Review: Metanoia Fest 2012 [Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil]


Once again, during April 6th, 7th and 8th, Vitória became the national capital of Christian Metal & Hardcore here in Brazil. In your 13th edition Metanoia Fest is already more than consolidated in the national calendar, referring specifically to Christian events that, unfortunately, are very scanty in our country.

The event took place at Centro de Referência da Juventude (CRJ) [EN: Youth Reference Center] and it was treated as charity, with food collection as entrance.

1st day – April 6th 2012

With the audience still coming to the event, it was up to Reação (Espírito Santo, Brazil) to open this edition of Metanoia (the group was also responsible of the event opening in the previous edition). They did a great job if we consider they found a drummer and a bass player the previous day to participate the event. Their sound can be considered as New Metal but they don’t stick only to this style, because there are tinges of Metalcore and Grind (more due to the vocals) in their songs. We hope they can perform to a major audience in another opportunity.

Scheduled to meet the cancellation of the band Átrio (Espírito Santo), White Sheep (Espírito Santo) return to stages after a time of rest with their high-quality Worshipcore. Returning to a quintet, (Raphael – vocals | Wesley – guitar/vocals | Chicon – guitar | Filipe – bass | Kbal – drums ), we couldn’t even say that WS was “on vacation” for almost a year. We could feel that they were really happy to play again and it was a presentation full of vigor, energy and “blood in the eyes”. Highlights for the charismatic vocalist Raphael Pegoretti, who knows well how to animate the audience that, at that hour, was in reasonable numbers at the place.

One of the surprises of the event was the inclusion of a reggae group. Yeah, for the first time in the history Metanoia had a group of this genre in its cast and against every negative expectations that could’ve come up before a group of this style present in the festival, Rua Jah (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) did their job with extreme excellence . With an absurd weight on guitar (enough to hear some of the presents that the group practiced ReggaeCore), what was seen was a true class of performance as vocal (with the vocalist Sten-Yo that did with his voice what came in his mind) as instrumental (with a super swung bass that fit perfectly with a very crashing drumming). One of the revelations of the event.

The next band was (Espírito Santo) that made a very cool set, mixing musics from their cd “Outro Lugar” with some cover songs that showed to be very suitable to the Pop Rock of the quintet. If in the disc, the stuff seems to be kind of tasteless, it’s live that the band shows for what it came. The group does not skimp on distortions on guitar and good vocals and, mainly, beats on drums like what it was demonstrated by Ivan. For those who don’t like rough sounds, this is a good request.

It’s possible to define the presentation of Scatus (Espírito Santo) in a single word: Awful!

But unfortunately I have to tell more about the group. The idea of opening the show with “More Than A Man” (Stryper) was good, but it would be better if the vocalist knew the lyrics correctly and if he haven’t had a voice so laughable. The instrumentalists are superb, specially if we talk about the technical drummer, but the vocals cross the line. Besides their own songs (with some of the most poorly written lyrics that I’ve seen in my whole life) Scatus yet executed covers for “Caught Somewhere In Time” (Iron Maiden) and “Master Of Puppets” (Metallica). Of course the audience liked, participated and sang together, but because this songs are true anthems, but the performances gave chills to all who expected a good Heavy Metal show. Can’t take them seriously, not while they have this vocalist. A classic situation of perfect instrumentalists with a bounded vocalist.

 But nothing like time to “heal the wounds”, right? The next band was much awaited for this one who writes to you and for many others among the presents. I’m talking of Survive (Paraná, Brazil) that is no longer a promise to become a great reality on Brazilian scene and the changing of its home state (Acre) to South Brazil in the pursuit of the dream of the band is an attitude more than commendable. Max Dean (vocals) and the crew made a true devastation in their first presentation in Espírito Santo. With a unique mix of melodic Death Metal and Metalcore, the quintet opened many mouths and had many necks surrendered to their presentation which was, obviously, paved upon the excellent “Destroy And Revolutionize” (2010), but also opened a breach to a new composition named “Red Sky”, which demonstrated that Survive won’t stop at the dead corner of the sameness. They wrapped up the gig with the exquisite “Dark Paths”, which contains one of the best riffs in the history of the style.

It was time for another band from Curitiba. Time for the Death Metal Old School band Azorrague (Paraná, Brazil). With now Fernando Frogel on vocals (he’s also responsible for the bass guitar) after the departure of Jacques, the group has fulfilled their role very well to not let the audience chill out. It’s a pity that the drums was with a very garbled sound, which undermined the full hearing of hanging and floor toms. A pity, because the drummer was insane on his double bass drum kit (the only one at the festival using this resource). Highlights to the technical “Plagues For The Pharaoh I”.

