Ah yes, Sonicblast! You’re beginning to be one of those festivals we look forward to every year, and we don’t say this shit lightly.
A lot of people are starting to feel the same way, since the festival sold the fuck out. Some of our friends were too lazy to pre-purchase the ticket before the festival… now they are sitting back at camp… smoking joints with the empty darkness that will be in their soul for the next few days.
We’re not gonna go through all the little details that make us love Sonicblast, we told you that shit last year, the future is now!
Just like last year’s edition, we came on day zero to fully enjoy the warm up, which there was even more of this time around, in two different bars… for free!
“Jesus the Snake” and “Chaos Ritual” were to play at 17:00 in a bar called Paredão 476, we missed that shit, as usual, our schedules were wrong again! Oh well, we never got the chance to see the snake Jesus… but we met “Chaos Ritual” last year.
What am I saying? We missed god damn everything! We only heard the shows that went down at Ruivo’s (at night), the classic warm up and after party spot for Sonicblast.
The bar was completely packed, getting in would require punching people in the ribs, repeatedly. So, we stayed on the grass, smoking some to the fine tunes.
I swear to Satan, one day we’ll catch “Desert Mammmooth” live with our own eyes and our camera, the music was a sweet soundtrack to accompany our good times. Missing them twice in a row is depressing, especially because we really wanted to see them! The place was just too packed to get in!
“Mr Mojo” followed, we’ve seen these guys rocking hard several times, always a pleasure. Although reaching the front wasn’t an option, we could see people flying around to their angry and groovy stoner metal.
A proper way to warm up our soft buttholes for the great weekend ahead.
Lots of drugs and alcohol later, it was day one of the festival and the pool was open for party business.
Mexican kickass duo “Bar de Monjas” started off the festival beautifully with their deliciously fast paced instrumental stoner metal. The band was pumped to play their music and we were pumped to listen. Even with a semi-empty pool, they got a rousing round of applause from everyone present, well deserved my friends.
Their songs on YouTube have vocals… but I swear I don’t remember them singing once live.
Next, things slowed down, but not too much with “Holy Mushroom”, a band from Spain that filled the pool with some more stoner goodness.
We had some shit to take care of back at camp. Since the camp site was far away from the festival, we returned to a packed pool stage as “Black Bombaim” were playing.
It surprised me to see how many people were standing up to watch their instrumental psych fill the air.
Another trip back to camp ensued… The pool was closed, shorts and flip flops meant freezing your ass off at night, we went back for some pants, dinner, and booze before coming back for good.
“Yuri Gagarin” were squirting their heavy psychedelic rock at the audience when we returned. The crowd was filling up nicely as their heads moved gently to the rhythm (we talked about this last year).
The show was already in full swing when we arrived and they kept the awesome music coming till the end.
Gracing the Sonic stage next were Japanese guys “Kikagaku Moyo”, who started soft with some sweet instrumentals. This was probably one of the best parts of the night to blaze it, (the whole festival was good for it) but this sound flowed so nicely in your ears, it spooned your brain and made you feel warm and snug in the middle of a shitload of strangers.
The vocals were equally soothing to the soul, they built up the music, going from appeasing melodies to more rhythmic and energetic vibes. A sweet show indeed.
Then, came the heaviest moment of the night! Hell… the heaviest moment in the whole fucking festival.
The woods, the village, the beach, the sea, they all trembled and echoed with intensity as “Monolord” showed everyone in Modelo the true meaning of DOOM!
Shit, the showmanship and intensity of these guys was so simple, elegant and effective. Heads were banging properly and furiously at this point.
Everyone should be as pumped to play their music live as much as “Monolord’s” bassist, this is probably why Dick said the things he did a few months ago, he’d probably say it again anyway.
Regardless of that, when we saw “Monolord” play back in 2016 at SWR, the bass got sacked for most of their show and people were starting to get bored of waiting for it to get fixed.
But trust us, when that bass got fixed and the band got back on track, it was still one of the best shows of the whole festival, and this is not only our opinion, a lot of folks said it at the time.
Not this time around though, there were no technical difficulties, so everyone got shitfaced on their sweet stoner doom. Necks were sore in the morning for sure.
Time for the main event as “Elder” played for the first time ever in Portugal, and to a highly enthusiastic crowd of stoners and drunks. The crowd and the band collectively orgasmed as the fans got to see “Elder” on home soil for the first time in a career spanning 10 years… also trying to forget that “Kadavar” stood us up.
