Scream Bloody Scum III, Scum, Katwijk, 15 November 2014

This third installment of the Scream Bloody Scum festival was the first I attended. Previous festivals didn’t have a really interesting line-up even though it is quite nearby. This year the festival had a more interesting line-up with only Dutch bands though.

When I stepped out the car – yeah parking space is right in front of the venue and free – I already heard the first band playing. That was Deathhammer; a cover band that plays classic old school death metal songs or so they say. I never really understood the purpose of such bands. They indead played classics indeed: Dawn of Eternity, Pull the Plug, Subconscious Terror, Black Magic, Slowly We Rot. Even though most of those songs are quite simple, they played them rather sloppily and many of the solos were half-and-half random improvisations.

The second band was playing in the larger of the two halls. The first reunion gig of Eternal Solstice. They made a bunch of albums in the 90s, for which I never cared. It was very generic death metal band and I much prefer Philips other band Dissect (which played at Scream Bloody Scum 2013 – but I saw them play a bit later in Dordrecht). They never the less played quite decent, but I didn’t know any of the songs and I can’t say that any of the songs stuck. Well that is except the last song they did, which was a cover of Sodom’s Outbreak of Evil. It must be some hint that the cover your playing is actually your best song.

In the small hall, which is actually quite small, Contorted Mind started playing. They play brutal death metal, which isn’t really my thing, and are a very young band, founded only a year or so ago. But they played quite well, not really technical or fast, but there is at least some creativity in the songs.

Then back to the large hall – all the bands played basically back to back in the two halls with just a few minutes in between, which is quite nice actually. There Pentacle was preparing their set. I don’t really knew them too well, I only have the Fifth Moon EP from a long time ago, which is quite okay. They played the song Black at Heart off it. And I think I saw them live some 10 years or so ago. There was some echoing particularly in the drums that was annoying. But other than that it was an quite interesting gig. They have some reasonably original riffing style. And they too ended their set with a cover. They let the audience chose which song, a Death cover (which I guess would have been Witch of Hell) or The Reaper by Hellhammer. It was the latter.

Then back again to the small hall, one of the two bands I really wanted to see this evening: Obtruncation. A bit of an obscure band that released an album in the 90s, which is nearly impossible to find these days. And now they have returned with a new album, and hopefully a few more gigs. The new songs are actually quite good, fast, solid riffs and interesting melodies, and fit in quite well with the older songs. Some of the audience even started to do some moshing, but the venue wasn’t suited too well for that, the floorarea in front of the stage was small, and the stage was quite low, and the floor slippery with beer. So they fell on the stage, even once causing a electricity failure. Anyway, the playing was quite tight never the less so a really good gig, and hopefully they get a chance to play in a better suited venue some time.

The headliner of the evening was the mighty Thanatos, who were celebrating their 30th anniversary this evening. And as a bonus they also released their new album. They opened with the title track of that album: Global Purification, and further meandered through their entire back catalogue during the set with some classics like Dawn of the Dead, War, Outward of the Inward, and And Jesus Wept. Most of the audience stood well at the back of the venue, much to the dislike of singer Stefan; despite all his encourangemnts the audience stayed mostly in the back. Anyway Thanatos played tightly though but I think I liked the gig they did this summer with Obituary in the Baroeg more. The new songs sound right in place among the older songs and hopefully they get more of the recognition that they deservre.

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