Rockwave Festival is the biggest rock and metal festival in Greece and every summer the Greek fans are waiting for it with anxiety. People who have been in rock/metal festivals in foreign countries can make their comparisons, nevertheless, it is the only big festival in Greece, where we have the opportunity to see and hear big names of the rock/metal scene. So, at Thursday, 19th of July 2018, we were about to enjoy the live performance of the mighty Judas Priest plus two classic bands of 80s heavy metal (Accept and Saxon), one of the most popular names in the contemporary metal biz (Sabaton) and three Greek acts (Jacks Full, Null ‘O’ Zero and Foray Between Ocean). The billing was great, our appetite big and at 4 o’ clock we passed the entrance of Terra Vibe!

When we got there, Jacks Full had already given their show, so as you understand, I cannot make any comments. Surely they gave their best under the hot rays of the sun, before some fans, who had the ability to be at Malakasa on time. I can also give you some details about this Greek heavy rock band – they were formed in 2014 in Athens and their self-titled debut was released in April 2015 and won raves from the press.

I had the chance to witness the live show of Null ‘O’ Zero. The Greeks have just released their new record (“Instructions to Dominate”), which was praised by fans and critics. Well, I liked very much how they played and can even say that I fancied their songs more in this live performance. We must mention their nice guitars and the powerful vocals – all included in a storming set, which enthused the fans. Nicely done!

Null ‘O’ Zero passed the baton to Foray Between Ocean. This concert was my first encounter with this Greek band since I haven’ t listened to their debut album, “Depression Neverending” – I was nicely introduced to their deathcore/prog black/death metal sound, and yes, I really dig their stuff! Foray between Ocean were very passionate, energetic and had a fine sound, which helped them perform their interesting songs. Especially the singer impressed the fans with his variety of vocal styles. I am sure we will meet again, guys!

As the time was passing, more and more people were arriving and took their seat in front of the main stage. Of course, they were waiting for a classic metal legend – Accept! The Germans entered the stage furiously and their first live song was “Die by the Sword”. The headbanging began with the first song from the past. “Restless and Wild” drove us insane and everybody started singing! The rest was pure metal history; “Metal Heart”, “Balls to the Wall”, “Princess of the Dawn”, “Fast As A Shark”, “I’m A Rebel” plus some of the strongest new tracks of the band, i.e. “Pandemic”, “KoolAid”, “Teutonic Terror” etc. Generally, this Accept concert was a blast, the Germans know how to produce energy and communicate with the audience, and I have only positive things to say! Some problems with his guitar didn’ t stop Wolf Hoffmann to scream and shoot with his guitar riffs and solos, Peter Baltes was a leading figure with his bass and Mark Tornillo shows again how perfect he is replacing Udo Dirkschneider. What a killer show!

Saxon was next to hit the stage. Just think of it, my friends: we don’t have every day the chance to enjoy Accept and Saxon back to back… It was a precious moment! Everybody was warm now after the Accept concert, so, when Saxon appeared in front of us, we became delirious! Biff Byford and company were there for us and they rocked big time! The NWOBHM myth of Saxon took us by storm with a selection of old and more recent tunes – “Motorcycle Man”, “Strong Arm of the Law”, “Power and the Glory”, “Crusader”, “Princess of the Night”, “Wheels of Steel”, “Denim and Leather”, “Heavy Metal Thunder” are glorious songs of traditional heavy metal and Saxon satisfied us with their energy, power and melodic hooks! From the more recent songs, I would like to mention “They Played Rock n’ Roll”, this Motorhead tribute, which proved to be a fantastic live number. The Brits played also their popular cover of Christopher Cross’ “Ride Like the Wind”, an amazing moment of their show. In a nutshell, Saxon played like there is tomorrow and pleased every fan, although I would prefer some more old songs instead of the new ones, for example, “Solid Ball of Rock” and “Dogs of War”. Hell on Earth!

