Thursday, June 28, 2012

Weekend At The Fire Academy

This is just a random, pre-trip write up which I felt like posting just for fun. At the moment I am packing my bags in hopes of grabbing a plane in the extremely early morning hours and arriving in Germany with good friend Vuk, singer of the lovely "Furtive Forest" from Novi Sad. After years of the festival efficiently eluding my presence, I'm finally going to attend the well known screamo/hardcore event named "Cry Me A River". Held traditionally in Versmold, Germany, this year's line-up is filled with amazing bands and it will be a real pleasure and honor seeing them play. Here is the timetable for both festival days:

FRIDAY, June 29:
17:15 Crocus
18:00 Mio
18:45 Lentic Waters
19:30 Resurrectionists
20:15 Tempest
21:00 Lich
21:45 Titan
22:30 Alpinist
23:15 La Quiete

SATURDAY, June 30:
14:15 Autarkeia
15:00 Panzram
15:45 Hungry Lungs
16:30 Gentle Art of Chokin
17:15 Grinding Halt
18:00 Keitzer
19:45 Planks
20:30 Trainwreck
21:15 Battle of Wolf 359
22:00 June Paik
22:45 Loma Prieta
23:30 Graf Orlock

Additionally, we will be attending the "CMAR Warm-Up" show in Munster, which is happening tomorrow, along with the bands "Autarkeia", "Battle of Wolf 359", "Loma Prieta", "Panzram", "Resurrectionists" and "Tempest"! It is worth the note that these two gigs are the last appearances of "BOW359", since they will sadly break up after this, so this is absolutely a must!
All in all, I'm writing this down just so that my readers know they can come over and say hi and hangout, in case some of you are attending the festival, it will be a pleasure meeting some of you in person. Those following my tumblr page probably know how your host looks like, so maybe you happen to recognize me in the crowd. Either way, see you there!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Gig announcement: Loma Prieta, The Black Heart Rebellion, This Routine Is Hell

This is a quick shout toward all my readers hailing from the Netherlands, Belgium and/or Germany, concerning a really appealing concert! My better half managed to grab the chance and book an exclusive "Loma Prieta" show for the Netherlands and getting some awesome support acts in the process. 
So this gig is scheduled to happen on June 29 2012 in Arnhem, the Netherlands, at a venue called "Willemeen", which already got a brief coverage in one previous review I wrote found here. As you can see on the poster, doors are open from 20:00 hours (8 PM), the first band starting at 20:30. Initial sounds that night will come from a Dutch band called "This Routine Is Hell", playing quite intense melodic hardcore punk. Following the local support is an almost legendary band from Belgium going under the name of "The Black Heart Rebellion", famous for its epic post rock infused screamo. Last, but definitely not least, a vital piece of the machine known as "Deathwish.Inc", the San Francisco noisy yet melodic hardcore screamo quartet "Loma Prieta". Definitely an event worth your while, even if you have a long road to travel for it!

For more information on this show, including band links, a full gig timetable and online ticket purchase, check out the website of the venue found here. Thanks for reading and have a great time at the concert!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Interview: Wolf Down

Finally, as promised, here is the interview I did with an awesome upcoming band from Germany named "Wolf Down". After just a quick glance at their work, I immediately fell for their tunes and had a great desire to have a talk with them, so here is the fruit of our correspondence. Really friendly people doing something awesome, take a read and a listen, you won't regret it! 

1. Up front, thank you so much for taking your time to answer some questions for "Natures With No Plagues" blog. Please, introduce yourself and the rest of "Wolf Down".

Tommy: Hello, thanks for having us! My name is Tommy, I play guitar in "Wolf Down" together with Larissa, she is our singer, Sven is our drummer and Merlin plays the bass.

2. You are still a very young band, so I'm interested in hearing how did you all get together to start writing music.

Tommy: We started writing music together in April 2011. Larissa, Sven and Merlin had a band called "Sink Or Swim" together. This band called it quits about one and a half years before that and I had also just left a band. We knew each other from shows and knew, that the ethics of veganism and straight edge are very important to all of us. So we began talking about doing a band together promoting these ethics with a heavy and non-compromising sound and that's how it all started.

