The Metal Fest Chile 2013

Saturday, April 13th, Santiago, Chile

Santiago, the capital of Chile is one of those South American cities that attract a great number of Rock and Metal first class events and of course many metalheads. And this is also the reason why bands like IRON MAIDEN and MOTÖRHEAD chose this country to film entire concerts and released them in DVD format.

‘The Metal Fest’ is a two-days festival that has gained much publicity and it is worth mentioning that last year it hosted bands like KREATOR, ANTHRAX, VOLBEAT, TESTAMENT, VENOM, OBITUARY among others.  And 2013 was not an exception with a billing that had DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, DOWN, CARCASS, MORBID ANGEL and TWISTER SISTER with special moments with Pepper Keenan and CORROSION OF CONFORMITY or LOCK UP with Dan Lilker, simply remarkable. So, allow me to present to the festival’s milestones one by one

LOCK UP lead by Tomas “Tompa” Lindberg was the first band that appeared on Saturday in front of an enthusiastic audience. I shouldn’t forget Shane Embury (bass), Nick Barker (drums) and the Chilean Anton Reisenegger (guitar) who delivered a barrage of Grindcore finest: “Brethren Of The Pentagram”, “Slaughterous Ways”, “Accelerated Mutation” or “Violent Reprisal”. The singer (also in AT THE GATES) spoke a few words for the deceased Jesse Pintado and then asked if the audience (that was eager from more brutality) if it wanted to hear something from the old school stuff. What followed was a moment like that you rarely see; Dan Lilker joined LOCK UP onstage for two TERRORIZER covers; “Storm Of Stress” and “Fear Of Napalm”. I am afraid words are not enough to describe what happened!

ARCTURUS came from Norway to Chile to present a music genre/scene which is not very common to see in our country. Strange sounds and gloomy layers, presented by the always talkative ICS Vortex (ex-DIMMU BORGIR) in a Symphonic Black Metal was the best treat for a lot of fans in South America. Jan Axel Blomberg, better known as Hellhammer (MAYHEM, DIMMU BORGIR), confirmed his rich resume with a performance drawing the all the limelight as ARCTURUS played “Nightmare Heaven”, “Nightmare Heaven” “Alone”, “Painting My Horror” or “Chaos Path” among others. It was clear that the underworld was manifested right in front of our eyes and there were moments it felt like watching a pagan/black arts ritual. After the awesome “Master of Disguise” ARCTURUS left the stage having  won an enthusiastic gaining applause from the metalheads.

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY was one of the most anticipated bands in this year’s ‘Metal Fest’ since it would be it first appearance in Chile and South America. Many have traveled from Brazil and Argentina just to see this amazing band onstage so the level of enthusiasm was sky high. The band kicked off the setlist with “Psychic Vampire” for the latest and self-titled album and kept hitting us with “Deliverance”, “The Doom”, “The Moneychargers” and “Technocracy”. Reed Mullin was absolutely electrifying and was charged by the enthusiastic Chilean metalheads. Since DOWN were also on the festival’s billing the rumor that was going around became reality when Pepper Keenan showed up onstage and joined the band for “Señor Limpio” and “Vote With A Bullet”. Truly this was one of the festival’s highlight and it was not a great surprise that the audience was screaming for more.

Germany’s SODOM made it clear that time has not touched them; the almost five decades of Tom Angelripper had nothing to do with the high level of energy that obviously was flowing in his veins. SODOM performed like a tank storming the battlefield shooting bombs like “Nuclear Winter”, “Outbreak Of Evil”, “Agent Orange”, “Blasphemer” and “In War And Pieces” while they added in their arsenal the brand new “Stigmatized” from their upcoming “Epitome Of Torture”

There is a special connection between SODOM and the Chilean fans so it was not a great surprise that Tom declared that “Chile is one of the best audiences”. Ok, this is a cliché statement but it felt sincere and had an immediate effect of the fans who put more energy a sign that they believed this.

I think that MORBID ANGEL after so many shows in Chile they can call this country as their second home and I think their solid fanbase will agree with me. The band included some classic “Immortal Rites”, “Maze Of Torment”, “Lord Of All Fevers And Plague”, “Chapel Of Ghouls” and I tell you it felt like the anniversary of “Altar of Madness”. David Vincent as a charismatic frontman delivered “Fall From Grace” and “Where The Slime Live” during which the audience joined in singing. Perhaps the setlist’s lowest points were the songs from “Illud Divinus Insanus”, “Existo Vulgoré” and “Nevermore” which although are great songs they left the audience kind of apathetic. I should not forget Trey Azagtoth who was in spotlight of all the Death Metal fans. “God Of Emptiness” and “World Of Shit” dropped the curtain for this memorable performance by MORBID ANGEL.

