<< archive

2006-12-09 NL – Arnhem - Musis Sacrum

Immolation - Arch Enemy - Anathema - General Surgery - Tankard - Necrophobic - Skyforger - Moonsorrow - Pungent Stench - Antaeus - Melechesh - Ancient Rites - Aeternus - Flesh Made Sin - Thronar

[Seb] On December 9th 2006, the ARNHEIM METAL MEETING saw its second installment, this time completely sold out! And this year we could actually manage to get there, since in 2005 weather (shitloads of snow) has thwarted Cals appearance. However, it wasn't really clear of obstacles, as first the car did not want as we wanted, and later on we almost got mad because of the Arnhem traffic management. Due to the combination of both, we missed the whole THRONAR show and almost the entire FLESH MADE SIN gig, of which we could only hear the last two songs in the next room.

:: pics ::

[Seb] The show burg Musis Sacrum is normally used as a theatre and concert forum, not in the sense of metal, ya know? ;) For the Metal Meeting, it was parted into three stage areas: at the ground floor was the main stage called Nuon Stage. One floor above was another quite big hall (Van Wijnen Stage), and at the half basement the third one called D&T Stage, seems to be usually used as wardrobe and bar. Next to it at the same floor was the Metal Market.
No problem with the drinks; each floor had a quite large bar. I did not have to wait longer than five minutes. Good for the serving speed, but maybe not that good regarding the after-show-cleaning. Because there was no deposit to pay for the beer cups ... you probably can image how the ground looked like after some hours ;)
There was also sufficient food supply. The prices where quite ok (between € 1,90 and 3,80) for the customary fast food, and who liked it a bit more exclusive could order the Metal Meeting Menu (spare ribs and fixings) for € 11,-.
After a short inspection of the terrain, the show continued on time, with two bands playing simultaneously.

Especially because Cal needed some good place in front of the stage to take photos, we always started with the bigger stage and then moved downstairs, when two bands played at the same time. It was the easier way to bustle through the packed crowd downstairs in direction to D&T stage, as the other way round.

[Seb] First band we saw performing was :: ANCIENT RITES :: on second stage. We had seen them around half a year ago under unfavorable circumstances at Ultima Ratio II, so I was curious how the show would turn out under better circumstances. To the intro of Crusade from the most recent album Rvbicon, ANCIENT RITES entered the blue illuminated stage. As on the CD, they continued with Templar as opener. One could immediately notice the Belgians acted much easier and more relaxed than they did as we saw them back in May. Vocalist Gunther and his mates did not need much time, until the first people raised their hands, and when they arrived at the great melodic sing-along-numbers Mother Europe and And The Horns Called For War, the crowd was really on fire. Gunther was obviously more than just pleased about the audiences' reaction that he even forgot to stare as grim as it would fit to his military outfit, and showed a big smile instead. The next two songs were my favorite tracks and the centre part of the new album, the title track Rvbicon and Invictus. Both songs turned out a bit straighter and harder, what I really liked a lot. Too bad it was time to move to the D&T stage after these tracks, but what I have seen until now, was a worthy start into the Metal Meeting!
(By the way: After the show, Gunther told me that the mess creating and responsible tour manager, was fired one day after the show at Ultima Ratio... the punishment followed swiftly *g*)
Setlist: Crusade (Intro), Templar, Mithras, Mother Europe, And The Horns Called For War, Rubicon, Invictus, Victory Or Valhalla, Fatherland

[Seb] Due to attending Ancient Rites before, I just saw the last third of the :: AETERNUS :: gig. As expected, at the smaller stage were not that many fans... The Norseman used to play black metal in earlier days, and switched over to mainly death metal nowadays. But what I got to listen to, seemed to be older material, at least it sounded rather black. Singer Ares was like screaming his soul out, while bass player V'gandr was on permanent movement and rampaged all over the stage. The second guitar player, Dreggen, acted not that furious but seemed to like posing on his knees a lot while playing his solos. After I saw two or three songs, AETERNUS had to finish on time, and made their farewell with an outstanding death/thrash monster, posing with crossed guitars at the last tunes. A pity that they could only play seven songs and that I only was able to see like three of them.
Note: I was able to snatch the setlist, but as it seems, there were actually no understandable song titles on it, but a lot of slang words for an oversized male genital *lol*

[Seb] Without time to take a break, we went off to the main stage after this, where :: MELECHESH :: just entered the stage. As expected, it was fucking crowded now, but fortunately there was a photo pit in front of the stage. MELECHESH started their program with two older songs, right from the start proving their technical skills. By the sound of the oriental inspired tunes, they got the crowd easily in movement. But when they came up with two tracks of the recent album Emissaries, they raised the fans spirits to a maximum. Unfortunately, the two songs where the only ones from Emissaries, and MELECHESH stepped back in time to their 2003 release Sphynx.
Overall, a technically impressive and successful performance, but in our opinion, they could have played some more of the brand new songs. The second thing to criticize is not the bands fault: Despite the mighty equipment on the main stage, sound was quite poor and powerless.

