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Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:06 pm
Posts: 240
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2022 5:22 am 

Pitfest 2022, headliners At the Gates, The Toy Dolls and more, Resort Zuiddrenthe, Erica, May 12th-14th

Nice to know when you want to return to a place, village, provence or even festival once you’ve seen any edition. Our first Pitfest held Sodom and Asphyx, that’s a no-brainer for us. This edition would bring Repulsion, one of Wanda’s all time favorite bands to Erica, Drenthe, The Netherlands. I’ve known The Toy Dolls from my 15th, 16th birthday, something, seen them on silly AND cool occasions and wanted that renewed. Same with Cryptic Slaughter, it had been 1990 since I bought Speak Your Peace and that, by now, totally grey shirt of that tour. It was white and without holes, now it hangs in my working room. OK, the leaflet says Lowlife, as there’s another conflict about band names around. Never mind, the 1990 tour setting only held one member that played on Convicted and Money Talks… Add an old promise to Ronald of Overruled to watch one of his favorite thrash bands together and buying tickets was done (Violator). In fives and sixes, that was, as we needed 2 festival tickets, maybe a third, two camping tickets, one car park ticket, maybe a shuttle bus ticket and early-bird coins. In two years the latter became wise thinking, as Covid/Ukrainian conflict made prices of many goods sky high, including diesel and beer. But Wanda’s health still isn’t up to par, she would not join me to see Repulsion… note that Repulsion was cancelled anyway… Book of Changes… >< All I need now is a detour and it’s a full blown festival to me ;) The pre-party would be fun too, three tribute bands of known bands, but mostly new performers to do Motörhead or NOFX songs; Gorefunest is ahhhhhhnice to me ;) But when I got halfway between Lelijkstad and Enkhuizen I thought ‘I only have one piece of paper, I need some 6! Hit the brakes, call Wanda and return to Westwoud. That’s a 70 km hobby :roll: I texted Alicia I’d be there some hour later, she’d keep an open spot for my tent, along with Tijmen (+Hugo, see 70,000Tons review 2014) and Jelle. We all hoped Jelle won’t stagedive anymore :) He said he wouldn’t :)

When I got to P2 Parking Spot a bus just drove away, full of metalheads. But where’s the next one? Good to hear some Groningers, with beer, waiting for the bus to arrive. Now we had all the room we wanted in the bus, we’d waited for 20 minutes and no one new came around, we drive. Coming to the festival meant three wristbands, a sort of credit card for the 40 first coins and golf balls? I spotted Tijmen, he was on the bus back to P2 because he’d forgotten his wallet in the car >< When I raised the tent Gorefunest was already playing so I got help: Hugo pumped the air bed for me, Kees handed the nails and Jelle got me HJ ;) I hastily chose a denim, my camera and phone and off I was. When I entered the smallest hall (Punkhol) Gorefunest was already playing Confessions of a Serial Killer which meant it’s probably the last song… No it wasn’t, I also heard and saw Erase, got a drum stick and a set list, hug from singer Remus and now it’s time for the bar ;) Great to see people freak out on 30+ years old music 8-)
- For the Masses
- When The Dead Walk the Earth
- You Could Make Me Kill (Tijmen looking worried at me roaring this song to my hammer and nails ^^)
- The Glorious Dead
- Get a Life
- Reality is When You Die
- Confessions of a Serial Killer
- Erase
More old music to be heard: Deaf Förever does and old school Motörhead set:
- One I already missed raising my arms soo high ;)
- Thunder and Lightning
- Built for Speed
- Doctor Rock
- Bomber
- Shoot Them In the Back
- Killed by Death – soooooo loud!! 8-)
- Ace of Spades
- Born to Raise Hell
- Overkill – the speeeeeeeeddd of this cracker! So good!

I must have missed at least one more title but I don’t care. The band, not in three members but five, gives a hell of a show, loud as a full Messerschmidt, smooth as silk but sooo powerfull! Half the band consists of (former-)Rompeprop members so it’s PARTY time! Instantly bought two sizes shirts, got 25 stickers to spread and these guys camp next to our tents! Funny, to be instantly hailed, brought beer as I’m just fanboying ;) Try for an idea: https://www.facebook.com/deafforever.motorheadtribute Really nice party going! The last band tonight was NøFX, a NOFX tribute. Not only I think the name is silly, but now I instantly remember why I don’t have much with punkrock. Don’t like the guitar sound, the drums are sloppy and I’m tired. Bye Bye. The night was friggin’cold and I just couldn’t warm up at all. After a while I lay under all my denims and my hoodie but still couldn’t get warm. The bread in the morning was still a bit warm and the coffee worked like it should: warm up, clear up the senses and hey, the weather picked it up too. I’d been thinking whether I’d go in shorts or in normal pants, now the shorts were welcome ;)

Mostly I was looking forward to seeing Fleshcrawl today. I met Sven’s widow Dany and their Messiah friends Roger and Roger. ;) Wicki exactly briefed my thoughts so far: whoever could fit in Sven’s shoes? In personality, in style, in reach, in stamina, in friendship maybe? It made me think of Bodyfarm, with Remco and Ralph doing the Thomas songs in their own way. It was a day of a lot of talk anyway, even Ryker’s had to cancel last minute, is Backfire really back? Grave had family business and instead of Grave performing, some all star band would do ancient death metal classics, featuring members of Lies!, Cryptic Slaughter, Burial Remains, Blood Red Throne, Graceless and Fleshcrawl! The all star band was called Lords of Flesh and these songs were played:
- Entombed – Out of Hand (with René Smit of Lies!)
- Sepultura – Inner Self (with Menno Verbaten of Cryptic Slaughter)
- Dismember – Casket Garden (Wim de Vries, Burial Remains)
- Grave – Soulless (Yngve Bolt Christensen, Blood Red Throne)
- Death – Pull the Plug (Remco)
- Bolt Thrower – For Victory (Borisz Sarafutgyinov, Fleshcrawl)
- Entombed – Eyemaster (Boris again)

I stood outside, talking to Mar (she bought Wanda’s ticket), Ivor, the Deaf Förever dudes (whoahh these guys can party! ^^ ) so I must confess I haven’t seen them myself. I liked the idea but it just was too busy inside, too important to speak and have a drink or two. Same happened when Blood Red Throne was on stage, I stood next to the tent . But the first band today was Mouflon, the Arnhem Sheep of Death Squad steamrolled the Crustbus to pieces. Loud and vile, just as death metal live should sound. The day passed so fast, it wasn’t until Fleshcrawl got to stage I found myself first row at a band. The band has changed again, as Olivier is gone now and the new man Apu Justin Reisch did a great job. Like said, my main focus was Borisz Sarafutgyinov. What an animal! Aggressive in sound, plenty of stamina and interaction all around. He’s one cool dude, that’s for sure and I totally think he’s the guy to do it. I got Manu’s set list (thank you!!) :
- Intro
- Carved in Flesh
- Bloodred Massacre
- Flesh Bloody Flesh
- Embraced by Evil
- Reincarnation
- Lost in a Grave
- Structures of Death
- After Obliteration
- From the Dead to the Living
- Soulskinner
- As Blood Rains from the Sky
- The Day Man Lost

Haha now it was Brammerman’s time to miss Fleshcrawl, as Maarten MsD stood next to me all the way. What a great band this still is, even though only Bastian is the only surviving member. Maarten got himself a shirt, as he outran me to the merch stand ;) I would have liked to see The Queers and not so much Skitsystem, but I missed them both. Jelle had ‘found’ 7 (!) sixpacks of icecold HJ somewhere and we drank until The Toy Dolls got to stage. Tijmen had been feeling fuzzy all day and I haven’t eaten anything since my two buns this morning, I took the stand best and Tijmen had to be brought to a hospital! What the hell is this festival doing to any of my friends or myself, when people need to be brought to a friggin’hospital? Last time Jelle stagediving, now Tijmen totally dehydrated and down?? The Toy Dolls, hey it’s fun music but it was played sharp and direct. I have a small film about the entire Skullcrusher venue jumps and shouts ^^ to Big Bob’s Feet and of course Nelly the Elephant. Satisfied I get to the tent, have one more HJ and fall deeply in sleep, not bothered by cold anymore. Lonely, yeah, but slept like a prince. Only to awake with an eel in my stomach/upper throat and without much ado I head barefoot to the toilets. Our festival hero Tilly had it all cleaned and emptied again, cheers to her for her fanatical cleaning ;) I had not eaten at all, so all what came was a little bit of stomach acid and I was all over it again. Clearly Tijmen hadn’t and he decided with Hugo to head back home… sorry dude, get well soon, tell your lovely Thea you love her (everyday) and hopefully recovery is on the way.

