It’s always great to meet and see the Spiders play live. I love this band, their energy, groove and everything that they bring on stage. Once again, it was a really fun evening at Geronimo’s restaurant at Gamla Stan, the Old Town in Stockholm. John Hoyles & Co. are always a pleasure to see them performing live. Ann Sofie conquered the crowd with her direct and charming act, as always. The band from Gothenburg played old and new songs for about an hour or so, as part of their small Swedish tour on different cities. That’s the third time I saw them live, and I must say that each time is better than the previous one. Their high energy rock n’ roll keeps you active and mood-high the whole evening. Ann-Sofie, John, Olle, Ricard and Rickard gave a very beautiful show for their Stockholm fans who came to see them on a Thursday evening. Robust and solid drumming (with a little help from Ann-Sofie!), majestic solos from John, and till next time, cheers!

Antonis Mantzavinos

A few days after the Candlemass gig that I witnessed, in the middle of the week, I went to Debaser Strand at Hornstull, a venue which hosted so many bands before, a classic Stockholm venue, by the waterway in Södermalm. I missed the first song from the first support band, Spiral Skies, but the band paid out the whole time that they played! Their vintage and warm sound, the beautiful female vocals and the overall energy of the quintet warmed up the audience as more people were slowly coming. They play a lovely groovy and inspired ‘70s heavy rock with psychedelic influences and charming melodies. The band is compiled by a female vocalist (Frida) with a distinctive warm voice, and four guys, who appear on stage wearing theatrical masks, adding to the theatricality and the occult side of their music, a very smart and effective way to present a beautiful imagery during their live shows. This is definitely a band that I will check more and try to listen to their tunes.

The next band, which has supported Orange Goblin during their Scandinavian Tour in November, is another Swedish band, which I did not have the chance to see live before - Bürner. The perfect support act to Orange Goblin! They play rock n’ roll and their sound is 100% influenced by Motörhead, all the way! They are very energetic and uplifting and make the audience headbanging hard. Their approach is straight forward and direct, with a lot of communication with the audience - they also teased the Stockholm audience about Gothenburg (I don’t know, maybe they come from the West Coast?!) and that added to the overall party mood of their playing time. Bürner is a power trio that is worth checking out.

The main act, of course, Orange Goblin from the UK, was touring the Scandinavian countries, and weirdly enough, for different reasons I had not seen them live before, so here was my chance! They performed really well during the whole night, having a new bassist (Martin is no longer in the band) and playing with so much energy and passion. Ben Ward, the front man, kicked off the gig by paying tribute to the mighty and sadly gone L-G from Entombed, which was quite an emotional moment (Ward also wore an Entombed, Clandestine-era T-shirt). Anyway, the band played for 75 minutes approximately, with a best-of set from their 25-year career, covering all the tastes of their fans (they also played from the “Coup De Grace” album, one of my personal favorites). In a few songs we had some small mosh pits in the front rows, which was awesome (not for the ones who were close to the pit though!). Overall, it was a very good show from the Britons and I really look forward to seeing them again.

Antonis Mantzavinos

Watching Candlemass live has always been a great experience, especially while Johan Längqvist (vocals) is back for good, following a really good studio album. The legendary band had announced that they would play two special live shows in Södra Teatern at Mosebacke in Södermalm, which is in their hometown Stockholm, one evening with “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” in its entirety and a second evening with “Nightfall” in its entirety. For different reasons, we were able to attend only the first live show, unfortunately. So, I must admit that this is one of the most special gigs ever for me, precisely because watching a heavy metal band inside a theater makes things more classic, more prestigious and overall majestic. And also, because the band itself surpassed itself in the performance, the sound, the overall feeling. It was really awesome to see Leif Edling back in such good mood and form, playing and communicating with everyone! “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” was absolutely fantastic, the sound was so heavy, crunchy and around 250 people enjoyed the classics from this heavy metal masterpiece. The highlight of the night was the cover to Trouble’s “The Tempter”, a very special moment, which the band dedicated to Jörgen Sandström (Entombed, Krux, Grave, Death Breath, The Project Hate), an old friend of the band, who has also played live with the band a few years, was present at the theater and had his birthday on the same day of the gig. He received a birthday cake while Leif Edling prologued ‘The Tempter’ as a tribute to Eric Wagner, who passed away a couple of months ago. This night (and the next one for “Nightfall”, of course) was a very special one for the band and their fans, who were able to attend this gig. Especially for the ones, like myself, that went to a live gig after almost two years. Long Live Candlemass and Leif Edling!

Antonis Mantzavinos

Styx is probably the greatest pomp rock group of all times, and sure enough, one of my favourite bands of the 70s. It has always been a dream of mine to see Styx live on stage, and this November my dream came true. Of course, I couldn't wait to see them in Greece, but I had the chance to catch them in their home country, when I was in USA. Thank god, the timing was perfect!