A large number of fans went to the other stage, to see the famous Sabaton. I followed the majority of the fans and waited some minutes to enjoy the Sweds. Sabaton had brought all their stage show, that means that they had all their pyrotechnics, the incredible light show, the tank on stage and the video wall behind the drummer’s kit. The quintet gave an impressive show, during which they played all their biggest hits. It was my first time on a Sabaton show and I can frankly say that what I saw and heard was fantastic, although I am not into this “polished” battle metal. “Ghost Division”, “Winged Hussars”, “Swedish Pagans”, “Carolus Rex”, ‘Sparta”, “Coat of Arms”, “The Last Stand”, “Primo Victoria”, “Into the Fire” were some of the tracks of the show and were enough for us to get adrenalized! Sabaton include many elements in their sound, for example, ethnic/folk elements and power metal elements, which were all recognized in this live show. I especially noticed their fine technique and their ideal communication with the fans. What we witnessed was a sonic attack by the Swedish troopers, who proved once again their skills!

The hour that everybody was waiting had come. Hey, Judas Priest, the metal gods, would play for us and our heart was beating fastly. And finally, after the intro of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”, the Brits went on stage, with the fans screaming and yelling! The first song was “Firepower” and “Grinder” followed – it was obvious that Priest had a perfect sound and their performance was extraordinary, even better than the studio recordings! The guitar phrases were astonishing, the rhythm section was falling on us like an anvil and the one and only Rob Halford was in an excellent condition, sounding extremely good! He was there singing for us, like there is no tomorrow – he even entered the stage at a moment on his motorcycle! The songs that the band decided to play sent us to heaven – or hell?!, since all these songs were classics. You could see the excitement of the fans, who were electrified by such classics as “Sinner”, “Saints in Hell”, “Turbo Lover”, “Tyrant”, “Night Comes Down”, “Freewheel Burning”, “Hell Bent for Leather”, “Painkiller” and the list goes on! The concert lasted approximately one hour and a half, during which the legendary band from Birmingham, England, didn’t just deliver the goods, but showed us all its power, all its skills, all its high level. Glenn Tipton and K. K. Downing weren’ t there, but Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap replaced them ideally – the twin-guitar was an unstoppable force, which hit us right between our eyes. Of course, Scott Travis played like a beast and Ian Hill was the humble bass wizard! I would like to notice two things – firstly, Judas Priest didn’t play “Hellion/Electric Eye” – but who can have complaints, after this amazing live gig?! And secondly, the fans weren’t more than a few thousands – maybe because a lot of fans decided to go to the next day’s concert of Iron Maiden. Priest’s said goodbye to us with “Metal Gods”, “Breaking the Law” and “Living After Midnight”. The whole show was phenomenal, without a doubt, everyone who didn’t attend the show, missed a heavy metal inferno!

Dimitris Zacharopoulos




The relationship between Scorpions and Greece is so warm and tight. The band loves to play in Greece and the Greek fans are always there for the band! So, it was no news that Scorpions would visit again Athens, Greece, for a one and only show in Panathenaic Stadium. Of course, many nonbelievers don’t hesitate to blame the band for continuing to release albums and tour, but who can stop rock n’ roll?! So, I didn’t think of it twice – I would be there in this “Once in a Lifetime” show. And I was sure that the Greek fans would also do the same with me. The attendance was beyond any imagination – 40,000 music lovers showed up in the stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games took place! At this point I would like to make a mention – the crowd consisted mainly of middle-aged or even older people, by parents and their children. That’s a nice thing of course, but where did all the metalheads and rockers go? The families outnumbered the hardcore metal fans, nevertheless, that’s a good thing, if you take into consideration that grown-up people are getting familiar with rock and metal music and that children become rock and metal fans. The disadvantage of this is that the biggest part of the audience wouldn’t’ know the older, 70s stuff of Scorpions and would wait for only the ballads, not the heavy ones. Could you excuse me mentioning another thing? The doors of the stadium would open at 7 o’ clock and the show would begin at 9 o’clock with the Athens State Orchestra opening for Scorpions, instead of that though, there were only a few entrances for thousands of people, and as you can understand, the queue was terribly long. Imagine the terrible frustration and nervousness of so many people waiting there to get to their seats, under the flaming sun…that was a mistake of the organizers. The worst thing is that the performance of the State Orchestra started, before half of the audience managed to get in! That’s a shame – part one!