The music had a much faster vibe than the previous act, with a little less bone rattling intensity.
We missed “The Cosmic Dead”, can’t remember why, let’s go with alcohol which was probably at camp.
Speaking about missing bands because of being alcoholized, we managed to miss the exact same number of bands on the second day at the pool!
The pool opened up with the familiar sight and sound of “Ana Paris”. Classic stoner rock goodness started the day off the right way. We saw these guys way back, they were one of the first bands Dick saw with us, sorry fellas… happens to everyone.
Next up, another poolside Mexican band gave “Monolord” a run for their money with an impressive display of doom metal. “Vinnum Sabbathi” certainly sounded like a joint that fell out of the Electric Wizard’s pocket, it was our pleasure to smoke it!
The Mexicans really shined in this festival, congrats! Definitely worth checking out live again.
Supplies were running low, so we headed to camp after the Mexican doom was done vibrating the walls.
During this time, we missed “Löbo”, but who the hell wants to see this band in the middle of the afternoon under the blazing sun?
“Löbo” is great yes… we loved it when we saw them Under the Doom, but it’s not the kind of band that sounds or looks good during the day, that concept just seems awkward to us. Great band though, we’d definitely get stoned to that.
Back to the pool in time to see four French dudes confuse everyone. “Blaak Heat” brought a variety of instruments to shower us with their unlikely and hard to define sound.
Seriously, go check their facebook’s bio page, it’s a blend of musical goodness, we can at least agree on that.
The audience loved it, they probably loved it too since they are coming back to Cave 45 next month! Which is nice… We loved it as well, we might even go see them again next month. (Took us a while to put this together, next month is now next weekend).
Everything was going fine and dandy in the pool at Sonic Blast. People were swimming, others were floating, some drinking, others chilling, good times all around, a truly peaceful and tranquil summer afternoon.
Then…HOLY FUCKING SHITBALLS!
Five Belgian guys came out of nowhere and kicked everyone in the nuts with the wildest, most unstoppable crossover thrash I’ve ever seen with my stupid face.
Then, suddenly, a man in a speedo was yelling at everyone to FUCKING DANCE and all the people who had their towels and bags laying around in front of the stage had to get the fuck out.
Why? Because the sickest mosh pit ever in that pool was exploding right in your face!
You had to see it to believe it, the energy coming from the band was fucking intense, the energy coming from the audience was even more intense, and the vocalist was all over the place… screaming, jumping, swinging the mic, almost falling down from really high up… and claiming to know all about Super Bock! Fuck yeah!
After ruining ourselves to that sick show, they announced the last song, another round of face slapping and elbowing people in the mouth followed!
How do you finish such a memorable performance? How about “thank you very much, you were all wonderful” and then take a bow?
Fuck no! You climb halfway up the stage while still singing and then dive head first into the pool…
Kids, seriously do not try this at your show, the guy was bleeding from his head before he jumped, and the pool was not that deep on that side he landed on, we’re fairly sure he hit the bottom.
He was fine, but from our angle it really seemed like he died and everyone was in awe staring at his corpse.
A rousing round of applause met him as he emerged from the pool, reborn a god, this man is the true spirit of heavy metal incarnate. The passion and dedication we saw on that stage was truly inspiring.
After this sudden shock of toxic thrash metal,(damn, we got so excited we forgot to tell you the name of the band, it was “TOXIC SHOCK“) we headed towards the campsite to get our grip on reality back, we needed more drugs and alcohol.
This took far too long since we missed two bands… but these were the last two bands we missed… we swear.
“Death Alley” closed the pool and we missed it. “Sasquatch” opened the main stage, we missed that as well, and this was a band we were looking forward to… we even reported on them back in the days before Dick and DOD. At least we had already seen the bastards, less tragic for us.
“The Machine” were tearing it up on the main stage when we returned. The audience was reacting positively to their rock, the whole area was completely packed, and it wasn’t even nighttime yet.
We assume that these guys were not as good as “The Great Machine”, who played on the previous day, we missed them also so we don’t know, just conjecturing.
It was time for the most old-school of bands on the bill to bare their poisonous fangs. Last year we had an uncle, this year we got the king.
“Acid King” came, looked around at all these new bands trying to make doom metal and schooled them by playing the tunes that inspired thousands of us into making more doom.
Prime time to trip balls, no doubt. The slow riffs shook the village and compelled necks to bend to the music.
Truly, a performance worthy of Kings, and worthy of doing acid.
