As I woke up inside my tent, the freezing northern cold turned into a boiling heat. The orb of sunlight cooked me awake but as I opened the flap and stared into the morning star, I felt the promise of the day, a promise of violence, alcohol, extreme music and a lot of weed as the first official day of the 20th edition of SWR Barroselas Metalfest dawned upon us.
The day 0 hangover was there but who had time for hangovers on the first day of Barroselas? Who had time to feel bad at SWR? Only the fools and the weak.
We caught a bit of “Aneurose” starting the festival somewhat the same way it ended last year, with brazillian thrash. I remember one of them had overalls and the crowd was enjoying itself, shit was starting to get real now, that feeling of Barroselas could be seen on every single person around.
We missed “Chaos Synopsis” to catch up with some old acquaintances at camp and drink some more before the shows started inside.
“Valborg” was opening the second stage. Their show was nice but here is the thing about “Valborg”, we can’t understand if we like it or not, we can’t even slap a name on it. Metal archives calls it Progressive doom, death, I suppose it gets close, but their music is so different and yet so similar and simple, on the booklet it said “disturbing without being sad and fierce without being fast” a very fine description.
Although in the middle of this aggressive slow music we just felt lost and confused, maybe we’re stupid, we enjoyed it no doubt, even wished we had seen more of it, but we just can’t come to a definite opinion on how we feel about their music.
After the mixed feelings and unsureness of “Valborg”, a very special show was about to open the main stage.
“Holocausto Canibal” (oh yeah, we spelled it right this time) were turning 20 at the same time as Barroselas, this of course demanded a special celebration. Blood, guts and pigs were spread all over the walls and the musicians as the lusitanian death grind lords began to pound our virgin asses with their music.
The band started strong and with a chainsaw raping attitude, sadly not a lot of the audience was keeping up at first. But questioning your audience’s manhood works wonders at metal festival and with a few tactful insentives from the vocalist, soon the pit was lit and the first main stage party of the festival was starting to kick in.
Lusitanian aggression opened the both stages in glory as “Besta” made all the dust rise with the usual grind crazy mosh pit we are used to at their shows. They never stop being amazing live, visually, physically and soundwise.
After a few more moments of chilling at camp, it was time to return and see what was going on. The plan was to see a little bit of “Pillorian” and the band playing on the third stage at the same time.
I swear you guys, this was the fucking plan. The problem was, the third stage was closer and when I approached the third stage I saw the wildest, most brutal party going on right there. The Pigeon told me a few weeks earlier to watch out for this band on the festival, but I never thought it would be this fucking lit!
“La Hija del Carroñero” a grind band from Galicia came out of nowhere to tear the fucking dirt off our feet and smack us with it. The audience in front of the stage was orgasming so hard, the band was wild, the vocalist was so fucking overexcited as if he was possessed by the music, I was orgasming voraciously and I had never heard of these bastards in my life.
But yeah, their show was so fucking hot I couldn’t move until they left, I missed “Pillorian” because these guys were so fucking great. I need to see them more often, you need to see them more often, if the band is reading this, come back as soon as possible please.
As to “Pillorian”´, we really did want to see your show but we got hooked. However, this gave us an idea, we didn’t see it but a lot of our friends saw it and loved it. We will try throughout this report to bring you the voice of the fans and their personal reviews of the big shows we couldn’t catch. Here are some thoughts of the audience on “Pillorian”:
“A moment of labyrinthic focus, as if the sound was inside your head” Luisa
“It certainly floated my boat” Beatriz
“A great show that possessed everyone present with big fat black riffs.” João Ferreira
We know there is a live stream of the fest on youtube, but that just feels like cheating and we want to give our readers and fans a voice.
Up next on the second stage were the Belgians “Marginal” a pretty sweet crust band full of power and attitude. The audience was a little numb but there were plenty of heads moving to the rhythm as well.
But there is a slight chance that most of the festival was preparing itself for the highly anticipated and very special show that was about to drop on the main stage. Having cancelled at the last minute last year to be replaced with a doom band, the wait for yet another Belgian band “Aborted” was extremely fucking worth it.
Being a band that has grown together with SWR and played an important role in its mutual development, this was one of the most important happenings of the whole festival.
And oh shit did they bring it, the pit was ridiculously large and fun to watch, the music vomited out of the speakers in a brutal torrent that swept the audience into a blur of people running into each other, look at this shit!
The band was just as hyped for the show as the audience and it showed, so much power from both sides erupted into a gargantuan show of brutal death metal. The sound alone would have endangered any pregnant women or animals in an large area around the festival, which is metal as fuck.
After this “The Ruins of Beverast” felt like a gentle breeze on a midsummer night between the ocean and the forest but with black metal. A large eager crowd greeted them as they began to deliver their smooth black metal, a moment of reflection before SWR stuffed you up the ass with more darkness.
We didn’t catch much of the show but here is the opinion of someone who felt their show was the very best of the festival:
“A journey into a parallel reality from the first to the last riff, I touched the floor again when the show was over. There was an absurd amount of thoughts that ended when the concert did, I was completely teleported.” Fábio Castro
The levels of satanic darkness were only getting higher, more satanic and loaded with alcohol.
And what could be darker than two Columbian guys playing the blackest black metal this side of the void? Just what you would expect, the legendary “Inquisition”!
With an ominous chant from across the cosmos, the suspense was building up immensely. Fortunately, the cosmic legends of black metal know not of this substance called anal lube and just as they step on that stage, an avalanche of black metal exploded like a satanic big bang inside our sphincters.
It was delicious and not for the first time since “Inquisition” are no strangers to SWR. If there were any doubts among new fags to the metal community at Barroselas as to what is a black metal show, THIS was a black metal show, a proper one. But then again, no one was expecting any less from “Inquisition”.
After the legends played the Swedish thrash band “Antichrist”. Their classic thrash sound gathered a large excited crowd and all the thrash purists could finally get some punching done.
Nothing annoys a thrash purist like three hours of black metal to the face, so they were really happy about this act and it showed. It was a nice, classic thrash performance, the band was packing a lot of power and the people were flying all over the place on the second stage.
That shit was cute, but on the first day of SWR, the gods of metal brought us…”Master”!
What’s better than thrash metal for people to smack each other around the pit? How about some old-school death metal with some thrash metal steroids to spice up the sauce? That’s what “Master” unleashed on the stage and in front of it. After “Aborted’s” brutal kick to the nuts, “Master” showered us with a groovier kind of death metal that you could dance to and bang your head.
Paul Speckmann is a charismatic frontman, making jokes with his wise old man accent between the death metal goodness. They started off the show with “good evening barroselas” and launched into their titular song.
Plenty of oldies and recent songs for the people, they played “Submerged in caterpillars” which was great, everyone wanted to hear that one. They pounded our sweet asses for a long time and left us with a cover from Black Sabbath’s “Children of the Grave”, this made it seem like the last song was the first song, nobody look tired.
After the show, we had to take care of some important business which made us miss Signal Rex’s closing of the third stage and first day of the festival. Thought we can say for sure, if Signal Rex was involved, it was probably a good show.
“The Ominous Circle” we’ve seen before laying down the darkness nicely so there is no doubt that they did it again in style. I saw in the pictures, nicely done. “Enlighten” we missed, the alcohol intake was very high at this point, we hung around for a while until sleep crept up and the first day of the festival came to an end.
Text by J.P Alves
Photos by Diogo A.