In the late 80s and mid 90s there was a legendary metalfest in the south of the Netherlands, which definitively put Eindhoven on the map as the epicenter of the dutch metal world, and it was called Dynamo. At it’s peak it boasted 70,000 visitors and the stories about it are still passed down wistfully to the younger generation. Sadly, the fest called it quits by the end of the nineties, and was no more. Until last year that is, when it rose like a phoenix from the ashes before, as Dynamo Metalfest. Things are still small-scale compared to the olden days, with 5000 tickets last year and 10,000 for this year, but I’m determined to go see if this little chick can still bring the heat.
Because the festival runs only one stage the first band is on before noon, and this early hour meant that I did not manage to catch them, but we roll into the relatively roomy Ice rink (now sans ice) just before Audrey Horne are about to take the stage. One thing we noticed all day was because of the shape of the ice rink venue, once you go off of the grass field in the middle onto the track, where the bars and shops are, the sound bounces a lot under the short roof. This however just gives us another excuse to stay in the sun and once there the sound is more than fine, because the wind can’t play with it in the enclosed rink.
The great thing about Audrey Horne is how much fun they’re having on stage, and even though they’re faced with a still very lukewarm crowd, they manage to get them a long in their catchy hard rock party tunes. The music reminds me of bands such as Thin Lizzy, but doesn’t sound dated, which in itself is a feat. But really the bands enjoyment of playing and playing together is what makes them a joy to watch.
After Audrey Horne we get treated to local greats Textures. Their particular style of technical death metal isn’t particularly my cup of tea, but is definitely very modern. It’s also quite impressive how they manage to keep their eclectic and at times confusing repertoire surprisingly catchy. At times the hooks really dig in, aided by the excellent vocal work, only to take you for a wild turn afterwards and leave you somewhat bewildered. They definitely wake up the filling field though, and what they do they do very well.
Now we got Obituary, filling in for Life of Agony who sadly had to cancel. These deathmetal staples decided they could do a quick show on their way from Sweden to their next gig. This did mean that they had to play in the afternoon, meaning we got a semi headliner in the middle of the day. These guys clearly play a lot, and do so very well. They always give a very good show and the extreme amount of stage miles this band makes shows. Today is no exception, even though the band is “just passing through” pummeling us awake and leaving us in awe just to continue on their way again.
Sacred Reich are possibly the most effortlessly presented band. They play their songs with very little up-smuck and play them very well, with an almost laid back air of experience. In between tunes they chat to the older portion of the crowd about the good old days of Dynamo Festival, and are clearly enjoying being back immensely. Though the band has an almost carefree stage presence, the crowd is possibly the wildest it was all day, with so many crowdsurfers coming in from all sides the security needs to grow extra arms to catch them all.
Powerwolf cause some controversy among metal fans. With their painted faces and very catchy power metal, they;re by far the most theatrical band on the bill, especially when you count in the twin golden eagle keyboard stands. Say what you will about them they give a very good show, where everything they do is on point. It may feel a tad orchestrated but it works and the field are loving it. They attract do attract a younger audience but fresh blood is very good for the scene. All in all I found them quite enjoyable, in a silly power metal fun way.
Metal Church are quite the comfortably confident showmen, and none of the show elements seem to take attention away from the concise and precise racket the band creates. The vocals take some getting used to, but are pretty spot on once you acclimatize to the height and sharpness of them. The band play expertly and the crowd replies with adulation; Metal Church is in service, praise be metal.
At the Gates are one of the progenitors of the Swedish melodic deathmetal sound and they clearly show they deserve the praise they get. Effortlessly they level the field, and after just having been taken to church by metal church we now get tossed into the churning masses. The band masterfully whip up the crowd into a moshing and crowdsurfing frenzy on the tides of hard-hitting blastbeats and scratchy screamed vocals, and gentle waves of melody between.
Anthrax; Never let anyone say hat all the big bands from the 80s have become old men and gone to shit. Anthrax still pack a punch that none of the other bands even manage to approach, keeping an incredible momentum going and driving the crowd wild with crowdsurfers and small pits even at the back of the field. The auditory pummeling this band provide chases me down the road when I sadly have to leave a little before the end of the show in order to catch my transit home.
In the end we can conclude that this little reincarnated show still knows how to bring the heat and melt your face off, and were very much looking forward to see it grow it’s flame. Rock on Dynamo.