Voivod @ An Club, Athens (GRE)

VOIVOD / SOILENT GREEN / TODAY IS THE DAY

Date: 04th May, 2011
Venue: An Club
Ticket Price: €25
Promoter: Venerate Industries


Seems like someone up there in the skies thought that this little spot on Earth should witness live at last all these historical bands that never got the chance in the past. Indeed the last decade I’ve seen almost everything I ever wanted with some blank spots on my live history-list. One of these blank spots was to be filled up, with memories that will haunt me for the rest of my life, that Wednesday’s night of May.

VOIVOD were always one of those love/hate bands that influenced almost everyone and everything but never got the chance to get back even the 10% of what they offered. On stage now I always thought that they couldn’t provide the same as they do on their studio works. Oh God how wrong I was...

The three bands were about to play for the first time in Greece, so how would the Greek metalheads welcome them? Arriving finally at the club I’m proud to say that I succeeded to miss only half of the show of the first support band TODAY IS THE DAY! Habits die hard hahaha! But was I in a school party gig? What is wrong here? Only 100 people? Hopefully that changed a few hours later.

Well, I never was a fan of them (not that I will ever be) but I have to admit that what they are doing it seemed rather than good. Call me old-fashioned, brainless whatever you want, even that I am not smart enough to understand their music but this noise/experimental Metal was never my cup of tea. That of course didn’t match the opinion of about 15-20 people in the front row that enjoyed their show.

Their back catalogue starts from 1992 and is the sickening child of the mastermind of the band Steve Austin (guitar-vocals) who is also known for his productions with LAMB OF GOD amongst others. He is at the age of 45 and hell I look older than he is! For 45 minutes they gave everything they had with a very tight rhythm section and Steve spitting out his lyrics. Their music sounded so much better live. So, much power and aggression that we were left speechless. During the  last song “Pinnacle” Steve left his guitar and became one with the font rows screaming his lungs out. Well after all that I still don’t see myself buying any of their records but I would surely love to see them again live.

The guys from Tennessee said goodnight and it’s time for cigs and beers. During the break Steve found a nice spot and stayed there to watch the rest of the show. “Congratulations for your show! It was something new for me…  ”, “Ha-ha I’m glad that you liked it.” , “Are you going to watch the next of the show?” , “Yeah, I really like SOILENT GREEN they give great shows also we are like buddies after all those months in the same van. As fas as VOIVOD what can anyone say… I love’em!”

He seemed quite friendly and little drunk. SOILENT GREEN were on stage by that time for a short sound check and I must say I also like his buddies from Louisiana. SOILENT GREEN believe it or not started back in 1988 as another Death Metal band. Through the years they mixed their sound with sludge Metal , grindcore parts and a southern touch you can feel only by looking their guitar player Brian Patton. At that point we were around 200 in the club.

From the first notes the beast named SOILENT GREEN shook the stage of An Club and within an hour made a whole club shouting their name. They played stuff from all of their albums from the raw “Pussysoul” to the latest “Inevitable Collapse In The Presence Of Conviction” saying “we don’t have them for you to buy it so fuck it just go and download them!” , dedicating the song “It Was Just An Accident” “…to the guy at the tattoo store nearby that we thrown to him that glass of beer…” and with that monster on vocals called Ben Falgoust doing everything he wanted with the crowd and with the band. I never saw a member of a band doing so much hi5 with the audience also he was making fun of the other members of the band. I shouldn’t forget to mention the rhythm section of the band with Scott “Chili Pepper” Crohet slapping his bass and the astonishing Tommy Buckley on drums making me reconsider about Dave Lombardo ha-ha! The top moment of the show was at the last track “Antioxidant” where the club was under the attack of moshers and stagedivers.

That was a remarkable performance and I hope we’ll have the chance to see them again soon.

SOILENT GREEN setlist:

01. "Mental Acupuncture"
02. "Blessed In The Arms Of Servitude"
03. "Build Fear"
04. "For Lack Of Perfect Words"
05. "Slapfuck"
06. "All This Good Intention Wasted In The Wake of Apathy"
07. "It Was Just An Accident"
08. "Numb Around The Heart"
09. "In the Same Breath"
10. "Gagged Whore"
11. "Sewn Mouth Secrets"
12. "Antioxidant"

I really wanted to chat a little bit with Brian Patton about southern rock but I had to find a nice spot also for VOIVOD’s performance so I had to leave behind that idea considering also that the club was finally bursting with 400 fans mainly old-school thrasher that waited to feel like teenagers again.

From the first seconds of “The Unknown Knows” the fight of endless moshing and stage diving had begun. ”I can’t believe we made it to Greeeeeece…” shouted Snake (vocals) who was more than happy and hugged the fans in front of him. “The Prow” and the madness continued. Snake was one of the craziest performers ever doing lots of silly faces.Ripping Headaches” and I couldn’t believe I was living this. “RROOAARR was the first album I heard from VOIVOD. Away (drums) was certainly “away” with a RAMONES t-shirt torturing the drums in the best way. Together with Blackie (bass) they made one of the most sickening rhythm sections of all time.“Ravenous Medicine” , “Forlorn”, “Tribal Convictions”, “Global Warning”, “Brain Scan”, “Nothingface”, “Missing Sequences”, Kaleidos” so many classics. Snake was so happy with the reactions of the crowd that he promised to come back soon. The crowd was shouting “Piggy, Piggy, Piggy...” several times but I must say that Chewy (guitars) replaced proudly the loss of Piggy. Except from being a very good guitar player he was a very funny guy releasing positive energy everywhere, he even mocked the security guard’s bitter face that during the show was pushing so “gently” the stage divers.

This is the last track for tonight” said Snake and suddenly a fan pushed him with anger “No, no, nooooo”. Insanity. Insanity ruled throughout the last song of the main set “Tornado”. But instead of doing the encore Snake said “We’re not going to leave the stage you’re going to kill us ha-ha…what do you want to hear? What? What? VOIVOOOD?” . Honestly I can’t describe what happened. It was one of THE Thrash moments of my life.

The out of this world cover of PINK FLOYD’s “Astronomy Domine” left everybody with no need for more. Everything was said. VOIVOD wrote history once again. Each and every one of you who were there should feel blessed. God bless Piggy and his band mates until the end of times.

VOIVOD set list:

01. "The Unknown Knows"
02. "The Prow"
03."Ripping Headaches"
04."Ravenous Medicine"
05. "Forlorn"
06. "Tribal Convictions"
07. "Global Warning"
08. "Brain Scan"
09. "Nothingface"
10. "Missing Sequences"
11. "Kaleidos"
12. "Tornado"
13. "Voivod"
14. "Nuclear War"
15. "Astronomy Domine" (PINK FLOYD cover)