As the last day of Barroselas began, we could grasp the horror of returning to normal everyday life on the next day. But the amazing feeling that there was still one full day of awesome music ahead was unshakable. Especially when the sun was shining and the rain was gone.
We know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking we missed the first bands on the free stage again. HA! You guessed correctly, we were playing cards at camp drunk and hungover at the same time probably. But this time we went even further and missed “Warfect” opening the second stage. Fear not though, our photographer may have missed “Extreme Noise Terror” and a whole bunch of other shit, but we got some “Warfect” pictures for you, check this:
When we did get to the stage, the third round of regretting not seeing bands in the past was about to explode on the main stage. It was also the third round of Spaniards throwing a brutal show and leaving us wanting more.
I know that in school they teach you that the Spanish are bastards out to screw the Portuguese over, but that’s century old bollocks, we are still waiting for a Spanish band that will leave us unimpressed.
“Avulsed” was our death metal breakfast on the third day of SWR, a very special and yummy breakfast too since these guys headlined the first edition of Barroselas ever, it’s only fitting that they return on the twentieth anniversary to rape our bodies with some extreme tunes while also celebrating their twenty fifth anniversary.
Honestly, the band started great but the audience was a little numb, maybe because it was the first show of the day on the main stage.
Well, fortunately for this report and everyone else, the vocalist wasn’t having any of that shit so after the first few songs were met with some headbanging and arm waving, he implied the crowd was a bunch of tired pussies and went down to the pit personally to arrange a wall of death.
That’s all she wrote, the crowd smiled and jumped in anticipation and once the wall exploded, the rest of the show was filled with proper violence. The band, who was already excited and sweating to begin with, got a massive adrenaline surge from this and the party was on. Props to the vocalist for managing to sing and headbang at the same time, mighty impressive but that’s what you expect from a guy who has death metal tattooed on his arms.
After “Avulsed” woke up the audience and got everyone hot, we went to the second stage to feel bad for loosing another band at Obscene Extreme as “Gust” started playing their powerful crust. It was a nice show, can’t stop imagining how it was like with beach balls flying all over the place along with all the fallout raider lookalikes.
Their bassist was also the spitting image of one of our friends, hat and everything. We briefly thought he had a band we didn’t know about, but that’s crazy, he’s French not Swedish.
The crowd was still horny and received them well, grins filled the faces across the room. A very nice show, would see again.
When it was over we crossed the main stage on our way out and there were fucking trees on it. We’ve heard a lot about “Nader Sadek”, seen their name come up in many places but that was all we knew about them.
We caught part of their show, the lights and the music played well with the atmosphere they created with those leafless trees. It certainly was a different kind of death metal, strange without being too weird or artsy.
The vocalist looked and sounded like they dragged him out of some other dimensional asylum which was fucking intense and fun to watch. Even when he talked to the audience he sounded like a crazy bastard out of a Lovecraft tale.
Having just scratched two bands I missed on previous festivals from the list, I had to add another.
“Marthyrium” played at the same time on the third stage. We would probably have gone if we knew at the time that the band included members from “Balmog” whom we have gladly reported more than once in the past.
We got some food during “Corpus Christii” because after that there would be no more missed shows. Just like “Grog”, there is no question that “Corpus Christii” gave anything less than a pure display of black metal. Also, we have seen them multiple times in the past and catching the last few songs was enough to know the show was great.
Nocturnus Horrendus has a big ass curriculum on black metal and his status in the Lusitanian scene is legendary. We have met before with tasty satanic results, surely there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy “Corpus Christii”.
What was about to happen on the main stage however, was a unique opportunity that had not taken place since 2009, the bastards were even split-up for a few years and all hope of catching them live seemed lost.
Then, Barroselas came through for me and finally, “Akercocke” came back. I have to tell you before we go on, I FUCKING LOVE ACKERCOCKE! Seriously, this is going to be extremely biased and fanboy like. Just to give you an example, on my first year of college I did an assignment on a random book I picked at the library, I picked that book because the name reminded me of something familiar.
