The first band of the day, Requiem Laus, formed in Madeira in 1992 but didn’t release their first album until 2005. During that time they have garnered a reputation as a solid death/black metal band, so it was a shame to see such a small audience at the start of their performance. However, as everyone knows, the first act of the day after the night before is always greeted with a certain lack of enthusiasm, as everyone is tired from a late night. Despite this, Requiem Laus put up a spirited performance, and by the end of the set had gathered a decent and enthusiastic crowd who certainly seemed to enjoy the music.
The second band of the day was the Spanish thrash metal band Angelus Apatrida. This year, the Spanish bands, Angelus Apatrida and Vita Imana on the last day, were one of the great surprises of the festival, and Angelus Apatrida certainly set the standard for the rest of the day, getting everybody dancing and surfing to hits such as You are Next, from their last album The Call, or Blast Off, from the 2010 album, Clockwork. Just to show the dedication of the musicians, the lead guitarist, David G. Álvarez, had broken his leg so was confined to a stool for the duration of the set. But this didn’t stop him and by the end of the performance he was on his feet as best as he could, giving the songs his utmost. So thanks, David, for your sacrifice. It was worth it.
Set list: Violent Dawn, Of Men and Tyrants, Vomitive, Give’Em War, You Are Next, Blast Off, Legally Brainwashed.
The Swedish metal band, The Haunted, was perhaps one of the most anticipated bands of the day. Originally formed in Gothenberg, Sweden, the band is fronted by the manic Marco Aro, who is actually from Finland. True to form, The Haunted dominated the first half of the second day, with a collection of powerful songs, including a treat for the crowd of a couple of tracks from their new album Exit Wounds. At one point I noticed that Marco Aro’s forehead was bleeding, and I wondered how that had happened. During a pause between one of the songs I found out as he repeatedly pounded the microphone against his forehead. Seemingly unperturbed, and at one point jumping off the stage to sing right into the faces of the crowd, Marco and The Haunted brought a hint of madness to Vagos Open Air.
For some, the most anticipated band of the day was the Polish black/death metal band, Behemoth. For a band that has been around since 1991 and has battled illness, expulsion from Russia and accusations of Satanism in their native Poland, they were certainly the most theatrical. The paintings, the robes, the backdrop, and the torches of fire, in conjunction with a display of intense black metal music, contributed to one of the best shows of the festival. Kicking off with with Blow Your Trumpets, followed by a rousing performance of Gabriel Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer, the band dazzled the crowd with songs from their last album, The Satanist. The band continued at full throttle for the whole set, ending with a powerful rendition of O Father O Satan O Sun.
Set list: Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel, Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer, Conquer All, As Above So Below, Slaves Shall Serve, Christians to the Lions, The Satanist, Ov Fire and the Void, Alas, Lord Is Upon Me, At the Left Hand ov God, Chant for Eschaton 2000, O Father O Satan O Sun!
See review of Day One of Vagos Open Air 2014 here
See review of Day Three of Vagos Open Air 2014 here