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London Relentless Garage, 7 January 2011
Playing the six string for a legend of Metal such as Ozzy Osbourne
is a dream that every guitar player would wish to live. That very dream
became reality for a young chap from Thessaloniki/Greece named Kostas
Karamitroudis, otherwise known as Gus G, in August 2009 when the Prince
Of Darkness asked him to help him record his latest opus 'Scream' and
subsequently tour the globe with him.
for fans of good quality Hard Rock & Heavy Metal music, Gus decided not
to give up on his childhood dream band Firewind, with which he recently
released an album of immense quality entitled 'Days Of Defiance', part
of the promotion for which found him visiting London on the night of the
7th of January for what turned out to be the band's first ever sold out
show on UK soil.
Opening for the Greek virtuoso were two bands, the first being a London
based classic Heavy Metal orientated quintet by the very unusual name
their set round half an hour after the doors were opened meant that the
young Londoners had a pretty satisfactory number of people to perform
their fine blend of 'Maiden meets Priest' metal and it was indeed not
long before a significant number of people began to bang their heads to
the rhythm of their fine compositions.
pre-'Cowboy's From Hell' Pantera t-shirt, vocalist Guy Miller did his
best to attract the attention of the audience, helped by an impressive
twin guitar melodic attack Clearly influence by the works of the
legendary duo Smith/Murray.
The band had
to cope with a less than satisfactory sound but what they lacked there
they made up in energy and passion, leading many people, myself
included, to say after the show that this band might just be the best
known secret in the UK scene at the moment. Let's hope that we will see
more of them in the near future!
Breed 77 is a band whose musical orientation is far more modern
than that of both Primitai and Firewind, blending elements of
Alternative Metal with Flamenco. Looking at the crowd that gathered in
the middle of the venue minutes after the band hit the stage, one could
clearly detect many people wearing t-shirts with the band's logo and
these were the same people that ensured that a healthy relationship was
achieved between the band and the crowd throughout the forty five minute
cannot say that I am a fan of this kind of music, it would be criminal
not to recognise how professionally the band behaved throughout their
show, with vocalist Paul Isola stealing the show, trying constantly to
engage all those hardened Firewind fans who preferred to stand at the
back of the venue with a pint of lager in their hands, waiting patiently
for Gus G and the crew to hit the stage.
that were performed that night and which received the warmest response
were those featured in the band's 2009 release 'Insects' as well as
their impressive cover to The Cranberries' classic 'Zombie' - one that
met the approval of the vast majority of the crowd.
The sound that had significantly improved throughout the Breed 77 set
became crystal clear the moment Gus G and his troops graced us with
their presence, kick-starting the proceedings with the amazing 'The Ark
Of Lies' - the opening track of the band's latest opus 'Days Of
Defiance'. This outfit has improved immensely throughout the years and
it is nice to see all the hard work that they have put in finally paying
amounts of energy and enthusiasm that can only be described as
positively contagious, the Greek outfit took us on a musical journey
that covered all six of the band's full length releases but which mainly
focused, as expected, on material from their two latest diamonds 'the
Premonition' and 'Days Of Defiance'.
Gus was in a
diabolical mood and singer Apollo Papathanassiou looked much more
confident and commanding than during his previous appearance on British
soil, constantly interacting with the audience in between some
phenomenal performances of classics 'Angels Forgive Me', 'Head Up High'
and numerous different solos performed by Gus, Bob (Katsionis:
keyboards) and the newest member of the band, drummer Michael Ehré.
Petros Christodoulidis was absent due to sickness but was successfully
replaced by Anders Hammer of Nightrage fame. Following a very well
balanced set whose highlight was not only the rhythmical opus 'Mercenary
Man' but also the amazing cover to Michael Sembello's classic 'Maniac',
the band left the stage, only to return minutes later and perform the
epic 'Into The Fire', 'I Am The Anger' and the equally impressive
'Falling To Pieces'.
I am really pleased to see this band growing with every release as I
find that the impressive blend and fine balance of Hard Rock and Classic
Heavy Metal that is so clearly audible in their last two studio albums
is very rare in the music scene nowadays.
once again proved not only that Ozzy made the right decision in asking
him to join his band but also that the 'union' with this leading figure
of Rock music is not going to jeopardise the career of this great band.
If, for whatever reason, you chose not to be at the Relentless Garage on
the night of the 7th of January you missed a great show, and if you do
not believe me, then ask all those people who left the venue with a
massive smile on their faces!
1. The Ark Of Lies 2. Head Up High 3. Destination Forever
4. Keyboard Solo 5. Angels Forgive Me 6. World On Fire 7. Guitar Solo 8.
The Fire And The Fury 9. Drum Solo 10. Insanity 11. Heading For The Dawn
12. Chariot 13. My Loneliness 14. Mercenary Man 15. Brother's Keeper 16.
Till The End Of Time 17. Maniac [Cover] 18. Tyranny
1. Into The Fire 2. I Am The Anger 3. Falling To Pieces
Photos by Noel
Interview (January 2011)
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