Brutal Assault has been on the bucket list of the Metal-Rules.Com staff for years. Until now the parts clicked into the right position and stars had aligned in the right on the astronomical map. There were a lot of praising stories about the festival as a whole. Above all the unique and amazing where the Brutal Assault festival is arranged in the ruins of the ancient fortress in the northeast Republic of Czechia. What truly was amazing there ? Well especially how liberal the local police forces turned out to be. Even though a car was parked somewhere in the centrum of Jaromer, there was no ticket placed in the windscreen. The traffic was mellow, even though some accident had happened. All in all 110 bands had been booked to Brutal Assault and that was an insane amount of bands to be honest. However trying to witness as many bands as possible was after all quite challenging and time-to-time impossible. Here is the brief article of the mighty Brutal Assault.
By Arto Lehtinen and Timo Hanhirova
Jaromer’s Brutal Assault has been churning out pretty brutal lineups for quite some time already, growing steadily in the process. Our troops were late-bloomers in Brutal Assault endeavors as this was the very first time but a lot of good things were heard about this festival prior from friends and colleagues so we knew to await something special. (TH)
And oh boy, special it was. Brutal Assault didn’t have any mercy on our sorry newbie asses when we arrived, a bit late but still hopeful that we’d catch Vektor. Even it has been growing, the festival is still pretty manageable people-wise, far from the masses of Wacken and current Hellfest. Still, something was totally wrong in the queue processing and even us, the press leeches, waited about three long hours, standing in the rain, as an insult to injury. Yes, three hours, in the V.I.P. queue. Bitter sweet or not but at least we heard but not saw hugely anticipated Vektor. So no, our first Brutal Assault didn’t began well. Also Gruesome played, we were still standing. It wasn’t any easier for normal folks either, it was three hours or more for them also. Protip for the next year: do something, three hours is just too inhumane.(TH)
Because of the missed gigs of Vektor and Gruesome, we headed to the third tent stage where some loca band was about to kick the set off. When realizing Franta Storm of Masters Hammer was a member of Mortal Cabinet, the interest toward the band increased tremendously. Mortal Cabinet turned out to be a hybrid mix of different kind of elements of industrial and a bit of the modern day Masters Hammer sounds coming up. To be honest it was quite eccentric and bizarre stuff with the guy having the weird mask on..
The former Immortal frontman, and nowadays fulltime comedian and clown aka Abbath launched the solo career of his own with the same name at Tuska a few years back. The gig was notorious spectacle of stand up comedy under the bright sunlight. Obviously Abbath wasn’t that messed up as we have been able to witness his performance on a few videos in Youtube. Instead surrounded by the right circumstance Abbath unleashed the Norwegian blizzardness of blyshyrk metal. The sounds were crystal clear and bombastic. Abbath performed his routine manners such crab walking. The set equally consisted of the material from Immortal and his own Abbath album. Killer gig indeed.
The German technical death metallers Obscura kind of carries the torch of Death, but with the sounds of their own. Obscura technical death metal sounded awesome and even better than at Tuska. The band is utter skilled and true maestroes with the instruments.
Immolation is one of those old school US death metal who has kept the brutal approach thru these years. Even though the success has remained more on the cult level, however the band has reached the solid following. However Immolation had faced some last minute crisis, because of the guitarist Bill Taylor had returned back to home and Immolation pulled the whole gig as a three piece. Well frankly it is one of hell of risk as well as challenge to play those complicated Immolation songs with one guitar. Of course it sounded pretty hollow, but however the three piece Immolation did everything what they could.
Exodus has been touring and been playing several festival dates. Therefore Brutal Assault was quite a logical one. During 55 minute set the Bay Area thrash legends focused on the newest material off BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT and of course delivered a good set of the ancient thrash hymns such as Toxic Waltz, Strike Of The Beast. The band is in the vicious strike during the whole gig. Even though Holt is 100 % focused on Slayer, but the Heathen axeman Ruther Letger has gained the spot as the second guitarist in the band. The audience thanked and arranged the brutal pit of the insane Toxic Waltz. Exodus is exodus, never let down and never surprise, the guaranteed old school thrash metal by these Bay Area veterans.