The bread and coffee went in smooth or at least more smooth than I expected beforehand ;) In band it would be a busy day now: Burial Remains, Graceless, God Dethroned, Space Chaser, Mörser, Insanity Alert, Revel in Flesh, Gama Bomb, Cryptic Slaughter and Discharge to fill three stages. Burial Remains first, old school death metal, highly influenced by German and Swedish first round bands. The music comes to steam easily, the vocals low and deep, sharp HM2 buzzsaw sound, yeah we like this! Half an hour gone in seconds ^^ I stick around this tent, as Graceless was next in some 20 minutes. I saw the entire sound check and said to Remco ‘if you play one single chord now, you do know you’re playing it JUST for me, right?’ KERRRRRAAAANNNNNGGGG LOL \m/ so that’s clear ^^ Of course a set list is kept safe for me, thanks to Björn:
- We Will be Gods
- Malignant Seed
- Retaliation of the Wicked
- Shadowlands (was played for Pim and Trevor. It turned out Pim’s latest gf brought another part of his ashes to be spread? How many places will be used? I heard it later, Maarten even looked for me to be at the spreading but couldn’t find me. Another set of tears spread)
- Die on Demand
- Slashed and Served
- Blood of the Brave (a new song, maybe to be part of a CD release show in Baroeg?! We have tickets!!)
- Warpath (shouting contest between Remco and me, he wins ;) )

What a powerful band! What a great sound, nice volume (it had been too loud the day before I heard some artists moan) and plain funFunFUN on stage too ;) Again I stuck around for the next band, but more than a wink from Henri and a smile from Jeroen wasn’t up to me today. I needed food, especially after totally forgetting to eat yesterday ><) and skipped God Dethroned for my health ;) I kept walking, buying merch (Bodyfarm hoodie needed Immolation, Death Angel and God Dethroned ;) ) and talking, talking, drinking, drinking. The HJ still wasn’t done at the tent so that helped too. I returned to Skullcrusher venue for Revel in Flesh and totally got what I wanted: Real. German. Old. School. Death. Kult. Metal. The Grin was wide again, and often seen too. Behind me a small but violent pit was going on and my smile became wider and wider. Here’s Maggesson’s set list (THANK YOU)
- The Hour of the Avenger
- My Trial
- Fortress of Gloom (I wonder if I ever find my voice again :) )
- Death Kult Legions
- Shadowbreeder
- Emissary of all Plagues
- Casket Ride
- Deathblow
- Nihilistic Nothingness
- In the Name of the Flesh (why do I think about Sven now, again?)
- Rock Out (Motörhead cover)

Another great death metal show was presented to us, like said a nice pit to widen Haubersson’s smile, making him even more fanatic in his growls ^^ and even Maggesson was spotted totally confident about the coolness of this show. In the meantime I heard Insanity Alert did a great set, as the Run to the Pit sign was in the Revel in Flesh pit :) and Space Chaser made friends, but I both have seen just a glimpse of these bands. I’m fine with that, just like saying hello to Philly Byrns and heading out again. In a sort of the same way I also missed Discharge but really wanted to see Violator. Not with Ronald present, I was in the back he was probably in front of the stage but I liked it. Sharp thrash metal, combining Suicidal Angels vocal lines including accent, Ratos de Porão interludes and hyperspeed old Sepultura and a raging crowd. Clearly it was a good idea to put this band near headliner status, as the Punkhol was too small to hold the entire crowd going nuts. I also only glimpsed Cryptic Slaughter but didn’t have the fire to get inside once more. I heard some familiar tunes and thought ‘drive back to Wanda tomorrow’ and went back to the tent. I didn’t need Spasm nor At the Gates, leave that to Kees and Ed ;) It was so nice to see so many friends again, I think I sent Wanda some 50 selfies of all people wishing her the best ;) I invited some more friends to my birthday party and dozed off…

No need to lay under three denims, I could have used my airplane eye blinds but couldn’t find them so quickly. So, I awoke when the sun got up and tried to keep sleeping which thickly failed. I heard some rumbling noises but knew it wasn’t until 9 that the bus would bring us to our cars. Funnily enough Maarten’s car stood directly next to mine ^^ and I drove off, fed and watered. The bread didn’t go down well so I kept it with just one instead of two, coffee brought me to a Hoogeveen gas station where I found a full wallet on a bench. Ms. AW van Duinkerken must miss her entire stack of money, bank cards, train service, company saving cards and driver’s license… I brought it to the counter and hope she can retrieve it.

The tent is dry again, the sleeping bag swift, the Laundromat can wait till tomorrow. I have an extra day off and use that ;) Metal Tavern filled again, a shave, shower, voetbal to be seen (last round, PEC Zwolle went down last week, see who’s the second relegated team… Metal first with a laugh, a shout and a tear. Metal.

Logon or register if you want to react to https://metal-tavern.proboards.com/thre ... -graceless


Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:03 pm
Posts: 679
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2022 7:52 pm 

Download Festival 2022, Castle Donington, UK (Saturday)

It's been quite a while since I attended any festivals, even on a day ticket. But it's Maiden, it's Donington, you kind of have to go really. Especially considering some of their current setlist choices (read on for more details).

Stayed overnight at a friend's near Nottingham. Drove down on Saturday morning and parked the car at East Midlands Parkway station (£4 for the day, pretty reasonable) before getting the shuttle bus (£12 return, not quite so reasonable, but fuck it) to the festival gates.

After a lengthy walk to the arena, I realised that in my eagerness to beat the crowds I'd probably got in a little too early, as there were very few bands I wanted to see until after 3pm or so. Oh well... it was a nice day, and good for sitting out in the sunshine and engaging random people in conversation near the beer tent. Spent a good few hours chatting to a friendly Scottish guy and his pals. About 4pm (I meant to see Black Label Society, but was just chatting too much), my new acquaintances went off to one of the tent stages, and I went to get some food (hog roast baguette, incredibly unreasonable price), before watching Shinedown for a bit. I'm not familiar with this band at all; they seemed to be a sort of emo tinged anthemic hard rock group, and TBH they were OK. I've certainly sat through a lot worse. By now the sun was out and I fancied an ice cream, so headed over to the nearest van and enjoyed my purchase before watching some of Deftones set.

I'm not a huge fan of Deftones much and they seemed to start their set rather slowly at first. Things picked up when they played 'Be Quiet and Drive' and 'My Own Summer' back to back; these are about the only two songs of theirs I like (from what I've heard of their repertoire), so it was handy to hear them one after the other, as I could then wander off to the Dogtooth tent stage for the first band I was interested in seeing: Napalm Death.

