STEEL WARRIORS REBELLION: Stay at home and you’re a slave.
SWR BARROSELAS METALFEST takes place this spring for the 14th year running: a remarkable Portuguese event set in an epic location. Called to serve on the front line last year, I found myself headed up a mountain on April 29, 2010. I was completely unprepared… SWR is unique for its location, atmosphere and experience, but the greatest thing, is undoubtedly the people who attended. Flocking from all over the Iberian peninsula, thousands of Spanish and Portuguese metalheads ascend to the mountain-village of Barroselas for three nights of music and mayhem every year. Whether they speak English or not, most will welcome you to their camp to share some food and drink. They have a passion for music, high tolerance for alcohol, a wicked sense of humour and enjoy a bit of anarchy in every day. That said, the festival itself is extremely well organised and run by a capable team. Mobile restaurants, bars and food stands swamp an open area between the campsite and the festival area – a huge partitioned tent. Beer flows from all corners of the site, record stalls cater to the collector and there’s more than enough space to stumble around – far from the open-field experience of a German fest, SWR takes place on a mountaintop, has a Eucalyptus forest for a campsite and open tracts of wild land to wander.
So, what about the music? As far as bands were concerned, the organisers really knew what they were doing. With an ear for both underground and mainstream metal bands, the lineup combined big-hitters like Kreator, Immolation, Triptykon, Dying Fetus and Aura Noir with bands you’d never expect to see on a festival stage: Mithras, Impiety, Jucifer, Vomitory, Setherial… An eclectic lineup makes for an unforgettable experience… as does smoking hash through an apple, sharing a room with Trigger The Bloodshed and Archgoat (!??) or drinking for 24 hours with Mourning Beloveth.
After three days of Latin desecration and one of the most surreal gatherings in all of Europe, very few return to their homes unchanged. We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again… if you’re heading anywhere this year, make sure this fest is on your list.
ZT is proud to sponsor STEEL WARRIORS REBELLION in its 14th incarnation. 14 candles burn for another year of chaos and Portuguese devastation! Special thanks to Filipe Castro, Ricardo Veiga, Ricardo Pereira & ‘Diz’ @ SWR Inc. Check back this week for exclusive ZT footage of last year’s fest.