Holidays, whether it is Christmas, Easter or summer, are usually filled up with loads of events – Easter 2012 in Cyprus was no exception. There were four major gigs to choose from and, trust me, four for such a small island is a lot for one month. The choice was: Demon, Ctulu, Enforcer/Convixion and Mystic Prophecy/Fireforce. For me, however, the choice was easy to make. Ever since I listened to their second full-length Sarkomand, I knew I had to check them out on stage. Fortunately enough, this year I had such an opportunity and I must say that their performance was as impressive as their studio work. Below you may view my first attempt at video interviews as well as a written review of the gig… enjoy, dear Recusants!
First up though was a young rising Cypriot death metal act, Procreation. The 20 minutes or so they were on stage was a full pack of old-school death metal worship. The setlist included their own tracks as well as a cover of Pestilence. Hopefully, they’ll keep up the great work and reach their own style and, most importantly, keep the flag of extreme metal flying high in Cyprus – horns up!
The second act was the groovy Shut ’em Down. Their grooviness is amazing; their music makes you want to move your body and bang your head like you never did before. Pantera and Black Sabbath influences are very clear but listen clearly and you’ll hear a lot of blues in their music. You think they’re not brutal enough for you with this description? Their awesome blend of styles takes the groove of Shut ’em Down to new extreme levels – as the last two tracks they performed clearly present. Those last two tracks, which featured the guitarist of Sweet Little Annie, gave us a preview of the band members’ hardcore side project – of which I’m very much looking forward to. If you’re up for some groove and whiskey then look no further than a Shut ’em Down concert. Horns up!
Time was nigh for the band which took a special interest in playing on this island, a band which plays “Seastorming Extreme Metal”. They’ve been negotiating for some quite time now to arrange to play in Cyprus and the band members also claimed that they have never practiced for a show so much as for this one. Indeed, the result was impressive.
The gig for me was amazing in many ways. The band started off with a chant to the mighty Cthulhu and blasted off with “Freie Geister”. We’ve been presented tracks off the albums Freie Geister, Sarkomand and a sneak peak of the new album Seelenspiegelsplitter. The new tracks sound really promising and from what I heard, I have a feeling that Seelenspiegelsplitter will be as good as Sarkomand – if not better. The Northern Germans also played a “secret track”. Fortunately, Cthulhu did not rise and we were all safe…
Ctulu though is a very tight monster on stage; the band members very dedicated and professional. Their outfits added quite a bit to the concert’s dark atmosphere – Mathias, guitarist/vocalist, looked evil as hell with that make up. On to the music, the track “Nemesis” was introduced with passionate hatred by guitarist and vocalist Arne as it was dedicated to Emperion Guitars, the company which screwed up their guitars (about which you can read here).
There were two drawbacks at this gig however. Although I don’t think it was the band’s fault, the vocals were not clearly audible at some times. I must say, nevertheless, that the combination of Mathias and Arne’s growls proves to have an effect and a suitable replacement to Rolf (vocalist on Sarkomand). The biggest disappointment was the rather low attendance. I don’t want to be playing the blame game but COME ON! Underground people complain that there are not many underground gigs and when there’s a decent mainstream gig they complain that it’s too mainstream… Whatever. Whoever did not attend for whatever reasons, they missed a hell of a METAL gig with three solid bands. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing Ctulu again in Cyprus some time soon. I don’t know about you but I’m already looking forward to their show at the Infernal Damnation Festival in London, UK.
Check out our interview with Ctulu’s Arne here.