ROCK YOU TO HELL FESTIVAL – ATHENS

It was a very quick decision to travel to Greece for Rock You To Hell Festival when i saw the line-up. This would be a great opportunity seeing Medieval Steel and Holocaust twice in a year. In fact, i have been following the possible European Tour of Medieval Steel since Keep it True in April. Medieval Steel’s Greece show came along with a one day festival including the legendary Holocaust and NWOBHM pioneers Spartan Warrior. The festival line-up also included Greek bands; Blind Justice, Clairvoyant, Erase and Serpenteeth (CYP). I contacted with the Christos Xigas, the man behind this organization, and arranged our journey after getting his help. The festival was a 3 day event for Athens starting with meet&greets and warm up parties since Thursday, but we could only arrive at the festival date, on Saturday. The sad thing is, Xigas invited us to watch the sound check and meet with the bands. However, our flight had a little delay and we missed the sound check. Coming to the show; I need to make an apology from the opening bands as i missed the performances of the local bands; Erase, Serpenteeth and Clairvoyant. Arriving at the concert date, being a little sick and also drinking too much in a short time! forced me for a short sleep at the hotel. I was there around 19:00 and after hanging outside a little, I entered the venue with my wife and our super concert buddy!!!
Spartan Warrior was on the stage after a short time. This was my first time seeing this band live and had no clue what to wait from this band. And, I am now a very happy person to see them live on stage. Starting with a brief history, Spartan Warrior was formed in 1980 and they have released two NWOBHM albums in the 80’s called Steel ‘N Chains in 1983 and Spartan Warrior in 1984. The band split up in 1985 but the original lineup reformed in 2006. SW came out with new album; Behind The Closed Eyes in 2010. Three of the original members left the band in 2011-2012 period and the Band was reformed again with two founding members; Neil and Dave Wilkinson. It is also notable that the new three members have thrash, gothic and death metal bands in their playing history, which is quite unusual for a NWOBHM band. (at least seemed interesting to me)

And the performance. they were great, amazing. I am now a big fan of Dave Wilkinson. He has a strong presence on stage, continuous communication with the audience and he spread positive vibes from the stage at every second. Besides his stage character, he has a great voice and he rocked even on that little tiny stage. They stayed on stage for less than an hour and i loved its every minute. BLIND JUSTICE was placed on the line-up after Spartan Warrior. So, i had to make a small (very small) investigation on the band thanks to metal archives. It seems as an obscure band with only two demo tapes, but as i could observe, the band members have been an important part of Greek metal scene starting with the early 1980s. I could not note the songs played but the band stayed on stage for app. The ad goes on to dispel any misconceptions that tablets, or, at least, the surface pro 3, is not as powerful as the likes of the macbook www.besttrackingapps.com/track-cell-phone-location-without-installing-software air, and that in actual fact, is fully equipped under the hood thanks to its intel-made processor… 45 minutes. What makes me a fan of Greek metal scene is also witnessed in this performance when the band covered Demon’s Don’t Break the Circle. Greece has inarguably one of the most loyal and diehard fan base for old-school metal. Then came the Holocaust, one of my all-time favorite NWOBHM bands. Although they have a very distinctive sound from the peer group. There is again a big figure on stage; John Mortimer. He has a great connection with the songs, you can see that he lives with the songs when he is on stage. One thing that i can mention as negative in this Festival is the short stage periods of the bands. Holocaust was on stage with 111 songs. In a headliner performance you expect more from both Holocaust and Medieval Steel. I am really curious about the reason of this less than 1 hour performance from all bands. However, it is always a fun to listen and sing Heavy Metal Mania, one of the best metal anthems in history. I am really crazy about the lyrics of this song, so simple, so naive and so powerful and determined at the same time. We also witnessed the slow paced classic, The Small Hours. So, a satisfactory performance despite the short setlist. reduction of five songs from the planned show!

As I repeated it a few times, Medieval Steel has a great meaning to me. Staying obscure for around 30 years after creating a monument like the self-titled Medieval Steel song. I really expected to see their return and create new materials. Now, I had the chance to see them on stage twice and I hold the new Dark Castle release in my hand. I knew that Greek fans have a huge respect to the Band and i was expecting a killer show on both sides. However, I think there were some problems. Medieval Steel, as a band, did not seem so enthusiastic or i can say seemed tired. The setlist was again short considering the one-hour show for the headliner. As i can see from the set list paper, some of the songs were cancelled which made the performance shorter! Anyway, we all had a reason to be there and our time has come to sing that mighty metal monument. That moment was again a miracle, standing in the first row (in fact i was there the whole performances), singing the song together with the entire crowd. I love this song and will not be tired to follow Medieval Steel for a live event, they still have too much credit. All in all, we had a great fun being at ROCK YOU TO HELL Festival. I also have to mention the surprising erotic dancers between the shows. That was really surprising and fun, thanks to Xigas and the beautiful girls. I believe it is not easy to arrange such an underground festival and I hope the organization was also successful financially. And, I believe I can be there for the next time to see a possible ROCK YOU TO HELL Festival II.

SETLISTS:

HOLOCAUST

1. Expander

2. Death or Glory

3. No Nonsense

4. Only as Young as You Feel

5. Love’s Power

6. Smokin’ Valves

7. The Small Hours

8. Iron Will

9. The Nightcomers

10. Heavy Metal Mania

 

MEDIEVAL STEEL:

1. War Machine

2. Powersurge

3. Battle Beyond the Stars

4. Ghost From the Battlefield

5. The Killing Fields

6. Circle of Fire

7. Guitar Solo

8. The Man Who Saw Tomorrow

9. To Kill a King

10. Stranger in Time

11. Guitar Solo

12. Tyrant Overlord

13. Thou Shall not Kill

14. Medieval Steel

 

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