Live Report: Power Of The Night Festival VII, Nicosia, 27-28 July 2012, Cyprus University Campus



For seventh year in row, we had the opportunity to host on our island another Power Of The Night Festival. A festival that has its roots back in 2006 and organized mainly by the guys of R.U.S.T. and Hardraw, dedicated to all those we lost on the road.

This year’s festival I must confess that, apart from a couple of bad moments, it was perfectly organized and had nothing to be jealous of, from other European festivals!
With the smallest entrance fee possible (23 Euro for 2 days!), special details such as fabric wristbands, printed booklet program, cheap food and drinks, and a gorgeous billing including foreign and local bands, we had an unforgettable experience.

But let’s take it from the start.


First Day, Friday 27th July

We arrived at the university campus just as the gates opened. Being part of the first 50 persons to enter the festival we received a free CD as gift, sponsored by Pitch Black Records. We had time to grab a beer, have our buys from the merchandise section, and get ready to enjoy the first band opening the festival, Teror.


Teror is a trio Thrash Metal band, hailing from Nicosia. They started their show with two new tunes, Death From Above and Storm Of Betrayal! Highly energetic on scene, even with their technical-sound problems, they managed to deliver us speedy killer riffs, and give the spark to light the Headbanging Fire. On the line was their Thrash Patrol, combined with Street Warriors and meeting the Night of Teror! For conclusion they chose their track “331” (which we included in our Cyprus Metal Scene United compilation), followed by their same-titled song from their Demo EP, Ordered To Destroy!


Teror’s appearance was followed by Hardraw. These Epic Metallers, stronger than ever, manage to play a massive setlist including their old masterpieces “Night Dark Figures” and “One With The Wolves”, both of the tracks from their recently released 7” single (Strike Em Down and One With The Wolves), their classics “Heavy Metal Union” and “Cyprus Heavy Metal Steel”, as well as their newest tunes “Hellfire”, “Samson’s Revenge”  and a cover on Queensryche’s “The Needle Lies”. All in all a perfect appearance apart of some sound issues that were faced.


On the stage now came Lethal Saint, and showed to the crowd that Saint Strikes Back! These heavy metal heroes from Nicosia, with some strong aces in their sleeves gave as a flawless show with a setlist composed by their classics Midnight Warriors, Heavy Metal Knights (live for last time!?), Rock n Roll Survivor, their two songs from their recently released 7” single Saint Strikes Back and Out For The Kill. Also on the setlist for first time live, the newest tune “Order To Defend”. With Andreas and Christos alternating riffs and solos on Christis paths we had our heads rolling after the show…


And time has come, the one that tells no lies, for the Headliners PRAYING MANTIS to get on stage. Power Crue was supposed to get on stage first but due to the departure time of the flights Praying Mantis had to get on stage earlier. It’s the second time that I watch live these AOR Masters and NWOBHM pioneers. For those who didn’t know that, Troy brothers’ father was from Kathikas, a village in Paphos, Cyprus. That makes the masterminds behind Praying Mantis Cypriot descendants, and the band performing back to their fatherland was an honor for us! They started their show with their classic Children Of The Earth, and soon the crowd begun the transformation into Praying Mantis. Choiring voices from everyone familiar with their ecstatic music, found the whole university campus on panic attack after the Panic In The Streets masterpiece. The setlist was consist of tracks taken from a variety of albums, and included opuses like Turn The Tide, Time Slipping Away and Borderline. Highlight of the night was indisputably the “Don’t be afraid of the dark” song that Tino and Chris dedicated to their fathers memory! The band chose to end their show with Turn The Tables and Captured City, both classics and band’s identification trademarks!


After the Praying Mantis appearance, Greek power metallers Power Crue got on stage to finish the first day of the festival, and to make us unable to move after their show (us, the ones in the front row). It was my first time to watch these guys live and I must confess that their performance was brilliant! Outstanding powerful compositions, highly energetic riffs and basslines made us headbaning all night long! With a tremendous setlist which included hymns like Conqueror of Souls, Last Command and Stay Heavy they delivered pure heavy metal to our ears and made ‘em bleed of steel!!! I really liked their show and I’m looking forward to see them live again!

After the end of the first day we went to Rocka Rolla Bar, and we continue partying till the morning hours, and got finally home (drunk) to rest and get ready for the next day!

Second Day, Saturday 28th July

Being one of the first persons who entered the battlefield (again), I had time to find some old friends and exchange some words with the bands.

Second day’s appearances started with the local band Dragonbreath. These newcomers school guys are worshipers of heavy metal, and by that I mean the traditional way. It was the first time seeing them live and I have spoted some good elements that with very hard work it may become something powerful!




