The yearly pilgrimage of the Portuguese metalhead ends in a small village in northern Portugal, in a unique ritual where the steel warriors celebrate with loud music loud drugs, loud alcohol, and even louder women!
The steel warriors return home to SWR Barroselas Metalfest, where it either might rain in biblical proportions or you might be blessed with sunny days, with the occasional cloud pissing on you, of course.
But it’s not for the unpredictable weather that this almost religious gathering is known for: this is the place where everyone you meet, be it from faraway lands, neighbors you never go out with, or even those internet friends you know from that metal Facebook group, get to hangout personally as this is “the big boy event”, the place where the so called TRVE KVLT get to go so they can say that Vagos or VOA sucks balls. Great times they are!
Unfortunately for you readers, Partyboy was being a Workyboy so me this time, the newly renamed Killdroid – after my little incident in the droid factory in Geonosis (FKA Angry and Hateful) – has been stripped of all emotion, and now I’m a proud owner of a bad ass generic villain eye plate with a retractable dick.
The festival begins with the welcoming of campers with 4 bands competing for a spot on the bill of Wacken Open Air. You know, that massive fest in Germany where the posers go. The competition was “Roadscum”, “Diabolical Mental State”, “Grog” and “Sacred Sin”.
The opening act, “Electric Hydra” (not competing to Wacken because they’re Swedish) were perhaps the weirdest mix between good instrumental and horrible singing: that lady was so out of tune and so out of gas that the dudes behind her had to carry her ass to the end of the set. I expected the Swedish to be a lot fiercer than they were but luckily, they didn’t play for too long.
Then came the longest soundcheck in the history of Day 0, which wasn’t even the highlight of “Roadscum’s” act, the true highlight was that when the music actually started no amount of messing with the sound quality could save them from this misery.
They rocked hard but they seemed to care more about being show offs than actually being on time with each other. These guys were all over the place, out of key, out of tune, and out of rhythm. A true shame, if they weren’t so sloppy, they could have had a chance. The studio stuff isn’t this bad, in case you ever get around to listening it.
“Diabolical Mental State” were the first true competitors in this round, something you could actually headbang to. Like they said way too many times: “Siga a festa caralho!”. Finally, heads were moving and even a small pit came out of this crushingly heavy death metal of Portuguese origins. Truly mosh pit worthy.
Although part of my brain has been turned into machine, I still remember how smashing these veterans are and how well I’ve spoken about them in the past, and I still could go on and on about how great “Grog” are!
I’m not gonna go on a bootlicking spree but guess who won… *wink wink*.
“Grog, it was Grog who won, the wink is a malfunction.”
“Sacred Sin” were the last competitors on stage…
oh wait… no they weren’t, fucking quitters!
Day 1 arrives and it’s time for a shower to wash the smell of genital juice out of my body and to brush the alcohol and ash remains off my teeth. You know, usual procedure. The next step is pretty obvious: I went to take a massive dump. While at it, the brain starts to go on and off suddenly on the fact that I’m gonna see “The Black Dahlia Murder”. Yes, Black Dahlia Murder at SWR. Hilarious, since this is considered to the be the TRVE “alternative” to Vagos in Portugal…
… when it comes to national festivals, which in itself is also hilarious because Vagos is Batatoon and SWR is Nuticias for those who were there for those shows (because the Vagos kids certainly weren’t).
The 3rd stage bands were like night and day. The black metal “Nakkiga” vs the uplifting fast riffs of “Turbowarrior of Steel”. How schizophrenic. Nakkiga were alright, but it’s hard to enjoy black metal while you’re all hyped up and it’s 5 in the afternoon. However, “Turbowarrior” was the right fit for a light jog in the pit.
On stage 2 we had the Brazilian “Woslom”, and just like the previous act they rocked ass; fast riffs and heads moving just how the people like it, some of the best Brazilian Thrash right there. Alas, some of the bands on the fest have a very similar sound, making it sometimes hard to understand what’s so unique about them. But sometimes it’s nothing, they’re just good and that’s all I can really say about it.
Next we had our home boys “Analepsy”. Seeing these boys go from 3rd stage fest openers to stage 1 with all the fancy graphics and banners was a delight.
True pride of the Portuguese death metal scene and undisputed kings of Portuguese Slam, again at it with a smashing performance.
“Morte Incandescente” was the biggest drag after listening to one of the heaviest sounding bands in the fest. Although I’m a fan of the studio stuff, I can never get myself to stay and enjoy a full set when seeing them live. Guess I just don’t wanna kill myself that much, or is it because I never had an emo phase? Now’s the time where my circuits go wild and I bug out and decide between 2 bands playing at the same time. I shall watch none, its dinner time motherfucker. I might be part machine, but I’m also part fat ass. But “Venenum” sounded alright from the comfort of my camping chair.
