After a few line-up changes for this gig (Arsis unsurprisingly dropped off the tour and Darkest Hour and Resistance decided not to take part on the last few days of the tour, including this one), the Kataklysm gig had finally taken shape. On the bill tonight: thrash metal from Suicidal Angels, black metal from Austria’s Belphegor and finally death metallers Kataklysm!
First band to take stage at exactly 19:00 (what a time!) was Suicidal Angels. I hadn’t heard from this band until last week when I checked out their brand new full-length album Sanctify the Darkness, which is a very amusing piece of thrash metal including a lot of Slayer worshipping! Not very surprisingly, frontman Nick was wearing a Slayer shirt opening with the sentence “Amsterdam, are you ready to thrash?” Well, I think so! They kicked off with the first track of their latest album ‘Bloodthirsty’, and continued playing a decent half an hour of pure thrash metal including ‘The Pestilence of Saints’, ‘…Lies’ and ending their set with the extremely catchy ‘Apokathilosis’. The band definitely knoww how to play but the only thing I found really annoying was the fact that these guys felt like real rockstars even though this is only their 3rd European tour and they were playing in front of barely 50 people at this point. Constant Satyricon-like “hey hey hey” and “thank you’s” made it impossible to really enjoy the show. You’re a thrash metal band, not a stadium rock band! But definitely keep an eye out for these guys as the new album is pretty decent and I’m sure their next tour with Overkill through Europe will be an even better slot for them!
“Amsterdamned….. Fuck you!” Unfortunately Belphegor cancelled their tour with Nile and Krisiun last year but luckily I got the chance to catch one of the Kataklysm tour dates to check out these guys as well! Belphegor are a well known black metal band but as soon as they kicked in with ‘Bleeding Salvation’ from The Goatreich – Fleshcult, I became aware of the fact that this band sounds actually more like death metal live, which is probably the reason that this band plays mostly on death metal packages. Especially the drumming comes closer to death metal rather than black metal and the melodic guitar parts on the album were mostly left out or not really hearable. But, the band played a decent set including tracks like ‘Veneratio Diaboli: I Am Sin’, ‘Stigma Diabolicum’ and ‘Justine: Soaked in Blood’, blended into each other by playing some CD-interludes. The crowd was going along pretty well, starting the first moshpits of the night and screaming along to the lyrics and on the “hey! hey! hey!’s” Sadly the sound wasn’t too good as the guitars didn’t really stand out and the vocalist had a hard time getting a decent sound out of his throat. When kicking in with the last track ‘Bondage Goat Zombie’ the singer put a sort of zorro mask on his head which was a little too much for me. Nothing more, nothing less, but the crowd loved it so who am I to complain?
Legendary Canadian death metal act Kataklysm wanted to make up for the bad weather conditions they have taken from Canada with them (according to them) so they wanted to warm up the place a bit more. I’m fine with that! Kicking in with an epic movie-like intro, the band soon played the first track of their 2006 album In the Arms of Devastation called ‘Like Angels Weeping (The Dark)’. The crowd was completely warmed up at this point, even though it was only about 21:00. The first real moshpits emerged and Kataklysm’s singer Maurizio even got the first circle pit of the night started. More than an hour of proper death metal followed including some brand new tracks from their latest album Prevail such as ‘Blood In Heaven’, ‘The Vultures are Watching’ and ‘Prevail’, next to some older bits and pieces such as ‘As I Slither’, ‘It Turns To Rust’ and ‘Centuries (Beneath the Dark Waters)'. Even someone from the audience got the chance to enter the stage for doing some vocals on ‘The Ambassador of Pain’, which he did very well. And this was one of the things that made Kataklysm’s performance so enjoyable; the band clearly enjoyed themselves on stage, constantly making jokes about getting drunk every day on the tour and about Belphegor who were probably fucking goats backstage according to them, along with some decent crowd hyping. After more than an hour, Kataklysm called it a day by playing their title track of the album In The Arms of Devastation. They are working on a brand new full-length album right now and will be back for a performance at Wacken this year and a full tour next year. Be prepared!