So, we’re the Ghost Cult, and they’re a cvlt festival in Bergen ‘The Cradle Of Black Metal’, Norway. It’s a match made in heaven. It’s a solid swipe to the right, and it brings the promise of a romantic walk down that left hand path. OK, enough now. I mean, according to a pilot study conducted by famous Vilayanur Ramachandran there’s potential readers out there suffering from what is known as ‘metaphor blindness’. Keeping it simple: we found ourselves at one of Norway’s hottest underground metal festivals at the very last weekend of August, for four days of a full à la carte metal menu.
Celebrating their 5th anniversary this weekend in Bergen NO, the Beyond The Gates Festival brings the best in underground Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom, Thrash, Occult and Heavy Metal. Headliners include Venom Inc, featuring Abbadon and Mantas from the legendary Venom, Deströyer 666, and Gaahl’s (Gorgoroth, Wardruna) new band, Gaahls WYRD. Consisting of Trelldom material only, the Gaahl has commented “Many of these songs, from frontman Gaahl’s first ever black metal band, have never been played live before, so this will be a unique and unforgettable event.”
You can get tickets for the weekend at this link:
Beyond The Gates Festival -Full Line-up:
Venom Inc (UK)
Deströyer 666 (AU)
Gaahls WYRD performing Trelldom (N)
Infernal War (PL)
Secrets of the Moon (D)
Magister Templi (N)
Black Anvil (US)
Spirit Cabinet (NL)
Saturnalia Temple (S)
Ritual Death (N)
Black Magic (N)
For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday we were up for a great hangover from the amazing day we had at day one of Eindhoven Metal Meeting. This was maybe a bit too much beer for the rest of the year. But still we held our heads high and bravely went to The Effenaar (by bus, there was no way we went by bike). This might be the reason why we were a bit too late, and I missed Distillator and Bodyfarm. But I walked in on this great old school death band named Necros Christos. I wonder how this band would have done on the smaller stage, the large stage really didn’t seem to fit them. The atmosphere they were trying to convince me about didn’t really came through. You can hear that this is a really good band, but it just didn’t come to me. I really want to see this band again sometime soon, but I want to experience them on a smaller stage.
German doomers AHAB definitely gave a great show! You could see that there wasn’t a great doom scene at Eindhoven Metal Meeting, the crowd at the Large Stage was empty if you ask me. Some real doom enthusiasts stayed, and they heard one of the greatest shows I have seen. Damn this is a band of quality. A band with a great atmosphere and we noticed that this band can really drag you out of a severe hangover. And for that we thank them.
I was really siked for Lvcifyre, but this didn’t last. I didn’t enjoy this band at all, the drummer delivered quite a show. However, the frontman said nothing at all and have no contact with the audience at all just doesn’t fit the job. I like black metal and I know the contact mostly isn’t that present, but most vocalists still sing to the audience, this guy didn’t even seem to bother. I do not have to see this band again.
Now we were really up for a party with one of the very last shows of the dutch goregrind band Rompeprop. I have always had this strange relationship with the style. There is nothing more party-mode-setting as a goregrind band. A bunch of friends were standing with me and we were doing the most crazy dance moves, because it is goregrind! We can do sprinklers, the lawn mower, and the hot towel! No one just cares and everyone is as crazy as you are. Just go with the flow and have a great time. A great, no-nonsense band with beach toys as props. Yes, this is my kind of party.
Now we were up for Marduk. This is definitely not the first time I have seen this band performing. But they always give a great performance and never disappoint. The quality this time was better than I have heard before, the riffs were more defined and the drums seemed to be more powerful.
Next up was the exclusive headliner Samael. The sound wasn’t that great, so it was not what I have expected at all. They used drum machine and they tried to play the old songs in the new style. It definitely wasn’t my piece of cake, but still I was intrigued and wanted to stay and watch the show.
After this band we headed for the last after party at Stratumseind. Eindhoven Metal Meeting 2015 was a good edition if you asked me. I met a lot of friends and a lot of new faces. I have noticed there were more foreigners than the years past. This was a plus for the atmosphere of different cultures and styles and that combined to a good festival experience. I am definitely going back next year.