TWISTED SISTER took over the stage with an audience that was hit by brutal Death Metal, but as soon as the first seconds and the first line of “You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll” hit us Rock was in charge. On the side of the stage there were musicians from other bands watching the show and one of them was Phil Anselmo who had a real good time.

The setlist included classics like “The Price” and “Burn In Hell” serving us a taste from the best days of the 80s when cassettes were weapon of choice and video clips like “I Wanna Rock” ruled the Metal TV waves. One of the setlist highlights was the classic “We’re Not Gonna Take It” during which Snider asked the Chilean public to sing as loud as the other parts of Latin America had and everyone followed his command.

Dee tried to communicate with the audience using the Spanish language and even asked for Eddie “Fingers” Ojeda’s help but it didn’t work as he wanted so they abandoned the efforts. TWISTED SISTER is a guarantee to have fun on one of your best nights and that’s exactly what happened during the 10-track setlist.

DOWN with Phil Anselmo on the helm appeared was the final band of the first day of the festival and I think it was a very good choice since the last show in Chile left us wanting for more. So, the show starter was “Lysergik Funeral” during which Anselmo seemed restless demanding more reaction from the crowd but I think he had forgotten that everyone was there for the last nine hours. Anyway that did not stop him and continued with the set by dedicating “Pillars Of Eternity” to Dimebag Darrell letting the mosh madness to start.

They played songs like “Lifer”, “Witchripper”, “Losing All”, “Ghosts Along Mississippi”, “New Orleans Is A Dying Whore” and an excerpt of PANTERA’s “Walk”, that has become part of the live tradition of DOWN.

One of the night’s high moments was the celebration of CROWBAR’s Kirk Windstein, having a packed arena singing the “Happy Birthday” tune, while Anselmo was asking for a smoke… “Bury Me In Smoke” was the final song of the set with CORROSION OF CONFORMITY’s Reed Mullin and Woodroe Weatherman joining DOWN onstage putting a powerful end to the first day of the fest.

I should note that during the breaks some of the best Chilean bands were playing in another stage bringing more Metal to the fans. The production and the organization of ‘The Metal Fest’ was top notch (there was no delay in the announced timetable) following the high standards of European festivals.

The Metal Fest Chile 2013
Sunday, April 14th 
Santiago, Chile

The second day of the festival and according to the schedule saw many metalheads wearing AGATHOCLES and ANAL CUNT t shirts, packing up the main stage since BRUTAL TRUTH were about to bombard everyone with the most characteristic blast beats of “Birth Of Ignorance” and “Stench Of Profit”. This band is responsible for highlighting Grindcore as an absolutely modern genre that has a huge following.
The party continued with “Sugardaddy”, “Get A Therapist... Spare The World”, “Simple Math”, “End Time” and “Fuck Cancer”. With every song the band was getting better fueled by the fans’ energy and one could see that Dan Lilker was ultra-excited by this reaction; “Godplayer”, “Celebration Gunfire” and “Evolution Through Revolution” followed and then the charismatic and barefoot Kevin Sharp wearing a shirt and jeans started calling the metalheads to approach the stage as close as possible, so he could stage-dive! No doubt this was enthusiastically welcomed.

NILE was one of the most anticipated bands for the Chilean Death Metal fans since the past years there were some unsuccessful attempts to bring the band in Chile. But when there’s will, there’s a way, so there we were in the second day of the festival and guitarist Karl Sanders commenced “The Blessed Dead” armed with a devastating sound. Yes, NILE sounded like a machine-gun and the bullets were “Defiling The Gates Of Ishtar”, “Sacrifice Unto Sebek”, “Sarcophagus” and “Supreme Humanism Of Megalomania” and without any doubt their first show in Chile was great. The technique, the precision and the flawless execution received the chanting “ole, ole, NILE, NILE” and Sanders responded to this reaction with expressions like "wow, this is awesome"! I surely believe that NILE will return soon in Chile.

Even though missing VOIVOD from the billing –due to Snake’s health issues–  was a huge turn-off, I am sure many metalheads appreciated seeing Juan Brujo and co. filling up this spot under the BRUJERIA moniker. After all, who doesn’t love singing all these political aware messages especially if those are delivered by a super-band?
The setlist featured “Cuiden A Los Niño”, “El Desmadre”, “Marcha De Odio”, “Colas De Rata”, “Cruza La Frontera”, “Vayan Sin Miedo” and “Anticastro” and it felt amazing listening to the solid wall of sound created by Hongo’s guitar (a.k.a Shane Embury from NAPALM DEATH) and El Cynico’s bass (Jeff Walker from CARCASS) crushing our heads like a steamroller. The icing on the cake was a taste of the upcoming album with the song “Angel De La Frontera” that was welcomed by the fans. Of course the classics “La Migra” and “Lead Law” got everyone involved and sweaty proving the strong appeal of BRUJERIA in Chile.

