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As I Lay Dying, Darkest Hour, Himsa, Maroon - Metalcore package
Although metalcore isn�t my favourite genre anymore, there are still a few bands out there that I actually do like. This Thursday night four of them came together in the small hall of the Melkweg, that wasn�t even sold out. Together with chief Buzzin Hornet and newly recruited female reporter Lukie we enjoyed some big names in the scene, who all recently recorded new albums, some of them already released, some of them almost.

Straight-edge but beer drinking act Maroon was the first band to appear on stage. Singer Andre Moraweck, who has the habit to end shows in his underwear, was now dressed in a gentleman�s suit which however didn�t prevent him to act different than he usual does. Catching your own spit is just a normal thing in his show. Also very funny was the dancing part; he first arranged that everybody claps, after which he says that clapping means dancing in Germany, followed by some truly sexy moves! Too bad that there weren't any imitators. I was furthermore very pleased with Maroon�s heavy sound. The volume of the drums was very loud - which does me good, being a drummer. On the opposite, of course, the guitar solos weren�t that good audible. New tracks from their yet unreleased new record The Cold Heart Of The Sun were played and sounded great as well. Some parts were so brutal that I thought Maroon moved forward to death metal. That is not really true, but it's a big compliment in my eyes. (Mindsaver)

I saw Himsa once before and back then I wasn't really impressed. This resulted in paying less attention to the show this time. Every now and then, when no one was talking to me, I watched a short bit of the show and once again the band wasn't too attractive. They played a nice set but the sound wasn't that good and the band didn't manage to create the right vibe in the audience. This resulted in a band just playing in the background. Quite enjoyable but nothing special. (Buzzin Hornet)

The third band of the night was the melodic metal formation Darkest Hour. The band just released their brand new album Deliver Us through Victory Records. Tonight they opened their set with the opening track of this new album. The set was played close to perfection from the first note until the band left the stage. And the fact these guys do not create an energetic set didn't influence the power the music had on the audience. For the first time the pit consisted out of more than 10 people. The band was clearly enjoying the reaction of this audience, but they kept doing their thing without acting like a fool and jumping like an idiot, a thing almost every band is doing lately. Vocalist John was the most active member on stage, but he clearly wasn't sure of his moves when he was not singing. But still the band's 'act' wasn't important for their set. It was tight as hell and it made a great impression on every person in the venue this night. (Buzzin Hornet)

An Ocean Between Us. The new album of As I Lay Dying received a lot of good reviews. It�s really a step forward since Shadows Are Security (2005) if you ask me. Last time the band was in Holland they played with Lamb of God and Chimaira as a support act, but now they got the time to show off!

A lot of songs from the new album were played this evening. Starting with 'Nothing Left', they also played 'Within Destruction', 'Forsaken' and title track 'An Ocean Between Us'. Songs that really stuck out and were brought with much enthusiasm. It was obvious most people came to see them and Darkest Hour. The older songs they played ('94 Hours', 'Forever') were also favourites and the crowd really made that clear by screaming their lungs out. I�ve also seen spectacular moves in the pit like I�ve never seen before. AILD got the crowd on their hands. Something I noticed was that the band is in such a state that it doesn�t really matter what they do, it�s good anyways. Singer Tim Lambesis didn�t really know how to fill the silences during the songs for example. I thought it was disturbing, but I bet only a few people had the same thoughts as me.

Bassist Josh Gilbert joined the band in November 2006 and handles the clean vocals. The new album is full of them so I wondered how he would put up with that. Although he did a good job playing all the songs along, his vocals weren�t always that �clean�. He couldn�t sing as good as he did on the album. Too bad, but it couldn�t ruin the convincing show they gave this night. (Lukie)