Napalm had actually started their set early for some reason (in contrast to the main stage which seemed to be running half an hour late for most of the day), so I'm not certain how much of their performance I actually saw; being at the back of the crowd it was a little difficult to get a good view of the band as well. Still, what I saw was very enjoyable; Napalm's music across their career has an enjoyably bezerk, full on vibe to it that is only accentuated in its delivery by the sociopolitical messages in the lyrics. This was the third time I've seen them live and what always impresses me about them is how supremely on it they are across the board. It just doesn't let up from start to finish. Good cathartic, energetic stuff and the closing one two of 'Scum' and 'Nazi Punks Fuck Off' was a great way to sign off and leave the crowd invigorated.

Next up on the same stage was Sepultura. This has to be, I think, the longest gap I've gone between seeing the same band live - I've seen them three times before, but the last time was in 2007. They hadn't lost any intensity in the intervening years, however, as they came onstage and opened with 'Arise' and then 'Territory' which got me properly headbanging for the first time that day. Some newer songs off the most recent album were then played which I wasn't familiar with but which sounded pretty great, then a blistering 'Propaganda' got the hair flying again. The whole band were great but particularly Kisser and Green; I've always had respect for them both as Green is a great frontman who has now been in the band for twice as long as Max was and Kisser helped to write most of the classic songs and is a musician who has always managed to retain his integrity over the years. Regrettably, I had to leave before the set ended as I wanted to get myself in a good position to watch Maiden. But still, this was a very enjoyable performance and perhaps the most pleasant surprise I've had gig going in some time. Sepultura still very much have it. Go see them.

So then, Iron Maiden. My fifteenth time seeing them (have attended every tour since 2003), and playing Donington for the seventh time in total. I took some time getting a good spot to watch the band - near one of the sound towers, but just enough up the incline to get a good enough view of the stage and the big screens.

You know, there isn't anything quite like it in rock when the PA stops playing the interlude tunes and the first notes of UFO's 'Doctor Doctor' drift through the speakers. The anticipation builds and builds...... the audience become much more alert, and watch the stage intently.... and then it's MAIDEN time!

In all honesty, once the band took the stage, things started a little more slowly than usual. Maiden are still touring the 'Legacy of the Beast' career-spanning set, but have now rearranged things somewhat so proceedings now began with the first three songs off the 'Senjutsu' album. I don't mind the new record, but I happen to think Maiden's studio peak was 'A Matter Of Life And Death' and they aren't going to top that one any time soon. But still, 'Senjutsu', 'Stratego' and 'The Writing On The Wall' all sounded pretty good live (particularly TWOTW) - the main issue was the pacing and song placement in the context of the show as a whole. It felt like the band came out, played a three song showcase set of the new album, then spent a couple of minutes changing the backdrop and stage set before starting on the show proper.

Things then got going properly, however, with a great rendition of 'Revelations' and then 'Blood Brothers' marked the point where the show truly gained some steam. I've heard and seen quite a few renditions of 'Blood Brothers' before, but none had quite the emotional resonance of this one. As Dickinson highlighted, there's a lot of shit going on in the world, and the past few years have not been great to say the least, and Maiden is the antidote to all that. So this time, the lyrics and soaring guitar lines of the song really hit home on a deeper level with the crowd than I can remember.

But the next song was even better, and where the set basically cooked from that point on. 'Sign Of The Cross' is in this reviewer's opinion not only Iron Maiden's best song but one of the greatest metal songs ever written, and to witness it played in its full glory live is a very special treat indeed. I went wild for this one; I was either headbanging and air guitaring like crazy or drinking it all in. Definitely the highlight of the day, and as I mentioned above it was noting this song in the setlists for the tour that confirmed my decision to attend the show.

Well that was wonderful, and from then on the set just built into a classic Maiden performance. The usual setlist highlights and crowd pleasers were all present and correct, and the band's performance was (as expected from Maiden) consistently great. It was hard to pick highlights, given the general energy and vibe of the set, but I'd say a frankly joyful 'Flight Of Icarus' (which the band seem to really be energised by playing live), a stomping 'Number Of The Beast' and 'Iron Maiden' and the very welcome appearance of 'The Clansman' in the encore (screw the VXI haters, this song rocks) were the standouts on the night. 'Fear Of The Dark' got a predictably joyous reaction from the crowd, and I found it enjoyable as usual, but I really would like it if the band went back to playing this particular song as fast as possible like they did in the 90s, instead of the slightly more measured tempo it's done at today. Likewise, while it was enjoyable to hear 'Aces High' in the second encore, it was clear to me that with this particular song the band seemed slightly slower than when I'd previously seen them play it live.

This song was the exception, though. Yes, the years are advancing somewhat, but Iron Maiden's performance levels are still pretty much up there with the best of them, and frankly they still outdo most bands of the past few decades in the live arena. I hope they can keep it up at this level for a while yet.

It was hard for me to know where to rank this performance in relation to the other times I've seen Maiden; not in the top 5 but not too far outside that. Most of all, thought, it was a very enjoyable day, despite the usual issues with large scale festivals of pricing etc., though I will say the general organisation of Download seemed pretty good this year; that said I was only there for the day and not camping.

Back to my car at midnight and then back to another night on my friend's sofa bed via McDonalds; a good day out despite the sunburn.

Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:06 pm
Posts: 240
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2022 3:58 am 

The Graceless Hordes of Westwoud – De Schalm, June 11th 2022

A question: how many of my readers ever organized a party? Most, I guess. But how many organized a party with a band? Still, quite a few I think. But how many organized a party with a band when reaching a certain age, in a bar? I don’t think so many did, but I won’t claim originality in this hihi. Let’s say I wanted to bring an A+-band to my hometown when I turned 50. When I had my 40-Years-Metalhead-Party in my backyard (2018) I could BBQ with all my family and friends, as the band was still unknown and the first demo had or just had not been released. First question when Mutator picked up their gear was ‘Next year Asphyx?’ I know it was meant as a joke as most people do know they won’t come for, say, less than 5 grand in euros and even though we’re both mad hatters about Asphyx, this was beyond me and beyond us. I kept walking around with an idea and it was Marc Verhaar, drummer of Graceless and Soulburn that brought the idea to life: I just ask Graceless! I was rigid in my idea to get the band a gage they deserve, bring in a BBQ for them, might even organize a couple of shirts and that’s it. But, in time, when the band’s festival season was announced, it got to me a bit. I saw their name on the Into the Grave festival bill and asked again ‘will you guys play at my party?’ “Yeah, we do, just make sure you have some sort of a backline present and bring in drums. We come directly from Leeuwarden to your place and have no room for the entire drum kit, hardly any speakers, let alone a mixing board. ” Now it was time for my friends to help me once; I’d been helping hundreds of times to get people tickets, to shows, abroad and back. BUT I DON’T HAVE EQUIPMENT. Three well chosen calls later I could pick up a drum kit from Daan Vet (formerly known as KISSandCOOPER on MRU) and a vocal installation; the cabinets and wiring will be taken care of by (Mutator-)ShreddedEd and Maarten MsD! And the band did not overrun their gage, so Wanda offered to pay it for my birthday! The bar would be €25 per person, shirts will cost me some €300; that’s no big deal to me. This would be the very, very first death metal show ever in Westwoud!! We agreed not to bring in a second band as I wanted people be able to talk and with a guitarist that would start a fistfight with me… nah.

But then the great organizing still had to take place. Who do we invite? Is the bar available and what will Roel ask? I’d said I’d arrange shirts, so I had to make sure the band agreed me to use the logo. I’d said I’d arrange ear plugs in case my family’s youngest would be present… I’d rather make myself a flyer as well, easy to spread. I knew beforehand the shirts would take at least two weeks, the flyer was done in an hour and so on. I picked up Ed’s Marshall cabinet on Friday as well as the drum kit, even though I had to cross West-Friesland entirely. Marc told me they wanted a 6x3 m stage, but De Sschalm only had 6x2… so I went all over Noord-Holland but to no success.. Marc wasn’t worried. Pfoei. I even went back to De Schalm twice to make sure all work had been done from different sides ;) – food, tables, amounts, choices of booze and (finger-) food and the likes.