That book was full of tits, written by the infamous Marquis De Sade (where the word Sadist comes from) and its name was “Justine”, also the inspiration and name for the first song “Akercocke” played.
Well, technically the first was “Prince of the North” but that was the intro, the first song proper was “Justine” and when it hit I orgasmed so hard, they liked that we stood there and sucked all the music in . This song always reminded me of some alcoholic mercenary chasing after the trail of Justine in the book and viciously murdering the libertines she escaped from.
But moving on, with a joint in my hand and another in my pocket, the best concert of the festival in my opinion started off great but not particularly violent in terms of people, but wait, there’s more.
Next was “Scapegoat”, more orgasms for me. I don’t remember when exactly it started but shortly after I finished smoking the first joint, it was time to come out of retirement.
Yes, if “Akercocke” came out of retirement for me to see them live for the first time, then I was going to come out of retirement and toss some crowd around to their amazing music. Doesn’t matter that I fucked up my knee when I reported ACXDC, or that I got elbowed in the face at a Finntroll show and nearly lost my front teeth, or even that my arm almost got torn off when Dying Fetus went to Hard Club, all it matters is that “Akercocke” is the best and my body could not go on seeing all these beautiful pits swirling around me without putting my dick in the party, specially when the party was hosted by “Akercocke”.
They kept it old school with “Zulieka”, fucking sweet, then went for more recent stuff with” Verdelet”, doesn’t matter where they run to in their discography, there will be satanic orgasms. Damnit, sitting here remembering and writing all this shit really makes me want to be back there again.
Because it was us at SWR and we like the fast and nasty shit, they played “Enraptured by Evil” for the first time in a very long time, how fucking appropriate that this was the song that was stuck in my head the entire weekend, even before their performance.
This show was being better than sex, I’m not even joking, it even had some chants, orgasming chic sounds and smooth satanic jazz after this song and before they played a new song, “Disappear”. Making us pumped for the new album we’ll get to enjoy in the summer, remember to swing by Portugal again when you’re out touring for it.
After the new song, Jason Mendonça took some time to thank the Veiga brothers and the SWR crew for putting out a real metal festival every year, I remember hearing some guy in the pit yell out “because of you”, I guess he’s been coming here longer than us and caught “Akercocke” in their sharply dressed days from many SWR’s ago.
Jason’s right, at SWR you can see the bands without five kilometers of people between you and the fucking stage, I can go to the bathroom at minipreço (or whatever the fuck it’s called now) take a shit and come back to the main stage in less than ten minutes. You don’t get that kind of luxury anywhere else, this is also why the bands love to play here, not to take a shit at the store but to feel closer to the fans and in some cases, be reminded of what it was like to play in the beginning, without iron bars and security guards between you and the audience.
To commemorate this, they played “Becoming the Adversary” and after that “Son of the Morning”. Since the latter has a chill start, I lit my second joint and took a break from the mosh pit. We’ll, a little bit, I tried but the pit came and got me, my cup fell but I found it whole, then someone knocked the joint over, found it safe and sound.
That was a shitload of luck right there so I stopped on the edge to finish smoking. People, I was drunk, don’t go into mosh pits with joints or cigarettes, bad idea for everyone. Booze is ok if you’re not planning on drinking the whole thing.
Alright, we went a little long here so let’s wrap up. They ended their massive performance with “A Skin for Dancing in” and boy did we dance before it was time to say goodbye to “Akercocke”, we danced in many ways and would dance many more if there was time.
But there was no time, the show was over and a curtain fell over the stage. Time to make room for the main course.
But before the Trve Norwegian Black metal had its way with us, it was time for some good old grindcore with no brakes.
“The Arson Project” from Sweden whose logo looked like FAP, played some sweet grind with plenty of power. Not a lot of moshing happened but the dispersed crowd was clearly enjoying itself as was I, nursing my sore body with a beer.
Next, EVERYONE came to the main stage. Most people at least because the legends of Trve Norwegian Black Metal were about to do a special set with the “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” album, everyone knows the stories and crazy shit behind the band, so even the people who don’t like black metal or just don’t like “Mayhem” went to witness the satanic ritual of The True Mayhem.
