Living on the edge!

Amsterdam Metalfest 2018 (festival review)

May 19, 2018 | Melkweg, Amsterdam – Where most metal festivals are outdoor, have tons of bands on the bill and the smell of snacks is around you, Amsterdam Metalfest is the opposite of it. With six bands, this indoor festival is quite small, but with a very decent line-up. Headliner is the Italian death metal band Fleshgod Apocalypse and together with Obscura, The Charm The Fury, Hideous Divinity, For I Am King and Onegodless, they are ready to throw a metal party in Amsterdam. Pictures by Maurice Jonas

Onegodless (NL)
When the stoner/sludge metal band Onegodless kicks off at 4:30 PM, the Melkweg is half packed with approximately 400 people. Right from the start the sound is very good and the band come with groovy, stomping, raw, brutal and pure stoner metal, influenced by old school death metal. Onegodless is acting cool and don’t take things to serious, which results in four guys who have fun on stage. The visuals and performance are quite minimal, but for me the clean thing is something I like, just like the way they try to entertain the crowd. A very nice band to start with and personally I think they deserve more. Let’s support, wait and see.

For I Am King (NL)
There’s no reason to complain for the guys and girl from For I Am King. The Amsterdam based female fronted metal band signed recently at Redfield Records, toured in Asia and this summer they will play at the festivals With Full Force and Fortarock. The last time I saw For I Am King was at the release party of The Charm The Fury‘s album ‘The Sick, Dumb & Happy’ at the Sugarfactory, Amsterdam. Back then I wrote a positive review of the show. Can they do it even better today?

Well, the first song is in my opinion quite messy because of the many blast beats, but during the second song they come back harder and much stronger! The band is technical and performance wise very solid and their songs are heavy, but also catchy and melodic. When vocalist Alma tells the crowd that “stand still is not an option”, the moshpit (which we love) in front of the stage starts and doesn’t disappear till they’re finished with their show. Alma interacts a lot with the audience and most of the time she gets what she wants. Oi, hey, circle pits, etc. She asks, the crowd delivers. I love their enthusiasm! Complete and full-grown songs with enough variety, solos, melodic bridges, tempo changes and blast beats. No time to get bored. Especially when Alma asks a young boy on stage to crowd surf. He has the time of his life! For I Am King is acting more relaxed on stage nowadays and just have a very good time, just like the crowd and I have!

Hideous Divinity (IT)
The Italian technical death metal band Hideous Divinity is around since 2007 and released their third album ‘Adveniens’ in 2017. They surprise me with this performance, because they play their songs extreme tight as hell. To sound tight on an album is not special nowadays, but sound tight during a live show is only for the best if you ask me. It’s pure teamwork, wearing the same outfit and because they co-operate excellent together. Their music is quite extreme, with deep growling and a lot of blast beats. This is what I call next level!

The Charm The Fury (NL)
The Amsterdam based metal band The Charm The Fury is going fast and becomes more and more professional every day. Just like the times I saw them before, the sound is excellent and the band is full of energy. They give all they have and even without asking the crowd is reacting like a bunch of wild cows in the field. Moshing, circle pits and singing a long is just an understatement. Even when you don’t know the songs and lyrics, the show and entertainment on stage are still worth to stay watching.

This band is growing faster then I could imagine, especially how they interact with the crowd, the way how they play together and their solid stage performance. Love it. This band knows how to throw a party and it gets better every time I see them. They play with the crowd and wrap ‘m around their finger.

Especially when I see a man with grey hair headbanging in front of me, wearing a The Charm The Fury shirt and screaming the lyrics. I suddenly realize that this band is not for youngsters only, but also claimed by the older metalheads. For me a sign that they’re slowly taking place in the premier league of metal.

Obscura (GER)
This progressive death metal band from Germany is bringing you some real technical shit. Death meets Dream Theater if you ask me. Wasn’t familiar with this band, but they surprise me every second again. It’s thight as hell, melodic, packed with solos and bangable as well. The crowd is watching carefully how the instruments are being played and enjoys the show, but hardly moves. And have to say, that’s damn difficult on these polyrhythmic rhythms.

Fleshgod Apocalypse (IT)
The Italian death metal band Fleshgod Apocalypse is around since 2007 and already released four full length albums. Through the years the band grew towards a death metal band with symphonic influences and typical middle age outfits. Just like tonight. The stage turned into a theater right from the start. After a bombastic intro the crowd is going crazy. What a machine! Technical, brutal and entertaining, but especially the sound is perfect. The blend of folk, pirate and death metal overwhelmes you. Melodic parts are alternated with brutal parts, just like the contribution of the female symphonic backing vocals. They create a kind of epos, which the crowd and I like very much. A decent headliner to end the evening in style!

Amsterdam Metalfest did it again and came up with a very nice lineup and festival. Hopefully next time more people head over to the capital of the Netherlands to throw a party!

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