[Seb] And again we had to hurry, upstairs again, to attend the Austrian death metallers :: PUNGENT STENCH :: First thing they did, was to announce, that they really liked to be back in the Netherlands, of course "especially because of the weed"... Well, the power trio is notoriously known for its kind of strange sense of humor. Not everybody may like that, but as overdrawn as they do that, it's funny in my opinion ;) They opened the show with Fuck Bizarre, and then, PUNGENT STENCH, led by front man Don Cochino, thrashed and battled through all of their albums. Even such old goodies as Splatterday Night Fever and Pus & Gastric Juice could be found on the setlist. During the break some sound engineer seemed to have worked on the sound, at least here the riffs sounded very tough and clean. And again, we sadly had to leave a good show, but the D&T stage was waiting.
Setlist: Fuck Bizarre, Pulsating Protoplasma, Apoptemnophiliac, Splatterday Nightfever, For God your Soul/Blood, Pus & Gastric Juice, Viva la Muerte, Extreme Deformity, The Amp Hymn, Dead Body Love, The Gloves of Metal, Klyster Boogie

[Seb] Downstairs :: ANTAEUS :: were right in the middle of their set. The five French hell spawns where playing their last ever gig at AMM, after they originally wanted to quit the stage forever when they finished the tour with Secrets Of The Moon. Hardly to recognize at a first glance, but among the four guys on the stage, there was a female bass player. Maybe that was a bit difficult to realize because of the unified stage outfit and the corpse paint. ANTEAUS presented themselves all wearing a black battledress with studded belts and armlets with the band logo. The drummer was flanked by two banners showing a Jesus portrait with halo and the band logo on his forehead. The music was mainly high speed raging, raw black metal, here and there broken up by some somber and sluggish parts. While contributing his screeching, vocalist MkM mostly stood still and looked through his hair like a zombie. Due to the narrow space on the stage, the other band members did not move much either, but banged their heads instead. Opening with Rot and later on followed by Gates To The Outside, ANTAEUS performed only two songs of the very strong most recent album Blood Libels, but compensated that by playing the top three of the Y2K release Cut Your Flesh And Worship Satan. A very good show, but nevertheless, for the last gig ever, ANTAEUS should probably have done something more spectacular than just stretching the end of Blood War III to two minutes.
According to what singer MkM told me later, ANTAEUS won't split up, but are unsure if there will be another album within in the next future. Well, we will see, it took them four years to complete the last one, tho...
Setlist: Rot, Devotee, De Pricipii, Evangelikum, Words As Weapons, Seventh Ceremony, Gates To The Outside, Inner War, Blood War III

[Seb] :: MOONSORROW :: was the next band to perform on the Nuon stage, and they really explored the given space. Apart from the keyboarder and of course the drummer, the other guys where at non stop action. The audience was immediately over the moon with their performance! By the way, interesting too see which fans where obviously attending the AMM specifically for MOONSORROW: The front row of the audience consisted approx. 90% of girls, of which the same percentage was most likely less than 20 years of age ;)
Of course, this wasn't girl-only music at all. The Finns played what they are known for: epically wide Folk/Viking/Pagan metal songs. Sort of swing and sway parts changed with fast and hard passages and pure folk elements, marking the own distinct style MOONSORROW already own. Coming closer to the end of the gig, singer Ville animated the audience to chant with him and support him because of his sour throat, and of course anyone helped him cheerfully.
Apropos, MOONSORROW did not play songs from the upcoming album V: Hävitetty. Of course, it contains only two songs with a running time of around 26 Minutes each ;) Very nice show, but again at least slight problems with the sound, there was still not sufficient guitar power.

