Brutal Assault Part #3 // Pevnost Josefov, Jaromer, Czech Republic // 08-11.08.12

// Third Day //

– Stathis “Sethianus” Ntailianas:

Be’lakor: It was midday and I was trying something to eat, before I attend to Be’lakor’s show. They are getting a big name these days, so I stayed seeing them by curiosity and I was vindicated. With only four songs they filled their program, and their melodic death metal music, that reminded me a lot the Finnish style, was a great way to start my last day. “Venator” from their second album was first, “Remnants” from the very good “Of Breath And Bone” then, until they go to their debut album with “Neither Shape, Nor Shadow”. Finally, the Australians said goodbye to the people with “Sun’s Delusion” and their solid and remarkable appearance made me want to attend them in the future once more.

Solstafir: I had to travel abroad to watch Sólstafir live, because I guess that a live in Greece would remain a distant dream. It was past five, the band came without much to say and the drone bass lines of “Ljós í Stormi” begun shaking the speakers. For eleven minutes we were entranced by this great post metal wave and Adalbjörn screams. “Svartir Sandar” had its own honor in the set list, so “Þín Orð” followed and somehow at that time the sky was turning darker and darker. Well, the real highlight was the emotional “Fjara”, the song that made this band from Iceland so famous that the nearly two thousand of people who attended to see them in front of the stage started cheering up. This catatonic atmosphere was completed by “Goddess Of The Ages” a song that they play often at their shows, but for me who I don’t know when I’ll see them again, was the peak of any other atmospheric metal band that played in the festival.

Aborted: It was time for Aborted one of the bands that I admire and are really close to my music  taste. Aborted is a band that really needs to play with more than good live sound and they had one so the show was perfect for them and for us. We listened many songs like “global flatline” , “Coronary reconstruction” and “the origin of disease”.

– Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras:

Textures: The Dutch miracle. The band from Tilburg that is a challenge for everyone who wants to have lessons how music can be multi-sided, heavy, vast, expressive and many other terms. The guys who play like Meshuggah but are even better live (yes, they are, and this comes from a declared Meshuggah fan). Starting with ”Surreal State Of Enlightenment”, it is clear that the new vocalist Daniel De Jongh was a very successful addition to the band. This guy can sing EVERYTHING. ”Regenesis” and ”Storm Warning” continue the set and I can barely believe what I see, the six-piece doesn’t lose a note, the left handed drummer is a professor to the skins, ”Streams Of Consciousness” and ”Sanguine Draws The Oath” makes people mosh and push each other, and it’s ”Awake” which makes everyone sing as loud as they can. This triumphant performance closed with ”Laments Of An Icarus” and with me dazed and lost in space. These guys must come to Greece immediately. The only negative is I didn’t get a t-shirt of them, as they were all sold out! Maybe next time…

Kylesa: Fourth time in three years. If this doesn’t make me lucky, then it is something called destiny to see Kylesa from Savannah, Georgia nearly every year and festival lately. The band with the two drummers and two vocalists, the band who played when it started to rain and still made the place look like a desert with their sounds. Absolute chemistry between Phillip Cope and Laura Pleasants on the vocals, absolute synchronisation of the two drummers, absolute transmission of the psychedelic aura of the new songs off the ”Spiral Shadow” album. What else could someone ask? Yes, ”Scapegoat”, which was the last track to be played with the band greeting the crowd in the end and this was the only thing they said, as they played their set without pause and announcements. Kylesa are way more than a sludge band as people say. One hint only. Now that I saw them for the fourth time, could I have Baroness for the first time in exchange? Please?

– Stathis “Sethianus” Ntailianas:

Finntroll: Full with liters of beer, I went to see Finntroll and participate in a big folk metal party. “Blodnatt” was the beginning of this party and the Finnish band had the role of the orchestra who made the people jump around ecstatic in all of their songs, like the following “Dråp” and especially in “Under Bergets Rot” (those who saw what happened in that song will understand). Well, the booze on one hand and Finntroll on the other, made it irresistible to join this crazy atmosphere with songs like “Nattfödd”, “Slagbroder” and “Mot Skuggornas Värld”. From such a spree, the most famous Finntroll songs couldn’t be missing. “Solsagan” and “Jaktens Tid” made this party even more hardcore, as it was natural, until the party was over as it started, with “Bastuvisan” a song from their first album.