Inviting friends also had a bit of a problem: it’s Summertime aka festival time! Jürgen and Sylvia – couldn’t come celebrate his and my birthday together – were on Chronical Moshers. Iris and Bernd – Bernd couldn’t get another day off. Andrée and Käthe – split up. No good idea to bring them together on my party. Martin van Drunen – out of the country with Asphyx, he certainly wanted to come! To some it was too far, unreachable by train/bus/... and the next problem: of the two B&B’s in the village one is sold to a private soul and won’t serve guests anymore. Steenwijk friends Bart and Rob got in touch the last days, they got a list of campings and B&B’s to choose. I chose to invite my voetbal- and scoutingfriends of old: the ones that got me into metal and the ones I had my first discussions about Feyenoord vs. Ajakkes with ;) that might unite some ancient friends of my brothers as well. Bring in Hans and Hender, who brought me Exodus, Venom, Hallow’s Eve and Tyrant after my brothers had Maiden and Final Heiress. I might even invite the collectors of the Epilepsis fund, that was meant as a thank you ánd nice to my sister Marleen, as she’s befriended to Nicolet and (former punk-) Frits ^^. Invite Erik Hendriks and surprise him with a shirt nearly no one else has :cool: .

Friday was a. a busy day at work and b. a tour c. exhausting and d. gone in seconds ^^ Saturday started with Fleshcrawl – As Blood Rains From the Sky… We Walk the Path of Endless Fire – it was Sven’s first death anniversary. I wanted to hang at least one Svenson Gross shirt in the bar, bring in a picture of Pim as well, so I needed to get a few pictures printed – last minute of course. I had a hint Wanda got stressed out so I let her alone for at least an hour – swim. The drum kit had been shattered in the living room, so I got that into the car again. Wanda said ‘that speaker set can’t stay in the car, it’s too humid tonight’ so the car began the Saturday empty ;) Maarten and Brammerman got to De Schalm in time so we unloaded his Dacia together; Roel had been there since a few minutes… he knows the Van Kampen quarter of an hour all too well ^^ and he’d set the stage… ‘oh that will do’ I thought. When an unknown car opened up we were a bit worried: a three man delegation of a four man band? Where’s Remco? Turned out he’d been texting Marc ‘when do we have to be there?’ “Actually in 20 minutes LOL he’d been so hung over of the Into the Grave show he still was in Leeuwarden. Fun fact: Maarten had to take out the back seats to ‘Tetris all equipment in’ HA HA HA. Roel’s wife made sure we had homemade burgers and self-cut fries, it was delicious. Remco just ‘stormed‘ in about five minutes before the table was set ;) Grumpy, hungover, but he was in time..enough ;)

I had said ‘8 PM doors, 9 PM band, 10 PM talk on’ and that didn’t really go as planned. I knew my friends of old Johannes and R-Whin had a belated wedding party so they were gone before the band started. My USB-with-feast-music was greeted by many, as I had about everything between Pé en Rinus (Z streep S. I. D. E. :) to Carcass (which hightened both MsD and Thirza lol). And yeah, every faze in my life passed by. My family – most of them, Rens – from Kindergarten – Normaal [brought by his wife Eke, one of my collectors for the Epilepsis fund], Scouting/Voetbal – 6 of them!, Kamiel and Marcel – they sat behind me at math class but instead of doing math work they copied the logos from my shirts to a parchment I got this birthday :cool: , an on the moment WhatsApp message from Jeroen – he’s in Scotland, my bosom friend Clemens made it in time – that was one of the reasons to bring ear plugs, he might bring his 9-year old son, the Steenwijk Clan, Jordy and Kim present – he got me a 7x2 m Neurotic Deathfest banner as gift!, my colleagues (both the from water board and Frank K from the regional environmental board – he was in a Vital Remains shirt at a nationwide seminar on pesticides and I thought ‘I have to speak to him’ in my Dynamo Open Air shirt – over 10 years of friendship, metal and beer. Now whiskey :) ). From Ed, who contacted Wanda as he’s totally broke but did bring in Gaby my Eastern German metal bud I got THREE hand drawn pictures of the Great Three of Serial Killers – Gacy, Bundy, Gein ; Dahmer already has been present in my kitchen for several years). Need I go on? The table with the presents nearly collapsed, and that wasn’t because of the band starting.

As for the gig and the set list I have to rely on videos sent via WA and Messenger… I refused to miss one second of the gig and had another broken camera glass… and no paper/pen. The little movies my sister Gemma made were of some help:
- Retaliation of the Wicked (headbangers and pitters united)
- Lugdunum Batavorum
- Shadowlands
- We Will be Gods (instead of We bow to no one – We bow to Herman \m/ )
- Embrace the Rain (me, Thirza, Wanda and the band remembering Sven Gross and Pim V in tears)
- Blood of the Brave (Alex and Thirza in swirl pit ;) )
- Die on Demand (kiler pit going on)
- I have to find out a way to get to the last movies, maybe later. In what order – who cares?

But how do you grade a band that plays literally FOR YOU?? It was great to have them, on my party, in my town, on my terms, what else can you say than ‘FUCKING GREAT!!! AWESOMENESS!! KILLER!’? It was such a pleasure to me and the band, it’s hard to describe. Going into a pit with not one but two of my brothers? Wanda back on stomping ground? Thirza’s world famous swirl pit? Maarten freaking out to the fact his equipment ALL worked, even though he had to put the band’s effect box in front of the bass drum as it swirled across the tiny stage? :) :cool: 70 people satisfied, the band overenthusiast, metalheads freaking out, bar personnel giving compliments to us ‘they all seem so black and bearded and rough, but they’re so LOVELY’ :) After the band had stopped, I jumped on stage and thanked everybody around: Wanda, the band, Maarten, Daan, Ed, my family, my long time friends and colleagues (mentioning literally every period in my life, I found out emotional) and general interest. Even my former boss showed up! The Steenwijk Clan! The Bovenkarspel Boys! De Spanbroek Metalheads! Wanda’s aunt and niece! Not strange to mention the final beer at 1 AM lasted longer as there were even more scouting friends present and they NEEDED to do an afpils with my gang… Heiny after a ditch of Amstel and Skuumkoppe wasn’t the best idea LOL and even after that it didn’t end. Like Dynamo Open Air days we went on at my place, finding a crate of HJ on my doorstep. Then the light came and my lights were out. Exhausted. Maarten and Brammerman kipped at my attic, Erik Hendriks on the couch: he had freezing business early in the day and couldn’t drive without sleeping at least three hours. During the night Brammerman and Maarten had filled the Dacia again but didn’t dear driving one single meter ;)

But… of course I still had to get my presents, the milk barrel with the envelops and the drum kit. I had agreed to be there at ten, but eleven it became. Roel wasn’t worried and thanked me again for the smooth encounter with death metal he had had. My former colleague Ronald even called some now-colleagues of mine ‘death metal virgins’ hahaha. The bill wasn’t as big as I expected, as Roel chose to keep the food out of the account and I was thankful for that. One exception: he wanted a The Graceless Hordes of Westwoud shirt as well LOL. At home we had to split the ordering of the presents in twos and threes, as it was simply too much to handle! When I emptied the milk barrel I was shy to count the money, so much was given!! The drum kit was delivered in time, as was the last cabinet. When I got the milk barrel back to Johannes, he and his wife Tanja agreed to each other, without knowing they did, they should have turned the route upside down. They had a postponed wedding party with R-Whin and Bianca, but came home sour: apart from the wedding couple and ONE mutual friend they knew NO ONE. Look at my party: half the village was present, so it seemed. Shwoah, you can’t have it all my friend but thanks for lending me the milk barrel and the ‘compliment’ you both made me and my party. The only one that was honestly bad tempered was Frits, as the low riffing and vocal abuse cut through him like a blunt blade (he later told me and I thanked him for his honesty)

In short, this was a hell of a job to get everything and everybody together, but it was friggin’worth every drop of sweat, ounce of diesel, hair of stress and short fight between that first step and the final emptying of the living room ;) Putting down a guest book was one of the best things of it all, as people could get personal to me and I could remember who wanted another shirt and in what size. It’s so beautiful to see how people react to me, Wanda, the years and the party, it gives me the good cold shivers and goose bumps every time I look at the binding and the papers inside. Alex provided me with an USB-stick to deliver to Marc coming weekend, as we see Graceless destroy Protzen Open Air. Metal has been around for 50 years, as am I now. Metal!! And friggin’proud of it.

