Houten Deathfest - Five brutal European bands
The peace in the village Houten, near Utrecht, gets disturbed every once in a while. On this day this was done by Houten Deathfest. This was the second edition and everyone had a fucking blasting time with a lot of relatively young bands and it was a promising prospect for the coming editions.
We started out with the Belgian band Fractured Insanity. The sound of the guitar was a bit too thin for me to sound really brutal, buts that’s just their style. On their last year released debut When Mankind Becomes Diseased the sound isn’t much different. I wasn’t sure whether the singer was kidding when he stated that today here in Houten they had their first moshpit ever, because apart from the guitarsound they made a destructive impression. With the cover of my favourite Decapitated song ‘Spheres of Madness’ they made this impression lasting.
The tempo was speeded up by Eternal Bleeding, which unfortunately had the same thin guitarsound. Just when they entered the stage I realised I had seen them last summer at the Sziget festival in Hungary, where they were one of the most brutal bands. You see, the metal stage on that festival doesn’t program much brutal death bands, so Eternal Bleeding from the neighbouring country Slovakia was a welcome surprise on that festival. On this first show in the Netherlands the fast technical death with a lot of pinches and high notes was just as devastating as on that hot summer day in Budapest.
Although I already enjoyed the previous two bands, the first band which really blasted me away was Spain’s Haemophagia. The sound on their in 2007 released debut is a bit bleak and doesn’t sound too brutal, but tonight it was the first band which really had a fucking strong sound. Besides that, the singer had an unbelievably rancid voice, which went in the direction of goregrind, without sounding too artificial. It was somewhere between the barking vocals of Dying Fetus and the filthy sound of Devourment. Check this band out live whenever you have the chance.
Next up was Degrade from Sweden and they continued in a somewhat same style as Haemophagia, with an equal brutal and full sound. However I decided to take a step back and watch this band with a nice cold beer in my hand at the bar, just to spare some energy for the headliner of tonight. From there you had a really cool overview of the audience which just kept on moshing the entire night, the vibe tonight was really good. There was no way that Degrade couldn’t notice this, so they stepped on the gas and also gave a devastating show. But by this time there already was so much violence released upon our ears that I was in for something more varied.
And something more varied was offered by the French band Benighted. As the only band of tonight they released more than one full length record, namely five, and that’s probably the reason that they play a more interesting style than just the standard brutal death metal. The last year released record Icon ended high in my yearlist, because they manage to sound fucking brutal while every song still has a face of its own, so that the songs are easy to recognize. So I rolled up my sleeves to get ready for some real destructive moshing and it was unbelievable what this band presented. That was an enormous tight and convincing show which stayed interesting for the entire length of the set. Benighted presented us the blueprint for the perfect brutal death metal show and the audience went a few steps crazier than they already were. The next show of Benighted in the Netherlands is gonna be at the huge Neurotic Death Fest and that’s sure gonna blast too, but I doubt whether the feel and quality of this night’s show can be succeeded.
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