I don’t remember anything being quite as theatrical or having that many people fill the place at Barroselas, but then again, we’re only remembering since 2012, “Immortal” was up there two in those categories.
One of our friends had and inverted cross shaped joint for the show to help the band materialize the dark lord.
A long moment of ominous silence was going on until it was broken by a female robot voice telling everyone to turn off their cellphones before the show and all that other usual crap they tell you before a theater play or at the movies.
After that, “Mayhem” slowly entered the stage and began the ceremony of darkness with “Funeral Fog”. They kept playing the album in order with “Freezing Moon” which would immediately fulfil the people who don’t know “Mayhem” very well and probably know only those two songs. Kinda like me except I like “Deathcrush”, that “Watchers” song isn’t that bad either.
I enjoyed the darkness while getting baked for a while, although the main event was being quite the spectacle, with skulls, candles, intense scenery and an amazing performance from the band, there was still quite the long night waiting for us.
I headed to the tent to relax a while but the show didn’t let go. As I sat in my tent doing random shit, I heard “Mayhem’s” organ outro and holy shit! If you were inside, you probably didn’t realize how massively that organ echoed in the village. It sounded like “Mayhem” were playing right behind my chair.
A buddy told us that when this happened, a lot of people started tripping balls inside, having mad seizures and vomiting all over the place. That’s some quality black metal right there, make your audience vomit all over itself after tripping balls over your satanic organ, if you know what I mean.
When I returned, some ghetto thrash metal was going on inside. It was the Attack of the Wrath of the War of the Death of the Strike of the Sword of the Blood of all the thrashers who were fucking angry that “Mayhem’s” show was no good for slapping posers and clowns around the pit.
The extreme joy and violence was massive as the second stage echoed with music for the last time this year. I shed a little tear of joy as I saw “Lich King” squirt out kick-ass tune after kick-ass tune, each one making everyone hornier by the second.
They even dedicated a song to “Mayhem” but I’m not telling you which one it was. The awesomeness of the show made me forget the raging panic I felt when I arrived and found my photographer swimming shirtless in the circle pit with no camera. Fortunately, I was too drunk and stoned to care and that show was too good to feel bad while it happened.
Closing of the main stage was with the “Steelharmonics”, the local philharmonic band who played some metal classics in marching band form. There was a sick mosh pit during this show, I’m not even kidding, there’s videos of that shit, check it:
The “Steelharmonics” performed amazingly and the crowd of metalheads hailed them with applause and roars of approval. They were however, pissing off everyone else who only showed up because “Test” were going to play again between the two stages for free.
They were almost about to start but the crowd watching the “Steelharmonics” asked for more, so they played “Fear of the Dark” again.
We also learned that “Test” played a surprise show at SWR Café the previous day. How did these guys not play in our camp site? We had beer and weed my dudes!
Anyway, the crowd waiting for “Test” to star playing was itching for some moshing and just as the rhythm hit our ears, the people started shredding each other to the sound. Delicious for the third time that week and I’m sure if we’d seen them the day before, it still wouldn’t have gotten old. “Test” are fucking good and they will play anywhere at any time without any warning, so watch out, there might be a “Test” concert going on right now in your pantry and you don’t even know.
After they delightfully shredded everyone’s face off with their grindcore for the fourth time in less than a week, it was time for whatever “The Fire March” was. There was plenty of speculation, no one had any idea what exactly was going to happen and the description on the flyer was so mysterious and alluring.
I swear, at some point I actually believed that they we’re gonna pull “Sodom” out of a cake and have them play a show at camp, how lit would that shit have been? However, the mystery of the ritual was slightly spoiled when we saw the firewood under the big sword. Still, could be anything.
It was a small procession of hooded people, the two in front carried a torch each, making an X with them. The people followed them outside, they burned the sword, the ropes around it and SWR was crowned with 20 years of excellence, we sang them the happy birthday song, a lot of cheering and proclamations of love for the festival and that was it.