The Athens State Orchestra started its show and played some beautiful tunes, however, I will be honest, I couldn’t understand if the Orchestra interpreted some pop or rock hits in its classical music style – apart from “Rock You Like A Hurricane”, during which Rudolf Schenker got on stage and played the basic riffs of this Scorpions hit. However, it was nice to hear a State Orchestra performing before a rock/metal show. It was a nice intro, something interesting indeed.

The time had come for Scorpions to enter the stage. Almost all fans had got in, when the German band began its show. As the members appeared before the anxious crowd, you could hear a loud, warm applause and the first notes of Scorpions. I was sitting on the upper tier and in seconds understood that the sound was terrible! What the hell was happening? Well, it was obvious that the sound was coming with a delay at the distant part of the tiers, so, if you wanted to listen to the band properly, you should be in the arena!  That’s a shame – part two; That should not happen in a live show, it was another organizer’s mistake and the only excuse is that this was the first rock show in the Kallimarmaro Stadium. I don’t need to say that I immediately left the upper tier and got into the arena, where the sound was perfect! So, now I can talk about the band and its music.

The first track Scorpions played was “Going Out With a Bang”, off their latest, “Return to Forever” album. The crowd was shouting and screaming, although in my opinion, the band needed a more well-known song as an introduction. After that, Scorpions played “Make It Real” and we witnessed a superb concert! The band preferred to play a lot of heavy stuff, many classics from the ‘70s and not so many ballads – many families would expect to hear more ballads, but it was crystal clear that Scorpions came here this time to rock! You can imagine how happy I was to listen to songs like “Is There Anybody There?”, “The Zoo”, “Coast to Coast”, the miraculous medley of “Top of the Bill/Steamrock Fever/Speedy’s Coming/Catch Your Train”, “Tease Me Please Me”, “Black Out”, “Big City Nights”, “Still Loving You” and “Rock You Like A Hurricane”. We lived dreamy moments, we banged our heads, we sang together with Klaus Meine. It was one of the loudest and heaviest Scorpions shows I have attended, just keep in mind that the band paid a heavy metal tribute to Motörhead and Lemmy, with a monstrous drum solo by Mikkey Dee, following the cover version of “Overkill”. Oh God, I would like to know what the parents who were there, thought and what they said later to their kids! Yes, we didn’t enjoy live classics such as “We Will Burn The Sky”, “Born to Touch Your Feelings” and “Holiday”, on the other hand though, enough with these songs, Scorpions have released so many other great anthems!

If you were a Scorpions fan, you would admire the might and the glory of this band. They gave a show full of energy, adrenaline, fun and melodies, a real hard n’ heavy delivery. I have seen Scorpions so many times, and as always, I wasn’t bored or tired – each time is special. Scorpions burned the Panathenaic Stadium!

Dimitris Zacharopoulos


The “AM” album was a big hit in the world of contemporary rock. Arctic Monkeys succeeded in releasing a furious rock n’ roll disc, full of riffs, melodic hooks and energy. The “Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino” album was a surprise for every Arctic Monkeys fan. Having formed a “progressive lounge jazz-pop/rock” sound, the English band shocked its fans but also managed to offer an artistic masterpiece - inspired, imaginative, and sophisticated. So the news that Arctic Monkeys would visit Greece, participating in Rockwave Festival, was a nice call for every music enthusiast.

We arrived at Terravibe some minutes after five o’ clock and missed the chance to see the live show of Core the Band and Get Well Soon. I am sure that the Greeks and the Germans gave their best to deliver a great show.

Miles Kane and his band entered the stage and satisfied the audience with their fantastic, high octane alternative rock. I knew Kane from his Last Shadow Puppets project with Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner, but couldn’t expect such a cataclysmic rock show. His old-fashioned, hippie looks fitted the passionate, orgasmic rock n’ roll sound of his band and his guitar playing was really mind-blowing. The guitar solos were more than welcome and the melodic refrains sounded so warm and heartfelt. I don’t know Kane’s songs, so it was an amazing experience to listen to his alt-rock tunes. Next time we will be there again to give him a loud applause.