[Seb] Next band on schedule was :: NECROPHOBIC :: and the one I especially was looking forward to. Their current album Hrimthursum and their performance at Hellflame Festvial were both fully convincing. Lead by shouter Tobias, the band entered the stage one after the other to the tunes of the album-intro The Slaughter Of Baby Jesus, and while the music came from tape, Tobias threw in the „Destruction… death… death to all“ part live. The live show opened, as on the album, with the first highlight Blinded By Light, Enlightened By Darkness. Simply a great song, particularly the refrain with the lyrics „As I walk through the gateway“ is stunning. Not even the not so great and slightly indifferent sound could screw up that opening. Following the question, if the crowd was finally "ready to listen to some real metal", the first classic, Into Armageddon from The Third Antichrist was the second song. After that one, there was a short break due to some technical problems, which gave Tobias time to pose around with a bottle of Jack Daniels ;) After a short time, everything was all right again, and with another of my favorite songs from new latest release, I Strike With Wrath, the show continued. Fortunately, from this point on, the sound was better, and everything else fitted as well. Pin point drumming by Joakim, and also Sebastian and Johan on strings showed up in best shape. The whole rest of the show was simply good, and NECROPHOBIC managed to play at least one song of each studio album, although they had only 45 minutes to play. The only downer was, that I had to leave again at the beginning of Dreams Shall Flesh, and that the uber song Eternal Winter still isn’t on NECROPHOBICs live set.
Setlist: The Slaughter of Baby Jesus (Intro), Blinded by Light - Enlightened by Darkness, Into Armageddon, I Strike with Wrath, Mourningsoul, Sitra Ahra, Dreams Shall Flesh, Nailing the Holy One, The Nocturnal Silence

[Seb] :: SKYFORGER :: from Latvia were the next act on D&T stage. I was really upset that they had to "share" their playing time with Necrophobic, as they were one of the bands at AMM I have never seen live before. When I arrived, SKYFORGER were already performing their seventh song, Kavi. And it's for sure that they really gave anything they had until there, especially singer Peter already looked a bit exhausted. With their Pagan/Folk based black metal rhythms and melodies, they kept themselves and the fans in steady movement. According to the music, the Latvians were of course and as usual dressed in historical costumes and utilized historical and folkloristic instruments as well. Because the last studio album features nothing but traditional Latvian song material, SKYFORGER performed only songs from their three earlier releases. After the last chords and flute tunes of Dzîves Vismelnâkâ Stundâ marked the end of the regular set, the fans vehemently chanted SKYFORGER! for an encore, but when the band wanted to play one or two additional songs, the AMM crew simply turned the power supply off. That was really annoying; the stage wasn't scheduled to be used within the next 60 minutes, so why didn't they let them play five more minutes when anyone down in front of the D&T stage wanted to see more??? Well, anyhow, a really impressive show by a very likeable band!
Setlist: Kad Usins Jaj, Kauja Pie Plakaniem - Kauja Pie Veisiem, Winter Solstice, Pulkviedis Briesis, Kauja Garozas Silâ 1287, Kâvi, Nâves Sala, Dzîves Vismelnâkâ Stundâ

[Seb] Up next was the German Thrash combo :: TANKARD :: They had already started to play on the main stage when I arrived. Sorry, but we don't have any pictures from that part of the evening, because Cal had to do an interview with Melechesh at the same time. So I only took a look at the German Beer & Liquor - worshipers for some minutes. TANKARD had just presented their new album Beauty And The Beer, and as packed as the hall was, many people in our neighboring country seemed to know it or at least the band. Musically, the old school thrash was nothing groundbreaking, but it’s always funny to see singer Gerre acting on stage. Sometimes he hopped over the stage, then he danced affectedly around, or he showed his remarkable beer belly or even pretended to completely dress off his shirt. The whole thing was even funnier when he stood next to the guitar player while making his pranks, being almost double sized as him *g* So, at all, funny to view, but not that remarkable considering the music. But regarding the reactions, the crowd had a lot of fun.

[Seb] Ok, only few words concerning :: ANATHEMA :: from me. In my opinion, the band is, at least when only playing newer material, nothing but a great booking mistake for a festival like this. So, maybe this should be something for the girls, and that's exactly why Dajana may write this part *g*
[Dajana] Well, then ;) Being a fan right from the start I of course did not want to miss out this show! But I have to admit, that ANATHEMA appeared somehow displaced here. But in order to reduce the difference between them and the other bands, the Liverpool based band added a proper dash of heaviness, played louder and harder as usually. The show started with Ann Further, a new song from the upcoming album Everything, which should be recorded soon. The track sounded a bit strange, though. By the way, ANATHEMA played without keyboarder Lez. So Danny Cavanagh did his job and had to struggle through some sound problems during the gig. As for me I was happy to see many older songs on the setlist, a nice gift to the fans! But besides all euphoria I have to say, that Vincent had serious problems with his voice, and also the stage scenery between the three brothers on the one and the drummer on the other side seemed quite inhomogeneous. After Judgement, I had to hurry to get to the Grindcore splatterers two stairs down....
Setlist: Ann Further, Balance, Closer, Empty, Deep, Eternity Pt.3, Last Goodbye, Judgement, Panic, Flying, Sleepless, Fragile Dreams

