ASSEMBLEIA DO METAL 2019, 28 December, Pindelo dos Milagres (Viseu)


It's becoming a tradition for Metalheads heading to Pindelo dos Milagres, the heaviest Portuguese Village, on three occasions: Milagre Metaleiro Open Air on August, Ressurreição do Metal on the Eastern weekend and Assembleia do Metal on the last Saturday of the year.

As opposed to 2017, I didn't attend the Assembleia do Metal 2018, the six chosen bands didn't attract me, I've seen several times the few I liked.

On the seven bands booked for Assembleia do Metal 2019, two foreign bands were included for the first time. The awesome Atlas Pain, my longtime Italian friends, were back after an amazing show closing the Milagre Metaleiro Open Air 2018. Also, for the second time in Portugal, the Spanish Synlakross, after a first show at Portalegre Core Warm-up in October 2018. Accompanying the foreign guests, there were 5 Portuguese bands, including Enchantya and the deans of the Black Metal Decayed. I'm really not into non melodic Black or Death Metal, so I had just some curiosity on four of the bands.

On the 28th, the usual amusing travel by bus from Lisbon left Parque das Nações, taking four of the bands and several metalheads, including this one. Having to avoid a road due to recent floods, the arrival was just some minutes before the schedule for the first band.

It was to NEMATOMORPHOS the task of opening the festival and warming the cold night. This recent band from Peso da Régua (North of Portugal), still without records but with several live shows, plays Death Metal with some Thrash. It was an interesting and hardworking performance, but I didn't retain anything else.

DAWN OF RUIN is a project coming almost since the beginning of the millenium, that had two other names and a multitude of members. The current lineup includes Liliwhite Lilith, vocals from Inner Blast, and Luis Pote, bass, ex-Inner Blast. Only Lilith had face painting and adequate clothes, all other members looked very discrete for a Black Metal act. From the Demo CD, unique release to date, they played Ekhidna (the band's first name) and Morte Vermelha. The other four played songs are still not released. Lilith made a good show, blessings included, on a quite different registry from her other band, what demonstrates its versatility. But Dawn of Ruin's music is still too Black to me.

I attended ENCHANTYA's album release show last May, and it was excellent. Of course for this one I was expecting a good performance from my friends, but without male/female choirs. Due to illness, Pedro Antunes, keyboards, was not present. The sound conditions of the venue were not the best for this Symphonic Gothic band but, anyway, it was a good show with eight songs from the last album and only She Devil from the previous. Being quite experienced, the stage presence from all demonstrated an excellent level of complicity.

Another curiosity of mine was the next band, CAVEMASTER, from my friend Mario Rodrigues (DS13), also in Karbonsoul and other projects. Formed in 2016, they already released one EP and three albums and, for Black, these releases are not bad at all. It was my first Cavemaster show, I was a bit confused with their stage punk and alcoholic attitude, on a stage with two Portuguese flags. If it was just for the show, it didn't result. Sofia on keyboards seemed misplaced. Of the 8 songs, all sung in Portuguese, curiously three songs were from the EP and only one song from each of the last two albums.

One of the most anticipated acts of the festival were SYNLAKROSS, coming from Valencia, Spain. Their music is Melodic Death with some Metalcore. The band is fronted by Patricia Pons, with a spectacular hair color grading from green to blue, and owner of a great voice easily moving from clean to growls. The sound of her mic was too low, it was quite difficult to hear her singing or talking. Besides Patricia's skills and sympathy, all other members gave everything on stage. Most of the setlist was from the last album Malice Murder and the show highlights were Colony (In Flames cover), Fatal Frame and the last one, Curly Wolves.

DECAYED is a Portuguese Black Metal institution, created in 1990 and with 13 albums of originals and many more releases. The ten songs included Torn By Lions and Grave Desecrators from the recent The Oath of Heathen Blood and the set ended with Drums of Valhalla and Fuck Your God. The trio delivered a reasonable show, I liked their stage presence, without need for face paints.

The last band was ATLAS PAIN, my friends again closing the festival. But this time the show started at 1h20, a little better than 03h30 as in 2018. Samuele got a lended loudspeaker (advantages of being on a fire station), ideal for the introduction based on the excellent last album, whose subject is a 1900's steampunk fair show. Tales of a Pathfinder was played from beginning to end and there was still time for their four most known songs from previous works. The public went wild, definitely the Milagre loves Atlas Pain. They deserve bigger venues and better sound.

Congratulations to the Milagre Metaleiro organization for maintaining the Metal flame (my company provides a very small sponsorship) and including a bus excursion from Lisbon, very handy. It's a pity that the Pindelo dos Milagres fire station can't provide a better sound. The stage and lights are good. Besides the sound, my main complain goes to smoke. For all aspects it's a closed venue, smoking shouldn't be allowed inside. I had to come outside several times for fresh air.

The next event from Milagre Metaleiro, Ressurreição on the 11th April, with Aephanemer, Mileth, Dark Oath and others, is also mandatory. See you there!

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