3. Why and how did you choose that particular name for the project? Does it have any special meaning for you or was it just cool to use?

Tommy: Yeah, sure, wolves are really cool animals! But to be honest, we really liked the meaning of "(to) wolf down" which menas, to eat hastily. In our opinion this reflects how most of the people do not pay any attention on what they eat and consume, where it comes from and how it is produced. So the name of the band directly displays our criticism about this behavior.

4. Thus far you have one release called "MMXI". Tell me something more about the album and some interesting details about the creation of it.

Tommy: It's actually the first 4 songs we ever wrote and recorded, so technically this is our demo. We recorded them even before we played our first show if I remember correctly. We are very happy how everything worked out and about the positive response we got for it!

5. You are all vegan and straight edge in the band. When and how did you first get in touch with these ideologies? What sparked the flame that took you down that path?

Tommy: It was about 7 years ago when I was searching people to do a new band with. So I knew this guy who I knew was a very good drummer, so we gave it a shot. We began talking and eventually I found out he was vegan. He was the first person I ever knew who was vegan. Sure, I knew some vegetarians but to be honest, until that point I always thought that this was some kind of thing hippies and mid-40s moms do to just feel better about themselves. Getting to know this person changed my life. I soon became very interested in how veganism works, what he eats and what else he is aware of. With his help I started thinking and informing myself about all the different aspects and organizations promoting a meat free living. To say the least, in my opinion not all of them are promoting it the right way but thats another thing. Se with his help and guidance the transition was very easy to me. Maybe I have to add that I never was a vegetarian, I went straight from omnivore to vegan.

Straight Edge is another thing. I had my first contacts with hardcore music and shows also about the time I became vegan and started the band mentioned above. By that time I already had stopped taking illegal and legal drugs which played a huge part in my teenage years. But I didn't consider myself straight edge because I just knew too little about it. With the time I spent within the scene I got to learn about all the positive aspects about it and now I am proud to call myself straight edge. You don't need a lable to abstain from drug use, but I believe that through this label it becomes more concrete and achievable especially for younger people. It gives everyone a feeling of affiliation which for some people is very important. By calling yourself straight edge you are promoting a clean, positive, liberated way of life. Of course there are some people misusing the straight edge for their elitist excluding "I'm better than you" bullshit, but thats not our idea of it. So you can feel save around us whilst drinking your beer ;)

6. Aside of through your band and obviously your diet, is there any other way that you support veganism? Some sort of activism or anything similar?

Tommy: Yes, sure, we try to show support for different organizations and actions as much as we can but we hope you understand that we don't want to go too much into detail about this!

7. Your lyrics critique the common "9 to 5" life style, so I'm interested in what do band members do for a living in their own time?

Tommy: We are trying to work our way around the system, but to be honest, this only works to some point. We have to pay rent and stuff, so we sadly have to make money somehow. Right now a couple of us are still studying, the other ones have to work.

8. Do you think that society as a whole can undergo a drastic change, especially now that riots and revolutions are flaming up all over the world?  In your opinion, can capitalism be smashed?

Sven: That drastic changes are possible is written in history, both, positive and emancipatory as well as negative, reactionary and destructive. That's why the unwritten future is like a scale with achievements and throwbacks. The uprisings all around the globe prove that society's are in turmoil. Even though there is no master plan "how to abolish capitalism once and for all" we have the impulse, the anger and the courage to provoke this systems collapse and to destroy and rebuild, because we surely know what we don't want and how it should not be. We have a dream which guides what we want and how a sustainable, liberated and emancipatory society could look like and be organised; self-governed based on non-violence, equality and solidarity. All actions against capitalism (as a whole, or it's excesses) and revolutionary struggles at all must be accompanied by actions for something (aka the utopia) because we create the new world already in the here and now. This also affects your own behavior! "The" revolution won't be a single event which will happen on day X and after it capitalism is history, no. The revolution is a developing process carried and impelled by it's proponents. That's why it is important to raise a network of united struggles worldwide. Cosmopolitical like the proposition - think global, act local.

