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Neurotic Deathfest 2009 - In need of brutality
The organisation of this year’s Neurotic Deathfest didn’t go as smooth as planned. It took a while before a date, location and first line-up were announced, and also the updates on the line-up took long time. In contrast with last year, there weren’t much death metal tours going on to pick up and book for this fest, which of course made it hard for the organisation. Bad luck was the fact that several confirmed (headlining) acts cancelled (Repulsion, Brain Drill, Order Of Ennead, Inherit Disease, Vital Remains) with as result low pre-sales. But besides all this trouble we were still eager about 33 killer bands on the bill, varying from old school ‘till grindcore and everything in beneath. Here’s our report of two days brutality.
Neurotic Stage = Large room
Middle Stage = Small room
Batcave = Café/smallest room

Friday May 29th

The Reckoning
(Middle Stage) MySpace
The Reckoning from Belgium, Brain Drill’s substitution at the small stage, aren’t the inventors of the wheel, but do know how to thrash. Their blackened death metal is build on a strong foundation of double bass drums, mixed with utter tight blast beats and a thick and grooving guitar sound. Together with strong song writing skills, this is the perfect band to loosen up your neck muscles for a long night of head banging. The sound was a bit blurry in the beginning, but as the show progressed the sound became more and more clear, and thus there was no reason the leave the show before they were done. (Mindsaver)

Leng Tch’e (Neurotic Stage) MySpace
Playing an hour later as planned because of the cancellation of Vital Remains, Belgium’s finest Leng Tch’e had the chance to open the night at the big room. Even though the sound wasn’t perfect and the crowd wasn’t going so wild as last time I’ve seen them in Roosendaal, Leng Tch’e’s “razorgrind” smashed all the way through the 013’s concrete. New vocalist Serge proved once again that he is a great replacement for singer Boris, who left the band last year. Good interaction with the crowd and a fine piece of grindcore, I couldn’t think of a better way to start this long evening! (Brent)

(Middle Stage) MySpace

Pretty early on I was already confronted with one of my favourite bands of the line-up, Deadborn. This German four-piece doesn’t play the most technical form of death metal, but even tough I’m pretty familiar with the album, they still managed to put me on the wrong track a couple of times. During their half hour of showtime they played a lot of killer songs from their 2007 debut full-length Stigma Eternal, like “Pain Is God”, “Coma Timecode”, “Back To The Blackness” and “Condemned To Perdition”. All played with great precision by each of the musicians. Not strange considering the fact that both their vocalist as their drummer were once part of Necrophagist. Headlight! (Mindsaver)

God Dethroned
(Neurotic Stage) MySpace

With the release of the new album Passiondale just a month ago, it’s not surprising this band was on the bill for this year’s Deathfest. This long living band, which started in 1990, play fast blackened death/thrash band and even though it’s not really my style, the performance was pretty convincing. The sound got a little better after Leng Tch’e’s show but the crowd was still pretty tame, saving some energy for later on. Definitely time to check out the new album properly! (Brent)

(Batcave Stage) MySpace

As everyone knows at Metalrage, I absolutely hate the whole “slam death” genre. Usually played by a bunch of fashion-wiggers with large amounts of tattoo’s and tunnels through their ears that bushmen can be jealous of, it’s not something I can take seriously. Mindsaver however, convinced me to check out some slam death performances live because they are always one hell of a big party. With very low expectations while walking into the Batcave I could see why. In front of a technically really tight band a moshpit unleashed with people walking around in circles, not touching each other, and doing all sorts of weird moves with their arms while marching around like elephants. This is something I have absolutely never witnessed before! The band didn’t always seem to be amused by this, thinking the crowd was taking the piss on them but eventually everyone enjoyed themselves and Fleshrot was technically way better than I expected. A good eye opener to check out some more of this “guttural brutal technical slam death” or however they want to call it themselves ;-] (Brent)

Despondency (Middle Stage) MySpace

The true fans of brutal death metal were constantly meeting each other at the middle stage, since a lot of great underground bands made their appearance at that stage on Friday. Despondency from Germany, part of quality label Brutal Bands, was one of those acts that delivered a show of which you can’t write much about in detail, except for the fact that they sounded completely crushing, just as what we hoped for. Six years after their debut God On Acid (with in the meantime only a split and an EP) they were now presenting us Revelation IV (Rise Of The Nemesis). With great success, regarding the audiences’ response. (Mindsaver)