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Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:06 pm
Posts: 240
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2022 4:02 am 

Protzen Open Air 2021, June 18-20, Germany; Venom Inc, Benediction, Graceless

I don’t know if it happens a lot, but sometimes you come across a festival that a. is too good to be true,
b. awesome from A to Z,
c. not that expensive,
d. great scenery
e. many friends present so f. sold out before you can say ‘cool’. In this case it’s Protzen Open Air, within cycling distance of Berlin, only 1,000 tickets available via 7 different ticket bookings. Let’s not get grumpy about fourteen years of great line ups that passed before lobbying to get to a festival, intensive texting, fussing about triple bookings OTHERS made, abusing Wanda's FB, waiting, nail polishing (hey, I don’t bite :) ), thumbscrewing… we finally got the confirmation mail from organizer Mario (THANK YOU FOR THE DEAL AND THE EFFORT!!). Also a big thank you to our friends in Grand Supreme Blood Court, Graceless, Revel in Flesh and Fleshcrawl for saying nice things about us ^^ Pity the confirmation came with a storm of condolences for fellow organizer Enni, who died just the same day… R.I.P. (I think we met once, at PartySan or at Brutz&Brakel, ‘when you come to play, you leave as friends’, Martin van Drunen said in condolence). So this review is for Enni.

But as the 2020 edition had to be postponed, a lot of the most interesting bands had to be replaced… no GSBC, no Berserker Legion, no LIK, no Gods Forsaken, no Chapel of Disease and a few others… we go anyway. The camping would open Thursday at 5 PM but we might need to replace parts on our central heating system? Uhh can’t we pick a new date? I was happy not to have to drive deep into the night to get to Protzen, or even need a motel along the way, we drove at 10 AM. Coming across the border, the first Stau took place, not 5 km into Germany… all and all we had friggin’8 (!) traffic jams, taking up to three hours extra in total to get to the camping… of course including my hobby and forgetting stuff: Ceefax had told us the temperatures could reach 30 – 35 degrees Celsius, hardly a cloud to be seen and what do I forget: sun tan lotion! That’s of Friday worry, first get the tent standing. I was so sure I had packed a hammer for the tent pegs, Wanda was furious there was none… but help is never far away on a metal fest… Bea and Martine helped us and Wanda cooled down… tonight there’d only be a metal DJ but it’s a good one: sing-alongs, heavy stuff, the wrong stuff from Abba to Abbath and reversed ;) Wanda greatly enjoyed both the Juni Käfer and the beautiful colors of sunset ^^ Bea ‘warned’ is to keep the car next to the tent so the ‘Berliners’ wouldn’t pick our space. It wasn’t that bad, as I awoke so early there wasn’t anyone but us and Protzeners around ;) I let Wanda sleep and drove up to Fehrbellin for sun tan lotion, cucumbers, bananas, cheese and the likes. We’d need our vitamins and fluids anyhow… it was already warm.

Coffee and fennel tea made us wake up the right way. The first band did everything to undo that, as Brlabl played stoner of the wrong kind… off vocals, no lyrics but some sort of chants, no tight drumming, mixing some technical stuff in it… totally off of course. The singer COULD have improved it when he’d just shut up but alas. The Graceless boys had arrived too, they’d been cutting the trip in twos: Hannover first, hotel, off to Protzen, play twice (Remco and Jasper) and a hotel in the village. But without sun tan lotion, so to make sure no one got burnt they all used my freshly bought lotion LOL. Fun fact: Bea told us we’d be the only Dutch paying visitors this weekend and after walking the camping I know she’s right: this is an unique experience for us AND the Protzeners ;) Protzen Open Air has a stage in the form of the Romney shed but now outside. I spoke to several visitors about previous editions and they all agreed ‘it’s better it’s in the open now, think of seeing your favorite band Napalm Death and you CAN’T enter the shed anymore… too full’. The second band today was Norkh, another newie to us. We liked it, as it was a nice cross of Nifelheim and Deströyer 666 in spikes, speed, sound and attitude. Great band; have to find something of them. Not much bands had merch to show anyway, there were two CD shops with such illegible logos and unknown bands we even skipped their patch sections :roll: Festival shirts were only available from the beginning of the evening and it was strange to see all older shirts had logos on the back but this year’s edition does not??

OK, time for a beer with two men I’ve seen several times before but can’t remember the names somehow. The third band today was Succubus from Neuruppin, Germany, only a few km away from Protzen. MA says ‘melodic death metal’, I’d say powermetal with a tiny hint of death in it. Interested? https://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Succubus/11371 We’d come for Graceless and got the full experience: set up, sound check, AC/DC intro, cheers, set list, guitar picks to spread out ‘we have most of them double anyway’ :cool: and a band, once again in top form, greatly balanced set and loads of approval from the visitors. I wrote the titles but Jasper prohibited me to use the scribble ^^
- We Will Be Gods
- Malignant Seed
- Retaliation of the Wicked
- Shadowlands
- Slashed and Served
- Blood of the Brave
- Revenge Us (announced as ‘we normally don’t play this song anymore, but for you Swedes [pointing into the crowd] we have to’ – big grins from stage and audience :cool:
- Warpath

Panting, sweating, arms being put I normal position once more, dehydrated and sore-throated we retreated to the shadow of the parasols, ate, coffee, tea (‘we don’t have boiling water anymore’ said the 17-year old sniffy until co-organizer Big Bert got a kettle of water instantly “für unsere einzige Hollandische gäste” :cool: – we’d made an impression so it seemed ^^) In the meantime Purgatory (https://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Purgatory/13227 ) bored the browning bile out of me. I’d seen them before on Stonehenge so many years ago, only thing I remembered was that I liked the logo but hated the music. Today it’s not different from Steenwijk. The audience must have heard me, as they managed to empty the dry grass pit in front of the stage while the band oohed an ahhhed a lot ;) I got back to the tent to see the camping around us was filled, indeed, with Berliner cars. Some doof man called Ollie needed to remark ‘hey Dutchie, do you have something to smoke for me?’ and couldn’t even notice my ‘uhgghh-feeling’ when asking. I said I quit smoking 20 years ago ‘and not eager to start again’. Clearly Ollie had sniffed the green leaf a bit too often and the self bought cans of Warsteiner were abundantly abused. He had to show me his Graceless- and Hail of Bullets-tattoos, but both were set in haste…lines that ought to be straight were wobbly and lines that needed to be wobbly were even worse. He has his own way of apologizing to me but don’t try 17 times, hobo >< Being accompanied by Graceless members we got our share of ‘Ollie following Graceless all around Germany’-stories but agreed to avoid him where possible >< Meanwhile, the darker beer overpowered the light beer and Revel in Flesh set stage. Wanda was sitting in the shadow, telling me to fanboy Ralf my own way. I had no need to join the pit, as I just wanted to see the band from all directions. The set list revolved around my favorite RiF tunes like Fortress of Gloom, Death Kult Legion, Shadowbreeder and In the Name of the Flesh, before Rock Out finished the normal set. The band played so sharp and so fast they had time for another encore :cool: for their fourth (!) visit to Protzen. Clearly Magesson and Haubersson have made friends there, after the show their merch booth was sold out, apart from M-sized shirts. They have a very cool new shirt to sell, but with these German fans around all sizes bigger than XXL were gone halfway the set. Patches… yeah you know we’re of the sewing kind ;) Graceless also had new patches to sell. Not the ‘hanged men’- theme luckily, but cool stuff from the split with… Revel in Flesh :cool:

I didn’t understand quite why Remco was so nervous after his own set, but it turned out I’d completely forgotten he was to perform another gig today: Just Before Dawn also played Protzen Open Air 2022!! The project, as Jasper called it (and he was right) normally does focus on creating studio music and live shows are rare to say the least. Rare as in ‘Remco needed the lyric sheet of every song’,’every song had a bump to start correctly’ and ‘guest singers abundant’. Wanda called them The Gibson Twins, featuring similar caps, beards, jackets and guitars: a Gibson Flying V and an Explorer, both painted cream – black and similar belts/buckles. They’re not related but if you see them go you’ll never be sure which person it is ;) Kreft is clearly happy halfway the set, as he shouts he’s the ‘luckiest man alive to play with several bands on this cool festival’ I have to reply “Where’s Soulburn then?” :) ‘nah, two bands is enough’ LOL. Remco and Jasper move on stage like they always do, but the non-brothers Biazzi and Myrin only lose focus when people move around them. Add an hyperactive Dave Ingram to that chaos and Remco nearly lost an eye giving room to Dave. Remco manages to give a cool salute to Sven Gross once more and Just Before Dawn finishes a special, not to say unique show. How? Playing ‘Soulburner’ with Remco and Dave singing together.

Time for fanboys is plenty available. I get a compliment for my Neckwreckers set (it had been too hot to wear shirt + patches during the day, the shirt was soaking so I ended the evening bare chested with my Neckwreckers set present) in the form of a tiny bottle of schnapps and cream liqueur, some taps on my shoulders, Ollie trying to piss me off by wanting the Nailgun Massacre (!) bass pick I got from Jasper [after the JBD show; ‘it’s an old one’ “but I’m over the moon happy with it” :) ], and people wanting my pen to make Graceless members sign whatever they just bought. I’m cool with that, as Björn makes us all laugh wearing my Feyenoord cap… imagine a Hagenese Ajakkesfan with The Right Cap LOL. Benediction had taken the stage, after Peter Rewinksi and Dave had been providing drinks and signatures to everyone around, all day long ;). It’s so good to see the band on stage again, Dave on the place where he belongs, no offense to Dave Hunt nor Barney Greenway of course; but Dave Ingram is THE Benediction singer. The band does a cross of their entire career in the best way: I heard Dreams you Dread, Subconscious Terror, The Grand Leveller and Grind Bastard being mentioned before heading back to the tent. We didn’t even know another band was scheduled, but it turned out to be a Hypocrisy tribute named Chaos and Confusion. Wanda doesn’t have as much with Hypocrisy as I do, so we plug in the ear plugs and doze off. I heard several hits (Roswell, Pleasure, Disclosure and so on) before falling asleep. It had been a good day. Too warm, but good.

Ehh did I say good day? Wanda lost it entirely the following morning. She had trouble standing, sitting, walking, eating, drinking so one storm of temper made me decide to bail out and empty the tent, toss it into the car and drive… Her tears went right to my soul and all I could do was ‘I bring you home safely’ and I did. Instead of sitting in the car for another 10, 11 hours we drove some seven and a half. Only traffic jam we encountered was near Hamburg (again, but now only one instead of three) and pulling over for diesel, coffee and salami ;) At home I could plunder my self-imported Faxe cans (with another Viking motive, yay!) and have one afpils before calling it a night. The tent hung to dry, the memory foam mattress was in its normal form, sleeping bags aired and the first Laundomat rolled. All I needed for the Sunday was a shave, Chinese, voetbal and MT, but there’s no voetbal and I can’t see Chinese happening after so much Bratwurst ^^ DEUTSCHLAND IST METAL!

Oh yeah the Saturday would hold Venom Inc., Fleshcrawl, Skeletal Remains and some bands I'm hardly familiar with. Fine. Wanda is safe, that's enough.

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Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:06 pm
Posts: 240
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2022 7:30 am 

Gatecreeper, Graceless, Mouflon Baroeg, Rotterdam

Gatecreeper is a band that got to me as an Iron Reagan fan. They have released a split CD together, which I liked a lot and the CD Sonoran Deprevation gets regular spins. That they would do a European tour was a good point, bringing in Graceless and Mouflon for a Baroeg date was even better! We’d sleep in Barendrecht once more and via De Pint on our way to Spinozaweg 300 ;) In the last weeks before the show it was announced that the evening would also give place to a charity for the Neurofibromatosis fund, selling Vieze Pim’s shirts and music collection. Details would follow swiftly, was the information. Fine. With Protzen’s heat clearly remembered, we were to travel early, so we’d have all the time to recuperate from heat exhaustion… but it wasn’t that bad. I brought 4 drive shirts, but didn’t need any all the route ^^ Well-nourished at De Pint we got a taxi and his phone number for the return. In pouring rain, no heat to be found, we got to Baroeg.

Between the smokers we entered the venue, already looking to anything that might be interesting. Wanda even found a Pissectomy CD ;) (but didn’t know about it, so she left it ;) ) and I enlarged my collection buying CDs of Necrophobic (The Nocturnal Silence - this album used to be one of Sven Gross’favorites as well!), DeadHead, Bloodphemy and an original Persecution Mania. The shirts gave a lot of people shivers, as they were worn by Pim himself. We picked three and have some fine ideas how to use them. Wanda tried the Demolition Hammer shirt, but as he was wearing M mostly and sometimes L, nah. We have other goals for these items. In the meantime Mouflon was setting stage for another steamroller death metal show. The sound was awesome, the smoke machine might be a bit too enthusiast but the band clearly has a great set in mind for us. As if Obituary was poured into a concrete mixer and its gears jammed on maximum velocity :cool: The first solo even had a hint of blues (!) to it. Very good gig!

Just before the Graceless gig we spoke to Remco about the new CD to come. The band got an exceptionally warm welcome by means of an original Baroeg mosh pit. Between the concrete poles people of all sizes, hair lengths and some ‘spiked like Nifelheim’ gave a violent display how lively death metal is in The Netherlands :lol: :cool: An excellent gig was followed by two surprises: In Warpath Marc hit his big China to oblivion; before any sign of an encore he grabbed it and ran to me, handing it over with a big smile ‘there you go, fanboy’ :cool: and Jasper wants us to fill his new denim :cool: . He’d heard about the Erik Hendriks denim and wanted it done like that :cool: by us :cool: Details follow ;) Wanda picked the set list off Björn’s stack:
- Die on Demand
- Malignant Seed
- Retaliation of the Wicked (simultaneous banging of the band and audience, what a great sight!!)
- Shadowlands (I get Dikke Kimberly a Graceless patch as she knows Graceless was one of Pim’s favorite bands)
- Revenge Us – oooohhh that Bolt Thrower feel makes my hairs stand up \m/
- Blood of the Brave – Remco suggests a prize poll for the new album title. First one I hear: Scream Bloody Remco :lol:
- Embrace the Rain – embraced by both Kimberly and Wanda
- Warpath – what an explosion of the good violence! [see remark on China LOL]

