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Deicide, Samael, Vader, Devian, Order Of Ennead, The Amenta - Winterfest in Haarlem
Summer Slaughter, Metalfest, Winterfest... I don’t care about the name of a tour, as long as the bands are worth checking out. This line-up of six known and lesser known bands operating at the more extreme side of metal (well maybe except Samael) created an interesting bill to visit twice. Underneath, the review of the second date of the tour, at the Patronaat in Haarlem, the Netherlands.

For the second day in a row I was about to witness Australian extreme metallers The Amenta. Just like the day before I was only one of the few metalheads present at the venue this early. A bummer for this band, ‘cause this way they still don’t play for large audiences while they’re on a pretty big tour. Even more annoying was the fact that a group of kids didn’t pay attention to the stage, but more to towards themselves by doing stupid dances and such. This really deducted my attention from a band that creates an intense atmosphere with their electronic samples, sick riffs and extreme blastbeats. I tried to be in exaltation but they kind of ruined it this way. About the sound we didn’t have anything to complain. Both the instruments as the industrial samples were well balanced. Singer Jarrod, who is actually a small man, has a great voice with a wide range of angry vocals that fit the music perfectly. If anyone is interested in multi-layered intense and extreme blackened death metal filled with electronics, be sure to check out this monster. (Mindsaver)

Up next was Tampa, Florida’s Order Of Ennead. This four-piece was formed in 2007 after Council Of The Fallen, a progressive death band featuring members of Deicide and Cynic, called it a day. Although you might expect that a band from that area and with members of Deicide in its ranks would play an average dose of death metal, they actually don’t. The most prominent influence is in their music is black metal, mostly notable by Kevin Quirion’s black metal throat and his fast riffing together with Steve Asheim’s furious blastbeats. The welcome variation comes from initial death metal grooves and bridges as well as from some softer guitar-influenced intermezzos, which however weren’t played ‘cause of the short time. Black metal is what prevails in their performance and that makes it a bit boring, and I therefore like this band more on record. (Mindsaver)

After the first album of Devian, I was really impressed by these blackened death metallers. The expectations for their live show were therefore high, but these expectations were almost the only positive thing about the Devian gig back in April 2008. Back then, they lacked the real power to convince the audience. Now, almost a year later they have released their second full-length and that couldn’t please me as much as their debut did. I therefore wasn’t very much looking forward to their show, but my god, did they prove me wrong! From the very first moment on they were able to impress the crowd with their energetic stage performance and their killer songs. Even the somewhat lesser songs sounded amazing live. I definitely learned today that an album can’t say shit about a live show of the same band. (Gilles)

Also no complaints about Vader’s show. It was the fourth or fifth time for me to witness this Polish band in action and so far they've never let me down. I must confess that I have never heard a single song from one of their albums, but maybe that’s exactly the reason why it doesn’t become boring to see them live. ‘Cause when you think about it: when you’ve seen Vader once, you’ve seen all their gigs. Although they are very stable (in their performance and not in their line-up), they haven’t surprised me so far. Even during their last anniversary tour, which would be “special”, they weren’t more different than usually. All in all, same shit from the same band. (Gilles)

Samael then was the band I actually came for this night. I definitely appreciate their studio work, but when I saw them live in Amersfoort a year ago I really fell in love. Tonight I was one of the few who were looking forward to see them play though. To play between Vader and Deicide isn’t easy for an industrial band, but when you have to stop during your first song due to a loss of electrical power your job becomes even harder. During the 15 minutes they weren’t able to play, there was a lot of beer throwing and Deicide-calling, but when they started again that unfortunately continued. Samael did their best to put on a decent show, but they couldn’t convince the die-hard death metal head why their high spot on the bill was justified. I myself was convinced of their talent, but they are just touring with the wrong bands. (Gilles)

After a long list of bands this evening it was up to Deicide to take the last bit of energy out of us. Glenn Benton, back on track, wasn’t really moody the day before, but tonight he expressed himself as we know him. When entering the stage he immediately kicked someone’s drink aside, and during the show he sometimes pointed his finger at someone to call him or her names. “What the fuck are you staring at?” That cross on your forehead, dumbass! The other good thing about Mr. Benton being able to do this tour is that he also has a great throat. Both his grunt as his occasional screams are terrific and powerful, and so was their music. The whole sound was so massive and brutal that it kept the whole crowd going crazy during their complete set. Performed were killer songs as “Scars Of The Crucifix”, “Once Upon The Cross”, “Serpent’s Of The Light”, “Dead By Dawn”, “Homage For Satan” and “Death To Jesus”. It might be late, but tonight I found out that Deicide really is my cup of tea. I’m already awaiting the next European tour, hopefully again with Glenn. (Mindsaver)