The Netherland Deathfest was arranged in the fourth time in a row. The festival belongs to the series of deathfests having started out as Maryland Deathfest. However the Netherland Deathfest has always offered nothing but a great deal of the brutal thrash/death/black and even crustpunk bands. As far as the 4th edition is concerned, the line-up mainly consisted of the death/black metal outfits and some grind and stoner bands were on the bill. Metal-Rules.Com made the visit to the fest to testify several great bands.
Friday Auroch is slowly growing on me. I’ve seen these Canadian death mongers multiple times but now I was actually encouraged to really try to listen their albums. Their chaotic and fast death metal is not easy to get I guess, but I like how tight they usually are. (TH)
Benediction announced just before Deathfest as the long time vocalist Dave Hunt would have departed the line-up in order to focus on Anaal Nathrakh. Basically it is understable as Benediction has been on the slow mood for years whereas Anaal Nathrakh has put out albums every second year and been playing gigs quite a lot. However Anal Nathrakh sounded pretty exreme . Having elements from different genres like industrial and black metal makes the sounds of Anaal Nathrakh truly brutal and especially Hunt’s voice from the death grunt to the more normal approach, makes AN’s pretty recognizable.
Watching Brujeria is definitely a lot of fun as the power due of Brujeria on the vocals always bring the intensive performance. As for the gig at the deathfest it was pretty typical Brujeria show. Both the frontmen voiced out all kinds of thoughts and encouraged the audience with the Spanish and English. Of course the tremendous machete was swung quite effectively. However the back-up forces of Brujeria consisting of Nick Barker, Shane Embury
Cryptopy never slows and let down anyone. The band did a brutal set consisting of five songs taken from the legendary NONE SO VILE album. Matt McGachy’s voice was in a godly brutal sharp. Flo Mounier’s drumming was tight and clockwork perfect. Even though Cryptopsy have undergone several line-up changes, but the drummer Flo Mounier has navigated the band thru crumpy years.
Electric Wizard was basically the headliner of the opening day. Well the band seemed to appeal to the crowd of different genres more than perfectly. However Electric Wizard didn’t offer any unexpected surprise, just giving slow doomy oriented metal.
Morta Skuld is clearly criminally underrated band. I knew that they exist and it’s something I should listen but not much else. After this gig I took their first album to my playlist. Their catchy good old death metal was a splendid closer for the first day. They are nothing too special, just a thing that works because it does not try to be anything that it isn’t. (TH) Saturday The mighty Father Befouled from the America’s deep south was touring Europe the very first time so their tiny slot was somewhat disappointing but their thick, heavy and utterly dark brand of death metal might crush you if you would be exposed to it longer. At least this is my interpretation as band seems always to have short sets. No gimmicks in their live show but it’s great stuff, even some might say that’s it’s yet another Incantation clone. (TH)
The Spanish old school death metal opened the second day on the main stage. Graveyard formed in 2007 should not be confused to the Swedish rock/stoner outfit in this case. Anyway the Spanish five piece delivered the utter brilliant set with the old school grip. The songs sounded catchy and killer. Above all the songs sounded good, not any modern agro metal core elements. Graveyard has stayed loyal to the old style and that must be respected.
When seeing Cenotaph on the line-up, the first immediate thought was if this is the same Cenotaph from Mexico, which was around app. 30 years ago. Yes it was the same Cenotaph. However the members had aged perfectly as the frontman seems to have kept himself in the good shape and turned out to be quite a reckless frontman. It was obvious the old school Mexican death metallers were truly excited to perform in Europe for the first time ever. To be honest the stuff sounded a little bit amateurish, but it truly reeked the old school passion and
Utrecht’s Pestilence was coming fresh from their Reduced to Ashes tour so not surprisingly the large bulk of the set came from all-time classic Consuming Impulse. Too bad they didn’t have time to play every song but I was happy about played songs and their execution in general. Even couple new songs from their latest album Hadeon meshed in pretty well. And that’s not that surprising, it is the strongest Pestilence recording since Spheres after all. (TH)
Carpathian Forest is basically Nattefrost’s own band and vision that other members execute. Nattefrost did a grim reaping black metal set, but frankly it had more or less tongue-in-cheek moment. As he declared this is rock’n’roll. Besides the audience hardly recognized the black metallized version of The Cure’s song “A Forest”. Although black metal is the purest evil of metal, but it is only rock’n’roll.
