10 concerts you can’t miss at this year’s SWR Barroselas Metalfest
Christmas for the Metalhead is almost upon us! The 21st edition of SWR Barroselas Metalfest is less than a week away, taking place on the small town of Barroselas on 27th-29th April. With legendary bands such as Mayhem, Primordial, Immortal, and more, having already graced its two stages and with an impressive line-up announced for this year, saying that we are excited would be an incredible understatement.
So, with that in mind, what is the best way to give you a little taste of what’s to come? How about a countdown of the ten bands you can’t miss? Let’s get right into it.
Starting out with one of the headliners for this year, Suffocation is a band that needs no introduction. As one of the very first death metal bands, the New Yorkers have been at the forefront when it comes to the genre’s innovation, opting for a more technical approach to their music, a deviation from the crushing sound of bands like Morbid Angel and Obituary. And with their latest record, …Of the Dark Light, still fresh in our ears, Suffocation will surely lay waste to anyone and anything when they step foot on the main stage.
From the ice-cold norwegian hills, as their song “The Frostbitten Woodlands of Norway” suggests, come one of Norway’s most overlooked export: Carpathian Forest. Lead by the charismatic Nattefrost, the band has recently returned from a long hiatus, releasing the EP Likeim just the other week, their first release for almost 12 years. With a full-length in the works and a renewed spirit for performing live, Carpathian Forest will surely freeze everyone in place with their cold and calculated, suicide-driven black metal.
On a completely different note, we have Master’s Hammer. No strangers to innovation themselves, Master’s Hammer are another band that felt reinvigorated after a long sleep that many deemed to be eternal. Known for their unorthodox blend of black metal and industrial music, Franta Štorm and co. Will certainly storm the main stage with a performance that will leave no one indifferent. And with a new record released earlier this year, it looks like their music won’t be leaving us anytime soon, either.
From Sweden come Tyrant and Hellbutcher, the infamous “Hard Rock Brothers”, and their well-known band Nifelheim. Known for their intense and rapid performances on stage, as well as their “not-give-a-fuck” attitude, the swedish are hellbent on grabbing us by the throat while spouting their blasphemous lyrics and filling our collective tympanums with hateful, yet memorable riffs.
Church of Misery
Exotic and explosive are two ways to describe this next one. Straight from Japan, come the iconic doomsters Church of Misery, a band many are familiar with, even if slightly. Not known for following trends, the band has built a reputation with its doom sound filled with stoner-like riffs and complemented nicely with lyrics that speak of real-life serial killers like Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer, a complete departure from the weed-inspired songwriting that is usually associated with the genre. On stage, we are expecting them to be as menacing as they sound on record, something that will go perfectly with the festival at hand.
Grindcore has always been an essential part of the SWR family. As such, it makes all the sense in the world to have a pioneer band in the genre representing the tradition. With a history that dates back to 1984, this iconic band from Belgium are the creators of mincecore, a sub-genre of grindcore born to manifest anti-capitalism, anti-homofobic and animal rights messages. Therefore, you can certainly expect to taste the true essence of grindcore and of course, the absolute devastation of the SWR’s main stage.
Christian Holm and Arild Torp formed Nekromantheon a while back but only more recently has the band started to leave its mark on the underground metal scene. Distinctive in both their sound and method, the norwegian thrashers mix agressiveness with the beauty of greek mythos. As you might know, the Loud! Dungeon (aka Stage 2) always welcomes these fast thrash metal bands with a special endearment, so you might want to prepare yourselves for some good old fashioned moshing once Nekromantheon hit the stage on the last day. And if you’re attending the festival in its entirety, do yourself a favor and catch Torp and fellow band member Sindre Solem’s other band, Obliteration, playing the same stage on the very first day.
Grab your ceremonial robes, for we are about to witness a ritual. Italy’s Mortuary Drape combine the best elements from both death and black metal and present them on stage in an unique fashion, something that would have made Mercyful Fate and Celtic Frost proud. After a long silence that was broken with the release of Spritual Independence, the band has been increasingly more active. However, a performance on portuguese soil is not a common sight and for that very reason, we urge you to not miss this fantastic band live.
For Teethgrinder, chaos is key. Hailing from Holland, the quartet is one that is always hungry for destruction, be it in the studio or through live performances. And the latter hold out to be intense. The SWR Barroselas Metalfest audience is well-versed on this sort of thing, however, and will welcome the carnage with open arms and broken teeth.
Lóstregos means lightning, and we might describe their music as such, a black metal with moments of calmness that are broken with fast blast-beats and pulsating guitars. This band originates from Galicia, Espanha and embraces their culture through pagan lyrics and folk influences. Being a relatively new band, we are expecting a performance that matches the quality and character of their latest release, Lendas Baixo o Luar, something you will be able to experience at the SWR Arena, a free entrance stage.
Authors: Filipe Silva & Marta Rebelo