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Rage And Firewind Set Murcia, Spain Ablaze

Photo of Firewind

Band Photo: Firewind (?)

Having visited the Garaje Beat Club twice before to see Napalm Death and Ratos de Porao, it's safe to assume that this is one of the best small venues in the South East of Spain, if not Spain itself. It's compact but with room to move, the staff are friendly (even the bouncers!) and there's a great rock and roll vibe about the club. Perfect setting then, to host one of the most exciting tours of early 2018, as Rage and Firewind rolled into town on a metal mission.

Before the big names took place, the crowd were treated to two opening acts, the first of which, Arenia, was the only Spanish group on the bill. As is often the case for the opener, it was a sparse crowd which Arenia played for, but those in attendance were privy to something special. Their brand of power metal with a little symphonic taste is very impressive, as is the vocal talents of frontman Fran Santos, who was in fine form throughout. It's unfair to focus purely on the singer however, as every single member of the group performed with a tremendous passion and skill. If you're a fan of power metal, check out Arenia and their latest release, "El atardecer de los sueños" now because this quintet from Gijón are well on their way to becoming the top metal band from Spain.

From Spanish natives to globetrotters, following Arenia was Australian thrash/power metal hybrid Darker Half. Australian rockers are famous for their never ending energy and Darker Half were no exception. With three albums under their belts, as well as a recent EP, the band has plenty to draw from and the growing crowd seemed to enjoy what the Aussies had to offer. Songs off the EP, "Classified" such as "Aliens Exist" and "Voice Of The Dead" went down well, as did "Take The Plunge" from their debut album, "Duality." Their frenetic performance never slowed down and there will certainly be people in attendance who have crossed over to the Darker Half.

Up next, one of the biggest names in Greek metal, Firewind took to the stage. They began the set with the anthemic (and personal favourite) "Ode To Leonidas," which got plenty of fists in the air and sing alongs. Sixteen years after their debut, Firewind already have a plethora of classics and staples to bring out such as "Mercenary Man" and "World On Fire," which went down a storm, as did songs from their new album, "Immortals" like "Lady Of 1000 Sorrows." New frontman Henning Basse has a wonderful charisma, interacting brilliantly with the crowd, while Gus G. was naturally on superb form, displaying the talent and presence of a true guitar hero. It was a wonderful display of heavy metal from start to finish and proof not only is Firewind worthy of being one of the best known Greek names, but that classic heavy metal will not die. Absolutely stunning.

Finally, we come to the nights' headliners, Rage. Founded in Herne, Germany back in 1984 and releasing their debut album, "Prayers Of Steel" the next year under the name Avenger before changing their moniker to Rage, the band has released no less than 24 albums and so choosing a setlist must be a real headache. However, they put together a list of songs for the ages tonight, as they kicked things off with "Justify," from their new album, "Seasons Of The Black," which was met with the excitement and energy that Spanish crowds are known for.

From then on, Rage did not slow down one bit and the audience simply couldn't get enough of their frantic blend of heavy metal. Other new songs such as "My Way" and "Blackened Karma" sounded awesome, as did the old classics, "End Of All Days" and "Don't Fear The Winter," before one of the best set closers any band has, "Higher Than The Sky," which saw the crowd clapping and singing before the song had even started and contained covers of Black Sabbath's, "Heaven and Hell" and Dio's, "Holy Diver" thrown into the bridge, for which guitarist Marcos Rodriguez did a very impressive impression of the late legend. All in all, Rage were clearly having as much fun as the audience and showed everyone why they're such a well respected and important name in the history of German heavy metal, plus any band which can make 6ft4 skinheads squeal and freak out like twelve year olds at a One Direction concert is doing something right!

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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