“Midnight” with some wild thrashing to help us digest the camping food, although I dedicated the latter half of the set to socializing and exploring the merch stands, catching up with old faces and meet new ones.
Then we had the smashing “Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition” delivering one of the heaviest sets this night with a lot of fast paced blasts, crushing slams and the occasional gayness of tupa tupa. The pit was wild and I just couldn’t refuse joining the whirlpool of chaos and almost breaking my cyber cig.
Finally, the big controversial dogs, the ones everyone was calling a poser band last year and probably the dinner break of many black metal dudes. “The Black Dahlia Murder” absolutely fried everyone’s ears with the best mix of death metal and deathcore in history.
Being a fan of them since teen years I was going wild, and so was everyone. The pit was unstoppable and it looked like a fucking Soulnado from Mortal Kombat. With Trevor, the vox, wearing an Analepsy shirt showing again this guy is basically a death metal librarian at this point, the trve kvlt dudes can suck my left durasteel-nut ‘cuz this show was the best of the whole festival, PERIOD!
Surprisingly the dude managed to keep his shirt on the whole time.
“Skullfist” were next and the last time they were around I had to do an emergency bowel evacuation, ‘cuz diarrhea hit me so hard I almost shat myself with the vibrations of the speakers.
This time, though, I had a solid amount of poop hardening food, enough for me to enjoy the full set of these young but already Canadian legends. Talented is an understatement, actually.
Godflesh ask Partyboy, he was there after dark:
“Godflesh? How was it you ask? Well, remember Mortiis last year? Basically, a long intro song that lasted the entire fucking runtime? Now imagine that intro actually went somewhere and we got some demented, sweet ass industrial music to melt our senses. Godflesh.”
“Acid Cannibals” was a good closing point for the first day, good enough rockin’ to finish the first few beers before I could go back to the tent and rest for the next da. Suffice to say, I left the job for Partyboy to watch whatever the fuck Scuru Fitchadu is.
“Scuru Fitchadu was absolute fucking garbage, Partyboy will agree” Signed, Hugh Dick
“Can’t really tell you what it was, it was weird, I did not enjoy it, some people did.” PB
Day 2, waking up with a massive hangover and a bowl of BEANS, we set off to see “Archaic Tomb”, some of that good slow and heavy death metal of national origin. A crushing performance, a great band I somehow haven’t heard of.
“Summon” followed after, and this felt like being in Icecrown Citadel: the vocals sounded like sailing the ferry of the damned, truly haunting and good fucking black metal from our lands.
The British “Vacivus” went after and it was more raw death metal, a truly crushing performance. However, I wasn’t much into it.
“Namek” ask Partyboy…
“I genuinely do not remember a single thing, lots of booze. I know I saw it and I know Namek is a great grindcore band and not just a former planet.”
We missed “Barshasketh” to grab some pizza, we intended to be fast so we wouldn’t miss anything from “Demilich” but our company decided to slow us down a lil’ bit. It’s ok, not the worst problem, not mad or anything.
“Demilich” fucking destroyed and they looked just Finnish enough; sexy northern boys destroying us with the best death metal they can offer. These veterans rocked so much you could hear our resident character go “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA” from the back of the arena, a full hour of raw old school shit.
At this point. I was so far gone in substances I can’t really remember seeing “Dopelord”, but I remember it fucking rocked in my high drunk ass state, the only way I can really enjoy stoner bands.
Sobering up we had “Benediction”, British death metal legends which absolutely destroyed the crowd and perhaps provided the most epic moment for the fest, when the drummer fucked up and everyone in the band pointed it out, pointed at him and laughed as they said he fucked up. I laughed my ass off and so did everyone else.
Imperial Triumphant and Saint Vitus ask Partyboy.
“Fuck me! How drunk was I? I don’t remember Imperial Triumphant but I did catch some Vitus, never got to me in the studio but nice live performance.”
“Purulent Spermcanal” the Czech goregrinders delivered a fateful performance. They tried speaking a little bit of Portuguese which was funny, but apart from “obrigado”, we couldn’t understand a fucking word of them. Don’t think they tried English either.
It was a fun show but not powerful enough. That would come later with “Grindead” which was way faster paced and the closing point of the day for me. The Portuguese band delivered a masterful show with everything good Portuguese Death metal has to offer.
