Hey there Mr. Inkeeper here to deliver to you all fuzzers a full report of the two days of the amazing SonicBlast Moledo 2017!
First things first, this was my first time attending SonicBlast and couldn’t ask for more! The line-up was PERFECT, the atmosphere was freakin’ amazing and it was also my first time photographing concerts and doing a live interview with Vinnum Sabbathi (review of their album “Gravity Works”), although I had very limited equipment not allowing me to take proper photos during the night gigs, but I’ll put as many day photos as I can, and for that give you all my sincere apologies!
Also, I wanted to thank from the bottom of my heart to Mr. Fuzz for giving me this chance and to understand the struggles of doing the full report of a festival! Without you maybe this wasn’t possible! Eternally grateful to you!
Before we start our journey I also want you guys to know, that I couldn’t attend all the shows, because…well… (insert physical necessities here) if I only could feed of fuzz…
DAY ONE – POOL STAGE
Ah the pool stage, such a chill and warm welcome to the festival, everyone sited in the grass chillaxin’, taking dives in the pool, drinking a beer or more…
The Spanish band from Oviedo, Asturias sucked the venue right away into the cosmic hazes of the human mind, with their concise jams in all the psychedelic splendor watered with galloping drum work, tasty guitar work filled with solos coming from the red sky of Mars ( 😉 ), supported by dazzling bass with eternal fuzzy lines and a synth that danced with us at the sound of the Holy Mushroom!
IT WAS THE ELF
The first Portuguese band to enter the stage at SonicBlast Moledo ’17, and if Holy Mushroom sound was hazy almost dreamlike, It Was the Elf kicked you right in the gut with their heavy stoner sound, with hard doses of headbanging coming from the bowels of highest mountain of Portugal, Serra da Estrela (Star Mountains), check their 2016 album “Fire Green” if you don’t know them! Harsh, husky vocals, two distorted guitars, a bass that was probably forged in the depths of some Celti-Iberian demigod and a pummeling drum work, this is not Heavy Stoner, this is Mountain Rock!
This Portuguese band sweats tireless energy and raw power of the good ol’ Rock & Toll, with a set up mainly from their newest album “Good Boys” there was some time to visit older tunes like “Silverball“, this guys are crazy and put an awesome show!
The eternal question of what is Black Bombaim, or what does it sound like right? Their style has no end and no beginning, no boundaries, a shapeless audio matter that mixes the sounds of the heavy psychedelic fuzz with free jazz in the form of a saxophone this time, and when I say free I mean it! The sax almost screamed for help, just like our sanity when we wander through the hypnotic, undefined and somewhat chaotic roads of Black Bombaim’s sound, for the first time everyone in the pool stage stood quiet and listened to the Portuguese group, everyone just paid attention to what was being provided to them, and THAT is amazing, by far the longest and respectful round of applause of the day!
DAY ONE – MAIN STAGE
Main stage…Where the big boys duel! Was so excited for this night! Never seen any of the bands live, fuckin’ ELDER for the first time in Portugal among other names like Cosmic Dead, Yuri Gagarin, Monolord, etc. Life is good!
THE WELL AND THE GREAT MACHINE
Unfortunately didn’t arrive in time to see both 🙁 , but I’ve heard that The Well’s concert was one of the best of the entire festival and The Great Machine put an awesome radical and energetic show!
YES! Yuri Gagarin in front of my very eyes with promise of taking me to the center of all eternity, one of the many shows that I was very eager to watch, but IMHO the overall sound of all the band was a big mess, loud to a point that the sound of YG was just a huge blur, when I was expecting much cleaner sound to travel through cosmos with their intricate guitar work and effects. Such a letdown 🙁 I hope to see them soon with better sound quality!
Between trips to the toilet, get some food and drinks, maybe I’ve seen what was worth to half of the show of Kikagaku Moyo, being total strangers to my knowledge I just tried to get a grasp of their overall intricate sound and gotta give kudos to their amazing musical craftsmanship!
This goes out to my good friend Luis that went to the festival with me (also for the first time) EMPRESS RIIISIIIIIIIIIIING.
I took a small book to take little annotations about the sound quality, what I liked or not, in Monolord’s part, I simply wrote FUCKING HEAVY, MY NECK IS GONE.
By the moment they’ve entered the stage until they left, I’ve entered in a weird state of meditation and headbanging yoga, I am a slave of doom, and the POWER OF THE FUCKING RIFF COMPELS ME! In this catatonic state, “Empress Rising” and the new single “Rust” stood out ofc! Monolord is to be experienced live again and again…
And right after Monolord “monolitical” show what do you get? The mighty Elder enters the stage with “Reflections of a Floating World” (review done by Mr.Omen) fresh on the pocket! I have no words for Elder their art speaks for itself, the sound quality was amazing, only the synth of Michael was a little low in the equalization. DiSalvo androgynous voice was spot on, the entire band was spot on like always, amazing amazing amazing! And finished the show and the tour with an old timer “Gemini” from “Dead Roots Stirring” singing I’m coming home! Yes you are and you all deserve a rest!
The face of adversity was probably Cosmic Dead that night, they’ve lost all the equipment during the trip to Portugal arriving 20 min before their show! All the equipment was loaned by the other bands so they could play the show, a special thanks to Elder and Black Bombaim for loaning their equipment to them. I can’t imagine what type of levels of stress that these guys were drowning on, I just know that they used that in order to give a fuckin amazing show, one of the most schizophrenic things that I’ve experienced live, all hail Cosmic Dead the kings of Heavy Psych!