9. Tell me something more about your local music scene and about Germany in general. Is there anything you specifically love or hate about it? 

Tommy: The music scene in Germany is really big. There are a lot of clubs where shows take place. It's sad, but most hardcore shows are taking place in clubs that are run with a commercial interest so the shows are mostly expensive. We don't have a lot of alternatives in our area, there are some, but without a commercial background it's mostly not possible to pay what booking agencies are asking for bigger bands nowadays. Touring in Germany is very nice because the standards are very high. You get mostly good food, don't have to worry about sleeping places and promoters keep their promises. I guess thats the main reasons that bands are touring Germany over and over again (despite the fact that the hardcore scene is huge). So here you have it. We love the food but hate the money aspects about it in some cases.

10. Are there any more xvx bands in your surrounding area with which you do shows or somehow collaborate?

Tommy: We don't know about any other xvx bands in our area, there is one in eastern Germany called "Barren". We recently played a show with them and they are really great.

11. It is known that some of you have been involved with the band "Sink or Swim". How much does the music writing process differ between these two bands?

Sven: The sound differs as "Wolf Down" is a way heavier than "Sink or Swim" was, but the writing process is pretty similar. The guitarist writes stuff on his own and shows it to the rest at rehearsals or we just jam together and see what comes out. Mostly it's like a puzzle as we sort out a few parts and replace them, in turn, a few fit into another song idea and that's the way it goes. It's not always that easy, maybe that's also the reason why we don't have so many songs yet, but it's important to us that everyone is satisfied or at least compromised with the result. The difference which exists is, that in "Wolf Down" only Larissa is writing lyrics which she feels more comfortable with when it comes to performing the songs. In "Sink or Swim" almost everyone in the band was involved in writing lyrics.

12. Aside of "Wolf Down" and the already mentioned "Sink or Swim", do band members have some other projects? 

Tommy: Yes, Merlin has a really great band called "Rocksofa". They kill it! Other than that, all of us played in other bands in the past. 

13. At this point, are there any special plans for the future of "Wolf Down"?

Tommy: We are leaving for our first trip to Sweden on July 5th and we are really excited about this! We will also be playing Fluff Fest this year which feels truly amazing because in my opinion it's the best place to be for a hardcore/punk (or really any kind of) band!

In August we will be touring the Balkan States for a little over 2 weeks with our friends in "Demonwomb" (check them out!) from Austria. On this tour we will play shows in Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Austria.We are really looking forward to this and to find out what the hc/punk scene is like over there! After this there will be a few single shows in Germany before we leave for the UK in mid-September.

As you can see, we have a lot of shows to come this year ;)

Besides all the shows of course we are overly excited how everyone will react on our new "Renegades" 7" which was released on June 16th.

14. Again, thank you so much for doing this interview! Any final message for the readers? 

Sven: Thank you even more for your interest and thanks to everyone out there for taking the time to read what we have to say! Now get off the internet! Stop mourning - take action.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Vestiges European Summer Tour 2012

This tour is well under way, but I just decided to post this here in case someone missed out on the initial news. That and, truth be told, I like the tour poster quite a lot. Either way, "Vestiges" are on the road for a massive six week period and the only thing I urge my readers to do is to go and attend at least one show! I'll be lucky enough to see them on both "New Noise" and in the Netherlands the day later, even traveling with them in the process, so in case you happen to be on those gigs come by and say hi!
In case you are, for some obscure reason, unfamiliar with the band you can check out the interview I did with them, found here and even in the printed edition of "Tigersuit" zine number two! Also visit their facebook page, found here, for more consistent tour updates.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Gig review: Thou, Resurrectionists, Grinding Halt

This review comes extremely late due to various reasons. I've been taking some time to enjoy life a bit before some upcoming problems and also I waited quite a bit to recollect my thoughts about the gig appropriately, since it left a really magnificent impression on me. Additionally, it has been hellishly warm in Serbia these days and I can barely think straight, let alone find myself in an inspiring or creative mood, so this will probably be shortish.