Gatecreeper didn’t need much to make Baroeg explode once more. The modern, American cross of Fleshcrawl, Necrophobic and Motörhead kills instantly, loud, sharp and well recognized by a nearly sold out Baroeg. I don’t have any song titles but I’m sure every song gets a real cheer and a thankful crowd. The mosh pits go on and off, we’re everywhere to be found: at the stage, at the merch stand, at the bar and near the decreasing collection of Pim. I think the Neurofibromatosis fund gets a well-earned amount of money and people move out with their hands full and their eyes watered. I felt Pim’s presence several times this night. When I got HJ for me and Weizener for Wanda I looked up and smiled. I spoke to several of his friends, including the bands performing and not a bad note was dropped. We picked up the China, our bag with ‘new’ CDs and shirts, but not the lost cap (see Thanatos review) and the gig manager refused to do anything to get a show poster for us. Fine. What irritated us as well, we’d called the taxi again and sitting in one, we got three calls where we were? By three different taxi drivers? Come on, even brushing my teeth at De Gaanderij the phone went… Screw that. I deleted the number and get another company next time we arrive at De Pint blah blah blah. After a bit of a short night we got an excellent Gaanderij breakfast and doing my hobby for the 7,968th time we drove home via Utrecht instead of Den Haag. Fine. Typing this I heard the Necrophobic- and the DeadHead CDs and know why Pim and Sven liked these so much \m/ Another surprise awaited us at home: our neighbor Julian insisted us to accept a crate full of rock, metal, kids stuff and scent candles because they’re expanding the attic soon… movies about Maja de Bij, AC/DC, Johnny Cash and more expanded our (and Thirza’s… not going to listen to Limp Bizkit any time soon >< ) collection with some 100 titles… not metal but thankful we will watch and listen those. Creep into the Graceless Gates filled with Mouflon… metal!

P.S. oh yeah, on Kreft’s birthday it was released the new Graceless CD is named Chants from Purgatory \m/ a sure buy for us. Happy Birthday to our friend!
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Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:06 pm
Posts: 240
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 8:05 am 

Stonehenge 2022, feat. Suffocation, Bodyfarm, July 30th, Stationsplein Steenwijk

This edition of Stonehenge festival would hold a novelty: not just in a few bands that had not done Steenwijk before, but I’d bring my blues-lovin’ brother Toon to his very first real metal festival ever! Note, he’d seen AC/DC, Metallica, Iron Maiden and some (mostly AC/DC-) tribute bands, but his core love is blues. R. Gallagher, S.R. Vaughan, A/B.B. King and J. Healey; he’d seen them more often than I’d seen Suffocation, for example. Some bands have frequented Stonehenge, like Suffocation, Misery Index, Beheaded, Benighted, Sinister and Bodyfarm, some are new to these grounds (Samael, LIK, Helslave and so on.) So, as a result of our Thirzastruck app group I’d get us all tickets. Early birds bought in October 2019, then some single ones for an as big as possible joining at B&B Blitterswijk; I had 7 tickets. But, in a friendly move, Tom got Maarten MsD’s ticket (vacation with the family) and Wanda would not be able to stand the temperatures and lack of shadow… FB is our friend (never tell anyone I say that quite often lately :roll: ) Johnny Amsterdam soon reacted, as did Bert Schimmel, later reactants had to be disappointed… But Johnny isn’t the best planner too, as he’d agreed to be picked up at Hoogkarspel train station, Toon would come from Ommen camping (named The Werewolf hihi) and Bert wouldn’t be in Steenwijk before halfway the afternoon… bring in the phones again >< Alex would bring Peter Lord Belial and Thirza, I thought I’d have Wanda, Toon and Johnny around but no. I drive alone this time;pick up Johnny near Lelykstad and on. 9 o’clock sharp in Scheerwolde, we’d agree. Kees and Alicia would drive early too, see if we can join taxi once more. Gezellig!

The coffee was good, family happy and a taxi was called. We arrived at the entrance at just the moment Insurrection thanked the crowd so we’d missed Black Rabbit and Insurrection. Ahh finally ‘good’ wrist bands, now linen instead of plastic paper. Good, both my Dutch Denim as my Holland Hoodie get Stonehenge, Tom immediately offered to rip off his whenever we’d return to Blitterswijk. First, get coins and my round was the first one ;) Putrefied Corpse was the first band we did see. The death/grind of Arno and his friends sounded fresh to me, like Napalm Death; musically in ‘Enslavement’-era but then with Repulsion-like vocals. Good starter! Toon soon mentioned ‘all vocals sound alike’, but after Indominus he already softened that to ‘ahh there IS difference in style‘ ^^ By the time Sodomized Cadaver came to stage, I already had seven selfies to show Wanda ;) Indominus sounded way to technical for my likings, but the band did get some positive respons (aka people didn’t really walk away :lol: ) Sodomized Cadaver plays some cross between Immolation and old Gorguts. But the sun was merciless, so Toon and Alex both bought a Bloodphemy cap, not knowing what to expect in this band. They got the full ‘I like Messiah Marcolin so I wear a monks’ pie too and sing anti-religiously’ ;) It was near noon, so I didn’t stay long for Bloodphemy and was negatively surprised by what the snack car brought as ‘fricandel with fries XXL’ For three coins, such a meager portion of fries? Uhm, don’t nag, see Disquiet. I did keep nagging, as it seemed Disquiet forgot they’re on a metal festival… with some 70-ies disco tunes I walked away revolted. Helslave did get me in a good mood. The Italians play somewhere between old school death metal and some parts are pretty melodic. I thought of Carnage, Amon Amarth and a flair of faster Bodyfarm songs.

Abrupt Demise and Foetal Juice – ehh talking to friends I had not seen in 5, 6 years AND befriended to Toon – I hardly had time to notice them. During Foetal Juice we decided to hit the city, as the other food provider got out of stock… Pizza, pasta and HJ it became. Nothing bad with Grolsch, but HJ is my brand ;) sitting beneath a huge parasol it was good to be able to talk easily. People do worry about Wanda and that’s great to notice, more pictures sent home ^^ Coming back to the venue Jurassic Park was on stage. The band sounds like Saxon, but not as fierce, as Peter Lord Belial rightfully mentioned. I sent Alex and Toon to the stage, Toon had seen Saxon with his scouting pals at the end of the eighties ;) I had found a Bodyfarm cap for my collection and decided to buy Toon a Bodyfarm shirt, just to be sure he’d remember the name. Not that Bodyfarm got on stage after Jurassic Park, that was Cytotoxin, again way too technical and weird for me. I had seen Bodyfarm DID show up and posted us at the first row. Hell and firepower combined, here’s one of Holland’s best death metal bands:
- Intro – Into Battle
- Woods of Dismay
- Dreadlord
- Blasting Tyranny (a new song, dedicated to Thomas \m/)
- Slaves of War (still a killer song!)
- The Dark Age
- (Unbroken) – only to be played if the earlier songs were sped up? :)
What I noticed first, is that the volume of this stage is a lot higher than the stage further away from the train station. As far as this setting goes, I can’t remember that the volumes or sound qualities of the stages ever were different. What I noticed second, was that the sound check of Bodyfarm already better was than some of the bands that played before. Third, having my family and friends around when one of my favorite befriended bands are on stage, makes the experience even more special to me and fourth, the band is in friggin’shape, bang their heads like machine guns, have loads of fun on stage, make funny facials to their fans/friends and encourage the first pit of the festival day with all their hearts. Fifth – if the band is working on new songs that’s great news. Sixth: thank Alex Seegers for the set list. The band surely does have a future again, I truly hope this line up will last for many years!! I bought Toon a Bodyfarm shirt, as did Alex, and he bought one for himself, not knowing we'd done the same and, so he'd wouldn't forget which band is one of my favo's haha
What’s even better than a great band? At first I thought it was a rumor that the new date of the festival was announced, but now a headliner of the biggest alloy was coupled to that: AUTOPSY is indeed confirmed for the 2023 edition of Stonehenge!!! I hadn’t even noticed the new date was set just on the same page as the bands list and time schedule :roll: *supersilly Herrieman* AND: early birds were on sale already! I had plenty of cash, but hesitated to buy so soon (why shy? It’s my 11th consecutive Stonehenge in a row, YOU WANT TO RETURN) I can’t even recall why I didn’t buy instantly! Maybe because I wanted to probe who would join us next year, could be. But I really shouldn’t have worried. I now know Peter, Alex, Thirza and Tom will want to come along, as Johnny mentioned 'it's so good to see each other again, have a nice date for a return to talk again, have something to look out to and plain fun!’ Typing this I saw the 100 early birds were sold out already (on the field, of course) and our tickets are in my mailbox already. The rest of the line up is already interesting, as Vomitory will play along with Skullhog and Stoflik Omskot. NOW I understand why Gurbe walked the fields with such an enormous grin on his face!!! Wanda showed me an interview with a local metal mag, with the band telling where they would love to play… answer without hesitation ‘Stonehenge would be awesome’ \m/

