Neurotic Death Fest 2014, Day 3, 4 May 2014

I skipped the second day of this festival, as it featured only few bands I actually knew. Of which  I have seen Suffocation quite a few times, Lock Up appeared only a month or two ago in Rotterdam, so the only band for which  I actually would have to drive to Tilburg would be Brutal Truth – who announced they would no longer tour a while back and I have never seen live. I opted not to go, also because three long festival days is a bit too much for me.

I entered the venue while Fleshless was playing. I had seen them a few times but that was really long ago, and I only remember that I didn’t care much for them. I watched a song or two, watch a small bit of Warpath in the Batcave which was overcrowded and then walked to the large hall.

There it was time for Grave. A great band for a small venue, but on a big stage, there always seems to be lacking something. The sound was not too great, way too much echo on the vocals and a thin guitar sound (which would be the case for most of the bands in the main hall). The played a few newer songs and mostly classic material.

I checked some more merchandise as the next couple of bands in the small hall and the batcave didn’t interest me much. Then back to the large hall. I hadn’t heard Misery Index before, so I checked them out for a while, but after a song or three decided to go get something to eat. I don’t dig their modern death metal much.

Pestilence was the next band to appear in the large hall. A sort of legendary Dutch death metal band, that also have a new album released a while back. But it seems they didn’t care much for it, as they played on automatic pilot. Patrick sought little interaction with the audience and they played very few classic songs, apart from two of Testimony of the Ancients and Echoes of Death. Most of it was drowned out in a rather bassy sound and they stopped more than 5 minutes too early. Great drumming though by Psycroptic drummer David Haley.

Then in the small hall one of the main interesting bands this day: Pentagram. The one from Chili that is. A old school death metal act that had only released their debut album last year  some 28 years after they were founded. I wasn’t all too familiar with them, apart from a cover song by Napalm Death. But anyway, great live band and great show.

I missed a bit of Gorguts because Pentagram played a bit longer. Not too bad, I’m still not entirely convinced their latest album is as great as the classic early albums, especially the mind boggling Obscura album. Never the less the set mainly consisted of  songs off the newest album, only the last three songs were older material which were much more interesting and powerful.

Then quickly back to the small hall were another semilegendary band would play. Namely Cancer. I haven’t seen them live before. Pretty basic UK thrashy death metal, simple songs, good sound. Contrary to my expectations they hall was overcrowded with Cancer fans. Witchhunt with its killer riff was played quite early in the set. Furthermore they played only songs of their first three albums, the only ones worth listening too anyway. I didn’t see Mameli in the audience, but maybe he should have cause he could learn a bit or two about playing a death metal gig.

Then again quickly back to the main hall, where the festival closer had already started their intro: Dark Angel. Another band I hadn’t been able to see  play live before. The sound in the main hall was somewhat better, though the guitars were quite thin. They took us through their entire catalogue, starting with Darkness Descends – they actually played nearly the entire album anyway, and a couple of the debut We Have Arrived including the title track. Great gig really, played with lots of energy and enthusiasm. They even played longer than the scheduled time but no encore.

All in all quite an interesting festival. with two amazing gigs (God Macabre and Cancer) a couple of really good ones (Dark Angel, Pentagram, Terrorizer) and a lot of good gigs and a couple of let downs (Pestilence, Massacre).


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