Sacred Steel, Wrathblade and more at Underworld Club (2006)

Underworld Club (Athens, Greece)

Sacred Steel, Wrathblade, Dark Nightmare
Is 'iron' and 'steel' and 'metal' so out of date? Is it anymore? How can […]
By Grigoris Chronis
December 2, 2006

Is 'iron' and 'steel' and 'metal' so out of date? Is it anymore? How can I explain the appearance of no more than 50-60 metalheads at the specific gig? The same time that numerous 'wanna-call-myself' Metal acts succeed in summoning a fair amount of spectators in their appearances, German Metal warriors Sacred Steel were unlucky enough to play in front of a nearly empty Underworld Club. We ? on the contrary - were lucky enough to be struck by a very good performance by these bloodshed soldiers (now, we all keep our money for the upcoming Tool concert to raise our Metal fists...).

Dark Nightmare was the first to hit the stage. Hailing from Northern Greece, the band delivered an astonishing performance - in terms of songwriting recital and onstage passion - even if the sound was too moody for their epic 80s Metal style. In the crossroad of the Medieval Steel_Warlord_Thunder Rider epos and the Doomsword mass, Dark Nightmare surely pleased the audience and - if it (also) wasn't for the mediocre (illness?) vocals - they surely gained new fans from the limited viewers.

Athenian assassins Wrathblade, on the other side, do not date with melody. Barbaric primitive Metal the Manilla Road / Brocas Helm way, with tempos that 'touch' the Speed_Thrash limit, while the vocal lines can be judged as a mix of MR's Mark Shelton and British 'obscure' mystic wizards Pagan Altar as well as early Cloven Hoof. 30 minutes of ruthless Metal frenzy were enough as the band walked off the stage in a warm applaud for this appropriate 'hors d'oeuvre' before Sacred Steel.

Chatting around with some of the spectators, it was clear that Sacred Steel is in a critical point in their career. Having their newest Hammer Of Destruction album just released, it's a serious question whether a new clan of fans will step in and how shocked the old-school followers are from the (partial) 'low vocals' aggressive approach in some of their latest works. All these were - of course - put aside since Gerrit Mutz and Co. hit the stage and the battlefield started filling with scattered bodies everywhere.

Heavy Metal To The End, Metal Is War, Open Wide The Gate, Battle Angel delivered the first poison. Gerrit's voice - too irritating for many, but surely applicable and 'cult' - was in great shape, while the rest of the clan were as demonized as possible, too. The sound was surprisingly very good, bearing in mind the voltage of this band and the limited facility of the venue. Hence, venomous cuts like Iron Legions, Lust For Blood, Carnage Rules The Fields Of Death, Metal Reigns Supreme, Sacred Warriors Of Steel and Dark Forces Lead Me To The Brimstone Gate created carnage even among such a limited crowd. Some cuts from the new album - the same-titled one, Maniacs Of Speed (the band shot a video for this one) and Impaled By Metal - were performed and the response was surely positive.

Sacred Bloody Steel and the 1997 band-titled opus plus Reborn In Steel set the place on fire while - omitting the mediocre Slaughter Prophecy song - the end was more than promising. Sad for having to leave a little bit earlier than needed, I was informed the band completed its setlist with a Jag Panzer cover - Generally Hostile - and the 1998 thunderous Wargods Of Metal (kinda) 'hit'. Well, 90 minutes of in your face epic_speed Metal is not that easy to be delivered in our era and - as seen - the few spectators were all thrilled with this performance.

My opinion? Sacred Steel played more than good; this was obvious from the very beginning. Other factors were the crucial ones (e.g. fans correspondence); how 'metal' is the heavy music that attracts - so called - 'metalheads' anymore? I wonder if a poor amount of even 1% of next year's Iron Maiden gig participants have heard the 'Sacred Steel' name. A pity...

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