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Neurotic Deathfest 2007 - Europe’s premiere indoor death metal festival
After No Mercy, which was my first one day indoor festival, I now went to the famous Dynamo venue in Eindhoven to experience my first two day indoor event. I got company from Sledgehammer Messiah on both days, while DemonDust only checked in on the second day. Next to us Metalragers there were a lot of metalheads with various nationalities. I heard just as much German, Italian, French and tongues that were for me unrecognizable as my own native language Dutch. Neurotic’s line-up ranged their brutal tones from two different stages. Here is our report.


Friday May 11th

Despise
(Basement Stage)
Neurotic’s madness this Friday begun with Despise, Czech death metal heads. Due the cancellation of Devourment there were some changes in the running order, and because of that I almost missed their complete set cause I was waiting at the main hall for the first act to begin. When I noticed that they commenced in the basement I quickly ran downstairs to witness the first heavy tunes of today. Surely pleasant but musically pretty standard brutal death metal that was offered to the public in this small vault. (Mindsaver)

Viral Load
(Main Stage)
First up on the big stage was a special band, namely Viral Load: a guitar virtuoso called Shawn Whitaker (known from his other solo project Insidious Decrepancy which was present on last years Neurotic Deathfest) together with live drummer James King (member of Unmerciful who also recorded the drums for the upcoming Viral Load record). Damn these two could play! Heavily triggered but insane fast feet from King layed down the foundation of Whitakers extreme shredding guitar work. I was completely blasted away by just two men, which promised something for the other for me unknown bands that were coming up. (Mindsaver)

Leng T’che
(Main Stage)
On Leng Tch’e’s fourth full length album, Marasmus, new guitar player Jan wrote all the material in cooperation with drummer Sven, who is the singer of Belgium’s well known melodic brutal death band Aborted. Leng Tch’e is coming more and more in the spot lights with this latest effort and is getting some really good critics. They proved to be able to bring their music very convincing, which themselves gave it the self invented name ‘razorgrind’, but their style actually is grindcore with major death metal and hardcore influences, and a slight touch of doom once in a while. The convincing effort was largely brought about by the bald front man Boris with his very active performance; overall a very impressing show. (Sledgehammer Messiah)

Kronos
(Basement Stage)
Kronos was my favorite act scheduled here tonight. Their latest effort The Hellenic Terror is probably my most loved death metal record of this year up till now, which definitely says something. I found a spot close to the stage so I couldn’t watch the action of the audience behind me, but I heard many positive reactions afterwards. Mine was very positive too: Kronos played damn brutal, yet very tight and just as grooving as on the records. Most of the songs that were played came from their new album which also pleased me a lot, with my favourite Terror-track “Divine Vengeance (Petrifying Beauty, Part 1)” as highlight. (Mindsaver)

Severe Torture
(Main Stage)
I had to look twice when a saw a bald man picking up the microphone at the beginning of Severe Torture’s show, “do they a have a new singer all of a sudden?” I asked myself. Only when his first grunts reached my ears I was relieved to realize that he had simply shaved his head, pfew! As always his vocals empowered the music to fully consume the audience. It was clear that Severe Torture was a favourite of the audience today, because as the first band of the day they managed to get a nice pit going on at the main stage during the entire show. The recordings for their new album Sworn Vengeance should be finished by now and a few songs were already played for us tonight, which did even more damage to my neck than the material I already knew, so that promises much for the upcoming release! (Sledghammer Messiah)

Vital Remains
(Main Stage)
After a full blasting evening of death metal, which started around seven o’clock, Vital Remains had some difficulties headlining with an apathetic audience. The bad sound could be a reason for this; the guitar solos of the bald Dave Suzuki, who looked quite funny by the way when he put on his evil face when he did some backing vocals, sounded very thin and overall the sound was just too hollow. Damien Boynton who handled the mic came nowhere near the satanic vocal sound on the records, sung by Glen Benton of Deicide. Furthermore their songs are probably just too long to keep a crowd entertained during the entire song. Later however, people seemed to wake up and some moshing finally occurred, most fanatically during ‘Dechristianize’, but overall it seemed like many people already had its share of death metal tonight and Vital Remains wasn’t everyone’s personal headliner. (Sledgehammer Messiah)

