Cryptopsy, Atheist @ Fluor, Amersfoort, 14 March 2024

After a few announcement of a new European tour by Atheist that got cancelled, this time it really happened as a co-headliner tour with Cryptopsy under the name Unquestionable Blasphemy tour. Last time I saw Atheist was 2009, so nearly 15 years ago. It was about time though. Maybe a venue like Fluor was a bit too big for a tour like this as it was only half full.

The opening band was 72 Legions a US melodic death metal band. Not all that melodic though. They got half an hour and it was kind of okay. Kind of generic, not all that interesting riffs.

The second band I hadn’t heard of before either. The announced themselves as “We are Almost Dead, and so are you”. They are also from the US. Anyway they already have six albums out. They play some thrash metal with tough-man vocals. Like the previous band, it has all been done tons of times. It isn’t bad, and fun to watch for a couple of songs. The last song had at least quite a memory melody line in the song.

Then it was time for US band Atheist. Once they were the top technical death metal band around, but nowadays have long been surpassed in sheer technicality. They opened with No Truth. Like all bands today the sound wasn’t too great. The vocals were a bit low in the mix. Odd, as Kelly is now the only original member left in the band, with the rest of the band being youngsters. Anyway, they played the material quite well and it has stood the test of time as most of these songs remain still quite interesting. The focus was a bit on Unquestionable Presence, the rest of the set from Piece of Time and Elements; Jupiter was skipped in its entirety. Excellent gig.

The last band was the Canadian Cryptopsy. I have seen them a few times before; unfortunately they never toured in Europe during the None So Vile days. Their first two albums are excellent technical and brutal death metal albums, after which they turned more in to experimental mode and the music is less and less interesting and memorable, with The Unspoken King as the low point. They have a new album out and obviously they had to play a couple of songs of it. So they opened with In Abeyance. Never the less the material from None So Vile of which they played no less than 5 songs stands out from the newer material. The singer can’t really reproduce the atypical vocals of the album but other than that these songs still sound great. As their debut album was released 30 years ago they played a medley of a handful of songs. Which is a shame as these songs are among their best material, especially Abigor with its haunting melody. Then they do opt to play Back to the Worms which is one of the weaker songs from their earliest days. So decent gig.

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