A full of thrash metal night took place at Kyttaro live club last Saturday. Two of the leading thrash metal bands, Suicidal Angels (the top thrash Greek band right now) and Evile (a UK group playing their first gig in front of a Greek audience) joined forces with relatively newcomers Chronosphere in order to present a fast, heavy and metallic show.
When I walked in, there were around 100 people in the venue and Chronosphere, the support band, were halfway through their first song. I had never heard of them before but the same can’t be said for the 30-40 people who were literally squeezing themselves against the stage towards the band’s set. Chronosphere don’t just play 80‘s sounding thrash metal, they seem to be embracing the whole lifestyle to the max judging from the way they were dressed and moved on stage. Since I am over 30 the sight of four young kids with their frizzy hair and their red tight trousers stuffed inside their 1986 Nike shoes could just as easily seem to be quite ridiculous. But Chronosphere’s lively playing managed to make me enjoy their show. In truth be told, the audience’s age by that time ranged from 15 to 17 and since the band members were also around there, I guess one could safely assume that most of the people off stage were friends, classmates and girlfriends of the band. Nevertheless, the place was shaking to the beat of their drum, I mean the audience knew their songs, were singing along and headbanging like crazy. All in all, what those guys put on up there was a very entertaining show, and I for one had a good time.
Right after them, the co-headliners Suicidal Angels got on stage in front of around 300 people and gave one of the best performances I’ve seen this year. When a band has been around more than 10 years there is no excuse, they should have figured out how to make an audience have fun at one of their shows by now. Well, this band knows exactly how to do that. I mean you could plainly see that those guys up there are not only good friends who really enjoy what they’re doing but they actually love doing it together. Most importantly though, they know how to communicate with the audience, the singer didn’t miss a chance to tell everybody how great it was for them to be playing in Athens and of course urge them to “MAKE SOME NOISE!”. The crowd on the other hand happily complied. I saw intense headbanging at all times, almost every song would at some point feature a mosh-pit (I swear I saw one dude with the craziest look on his face mosh-piting by himself, I SWEAR!), people would stage-dive constantly, everybody sang their lungs out at every chorus and chanted “SUICIDAL! SUICIDAL! SUICIDAL!” in every single song.
The highlights of their set for me were when the singer took his guitar (which was plugged in wirelessly) got down from the stage and joined the audience in the middle of the floor during “The Pestilence of Saints”, and without a doubt “The Moshing Crew” which, it kind of goes without saying, not only got a moshing crew, but like tradition dictates, right before the end the singer invited everybody who wanted to join the band on stage to come up while everybody else moshed like crazy (I almost got knocked over but I loved it). As always, the last song was “Apocathilosis” where all hell broke loose. Right before they left the stage Suicidal Angels promised to be back in 2014 with their new album and declared that we’re all “SUICIDAL FUCKING ANGELS!”. It was a great end to a great and powerful set.
To be perfectly honest, I kind of felt bad for Evile who had to follow that. Nevertheless, the crowd was really encouraging and chanted “EVILE! EVILE! EVILE!” when the band took the stage. This was Evile’s first gig in Greek soil and as it turns out they have a small but tight following here. Unfortunately for them, I found them wanting when it comes to their live performance. While their Megadeth and Slayer inspired thrash metal sound is pretty decent on their studio recordings, I found that they didn’t transfer all that well on stage. In other words, there was a lot of headbanging, a lot of stage-diving and a lot of mosh-pits, but not as much as when S.A. were playing. Maybe most of the people there came to see S.A. and not Evile. Or maybe it was Evile’s fault because they did a couple of things to bring the audience down.
First the singer informed that the guitar player is about to quit the band and then turned to him and said “thanks for nothing, man”. That led to an uncomfortable silence followed by a couple of “boo’s” from members of the crowd. No matter how many picks the guitar player threw at us, the below-zero temperature took at least one song to go away. A couple of songs after that, just as we were starting to get in to it again, the singer said: “we released a new album and hardly anyone knows about it”, which once again left the audience wondering what to do with that piece of information. There are many good ways to push your new album but whining about poor sales is not one of them. The only thing that one can achieve with that statement is to make people feel sorry about you when your job is to do everything in your power to help them have a good time. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but what can I say? These two things really put me off and I failed to enjoy myself from then on. Taking everything into account, Evile’s performance was OK for a bit of headbanging and their music helped my beer to go down a little easier, but if you were looking for great artistic value, I think it wasn’t there. At the end of the day, it was Suicidal Angels that stole all the impressions of that live show.