Metalmorphosis : Arch Enemy live at Pavilion Hall, Nicosia, Cyprus

Yesterday, my brother, his girlfriend and I went to Nicosia for the Metalmorphosis music festival. If you saw my earlier post about the event, you’d know that the main attraction was the Swedish death metal band Arch Enemy.

So, how was it? Short story: it was not bad at all. Better than I expected. Here is a video from my brother which won’t tell you how it was, but will provide a hint, a glimpse into it, if you will.

Now for the long story. But first things first. I have to say that even though I am a big fan of hard and heavy music, death metal isn’t my favorite style. I find it to be to monotonic and even boring. Why did I go the even then? Well, firstly, because death metal is better than nothing. It’s not like we have a lot of choice here. Secondly, because I think such events are cool anyway, and I wanted to show my support. Thirdly, because I had a good company to go with. And, fourthly, because I didn’t have anything better to do.

So. Event tickets informed us of the doors open at 18:30. We thought that there was no hurry, so we left Limassol at around 6pm and came to Nicosia at around 7. It was a bit funny at the entrance, when we saw the crowd of people outside. The crowd was mixed-dressed. Half of the people were jeans and black t-shirts with skulls, skeletons, and fire. This was the younger part of the crowd as well. The older half of the crowd was dressed in suits, ties, expensive jewelry and such. Who could have suspected that the fans of Arch Enemy are so diverse? It turned out, the Pavilion Hall is a large place. Metal festival was occupying only a part of it. And there was a wedding reception in another part.

Without any problem we found our way in. At the entrance, there was a man, sitting at the entrance with a sign “3 drinks 15 Euro”. There were no drinks or drunks in sight. We asked him what he was about. He was selling alcohol tickets. You could by tickets for 3 drinks at 15 Euro and, he promised, that would be cheaper than paying cash inside. We bought some tickets. After all, who doesn’t like cheap, or should I say cheaper, alcohol?

Finally, we entered. The venue was already half-full (or half-empty). There was band on stage rocking the crowd. Or should I say deathmetalling the crowd? I’m not too good with the terminology here. I couldn’t say if they were any good, because, since death metal is not my thing, I had to listen to a few to compare. My logical conclusion was that the band on stage was the Cypriot gang called Sonic Death Monkey. They weren’t too horrible, but they were the first in the line-up, which usually means that each of the next bands is increasingly better.

We had plenty of time before the star of the show, so we started drinking, scanning the crowd for the fashion tips and making jokes. What else to do?

It was then that we realized that the men at the entrance tricked us. Well, he probably didn’t intend to, but that’s what happened. 5 Euros per drink is only cheaper if you had strong alcohol, which was selling at 8-15 Euros. Beers were 4 Euros per small Carlsberg bottle. Luckily for us, bartenders learned our faces very fast and started giving out beers for free. So overall, one on one, I think we had it much cheaper than the price list would indicate.

As for the fashion tips – there were plenty! Among the usual black t-shirts, jeans, and high platform boots with metal locks, there were things that one doesn’t see very often. Interesting tattoos and piercing locations, psychedelic hair cuts, duct tape on faces and hands – I’ve taken out a lot to think about.

Time went by, bands were changing each other on stage, I was slow starting to get into this whole death metal thing. As my brother said, it’s very much like jazz – each musician only cares about what he is playing, not noticing his band mates or the audience. There is a fine line between mediocre death metal and cacophony. Good thing that the bands were getting better and better.

After a few hours of drinking and listening to music, I got hungry. So I went out to find a snack, or hotdog or a pizza. To my surprise, there was no food around. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I spoke with a few people around, inside and outside and all of them confirmed my finding. That was really strange. I mean, it was like any food van driver’s nightmare – a crowd of people at the same place for hours, mixed with music and alcohol, and he is not there. I’ve even found a potential business partner. We thought we’d order a few extra large pizzas from Pizza Hut and resell them piece by piece for five times the price. We nearly went for it, but a timely consideration of security stopped us. How could we protect our investment against a crowd of hungry death metal fans? There was no way. Then I had an idea of a party crushing at the wedding reception, but their security was fine. I didn’t pass the face-, or rather I think, dress-control.

I went back inside. There was a possibility of me starving to death, and I really didn’t want to do that. One of the main reasons was that mass media would probably blame death metal music for my untimely passing. And that would be horribly inaccurate. As I said, I already started getting into the music by that time.

After hours and hours of the lineup, finally, the Arch Enemy arrived on stage. They were everything the crowd hoped for and more – loud, energetic, deathly metallic. When I saw one of the Arch Enemy’s videos on YouTube, I had my reservations regarding the lead vocalists sound. I really didn’t think that low, scary growl could come out of a pretty young lady like her. But it did. At some point, I think she made me doubt the practice of exorcism. After all, why do we have the urge of get rid of a daemon that occupied a human body. As it was demonstrated, one other alternative would be to find a way to control the daemon and make him sing when appropriate.

Arch Enemy was so energetic that me and my brother’s girlfriend made our way to the front lines. We were right next to the stage, two straight hands distance from the band.

Once Arch Enemy finished their set, the festival was over and the crowds went out for some fresh air. We were so hungry that we decided to eat before driving to Limassol. Goodies saved us from a sure starvation – god bless food joints that work past midnight!

Tired, but happy we came to Limassol around 2am.

As I said, despite this not being something along my alley, I did really enjoy the gig. I had good time, I got to experience something new, and I, as always, I got my chance to shout and scream my lungs out and head bang the crap out of mind.

Arch Enemy in Cyprus

Arch Enemy, a Swedish death metal band, will be performing in Nicosia as part of the MetaLmorphosiS Festival. Other bands in the line up are Plague of Angels (UK), Sonic Death Monkey (Cyprus), Disharmony (Greece), and The Fallen Within (Greece).

The event will take place this Friday, October 28, 2011 at Pavilion Concert Hall in Nicosia, Cyprus. Doors open at 18:30. Tickets are priced at 35 Euro, which is quite reasonable.

Here are some links for more information: