flawless sound. One would have expected more than three songs from their self-titled, latest album, but maybe since it’s already two years after its release, the band chose a “best of” set and this probably worked better, as they played songs from all seven of their albums and of course the crowd was thrilled to hear “Scream Aim Fire”, “Your Betrayal”, while during “Tears Don’t Fall” and “Waking The Demon” which closed Bullet For My Valentine’s performance, the smoke bombing also made an appearance.
It was an excellent show with the band in excellent condition, as was the stage presence of all four band members and the communication with the audience wasn’t lost at any time. The audience never stopped participating and even formed the famous circular mosh pit sometime towards the end of the show. I think that this band is one of those that will dominate in the future, when the greats have (inevitably at some point) retired and the competition has grown. So far, this was one of the best performances of the entire Release Athens festival.
Setlist: Knives, Over It, Piece Of Me, 4 Words (To Choke Upon), You Want A Battle? (Here’s A War), Shater, All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me), Scream Aim Fire, The Last Fight, Rainbow Veins, Don’t Need You, Your Betrayal, Tears Don’t Fall, Waking The Demon
Almost five minutes before the scheduled performance time of headliners Disturbed, the music stopped and the lights went off to welcome the American band, who started their show a little earlier.
Immediately it was clear that everyone in the audience had come to enjoy them, with the Square arena sparkling with the multitude of mobile phones raised in the air. Most of the audience knew all the songs and sang along with David Drainman, who it should be noted was in great form throughout the concert. His voice was identical and identical to what we hear on the band’s albums, albeit accompanied by pre-recorded vocals where appropriate. However, he didn’t seem to be particularly straining to achieve the ultimate performance.
Perhaps, maybe also influenced by the sweeping performance of Bullet For My Valentine, Disturbed charged like a bull in a China shop, playing with explosive energy, terrifying precision and passion, but without exaggeration and measured movements on stage. Their set didn’t have much difference from the songs they play these days at their shows, with the exception of course of “Inside The Fire”, which unfortunately wasn’t heard. One complaint was that the length of their set was short, as playing time didn’t pass the 90-minute mark. Also, personally, I found the idea of having a separate guitar, bass and a drum solo in between songs extremely tiring and obsolete. Especially, if they are not that amazing. I’d prefer to listen to an extra song.
The generally active and extrovert crowd – there were circle pits during Bullet For My Valentine earlier – didn’t stop shouting, dacing and singing, not even for a moment to shout. With clenched fists in the air they were feeding the band with energy. This led the soaked wet from his own sweat frontman to praise the Greek audience, saying it was the best on the current tour. Drainman was touched and moved with a short speech about the support that vulnerable psychological people need, reminding to a mini group therapy session of the importance of solidarity and compassion. Absolute highlights of their performance were their masterful cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound Of Silence”, which is far more imposing and chilling live and obviously the mega-hit “Down With The Sickness”, which closed the show.
I don’t know if this was Disturbed’s best performance in our country, as I wasn’t present in 2019 at the same venue, but they certainly satisfied their approximately 7 thousand fans and gave a strong show.
Hey You, Stupify, Ten Thousand Fists, Prayer, Are You Ready, Bad Man, A Reason To Fight, Land Of Confusion, The Game, The Sound Of Silence, Indestructible, The Light, Stricken,
Down With The Sickness