Atheist, Obscura, Gnostic - Technical noon gigA promising bill for fans of progressive and technical death metal: reunited legends Atheist, German sensation Obscura and Gnostic with members of the first mentioned band were performing all together in Zaandam’s De Kade. Let’s see what they got to offer.
The first band up was Gnostic, a relative new band with both ex and current members of today’s headliner. Atheist’s guitarist Jonathan Thompson is handling bass in Gnostic and also drummer Steve Flynn had double duties this noon. This was the first time that they were presenting their Season Of Mist debut Engineering The Rule, but due to the dramatically bad sound in the venue it didn’t became as exciting as we hoped for. Gnostic’s songs are extremely technical but the instruments were in such a way out of balance that it was no fun to listen to. Concentrating on the drumkit, the cymbals were hardly audible and neither were the toms, while the kick drum was probably twice as loud as any other aspect of their music. Also the guitars were completely lost in the mix and high parts were only fun to look at - hearing them was just not possible. Singer and frontman Kevin Freeman seemed to be a very sincere person but had a hard time doing his vocals, although he did finish all his long growls on their original lengths. At the end of the set the sound was only slightly approved, but as a whole sounded way to angular. Let’s just hope they have a better sound engineer next time. (Mindsaver)
After the absolute disastrous sound at the Gnostic gig, I was afraid the same would happen to tech metallers Obscura from Germany. At the recent gig at Neurotic Deathfest, the band witnessed the same problem with the sound, which is an absolute disaster for such a technical band like this. We moved to the middle of the crowd where we hoped to get the best sound as possible. It turned out to be way better than at Gnostic’s performance, as well as the one at Neurotic Deathfest. Obscura played a decent set of mostly tracks from their new album Cosmogenesis alongside a few older tracks with a few bad jokes (about the band being a sort of replacement for Cynic who “couldn’t make it to this gig”) in between. Although this isn’t my kind of death metal, I was pretty convinced with this performance and I’m definitely looking forward to see them again with Cannibal Corpse and Dying Fetus in October! (Brent_)
And then, finally, the legends themselves: Atheist. Like a miracle, the sound suddenly seemed no issue anymore and was pretty OK. The band had a damn good time on stage, with vocalist Kelly Shaefer being very stoned and sometimes looking around like he didn’t knew where he was - still doing a good job and presenting the whole show with great pleasure. Also the others guys had fun on stage, constantly making contact with the average old-aged audience, that seemed to be very happy with the reunion. During their one-hour set we got to hear songs from all their three albums, yet they played more music from their most popular classic Unquestionable Presence. They also kicked their set off with the titlesong from that album. Some other tracks that passed by were “Mother Man”, “Air”, “An Incarnation's Dream” and finishing with Piece Of Time’s titlesong as an encore. A sweet show of progressive tech-death and fusion-jazz that made the fans really curious for their upcoming new record and following tour. I’ll be there for sure. (Mindsaver)