Taking the ungrateful task to finish the event, and counting with few people among the audience, Unyon (Espírito Santo) didn’t mind the setbacks and did a good role with its Heavy Metal. But, because of the advancement of time (as it’s a place granted by the city hall of Vitória, the event had to end at 10 pm sharp), the group did a short set list, however efficient… highlights to the beautiful voice of the vocalist Sander, who knew what to do when sang a Stryper cover (“Soldiers Under Command”).

2nd Day – April 7th 2012

The second day of Metanoia started with a lecture of pastor Geraldo about the misses and hits of the 20 years of Christian Metal and Hardcore in Brazil. This lecture took place in a room where there were displayed old flyers, zines and posters of our scene.

The first musical act of the day was the hip-hop of Kamale Gam (Espírito Santo) and guests. Maybe due to the very unusual fact of seeing this style in the event, the crowd was wary and didn’t participated much as in other presentations, but it’s undeniable that it was a pretty cool show.

The first real musical act, in the view of many of those present, came with the always-functional Hard Rock of Fire (Espírito Santo), that surprised those unaware putting a keyboardist (as a featured guest) in their line-up. I believe this would increase much the sound of the band if I could hear the sound of keyboards. They started the show with the new (and already a hit tune) “You Gotta Love”. Unfortunately it was during this gig that the event had to be stopped because of the arrival of “Dial-Silence” (a public service that meets the complaints of the residents of the city of Vitória on noise caused by stationary or mobile sources that disturb the public peace). Now tell me: did you already know of any funky or country party that was stopped because of the “excessive noise”? Exactly… thus, the volume of the sound gear of Fire had to be decreased, but that had not diminished the joy and precision of these geniuses of the national Hard. They wrapped up their set fabulously featuring the old vocalist of Factor C (pre-Afterdeath) singing along with the audience a version of “Soldiers Under Command” that could put a big smile in Michael Sweet & co.

So, it came the time of the most aggressive band of the day, and this charge was given to Puritan (Espírito Santo), that set the event on fire. The mosh pits become more and more violent in every show of the trio, and the participation of the public, more insane. Bruno Max (bass/vocals), even with 2 fingers bandaged, made a historical and unprecedented performance in his stay with Puritan. His current physical condition didn’t embarrass him in anything, on the contrary, it made him play with even more fury and anger. Fábio Kiefer (drums) and Flávio Mello (guitar) didn’t play dumb and gave their best at that gig. It should be recorded as DVD. Highlights to the ‘stones’ “Tempestade De Ódio”, “Faixa De Gaza” e “Redenção”.

The group that had far greatest interaction with the crowd was Polyphone (Espírito Santo). With its alternative sound, it was the gig that had most of the stage invasions to “steal” the microphone from the hands of Sandro (vocals). Speaking of the vocalist, it’s worth to point out: his stage presence is simply badass! He’s not that kind of vocalists who stick to the pedestal. He jumps, rocks, roll on stage, he does everything! The apex of collective insanity was during a RATM cover song. There was no way to stop the crowd that was in a treadmill of stage invasions, stage dives and mosh pits. A group that must be known soon by the admirers of a more modern sound.

To cap the night, a gig that was expected by many. There was a few years that we haven’t seen a Symphonic Black Metal band, and this fast was broken by Hawthorn (Paraná). It was a literally jaw-dropping presentation. Despite of the problems in the beginning with the keyboards, the show started very well. All those who didn’t know the band were amazed by the stage presence of Hawthorn (the group was also with a clothing related to their style which, want it or not, needs a stylish visual production), and also giving compliments to the charismatic vocalist Amanda Brotto, the bass player Charles with his unusual bass guitar (the instrument imitates the orchestra contrabass, but it’s a little smaller and electric), the guitarist Keizi, the keyboardist Tot and the drummer Guilherme who, due to a flu virus, couldn’t make his characteristic clean vocals. It was the late-night group with the greatest number of audience of the event, and it even had some ‘pits’ in its presentation, something unusual in Symphonic Black Metal gigs. A group that already needs to have its presence confirmed to the next edition!

3rd Day – April 8th 2012

The last day of Metanoia Fest 2012 was the most brutal day, regarding the bands. There were only tunes for mosh!

The day started with the guys of Postura (Minas Gerais, Brazil) that make a qualified HC, but it doesn’t pleased me much. It’s a good band, but it still needs too much improvement. The second band of the day, also from Minas Gerais, was one that created much expectation in me, Barrabás DC. Playing without the support of a bassist (2 guitars, drums and vocals only), the group was one of the highlights of the event with their gross Deathcore. It sounds like a non-technical version of Impending Doom, but as violent as it – the difference is that Barrabás DC is pretty good, and ID sucks nowadays. Stay tuned, because they will rock!!

