Circle Ii Circle, Manticora and more at Texas Necropolis (2009)

Texas Necropolis (Athens, Greece)

Circle Ii Circle, Manticora, Burning Black
[Harry] After a hard day at work -that got even harder since it was Monday […]
By Harry Papadopoulos
May 18, 2009

[Harry] After a hard day at work -that got even harder since it was Monday and without even resting for a while- I went downtown of Athens to meet DimitrisK outside the venue called Texas Necropolis. Well it wasn't hard to find him. Only 20 (!!!) metalheads were out there! And we are talking about CIRCLE II CIRCLE, the band of Zak Stevens! Anyway, after the usual delay, the doors opened at 20:50 -if I remember well- letting us entering the club where... was time for the opening act to come on stage. But it wasn't POWER QUEST -as the ticket wrote- but BURNING BLACK from Italy! I don't believe that anyone knew that they were going to play and some of them -myself included- didn't know what to expect. Their 80s' Heavy Metal that leans towards Power_Speed Metal was nothing extraordinary or innovative, but it was well played. Since we were only just a bit more than two dozens, Massimo (vocals) started pointing each one that wasn't in front and called us to party with him and the rest of the band. There were many times that he left the stage and started singing among us! The same thing did Alessandro (bass). He came off stage, started playing looking at the rest of the band with the rest of us and was fooling around with Massimo! This is how Metal should be; a big party and having a good time, which we had. They played songs from their full length album Prisoners Of Steel and gave a very good performance 'gaining' some new fans.

01. Hell Is Now
02. Fight To Dream
03. Life Passengers
04. Smell The Fire
05. Angel Of War
06. Angry Machine...Of Love
07. Prisoners Of Steel
08. Heavy Metal

Next on the billing was MANTICORA. Despite the delay for the doors to open, everything was right on schedule. And -funnily enough- the sound, even in the first band, was very good! By that time someone could count almost fifty boys and girls in the club. Most of us liked their Thrash-esque Speed Metal and metalheads in the front were headbanging most of the time. The only weird thing was that MANTICORA showed up as a quartet without their second guitar player, Kristian. Not that they were bad -on the contrary- but I think they could have a heavier sound with two guitars. They played seven songs from their latest album and some from all their discography, except their first EP. They gave a very good performance, despite the small in number crowd. They got off stage with Shadows With Tales To Tell leaving us with a big smile in our faces and doing 'high five' with most of us.

[DimitrisK] I cannot but agree with Harry's saying about the opening bands. I think this was one of the extremely rare occasions where the supporting bands are of a high level. Usually, we get Greek bands that most of them get this supporting slot due to their public relations with the promoter. But this is another story for another time... Nevertheless, the stage was quickly prepared for CIRCLE II CIRCLE who were setting their equipment by themselves. It is always nice to see the artists on-stage with a happy face getting everything set despite the overall weak attendance (we heard that the pre-sale was for 27 tickets!).

At about 23:00 Zak and his energetic company got on-stage hitting us hard with Fatal Warning. It was obvious that the band would cover most of Delusions Of Grandeur CD but this was ok, since this is a very good album. If you have read (shame on you if you haven't) Maria's report on CIRCLE II CIRCLE show in Switzerland then you should have read that Zak was a little bit distant with the crowd. Well, this was not my impression here; I got the feeling that Zak was very focused on his performance having a slight stage-fright despite his enormous experience with SAVATAGE. His vocal performance was excellent and actually he delivered all the songs as heard on the albums. The rest of the band made the tiny stage look even smaller unable to hold them still! Andy Lee played his socks off delivering every guitar solo with exceptional dexterity making our jaws drop several times! Paul on the bass was an energy beast and actually helped to warm the atmosphere 'waking up' most of the audience that was standing in the back (are we getting old?). Bill on the second guitar -despite his young age- stood very well beside the rest of the band while Tom destroyed his drum kit serving his energy load to the crowd.

I do not have to specifically mention the tracks the band did since I enjoyed every each of them (ok the Burden Of Truth additions are not in my best of list). The time of the encore finally came (the band did short and thus bearable solos and left almost no pauses between the songs) and it was SAVATAGE time. Zak and Paul on the keyboards did the Streets tune If I Go Away with the 'vocal' support of the Greek metalheads. This just proved -the obvious- that Oliva was not wrong when he chose Zak to join his band. Next, came -also as acoustic- Watching Is Silence and was followed by the SAVATAGE triple treat Nothing Going On, Taunting Cobras and Edge Of Thorns. Of course, in the latter one the 60 voices became one and joined Zak in the lyrics lifting the mood even higher. This was the perfect way to close the surprisingly excellent gig. This time I am in the happy position not to grumble about anything. This was a perfect night and I have to thank all the bands about it! The rest of the Greek metalheads who missed this show will definitely go to the over-advertised AC_DC and of course pay the price to get on a 'festival' hosted on a corn field!


01. Fatal Warning
02. Dead Of Dawn
03. Forever
04. Waiting
05. Sea Of White
06. Heal You
07. Echoes
08. Chase The Lies
09. Soulbreaker
10. Messiah
11. Revelations
12. So Many Reasons
13. If I Go Away (acoustic)
14. Watching In Silence (acoustic)
15. Nothing Going On
16. Taunting Cobras
17. Edge Of Thorns

(photos by the Ayreon guy)




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