The show seems to have happened ages ago, when it was in fact only ten days ago. On 13 June 2012 the venue called "Emo-Keller", translated to "emo cellar", hosted these three amazing bands. Not only was I extremely excited about seeing the live manifestations of these projects, but this was also my first time in Germany which increased the thrill that much further. After an hour or so train ride from the Netherlands, my companion and I arrived to the town of Essen. We took our time walking through the city, finally arriving to the venue which is located in a really nice and secluded location surrounded by other buildings and greenery. The very name of the place very well justifies the interior, since the venue is in fact a cellar. Once you step into the building, stairs await you on the right and they take you down to the gig space. A rather small, tight cellar with walls filled with writings, posters and stickers, one tiny bar and toilets. The lighting was quite nice, since it was really bright during breaks which was excellent for browsing distros and rather dim when the bands were playing, making a great atmosphere. No matter how the interior seems plain and minimalist, it provides everything you need for a diy show, including a great sound and enough room for everyone who attended. The funny thing is that although this is probably the smallest venue I have attended thus far it was packed with an insanely high amount of merch and distros. 
First in line was a local German band, the well known chaotic screamo project named "Resurrectionists". After a number of releases, some including splits with bands such as "Arse Moreira" and "Battle Of Wolf 359" to name a few, I am sure that everyone has heard of this act thus far. Even this blog has seen its share of mentioning their name in the form of an interview back in December 2011, which you can read here. In any case, their performance managed to live up to the awesomeness of their recordings and it was a true enjoyment witnessing them play, despite the band lacking one guitar player and one vocalist. All that aggression, speed and overall massiveness of their sound was transferred to "Emo-Keller" that night, being increased even further and coming out as a real chaotic beast. Their set was a true beating to the senses, flinging between being extremely dark and melancholic to brutally fast and pounding, making you feel surprised and unaware of upcoming tunes even if you know their songs all too well. Some of the songs which were played that night include "Schein Und Lüge", "In Der Stille", "Necropolis" and "451". I am looking forward to seeing them play on "Cry Me A River" warm-up and the actual festival, since I wonder how they will sound in a different venue. Although the show space in Essen fully supported their sound, there seemed to be a certain aspect of music you couldn't really discover and delve into amid the chaos, so I'm quite excited about future shows. And of course, seeing them with a full line-up. Nevertheless, this performance was quite intriguing.
A small break ensued which we used for digging through the distros, but soon enough it was time for the second act. "Grinding Halt" was up next and there is really nothing else to say other than the fact that they were simply breathtaking. This was their second show I was attending in a rather short time span, first one being in Arnhem and about which you can read here, and I honestly thought that there was no way that they could top that performance. They managed to do just that in Essen, pushing the scale of my liking for their music way up high. Although their recordings are amazing to listen to, their live performances seem to beat everything. The pissed off and rushing hardcore at home turns into a gigantic savage monstrosity of chaos and aggressive passion during shows. Their transformation is so thorough that the two can hardly be compared, which is by no means a flaw. Much like in my review of their previous show, it is quite hard to describe the amount of energy they amass during a particular set. Standing there in the front row and being soaked with those emotional waves created by the band, especially hailing from Mark who is continuously moving and throwing himself around the stage and into the audience, is something not for writing and is just needed to be experienced live. Much like "Resurrectionists", "Grinding Halt" will play on "Cry Me A River" and I am absolutely thrilled to see them for the third time, feeling quite honored to do so. Something tells me that this band still has a few aces up its sleeve and that they will provide an outstanding performance on the festival, which will definitely be the climax of my infatuation for their music. Absolutely no one should miss out on this!
Yet another break and then it was time for the guests from the USA to play. What to say about "Thou" that people already don't know? Simply put, Baton Rouge, Louisiana succeeded in giving birth to one of the most hardworking bands out there, the quintet continuously touring, doing shows and creating scores of astounding releases every year. After a truly impressive number of performances and a really admirable discography, there they were in front of me in Essen. Although I wasn't introduced to their sound from their very beginnings, my love for their work lingers and grows for a couple of years now and it was unbelievably exciting for me to finally get to see them live. From the very first moment when guitars started to buzz, screech and scream through the venue it became apparent that a true spectacle will transpire for the audience. This is probably the first band I ever saw that managed to set up a certain type of mood the very second it started to play. There was no introduction, no musical buildup to drag the crowd into the band's story, just an instant incantation entrancing the listener. I always considered "Thou" to have a completely unique sound which no other band has, but I never expected that they will be able to transfer that energy so fast and so strong. All that gloom, depression and dread found in their recordings was detonated in the venue, the senses left drenched in ultimately melancholic and atmospheric sludge...or doom or however people like to call it. For example, "Tyrant" completely blew my mind away, since the song was executed perfectly, but the sound and experience was increased a thousandfold with each song section shining under the spotlight. The atmospheric instances were eerie, the melodic parts extremely driving and the crescendo moments just came falling down like a ton of bricks. I could go on and on with describing what kind of an impression was left on me with their performance per song, but my review would end up being a true praise fest. Thus I will stop here, saying that this is definitely the band that gets the highest of marks in regards to making their set into a real work of art. Slowly, but surely, crawling into my top favorite concerts.
This review doesn't seem to need a special outro, seeing as how its length and description of sounds give a really full and complete circle. The only thing needed as closure is a definite plea to all readers to check these bands out, if you haven't done so already, and be on a lookout for future shows. Hope you enjoyed the read.
Additionally, I would like to thank both Bryan and Lars for being involved and concerned about where my girlfriend and me would spend the night, as well as all those wonderful German people who offered their help. And of course, thanks a lot to Christian and his roommates for providing us with an awesome place to stay.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gig review: Tragedy, Momentum

