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Live Report: Cirith Ungol, Night Demon, Dexter Ward, Kyttaro, Athens, 23.02.2018

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Last Updated on 01:20 AM by Nikos Nakos

Who would have thought some years ago that we would see Cirith Ungol playing live, not once, but three times in Greece. These are privileged times we are living and we’d better remember them wen the years go by. After the once in a lifetime experience of 2017’s Up The Hammers Festival, the great Americans came back for one show in Athens and on in Thessaloniki. With them, their worthy companions Night Demon and the Athenian Dexter Ward.

For sure it wouldn’t be like the first time, but you wouldn’t miss the opportunity for anything and that rather warm winter Friday was ideal for some proper metal. The venue was half full and people were still coming while Dexter Ward were playing their version of American heavy metal. I am a fan of the first record 2011’s “Neon Lights”, not so much of the second 20016’s “Rendezvous With Destiny”, but I can’t deny how much they are enjoying what they are doing that is exemplified in the gregarious singer Mark and his distinct smile. And especially in a night like this, it was a family atmosphere and Dexter Ward deserved all the applause they received. Night Demon that followed were coming after a long European tour with Accept which had them playing in front of wider audiences and gaining valuable experience and was realized on stage through their confidence and level of energy. They are a power trio and they were restless moving all around, especially Jarvis, who also had to pull off a second gig right after. And they even played in Remedy Bar the day before a sweaty and electric set of covers in front of around 50 people. Hard work should be recognised and Night Demon are surely doing that. They play a nice, clean and powerful version of heavy metal that pays due to all the tradition and appears fresh and contemporary. There were people travelling from Europe (also) for them and the venue was relatively full when they were talking with the first rows right after they finished their set in universal appreciation.

The change over went through smoothly and the stage was ready for Cirith Ungol to send us once again to mystical places with their unique vision in epic American power metal. The intro of “War Eternal” sounded and they entered with “I’m Alive”, “Join The Legion” and “Atom Smasher” and things got heated up instantly since they were on fire and the crowd joined them in the party. It’s good that they shuffled the setlist a bit and played some more obscure songs that weren’t heard the first time, firstly because they show respect to their whole catalogue and secondly because their whole catalogue deserves to be heard live, simple as that. We may have missed “Paradise Lost”, “Chaos Descends” and “Chaos Rising” that night, but we got “Last Laugh”, “Nadsogor” and “Fire” instead. “The Black Machine” came early on and some stage diving ensued and the band, after giving us the “Finger Of Scorn” at the end of their set, refused to play the encore trick and informed us that they will just continue and so they did with “Master Of The Pit”, “King Of The Dead” and “Cirith Ungol”, so eventually things finished even more fired up than they started. It was a superb performance with the instruments giving justice to the material and Baker’s voice piercing through the senses, only Tyrant sounds so convincing almost forty years after the original recordings. The chill Greg Lindstrom had a touristic Greek t shirt on him, The quiet power Robert Garven behind the drums wore sunglasses for a couple of songs and Jarred wore something like a tiara in his head, that sounds like they were having fun to me. After the gig they talked with their international fans, took pictures, gave all the peaks and received all the love and that was the perfect way to end the night.

It was just great, the return of Cirith Ungol in Greece was completely successful and Night Demon are stepping up their game on their own. Dexter Ward is always a fun band to watch live and the vibes that night were only positive. The only that makes me worry is that bands like these are our idols, the best of our music and luckily we have seen them in some only dreamt-of reunions and there’s not many more of them left to see. Not of the caliber of the mighty Cirith Ungol at least.

Cirith Ungol setlist

  1. Intro War Eternal
  2. I ‘m Alive
  3. Join The Legion
  4. Blood And Iron
  5. Atom Smasher
  6. Fire
  7. Last Laugh
  8. War Eternal
  9. Black Machine
  10. Frost And Fire
  11. Death Of the Sun
  12. Nadsokor
  13. Fallen Idols
  14. Finger Of Scorn
  15. Master Of The Pit
  16. King Of The Dead
  17. Cirith Ungol
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AstralKannibal
Kannibalizing The Astral Plane

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