Inveracity (Middle Stage) MySpace

One of the bands I was looking for the most at the Friday of Neurotic Deathfest was Inveracity, all the way from Greece. The band flew in just to do one show here and they certainly did not disappoint! The band produces a nice mixture between Suffocation and Deeds of Flesh on CD and I was hoping they could translate the technical details into a tight live performance. The start of the set was a little sloppy and lacked some groove, mostly because of the sound, but after a track or two the technicality and groove were totally in its place. Tracks of the last album Extermination of Millions were played, along with a few oldies from the day’s singer George wasn’t in the band yet. Looking at the amount of Inveracity shirts in the room and the growing moshpit, the crowd, alongside me, certainly enjoyed the technical madness. Time for these guys to get on a big European tour! (Brent)

Misery Index (Neurotic Stage) MySpace

About now I must have seen and reviewed Misery Index a dozen times, and never does it become old or redundant. The band kicked of with a pretty sweet sound and ferocious aggression, treating the audience to a nice selection of songs, mostly of their last two records. I’ve been coming out to this band for a long time now, but it seems that they’ve finally reached the level of respect from death and grind fans alike they’ve always deserved. This band kicks ass, every time. Never a letdown, always destroying. Don’t believe me? Go check them out and get your face bashed in, sissy! (DemonDust)

Moker (Batcave) MySpace

“Brutal deathcore” says Moker’s genre description on the holy That indeed pretty much sums up what they are about. Brutal death metal with a slight hardcore feel to it, with some of the obvious characteristics of today’s ‘hot’ deathcore scene. Still feeling credible by the way. These Belgians just released their second record Total Domination which is worth checking out. (Sledgehammer)

Nox (Middle Stage) MySpace

Nox has a slightly more old school approach to death metal. The most significant thing is their really subtle use of black metal guitar sounds and riffs, while it still feels as death metal. Of course tight as hell, but hey, there are few bands on this festival which aren’t. With one record out they are a reasonable young band, but with enough experience to enjoy the older fans. (Sledgehammer)

Obscura (Middle Stage) MySpace

Obscura has just released the awesome technical, melodic death metal record Cosmogenesis on Relapse, which is of high quality. They were a bit of an outsider on this Neurotic festival because they were one of the few bands that use so many melodic riffs. Large parts of the audience didn’t know how to react to those, their minds were probably too much indoctrinated with ultra brutal death. However, for many people this was a very nice alternation and their music has plenty brutal parts anyway. Their mix had a perfect sound and came across very well. (Sledgehammer)

Unleashed (Neurotic Stage) MySpace

Even though I checked this band out on CD and it didn’t grab me at all, I couldn’t resist checking out this headliner of the Friday. Unleashed is a long lasting band formed in 1989 by Nihilist’ ex-bass player, and play a mixture between old school death metal and Viking metal. No wonder they will be on the next Paganfest tour as well! The sound was better than with the previous performance from Misery Index and with some serious headbanging and guitar play for a full hour long, Unleashed proved to be a worthy headliner! (Brent)

Human Mincer
(Middle Stage) MySpace

Human Mincer was the finishing band at the middle stage and for sure ended the party with a bang. These Spanish guys presented us some good brutal death metal, but everyone’s respect and fascination mainly went to the singer. He produced extremely deep guttural sounds en awesome pig squeals. The best parts of their set was actually when he announced the songs, with climax when he did this while holding the mic to his throat and still creating a gruesome sound. Excellent entertainment. (Sledgehammer)

Saturday May 30st

(Middle Stage) MySpace

Which style of death metal would do best if you suffer under a major hangover? Of course, old school death metal! Sweden’s Facebreaker, whose members all have experiences in several other bands, should know how to play this style. Unfortunately their show was a disappointment. Their sound was too messy and missed a certain groove. Live they were more like an old school thrash band - and that while their latest effort Dead, Rotten And Hungry was very well produced and sound very thick. Bad luck. (Mindsaver)

