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(All pics : Lindsy Bouten)

After surviving the first wet and muddy day, we stood up in the crack of noon to be a part of the festival on day two! I think it’s pretty safe to say, that the metal-stage on the Zwarte Cross festival is a huge success. The amount of people that visited this stage, absolutely doubled this year. This will be an established name in the metal scene next year and actually indispensable, like any other big metal-festival in the Netherlands. Thumbs up to the organization, can’t wait to be a part of this bizarre circus next year again!
Diggeth is the Dutch answer to Black Label Society and they had the honor to be the very first band of the second day. After a line-up change that created a sabbatical period of 2 years for them, they are back with a new drummer. This power-trio still proves to be a good, solid band. Heavy, bluesy stoner-metal that is heavily linked to the Zakk Wylde music and perhaps Down. Diggeth has some awesome tunes, like ‘Heavy Heart’ of their first EP. The downside is that not all the tunes are that good and catchy, so after a while it gets a bit dull. Good opener though! (RoyBalowski)

Mooi Wark
With songs about beer, French fries and rock ‘n’ roll Mooi Wark is the perfect crown prince in the Dutch farmer rock genre. When both Jovink and Normaal would leave the scene Mooi Wark is the band that could take over their place with a great display of strength. It’s hard to describe this kind of farmer rock to a foreigner, but you can best compare it with the song ‘Whatever You Want’ from Status Quo with variable Dutch lyrics about the earlier mentioned subjects. That the band is popular among the visitors of Zwarte Cross can be understand by the fact that Mooi Wark played three gigs at this year’s edition. They played one show on Sunday on the camp-site, one show on Sunday at the ‘Blagenparadijs’, a section especially made for little kids, and one ‘normal’ show on Saturday. During the normal showthey succeeded in letting people dance, clap, wave and throw beer (that’s supposed to be a good thing…) for more than 75 minutes. The atmosphere was great, the band played well and the audience participation couldn’t have been better. All in all a great start for the second day of the festival! (Gilles)

Mortal Form
This oldschool death-metal outfit out of the Netherlands has some kind of a cult-status. Being together for over a decade and just a few releases and just a handful of shows, makes a lot of people curious. Musically it’s decent mid-tempo death-metal in the vein of old Obituary. Mortal Form performs it with a ditto stage-act, so a decent show but nothing special either. At this point of the day, not to many people turned up either, this probably because of the cross itself that was going on at this point of time. (RoyBalowski)

The Zwarte Cross is basically a survival of the fittest. There’s so much going on, that it’s too hard to keep track of everything. I mean from the metal-stage, to PeterPan Speedrock in the 'mega tent', to the cross itself, to the theater field, to Drive Like Maria on the main stage. It’s a small journey around the world on one festival. Amazing isn’t it!
Walls Of Jericho
After seeing this show, I only can conclude that WOJ were the absolute winners of the metal-stage in the two days I was present. This was the first band on these days that draw a lot of people to the metal-stage and they got the shit going from the very first second. It was an awesome show, but what we saw was a heavily crippled Walls Of Jericho. Their female throat Candice wasn’t there, because she had to leave the tour in a hurry. From what I understood a very close personal friend or relative had suddenly died and she had to go to his funeral. This guy died on a young age, leaving a pregnant girlfriend and without any funeral assurance. There for WOJ tried to raise a little bit of money with their merchandise. The vocals were taking care of by some roadies and some members of the Red Chord, who are currently touring with WOJ. It worked out very well, after every song the moshpit became bigger and bigger, this was the very first real serious pit. They also got the very first crowd surfers going. Awesome show, by a hard working band that deserves our respect! (RoyBalowski)

Comeback Kid                                                                                                                                                                   
The Comeback Kid’s show was just as always: energetic and great. From the first song ‘Till Closer ‘Wake The Dead’: the audience loved it. I’ve seen the band playing tighter than they did now, but that couldn’t ruin their show. Furthermore there isn’t really much left to say about these guys. Whether they play in front of thousands of people or just a couple, they always know to impress. Some media even call them the new Sick Of It All. Personally I think that’s still too much credit, but in time they’ll definitely be able to earn that label. (Gilles)

PeterPan Speedrock                                                                                                                                                        
Fast and loud rock ‘n’ roll out of Eindhoven, that couldn’t go wrong on the Zwarte Cross. The volume of this show was absolute loud as fuck, almost uncanny! They started their set with a hard and loud version of ‘Cock Teaser’. The sound was actually so loud in the beginning, that it sounded absolute shit, but still this band produces so much energy and passion! This is still without any doubt, THE ultimate rock ‘n’ roll band of the Netherlands. From the first song on the crowd went wild, not bothered about the shit sound. During the set they did their version of ‘Gotta Get Some’ with Denvis of the Spades on vocals. A fun fact; The kids of guitar-player/singer Peter van Eelderen of PPSR, were standing at the side of the stage banging their heads off on their dad’s music! Half way the set they did ‘Schoppen Aas’ with Dikke Dennis on vocals. After that the party really got started with some old tunes of the second and third album and as an encore Dikke Dennis got them back to do ‘Megasdetitas’ which is still one of the best songs ever of PPSR. This song is about big boobed Spanish senoritas and during this song some big boobed striptease dancers came on stage! Awesome show, by one of the best live-acts out of the Netherlands! (RoyBalowski)

