Consolation @ De Flux, Zaandam, 14 October 2022

The Dutch cult act Consolation had been defunct for over 20 years, before ultimately reforming this year, much like their companion band Nembrionic. They played the Stonehenge festival this summer, but this was the first club gig that they did in more or less their hometown Zaandam. The venue is located on a dreary industrial area, but at least parking is not an issue. Last time I was in the Flux it was still down town. Anyway, there were two more – also Dutch – bands playing.

The first act was for Burial Remains. There bassist had to skip the gig because he was sick, so only the four of them were on stage.These Frisians play kind of Swedish death metal. Thick HM-2 sound with some melodies akin to Dismember. Originality was zero. But I liked the drums, with interesting fills.

The second band was Monolith Deathcult. A band that incorporates lots of electronics and samples into their death metal. Consequently much of the sound comes from a laptop and sometimes its hard to say which is actually played and which is from the computer. The lead guitar had some interesting moments, but for the rest it was quite dull.

Then it was time for Consolation. They were fronted not just by one singer, but both Arjan who sang on last album Stahlplaat and Mano on the previous records were singing. Most of the time even singing together. Opening with Murder of the Brave Melvin from the Southern Point album showed that they could grind as hard as before. We Mourn was the only track from the debut album. They even played an old song off their demo – Victimizing – and a song that they wrote 28 years ago but never recorded. The remainder was predominantly focus on Melvin and Stahlplaat albums. And even the very fast song Holocauster was played and showed they could still pull that off. The sort of black metal song The Darkest Black was the set closer. Some 45 minutes of grindy death metal was enough. Pretty good gig. The only thing missing was Nembrionic, as they used to play together quite often.

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