According to the festival program, the time of Alt-J had come. Don’t ask me about this band, I don’t know a thing about their story and discography - there’s only one thing that I know; they were awesome! Indeed, they managed to capture all the people in the audience with their clever, ear-catching songs. With the benefit of a perfect sound, Alt-J presented us a wonderful set of strange alt-pop/rock music, a set of music tracks which feature many odd ingredients spanning from ethnic and electronic to progressive elements. Yes, that’s music art! After this show, I am so curious and willing to explore Alt-J’s discography. Their magical sound and especially their charming vocal melodies have haunted my mind - that was a brilliant live show, a gig to be remembered!

Half past ten and we couldn’t help waiting for Arctic Monkeys’ turn. Within seconds Alex Turner and co. jumped on the stage of Rockwave Festival. Our enthusiasm and excitement were ideal for the band’s entrance. However, it was obvious that Arctic Monkey’s live sound quality was rather poor. Let’s take things from the beginning. When you attend the live show of a big name like Arctic Monkeys, you expect top quality. On the contrary, the Brits sound wasn’t loud and clear. You couldn't distinguish the instruments, the guitars were absent, and in general, that was the sound of a newcomer band … I don’t think that there were sound problems - I got the impression that, after the band’s artistic progress, both the musicians and their sound engineers are lost and don’t know which is their musical character; is it the heavy rock style of “AM” or the acoustic style of “Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino”? The whole band and its crew are in confusion and that could be easily heard. On the other hand, all the musicians were energetic and technically perfect - it was great to listen to Turner’s voice and of course, the songs the band played were wisely picked. Generally, the impressions were bad though. I personally didn’t enjoy the songs, because, apart from the sound, I witnessed a narcissistic Alex Turner, who was in his own world. I didn’t expect to see the band’s leader making a striptease, I didn’t expect to see him moving his hips like a latin dancer, I couldn’t understand why he didn’t speak to the fans almost at all… That was a disappointment, unfortunately. Arctic Monkey’s fame has grown large, and after this live performance, I personally think that the band can’t support this fame. Now that I am listening to their songs I try to forget that night and their first live show in Greece. Of course, when Arctic Monkeys visit us again, I will be there, but my expectations will be higher. We must be strict with our beloved bands.

We left the Festival with mixed feelings. We experienced things that will stay in our mind for months; Miles Kane was a blast, Alt-J were sensational and Arctic Monkeys not satisfactory.

Dimitris Zacharopoulos



Gröna Lund is a beautiful amusement park on the island of Djurgården, in Stockholm Sweden. But it is also one of the best live open-air places not only in Sweden, but in many countries as well. And a really famous one. Lots of fathers and mothers attended the full gig, carrying their young or very young children on their shoulders or baby carriages, showing the way to the next generation. Something which was very positively commented by - the barefoot - Jay Buchanan as well, recalling his childhood/youth years, when his parents organized music parties/gatherings with friends at home and thus influencing his own pathway towards music.

Having the opportunity to go at Gröna Lund for the first time and see live the Rival Sons, I realized how much I have missed watching a REALLY good band live in an open space. And Rival Sons were really worth it! The intro of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” was the perfect starting point for a gig I will remember for a loooong period. The Long Beach California rockers blew us away with their electrifying setlist, covering the whole span of their discography, I would say a very representative set lit, highlighting their best moments so far. The whole band enjoyed the live show so much, and it has actually been only a few months since they visited Stockholm for the last time (August 2017, last gig before they ended that tour to get focused on writing their next record). Jay specifically mentioned how much he likes it (and the whole band of course) in Sweden and really impressed the audience all the way with his absolutely entertaining performance and contact with the fans. The whole band gave it all, however, I must highlight the high energy and overwhelming moments of the drummer, the keyboard and guitar players (Mike Miley, Scott Holiday and Todd Ögren-Brooks respectively). Their groove, vintage rhythm n’ blues style and avid way to deliver the songs is quite remarkable and actually, this solid bonding is a huge part of the success of this band, on the road as well, apart from their studio great records. Scott Holiday is an exceptional guitar player with a magic touch on his 6string Firebird style guitars. Amazing...! (And, always a Sharp Dressed Man with an impeccable style!)

