Portuguese Radiation
Buried Alive, Lacrima, The Royal Blood and Imortalis
at the Hard Club, Gaia, Portugal
July 25, 1998

by: Pedro Azevedo
Those who organized this concert aimed at promoting the _High Radiation 4_ compilation [reviewed in this issue], as all four bands who played in this release party are featured there. The bands, all from northern Portugal, obviously aimed at promoting themselves through their performance. However, things could have been better, considering the problems most bands suffered.

The first band to play in front of a rather cold audience, most of which preferred to watch the concert from the balcony, was Imortalis, who presented some very standard thrash. They started very nervous and never really managed to impress me; the fact that they were playing without their lead guitarist probably didn't help much. Still, the three band members who did make it to the stage did their job for 25 minutes, but didn't exactly leave me in awe.

Neither did The Royal Blood [whose demo tape I reviewed in CoC #30] with their 35 minute long performance, although their performance was more interesting than Imortalis'. The good sound quality provided for all the bands benefited them the most relative to their recorded material (considering their mediocre demo _Incantation of the Queen_ as well as their compilation track). With this much improved sound, The Royal Blood proved to be a competent band, although very unoriginal (too similar to Cradle of Filth). A poorly staged "vampyric" scene opened a performance that showed plenty of improvement since their demo (the drumming was quite good, for example). As a result, The Royal Blood did leave a far better impression than that caused by their _Incantation of the Queen_ demo.

I was looking forward to the third band, Lacrima, whose first demo tape _Tears From the Inside_ sounded very promising; they have a new demo coming out now, and, not surprisingly, they seem to have left some of their melodic doom/death with male and female vocals behind in exchange for more gothic-oriented parts (judging by the new material they played live, since I haven't listened to their new demo yet), but that might only be true for some of the new songs. Nevertheless, disappointment was immediate as soon as they entered the stage, because their female vocalist couldn't be there, for some reason. Imagine, say, a Theatre of Tragedy concert without Liv Kristine... that's similar to the situation here, minus the keyboards (Lacrima don't use any). Their 30 minutes ended up being more of a mid-paced melodic death metal show, with some doom here and there and not much brutality as far as death metal is concerned. Opening with the fine "Show Me the Way" from their first demo (a song that's very good with female vocals), Lacrima still managed to produce an interesting show, which the deep growls and good drumming helped improve.

By now, most people were probably wondering which member of Buried Alive would miss the show, but they all actually made it. More thrash, but better than Imortalis. Their set was much longer than any other (about 45 minutes), but they had technical problems with one of the guitars during the show. Good instrumentally, very powerful at times and just plain unremarkable some other times, Buried Alive tried their best to get the crowd moving, as there wasn't even a mosh pit by then; a dozen loyal followers responded to the call. Indeed, most people were in there just because the tickets weren't too expensive for a four band concert and the price included a free _High Radiation 4_ CD. A rather flawed and not very interesting concert, but it's not like good foreign bands come here every day (or every month, for that matter) anyway.

(article submitted 1/9/1998)


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