Cryptopsy @ Het Paard, Den Haag, 4 September 2014

I’ve been living in the The Hague (Den Haag) area now for some 15 years and this is only the second gig in The Hague I go to (see also this post So to say that metal is alive and kicking in here is a blantant lie. A long time ago Het Paard was a legendary venue in the Netherlands where all the metal packages landed, including acts such as Slayer, Sepultura, Bolt Thrower. But that has all vanished a long time ago. Well at least some people seem to think that that needs to change and that is good. So they brought the Cryptopsy package to The Hague. The show was far from sold out and I can think of two secondary reasons, one starting at 19.00 is quite early on a working day. And the ticket price is on the high side (E 22.50 compared to say Arnhem where it cost only E 15).

So as the first band starts the venue is nearly empty. This first band is the Isreali Matricide who seemed to play metalcore with some minimal death metal influences. They seem a bit out of place in this package and the audience response was marginal. I didn’t like them much either.

The second band was Jungle Rot from the USA. I had seen them before, twice, but only had some vague memories of that. They play mostly mid-paced, old school death metal, but it is a bit too standard and the riffs aren’t too good, so it doesn’t really stick. At least the singer made quite an effort to engage the audience but to very little avail.

Thirdly, there was the brutal death metal band Disgorge. That is, the Disgorge from the USA. Well with most brutal death metal you know how it works, lots of blasting, gutteral vocals and fast, abstract riffs with little melody. That’s exactly what these guy do. It certainly is fast, and despite some issues with the drumkit, they played quite tight. Impressive to watch but other than that not really my style of music.

Cryptopsy made two amazing albums early on and then seemed to be wanting to impress with over the top technical metal and even later deathcore. Their latest album was a sorts of return to form of the earlier albums. They seemed to take pride in being an independent band as the singer mentioned it a few times. Nevermind, they opened with the Crown of Horns including the Exorcist 3 intro. And yeah they would play quite a few songs of those first two albums. They only had one guitarist now, as Jon seems to have left again. There seemed to be some sections where they had a second guitar on tape. Anway, they played tight as expected, but most of the guitar solo’s seemed to fall apart a bit, well not that there are many solos. And damn those vocals are blant. And after some 40 minutes they walk off, but two come back for a few more, including Slit Your Guts, and Phobophile, definitely their best songs in their catalogue. So a pretty decent gig, but too short really, going home at 22.45. There even was a little audience response this time.

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