Only a year younger than the Acid Kings, “Colour Haze” took to the stage next with humility and good humor.
Another one of the three bands playing that started their awesome careers in the nineties, “Colour Haze” filled the air with their psychedelic stoner rock, compelling many people to roll joints of ridiculous proportions.
Where “Acid King” filled the atmosphere with somber, ominous riffs, “Colour Haze” filled in the blanks with a more relaxing and soothing melody with a little more groove and rhythm thrown in. This was great for tripping balls as well, just in another direction…. (Every direction).
We’re not entirely sure (this shit should be our new slogan) but this might have been their first show in Portugal, definitely the first in Sonicblast, though.
Next came the time to DIE! Why you ask…? We’ve been coming to Sonicblast since 2013 and although it’s true, we’ve missed a lot of bands, we’ve seen more than we’ve missed!
So you can believe it when we say, never in Sonicblast history has the ground shook so hard with wildly excited fans as when “Orange Goblin” took to the stage.
Starting with “Solarisphere”, it didn’t take long for the crowd to get rowdy and lively to the music. “Scorpionica” and “Devil’s whip” followed, intensifying the violence in the pit.
Sweet stoner of the highest quality rained upon us like an endless barrage of bukkake, and we took it all like big girls, oh yes! “Saruman’s Wish”, “The man who invented time”, “the Filthy and the Few” (dedicated to Lemmy) “Your World will Hate this”, “Made of Rats”, shit son, so many good ones right in the face!
“They come back” was the song that changed the geography of where normal, non-moshing people were standing and a crazy intense part of the crowd was. The song started like any other, but then, before the really fast part, Ben Ward commanded that there be a wall of death…
…and holy shit, we were standing in front of a tree on the right side of the stage rolling a joint, at that moment we got bench pressed against the wall by the mass of people preparing to go medieval on each other.
Then… “The dead cried out in hell-bent misery”, an eruption of people happened and it was divine. I didn’t know mosh pits of this caliber were possible at stoner shows, but then again, it’s “Orange Goblin”.
After getting our asses fucking served, the band went for a more chill approach with their “Time Travelling Blues”, joints were blazing, a moment of calm in the eye of a cosmic storm.
The last three songs were upon us, starting with “the Fog”. Something peculiar happened on this song, when he’s supposed to sing the lyrics for the first time: “there’s something in the fog” he said nothing, and expected the audience to scream the line.
The funny thing is, most people didn’t get this, BUT, some people knew the song by heart, some people knew at that point in the song, there was supposed to be something in the fog and so, their orange souls compelled them to utter the words.
They were a few… a filthy few, when their scattered voices combined to speak the lyrics, it sounded as though a strange whisper was being carried in the wind… a wind that said “there’s something in the fog”.
That was fucking magical my friends, it even sounded more like the album version since he whispers at that point.
Next was total fucking chaos as they played the classic song “Quincy the Pig boy”, I say chaos because the band demanded that they wanted to see chaos, the audience gave it to them tenfold!
They wrapped up their amazing show with “Red tide Rising” and left us in awe of their stage presence and musical performance.
We were tired, exhausted and fucking shitfaced. As we sat down outside, we wondered if we had the strength for another show.
Having no idea what to expect of the next band that we didn’t know from anywhere but the bill… we headed inside to check out the last band to grace the sonic stage this year.
Doom was already shaking the premises when we got there and met “Dead Witches”.
Another band from the UK that screamed doom metal in our direction.
Awesome echoing riffs rained from the amps to our ears. The vocalist really knew how to dance and how to squat like a true Slav. With great energy, attitude and some fucking awesome music we were glad we stayed back to finish this.
Disappointment met us back at the merchandise booth where there was nothing left from the band, another time, perhaps they will be back. (Please be back, Cave 45 is right there and I know they want you).
We know we will be back, Sonicblast just keeps on getting better and better, big main-event bands cancelled on these two years and the festival was still fucking brutal.
We’ve seen a lot of festivals around here, truly, Sonicblast is a gem worth of its name and it’s got the Drunk on Drugs Stamp of Approval.
Now fellas, we took the liberty of separating text and media for all those who don’t read, here you have all the photos and videos we did for the festival, enjoy and subscrive to our youtube channel if you want to support DOD. Sharing is caring.
See you next year Sonicblast.
(PS: to the organization, it’s Drunk ON Drugs, not Drunk AND Drugs, but we laughed so it’s cool).
Text and video by J.P. Alves
Photos by Diogo A.