Pitfest @ Resort Zuiddrenthe, Erica, 28 April 2018

Pitfest is a small scale outdoors festival, I think it was held now for the third time and the first time to be a 2-day festival. Held at a far corner of the Netherlands somewhere in the middle of nowhere. I opted to go for the second day only as the first day didn’t have very interesting bands. The small festival terrain contained two tents with stages, and very little overlap between bands. A little sound pollution occurred but it wasn’t all that bad.

As I arrived, Tankard was about to start playing. I saw them before only a few months ago and I think they played the same set too. They play pretty straightforward thrash metal in the German style, with a heavy beer-drinking and partying image which is reflected in their lyrics. They have been around for a very long time, but I never could get into them unlike the big three Teutonic thrash bands. They played alright though. I skipped the last few songs to be on time in the other tent.

There was a band I didn’t really know called Just Before Dawn. A Swedish death metal band, fronted by no other than Dave Ingram. They play rather mid-paced death metal, with focus on being heavy. And Dave is just a great front man regardless what band he is in. Musically it lacks a bit of aggression.

One of the main attractions of the festival was the reunion of the local heroes from Altar. Not the farcical line-up with Marcel Verdurmen, but the line-up that recorded the debut album Youth Against Christ, although they only had one guitarist. They tried to do a reunion gig before a year or 2 back or so but eventually they cancelled. Now it is actually happening. No intro was played and the band started with Psycho Damnation. Although they are not particularly Youthful anymore, the Against Christ was still as obvious as ever. The Godverdomme’s were repeated added to the announcement. Edwin Kelder still has a very good, brutal voice. And their drummer beats his skins quite loud even during blast beats. It’s odd that this band never got better deals and grew bigger as they had all the right elements. Nevermind, they played all songs of their debut album, but not in order. Edwin had some issues with his mic, and there I guess it shows lack of routine as during Hypochristianity they got a bit confused. Otherwise a very good gig and great audience response.

The Lurking Fear is a new Swedish death metal band, consisting of veterans like Jonas Stahlhammer, Adrian Erlandson, Tomas Lindberg and Andreas Axelsson. There is a bit of punk in their death metal but other than that it is standard death metal and frankly not all that interesting. Tomba sounded better than he did the last couple of times I saw him with At The Gates.

Then there is Witchery. I had to skip most of their set at NDF earlier this year as it collided with other bands I wanted to see. I had seen them before in 1998 or thereabouts. They have a new singer again. And he is a pretty good front man, very actively engaging the audience. Somehow he seemed to manage to fall off stage during one of the songs. I guess he was okay tho. During NDF the response was very weak to this band, but it was better here, but still a bit tame. The set they played contains songs from throughout their carreer, ending it with The Reaper from the debut.

The last band was another all-star band, also from Sweden, called Bloodbath. This quintet plays old school death metal tending towards the Floridian style, but with obvious Swedeath elements there, especially in the guitar sound. Nowadays they are fronted by Nick Holmes of Paradise Lost. His grunts aren’t as strong as they used to be, but it sounded okay. Musically it isn’t all that original, yet they can write some solid tunes and play them really tight too. They went over all their albums, and even Breeding Death was played. The recently recorded cover of Cancer – Bloodbath – was on the set list but skipped due to time issues. Pretty good gig actually.

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