On this warm summer day, the Baroeg had organised an interesting death metal package, around an Obituary summer festival tour. And I wasn’t the only one to appreciate this packages as the venue was sold out days before it started. And as I about to enter the venue, none other than Martin Van Drunen was standing in line behind me.
The opening band was the Dutch Villainy. I hadn’t heard them before, but this power trio plays an interesting mix of metal styles. A lot of death metal influences, with largely black sounding vocals, but also some more doom passages and sludge. The intro’s of the songs are sometimes a bit boring but the riffing is quite interesting.
Entrails looks like Entombed, sounds like Nihilist, well at least quite a lot. One doesn’t come by any more Swedish sounding death metal than this. HM-2 to the max, d-beats, everything is there, even – in one song – the phantasm theme appears in a somewhat altered form. So there is hardly anything original in this band at all. And frankly they fill a huge gap ever since Entombed stopped playing death metal ages ago and more recently Dismember quit. None the less, they do it quite well, the albums are quite good and live it is all very solid as well. Anyway, the set touched, not surprisingly all three of their albums. And even played an encore – The Morgue.
Then there was Bodyfarm. I had seen them before and this is a sort of mellow form death metal. They play it all by the book, but it misses any aggression and power, and actually good riffs. Everything they play sounds familiar. I can’t but compare them to other “easy listening” death metal like Amon Amarth or even Arch Enemy.
Then Thanatos, a band that can never be accussed of lacking originality. They are one of the oldest death metal bands that are still around, centered around Stefan Gebedi. I think it must have been some 10 years since I saw them live. They opened up with some old songs off their debut album: the classic Dawn of the Dead followed by Outward of the Inward. Then mixed in a few songs from newer albums as well as a completely new album. I guess Martin van Drunen was checking out his band mates from Hail of Bullets, as he was up front during this gig haha. Nevermind. The last song was a cover songs, normally for a band with this amount of songs under their belt a cover is generally a weak spot in the set, but this one got a touch of extra. They played Massacre’s Dawn of Eternity. And guess who played bass on the original. And who plays bass in Obituary. Right Terry Butler, so out comes Terry with his bass, Stefan gives his guitar to the Thanatos bass player and just sings. Then they play Dawn of Eternity. Great show. And I’m looking forward to their new album and hopefully a few more shows.
Then the last band is Obituary. Last time I saw them they played a set consisting merely of the first three albums, which incidentely are the only worthy albums. It seems they sat down somewhere in 1986 or there about and wrote a whole bunch of really good riffs, and composed a dozen or two songs around them. Everything afterward is far less interesting. Turned out they pretty much did the same songs as last year, but with a couple of new songs thrown in. Some Slowly we Rot first, then some Cause of Death. The first new song they played was really crap. The second was a tad better. Then some more Cause of Death and finally a bunch of The End Complete. They played well, very good sound, and a crazy crowd despite the heat, well at least for gigs in the West of The Netherlands. And then some encores. First another new song, Inked in Blood, which was a lot better than the other two. And then I’m in Pain and of course Slowly we Rot.