Up The Hammers XI Day 2


Saturday kicked off with local act Endomain, a band that debuted in 2015 and features ex Airged Lamh members. The guys delivered a flawless set of excellent songs. Not a surprise though since we are talking about experienced members of the Greek metal scene.

Solitary Sabred was the second Cypriot act to storm the stage during these three days of the festival. Their second album caused quite a stir in the global underground metal circuit with its quality and ingenuity. The expectations were high and fortunately met on stage. With brute force and vocalist Peter Leptos as the tip of the spear, the band bombarded the crowd with epic power metal while the new song revealed that the band stays firm on its course.


Etrusgrave from Italy is a guarantee when it comes to live shows. An ensemble of skilled musicians with guitarist Fulberto Serena as leader, delivering soulful music that can only be compared to Dark Quarterer since Serena was the cofounder of this unique band. Tiziano Sbaragli is gifted with a unique set of pipes that brings chills to the spine.


Doom metal was represented by Sweden’s Below, a band that bears a strong resemblance to Candlemass and Memory Garden. But even though they are good musicians and with a fine set of songs, their stage presence is a bit weak.
California’s Ruthless raised the game. This legendary band is going through a second youth. Passionate playing, great communication with the audience and a setlist based on new songs compiled a leading performance by common consent. Sammy DeJohn informed us that the show was being recorded for a future DVD release, a true honor for the festival audience.


In 2012 I was abandoning Kyttaro stage after just 3 songs, frustrated and disappointed by Heir Apparent in what was a parody concert. In 2016 I was standing speechless and with tears filling my eyes, magnetized from the first to the last note. Terry Gorle, this great musician and composer, scored a bull’s eye with the addition of the remarkable Will Shaw on vocals. I really wish after all these years of searching, mishaps, and experimentations that he’s gonna be the permanent singer in this turbulent band. Talents like him are rare and Gorle must take advantage of his presence and record a third album at last. Heir Apparent’s performance earned a place in the all time top three of the festival to say at least.


My mind was inevitably wandering elsewhere during the set of Heathens From the North. I disagree in placing a tribute band as a headlining act of a festival. But the objections end there since the band which is consisted of three Strikelight members, Valor’s vocalist and the festival organizer and Dexter Ward guitarist Manolis Karazeris, delivered the Heavy Load songs with great respect. Marta Gabriel (Crystal Viper) and Nightcomer (ex Doomsword) appeared as guests giving their own interpretations of the songs but the guest of honor was the legendary Eddy Malm. Guitarist and singer of Heavy Load, he stepped on stage after many many years. A moving moment nevertheless.

And when the clock struck Saturday midnight, the Cinderella Up the Hammers story came to an end. We renewed our appointment for May 2017. Till then, we have so many beautiful memories to cherish.

Kostas Kounadinis


Photos taken from the bands’ Facebook pages