WORDS BY KAAT VON DORMALEN
On a remarkably warm December day, we rode to Eindhoven again for the sold out Eindhoven Metal Meeting. With a killer lineup this year, it would have been a shame to miss this event. The line up of EMM has never disappointed me so far.
Last year I was kind of nagging about the fact it felt way to crowded, there is still no place to sit except for the stairs and some places in the smoking area but it really felt less crowded this year! This helped the atmosphere of the festival a lot. Eindhoven Metal Meeting is not an open air festival so you can indulge yourself in the luxury of a hotel and the luxury of descent facilities, which is common in winter, but very welcome after a whole summer festival season behind us. No getting nasty from standing in piss soaked mud this time!
I already was psyched for this festival, one of my favorite bands as headliner (Behemoth), the great atmosphere from the crowd in the south of The Netherlands, a good brand of beer, great afterparties ahead of us and me and a friend even helped an old hag to her car for some karma points. So this year nothing could go wrong at all!
The festival began and we walked in to hear the band Winterfylleth. I heard of this band, but never saw them live before. I can say there is nothing wrong with some good old raging black metal to drink your first festival beers on. The quartets latest opus The Divination of Antiquity definitely left a mark on me when I heard it, and it really came alive on stage. It felt like black metal was meant to sound like this and nothing else.
Next up on the Large stage (which is not only called that way because it is the largest stage, but is also called after one of the sponsors of the festivals) was Aeternus, a band with grandeur and a real attitude if you ask me. Their show was way to short if you ask me. I want more Aeternus, but next time it wouldn’t hurt if the guitars were a bit less sloppy. I loved the low tuned voice which really took me away.
An unexpected highlight was Onslaught, even though I am not really a thrash enthusiast. They were convincing me with a really convincing and energetic front man, which really got me in the mood. A really tight and top-notch show was is definitely the result of band members that really want to go for it and really want to bring us a great show.
A real highlight of the Friday and if you tell me the best band up until now was Conan. I enjoyed it from the start of the show up untill the end. The wall of sound this band creates blew me away. They drag you away into this trance. What a great vibe this band creates. WE WANT MORE CONAN!
In the mean while it was time to grab some food, we weren’t the only ones with this great idea. After waiting a while for my pulled pork sandwich (which wasn’t that special at all) we went back to the District 19 stage (the small stage). There are a lot of bands from Eindhoven playing this year, but Heretic really impressed. Not everyone seemed to like the black punk and roll, but damn this was ment to party on. The enthusiasm from the stage really impressed and even made a few metalheads dancing, yes, dancing, not headlbanging. This was quite an experience I can tell.
Now we were up for the headliner Behemoth, the time schedule for the Large stage wasnt that accurate anymore so they started a bit late, but no worries. They gave away a show like only Behemoth can deliver. Grim, dark, but full with energy. Nergal really wins the Oscar for best stage performer ever! There seemed to be some technical difficulties, but I didn’t hear any and I think everybody was just enjoying the great light show and the performance of this great band. If you have never seen Behemoth, do not miss them. This is a must see band!
Next up was Candlemass, a lot of visitors have already left the building and it really wasn’t as crowded as it was before. Still, the heavy bass and good combination of riffing and incredible vocals was a great experience.
After Candlemass we were up for a good party! Lucky for us the Dynamo had a after party organised with some great cover bands: a GG Allin cover band, an Iron Maiden cover band (that didn’t convince me) and this great glam rock cover band Lipstick`N Bullets with members from the Metal Factory. (yes in the Netherlands we have a school where you can study metal). We were here to party, and this is what we got.
WORDS BY KAAT VAN DOREMALEN
This weekend marks another close to the music festival calendar for the year with the Eindhoven Metal Meeting in The Netherlands. Ghost Cult Magazine has covered the festival every year in its existence, based on stellar line ups and their commitment to the best fan experience possible for fans of death metal, black metal and doom among other genres. Over two days 36 bands will assault 2 stages with their performances. This year EMM is headlined by none other than Behemoth! The band continues to tour behind their acclaimed 2013 album The Satanist (Metal Blade) and with the future plans of the band up in the air, you might not want to miss them at EMM.
