As soon as I saw the line up for this massive trek called the Domination Tour I knew I had to be present at one of the shows. It took longer than I expected, but at one of the last shows of this blastbeat bulldozer parade I allowed them to give me some aural and mental damage as they did to thousands of other metalheads.
The first band up was newcomer Hurtlocker from America, whom I also had to interview. I had heard the album which is full of aggression, so I hoped that they would put up a show like that as well. Unfortunately it was very clear that these guys had completely had it with opening up for like twenty people, but they still had to play. Luckily the vocalist managed to throw in a big dose of humour between the songs which made clear what the case was.
It was a pretty amusing show, that was played way slower than the album. This is due to their touring drummer, who just can’t make it up to that particular speed. I still like the thrash/death kind of riffing with the hardcore screams over it, but something surely needs to happen if they want to sound as convincing live as they do on their record.
The Napalm Records label (that also provided Hurtlocker) also threw in the Polish band Vesania, which features members from soon-to-be-legendary bands like Behemoth and Vader. That sounds promising you’d say, and you’re 100% right. I was very surprised by the monstrous show they put up on that stage. Heavy grooving black/death metal blasted from the speakers causing me to look over my shoulder more than once.
Of course I had to be a cool anti-black metal dude by nagging about their ridiculous corpse paint, but after hearing three songs I was sure that this is a class-A band. Tight, brutal and grooving as hell. I’m quite sure I heard some metalcore beatdown parts in it as well. The only thing that of course bothered me like hell were the fucking keyboards. That shit always spoils it in the end for me, otherwise I would have really really liked it.
After that it was time for some German thrash/death metal that has a career that must be lasting over ten years already. Yes I’m talking about Dew-Scented, who not only have a very pretty name (if you ask me) but they also have a new album out entitled Issue VI. I own a lot of their material, but not this new one. But I was quite curious if the new songs would appeal to me live. As soon as they started I felt the urge to headbang, and during tracks like “Cities of the Dead” and “New Found Pain” my hair was flying around again. The last time I had seen them they were quite disappointing, but this was awesome! To be honest, I still didn’t relate to the new tracks, and frankly I don’t think their to fond of their new album themselves because only three tracks were played. “Soul Poison” was one of the highlights for me, and after this show I was already more than satisfied, and there were three more bands to go!
Up next were the Belgium death grinders from Aborted, whom were not too convincing as well when I saw them last time. You could see that most of the Baroeg’s visitors were here for this band, because this was the biggest crowd there would be in front of the stage this evening. Although they had like two original members (vocalist and I believe a guitarist) due to all kinds of problems they had managed to find more than adequate replacements, even a guitarist from Emeth and a female bass player. Hell yeah!
The show was played utterly tight and with extreme precision. The vocalist (who also drums in Leng T’Che) banged his head of and screamed/grunted his lungs out. So it didn’t take long before my neck was in full motion again. Humour was again an important ingredient for this show, since almost every song was announced as “Post-Human Kind” which was very funny after like three or four times. They were received extremely well, and I think for a lot of visitors this was the band of the evening.
Yes, up next was a band from yet another different country. Namely the undeniable death metal country Sweden. Now I’ve seen Entombed and Dismember and I didn’t get exited over those bands at all. But Grave, that’s a completely different story. They groove, but not in such a farmer hillbilly kind of way. Nice and tightly played brutal death metal executed by just three guys that again got my head going, and I didn’t even hear one song of them ever before they entered the stage in front of me. There are not many bands that can do that to me! Not much more to say about this I guess, considering I was pretty drunk at this point and enjoying myself to every grooving headbanging riff flying through the speaker. Hell yeah!
Now the moment I was looking forward too, the Canadian death grinders Cryptopsy. Finally the killer drum kit was revealed which would soon have the best death/grind drummer ever behind it. Yes I’m talking Flo Mounier here. As soon as the band began to play, I couldn’t keep my eyes of that guy anymore, except for an occasional glance at that weirdo Lord Worm and his axe wielding killers. This dude is fast, faster, fastest, too fucking fast! Like prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! There were several times were I thought to myself, ‘this is impossible’, but he still continued doing it.
Anyway, the show was played very tight, but you could see that a lot of people already left for home. The response was around average, since everyone was quite drunk around now, but it wasn’t degrading neither. Personally I think this drummer can do way better than this, but then again I think they’d already get a lot further if they had a vocalist that has some vocal lines instead of just some random screams here and there, which is also my main point of irritation. The guitars were played excellently if you ask me, but everything they play is at least once accentuated by the drums, most of the times more than once.
Now after seeing six bands from six different countries al making a lot of ruckus through blastbeats, distortions and screams, it was time to take my drunken and stoned ass to bed. This was surely the best death metal tour I have ever seen, and I doubt that there will soon be another. The next morning I awoke with a dislocated shoulder again, but that’s an entirely different story…