Godphobia
(Main Stage)
Godphobia were the surprising and unannounced headliners of this Friday. They took over Vital Remains’ gear and played three songs that sounded just as heavy as the rest of the bands we saw earlier tonight. Though it was pretty fun to see a band coming out of nothing which of course nobody expected, and nobody knew how to react. An explanation why they came on stage could be the cancellation of Devourment, and because Godphobia is currently touring Europe with Vital Remains the organisation must have thought of something to compensate a little which was easy to arrange. Good one I must say. (Mindsaver)


Saturday May 12th

Suffocate Bastard
(Basement Stage)
Saturday’s hell unleashed in the basement with German death metallers Suffocate Bastard. Not a very unique band but certainly not the worst act (what a negative approach!) playing this festival. I digged their stuff pretty well, just like my first beer on this early afternoon. (Mindsaver)

Dawn Of Azazel
(Main Stage)
The trio Dawn of Azazel, all the way from New Zealand, seemed to drown on the main stage early on the day. The band had some nice free publicity in its homeland because there was some controversy about the front man, since he is a police officer and naturally sings some very violent lyrics. Unfortunately he didn’t come over so violent, because his voice really lacked in force. Furthermore the band seemed to need another guitar player to bring over their music well. (Sledgehammer Messiah)

Toxocara
(Basement Stage)
It took Toxocara, from Groningen, Holland, a little while before they could start their set, but once started they made a pretty decent impression on me. Their debut album of 2005 Imminent Repulsion passed by me somehow, so this Dutch band was a nice surprise to me, though their death metal isn’t unique, especially not between all those other death metal bands playing this weekend. Strongest link in this band was definitely drummer Michiel van der Plicht with his shivering precision and complex drum patterns, one and a half hour later he would be on stage with Prostitute Disfigurement. Oh, and it was also nice to see a lady playing her bass well on stage between all the masculinity. (Sledgehammer Messiah)

Visceral Bleeding
(Main Stage)
From the first notes that these Swedes played I was once again completely blown away, and that’s really a big accomplishment between all the violence and blastbeats heard this weekend. Their brutal and highly technical death metal is played in such a furious manner that it feels like it really grabs you by your balls. These guys just keep on bashing relentlessly, which can be a bit of an overkill but overall it makes me go hard on adrenaline. With 'Fury Unleashed', which has an extremely good brutal catchy (yes, that’s possible) chorus, their stunning show came to an end. (Sledgehammer Messiah)

Prostitute Disfigurement
(Main Stage)
I’ve seen Prostitute Disfigurement several times in their career, and every time I saw them they appeared to be a little better. This time was surely the best show I’ve seen of these guys. Their hyper-aggressive grindcore bashed away from start to finish, proving that they deserved their spot on this festival righteously. Extra amazing was that drummer Michiel van der Plicht played his second set tonight, but still kept it brutal and tight. Certainly one of the best Dutch death metal/grindcore bands out there today. (DemonDust)

Hour Of Penance
(Basement Stage)
Hour Of Penance was definitely a band I wanted to check out and so I hurried to the basement to do so. Brutal death metal and many tracks from their latest release Pageantry For Martyrs (which came out almost two years ago) were played. Now musically they were alright, they needed a little warm up but it soon it became very descent. However the way it got presented was rather annoying. Frontman Fransesco Paoli did way to much talking between the songs. Really, why asking for yelling up to three times before you play your ditty? Why naming the complete band line-up saying how great they are, like we don’t know. Truly his talking fucked up their performance as a whole. Disappointing. (Mindsaver)

Cephalic Carnage
(Main Stage)
The most unconventional band today was Cephalic Carnage for sure. It was the third show of this tour that I saw, and my god it was the very best of them. It might be because there finally was some real mosh action this time, mainly coming from me. Because they were playing at the Neurotic Deathfest they decided to keep their setlist as brutal as possible, so some amazing songs unfortunately were left out. But they kicked more than ass nonetheless, they kicked prostate. It was loud, brutal, musically impressing and occasionally hilarious, everything a good metal show needs for me. I can’t wait for their return here in August. (DemonDust)

