Report: Yiannis Dois, Photos: Nancy Kosti
Smoke the Fuzz Gigs continue relentlessly to offer incredible concerts, this time with Descent Edition of Smoke the Fuzz Fest, a fierce 2-day festival with Belgians Oathbreaker and Amenra at Friday, April the 28th at Gagarin205 and American singer/songwriter Chelsea Wolfe with our own Skull & Dawn opening the gig at Saturday, April the 29th at Piraeus 117 Academy. Both gigs were organized perfectly, being absolutely faithful to the timetable. Of course we at Metal Invader would not miss it for the world!
Oathbreaker from Ghent, Belgium climbed on Gagarin205’s stage according to schedule exactly at 9 pm. Bearing the weight for a gig that many of us will talk about for some time, if one considers that not long ago they’ve just released their much acclaimed album “Rheia” and have been highly active as a live band, the turn of events couldn’t seem uglier. It took some time for me to recover from maybe the worst sound I’ve encountered in a concert the last few years, a fact that led me constantly trying to find a better spot to improve my listening experience while my attention at the band decreased as the time passed. There was a major buzz coming from the bass guitar spread throughout the room and combined with the kick-drum’s voluptuous presence it was more than enough to bury completely the band’s guitar themes, essential for the listener to experience their music the right way. On the plus side, the band was in top shape, the drummer was on fire and Caro Tanghe’s performance was more than astonishing, her moving with great ease from hellish screams to nostalgic lullaby-singing. Technical difficulties proved to by finally crucial despite Oathbreaker’s good performance and overall they left me a bitter taste.
We listened to: 10:56, Second Son of R., Being Able to Feel Nothing, Where I live, Where I leave, The Abyss Looks into Me, Needles in Your Skin, Immortals.
Amenra’s 2016 Roadburn performance, even though I watched it from YouTube (hahaha), was one of the most important concert moments for me. Only a few bands manage to give such an intense experience that transcends the physicality of the act and even channel it through digital means. However, the day had come for me to live it how it’s supposed to. The band appears on stage at the prescheduled time and Colin H. van Eeckhout’s trademark metallic bar beats mark the downfall. His turned back at the audience applies his critique at the narcissistic frontman-personas that “extreme” music suffers from, without distancing himself from the rest of the band, giving birth to the entity of Amenra right before our eyes. In comparison to a little time before, the sound is clearly improved and that certainly was a plus for the Belgians’ raging performance. As I said before, we’re dealing with a pure live-band here. As far as I’m concerned, whatever song they choose to play on their set-list, they’re going to do it right and put their souls at it while doing it. What also made the night unique was the band’s performance and singer’s primitive theatricality, starting from fighting his own demons (see his hand coming out from his back fighting the rest of the body), gradually ripping his shirt off and remaining naked to reach catharsis and in the end raising his hands to the sky meeting theosis. Amenra did what they know how to do best and climbed down the stage without giving in to the tradition of encore, which made me love them even more.
We listened to: Boden, The Pain. It is Shapeless., Thurifer.Et Clamor ad te Veniat, .Razoreater., .Aorte.Nous Sommes Du Même Sang, .TerZiele.Tottedood., Nowena|9.10, .Am Kreuz., .Silver Needle.Golden Nail.
P.S.: It was another concert that we could have lived without the constant chit-chatting and the Greek audience’s hooliganism.