Legion Of The Damned                                                                                    
didn’t attract as many people as Walls Of Jericho did, but the turn out for this Dutch thrash-machine wasn’t bad at all. They are probably Holland’s number one thrash-metal band at this point; especially in a country like Germany they are huge. It isn’t that strange, because Legion Of The Damned’s music is heavily influenced by the old German thrash of Kreator, Destruction and Sodom. This was a tight and decent show of them, hard, loud, fast and thrashy. LOTD played songs from all the 4 albums they released and of course the last encore was their very own anthem ‘Legion Of The Damned’. Decent show, by a decent band! (RoyBalowski)

is a young Dutch 70’s retro-rock band, which is heavily pushed by the Dutch alternative music-press and radio. I understand why, but it isn’t really original or with an own identity. Musically they are pretty much in the line of Wolfmother or a faster Led Zeppelin. It isn’t original at all, but it’s executed with an utter precision. A really good rocking show from this young band, I think this band will even grow in the future. Interesting and great show! (RoyBalowski)

Last couple of years this Norwegian black-metal band, became one of the more interesting bands out of this scene. With the last 3 albums Isa, Ruun and Vertebrae they created a very unique sound, which is almost to be described as “the Pink Floyd” of black-metal. At first I thought it was quite risky to book a band like Enslaved for the Zwarte Cross festival, because their music is very atmospheric and modest. Enslaved were at their best, this was truly a very remarkable and great show. They played with such a passion and heart, but unfortunately the atmosphere they try to create wasn’t always there. They are not a typical festival band, they are best to observe in a small, dark club. None the less I personally thought this was the best performance I’ve seen whole weekend. The played a lot of songs from the last 3 albums, including the phenomenal ‘The Watcher’ of their Vertebrae album. It was kind off a shame to see, that especially the quiet, atmospheric songs didn’t get the feedback they deserve from the crowd. Especially the older, faster songs got the people going. They played ‘Return To Ygdrassil’ which is an amazing older song of them. To my opinion this band wasn’t totally suitable for the Zwarte Cross, but remarkably a lot of people stayed and watched this amazing band. (RoyBalowski)

Drive Like Maria
A new Dutch band at the retro-rock front. After their loud performance at a Dutch TV-show called ‘De Wereld Draait Door’ their career sky rocked very fast. But why not any sooner? This band is actually really good. Loud, groovy retro-rock with a dirty edge, that perfectly mixes the best elements out of the Queen Of The Stone Age, Led Zeppelin and (old) ZZ Top. They played on the main stage, so not that many people where at front of the gigantic stage. None the less, they rocked the fuck out of the people who took the effort to check them out. The ended the energetic show with an amazing psychedelic jam. Great show, by a great Dutch band! (RoyBalowski)

This band was the co-headliner of the Saturday of the metal-stage. A well deserved spot! After years of hard work and a lot of touring, the band of Warrel Dane and Jeff Loomis, gained quite a following in the metal scene. Tonight they proved again why. It isn’t my cup of tea, but even I have to agree, they have some highly enjoyable tunes. Good live band, with an incredible heavy and hard sound (thumbs up soundman). Especially the harder and heavy songs are pretty enjoyable, but I still have struggles with the high pitched vocals. A lot of people don’t seem to be bothered about the vocals and banged their heads off to this band. Last song they played was a real thrashy and heavy song called ‘We Are The Enemies’. Good solid performance! (RoyBalowski)

The Horse Company  
After midnight we decided to go to the intimate “Fijnproevers tent”, which was a pretty small tent-stage sponsored by Dutch alternative music-magazine OOR. During this weekend mostly smaller good indie-rock bands played on this stage. This Dutch band out of Zwolle was no difference. This band played an unbelievable tight and catchy show, filled with emotion driven indie-rock. Unfortunately this band is way underappreciated and only a handful of people turned up (which included almost whole PeterPan Speedrock and Denvis), but they still played with loads of passion and emotion. Musically they reminded me a bit of Kings Of Leon mixed with some postrock, but with a darker vibe going on. Really good band that took me by surprise! (RoyBalowski)


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Details Written on Saturday Aug 8th, 2009
Writer @RoyBalowski

Tags: #Zwarte Cross