Thousand Faces

  
On Friday I’m off to Holland for four days. Originally it was meant to be a quick trip to catch the Dynamo Metal Festival (DMF) in Eindhoven, but as it is my better half’s birthday later in the week I’m heading out for an extra day either side of the original plans. 

The DMF is held within the confines of the Ijssportcentrum Eindhoven – the cities ice hockey venue. 2016 marks the second edition of the festival, last years included Bio-Hazard, Nuclear Assault, Death Angel and overseen by Arch Enemy. 

Four of the first five bands I’ve had no dealings with so the next few days are going to be a novelty trip for myself also. I originally purchased two early bird tickets the Monday after the first festival finished whilst sitting in a hotel room in Dublin after seeing Nuclear Assault playing the evening prior. Only Sacred Reich were announced, but at €10 for a ticket how could I go wrong? One stage nine bands – now that’s an old school festival!

The privilege of opening up proceeding is local band Extremities who won a battle of the bands contest for this opportunity. They describe themselves on Facebook as a progressive groove metal band. Their debut EP will be released on the day of the festival which is a shame as it would have been nice to hear a few more tracks beforehand. Judging from the one track I have heard they seem to be a very competent bunch of kids, this sounds really good for a band that have been together for a little over a year. Hopefully we’ll make it to the Ijssportcentrum in time to see them hit the stage just before noon, but as we are based in Amsterdam for the weekend it’ll be a bit hit and miss. 

A 7 minute version of Thousand Faces is taken from the Rakshasa EP that surfaces on July 16th. At the very least look for it on streaming sites and check out their Facebook page.

  

Crank Up The Everything

Well I seem to have neglected the blog since my return from my foray to the Netherlands, so here’s something quick as a stop gap.

The Netherlands Deathfest was superb, if a bit tiring. Some great performances, especially a European firsts for Gruesome and Morpheus Descends. Superb sets by stalwarts Asphyx, Autopsy, Thanatos and Entrails. And finally getting to see Canadian old school thrashers Razor was a definite highlight – just a pity they had no merch with them!

The venue, Tilburg’s 013, was one of the best venues I’ve been inside and like the Hedon in Zwolle apparently randomly placed in a sleepy European town. Apart from the 7 foot tall Dutch in front, the views all over the place were unobscured and no real queues at the multiple bars or even the toilets. The token system employed is, well, different. Easy enough to use but you do tend to lose track on how much you’ve spent.

Punctual public transport, once we’d left England, and relativity cheap and very clean. Eindhoven mid Monday morning was odd as the city was still sleeping in at noon. None of the shops opened much earlier, which left us at a loose end for a couple of hours. The only people besides us (and the other black clad metal heads from the gig) frequenting the streets of Eindhoven were all manner of people on bicycles. So many bikes.

All in all a good weekend.

A band I was introduced to over the weekend by a friend and partial to a drop of absinthe, were native Eindhoveans Peter Pan Speedrock. They’ve only been knocking around for two decades and November this year sees them bowing out of the music world in their retirement year. See how I have my finger on the pulse?

I can safely say with music I do tend to judge a book by its cover. Either by a musical description or band name alone, I may shy away from a hidden gem, and unfortunately this Dutch rock ‘n’ roll band are one such act. Very much in the Motörhead vein with some psychobilly traits, thanks to Spotify, I’ve been listening to their back catalogue relentlessly since I got home on Monday.

With a bit of luck, even though nothing has been announced yet, I hope I get to see them on these fair shores at least once before they call it quits.

Crank Up The Everything is taken from the 2010 album We Want Blood!

Guerrilla Insurgency

Another weekend another trip to London! I’ve been to more gigs in London than I have in Stoke this year, mainly because hardly anyone has visited the area that has interested me. After Sunday’s show I still have one more in London to round out the year.

Sunday’s show see’s a thrash triple bill finishing off their European tour. The task of opening the shows on the First Contact Tour goes to Dutch thrashers Distillator.

I’m pretty certain this is their first trip to the UK, I could be wrong so apologies if I am. Being blunt the Enschede trio are nothing original with their crunching Destruction inspired thrash metal, but what they do they do extremely well.

For a band who will only reach their third anniversary in January 2016 they appear to be as highly polished as their numerous bullet belts. A debut album in the bag, two European tours done and support slots with heavy weights such as Anthrax, W.A.S.P., Suicidal Tendencies and Gojira. This is one band I’m really looking forward to seeing.

http://distillator.eu


Deathhammer

Hopefully I’m heading north to Leeds tomorrow for the Damnation Festival. An indoor event now held over four venues all housed within the the walls of Leeds University.

To be honest there aren’t many bands this year that I want / need to see, which is why it’s a “hopefully going” rather than “I am going”!

The biggest attraction for be is Asphyx hailing from Overijssel in Holland. Asphyx are primarily a death metal band, but later in the their career fused the death metal buzz saw guitars with a few more doom metal elements.

A rare visit to UK soil – but like buses you wait for ages and two turn up together! In a 23 year career, admittedly a very stop start 23 year career, they have only played London twice before (that I am aware of. I’m pleased to be politely corrected if wrong). The first time back in 2007 and their latest visit was earlier this year where they headlined the Doom Over London festival – again in London. Despite a dodgy sound in the Tufnel Park Dome their take of old school death metal was still a crushing end to proceedings.

It’s going to be case of going as you never know if, or when, they’ll be back!

Deathhammer is taken from their most recent album that surfaced in 2012.