[Seb] :: GENERAL SURGERY :: where the absolute contrast program to Anathema. Although the D&T stage had the biggest attendance of all bands that played there, at 9pm when GENERAL SURGERY should begin, nothing happened. The Swedish arrived about 20 minutes later! But when they started to grind, no one cared any longer, that was a shitload of brutality! All songs but one came from the 2006 album Left Hand Pathology. By the way, it might be rare that a band comes up with the first full length release 17 years after their founding days... ok, as an explanation: they took a break for 11 years... Dressed in the typical, blood blurred hospital clothes and with a new bass player in their ranks, the Scandinavians grinded through 15 songs (encores included) in less than 35 minutes. And from those 35 minutes, you have to subtract the helpless tries of "Dr." McWilliams, to bring out an understandable announcement. Obviously, the Doc had anaesthetized himself with overwhelming success *lol* At the left side of the stage, you could see a completely drunk fan wobbling around and spitting beer fountains on guitarist Joacim. He seemed kind of unimpressed by that, but took revenge by grabbing his baseball cap at a time. The whole theatre was accentuated by technically clean Goregrind that gave the crowd in front of the stage hell - and provided much pleasure for photographing Cal. I guess no one who was in front there left the AMM without a hurting neck and a bunch of bruises (I of course had both - Cal). After 12 songs and only 30 minutes, there was still time for three encores, and the show ended with the Carnage cover The Day Man Lost.
Setlist: If These Walls Could Talk, Arterial Spray Obsession, Fulguration, Necrodecontamination, The League Of Extraordinary Grave Robbers, Capricious Provisional Cadaver Grater, Viva! Blunt Force Trauma, Cold Storage Fever, Mortuary Wars, Slithering Maceration of Ulcerous Facial Tissue, Grotesque Laceration of Mortified Flesh, Ambulance Chaser, Convivial Corpse Disposal Methodology // Decomposer, Crimson Concerto, The Day Man Lost

[Dajana] In the run-up to the :: ARCH ENEMY :: gig, people were already joking if the death metal divas would actually play. Well, they did, but not without some kind of "special treatment"... again. Nevertheless, the gents and the German growl gal mastered the crowd in a twinkling of an eye and delivered once more a breathtaking and brutal show. No one can stop ARCH ENEMY live ;) As expected, all the songs were from the Gossow era, especially from Doomsday Machine, and the set was completed by some classics from Anthems Of Rebellion and Wages Of Sin. Everybody should see an ARCH ENEMY show in his life! That’s for sure!
Setlist: Intro, Nemesis, Enemy Within, Dead Eyes See No Future, My Apocalypse, I Am Legend/Out For Blood, Silent Wars, Skeleton Dance, The Immortal, Ravenous, Dead Bury Their Dead, We Will Rise

[Dajana] The New York based death metal veterans :: IMMOLATION :: actually turned out to be the highlight of the night - at least for me. Supported by a brutal and punching sound (probably the best sound this evening) fans got powerfully slept on ears. The audience was already notably lifted, but anyone who was still there paid vociferous respect. Much to the delight of IMMOLATION, who went through an almost 24 hour sleepless trip from NY to Arnhem, and that was not the only story they had to tell the audience... Singer and bass player Ross was chatting a lot. So he told the audience that they are just recording the follow-up to Harnessing Ruin, which should be entitled World Agony. And after that announcement, they presented the title track of the album, great! The also stated, that a 2007 tour is planned, finally! Great show!
Setlist: Swarm Of Terror, Father You're Not A Father, Of Martyrs And Men, Challenge The Storm, Under The Supreme, Unpardonable Sin, Unholy Cult, Crown The Liar, No Jesus, No Beast, World Agony (New Song), Into Everlasting Fire // Harnessing Ruin

[Dajana] Resume: Yeah, ARNHEM METAL MEETING is really a great festival. But... two bands playing at the same time with a seamless changeover to the main act is very exhausting. And of course, it was really a pity, that we could not watch the complete show of many of the bands. It would be really great if the organizer could change that for next year.
My personal highlight was the very interesting interview with MELECHESH front man Ashmedi, but later more of that ;)


stories © Seb & Dajana • pics © Dajana