At the time, we felt this was vastly underwhelming, maybe the idea of “Sodom” jumping out of a cake and playing at camp was too hard to top. But we would come to change our minds yet.
The best way to end anything metal is with a giant fuck you and so “Vai-te Foder” came back to close the festival properly. Honestly, it was weak. Don’t get me wrong, “Vai-te Foder” is awesome, the show was great fun, but even the band will agree with me, it was nothing like in 2014, the punks barely moved and there were no dogs moshing or crowdsurfing on stage.
The memories of 2014 set the expectations high for their show but in spite of that, it was a great concert with a shitload of fun as “Vai-te Foder” always is, fast, dirty and with a relentless attitude that reeks of alcohol abuse.
The mosh pit was a lot of fun but I got a little enraged when my cup broke (dumb shit drunk motherfuckers, don’t bring your cup to the mosh pit).
So now it’s time for a funny story. As “Vai-te Foder” were playing the last song, I was in the pit shoving and getting shoved, naturally, when suddenly, I feel some retarded faggot slap me really hard in the face from behind and push me to the floor.
I got up and stared at his monkey face as he made gang signs or some shit at me with his backwards red hat. I’m not the kind of guy who likes to start a fight so I just stared deep into his cowardly eyes as I walked away.
Sadly, for him, all my friends were drunk and when they asked me why I was so pissed, they wanted to go beat him up. I wanted to smoke weed and get drunk but they wanted to beat him up.
As we approached the exit we spotted a guy in a red cap by the big sword fire. We approached but quickly realized it was not the guy, it was “Lich King”. Who better to smoke weed with? We rolled a pure weed, no Tabaco joint as we shared our situation with the band, they also wanted to go and beat him up. A lot of the time we get to tell you how good a show was, but we don’t often get to tell you that the band members are great characters, thanks for the music guys and for being whiling to go beat someone up with us.
There was some wine left at camp so we went to get it and came back to the sword fire. What seemed underwhelming at first turned into the best spot to drink, smoke, keep warm and talk to your buddies, like we said before, it first seemed basic but then it proved to be the best, we shoved some more firewood in there and everything.
As we enjoyed the sword fire, three random people approached me and asked if I was the one who got slapped in the face. I cautiously said yes and then they proceeded to explain that their friend is a dumb idiot who they must babysit all the time everywhere they go because he can’t handle his substances. Also, when they saw him slap me and throw me to the floor for no reason, the biggest one of his friends slapped HIM in the face and told him to knock it off.
We shared a joint, talked some more and shit got even better. Turns out these guys were from Barcelos and they were good friends of “Repressao Caótica” and “Burney Relief” who are also good friends of ours.
Everything turned out fine, this is why we love being drunk on drugs.
We went to enjoy the rest of the afterparty, the karaoke was dying, not that it was ending, it was just really bad, you don’t need Dick to tell you that do you? As if it weren’t enough, a random girl insisted for a long time that I go sing Paranoid with her, I wanted to sing Black Sabbath or Sweet Leaf, but she wanted Paranoid, we agreed to go see which songs they had but the man upfront told me it was closed. Bullet dodged.
The light was returning to the sky, more drinking and smoking ensued, “Wanderer” and their winning wine jug made an appearance at a critical moment to spice things up before they died but there was nothing to be done.
As we walked up the street, the sun was coming over the horizon announcing the end of SWR, that deep crushing feeling that all this is going to be out of your life for another year started to sink in. Don’t tell me there are other festivals, I know there are other festivals, but this is SWR, this is the home of extreme music, it’s our home and no festival will ever be like it.
It was a great honor and pleasure for all of us to do this report (yes, even Dick, he talks big but he brought an Inquisition t-shirt). As you reach the twenty-year mark, you gave our humble organization a massive opportunity in our less-than-a-year of activity. Your support is invaluable to us and we will never forget it.
We hope to grow together with SWR as many have in the past, “Aborted”, “Holocausto Cannibal”, “Avulsed”, “Akercocke” and many others. More 20 years of SWR please, we’ll be right here to show you our drunk on drugs support.
Text by J.P. Alves
Photos by Diogo A.