Severe Torture
(Neurotic Stage) MySpace

After Facebreaker’s letdown, I soon hurried to the main hall to witness a band that hardly disappoints. Severe Torture, who played in the small room at NDF’s previous edition, now promoted to the main hall. Whether it was because they are now big enough, or due to the lack of headliners (or both), I don’t know. Yet I still prefer this band at the smaller venues. Today their sound was simply to clean to grab you by the balls and torture them like they usually do. They need a small setting to create an atmosphere that completely kills, and 013’s main hall is just too big for that. Their set, spanning all their records, traditionally ended with “End Of Christ”. Their next goal should be the release of their upcoming record and then a headlining tour. I’ll be present. (Mindsaver)

The New Dominion
(Middle Stage) MySpace

The New Dominion was playing a home game today in two ways. They hail from Tilburg, the Netherlands and they are on Neurotic Records, which is obviously connected and managed by the same man as Neurotic Deathfest. So these guys got a nice spot on the middle stage where they presented death metal with some slight thrash influences. Enjoyable, but not the next big thing. (Sledgehammer)

(Neurotic Stage) MySpace

Second band in the big room on Saturday was Belgium’s Aborted. On tour right now with Salt the Wound, who were planned later on in the small room and The Acacia Strain who sadly cancelled the whole tour just before the fest, its no wonder Neurotic Deathfest picked up this package! I had never seen Aborted before, and even though the sound was pretty awful at this point, the band blasted a shitload of energy off the stage. Next to playing mostly tracks from the latest album Strychnine 213 the band even played a few older tracks from albums like Goremageddon. Certainly not the last time I will witness these guys live! (Brent)

Torture Killer
(Batcave Stage) MySpace

As can be read above I wasn’t too happy with Facebreaker’s gig, but with Torture Killer I was willing to witness another old school death metal band. Torture Killer mainly got its attention by their Metal Blade release Swarm! in 2006. That album features vocals from no one other then Chris Barnes (Six Feet Under fame), who also produced this disc, while mixing duties were handled by Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal). Promising facts to say the least. When Torture Killer’s show commenced I immediately felt much better then with Facebreaker’s show. There was way more aggression in the set of these Finns, resulting in a fine old school party in the already cosy Batcave. Headlight was without a doubt the song “Forever Dead”, with its killer headbang pattern, great guitar tunes and dirty vocals, well performed by their new singer Juri Sallinen. Time for a tour! (Mindsaver)

Salt The Wound
(Middle Stage) MySpace

Right after Aborted I rushed to the small room to catch a bit of Salt the Wound, Aborted’s support act who surprisingly played after them. With the departure of yet another lead vocalist earlier this year, new singer Mat Wessoly needed something to prove, but the whole show lacked some enthusiasm. Even though there was some hardcore dancing and singalongs, something I haven’t seen before on the fest, the overall performance wasn’t very convincing. Next to all those great bands it sounded like a not-too-exciting metalcore band with a lot of breakdowns. The Neurotic Deathfest crowd didn’t seem to care much about the band either because during the set there were not more then 50 people in the room. This band is a bit out of place on a death metal/grindcore oriented bill like this! (Brent)

(Small Stage) MySpace

I just hád to squeeze myself into an overpacked Batcave to see Switzerland’s Mumakil tear down the place. The recently released Behold The Failure on Relapse Records is definitely one of my favourite grind albums of the year and I expected nothing less than a fine mixture between Rotten Sound, Brutal Truth and Terrorizer. The tracks where played a little slower but the performance was outstanding and the sound was unbelievable heavy. I talked a bit with the singer the day after and they might be back for a tour at the end of the year, I can’t wait! Outstanding performance! (Brent)

(Middle Stage) MySpace

As you might have read on the website a few weeks ago; I was pretty excited about Demonical’s second full length Hellsworn, with a rating of 75%. With just a little time in between Mumakil and Brutal Truth, I couldn’t resist checking out for a few songs how these guys perform live. Sadly I wasn’t convinced after the show, the sound was really flat and not as heavy and down tuned as on the album. In between all these great bands that played on the Saturday, Demonical disappeared a bit in the average. (Brent)

Brutal Truth
(Neurotic Stage) MySpace

Some people had waited for 15 years to once again glaze upon the legendary punk-grinders of Brutal Truth. For me it hadn’t been that long, but my first encounter at Graspop a number of years ago is still fresh in my mind. Time for some ultra-violence! Hyper-fast blasts, insane in-your-face crusty riffing and a barking angry cowboy-vocalist destroyed the audience in the most punky setting imaginable. Never a band to have been famous for tight shows, but for sheer intensity and aggression. Tonight was no different; these grey grinders showed were it once all began with a shitload of songs from their early years to a collection of songs from the newly released Evolution Through Revolution. Damn fine insanity, I hope they keep it up for another couple of decades! (DemonDust)