I'm back again with yet another review of an absolutely amazing show. This year has been quite generous to me in regards of throwing mind blowing gigs my way, leading me to a point where I am thinking whether or not I will ever encounter a not so impressive band performance. The blog has seriously become a place where band members can come and get a confidence boost, since all my words end up as being praises. Trust me when I say that this show and review will not be any different.

Two days ago, 7 June 2012, the legends of crust came to the city of Nijmegen after having a show in Amsterdam the night before. It was time to conquer the venue named "De Onderbroek", a place about which I heard many stories before the gig and I was really looking forward to checking it out. After ten or so minutes of walking from the train station you stumble upon the venue, found in a really nice looking neighborhood and under a small sign where the name of the place is written. Once inside you are greeted with a ticket desk, although "tickets" were actually stamps on the hands of visitors, and a staircase on the right leading underground into the actual concert room. To be honest, despite being excited about visiting the venue, I ended up not paying that much attention to it due to the fact that I was thrilled about meeting dear friends from "Reflections Of Internal Rain" who had a free day amid their tour. In case you didn't know, they still have a lot of touring to do, so check out their dates here if you are interested in grabbing a show! Either way, what I did notice about the place was that it had a really cool atmosphere about it, dim light, dark walls and lots of stickers and posters everywhere. When you descend the stairs, the first thing you see is a merch desk, followed by a door on your left. Pass the door and you are greeted with an extremely low stage on the other side of the room, a bar on the left and clothing hangers on the right. There is also a small corner with zines and fliers which visitors can freely browse. Overall, a very underground look and feel, although the main problem is that the venue IS underground, which makes the air during the gig turn extremely hot and humid. 
At 9:30 PM, exactly on time, "Momentum" took the stage and opened the evening. Despite forming in 2011 the band managed to clear the way for itself and grab attention immediately. Known for having members who were and are involved in "Light Bearer", "Plague Mass", "Fall of Efrafa" and "XZieglerX", this project brings fast and melodic epic hardcore/crust inspired by the work of Carl Sagan, the Zeitgeist movement and the message present in the movie "Earthlings". Judging by the influences, this band proved to be both gentle and extremely angry. In case you are, for some obscure reason, unfamiliar with the band you can check an interview I did with Matthew, found here. First song in row was "Prelude", sadly without the amazing Carl Sagan speech sample, immediately showing that the performance will be intense and furious. The band sounded as powerful and as clear as on the recordings, creating a strong wall of sound which stood steady during the entire set. Songs like "Void", "Emergence", "Mercy" and "Vast" were played, if I remember correctly, the quintet continuously lashing out at the audience with its tunes. The only thing I found a bit astray was the fact that the vocals seemed more high pitched than on the recordings, although still being great and enjoyable. Needless to say, their set was highly entertaining, the venue providing a superb amount of sound quality so that everything was heard clearly. Both the melodic and the more violent song sections held their ground, melding into a truly unstoppable force and showing that "Momentum" is here to stay. A rather young band, but with already a really bright future ahead. Once again, if you missed out on them, be sure to check them out.
