Road to SWR 22: Six bands you can’t miss from day 1
One of the things we like to do is to take time and not only talk about the bands we love but also the festivals for which our affection is unending. For that very purpose, we decided to create the “Road to…”, an article series we are launching today and through which we will be presenting a few bands that you cannot miss at some of the festivals we will be covering in the future.
Considering that the 22nd edition of SWR Barroselas Metalfest is just a month away, what better way is there to start this new article series than to talk about a few of the bands that will be performing at the festival? Taking place at the A.D.B. Sport Facilities, in Barroselas, on April 26th-28th, this year will see bands such as Saint Vitus, Godflesh, Vomitory, Benediction and Craft perform on one of the three stages of the festival – two main stages and the SWR Arena, a third free-entry stage that will have gigs throughout the entirety of the festival. Today and without further ado, we will be talking about six bands from the first day of SWR 22 that are not only dear to us but that we also cannot wait to see. Read along.
Right off the bat, we have one of the most recognizable names of the whole metal scene. Formed in ’88 by Justin K. Broadrick and G.C. Green, Godflesh is widely regarded as one of the founding pillars of industrial metal and post-metal. Adepts of experimentation and visceral sonorities, this duo has created monumental records, such as Streetcleaner, Pure and Selfless, that are often cited as being a major influence to many bands, including Neurosis, Fear Factory and Process of Guilt. After a eight-year hiatus, the duo reunited to perform a string of shows which culminated in the release of their seventh opus, A World Lit Only by Fire, to high critical praise.
Since then, Broadrick and Green have been actively playing shows and even released another album, Post Self, which saw the duo tap into their collective raw energies, creating a record that stands as a synthesis of all its predecessors, while still remaining fresh and incredibly intimidating. Their live performances – much like their records – are often regarded as intense and totally mind-numbing experiences and we cannot wait to see what the duo has in store for us when they set foot on the Main Stage of SWR.
Some people just don’t give a shit. While most folks in the scene will tell you that opinions don’t matter, only for you to see them moments later crying about a stupid movie no one really cares about, there are some that don’t see the point in taking things too seriously. The latter is exactly the case with Athenar, the sarcastic, machete-wielding and hooded figure behind Midnight. Initially created as a solo side-project when Athenar was still in Boulder – a heavy metal band created in the early 90s -, Midnight have grown in popularity and relevance in recent years despite not having played live once. After eight years of EPs and splits – which were to be the only type of releases Midnight would put out – Athenar stretched his multi-instrumentalist muscles and unleashed a beast of a debut full length, entitled Satanic Royalty. He then got a hold of a few live members – or maybe even took them hostage, who knows for sure – and what followed was a steady stream of shows coupled with a myriad of studio releases, all of them following the mantras of blasphemy, sex and absurdity.
But despite the aforementioned steady stream of live shows, a visit to Europe by Athenar and co. is not a common occurrence. In fact, we are almost positive that the last time they were on this side of the Atlantic ocean was back in 2015. So do yourself a favour this coming April and don’t miss this grand show of madness and total fucking hell at SWR.
Back in 2008, an enigmatic and otherworldly force spewed forth one of the most interesting bands to recently grace the death metal scene: Venenum. Hailing from the mythical region of Bavaria, this German quartet has grown quite a lot during this decade, thanks to the release of their self-titled debut EP in 2011 and more recently, their debut LP, Trance of Death. With an approach deeply rooted in old school death metal, Venenum employ the savagery of the genre and merge it together with elements from other extreme genres. Dense and fast melodies that invoke black metal are interleaved with more obscure and slow paced moments and the result is a very cavernous and suffocating atmosphere that engulfs the listener in a breathtaking fashion.
After their passage through Porto in the beginning of last year, where they played a show as part of the “On the road to SWR” concert series, Venenum have now finally arrived to SWR itself. A sepulchral ceremony awaits all who dare visit the Main Stage when Venenum present themselves onstage.
Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition
Grind has and always will be a part of the SWR family tradition. Many well-known names of the genre have graced the SWR stages in the past with very destructive results – Napalm Death, Agathocles, Gutalax and Jig-Ai immediately come to mind. Determined to keep that tradition alive, SWR will be visited by a name that might be familiar to those who have attended the festival in the past: Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition, also known simply as S.C.D. Born in the city of love and romance – which is Paris, in case you aren’t aware -, these French maniacs do have a lot of love to spread. Ferocious and sadistic love that is. Mixing the best elements of grind with crust, punk and death, enabled them to craft a vicious and brutal sound that sends you flying against the wall. There are neither erotic massages, nor happy-go-lucky moments when these guys are around.
Since their last stop at SWR, S.C.D. released their fifth record, Raping Angels in Hell, which not only is one of the band’s best works, it’s also the recording they will be presenting live onstage at the festival. So, if you are in the mood for some quick and merciless grind fest, you’re in for a treat.
Filthy, hateful and pernicious are all perfectly acceptable adjectives to describe this next one. Born on the Summer of 2010, in the city of Trieste – which almost sounds like triste, the Italian word for sad and/or sorrowful -, this Italian quartet brings misery and destruction through their rough sludge riffage as if they were the Devil incarnate. The parallels that many draw between Grime’s sound and Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy are not unfounded: the artwork in their second and latest album to date, Circle of Molesters, depicts an hellish interpretation of Dante’s journey through the Nine Circles of Hell, filled with grueling visions of horror and tormented displays of flesh and blood, which fits the band’s aggressive and deviant style like a glove.
After a very intense 2018 that saw the band tour in the US for the first time with Cough, Grime are ready to lay waste everyone and everything this year. They will be releasing their third record very soon and after their current European tour with Windhand wraps up, the Italians will pay a visit to SWR for some good ol’ display of nasty sludge metal.
Over the years, Portugal has had some good and interesting bands emerge from its underground scene, but it’s been awhile since a young up-and-coming band has been able to be consistently good and make a dent internationally. Ever since their inception back in 2013, Analepsy have been quite the talk of the town and for a very good reason. Their debut LP, Atrocities from Beyond, is often regarded as a shining example on how to do brutal death metal the right way, even going as far as getting praise from other well-known names in the scene such as Kraanium, with whom the Portuguese lads recorded a split, the aptly named The Kraanialepsy Split.
Since then, the band has been touring all over Europe almost non-stop and in a few weeks they will be hitting Japan for the first time, a remarkable feat for such a young and promising band. When they return, however, they will perform at the festival that helped them get one hell of a kickstart. Expect nothing more than pure brutality and intensity when Analepsy hits the stage of SWR. Hope you have life insurance.
Article assembled from suggestions by the Lore team
Words by Filipe Silva