Ministry played truly loouudd resulting the neverending earache. The brutal performance with the intensive playing with the inhuman loud volume. The industrial metal legends hammered songs with the immense speed and sonic torture. Uncle Al is still angry and pissed off behind the mic, even though George W Bush is no longer the president, it doesn’t prevent Uncle Al from spitting on the politicians in the government in The States. Even though Al Jorgensen has undergone all kinds of problems and hassles, the man still has the energy enough to raise the hellish cacophonous industrial terrorizing.
The Norwegian black metal tornado 1349 concluded the night by offering the nice set of the grim sounding black metal. It has to be admitted the visual aspects had been well taken and created the infernal great atmosphere for 1349.
When Municipal Waste is on hiatus, however the frontman and guitarist don’t rest on their laurels at all. Instead they hit the road with the side project band Iron Reagen. Being some kind of bastard hybrid mix of ultra fast thrash and crossover aspects. The combo did an amusing cover versions such as Cannibal Corpse’s song “A Skull Full Of Maggots” with their own touch and approach. Of course the audience in the frontline went totally beserk and apeshit .
Then something that’s been rotting in it’s grave since 2000, until this years comeback shows and an album. In the woods… is the old favorite from the golden years of Norwegian Black Metal and they are back, probably around somewhere where seminal Omnio album left them. They are now a metal band, clearly, not trippy like they were in their later years. They played a new one, couple old more black metallish tunes and something from Omnio if I remember right but the gig was unfortunately plagues by technical difficulties. I enjoyed the little taster what I got. It was almost cathartic to hear these classic songs from Heart of the Ages even the new vocalist James Fogarty can’t do tormented black metal voice like the former singer Jan Kenneth Transeth. John’s clean vocals were good though so I look forward their first Finnish gig in November.(TH)
Grave was supposed to hit one of those main stage. Because of logistics problems the band was pushed to play at the tent stage, but above all they had to borrow all the instruments. Therefore the whole gig in the soundwise was nothing, but tremendous nightmare to listen to, causing the permanent earache. The band pulled thru the show, but it was obvious they didn’t enjoy being on the stage either.
The long time Florida death metal veterans Obituary sounds as deadly brutal as over 20 years ago. The lethal riffs were truly knocking and smashing. John Tardy’s wellknown voice is definitely the flesh ripping and raw. The set was a balanced one consisting of the new and old material as usual.
The Swiss Coroner recently announced releasing a new album called Autopsy without the original drummer Markus Edelmann. However both Vetteri and Broder recruited Diego Rapacchietti to take care over the drums. The Swiss technical thrashers have gigged quite a lot and played several festivals. Coroner always offers the truly kickass performance of high quality technical playing with great riffs and hooks. The band aint that visually great as three or now four-piece mostly focus on playing. Instead the music and the stuff in general is absolutely astonishing.
The Brazilian death metal mongers Rebaelliun reunited after the near 10 year break and unleashed the brutal Hells Degree album. The four piece finally made to Europe for a few gigs and a couple of festival ones. Obviously the band had hired the session drummer to take care of the European dates. The Brazilian death metal squad didn’t show any mercy, just offering the brutal slap of the real death metal. Despite the technical problems Rebaelliun sounded truly savage and barbaric brutal.