The masters of Progressive Metal SYMPHONY X were next and proved their title to the Chilean fans with  “Iconoclast”, “The End Of Innocence” and “Dehumanized” coming from their latest album. In “Sea Of Lies” we had the chance to watch Michael Romeo’s guitar magic as he performed flawlessly without even trying hard. The keyboard melodies of Mike Pinnella opened the way for the nine minutes of “When All Is Lost” and everybody was singing the first lines sung by Russell Allen who once again proved what a great performer he is. And there is no question about his high singing skills.

“Paradise Lost”, “Eve Of Seduction” and “Serpents Kiss” came next and one of the highlight moments was the setlist closer song “Set The World On Fire”; “Wake up” shouted Russel just before the fast intro of this headbanger. The audience joined in singing the chorus, giving a powerful ending to this great performance. No doubt SYMPHONY X is a super-tight band with a great in-between members chemistry, a combination for success.

Then it was time for a hearty dose of darkness and despair as the tolling bells of MY DYING BRIDE’s “Kneel Till Doomsday” opened the setlist of the British Gothic Doom metallers. Aaron Stainthorpe’s theatrical performance combined with Gothic dress-code and the dominating keyboards proved why  MY DYING BRIDE is considered one of the flagships of this music genre. The mesmerized audience seemed totally absorbed by the slow tempos, the down-tuned guitars and the full of despair vocals giving the impression that was part of MY DYING BRIDE’s show. “Turn Loose The Swans” sounded amazing with the violin melodies delivered by MacGowan who charmed the audience like a wizard using the most evil spell. I guess using the word scary is the most appropriate word to describe the sound of MY DYING BRIDE and their genuine Gothic aesthetics. The setlist ended with the faster (for the MY DYING BRIDE standards) “The Forever People” and I think I got a couple of chills down my spine listening to Stainthorpe’s deep growling.

Images of surgery were the most fitting introduction for UK’s finest Grindcore/deathsters CARCASS who opened their set with “Buried Dreams” and the moshing started no questions asked. Of course “No Love Lost” got everyone involved to the violent festivities while the football chanting “ole, ole, ole CARCASS, CARCASS” passed the baton to the guitar driven intro of “Edge Of Darkness”.

Some classic Grindcore was also on the CARCASS menu with “Genital Grinder” and “Death Certificate” while things got really brutal during “Exhume To Consume” and “Corporal Jigsore Quandary”. Of course, the classic hit and riff driven “Heartwork” was also included in the setlist bringing more headbanging action and it would not be too much to use surgical terms to describe what happened in the front rows as CARCASS were the leading surgeons… Yeah, they were that good and I wouldn’t mind at all if they were playing live in Chile every weekend.

Do you believe in extraterrestrials? If your answer is negative then you haven’t watched Devin Townsend and it was huge score for the festival to have him on the billing. And I’m saying this because this musician and mad genius (as some branded him) seems to be from another planet. The space trip started with “Truth” and everyone was drawn into the thick Progressive atmosphere with modern Metal and technical songs. I think the audience seemed a little bit worn out and who can blame them after the two days of aggression, although the long duration of the song might had something to do with this (there was a lot of music information to digest). So, no hard feelings for the ones who left but I think they missed a great performance by this charismatic artist who was backed up by a solid band and additional kudos to Ryan Van Poederooyen for his impressive drum work.
Anyway, “ZTO”, “By Your Command”, “Epicloud”, “Deadhead” and “Where We Belong” were on the setlist and it was great watching Townsend making all those faces constantly smiling while staying connected with the audience bouncing back the energy he was getting. “Do you like guys to hear a cover tune? Some Canadian band you might have heard of, is it RUSH or SLAYER?” joked Devin before the STRAPPING YOUNG LAD song “Love?” that came for the delight of all the fans of this artist’s brutal past.
“Grace” was the final song of the regular selist, a song that Devin dedicated to everyone inside the venue and added “Santiago, we love you”. Of course this was not the end and it was funny watching Devin saying goodnight making again those funny faces hinting that there would be a two-song encore. And so there was one with “Planet Of The Apes” and “Bad Devil”. Especially the latter hit us with clear and sometimes chaotic sound, representing the best way the mind of this most innovative musician. Someone must have chaos in his mind to create music like this that seems to be an exit from reality.

Also I have to mention that Devin Townsend has both feet on the ground, a tremendous amount of humility and good sense of humor, plus he is so close to the fans that after the end of the set, he remained onstage for about 10 minutes to greet every fan!

Review and Pictures by Iván Vega from

Reviewer: twansibon
May 10, 2013

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