Unleashed never let down, Unleashed never sound light, Unleashed always crush. The 60 minute gig was opened by the Finlandia Hymn and followed by Blood Of Lies. Frankly the audience hardly recognized the opening intro. It however sounded bombastic and beautiful. Anyway Unleashed hammered all in all 14 songs within 55 minutes. Unleashed has the recognizable sound and can be identified immediately.
A bit later in May Grave Miasma would play the first time in almost a decade in Finland at Steelfest, so this was mostly an aperitive for us Finnish blokes. But yeah, they are always pleasure to watch with their blackened tunes of death. But should they try something new with their next record? Now their setlist from their EPs and single full-length is, not boring, but heard. (TH)
Originally Tormentor led by Attila was supposed to do a seven gig sting and call its quit. Well things change as they said when talking to them before the gig. It is the last chance for guys to do Tormentor before it is too late. The set was a pure return to the barbaric black/thrash metal of the late 80’s. Attila Chrisar is definitely one hell of person on the stage,
Sunday Encoffination is an another band spawning out from the sick mind of Justin Stubbs, and if possible, it’s even heavier and thicker than his other band Father Befouled. Doomier, probably a tad harder to listen, but still satisfactory it was. And yes, this was a short set as well, so there’s no danger to get bored even they crawl with their slow epics in a wickedly torturous manner. (TH)
Phlebotomized is an old doomdeath band from Netherlands that I succeeded to mostly ignore up to this point. I didn’t have any cluet that they are making new material, which they also played. Too bad it wasn’t as good as oldies from early 90ies, but not totally sucky either. I learned that they have somewhat interesting experimental edge and at their best they really take you off guard with their weirder arrangements. Their sound was probably too clean for the older EP songs though. You could hear exactly what they are playing, which usually is a good thing, but now it took some morbid edge from the older pieces. (TH)
The Canadian Revenge has always been raw and barbaric and nihilistic. There was no exception in the set and playing when the three piece offered no mercy no compromise. Revenge’s ultimate barbaric death/black metal sounded so sadistic and evil.
Mgla has gained the loyal following and managed to get on the next level of the success. The band was quite faceless and handled their gig performance with the routine grip. No unexpected surprises happened. As for the set list, it mostly consisted of songs from the albums such ass Exercises in Futility and With Hearts Toward None. Their eerie, but catchy black metal sounded spellbounding great.
Japanese Intestine Baalism is a rare thing to see in European shores so I was totally excited to see these guys. I’ve been into their fantastic debut Anatomy of the Beast for a long time and to hear these tunes live was absolutely supeb experience. I must admit that I haven’t listened their next two albums that much as they went a bit too far to common melodeath direction compared to the unique mix of brutality and melody in their first one. This time I liked ever their more recent songs which were played with top-notch accuracy. If I need to think something to bitch about, the second guitar was a bit too low in the mix to get really excited about some muffled leads. (TH)
There was a time when seeing Incantation was a rare thing to me. This time is no more. Nowadays they seem to be in every festival I go to. And it’s ok, as they are one of the best death metal bands. But seeing something many times within couple years is getting to you and it eats out of the sharpest edge of excitement, can’t do much about it. Still, loving it. They have splendid Christening Afterbirth in their common set currently and it’s a treat to listen. Also some newer songs they haven’t played a lot in recent years are still giving me chills. They deliver every time. (TH)
Deicide, at last, I saw them, the very first time. They’ve cancelled on me so many times that I don’t even remember the figure. Benton is not a easy guy, I’ve gathered, but this time he came with his band and gave us a good, tight set of both classic Deicide songs and also new tracks from Overtures of Blasphemy. The gig was not without problems as guitarist Chris Cannella broke his string midway in the first song. Not a great start for guy’s touring career with the band. Benton wasn’t that pleased with his vocal monitors either but what the heck, we as an audience got what we came to have, a blasphemous death metal spectacle. Once Upon the Cross dominated the set, which with I can live with as it’s a good album. I hope I don’t need to wait this long to see them again. (TH)