Netherlands Death Fest V, Effenaar, Eindhoven, 29 April – 1 May 2022,

When the lineup NDF V got announced, I immediately bought tickets for the whole weekend, as that line-up was the most amazing I could imagine with many bands I wanted to see but never had. Then the Wuhan cough happened, and the fest got postponed a year. And another. Some bands already dropped off the bill, like Brutality as they split up. Finally this year it could actually take place. Unfortunately many of the bands on the bill were no longer appearing, like Unanimated, Runemagick, Deathstrike, Morbid Saint, Purtenance. Still a couple of interesting bands were to appear each day. So it was still worth going, and I went to Eindhoven for a three day stay.

Shortly before 5 o’clock the first band played: The grindcore band Cadaveric Incubator from Finland. A bit simplistic maybe. And not really interesting for me.

Onslaught were the second band on the main stage. Nige unfortunately could play, it was announced as he had dislocated his shoulder. The singer took over guitar duties. It is a bit weird to look at a band with no original members left. Yet they sounded familiar and the new singer sounded pretty good and his guitar playing was fine to. Starting with Let there be Death is always a good start. And for the rest of the gig a mixture of newer and older songs were played. Pretty solid gig.

Carnal Decay are from Switzerland and play brutal death metal. One of the many many similar bands, so I left early to be on time for the next band.

That was to be Benediction. I had never seen them with Dave Ingram, only with the other Dave. They just released a new album a short while ago. And obviously they played a couple of songs of it. For the rest of the set was taken from their early albums, even though The Dreams You Dread was skipped. Jumping at Shadows, Nightfear and Unfound Mortality were amazing to hear live. I’d miss the Dark is the Season title track, and I could have done without the Grind Bastard songs. And Subconscious Terror as just a fun song. Nice one. Hopefully they do a normal club tour in the Netherlands any time soon.

Deitus was playing in the small hall. I don’t really remember even seeing them. So either I didn’t or their black metal made no impression at all on me.

On the main stage, it was Demolition Hammer, a really old band I never actually really listened to. They play death thrash. Pretty interesting band, I need to check them out some time. Even though I could do without the Exodus like backing vocals.

Abyssal were playing on the small stage. I peeked inside for a bit to listen to their Death/Black/Doom Metal or whatever it was. Not something that really fits on this festival and I wasn’t really in the mood for it. So I took a bit of break until the next band.

One of the more special acts on the bill was Sacramentum. A band that released the highly acclaimed Far Away From The Sun album in the 90s and stylistically were then close to Dissection, yet their melodies felt different somehow and made it quite interesting. Later albums were less interesting. This evening they played the whole first album. And even though it was all quite well, there seemed to be something missing, a little aggression. The long spoken word intros by the singer were quite silly, and his spielerei with (fake?) blood was a little awkward. Solid bit not really up to my expectations.

The last band of the first day was the Norwegian Blood Red Throne. Not really the kind of death metal band that I like a lot, kind of okay. So it was time to go to sleep.

Deiquisitor were a last minute replacement for the mighty Purtenance. It wasn’t an improvement. I don’t really care for the rather rhythmic death metal.

The Belgian Brutal Sphincter were some sort of partygrind, goregrind, porngrind hybrid. Funny to watch for a bit but all rather same-ish. Never like distorted vocals much.

Adorior had some trouble setting up the vocals on the main stage and so started a little later than scheduled. A blend of styles with some death metal, black metal, mixed with some nearly clean female vocals. It had its moments, but sounded sloppy during the fast parts, and the vocals were terrible most of the time.

I skipped Putrid Pile, to explore some merchandise and returned for Undergang. A Danish death metal band, I didn’t know. They sounded quite okay. Nothing really great. The guitarist is also in Phrenelith, which I do like even the style isn’t too different. Decent but no more than that.

Anasarca is a band I actually own a CD from but I don’t think I listened to it the last 20 years or so. The song they played off that album – Scorn – sounded a bit more melodic than the rest of the songs they played. Not bad. The singer reading some kind of weird poem (he wrote himself?) as an introduction of a song was silly.

