Although I had attended the first Under The Quarry Fest in 2016, the following years I was absent for some reason (probably because I was away from the capital). This year, however, I couldn’t miss it. For the first it was a two-day event after a two-year absence for the known reasons. The place is ideal and magical. The beautiful amphitheater surrounded by trees in the Veikou Grove offered many places of shade for those who chose to go early.
And the bands rewarded them all for this choice. Entrance with the special act of Primal Roots (with their t-shirts being worn by quite a few people) and I say this because they may be an Athens-based band but when they started all their members were from other countries! Specifically, we are talking about Sweden, Tunisia, UK and Spain. Very nice performance by the heavy/prog metallers, with Rachel Cassar on vocals being very cheerful and speaking sometimes Greek and sometimes English while on stage they also had backing female vocals. They played songs from their only record so far, “Stand Up”, which came out just a few months ago.
Setlist: Stand Up, Race To The Red Light, Same Old Pain, Say It, Black
Moving on with Tapeworm Electric, who personally caught my attention from the first notes. The hard rock of the band, as they state themselves, is influenced by the English scene of the 70s and their music is made to make you have a good time. Dynamic vocals from Argyro, very nice riffs and guitar melodies as well as grooves that push your feet and head in a rhythmic shake. If I’m not mistaken they’ve only released one EP and a few singles so far, so I’m very curious to see what they’ll present us with on their first full-length record. Congratulations are in order for such a solid performance.
Setlist: Sulphur, Islands In The Sky, From Can To Can’t, Butterfly, Out Of Luck
Next in line was Joakem, who came all the way from Cyprus. An act founded by multi-instrumentalist Stelios Ioakeim and started as a one-man band. In prog metal paths with good technical brilliance from the members and Stelios in the role of keyboard/singer, they played songs from the band’s only album “Mind Matter” of 2018 as well as a new one while one of them was dedicated to Stelios’ grandfather who was in intensive care after a serious accident and we wish him a quick recovery. For those who like modern prog music with clean and sometimes extreme vocals, a first contact with the band is mandatory.
Setlist: A Peaceful Place, Generation Z, Treacherous, Illusory, Resurgence, Origins
Bent By Sorrow who followed impressed me more than any other band of the day whose music I didn’t know and/or had never seen live before. The alternative/groove metallers easily blew people away since their music is made to do just that. The most extreme band of the festival had tremendous energy on stage and their songs had highly addictive grooves in them. It’s one of those times when you see a group of musicians play and you know they’ve won a lot of new fans. I hope to see them again soon.
Setlist: Road To Nowhere, Truth Behind The Lies, Demoncracy, Never Fail, Through The Blacklight, Rain, The Machine, False Legacy
And it was time for the band I’ve been waiting to see the most during these two days. Disharmony with their amazing his year’s album “Gods Made Of Flesh” thankfully started playing live again and did it by playing their demanding material flawlessly and introducing the two new members on guitar and drums to the audience. Especially Nikos Moiras behind the drum kit was fantastic (in “L.I.F.E.” he was breathtaking). The same applies to the double guitar attack of John and Jim, the solid bass of Panagiotis and of course to Chris Kounelis with the great comfort he had as he changed the style he sang depending on what suited better to each part of each song. They chose to close with a cover of “Between The Hammer And The Anvil” and I really hope that their show (for me the best of the first day) is the beginning to see them more often in concert venues. Flawless.
Setlist: The Cynic And The Beggar, Nogard, Cruel And Bitter, The Abyss Noir, Vain Messiah, L.I.F.E., Between The Hammer And The Anvil (Judas Priest cover)
Just before the end, symphonic metallers Enemy Of Reality took over. A group that is very far from my personal taste but I never cease to declare myself impressed listening to the unique vocal abilities of soprano Iliana Tsakiraki when she is on stage. They had quite a few fans who were excited by both their old songs and some new ones since their third album probably won’t be too long to be released yet. They closed their performance with the shocking “Tin Patrida M’ Ehasa”, a song that won’t touch you only if you have a stone in the place of your heart.
Setlist: Long Forgotten, In Hiding, The Taste Of Defeat, Afraid No More, Nouthetisis, The Bargaining, Downfall, Την Πατρίδα Μ’ Έχασα
For Universe217, always speaking on a personal level, something very strange is happening. Their music never really won me, I won’t listen to them at home but seeing them live is always something different. Their experimental doom metal is not the easiest to listen to but on stage it seems to evolve. The awesome atmosphere they create and of course the incredible performance of Tania who sings each verse in a unique way, make their show a special concert experience. I thought the same thing when I saw them a while ago at New Long Fest, they left the same impression on me now. One of our country’s bands that you must see live at least once, closed the night.
Setlist: Intentions, Rest Here, Never, Cold, She, Here Comes, Better, Mouth, Wrong
The first day I can say was crowned with success. Great music from bands that gave their best, great venue with a lovely coolness when the sun went down, music lovers of all ages (even families with kids headbanging in front of the stage) and a pretty good turnout considering that on the same day it was also the Golden R. Festival in Volos as well as the Mgła concert in Athens. Rest and let’s go for the second day.
*photos from the band’ Facebook sites*