And then came an hour so awaited by me, the presentation of Saint Spirit (Rio de Janeiro). The group that was so injured by the sound gear in the previous edition came back totally willing to erase the bad remembrances of that day. And even with dengue fever, Rodrigo Bizoro (drums/vocals) didn’t weaken and made an intense performance despite his temporary limitations. The songs of “Vanitas Vanitatum” sound better live, and they’re already classics for the band. And yes, there were cover songs of Sepultura, and at two moments. At the first one, the trio (Clamer Lucio – guitar/vocals and Mixa – bass complete the band) attacked with a medley of “Arise/Dead Embrionic Cells” and, just at the end of the show, Bruno Max (Puritan) joined the group to make an apotheotic end with “Roots, Bloody Roots”. Each show I see of these guys I realize that is past time to write a ‘pro’ DVD of SS.

One more band from Rio de Janeiro on Metanoia stage, it’s time of the ‘Believer Hardcore’ of Crença E Fúria that was releasing their cd “Simplicidade, Sinceridade, União” at the time. And to speak of C & F is to speak of a pummeling Hardcore, with no fussy melodic riffs whatsoever, here there’s just room for drubbing. Andrey de Oliveira has the best voice I’ve heard for this style, besides he’s a very charismatic vocalist. Mosh pits, stage dives and stage invasions happened all time. For those like me who were feeling orphan of Sangue Inocente, there’s the ideal substitute!

Then, came the hour of one of the most expected gigs of the event. Much was commented about how Trino (Espírito Santo) would sound without the presence of its old frontman. Well, the awaiting for a recording was remedied a few days before the event with 2 tracks released on their Myspace profile, where we noticed a Trino rougher, aggressive and insane with a Death metal aura hovering over the group. But it was missing the live test. How would the group behave back on stage with a new line-up (and different from that which recorded the cd) before an audience thirsty for a gore sound? We can divide this review in two parts then:

1 – As a fan: it was something unprecedented to me. Geandro Silverol (vocals) gave a new life to the compositions of the group and shows himself as the right vocalist for this new period of the group. Léo Vieira dealt well with the six strings and Bruno Max, despite of his limitation due to his accident, did a good job. Don’t need to say that the audience rocked much, do I?

2 – As a critic: I don’t know if it was due to the jitters or due to the fact they had few rehearsals, but happened several failures during the presentation like errors on executing the songs and tuneless instruments. But nothing that more few shows so the band go back to the old shape.

Another band I expected to see was the ‘probie’ Social Disparity, which is almost a super project from Espírito Santo. Its line-up is formed by Silas Jeronimo – vocals (Átrio)/Léo Vieira – guitar (Faith Blast, Trino)/Fernando – baixo (Faith Blast)/Eduardo Reis – drums (Átrio). That was just their second official presentation, but I assure that it didn’t seem to. With a Deathcore full of singularities (even a participation of Kamale Gam in a funky part of a song happened), the quartet removed any doubt concerning the proficiency of their job. Silas is undoubtedly the most charismatic vocalist of Espírito Santo. There’s nobody that overcomes him regarding the stage presence. In the song “Quem Não Reage, Rasteja” occurred cameos of Geandro Silverol and Bruno Max on vocals. The most, just wait for an EP of this promising group.

More HC in the room, this time with Vox (Espírito Santo). A group that has an enormous respect in Espírito Santo, but unfortunately yet unknown in our country. Vox is for fans of the Old School HC, full of outstanding choruses and heavy bases. It’s the ideal sound to mosh and sing. As all local bands, it had a great participation of the public, that didn’t calm down in any time. Stay tuned for very soon they’ll have material out there.

Last band from Espírito Santo to perform, All Sense Of A Death made an energetic presentation, and even with the audience tired of the 3 days of the event, it didn’t happen at any moment the accommodation of the same. The quintet (that also had a participation of a keyboardist that, by way of a change, didn’t have a good sound out of his instrument) performed compositions of their EP “… E Os Ideais Não Morrem…”, new songs and a cover for Devastator (For Today), which was the apex of their presentation. Vinícius has really rough vocals, he just needs to improve the melodic parts.

To wrap up the night and the event, Antidemon (São Paulo, Brazil) come back to the event after 4 years. What muddled the group was the schedule, because due to the same they could only play 6 of the 12 songs listed, but maybe this made Batista and the group play with much energy. The set had a song that will be in the next cd (titled “ApocalipseNow”) named “Virus” and I already consider it as a classic of the band, ‘cause it shows the best Antidemon can do. To end the very short set, the 2 most famous tracks of the band, “Apodrecida” and “Massacre” made all the present ones there squeeze in front of the stage to celebrate the last moments of the event.

Regarding the musical issues, the closing balance of this Metanoia Fest was positive. The sound gear used didn’t show many failures as the previous year, only the keyboardists suffered more with that. Good bands in its cast which, even having many absences, it was very celebrated by those who attended the CRJ (Youth Reference Center) from Vitória.

I’m looking forward to another stoning edition next year… GOD BLEZZ

Written by Márllon Matos
Translation by Carol Mariana

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