For me Nemesis Divina is not the best album of Satyricon but this 20th anniversary set reminded me that it’s actually pretty decent Black Metal classic and this tribute is way more easier to understand than Dimmu Borgir’s Death Cult Armageddon joke of a set. It’s also a pleasure to see Satyr to grab a guitar and play some tunes, not just letting his minions to do the heavy lifting. So yeah, it was satisfactory slab of authentic 1996 Black Metal, no more no less. Only Mother North felt a bit meh as while it is a good songs it’s played in every Satyricon gig, but what can you do.Actually they also played newer songs after Nemesis Divina but I escaped quickly as I didn’t want to ruin the magic. (TH)
It feels like I’ve seen Sigh too many times already as I’m starting to feel tired of their antics. I love Mirai’s gang and their unique brand of extreme metal madness but I’d rather see something new in their gigs. For example I’d like them to be a “normal” once in a while, with normal band playing and not some candle wax pouring bullshit. Aside of this rant, they were totally themselves in Brutal Assault’s darkening evening, with all their tricks. It’s always awesome to hear stuff from Scorn Defeat. (TH)
Dark Funeral’s new album Where Shadows Forever Reign was a pleasant surprise after so mant years of dull Dark Funeral material so I was actually really interested in to seeing their show. In album they reached late 90ies Swedish sound without sounding exactly like their early material, but in live settings they managed to sound as plasticky they’ve been for ages. For f’s sake, why on earth you do this? Don’t you get how ridiculous it is to play Black Metal with a sound like this? Apparently not. Over-triggered drumming sounds more horrible than Hellhammer in his worst days. They ruined the new good material for me there. (TH)
Stuck Mojo with a new frontman….hmm skeptical and confusing feeling carved the mind. The PigWalk album is definitelty the most outstanding crossover rap metal output released in the mid 90’s. However the band has faced personal crisis and conflicts resulting Bonz is out of the band again. As for the new guy on the mic, well he did the solid job by fronting the band. However Bonz is said to be the strong frontman with the energic moving. However Rich Ward leads the band and is in charge of the band’s direction. However all these classic songs such as Rising were hammered out. Stuck Mojo sounded great, but Bonz should be there..
Brutal Assault is truly eccentric fest as it offers a wide range of different metal and hardcore genre. But one certain genre is missing, namely power metal … fortunately…. Therefore seeing the legendary NYHC outfit Agnostic Front on the stage was a perfect fit to the line-up of Brutal Assault. As hardcore and metal fans share the same passion toward bands such as Agnostic Front. The legends did the solid and pretty routine set by balancing the old and new stuff. The audience thanked and arranged the brutal pits. Roger Miret is definitely outstanding and hyperactive frontman with the ultimate passion to rage on the stage. Agnostic Front always delivers the fabulous and memorable gigs.
Angelcorpse has been more or less activate or then inactivate. However the three piece barbaric death metallers are outstanding brutal and shows no mercy. The raw brutal and nihilistic songs literally mauled the audience. Helmkamp’s raw and dry voice is such an inhuman brutal and unique that no-one can even sound the same.
Destruction hit the stage at the same with Arch Goat sharing the fourth stage. Destruction have always given a good slab of the old school German thrash metal on gigs. As for the festival gigs, the set list is usually based on the older stuff as well as the newer ones. However Destruction kept struggling technical problems as Mike’s guitar completely disappeared and the band was quite stunned wondering what happened. However the trio thrashed and had some theatrical aspects such as the mad butcher running thru the stage. After all the one hour lesson of the German thrash metal was concluded by Bestial Invasion.
Archgoat is a bad ass band and something that is giving my proud feeling as a Finn. They slayed in Brutal Assault, as they usually do. So nothing new here but it’s nice to see that they can handle these big foreign audiences easily. Newish drummer VnoM is starting to find his primitive groove after a bit too sophisticated start of his Archgoat career.(TH)
Mgla hit the second main stage. Frankly it was quite surprising as well as unexpected to figure out that Mgla would have become such a gigantic band during the past few years. Even though the four piece Polish black metallers ain’t that bombastic live band, but their eerie grim, yet catchy, black metal sounded tremendous great and marvelous in the darkened festival area. With the face covered the outfit created the eerie hymns of the melancholic got spread in the ancient fortress area.
Venom or Venom Inc, that’s the problem or then not. However Venom Inc consisting of Mantas, Abaddon and Demolition Man unleashed the blackish metal brutality offering the 50 minute set of the pure classic Venom tunes from the ancient time. The trio sounded tight and appeared to be in the fiery strike. Hearing all the classic in the indoor tent was kind of fabulous feeling. What the die hard old school Venom fans were eager to hear of course Black Metal. Unfortunately the band’s set was only 50 minute, it was quite a pity to miss a few essential songs from the set. Venom Inc sounded truly vicious and nasty.