Till next time fellas! Stockholm loves you back!

Antonis Mantzavinos

Last Friday was a day of high temperatures during the early hours and extremities during the night. Three significant bands of our scene (two of them are active more than a decade and the third one is a new promising entry) performed at An Club, where the main attraction was Karma Violens’ release show for “Serpent God”, their new, highly appraised opus. However, a few hours before the event, the band informed us that their second guitarist, Costas, would not participate due to an unexpected health issue; hence, my expectations for the proper performance of the new songs were rather low.

by Alex Nikolaidis

After a delay of half an hour, Aetherian, a new band from Athens, started their show. Until the day of the event, I was totally unaware of their music. However, I will surely make up for my mistake, as I was surprised pleasantly by their compositions. The band plays melodic death metal, apparently influenced by the Scandinavian scene, combining melodies and acoustic sections that bring forward thoughts of long distance travels, or melancholy, with appealing rhythmic parts. They played really tight, performing accurately and giving us their energy and positive mood, making the few people of the audience shake their heads rhythmically. Aetherian excelled in their lengthy songs, which feature multiple, different sections; in this respect, “Black Sails”, coming out of their first album “The Untamed Wilderness”, was the most sentimental and ass-kicking part of their show, causing a burst of applause by everyone in the venue.

Regarding Mortal Torment, any reference for them is unnecessary. This band combines two seemingly opposite concepts, “brutality” and “fun”, bonding them in a unique, loving box of amusement. This time, the guys showed us their summer mood, bringing on stage towels, a lifebelt and inflatable, plastic sea balls that they threw to the audience (the gigantic watermelon was absolutely cute). It was really funny hearing their extremely brutal death metal and seeing their fans throwing the balls to each other, during moshing or stage diving. Their performance left no neck intact; crushing drumming, hellish riffing and –above all- the deep growling Nakos’ voice got the place into a mess. I always have fun watching the band’s frontman spitting his guts out and never stop moving, going constantly from one point to another and making sarcastic comments between songs. Unfortunately, serious technical damage occurred that interrupted the show for about twenty minutes. However, when the equipment was restored, the band started again in the same manner, without seeming annoyed or out of rhythm. We look forward to more surprises –and brutality as well- in the imminent future.

Karma Violens, the last act of the event, stayed on stage for 70 minutes, focusing on “Serpent God”. The band, due to its numerous concerts throughout all these years, either as headliners or as supporting act, has developed an undoubted confidence, which was evident from the very first moment. Despite the absence of one guitarist, even at a special event for them, like the release of a new album, they performed without the slightest glimpse of constraint or uncertainty, being absolutely professionals, tight and extreme as usual. Each one of the four remaining members did his best, contributing to our amusement; as for Marios, his vocal abilities are obvious and well-known for everyone who has seen the band on stage (I have already commented on his abilities on my recent review). Of course, the new songs (especially “Dark Morel”) lost some of their diversity and atmosphere without the solos; however, I am sure that they would sound absolutely stunning with a full line-up. “Serpent God” was the ideal opening for the show, casting its darkness and heaviness on the venue, while “Blood Aurora” was the ideal ending, with Marios screaming desperately. In total, the band performed 6 songs of the last album, proving that they are willing to rely on their new material, without omitting their first two releases.

We all had a great time seeing these bands; however, low attendance was the negative aspect of the event. I had the impression that Karma Violens would attract many fans to the venue, since “Serpent God” received positive appraisals until now. On the contrary, only 100-130 people were present. Where were the others? If we want to have great Greek bands in our city, let’s support them.

Karma Violens setlist 

  1. Serpent God
  2. Sons of Destruction
  3. Si Vis Vitam Para Mortem
  4. Floating in Sadness
  5. Bloodbath
  6. Animal
  7. Dark Morel
  8. Christian Lovers Made Me Do It
  9. Full Dose of Hate
  10. The Constractors
  11. Headstrong vs Progress
  12. Raining Blood (Slayer cover)
  13. The Sun I Never Had
  14. Blood Aurora