X-Mass Metal Fest @ 013, December 2004

The X-mass metal fest is an annual tour that always comes to Tilburg. Unfortunately the bands playing there are often the same. But this year Napalm Death was on it, which was the reason for me to go.

The first band to play was Ensiferium, some sort of folk metal or whatever. Not really my liking, so I went to the other hall near the end of the set where Melechesh was supposed to play but didn’t as they didn’t like they place on the line-up. Hence they were replaced by Planet Aids as I was told. That band was quite weird – no drums a guitar player, a bass player and a guy who fiddled with some button on some effects machine. Plus they had some guys who shouted some words towards the audience. I Can’t say that I liked them to.

So I went back to the main hall where Vader was the next band – one of these bands that frequent this tour a lot. I was kind of surprised by their early playing time, but whatever. This band is always kinda good but never really seems to amaze me. I haven’t followed them any more since there ‘black to the blind’ album. They played some classic songs (Carnal, Silent Empire) and some new songs. Nothing really inspiring anymore tho.

Next up in the small hall were Black Dahlia Murder, who I wanted to check out as I heard some good stories about them – but never heard them before. And I agree – they are a pretty good live band with lots of energy. This resulted in a pretty good response from the audience. After their set I went back to the main hall

There, Dark Funeral played, who also frequent these tours. They seemed like a bunch of old ladies on stage (with leather and corspe paint and all – but hey) – this was probably the dullest band I have ever seen on stage. No interaction with the audience – they guys were just standing there playing their stuff. Not that their music was interesting either. Fortunately they played only some 30 minutes instead of the 45 they were given. In the meantime I wanted to check out Belphegor playing in the small hall, but that was so full I couldn’t get in anymore. But no loss tho, as I had seen them before and didn’t like them that much.

In the main hall, Finntroll was next. Another of these folk metal bands. I can’t really understand why people like this kind of music – it just sounds to happy for metal. They played well, but it wasn’t my thing at all.

Scarve was another band I wanted to check out, they played in the small hall again. They had two singers (not playing any other instrument), which is not very common, but they sound too much alike to make a difference. Their music was death metal mixed with some industrial – which wasn’t really what I liked. Not that they were bad, but.

After Scarve I stayed in the main hall as I wanted to avoid Mystic Circle like the plague. I can’t understand why they would headline the small hall. Anyway, I don’t want to spend too much words on them. It was Unleashed that were next in the main hall. A band I had not seen in their main days (early 90s). So it was time for me to catch up, altho I never thought that much of them. Natheless, they played a cool set with quite some classic songs off the first three LPs, including Into Glory Ride and Before The Creation Of Time.

Then it was time for the band I came for, Napalm  Death and the first to play on the drumkit that had been covered by a cloth the whole time. So the other drumkit was removed and they had the entire stage to fill, which Barney did. Jesse Pintando wasn’t with them, so only one guitar, which made it sound a bit thin. But further they were great (as always). Raging their way through a great set of mostly classics (from Scum) and a couple of covers from their latest LP – leaders not followers part 2 (which consists entirely of covers). The only letdown was that they didn’t play anything from Utopia Banished – no ‘the world keeps turning’ or ‘I abstain’. Also they played to new songs off the forthcoming LP ‘ the code is red – long live the code’ which sounded pretty good.

Setlist (roughly in order)

  • – Instinct of survical
  • – Nacroleptic
  • – breed to breathe
  • – Taste the poison
  • – Continueing War on stupidity
  • – Lowlife (Cryptic Slaughter cover)
  • – The Code is Red … long live the Code
  • – From Enslavement To Obliteration
  • – Scum
  • – The Kill
  • – Deceiver
  • – You Suffer
  • – Blind Justice (Agnostic Front cover)
  • – New song
  • – Life?
  • – Suffer the Children
  • – Nazi Punks Fuck Off
  • – Siege Of Power

The final band of the day was Marduk. A band I’ve seen years back, but now had a complete new line-up including a new singer. I couldn’t really get into it and the new singer was not my thing. I knew a few songs from the setlist (Wolves amongst others) since I gave up on them after their nightwing lp. Anyway, they couldn’t really interest me much.

It was that Napalm Death was their but otherwise, it wouldn’t have been a very interesting day – but I wouldn’t have gone then anyway.

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