But, back to now. This novelty of mine would be brought to the test: What would Toon say about Gutalax? Come to think of it, I don’t know if Alex or Thirza ever had seen the poop core before… Thirza possibly, as she visited some editions of Eindhoven Metal Meeting with me. All Van Kampens stood front row, EXCEPT ME! The beers had been so rapidly and abundant, I needed coffee, not a laxative :) I swerved around the pit, which was cool and enormous, but like said, without me. Later on Wanda got a FB movie of the pit, clearly with Alex, Thirza AND Toon present and a storm of confetti, blow up giraffes, toilet rolls and seats was present of course. Alex even got the set list:
- Assmeralda
- Toi Toi
- Nová – Nosím Misto Ponožky
- Nová – Poopcorn
- Nová – Diarrhero
- Šoustáni
- Total Rectal
- Fart and Furious
- Nová – Vaginapocalypse
- Jelen
- Donald
I think Nová means new, but I can’t hear any difference in old or new, but whatever. This band makes a party out of poo alone and counting three full lengths and three splits in a row that’s quite remarkable. The audience, no matter if they’re in Steenwijk, Eindhoven GoreCity, Trutnov or Copenhagen, it’s party time.
The Hannover Ladies spotted me and, to my surprise, Simone was in tears. Both ladies had suffered loss the last two years (death of the mother of the one and the father of the other) so I got quite emotional as well. It’s so good to know people from all over the continent care about each other, I insisted on getting ourselves in contact more again.
Consolation was next. I had known the band name for a long time, but never got to listen to them nor see them live. The death/grind was heavy, but I had to watch it from a distance. I can’t see it all, this day might as well have 29 bands… 27 now missing the first two. I had to use MA to find the band existed from 1989 to 2001 and between 2001 and 2005 under a different name. Fine. Time to eat. Not all of us thought they had enough cash, but all ATM’s were empty, broken or out of order. It was cozy to sit around parasols, 8 of us having a good time with HJ and Italian food.
It became time for LIK, had it not been the band has some sickness and last minute were replaced by Cryptosis. I promised myself, if I’d see them, I’d give them a fair chance of impressing me. The band, of course consisting of the late Distillator line up, now plays music in vein of bands/genres that influenced them and/or they like to play. Some interview mentioned Rush and Abbath as ‘likeable’ or ‘playable’ by Laurens, Frank and Marco, but I greatly missed the thrash energy, the guitar twang but strangely enough (remembering an Aardschok interview with Frank) mellotron and Hammond as well. I tried, I really did, but didn’t like it much.
Wanda later handed me a picture that exactly mirrored what I thought of Sinister at the moment: Aad looking angry that nobody near his stage is even interested or watching the band. Sorry guys, this is simply not your stage today. As it wasn’t on the 2014 edition, between Bodyfarm, Possessed and Obituary. I wanted to watch Malevolent Creation instead, but we were sitting at the farthest point of that stage so all I could do was a whiny picture, headbanging slightly to Eve of the Apocalypse, Premature Burial, Slaughter of the Innocent and Multiple Stab Wounds, not necessarily in this order. I liked it a lot, but as said hardly saw them. Another near miss: Misery Index. Again, I could not recall much, not because I don’t like it, but just never got to them right and they’ve played so often, I have no idea any more. In all good terms, the band got a warm welcome, just not by me because I simply wasn’t interested enough, as I haven’t been for quite some MI shows… Vader on the other hand, yeah that was great. Great to watch Toon finally getting the grunt, Alex banging his fist and head (not necessarily hitting each other ;) ) Thirza going nuts, Tom hitting the pit again, hearing a great sound of De Profundis songs, violence around, Pjotr in good mood and so on. Vader conquered Steenwijk and didn’t take prisoners. A LOT of Vader shirts got a new and satisfied owner, so to speak \m/

None had thought it would be easy for Suffocation to top Vader, but by hell they did. With a fierce set and an amazing sound no one stands still. Thirza made a little video for FB and you see me going nuts airguitaring, but totally missing the point musically HA HA HA. Suffocation simply SLAYED. Don’t ask me for titles this time, it was all good, old, new, fast or heavy, stuttering staccatos or fluent riffing, all was present. I think I’ve seen Suffocation on Stonehenge with three different singers : Mullen, Robinson, Myers. Awesome that a band can swift so easily, even though every singer has his own unique contribution to the band’s performance. Great!!

For the Marduk gig I made sure Toon and Alex sat down during the beginning of the set. I had brought beers, even though the beer pumps had been silent for some time… huh? A metal festival miscalculating beer??? Weizener it became, as a treat they weren’t two coins each, but due to the incident of Grolsch being sold out. I wanted to warn my brothers of the hell storm that was about to happen when Morgan and Co. entered stage: Marduk is celebrating 30 years of blasphemy, anti religion, war, hate and the rest and they don’t do a half job!! The anniversary is helped by another great sound, loud as a cannonballs being thrown off stairs of glass, fast as a razor through hot soup; all I had difficulty with was the blistering light show. But I know Marduk long enough to know it fits the set. All and all they played a nice cross of their entire carreer (thank setlist.fm for that, I just smiled to my brothers surviving the onslaught). Of course, the tracks I do recognize are Werwolf, Front Schwein and Panzer Division Marduk, the rest… click yourself ;)
Of headliner Samael I can be short: too much keys, hardly guitars, weird drum lines and way, way too much light for my likings. We rose up as one, emptied the last coins (handy for next year? I had totally forgotten to check before going >< I still have 2019 coins ><) . We could wait for a taxi, but none wanted to accept the nine of us, only put it in twos and threes for maximum gain? Oh no. Tom volunteered to drive us two times, he’s been off alcohol for two years now, and it fits him great. We split up, waiting for the second ride to have an afpils with my cousin Toon, but he didn’t show up. Fine, we were tired anyway, it had been a busy and long day full of several genres; 2,000 visitors meaning 1,000 friends, hugs, talks, beers and METAL! Great to see so many parts of my life talking by again, Marcels 1, 3, 4, 7, 8 and 11 present ^^ Thanks to Toon and Mirjam once more, the bed and breakfast were great as usual and the date is already set for next year: July 29th featuring AUTOPSY and at least six of us. Tickets bought typing this review, listening to bands I missed yesterday (…) and recalling the pictures and stories all over again. Metal!

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