“Greengo?! It was fucking great! Amazing how these two dudes made such a massive name for themselves in such a short time. If you don’t know why, check their live performances, you will not regret.”
Day 3. After arguing about when I was going to wash the dishes, it was time to go back into the arena and watch “Corpsia”, young rocking dudes, followed by the Canadians “Auroch” who rocked just hard enough but not enough to get the people moving. A very lazy crowd dragged the show down to limbo but nobody can blame them for trying, I guess we are getting too old for this.
“Martelo Negro” was next and fucking hell, are these dudes trying to fuck with the weight limits of the stage? They might’ve looked like a beer belly competition, but these papabears absolutely destroyed! The first real banger of the night and just what we needed. “Rakta” was boring as fuck.
At this point I was divided into seeing “Wormed” or “Crowhurst”. I had been a fan of Wormed for years but Crowhurst was basically a 3-song new find on YouTube for me, so I decided to go see Wormed and Partyboy went for Crowhurst.
“Crowhurst was special. The vocalist crawled from the wrong side of the Miami beaches with his sexy sunglasses and vomited the most intriguing grind\noise\black\ whatever it was upon a slim audience.
It was criminal how many people were watching this show. Crowhurst did not care about the short body count though, they brought it and delivered one of the best shows of the festival.
That “Oops…I did it again” cover was the worst Britney Spears cover of all time and that’s why it was also the best.”
And fuck was it a mistake to go see fucking “Wormed”, sure they sound great on studio but live it’s a very confusing thing; you see yourself trying to headbang but its fucking impossible, no way to mosh to it either.
I’m still a Wormed fan, but this was a case of a band that just isn’t for people who rock out but for the technical fellas.
Holy shit, was this edition of SWR marked with some good Death Metal. Although its spread as fuck, at least it leaves me something to get hyped for once a day, at least.
“Vomitory” crushed as expected from a Swedish death metal band of this caliber. The pit was wild and the soulnado was back at it once again, they fucking destroyed.
“Craft” ask Partyboy.
“I don’t know why this keeps happening, but once again the big black metal band fails to impress anyone or cause an impact. “Craft” is great at home. Live it was boring and bland, they just stood there looking menacing and doing nothing.
A sad let down, just like Carpathian Forest last year. Don’t be fooled though, Craft is a beast.”
I went to see the tit-, I mean “Nervosa”. When I was told this was an all-female band, I immediately expected them to be hot and flashy, you know. The Ride sounds was great though, sounded like a fucking bell and they weren’t bad with the rest either. They did ok… for women…
Then came the biggest bathroom break of the fest, “Serrabulho” However I heard there were some cute rancho girls on stage. Pity I wasn’t there to watch.
“There weren’t any bitches anywhere” Dick
I was probably having sex or doing something else constructive.
The fest closed for me with “Pulmonary Fibrosis”, my second (perhaps third) time watching them and, just as they had been before, they were brutal from beginning to end. Despite all this, the melancholy of having to wait another full year for this 4 day ritual was setting in.
After waiting for someone to nut, we loaded the car and went home, not even staying for the last night as we had duties somewhere else.
We must thank again our hosts, the Veiga Brothers, for allowing us to partner with them for yet another year, and for letting us spread our publicity through the fest without bitching about it like certain promoters do. We’ll meet again next year in the resting place of the Steel Warriors.
Hugh Dick: Wow! That was some malfunction. So, when are we scrapping Killdroid for parts? It’s fucking July, the android was supposed to help us make shit faster right? SWR was months ago!
Partyboy: C’mon, it was his first time doing a report with half a brain, besides, you’re the one who handled the programming.
HD: Just quit your gay job and write it yourself.
PB: And who’s gonna fund this whole ship? You with your dirty cum sock full of 2 cent coins. That’s right, I know about the sock.
HD: You leave my cum sock out of this. She is precious.
PB: Your cum sock couldn’t afford one local band.
HD: YOU TAKE THAT BACK!
PB: Thank you guys for waiting so long for this report to come out. I know DOD has a lot of shit stacked on the “to do list”…
HD: Top 10 best of 2018 in august 2019, that’s gonna be hilarious.
PB: …But, we’re focusing on making parties for YOU! Soon our next fiesta will be unveiled and it will have a little taste of SWR’s past. Stay tuned and don’t be too harsh on Killdroid, the guy doing his maintenance is a total Dick.
Yeah, this is about 30% of the photos we have, wordpress couldn’t handle how many there were. We’ll be releasing them on instagram gradually.
Text by Killdroid
Commentary by Partyboy and Hugh Dick
Photos by Diogo A.