A couple of 1990s Dutch death metal bands teamed up for a gig at the talent stage in Dordrecht’s Popcentrale. Back then, there were many bands around in the Netherlands playing death metal of some sort. Many were actually really good, and only a few actually really got to make albums and do tours. Most of them have long split up, but some how resurfaced in the last couple of years. Three of them were scheduled to play tonight.
The first band of the evening never got so far as recording albums. Dead End only released some demos, which had been put together on a CD by VIC records. I heard only a few tracks on youtube, which sounded quite interesting. The band mostly plays death metal but strays into the direction of doom death a la early Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride. They have a strong focus on riffs and they bring a lot of good ones. All-in-all a fairly good gig, for a fairly good band.
The second band ventures more in the doom/death direction. Spina Bifida released a single album – Ziyadah – in the early nineties and then disappeared. Only to reappear a couple of years ago, with most of the line-up from back then, only a different singer. And now they released a new EP – simply called Iter. The first track they played was a new song – Awe. The band seemed a little stiff at first, but that got a bit better during the gig. Musically, they are quite original, but also very stripped down to the basics. Riffs are formed by a couple of powerchords and some melodic singles, with a lot of effect. The drums are very minimalistic as well, the fills are few and there is no double bass drums at all. Yet, with these simple elements they create interesting songs. The set alternated between older songs and newer songs, ending with “Die”.
Then there was Phlebotomized, who much followed the same patters as Spina Bifida. They released two albums and an EP in the 1990 and then vanished. Since a couple of years they have become active again, however with only the guitar and bass section from the original lineup. It took a long while to change the stage, apparently there were some technical issues. But eventually they started playing. This band however has a far more technical approach, with complexer songs – often with weird and sudden changes between riffs, and elaborate leads. They played the exact same set list as some 4 months ago in Tilburg. Not that it matters. “Gone…” is a bit of an odd song, and the only song from Skycontact stands out quite a bit as well. But the rest of the material is really strong and the playing is tight. Quite a good gig.