The planets alignment, brought the right moment for the spell casting and the witches got on fire! It’s SOLITARY SABRED and their sacred bloodlust! What can I say about what I have witnessed last night? This powerful force unleashed from the depths of hell got onstage and made us shit our pants out of terror! The extraordinary vocal length by mighty Dr. Asgardlord and the hellish riffs of Spartacus combined with George’s basslines and Tapas’ drumwars created a massacre among the crowd. Numerous blood-spills and haunted screams on the destructive setlist which had songs from their debut album as well as new tracks taken from their upcoming album “Redemption Through Force”.  Check out the new “Redeemer” song from their latest promo single and have an image about what we have witnessed! Can’t wait for the album that’s for sure!


Next on the running order came the Saint Trimithias Rockers R.U.S.T.
R.U.S.T were the last Cypriot band that was supposed to get on stage for the festival (that changed but more for this later). They started their show with a new song entitled “Fire At Will” and they warmed up the crowd to receive their classic “We Are Rock N Roll”! On the line was their epic “S.O.S” written for the 1974 Turkish invasion, and was followed by “Take Me To The Skies” for all those we lost on the road! Taken from their debut album came the “Queen Of The Amazons” and for conclusion they chose a mix of “Forged in the Fire of Metal” and “Metal Child” combined with the “Hammer And Anvil” theatrical acts by Famous!!





And the time has come, for the mighty DARK QUARTERER to get on stage! Words can’t describe what a Dark Quarterer live performance is… There’s no combination of words to give a right image and deliver the feeling of the performance we witnessed last night! NO! The majesty, the changing of the dimensions, the parallel universes we jumped in during the live show, are not known to humanity. No brain can capture the magnificence of such experience. They started their show with “Wandering in the Dark” opening track from their latest “Symbols” album. Before I realize it, I was one with the solar wind, travelling though space with my brothers Skyflat, Stelios, Asgardlord, Spartacus, Stainlesz, Pampos, Simpson and Renos, there, on the front line of the intergalactic space shuttle… I have no word to describe what followed… Colossus of Argil, Red Hot Gloves, Retributioner… the self titled DARK QUARTERER… The founders of progressive epic metal, there, giving a flawless performance and show the world, who the real Masters are! They ended their show with “Last Breath” and it was literally our last breath!

After the Dark Quarterer performance, it was time for the long awaited headliners of the festival to get on stage! Legends Cloven Hoof. Before I continue, let me tell you that Sultan’s Ransom has been one of my TOP 20 Albums since the time I heard it… and it was supposed to be played in its entirety last night. My expectations were as high as the skies… but unfortunately, the long awaited two-hour setlist, never came…
Russ North was drunk to death, and couldn’t sing a single word. The whole band was trying by any means necessary to have a decent appearance, but Russ just couldn’t follow his legacy! A huge disappointment from Russ, and I personally give my huge respect to the other members of the band for taking the decision to end the show. NO, you can’t play Jekyll and Hyde and Mistress Of The Forest and Russ not hitting a right note at time! NO, I couldn’t stand hearing “destroying” Nova Battlestar! Russ North is one of my all-time favorite singers(!) but this is not what I was expecting! MR.NORTH, YOU OWE US A HUGE APOLOGY, AND WE DEMAND FROM YOU TO GET IT DONE RIGHT THE NEXT TIME! For once again, I respect the rest of the band for trying with all their powers to get things done right!

The organizers took the decision to continue the festival and members from R.U.S.T, Hardraw, and rest of the bands got on stage to have a kind of after party, by playing Warlord - Lucifer’s Hammer, Jaguar -  Axe Craxy, Judas Priest - Breaking The Law, R.U.S.T - Thunder Rolls, Grim Reaper - See You In Hell…

For conclusion, I want to thank all of the Power Of The Night festival organizers and their supporters, all of the AMAZING POTN CREW who were more than helpful in more than one situations (even a “lost n found section” was built!). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to enjoy live and meet in person with some of our all time favorite artists, and for all the efforts you do to deliver Quality in the most amazing way… Thank you and see you next year!! Can’t wait for POWER OF THE NIGHT VOLUME 8!!!!

Also major thanks to Troy Brothers (Cypriot brothers!), to the guys from Dark Quarterer (Quiet be Quiet, Cold be Cold, Don't Lose This Occasion… and I’m off to another universe), to my brother Lee Payne (I’m wearing your dragon-ring right now that I’m writing this) and his wonderful wife, and last but not least to my bloodbrother Andreas “Skyflat” Benakis!

PS - Finally, after 4 years of endless chating, met in person with my Bro George "Ravenwreck"

For more photos check our facebook page here.

Michalis “Starchild” Benakis
29 July 2012

2 comments:

  1. That's why I don't drink. ( Pouyioukkas from Lethal Saint)

    ReplyDelete
  2. When you get off the stage, drink as much as you want!! But on your performance, be serious as much as you can!!

    ReplyDelete