Gruesome @ Musicon, The Hague, 16 July 2019

Musicon has been quite active lately with organising metal gigs, thanks to Rene Veerkamp mostly. This Tuesday night the US Death tribute band Gruesome was playing there. The club was nearly sold out too.

The opening act was the local Melting Eyes. They started a little early. They play death metal, mostly mid-paced. It wasn’t really bad, a bit sloppy here and there. The riffs were rather generic and the stage presence was virtually non-existent.

Nervochoas are from Brazil, who also play death metal and have been around for quite some time. I had seen them before a few times and wasn’t all that impressed. They had a bit more aggression and we tighter than the previous band. But most of the riffs were still quite uninteresting. The bassist playing a 6-string fretless bass, was probably the most interesting part of this gig.

With Gruesome things are quite different. Most of their riffs are based on some riff originally written by Death, especially from the first three albums. And they piece them together to songs of their own. You can call it plagiarism or profiting or whatever, but they do it really good. Especially on the Savage Lands album they sound quite fresh. And since Death is no longer around, this is pretty much the closest thing. Their latest album is mostly based on Spiritual Healing. And most of the songs were from that album. They band plays tightly, except for a couple of mistakes in the beginning, but maybe that was in part due to technical issues with one guitar not working well, and issues with the PA and monitoring and lots of feedback. During the gig these issues were resolved fortunately. The stage act was a bit static perhaps, but that just a minor thing. These songs sound great. And live it all sounds a bit more aggressive. Quite a good gig, really and nearing the end of the set they even added two more songs that weren’t on the set list because they had some time left. Then ended their set with Born Dead from Death.

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