A short break ensued, which I used for diving into the distro section and talking to the guys from "ROIR", trying to fill in the void between the bands since I was really anxious about the upcoming performance. Soon enough the band managed to set up and it was time to send the audience to an unbelievable ride. There really is no need for any special introductions for this legendary quartet from Memphis/Portland, since there is absolutely no explanation why you wouldn't know about this band. "Tragedy", along with other hardcore punk/crust bands like "His Hero Is Gone", "Wolfpack" and "Amebix", is the project that initially and thoroughly shaped me into what I am today, thus seeing them live for the very first time is a rather world shattering event for me. Ever since their formation they have been an insanely active touring band and I have always envied a lot of my friends who had the privilege to see them perform, all of them having only amazing things to say about a particular show, so on last Thursday I got a chance to assure myself of their claims. Pounding drums, slowly building up guitar playing, lots of distortion, noise and microphonics, "Conflicting Ideas" exploded in the venue. I cannot explain the amount of shivers down my spine and the savage beating in my chest at those initial moments, the band managing to completely strike at me without remorse. When the song was over I expected at least a short breather, but "Tragedy" went full on with their assault and hitting immediately with "Not Fucking Fodder", followed by "The Hunger". Before the gig I found some of the band's past setlists and they mostly played songs from their newest output called "Darker Days Ahead", which I didn't listen to a lot of times and I remained unfamiliar with it. The setlist from last Thursday was abundant with older songs, which blew my mind completely. An excellent repertoire with songs like "Beginning Of The End", "Crucifier", "Vengeance", "Products Of A Cold War" and "You Are An Experiment" successfully fed the needs of the crowd clinging to their older material. Needless to say, the band proved equally passionate and merciless with their new songs as they combined "The Grim Infinite" and "The Feeding Hour" into what seemed  like one epic track, showing growth and expansion of sound in a marvelous fashion. I watched and listened to their entire set with pure amazement, just swallowing the waves of sound that were flooding from stage and entirely realizing why and how this band managed to sculpt me and legions of others, creating a real cult following in the process. Their performance ended in a crescendo of sound, coming in the form of an encore song "The Point Of No Return", curiously enough the very first song I heard when I found out about "Tragedy". Inexplicably epic.
How to properly end a review of a show which left you entirely speechless? I will surely remember that night and all its details perfectly, hoping that one day I will be able to witness these bands live once again. I give my endless thanks to "Tragedy" for providing inextinguishable flames of inspiration and motivation through all these years. Thank you. Hope you enjoyed the review.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gig review: Grinding Halt, Landverraad, Slakkengang

Only two days after "Wolves In The Throne Room", while I was still trying to shake off the awesome feeling they left me with and get back to normality, this gig came as a wonderful surprise. What I thought would be a random "local" show turned out to be a rather interesting and thrilling event. Although there are three bands present in this review I will keep things short, so prepare yourself for a quick read.