Inevitable End
(Batcave Stage) MySpace

While walking back and forth between the main and small hall, I decided to take a quick look in the Batcave were Inevitable End made its appearance. This Swedish newcomer on Relapse’ roster unleashed some hyperactive techgrind with a lot of energy. Surprisingly enough they couldn’t even fill the smallest room of the 013 while their debut contains a whole lot of quality material. I suppose that they also had bad luck with the timetable, since Brutal Truth and Inhume were partly playing at the same time as they did. Let’s see if more promotion and some more support tours can lead to more fans. (Mindsaver)

Inhume (Middle Stage) MySpace

The oldest still-existing grindcore band in all of Holland took a fine sound guy to the NDF show this year, a marvellous decision because when I entered the small stage I encountered a crystal-clear goregrind sound that I’ve never heard before with Inhume! Immediately my beer was spilled all over me in the huge moshpit, which was worthy of this ancient grind-goliath. Even though vocalist Dorus was absent, the other vocalist Joost did a great job doing both parts of the lyrics with all his energy and aggressiveness. When the band announced they would play their all-time classic “Airplane Crash” the party was complete for me and I joined in the mosh, partying with friends while bashings skulls. Fucking hell Inhume proved tonight that they sit righteously on the Dutch throne of brutality, keep it up guys, at least for another 15 years! (DemonDust)

(Neurotic Stage) MySpace
Something I’ve been waiting for the whole weekend. I have never seen Entombed before and I couldn’t wait to see this band live. The singer was, just like most of the crowd, pretty wasted but it’s still unbelievable to see this band give away such a performance after all those years. Tracks from mostly old albums such as Left Hand Path and Wolverine Blues tore down the place with a crowd going absolutely nuts. Death ‘n roll at it’s finest; Entombed proved once again that they are one of the best bands within the genre. No shit! (Brent)

Rotten Sound
(Middle Stage) MySpace

After Entombed I thought it could only get worse, but still my expectations were very high to finally see Rotten Sound. In my opinion, with this short, but outstanding performance they showed they can be placed at the same level as the mighty Nasum. Mostly songs of last year’s album Cycles were played and a few older ones from Exit. Not only the setlist was so great, they had the best sound of the festival thus far. The tight drum work, the sludgy/crusty guitar sounds and heavy down tuned bass parts showed me once again how much I love this band. It’s a shame the playtime was so short for this band, but it made the impact maybe even harder. Hopefully they will do another tour after the handful of festival shows they planned this summer. (Brent)

(Neurotic Stage) MySpace

Last but certainly not least on the mainstage we had Poland’s Behemoth for a few more shows before the touring begins in support of the new album that is set to be released in august. Behemoth entered the stage 15 minutes late but got the crowd completely crazy in the next full hour, with tracks from almost all the seven full-length albums. Sadly no new tracks as far as I know though, but the stage performance and the fact that I had not seen them before made it totally up for that! The annoying thing was that they had a lot of long interludes in between the tracks, which resulted in a lack of flow during the set. There were also some very annoying under aged kids who felt like constantly stage diving, including a little dance on the stage. The band as well as the security was constantly busy with kicking kids of the stage, and I think the people didn’t realize the venue will bring back the stupid fences between the crowd and band if they continue to do so. Besides that, it’s fucking Behemoth. Who cares! (Brent)

(Middle Stage) MySpace

I think I was the only Metalrager left at 2009’s Neurotic Deathfest when the last band of the festival took the stage. I had been hanging out with these Swedes of Gadget for the whole weekend already, so I was anxious to see them perform. Last time I saw them was years ago, but when they started playing I noticed major improvements. The band was way more active on stage than before and luckily the sound was again more than all right. A powerful performance of mostly short grindcore songs was spewed onto the audience for one last time, which the last remaining headbangers enjoyed in all its loudness and brutality. I just hope Gadget gets that new record out sometime soon so they can go out and tour again. Definitely one of the nicer performances of the whole fest, and worthy of this festival slot. (DemonDust)

Pictures by
Details Written on Wednesday Jun 3rd, 2009
Writer @Mindsaver

Tags: #Neurotic Deathfest 2009