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Fortarock - Newcomer under the festivals, but here to stay!
The Netherlands gained a new metal-festival with the right heart, passion and understanding for its audience. Despite some troubles with the sound and volume, we can conclude that this first edition was a very successful one. A tiny, cosy but very crowded edition it was!
 
Warbringer
Warbringer had the honor to open up this new festival and they did it with quite some flair and energy. This new and young thrash metal band recently released their second album called Walking Into Nightmares. They are getting more popular with every release they kick out. Seeing such a young and energetic band, kicking out some decent but standard Kreator thrash metal was quite a wake-up call for a lot of people. Straight away their energy had impact on the front-rows of the stage and the first small pit was created within the very first songs. They played a lot of songs from the new album. Warbringer is a typical band that rides on the current “new wave of thrash metal” and they do so pretty well, but somehow they still lack an own identity and therefore are exchangeable to any other thrash band. (RoyBalowski)

All Shall Perish
Today was my first encounter with the Californian deathcore outfit All Shall Perish. Although I was quite curious to seeing these guys play, this feeling gradually diminished as their set progressed. Unfortunately this is another one of those bands with an overkill on breakdowns, fast death metal parts and guitar fiddling. Fun to watch for a couple of songs, yet when the trick is repeated several times I lose interest. Cool stuff for the hip kids with multi-coloured mega-printed metal shirts though. (DemonDust)

Delain
Delain was the odd band on the bill. The band's mix of poppy goth-rock didn't mix all that well with the rest of the grim, kult or extreme-sounding bands. Still, the band tried their best with putting on an energetic show, and I even saw some tough looking metalheads singing along (maybe because their girlfriends were probably getting beer or something..) (Carn)

The Dillinger Escape Plan
After seeing the inimitable lads of The Dillinger Escape Plan destroy at the pre-party the day before, I knew they would be my personal favourite of this whole fest. Their setlist had slightly changed compared to the one the day before, which is nice for the people that visited both days. They had replaced their Aphex Twin cover for their cover of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Wish’ and also left out a bunch of other tracks from the day before. Even though the sound was a bit blurry, it seemed that the dedicated fans knew what was going on within all the mayhem. Sickening mathcore for those that can count really fast while being bashed in the face. Again an excellent performance with some special acrobatics from guitarist Ben Weinman who climbed from the bass-speaker into the light-trusses and jumped back on stage. Fucking idiot! Don’t try this at home! (DemonDust)

Kataklysm
Many times have I encountered the Canadian hyperblast groove death metal monster Kataklysm, who always manage to give away a decent show. This afternoon proved no different. The band performed tight as hell and got the crowd going with variety of tracks from their nine studio albums. The sound was actually pretty good during this show, especially the triggered snare and bass drum came through the brutal distorted guitar splendidly, as well as Maurizio’s vocals. Even though their music becomes sort of boring to me after a while, this was definitely one of the nicer shows I’ve seen from these guys. The death metal heads present could go home satisfied I’d say! (DemonDust)

Candlemass
From what I heard, the organization already had a couple of visits from the authorities before the third band had played. I think that was the mean reason why the volume of the Candlemass gig was so terrible. I mean when you’re in front of the giant stacks of amplifiers, during a gig of the Swedish godfathers of Doom and you’re still able to have decent conversations with each other… then there’s something wrong! What didn't help either to make this an enjoyable gig, was the fact that their ‘new’ singer Robert Lowe probably just heard Michael Jackson passed away and felt the need to make a Michael Jackson impression in his tight black leather jeans, by grabbing his crotch constantly! Nonetheless, they played a lot of their classic songs. I heard ‘Dark Reflections’ from their Tales Of Creation record, which is still to this date a fucking, catchy up-tempo doom headbanger! Of course ‘Bewitched’ from their Nightfall album was one of the last songs they played. Overall this wasn’t such a convincing gig, mainly because of the shitty sound, but also because of their dull performance. I like to see them in action in a smaller venue. Hopefully that will give me the right impression of this band. (RoyBalowski)

Death Angel
Death Angel has been around since uhm, before I was born, and these guys still know how to throw a great thrash metal party. This was the first time I've seen them with their new bassplayer Sammy Diosdado and drummer Will Carrol, and for a few seconds it was odd to see 'new' people. But that only lasted for a song or two, because we got treated with some nice Death Angel classics. My neck still hurts! (Carn)

Satyricon
After a slightly misleading gig I’ve seen of them in the Waterfront on their last tour, I was anxious to see Satyricon again. Hoping this time it would be a better performance. Luckily I can say this was a pretty good gig. Satyr kept his ridiculous ‘hey, hey’ shouts mostly to himself and just focused on singing the mighty Satyricon songs with his amazing howl. It’s a shame to see that most people only know Satyricon from the last two albums Now Diabolical and The Age Of Nero. Unfortunately the band realizes this as well and therefore the bulk of the set is of these two albums. They opened up with the mighty whips of ‘Commando’, to continue into a set with absolute no surprises or hardly any old songs. In fact, when Satyr humbly asks the audience if they mind that they play an older song of the Nemesis Divina album, the reactions are quite slim. After that they continued their tight set, with awesome songs like ‘Die By My Hand’, ‘The Wolfpack’ and ‘Now, Diabolical’. Of course the last encore the band made was the very obvious epic, black-metal epos ‘Mother North’. A good gig, but I have my doubts whether the band likes it that much to just play new songs. (RoyBalowski)

Meshuggah
There ain't no party like a polyrhythmic metal party! The 'Shuggah always keeps amazing me with their ubertight shows, wicked drumming and Jens "I have one scream which I always use and it sounds awesome" Kidman. To bad the volume was a bit low, but nevertheless we had a great time with new tracks like 'Bleed' and of course, 'Future Bree Bree Breeeeeeeee Machine'. Can't wait to see them in a cosy venue again! (Carn)

The Devil’s Blood
The Devil’s Blood
functioned as a ‘ritual’ surprise act on this succesful first edition of Fortarock. Well, it was hardly a surprise act anymore, because it was spread on the internet a long time ago! They had half an hour to put a spell on the audience and work their magic. It was quite a strange gig though. Ttheir guitar player Selim came on stage with his middle-fingers put up in the air towards the audience and coming on with certain arrogance. At first I thought it was kind of a new ‘fuck everything’ attitude stage-act, but there was probably more going on. During the show he focused his vision in the audience to one person in particular. After they played the last song, Selim threw away his guitar, jumped over the fence and bashed that dudes head in! Strange… Anyway, let’s focus on the music instead. They played a lot of new songs from the upcoming album The Time Of No Time Evermore, which will come out early September. The sound was okay, but I had the idea the band wasn’t as tight as they can be. I mean, they still excel in amazingly, atmospheric, twin guitar occult 70’s rock, but it wasn’t the best show I’ve seen. Unfortunately due to the short set time, they also didn’t have the time to play the brilliant ‘Voodoo Dust’. A decent show, by one of the most hyped underground bands of this time. In my opinion well deserved, I can’t wait to hear their new album. (RoyBalowski)
Details Written on Wednesday Jul 22nd, 2009
Writer @RoyBalowski

Tags: #Fortarock
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