The Sumerian invasion is here! On the way, they conquered Italy with an amazing line up. This was one of the most anticipated shows of the season, boasting big names like Born Of Osiris, After The Burial, Monuments, and The HAARP Machine!

The night was warmed up by a local band named Observe which was forced to play almost immediatly when the doors opened. So they only got to perform in front of approximately 40-50 people as the rest audience slowly trickled into the venue. The performance of these young guys was pretty good regardless, even though they still need to work on their artistic and live attitude. They have an EP coming out in spring 2013, so if you’re curious you can take a look to their Facebook page.

As more and more people kept entering the venue and empty spaces filled, Chris Barretto was the first member of The HAARP Machine to take the stage. After 3 out of 4 members left the band a couple months ago, Al Mu’min had to build a completely new line up and he found a perfect singer in Chris (former Periphery and Friend For A Foe, now vocalist of Ever Forthright). He also brought on Ever Forthright’s lead guitarist, Nick Llerandi. The performance was definitely appreciable considering these guys had only a few weeks to prepare it. Al Mu’min’s performance was clean and precise but the most remarkable performance was delivered by the amazing live presence of Chris Barretto. First off, he’s an amazing singer and his vocals fit perfectly with The HAARP Machine’s songs, and second he is an amazing front man and he definitely owns the stage. He was able to captivate the audience and make the show really enjoyable even for those who didn’t know the band. They played 5 songs, opening with “Esoteric Agenda”, continuing with “Pleiadian Keys”, “Disclosure”, “Extension To One”, and closing with “The Escapist Notion”. The new line up looked / sounded really solid. Guess we’ll see if they’ll be confirmed as the new, official The HAARP Machine line up.

Then came Monuments turn! This was the second time I’ve seen them. Actually, they were the only band of the night I already had the chance to catch live. And I must confess, I had a lot more fun this time. The last time they came to Milan was for the Euroblast tour with Jeff Loomis, Vildhjarta, and Stealing Axiom, but there were just a few people who came to see their set which meant the crowd was pretty lame. But this time the Century Media moguls played in front a much larger audience. The mosh pit exploded almost immediately and they kept the crowd jumping for the whole set, especially on songs like “Doxa” and “Degenerate”. The audiences response was also good on songs like “Empty Vessels Make The Most Noise”, “Blue Sky Thinking”, and “Regenerate” which ultimately closed out their set. They also played a new song called “The Oppressor” which sounded kinda badass too! You can find some live footage of this song searching on Youtube. Expect huge stuff from these guys in the following years. Monuments’ performance was intense and funny as the band got its largely deserved recognition from the audience.
After Monuments left the stage, I went to the merch store to speak with Matt Rose (all the members from all the bands that night spent a lot of time speaking with the fans at the merch tables and they were all really kind) and after some chatting, he strongly recommended After The Burial’s set. And he was fucking right. I’ve been a fan of After The Burial for a long time now but I never had the chance to actually see them. And I must confess, I didn’t expect them to be such an amazing live band. It turned out being one of the most impressive live metal performances I’ve ever witnessed (…and I’ve seen quite a lot). Their music was recreated perfectly as a flawless, clear, yet sharp and crushing performance which made their sound even more powerful and exciting. The crowd responded with continuous jumping, unstoppable moshing, and heavy headbangings. They started off with “Cursing Akhenaten”, followed by “My Frailty”, supported by a serious number of people crowd-surfing, then “Berzerker” triggered an insane circle pit. Maybe this was a bit too intense for starters…I was exhausted after only 3 songs! Then they played their new song, “A Wolf Amongst Ravens”, which features grooooooovin guitar riffs that kept me and the crowd jumping and screaming. They claimed to have finished writing their new album and said they’ll start tracking it after the end of the tour! But they also announced that they recently re-recorded their debut classic “Forging a Future Self”, and the new version should be available soon! After that they immediatly played “A Steady Decline”, “Aspiration”, and the heavy as hell finisher “Your Troubles Will Cease and Fortune Will Smile Upon You” (cool wall of death here!). It was an incredibly intense set…too bad it only lasted for 7 songs. I hope they’ll be back soon for a headlining show and melt my face off again.
A quick break to the toilette and Born Of Osiris is already on stage for their headlining performance. They immediately started off with “Empires Erased” and “Rosecrance” off their debut “The New Reign”, followed by 3 songs off “The Discovery” – “Ascension”, “Follow The Sings”, and “Two Worlds Of Design”. Even though their performance was really intense and established on a high level, the crowd looked a bit tired after all the previous bands, especially after just experiencing After The Burial’s crushing performance. But a lot of people in the crowd went on moshing and jumping until the end creating some really enjoyable and memorable moments. They finished the show with incredibly heavy, technical, well-performed songs like “Open Arms To Damnation”, “Bow Down”, “Singularity”, and “Recreate”. After that, they came back for a final encore with the song “Now Arise” which gave the audience one last, well-exploited chance to have a really good time.
This was definitely a night to remember: good people, good music, good moshing, and good times. That’s the perfect formula! But afterwards, I couldn’t wait to get out and refresh myself and my sweaty Monuments t-shirt under Milan’s acid rain.