Gutted
(Basement Stage)
Because I didn’t want to miss any band playing this festival, I decided to consume my McDonalds food in the Dynamo building. I witnessed three Gutted songs, and while they sung about human shit and the collapse of individual hygiene I calmly ate my burgers until I left to check out the cd-market stalls to comfort myself a little peace of mind. Nothing special in the basement this time. (Mindsaver)

Grave
(Main Stage)
I already had to miss Grave’s latest show here in Holland, so I was glad the festival decided to book the Immolation tour which they’re part of. Last time with the Cryptopsy tour I found them to be highly impressive, and I also quite like their last album As Rapture Comes. Grave does about one thing, and that is make brutal heavy grooving Swedish death ‘n’ roll, excellently suitable for some headbanging. Those infectious grooves get to your neck just as fast as 20 litres of beer gets to your liver. The mid-tempo parts are kind of relaxing, while some fast blasting makes sure you don’t doze of too much. And there’s a guy in this band that’s bald but has a giant beard. I love beards. Metal! (DemonDust)

Defeated Sanity
(Basement Stage)
When it slowly became late this evening, it was up to Germany’s Defeated Sanity to unleash some more blastbeats after seeing Grave, that relatively play less speedy metal then most of the bands present. In a packed basement they succeeded in creating some chaos including the first pit here downstairs. (Mindsaver)

Krisiun
(Main Stage)
These three Brazilians were extremely glad and grateful to be playing on this years Neurotic Deathfest and Alex Camargo let it know multiple times to the audience; maybe a couple times too many by which it distracted a bit, but the most important thing was that it came straight from their hearts and that it was very sincere. This was also heard through their music, which had a tremendous power and one of the greatest things was that the typical Krisiun sound fully remained intact live. So that meant that the venue shook on its foundation and a fucking violent pit emerged wherein many people hilariously slipped over the floor which was by that time covered by beer. A lot of songs from their latest record, AssassiNation, were played and the drum work of Max Kolesne was simply phenomenal. With “Bloodcraft” a very worthy and impressive show was ended. (Sledgehammer Messiah)

Degrade
(Basement Stage)
Sweden’s Degrade had the honour to -not taking Rompeprop’s afterparty in account- finish in the basement. Me and Sledgehammer found a nice spot in the back of the once again packed room to chill out and watch some more madness. Degrade, who can’t really be considered death metal but more as grindcore, reached the same as Defeated Sanity: moshing on a small spot and even some crowdsurfers which was quite funny due the low ceiling, those who dared were lifted against the lamps. Further on some deep and dirty screams and grunts plus more blastbeats. Can’t remember any more. (Mindsaver)

Immolation
(Main Stage)
The mighty headliner for this amazing two day festival of brutal music was Immolation. And Immolation is one of my top-favourite death metal bands, how lucky am I! It’s just too bad that an entire day of death metal, grindcore, beer and weed makes me, and the average metalhead, a bit tired. Which is highly unfortunate, because a lot of people clearly already went home before the headliner even started. Nevertheless the band kicked in with an immense volume brutalizing the last survivors of the Neurotic Deathfest. I love their style of death metal, it’s truly a one of a kind band that now finally receives the recognition it deserves. Those that had chosen to stay and witness Immolation clearly agree with me on this because the enthusiasm wasn’t entirely dead yet. Can’t say it was a slaughter fest either, but the spirit was there and the band liked it. Now I really need to go out and get me that new record! (DemonDust)


Neurotic Deathfest was an awesome experience for me. As said, I never witnessed this many brutal acts in just two days, but it went like I kind of predicted before. A great atmosphere, and me just walking from stage one to the other and back, of course continuously ordering beer! My intention was not to miss any band (except for the afterparty), and I gladly succeeded. Though, none of us reporters remembered anything from Nailed, Septycal Gorge or Infected Disarray, but that simply means that they were OK, no spectacle but no complaints either. I’m at least pretty sure where I’ll hang out next year mid-May ;-).
Details Written on Monday May 21st, 2007
Writer @Mindsaver

Tags: #Neurotic Deathfest 2007