Monuments – Phronesis

Back in the early days of the djent scene, British metallers Monuments were seen as one of the early originators of the style and rose alongside the likes of Textures and TesseracT (plus, of course to some influential degree Meshuggah and SikTh), yet seemed slower than most to ride the tide of momentum, with a full-length debut release coming significantly later than other bands from that cadre. Continue reading

Textures Perform Their Final Show Ever In The Netherlands

After five studio albums and roughly fifteen years together, Textures announced earlier this year that they would be calling it quits after one final tour. That tour ended this past weekend in the band’s native Netherlands, and they put on one hell of a show. Continue reading

Ghost Iris – Blind World

It is safe to say that tech metal is currently thriving, both in terms of numbers and wealth of talent. With festivals completely dedicated to such artists, including the world-famous Euroblast, there are no shortage of acts to delve into. Of course, this means a risk of over-saturation, which is arguably already a problem. Now whilst Danes Ghost Iris are far from reinventing the wheel, they at least offer a somewhat alternate outlook on the Djent sound when it comes to song structure, and latest album Blind World (Long Branch/SPV) should rightfully make some waves in the scene. Continue reading

The 2017 Hellfest Open Air Festival Lineup Has Been Revealed

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The 2017 Hellfest Open Air Festival will be taking place from June 16th-18th in Clisson, France next year, and the final lineup has now been confirmed. Continue reading

Dynamo Metalfest 2016, Eindhoven NL

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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.

 

Audrey Horne, by Susanne A. MaathuisPhotography

Audrey Horne, by Susanne A. MaathuisPhotography

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.

Dynamo Festival 2016, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Dynamo Festival 2016, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

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.

Textures, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Textures, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

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.

Obituary, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Obituary, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

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, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Sacred Reich, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

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, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Powerwolf, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

 

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, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Metal Church, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

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, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

At The Gates, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

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, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Anthrax, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

 

Anthrax, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Anthrax, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

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.

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WORDS AND PHOTOS BY SUSANNE A. MAATHUIS

Festival Preview: Brutal Assault 2016

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Tomorrow kicks off the 21st Brutal Assault Festival with Parkway Drive, Neurosis, Arch Enemy, Behemoth, Mastodon, Abbath, Devildriver, Exodus, Ministry, Nile, Obituary, Satyricon, Ihsahn, Dark Tranquility, Dying Fetus, Unearth, Conan, Voivod, Taake, Septic Flesh, Insomnium, Stuck Mojo, and Mono among others. Making the festival unique compared with other events are the art exhibition, horrror film festival, revolutionary Cashless/Access card system, and other features that have always made Brutal Asault the leaders in the festival going experience. Previously announced bands Electric Wizard (visas) and Terror (surgery for Scott Vogel) have cancelled and replaced with Uffommamut and Raised fist respectively.

BRENT HINDS of MASTODON

Mastodon, by Echoes In The Well Photography

Wednesday kicks off with bands like Abbath, Mastodon, Neurosis, Devildriver, Mutooid Man, Chelsea Wolfe, Tribulation, Conan, Vektor, Gruesome, Shining and more.

 

Gojira, Photo by Hillarie Jason

Thursday features Parkway Drive, Gojira, Ministry, Exodus, Ihsahn, Dark Tranquility, The Black Dahlia Murder, H20, Animals As Leaders, Immolation, Aborted, TesseracT, Obscura, and more.

Friday has Arch Enemy, Moonspell, Taake, Satyricon, Cattle Decapitation, Sigh, Coroner, Obituary, eptic Flesh, Voivod, Raised Fist, iron Reagan, In The Woods and others.

 

Arch Enemy, by Meg Loyal Photography

Arch Enemy, by Meg Loyal Photography

Saturday closes things out with headliners Behemoth, Agnostic Front, Insomnium, Moonsorrow, Destruction, MGLA, Venom INC, Archgoat, Stuck Mojo, Holy Moses, Stick To Your Guns, Lightening Bolt and more. Tickets are still avaialble at this link:

Behemoth, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Behemoth, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Mastodon, Ministry, Parkway Drive, Behemoth And More Booked For Brutal Assult 2016

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Long-running and legendary Brutal Assault Festival takes place again this year for their 21st edition. Taking place which takes place in a military fortress Jofesov in Jaromer, in the Chech Republic the four day festival runs from August 10-13th. In addition to headline acts Mastodon, Ministry, Parkway Drive, and Behemoth, the fest features names from across all genres of rock and metal such as Aborted, Agnostic Front, Angelcorpse, Animals As Leaders, The Algorithm, Archgoat, Birdflesh, Bury Tomorrow, Conan, Coroner, Dark Funeral, Dark Tranquility, Devildriver, Die Krupps, Disavowed, Destruction, Electric Wizard, Eskimo Callboy, Exodus, Eyehategod, Gruesome, Hypnose, Immolation, Insomnium, Iron Reagan, Jig-Ai, Knuckledust, Leprous, Mgla, Misery Loves Co., Mithras, Moonspell, Mono, Mutoid Man, Nile, Obituary, Omnium, Gatherum, Satyricon, Septicflesh, Shining, Sigh, Sikth, Slagmaur, Taake, Terror, Textures, The Black Dahlia Murder, Tribulation, Vektor, Valkyrja, Voivod, Whiplash and more. Tickets are on sale now with camping packages at this link:

 

Boil – aXiom

Boil - aXiomWith Jens Borgen, of Opeth, Symphony X and Devin Townsend fame, behind the production desk, Boil’s thirds album aXiom carries high expectations. A concept album that explores paranoid schizophrenia and the very meaning of truth itself, it’s safe to say that aXiom is something of an ambitious beast. Continue reading