It was that time of the year! It was time for the annual festival full of Death, Grind and Slam metal. It was time for Neurotic Deathfest again. We were blessed with another year with extremely good weather and after drinking some beers at a local bar we strutted to the 013 venue. We are going to talk about the atmosphere, why do I always want to go to Neurotic Deathfest so bad, and I will highlight some bands.
The reason I love to go to Neurotic Deathfest is at first my love of death metal off course, but what also counts is that the 013 is comfortable. I live in the city of Tilburg, which means that I can sleep in my own bed and my whole group of buddys is headbanging or somewhere else in the city.
But this year was different. This year it was clear the atmosphere was different, ther was a cloud of astonishment hanging in the air. There was something going on, we were soon to find out. We hadn’t gone up to get a festival program, but when we did, we knew what was going on. This will be the last Neurotic Deathfest ever!
After hearing this news it kind of hit me like a bomb, Neurotic Deathfest was a statement for the city of Tilburg. Even Non-metalheads knew what was going on when this festival was in town again.
Dutch bands always represent on this festival and Koprse was one of them, the first pit is a fact and this venue was filled up. This was blasting to the max! We still had to warm up but we were ready for a party and Korpse made you feel like you wanted to party. So you got back from the venue with five extra beers in your stomach to go on to the next show.
Morgoth was a band that had high expectations for us. The big venue was still a bit quiet. It was not crowded enough to get the party going and get the feeling of a crowded place. Morgoth started to play and we noticed that this is a band that means serious shit. Nice piece of death metal with a tight hard and a sound that filled up the whole place with a nagging feeling. This band made me think of Asphyx for a bit, not for all of the music but more about the kick this band gives in your nuts.
Strutting around the venues there was a swirling mass of people, it got more crowded The more we got to the headliner Entombed A.D. the more people got excited.
Entombed A.D. for me the least interesting headliner. So I might have drifted away sometimes in the show. Though this band was dominant over the rest of the bands, they never stood on Neurotic Deathfest before but they rip this place apart. Front man LG Petrov shows that he enjoys doing this and isn’t afraid to show this to the audience. A golden shine rises from the stage and gets thrown upon the audience, they get wild. Entombed is a band from the first hour and the A.D. does add something to the name, but the music still stands tall. Good job guys, they definitely got me more interested into Entombed.
The Afterparty was headlined by the also Swedish band Tribulation. Tribulation and Entombed don’t have much in common though, but both bands do know how to show the audience some enthusiasm about their music.
Day 2 started way more crowded than the Friday. We all had the idea that Friday was very low on visitors. We were still having fun but it did something with the overall atmosphere, the 013 is more built for crowded concerts but not that much for a calm party. Maybe it was time for the last edition, the line up was interesting though even I have seen most of these bands before. If you wanted to explore new bands, you had some chances but most of the bands everybody has seen multiple times. It were good bands, you wont hear me complain about that.
Talking about good bands, let’s start about Disavowed, there is no better wake up call than Disavowed. This dutch band is a band we have to keep in mind, it was amazing and this front man Robbe Kok really shows what enthusiasm is. You could see he was happy to open the Saturday of Neurotic Deathfest for bands as Benighted and Bloodbath. With a swing he drops himself in the audience and climbs in the barriers. This is energetic and a bulk of energy a lot of bands could learn from. This band does not fly on autopilot.
Disavowed almost had a full venue and they opened on the main stage, this was in great contrast with the Friday where the main stage wasn’t filled up until Entombed. This was good for the overall atmosphere and coziness amongst all metalheads. There was enough beer to give a 3rd world country and food your bowels got mad about. Today you knew you were at a festival.
Friday I spoke about looking for new bands, and this was one of the perfect examples of one of these bands that I didn’t know and got completely siked about! PerfeCitizen is the loudest, hardest most brutal stuff I heard in years! This got in my ears that it was pure sweet ear-rapement. Already after hitting the first chord, if it even was one this band shows its hardness, but also their tightness and know how to play. This is one of the bands where the drummer will make it or break it, but he definitely made it. You don’t hear it often that you hear a drummer go this fast and tight like him. Jarda Haž shows what drumming is all about and it gets clear why this is called “Blastcore”. Missed this band? To bad, for me they were one of the best bands of Neurotic Deathfest.
One of my favorite genres is Deathdoom. Imagine a candle dripping slowly and oozing all over your table and drips on your toe to sometimes break open the gloomy feeling that came over you. One of these bands that perfectly know how to do this is Dead Congregation, it was time to throw some good old darkness into the audience. If it wasn’t for the soundguy, this band normally knows how to bring this feeling and make you feel naggy. This was just a shame, they became a victim of their own sound and this is why it didn’t really got to me this time.
As we already discussed there is a big amount of old friends we have seen on Neurotic already. Origin is one of these bands. And I understand why they ask them back all the time. This is just an awesome tight Techdeath band brought with a great bunch of humor from the singer. Straight from Origin we started waiting for Bloodbath, we wanted a good spot we were siked for this show. There were a lot of chatter going on: is this a new singer for Bloodbath? Is this going to work? Doesn’t it affect the sound? How will this affect the audience because this Nick Holmes (Paradise Lost) is a completely different kind of person than Mikael Akerfeldt.
We were waiting for what was going to come at us. The venue filled up. We had our beers already paid in front of our nose. You could hear the tension in the air. Bloodbath, not on an open-air festival and in such a setting. Then the venue went dark and we knew Bloodbath was gong to enter the stage and we would soon hear the first chords. This band is theatrical and sometimes maybe a bit plastic. It started as a tribute to old school Death Metal. The vocals were good. Actually very good! They went back to a more old-school sound. Though I am a big fan of Opeth and Mikael, and it is hard to admit for me, but I think I like Nick Holmes more in Bloodbath.
WORDS BY KAAT VAN DOREMALEN