Immolation: Simply one of the best appearances in Brutal Assault. If someone starts with songs like “Close To A World Below” and “Swarm Of Terror”, then it’s imperative to have an energetic death metal show. Also, where they were presenting their newer songs, like”Majesty and Decay” and “What They Bring”, this death metal storm was still raging. But the extensive panic was created at “Into Everlasting Fire”, “Under The Supreme” and “Unholy Cult”. Oh, god, what an awesome performance by Immolation, such brutal mosh pits in front of the stage…a true fucking mayhem. “No Jesus, No Beast” was next and it was time for my neck to exercise. The last “Dawn Of Possession” was the final act of that killing death metal show and it was the knock out of the evening. From what I saw, I’ll surely remember Ross and Robert’s energy on the stage, the crazy Bill Taylor and Steve Shalaty smashing his drum kit.

– Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras

Six Feet Under: After seventeen years of releasing albums, it was finally time to see Six Feet Under and the crazy Chris Barnes. Starting with a Cannibal Corpse track ”Stripped, Raped And Strangled” (whaaat???) made this performance special already. ”No Warning Shot” (die motherfucker, die, die, it’s always nice to sing this, ha ha ha), ”Revenge Of The Zombie”, ”Feasting On The Blood Of The Insane”, ”Victim Of The Paranoid”, ”Human Target” (dedicated to Lamb Of God’s Randy Blythe for the problems he had in Czech Republic), ”Deathklaat”, ”The Day The Dead Walked”, ”Shadow Of The Reaper”, ”Silent Violence”, ”Beneath A Black Sky” and for the end… ”Hammer Smashed Face” of Cannibal Corpse again (whaaat???). Six Feet Under was the band everyone expected to play like shit and they shut our mouths convincingly. Barnes threatened to stop the show before the last track because someone threw something at him. He was as brutal as we know and without much words, he and his band played the tracks non stop. Amazingly surprising performance by Six Feet Under, too bad it lasted shortly.

– George “Mindstab” Zabos:

Agnostic Front : We moved to the stage that the masters of Hard Core from New York Agnostic Front were about to begin. AF having a talent to share their energy 100% to the crowd and I saw people that they aint into hardcore having fun with them. New Yorkers gave us a great time with good sound as most of the bands,moshing and headbanging , and singing the lyrics of “Gotta Go” . Amazing atmosphere arround the festival area whilst listening to “For my family”, “the eliminator” and “dead to me”. I believe that a live of agnostic front is an experience of a lifetime !

At The Gates: Being a metalhead since the mid 90s one of the things that was always in my conversations with other lads was my willing to see At the gates live, and once again it was time for it! Their one hour setlist including songs from their entire discography including EP’s left us filled up with their vibes. We heard classics like “Slaughter of the Soul” , “Cold” , “Terminal Spirit Disease” , “nausea” and “All Life Ends” . They played also for encore “Blinded by fear” and closed up with “Kingdom gone” . Their performance was a highlight with no special stories! Just At the gates the legends from Sweden

– Stathis “Sethianus” Ntailianas:

Immortal: Maybe the best headliners of Brutal Assault, maybe the best band for live shows, Immortal surely set BrutalAssault on fire. “Withstand The Fall Of Time” was the beginning of this black metal epicness and although they didn’t play it all, they left no one unsatisfied. This epic awesomeness continued with “Sons Of Northern Darkness”, in “Damned In Black” and in “Triumph” all the grimness and darkness from the norther winterdemons transferred upon the Czech sky. The next song was a very big surprise for me and for every black metal fan too. This song was “The Call Of The Wintermoon” and what happened here can’t be described with words. Well, Abbath is surely a showman and perhaps he is familiarized with all these videos on the net, because he did the “crab walk” and all of his stuff, to the song “In My Kingdom Cold” without any sign of problem and with all these fires and special effects the result was a total black metal live show. In “Tyrants” he was going up and down in the stage along with Apollyon and he was playing in someway with the people, presenting at the same time, one of the best black metal songs. The highlight was “One By One” when no black metal fan there stayed untouchable by this atmosphere, and after the final “All Shall Fall”, I was trying to realize that everything I saw was true.

– Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras:

Moonspell: No matter how much times I will see them, they will never let me down. Moonspell is a live guarantee and since I won’t be able to see them on Greece at the end of the month, I decided to see them for the seventh time the last nine years! Coming out with ”Axis Mundi”, Fernando Ribeiro wore a mask that looked like the ones Nergal from Behemoth wears lately. Continuing with ”Alpha Noir”, they show that the new tracks are way better live. ”Opium” combined with ”Awake” are magic, ”En Nome Do Medo” prepares the ground for the ”Wolfheart” suite with ”Vampiria” (tremendous performance) and ”Alma Mater’, before the closing with ”Full Moon Madness” as always. Moonspell are like the good old wine. The more years pass by, the better they get. Surely the best live band of their genre, no matter how you will call it.

Godflesh: Ladies and gentlemen, I am in the very pleasant position to introduce you the best band of the festival, taking for granted that we knew Machine Head would be enormous. Godflesh swallowed everyone and spit them with ease. A guitar, a bass, a microphone and a laptop creating the drums. So simple you could say, but the beginning with ”Like Rats” shows we have a LOUD, GIGANTIC sound and Justin Broadrick in perfect shape. Tomas Lindberg and Laura Pleasants from Kylesa bang their heads sideways the stage from the beginning to the end, ”Christbait Rising”, ”Streetcleaner” and ”Tiny Tears” represent the legendary ”Streetcleaner” album. Time for other stuff with ”Avalanche Master Song” from the ”Godflesh” release. Two tracks from ”Pure” follow with ”Spite” first and ”Mothra” later show that what we live is a precious memory to be held deep inside us forever. The closing with ”Crush My Soul” didn’t do anything else but leaving us unable to say or do anything. ”We were Godflesh, thank you very much” was the only thing Broadrick said in the end. Thank you too Justin for your music and for this performance. With a full set, there would be no doubt for their victory on the festival. Even for 45 minutes, Godflesh were the kings of Brutal Assault this year.

– Stathis “Sethianus” Ntailianas:

Virus: One hour and forty minutes after midnight and with all this tireness of the day, an avant-garde metal show was the perfect way to drive out your discomfort. Virus made an excellent performance. Newer songs like “Red Desert Sand”, “Chromium Sun”, “As Virulent As You”, “The Black Flux” and “Stalkers Of The Drift” and the old masterpieces as “Road”, “Carheart” and of course the malevolent “Be Elevator” which is the compendium of avant-garde metal genre, made it truly worthy for someone to stay and see the Norwegians music experimenters. Me and about a thousand brave oness who defied their tireness, were vibrating in the band’s unworldly sounds and the dizzy vocals of Aggressor (Czarl) for forty five awesome minutes.

– Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras:

Sodom: They were about to play at 18:00 but a delay made them play after 2 a.m. that night. Who gives a fuck? A festival closing with Sodom and us complaining? No way. Party time and ”In War And Pieces” starts the moving. ”Sodomy And Lust”, ”M-16”, ”Outbreak Of Evil”, ”City Of God”, ”Blasphemer” (on triple speed), ”Agent Orange”, ”Remember The Fallen” and ”Bombenhagel” were the tracks that were played. I could stop there but I must mention that despite the late of the hour, Sodom were in great mood and shape. Markus Freiwald on drums has given them an extra boost and they perform even better than the last years. This year they celebrate thirty years of history and we all wish them happy birthday and continue until the forty years at least. The festival was closed with the ideal band and after three days of non stop headbanging, moshing, running and some bits of rest, we were ready to depart. Hopefully, we’ll do it again, God knows when.

Report by: Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras, George “Mindstab” Zabos & Stathis “Sethianus” Ntailianas

Photos credit: http://brutalassault.cz/

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