Day one finished, and what an experience! Time to go back to the tent and jam a little!
DAY TWO – POOL STAGE
Day number two! Ah the morning sun starts to appear between the twigs of the trees that were surrounding the camper’s tents, everyone crawling out for a grasp of fresh air, drink some water and take the breakfast!
The day ahead will fulfill the needs of the doom, psychedelic and drone enthusiasts! Names like Dead Witches, Acid King, Color Haze, The Machine are on the list and you can feel the excitement in the air.
First gig of the afternoon, this Portuguese group were unknown to me but surprised me in a good way, good energetic fuzzy rock, very Kyussesque! Last year they played the warm up set at SonicBlast, so good to see opportunities being given!
Yeeeaaaaahhh! If you read the reviews you probably know that I’ve written one for their latest release, “Gravity Works” (reviewed here), and that I absolutely love them, I was very curious to see them live, and they deliver it, the samples were loud and clear, the overall sound was good, not perfect but good, and they were very grateful to be there, I also managed to meet and talk with Roman and Samuel in day one, super cool dudes and after their show we went to the press center doing some quick interview, that will also be posted here at More Fuzz, definitely one of the best moments of the festival for me!
Löbo is a drone/dark ambient band from Portugal, and their sound is something that I wouldn’t listen beside a pool during a sunny day, I would rather see them in the middle of a meadow at dawn full dressed in fur… Drowsy, meditative, cold and dark, a heavy shamanic ritual of the what the ancient greeks once called us, Ophiussa, the land of the serpents, a land shrouded in mystery and occult.
After an energy draining concert of Löbo, the Californians Blaak Heat entered the stage with their somewhat eastern influenced psychedelic rock, lute driven riffs, and that freaki’n sampled intro from “The Edge of an Era” back from the days that they were called Blaak Heat Shujaa, awesome in all ways, a different kind of trip!
A strange thing happened with Toxic Shock’s concert, I left the pool to drink a beer, eat something and wait for them to start, well they started but I couldn’t hear anything just from the entrance of the stage, that’s weird right? When I’ve decided to enter again to see if they were late or something, they were playing their crossover sound, a guy jumping from the structures of the stage to the pool and everyone going ape shit, aaaaaw man I can’t believe I’ve lost this concert!!!
Definitely one of the most fun and best concerts of the festival, super cool energy and the vocalist…damn the guys has some dance moves! They have that little sassy hint of 80’s hair metal that combined with psych stoner makes a very interesting mix and super fun as well. One of the best bands to photograph also! One of my favorite shows of the festival.
DAY TWO – MAIN STAGE
Last round of bands before the festival is over 🙁 Excited to see the first time some legendary bands, like Sasquatch, Acid King, Orange Goblin and Color Haze!
Death Alley decided to rebel a bit and played one or two more songs than they should have, and as I was hypnotized by their music, I stayed there immersed in that pit of dancing people, so I missed the first 2 songs of Sasquatch… Nevertheless there I was, seeing Sasquatch for the first time live, one of the first bands of this genre that I’ve listened to, for me Keith’s voice is the epitome of the stoner rock vocals, I can’t find a better suiting voice for this genre after all this time! Pounding fuzzy riffs, a smooth headbang and a big smile on my face, my definition of a Sasquatch concert!
I missed The Machine, needed to grab something to eat and had to wait in huge lines so… Hope to see them soon!
The legends, the doomlords enters the stage!
Once again my neck moved on it’s own, shaking it away commanded by the swampy and sludgy doom riffs of Acid King, nothing but respect from the crowd, playing this type of music since 1993 they don’t need to ask for applause or even talk to the crowd, if you are there you simply are, you exist and you nod to everyone you cross eyes with, that’s the presence of Acid King!
For the first time in Portugal, another set of legends! Color Haze! What a privilege to see a band like this, to hear some new songs from their new album “In Her Garden” (reviewed here by Mr. Omen), superb music craftsmanship topped by an excellent sound quality. Color Haze’s music can take you into the several levels of sanity and manipulate them at their own will, if you have the opportunity to see them live, do yourself a favor and go, it’s a must listen.
After an intensive session of deep meditation gliding through the intricacies of Color Haze’s sound you get punched in the fuckin’ face by another set of legends, Orange Goblin! These guys are the face of tooth grinding, straight to your face metal! Only the sound of Orange Goblin could create enormous circle pits and walls of death like the ones I’ve saw, let’s be honest there isn’t a lot of movement in stoner and doom audiences, and these guys entered the stage and chaos immediately settled in for the entire concert, “Red Tide Rising” and “Time Travelling Blues” were the great crowd pleasers of the concert obviously!
I left the concert of Dead Witches somewhat confused… Definitely I wasn’t expecting to find in a very weird way, doom to be sexy… Doom and sexy?
But yeah, Virginia is a hauntingly beautiful woman with some damn good vocals and moves, witchcraft at its best, because everyone was in some sort of trance watching them, the legendary Mark Greening on the drums, hitting the biggest cymbals that I’ve ever saw!
Sonic Blast ’17 is over (mentally cries) and was one of the best experiences so far this year, next year I’ll be there for sure, hopefully with a better camera (if I can afford one) to take more pics by night!
Once again I want to thank Mr. Fuzz for the opportunity, the organization of SonicBlast, all the members of the bands involved, special thanks to Vinnum Sabbathi members (Roman, Gerardo, Samuel and Juan) for the interview keep doing what you doing, also I want to thank my good friend Luis for experiencing this with me also for the first time!
Hope you like the report and hope the photos are good enough, I’ve tried my best!