The live show would take place in Westbury, New York, at the NYCB Theater, we were staying at a hotel in Chinatown, New York City, so we had a long way to the theater. It was cold outside, we weren't sure if we were taking the right Subway train, and fortunately, we arrived at Westbury and the theater. Did I just say that we arrived? Yes, we arrived … at the wrong theater!! We were at the Westbury Theater, not at the Theater of Westbury, where Styx would play!!! We were lucky enough though, since the theater manager called us a cab. Finally we arrived at the right theater this time – you could tell by the T-shirts the people at the queue were wearing. The doors opened one hour before the beginning of the show and the American fans of Styx had already gathered. We stood at the merchandise kiosk, and took our seats at the theater.

It was a perfect place for live concerts – amphitheatric, with the stage in the center of the circle of the seats. In this theater the seats are numbered, very close to the artists, who perform at a rotating stage. Comparisons with the venues we have in Greece were inevitable…

Very few minutes after the scheduled opening time, Styx entered the stage. It was a unique experience to see some meters away from you these distinguished musicians! James Young, Tommy Shaw and Chuck Panozzo were there, together with Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards), Todd Sucherman (drums) and Ricky Phillips (bass). Unfortunately, Dennis De Young wasn't there, since his 1999 split with the band, Gowan was trying to fill his gap in vain, however, the band sounded fresh, powerful and in a very good shape.

The show was divided in two parts, the first one was dedicated to the band's latest release (“The Mission”) and the second one included the band's classic songs and hits. The latest studio album of Styx is a killer one, having all the incredients of the band's own sound, some great melodies and a fantastic work on guitars and keyboards. But the moments all of us were waiting finally came; the second part with the songs that made Styx popular all over the world. The Americans played almost all the songs from their masterpiece, “The Grand Illusion”, with “Come Sail Away” being the most touching and impressive moment. Styx performed also other classics such as “Lady”, “Best of Times”, “Too Much Time On My Hands”, “Blue Collar Man”, “Renegade”, etc.

In a nutshell, Styx performed perfectly, with a flawless sound, which helped the musicians express their musicianship and all their passion. James Young, tall, dressed in black and a smile on his face, was, without a doubt, the leader, next to him stood Tommy Shaw, who played the guitar and sang like an angel, and Lawrence Gowan was the charismatic frontman, who played his piano, sang and was in constant motion, like he was performing in a Broadway musical.

The show lasted almost two hours and ended triumphantly, with a standing ovation by the fans, who really enjoyed this majestic spectacle. We felt so nice, so warm, it was a singular experience we will never forget. It will always be in our heart, on our mind. Forever.

Dimitris Zacharopoulos



Bullet doesn’t need any introductions. They have released six studio albums plus one live album and are well-known in the worldwide hard n’ heavy scene. They were in the Nuclear Blast roster, they are now in Steamhammer/SPV and nothing seems difficult enough to stop them. Apart from their inspiration and musicianship, they are incredibly good in their live performances – they sound tight, solid and mature. The Greek fans had the chance to enjoy Bullet on stage, since the band visited for the first time Athens, Greece, on October 18, 2019. It was a blast!

The live show took place in The Crow Club, a nice, little metal club/live stage – its capacity isn’t big, but it is a warm, cozy place, where the fans are close to the performing band. However, the club didn’t get full and not too many fans came to the show. That’s a pity, if you take into account that it was the first gig of Bullet in Greece, the first gig of a band, which is very successful abroad. Nevertheless, what matters is that all the fans, who came that night to The Crow Club were very passionate and demonstrative.

The first band to hit the stage was 666 Packs. The Greek band played for about 30 minutes and their show was excellent. Their Accept-like heavy metal songs were performed beautifully, both the fans and the musicians had a lot of fun and I am so curious to listen to their future studio recordings. 666 Packs was a wise choice as an opening band for Bullet.

After that strong and dynamic act, we welcomed Silver Risk on stage. This band has a long history in the Greek hard n’ heavy scene, as they started their career at the end of the eighties. Now, 25 years later, Silver Risk is back again and they proved that with a powerful, impressive show. Their songs sounds like a more hard rocking version of Iron Maiden, full of melodies and technical parts. The crowd liked very much their set, but all were anxious for Bullet.

The Swedes took their place on stage and everyone was yelling and shouting; the group, which has made a huge worldwide sensation with albums like “Bite the Bullet”, “Highway Pirates” and “Storm of Blades”, was standing in front us, playing loud, roaring, hot and dirty heavy metal. They owe so much to bands like AC/DC, Accept, Saxon and Iron Maiden, but there is also an obvious influence from the heavy metal sound of the seventies. Their sound was crystal, and helped Bullet to display their skills and impress all of us. It was a great pleasure to see and listen to the furious quintet play its killer songs, to witness these lads giving everything they had like heavy metal hippies, like rock n’ roll rebels, like vintage gods of the hard n’ heavy pantheon. Bullet’s show was a sonic attack with screaming vocals (Hell Hofer is an icon!), rough, bleeding guitar phrases and a heavy, crawling rhythm section. The songs were played perfectly, the passion was flowing like a river, the headless head-banging was the only possible reaction for us.

Bullet took a shot and hit the target. Next time all head-bangers should be there to … bite the bullet! There is no excuse!

Dimitris Zacharopoulos