The day started at 12:50 with Ramming Speed and their crusty thrash. In the absence of Black Breath who have recently finished recording a new album, the not so old school thrash metal they play sounds way more vital than most retro thrash’s band catalog. An excellent start with a very dynamic band.
Benighted have also a lot to offer live even if they worship at the altar of Carcass and old school Aborted. Playing in Czech Republic feels like playing at home as they receive an extremely warm welcome from the pit and seems quite touched by it. Even if I don’t particularly enjoy their studio album, they are an impressive live band with some tight musicianship.
Horse the Band on the other band is a very bad joke who intentionally play the worst of every musical genre for a result that sounds more like a comedy routine with bits of noise rather than music.
It’s a testimony to Brutal Assault’s diversity that a band featuring two rappers could be booked between Benighted and Arcturus but Headcrash brings us back to the very bad days of nu metal. Even Crazy Town has more charisma than these guys.
Back in the days I used to enjoy Arcturus quite a lot but that was before ICS Vortex (ex. Dimmu Borgir) joined the band so they could finally play live since Garm, aka Kristoffer Rygg (Ulver), was very wary of going onstage at the time. Now, none of the material sounds lively and no one seems to be having fun except for the keyboard player with his mad scientist grin. Vortex sings with his hand in his pocket and Hellhammer (Mayhem) continues to pursue a very clinic style of drumming. Even songs from La Masquerade Infernal sound like bad covers.
While SunnO))) take advantage of the surrounding to be photographed by Peter Beste, Asphyx moves on stage and offers a solid performance. The first three songs don’t grab instantly but Into the timewastes brings me aboard for the ride. However, the better side of their discography is their doomier side as concluding title Last one on earth proves admirably.
Now, even if I am not interested in what Enslaved plays, it’s impossible to deny that they are an excellent live band with some impressive material to spare. Therefore, even if songs from In times sounds too progressive to me, The dead stare from Below the light brings back excellent memories as it’s played in it’s full glory for fans.
Bloodbath have lost an excellent frontman with the departure of Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth) but Nick Holmes (Paradise Lost) quips with the same ease thanks to his british DNA and looks charismatic with his sunglasses and his priest outfit. He even introduces the last song, Eaten, by saying it’s about a British school. However, his growls are not as deep but that does not affect too much the catchiness of the material. The appropriately blood soaked musicians explore their back catalog like So you die, Breeding death or Unite in pain.
Biohazard seems to have also overcome the loss of co-frontman Evan Seinfeld but I still move away to take a break and come back for Cannibal Corpse. Even after all these years I had never seen them live and I am happy to report that I will now seize every occasion I have to do it again. My favorite songs of their are the slower onee and they offer quite a lot of those with Evisceration plague, Sentenced to burn. Choice cuts from A skeletal domain like Kill or become or Sadistic embodiment fit right in the set list alongside classic tunes such as I cum blood, A skull full of maggots and the classic Hammer smashed face. We even get an extra song with Devoured by vermin and can leave satisfied of having headbanged a lot, even if not as fast as the monstrous Corpsegrinder.
Since I’m not a big fan of thrash, Kreator and Annihilator don’t sound too appealing to my ears but they both offer nice sets. The award for the biggest stage production goes to Kreator with their big tv screen but Annihilator goes away with the award for « most technical thrash songs » for Alice in hell. Two sides of thrash, the catchier and more martial and the more melodic and technical sides, were well represented. My preference goes to Kreator but i was pleasantly surprised to nod approvingly to Annihilator‘s material despite my lack of interest for this kind of demonstrative metal.
Sunn0))) on the other hand are the opposite of demonstrativeness with their wall of amps and heads. Sadly, they blow a fuse one minute into their set and have to pull back their hood to fix it which pulls back the end of their set twenty minutes late and prevent more from watching Svartidaudi. Once the issue is resolved, the set can begin which gives us a reduced version of their set at Temples. Attila Csihar (Mayhem) joins in from the beginning without any intro and begins his incantations before moving back to put on his Jesus costume. The volume stays at a respectable level but doesn’t not pummel any ear drums. Visually we are treated to a nice game of color among the smoke as both guitarist executes their slow riffing. Finally, Attila comes back in his black dress with added lasers at the end of each finger and brings the set to its end with a lot of vocal play. It’s a less somber and introspective show for Sunn0))) but still very enjoyable after having seen them live numerous times.