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Metalbash XL - Maaspoorthallen
[b]Metalrage reporter Mat-Core thought it necessary to write a live view of Metalbash, the little festival organised by Aardschok magazine. It promised to be a successful gig, with quality bands like Machine Head and Sun Caged. In Extremo was programmed but replaced by Sun Caged because In Extremo couldnít manage to play on Metalbash. 4 finalists were chosen out of a big number of bands and were to play on a special stage. At the end there would be a prize for the winner of the competition, called the IGOR[/b] [i][b]Band Competition Stage:[/i][/b] [b]Textures:[/b] Brutal, technical, complex and mostly blasting. That is the proper way to describe the music of Textures, with blasting Meshuggah riffs, pounding double bass and blastbeats, and a guitarist who plays in Dutch leading Death Metal band Brutus. Songs like Swandive Transgressions and the heavy song Polars kicked in nicely, and Textures just grabbed the opportunity to promote their debut album Polars. A very nice band, and a nice candidate for the IGOR. [b]Solarisis:[/b] This Death/Trash formation from Enschede was playing strong, but there were some little things about the show that failed. It would not be the vocalist, who had a quite brutal throat. It was just something about the keyboard player, who managed to press 4 buttons during the whole show. A little bit useless as I would say, but nevertheless the music was strong, and with the right promotion, Solaris can surely be somewhat greater. [b]Next Waste Dimension:[/b] Again a qualitative band, which has to be or else they wouldnít play on the finals of Metalbash. With strong songs they sounded strong, very strong. This band was also a good candidate for the IGOR. Anyways, they played a heavy set while I recognized none of the played songs, I also never heard of this band before, but I surely will keep tracking it, for the music was neat. However, they just didnít impress me that much as the previous 2 bands. [b]Darkdayrising:[/b] A certain person told me that Darkdayrising would be the winner of the Metalbash competition, but again her opinion was based on what she liked most in a band, I must confess that Darkdayrising played a monstrous set, but somehow it just didnít interact just as well with the audience as Textures or Solarisis. Strong and powerful death metal with certain elements of Trash in it made this band worth seeing perform at least. [i]With the band competition over, there had to be a winner. The winner was Textures, because the jury was unanimously about the result, as all 4 jury members had Textures as the winning band. It would be time for Machine Head now, but first the opinion about the bands before MH.[/i] [i][b]Main Stage:[/b][/i] [b]Xystus:[/b] A rising star in power/prog world, thatís exactly the way to describe the success Xystus is going through. With a line-up change announced some time ago, Xystus just decided to let Tim return to his old stable and luckily they did that, as the vibe began to roll after a few songs. They opened with, I think, Elements Of The Truth or Forgotten Years, I just cannot remember anymore, but the sound was worthless, as the bass guitar was humming too hard. Luckily that changed after a few songs, and Resurrection Of Chaos, The Everlasting Burden, or was it Journey? Anyways, who cares, Xystus just played very nice and however it was not very crowded yet, they gave themselves entirely and the show was nice to watch. [b]Silent Edge:[/b] Silent Edge had the fortunate luck of playing on the Metalbash XL festival, because they actually won the band competition on Metalbash 2002. But however they played their complex progressive power metal, with a few ballades in them, it just wasnít that entertaining. Iím sure a Power/progressive die hard would love this shit, but Iím just too damn intoxicated by the time to follow the complex lines of music Silent Edge follows. All with all it was a nice show, with a neat performance. [b]Epica:[/b] Next turn was for the Dutch gothic sensation Epica, with the ex guitarist of After Forever. There is nothing wrong with a rising star, but opening their OWN show with a cover song from the old band of the guitarist is just weakÖ. So entirely, completely WEAK. That was by the way the only thing wrong about the show, as the rest was played neatly and oiled. It just sounded quite right and pounding songs, changing turns with softer songs filled the hall and the audience just loved the shit Epica was playing. Songs like Cry For The Moon, Seif Al Din and Illusive Consensus are quality songs and seemed to entertain the crowd well enough. [b]Sun Caged:[/b] Sun Caged is a superb band qua technique and performance, with one of the best guitarist in the Netherlands, if not THE best and a bass player, equally with technique, itís just a very nice band to witness. However, when you have had 3 gothic/power/prog bands each following each other, and then again followed by Sun Caged, a truly devoted Death metal fan would surely get a soft dick of the music. Because Progressive metal is not my favourite style, I witnessed Sun Caged with the same excitement, as I watch my fish swimming in the bowl. If Sun Caged performed somewhere alone, I would have thought it a superb show, and it was not like songs as Sun Caged (were they opened with) and Hollow didnít entertained me, but I just had enough Power/prog metal for one evening. Although I must confess that Sun Caged deserved all the applause they got, as they just stood and conquered the hearts of many metalfans. [b]Trouble:[/b] Old and resurrected from the grave, Trouble gave away a very old school show with their mix of Trash and Heavy metal. Better let them stay in the grave and donít bother me with the fucked up music. They performed quite neat, but damn, it should be neat when you are all above 50Ö. Or more. Trouble did not entertain me, as it entertained many others. Nothing wrong about this band, but they should have stayed home. [b]Machine Head:[/b] Finally the band of the evening for many metalhearts in the audience. However I enjoyed the Textures gig more than the Machine Head gig, they just conquered the audience, and how! Opening with the first track of the new album Imperium, Machine Head would not slip this first triumph, by continuing a set with old songs, mostly from the first 2 records, occasionally changed with songs from the last album and as far as I heard only 1 song of the Supercharger record (Trephination) The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears was one song that fell outside of the Machine Head party, however played neatly, it didnít came over on me. But damn, they just crushed me again when they continued with None But My Own, and I couldnít believe my ears they decided to play many songs from the Burn My Eyes record. Songs like Davidian, Old, A Nation On Fire and my all time favourite Blood For Blood just blew away the metalcrowd. They also played Ten Ton Hammer and man, it was intense, the whole Machine Head show was intense, so I just watched and gaped, as Machine Head opened my Metal eyes a long time ago, and this was the first time in almost friggin 10 years I could see a REAL machine head, as Machine Head has to be. Fuck their previous 2 records, Hail to the rest of them! [i][b]Metalbash XL was, if you would say, a success if you wanted to buy albums for a low price. I managed to buy 6 albums for the extreme amount of 6 euros and that was certainly worth the ticket. The bands were a little less, and the programming was too focused on Progressive/Power metal. I must confess I enjoyed the bands on the Band Competition stage more then the lions share of the bands on the Main Stage. But in the end, there was enough beer to wash away my irritation, and it just was a fine party![/i][/b]
Details Written on Saturday Jan 1st, 2005
Writer @Mat-Core

Tags: #Metalbash XL