Behemoth plays on Day 1 on the Large Rockhand Stage, along with heavyweights Candlemass, God Dethroned, Onslaught and Winterfylleth among others. The side stage, the District 19 stage has such not to be missed bands as Conan, Loudblast, Gehennah, and Acid Reign.
Day 2 has an equally strong line-up with Craft, Samael, Marduk, Nuclear Assault (in one of their final performances) Ahab and Vektor on the main stage. The side stage has acts such as Hooded Menace, Mourning Beloveth, Gama Bomb, Lvcifyre and Solstice. Tickets are still available at this link:
The first track of Pulses of Pleasure (Napalm) is called ‘Fast, Loud and Rude’ and that tells you everything you need to know. Once it kicks off with a riff that buzzes around like a pissed off wasp you’ve just failed to swat, high on the spillage of your fizzy drink, you know exactly what type of journey Evil Invaders are going to take you on.
With a more melodic (and slightly restrained) take on Exodus, and lashings and thrashings of Exciter worship, Evil Invaders don’t do subtle. Or diverse. They do, however, pedal a line in nostalgic old school thrash and speed metal and everything, from the retro production to the squealing solos (nice harmony lead in the title track, by the way guys) and the pacy chromatic riffs is lovingly recreated. Existing in a bubble where metal ended when Udo quit Accept and Kai Hansen stopped fronting Helloween, Evil Invaders’ sound and influences begin in 1979 and end in 1986.
While the production and performance values and the base level of pretty much every band releasing music out there these days has increased a thousand-fold in the last thirty years, Speed Metal still allows, nay, welcomes with studded wrist band adorned arms, the amateurish “rough and ready” approach which did alright by Raven and Razor (one assumes the band name is taken from the Razor album of the same name?). Deliberately Shit Metal only exists in the hearts and minds of those with both (white hi-top clad) feet in yesteryear, and Gehennah, who do this retro thing with more balls, menace and conviction, shit Evil Invaders for breakfast.
Some might argue naïve charm and a love of a bygone age, when denim and chains (and rivets) ruled the roost, but the fun factor soon wears off as Pulses of Pleasure reveals itself to be big on style and short on substance. The classic speed metal albums were great because, above all, they lived and died on standout riffs and excellent songwriting. Evil Invaders fall short on both counts.
To celebrate their signing with Metal Blade, Swedish quartet Gehennah are re-releasing their 2014 EP, Metal Police, with a whole host of extra goodies. Originally a four track 7”, the 2015 version now boasts a dozen dirty, in your face blasts of thrash and roll.
Although they’ve been together since the early 90s, Metal Police was only the band’s – made up of Mr Violence (vocals), Rob Stringburner (guitars), Micke “Hellcop” Birgersson (drums) and Charlie Knuckleduster (bass) – second release of the new millennium. As well as a couple of extra songs from the original sessions, the new version comes with re-recordings of older Gehennah material.
The original four tracks all follow the same path; short, sharp rockers of AC/DC meets Motörhead-inspired thrash. It’s over in ten minutes, but it’s great sweaty and sweary fun. The title track and a storming cover of The Dwarves’ ‘Fuck ‘Em All’ are especially pleasing. The bonus tracks continue in the same vein; in your face, no fucks given rock and roll. Gehennah wear their love of classic Motörhead on their sleeves but frontman Mr. Slaughter’s bark adds an even punkier edge than Lemmy could rustle up in his heyday. The likes of ‘Carve Off Your Face (And Shove It Up Your Ass)’, the relentless ‘Hellstorm’ and ‘Piss off, I’m Drinking’ are the perfect soundtrack to a night of drinking, fighting and debauchery.
As re-releases go, Metal Police is a corker. A short but enjoyable EP has been transformed into a dirty, punky full length beast. What Gehennah lack in originality they make up for with energy, attitude, and amusing song titles.