The gig took place on a lazy Friday evening of 25 May 2012 at a venue called "Willemeen" in Arnhem, the Netherlands. For various reasons I have been really excited about seeing this place, since I heard a lot about it prior to the show, and I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised. You find yourself in front of the venue after a short walk from the train station, facing a really pretty, old looking building with a big entry way and huge windows covered in posters. A couple of steps inside take you into the actual room where the gig was supposed to happen. The entire place has a very minimalist design, a small low stage, a nice bar, a merch desk and that is about it. This particular show wasn't really crowded, but the room seems like it can support a fair number of people, so it pretty much serves all needs one might have for a hardcore show.
First in line for that evening was "Slakkengang", a chaotic screamo duo from Tilburg. I have known about this band for some time now thanks to dear friend Joost who does vocals and guitar playing in "Slakkengang" and who was also a member of one other Dutch band which was featured on this blog, "Laatste Halte". In case you don't remember that band, I did an interview with them for "Tigersuit" zine and you can read it here. In any case, I was seriously surprised with what I heard that night and I really feel sorry that I put this band on hold for so long. Their set was an extremely nice mixture of tense and violent rending with some gentle and melodic guitar playing. The songs swing between being utterly chaotic, parts which are executed quite well and managing to keep you highly entertained, and those slower guitar sections that honestly reminded me of some Italian screamo bands like "La Quiete" or "Raein". The band opened their set in a loud and violent fashion, so those melodic instances showed up as an unexpected surprise. Drumming also kept bouncing between a true beating to the chest and being highly atmospheric, so despite being chaotic the band kept a certain amount of order and construction.
A short break followed after which came "Landverraad", a really angry and fast hardcore/power violence band from Amsterdam. There is a sentence on their page which describes them rather accurately. "Short songs, long speeches." Indeed, their songs are very short, explosive and they attack you without warning when your guard is down. Everything is happening with haste and it's basically as if a really pissed off storm flew over your head. The music itself is in a constant state of rushing, but what I found awesome was the fact that the vocals manage to speed things up even further. Both the main and the backing vocals flow excellently with the tunes, adding a special something to the overall mood. Microphone duties are left entirely to the two girls of the band and I think that their high pitched screams give a certain choking sensation to the ears, which is great in combination to the spasm-like tunes coming from the strings and drums. Also, as the sentence pointed out, the band took its time with talking to the audience during pauses between songs and they actually made a sort of quiz with prizes for the crowd. A couple of questions regarding anarchism and extinct wildlife were asked and patches and candy handed out as a reward, which really made the whole thing seem like a cozy house show.
Last, but definitely not least was "Grinding Halt", a project from Groningen and a band known for having ex-members of "The Last Mile" and the legendary "Shikari". And let's be honest, the legacy of both bands has carved its mark on "Grinding Halt" and it is by no means a bad thing. The band came and annihilated the senses of the audience without remorse. Rushing, violent, heart stopping and continually mind blowing, their performance swept me off my feet. Everything was superb, from the sound they created and the movement of the band to the very energy they radiated with during their set, nothing was astray. Despite me listening to their material way before this show, I somewhat forgot about them in the meantime and I really can't remember which songs were played that evening. This show definitely made me want to correct my mistake and keep the band stuck in my head permanently. The performance left a serious impression on me, since it was nothing like I expected. It was the sheer amount of chaos and just the energy transferred to the audience that managed to stun me so much, showing that special something that the older screamo bands used to have, a really passionate and heartfelt vibe.
Shortly put, excellent gig and on top of that it was free. All three bands were a real enjoyment to watch and listen, so you should definitely check them out! "Slakkengang" recently came back from a mini UK tour and there are some new things looming ahead, so check them out on their bandcamp page, found here, to keep up to date. "Landverraad" put out a split with one other Dutch band called "Sloth", you can take a listen to it here. As for "Grinding Halt", I will have the pleasure to see them live again in a couple of days with "Thou" and "Resurrectionists" and you will definitely get to read more about my impressions regarding their music. Until then, you can check them out on their facebook page found here. Hope you enjoyed this wall of gobble!