Lik (Swedish for Corpse) was a band that I was interested in. They play Stockholm death metal. The sound very similar to most of the newer generation of bands in this style. It wasn’t bad at all, well-played even, but nothing more than just good, and not original at all.

I also skipped the Finnish Grinders of Rotten Sound as I didn’t care much for their music and went for a bit to eat. And then watched a bit of Cephalic Carnage. Even though it is musically very clever, well composed and played it is a bit too weird for me.

I checked out Tulus in the small hall, who are playing Norwegian Black metal. So I expected a bit of necrosound there. But at first it sounded more like a blues band with distorted guitars. Some more black metal riffs came into the sound later on, but it was not really of interest to me.

The main attraction of the day however was Dismember in their original line-up. The last time I saw them live they played in a small club with maybe 200 people there. Now the main hall was packed for the band that every one wanted to see. They promised to play only old shit – an easy promise to keep as their latest album is more than 15 years old. Of Fire was the first song surprisingly. The rest of the set was from the first 3 albums and Pieces. The band really had fun playing live again. A few mistakes here and there, but other than that a very good gig. I caught one of Fred’s drum sticks.

The evening was closed by Barshasketh in the small hall, who are originally from New Zealand, but relocated to Scotland. It was a kind of interesting mixture of doom, death and black metal. I just might check out their albums some time.

The third day was open by the only Dutch band this weekend. I had seen Lucifericon a few times before. They play death metal with some black metal influences. The drummer did some really interesting things but other than that is was pretty much run of the mill.

Fleshless is a old Czech band I seen a few times in the past. The play brutal death grind metal, very much in the eastern European style. Interesting to watch for a bit, but it gets a bit same-old same old after a song or five.

The next band in the main hall was one I definitively wanted to see. The Norwegian Obliteration. The play death metal with a really original twist and without relying too much on blast beats. And man did they not disappoint. The songs came across really aggressive, kept interesting even though they often touch the 7 minute mark. Some very cool bass work and drums as well.

Frostmoon Eclipse was one of the bands I had never heard of. They didn’t make much of an impression on me as I hardly remember it. I may be getting old, or maybe it is just too many bands in a short while.

Skeletal Remains were in the main hall and they seem to attract quite some attraction. I thought their riffs were quite boring, as were the vocals. That thee lead channel of the guitarist was way louder than the rest didn’t help much. So I left early.

Rebaelliun have always sort of been Krisiun’s smaller brother. Similar in their raging style. Somehow I have always liked them better than their bigger brother. And now that Krisiun has seemed to mellowed a bit. Rebaelliun have kept going. And man, was it fast and brutal. Every song was a raging machine gun. These guys need to come back for a full set some time.

Wormed is a Spanish death metal band I had seen before. They sound a bit mechanical to me and I only watched a few songs and took some time to rest.

Galvanizer is a Finnish grind band. They had trouble with their sound, but even despite that it sounded way to thin and fuzzy. So I rested a bit more before the next band.

Immolation is a band that usually does a lot of touring, so one can see them often. This evening they played mostly songs of their latest album. The thing with them is that their last 5 albums or so have been quite interchangeable not bad, not at all, but nothing really sticks. When they played Father You’re not a Father off the Close to A World Below album, that is quite the opposite and immediately recognisable. Of course they played alright – they always do, but it wasn’t all that memorable.

Altarage are what they call an experimental death metal band. I heard mostly swampy guitar sound and mediocre songwriting. So I skipped it after a few songs. Also to find a good spot for the next band.

That was the mighty Autopsy. In the Grip of Winter is possibly the greatest way to start an Autopsy gig. And they didn’t let down for the rest of the gig. Voices was a bit of a weird choice off the Acts of the Unspeakable album, Your Rotting Face would have been a better choice. Burial was really doomy. Yet most of the set consisted of songs from Severed Survival and Mental Funeral, as expected. Weirdly no Pagan Savior, but Dead and Destined to Fester made up for that. Also they were the only band to play an encore and extend their playing time. Great gig.

I didn’t watch P.L.F as I was tired and couldn’t care for another grind band. Nevertheless, NDF V was quite a success, especially the Sunday had some truly great and memorable gigs. It doesn’t seem tho that there will be one next year as the organisation announced they would quit.

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