Huntress – Battlecross – Purest of Pain: Live at 013 Tilburg, NL

huntress and battlecross 013 poster

 

Huntress and Battlecross joined forces early this summer for a tour, and we were lucky enough to catch up with them in the 013 venue in Tilburg, the Netherlands.

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The opener of the evening was the local band Purest of Pain, and started with a promising intro. Guitars unwind and state what kind of band Purest of Pain actually is: a no nonsense, modern death metal band that actually slaps you in the face every time a note strikes and reaches your ears. The vocals of this band are strong, it is like the vocalist pushes its emotions trough your skin and bones and throws its dynamic screams all around the place. It is still quite calm in the venue while Purest of Pain is playing, but as the end of the show is near the venue is quite filled to see Battlecross to play.

 

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At first I wasn’t too familiar with Battlecross, but according to the name I thought that this was some kind of power-metal band. But soon I came to realize that I was completely wrong. Battlecross is a band, a band like Devildriver always tried to be, but always failed at. They succeed in this concept of thrash and power grooves, bringing you music that is accessible and commercial, but without coming across as a commercial band. I personally hope they will keep this vibe. Super tight, with strong songs that get you by the throat, Battlecross is a nuclear explosion full of energy. Catchy vocals exchange with constant aggressive screams, and this brings a diversity, and every song starts off like a steamroller. The first pit of the evening is to be written with the name of Battlecross. Although they bring nothing really new to the genre, but still they know how to bring you a good, refreshing sound.

 

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Do you know the musical Wicked? Well, during the intro music for Huntress I was afraid I landed in a performance of Wicked. But their vocalist Jill Janus came on the stage dressed as a wicked witch; crawling, lurking in the audience and then opened her throat and let out a supersonic scream. It was immediately clear that this is a very strong vocalist. Other that I thought before, “oh this is that kind of band with a fucking hot chick in it”. I think 9 of the 10 times I would be right, but this is the first time that I wasn’t. Huntress is a very entertaining  and tight band, and Jill is a hell of a frontwoman! Jeez! I enjoyed every minute of it. The music sometimes is a bit simple, but sometimes we get some nice gems from the musicians on stage. In the meantime, Jill was crawling over the stage doing some songs, while I watched the audience mainly consisting of men in their mid-life crisis, which totally gave me the giggles. If you don’t quite know Huntress, they are as theatrical as Ghost B.C., with a little hint of Manowar. They play simple, occult themed, straight to the point metal. They are a good band, but not a magnificent band with sick riffery and huge guitar solo’s etc. However, they are solid, enjoyable, and fun to watch. And for that, we thank you.

 

 

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Huntress Set List: 

Senicide

Destroy Your Life

Spell Eater

Starbound Beast

Zenith

Children

I Want to Fuck You to Death

Eight of Swords

 

Huntress on Facebook

Battlecross on Facebook

Purest of Pain on Facebook

 

WORDS BY KAAT VAN DOREMALEN

PHOTOS BY SUSANNE A. MAATHUIS

Clutch – Lionize: Live at Metropolitan University, Leeds

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The second set of tour dates supporting last year’s highly successful Earth Rocker (Weathermaker) opus see’s Clutch riding a high having one again reaffirmed their status as one of rock finest live acts currently treading the boards.

 

The met is still disconcertingly quiet when support act Lionize begin their set, but their funk infected grooves impress punters early on. Chris Brooks and Nate Bergman deliver some rich vocal harmonies. Clutch’s Jean Paul Gaster even joins the band briefly on percussion yet while its clear their label bosses have been a forbearer for Lionize sound they retain a feel all of their own. Hell they even manage to get away with dropping a bit of reggae without sounding laughable or trite.

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When father Neil Fallon begins the sermon the congregation has joined us in full swing. ‘The Mob Goes Wild’ lives up to its name, with frantic dancing breaking out en masse. Such is the energy that the Maryland quartet inspire that the crowd keeps singing even when Tim Sult’s guitar cuts out half way through ‘Crucial Velocity’.

 

The charm and charismatic presence of Fallon certainly means he is the wide eyed focal point yet the musicians around him lock into a groove that is irresistible. ‘The Elephant Riders’ makes a welcome appearance, making good on the reputation Clutch have of keeping their lives shows fresh and invigorating. The acoustic ‘Gone Cold’ provides a break from the raucousness allowing Fallon to show off his soulful side before a storming ‘Struck Down’ picks the pace back up.

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Considering Neil Fallon was recently a whisker away from being unable to perform following an operation on his spine which meant a delicate operation which meant his windpipe having to be moved temporarily in the process his performance is, if anything even more driven and passionate.

 

A four song encore concludes with the one, two punches of ‘Electric Worry’ and ‘One Eye Dollar’ which leave many drenched in sweat smiling in unison. Tonight may not have gone without a hitch, but when you’re a journeyman act with a discography few can match and perform with such vigour and zeal you can do very little wrong.

 

Clutch on Facebook

Lionize on Facebook

 

WORDS BY ROSS BAKER

PHOTOS BY EMMA STONE