Metal Experience Fest II, 28 September 2019, Gebr. De Nobel, Leiden.

I must have missed the first edition, last year, because it doesn’t ring any bells. The second edition had an interesting line-up with only Dutch bands on the bill. Due to circumstances I missed the first few bands unfortunately.

When I entered the venue Asagraum was playing in the small hall. This is an all-female black metal band mostly in the style of later Marduk and typical Norwegian bands. Generally not really my favourite style. Lots of high pitched trem-picking. Nothing too complicated, the bass lines were especially simplistic, and the drums lacked power and speed.

Bodyfarm was the next band in the large hall. I never cared much for them and I still don’t. Run of the mill death metal. They received some additional attention due to the death of their band leader just prior to the release of their new album, for which this is the release show. Remco Kreft stepped in to handle the vocals and guitar for the upcoming live shows. Martin Van Drunen showed up to sing a song too.

It got more interesting with Officium Triste. I have seen them numerous times before, and it’s always solid. This time they played a short set of most newer songs from the album they just released. They’ve stuck to their style of doom / death, not too slow, with solid riffs and melodic guitar leads. The grunted vocals are quite okay, but clean vocals are pretty lousy. Other than that another solid gig.

Soulburn was risen from the ashes of Asphyx in the late 1990s. Since then they progressed a bit more to black metal sound. Yet Eric Daniels’ riffs are still very recognisable. Lots of fast powerchord progressions and occasional dissonants. Excellent band really and a great live show. I was especially chuffed with the title track of the debut being back on the bill as the set closer. Claws of Tribulation is also a awesome track, with its arpeggiated opening riff. Great gig once again

In the small venue Toner Low was playing. And they played loud. Heavily distorted vocals over a thick bass guitar sound. The guitar sound was thin and the drums minimalistic. Stoner metal isn’t really my thing and I didn’t watch it for a long time.

The headliner of the evening was Asphyx. A band that doesn’t play a lot in their home country these days. The focus of the evening was on their latest album Incoming Death which was already released several years ago but wasn’t really their best output. None the less, the set opened with the classic Vermin. Martin van Drunen talks a lot in between the songs. They had better played a couple of more songs instead, like MS Bismarck which was sadly missing from the set. They also changed many of the riffs in the older songs a bit. I don’t really understand why. They sometimes seem to miss that extra punch. Pretty coll gig tough.

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