Magazine: Aardschok / Netherlands
Report: Festival of Hate
Venue: Paradiso-Amsterdam / Netherlands

Written by: Robbie Woning/Robert Haagsma
Published: June 1995


Due to a combination of parking problems and a forward brought program, the Aardschok delegation entered Paradiso on the first notes of Grave. Since HATE SQUAD is gonna visit our country again to keep the Dynamo Open Air campsite awake we can undo this fiasco on very short notice. GRAVE typically is a band that goes on and on. Not that long ago they released their fourth album "Soulless". But creatively they have been numb for quite some time now. It looked and sounded pretty impressive this evening. At least, at first sight. Singer/bass player Jörgen Sandstrom is an imposing figure - as tough as the sound of his Grave. The congenial attitude of the musicians made the audience watch their performance with proper attention. It didn't stir things up though. In the technically perfect sound wall there were little sparkling ideas to be perceived. All songs were heavy, fast and log ... and therefore sounded quite alike. Would the band ever want to promote from an eternal support act to a place in the first division than there's a lot of work to be done by the three Swedes. (RH)

After reading Wim Baelus' review of the CD "Victory" and the interview in Aardschok 4/95 I got quite curious about the performance of UNLEASHED. And I have to admit, also live it pretty much looked as if the Swedes really are changing their traditional sound into something new. Although in Paradiso the band drew from their extensive legacy of dunking death metal they also played quite some pieces of their latest CD. Like for example "Victims Of War" and "Scream Forth Agression", tracks that differ very from their old material and don't quite make clear in which directions Unleashed wishes to develope. Besides, the rest above average performance could not veil the demotivation of the gentlemen when playing the old material. Charactaristic for this was the dull grinning Anders behind his drum kit. Bass player/growler Johnny Hedlund was having much more fun. His unbridled devotion got some reaction going from the audience, although it stayed restricted to the pit in front of the stage. The majority of the audience resigned Unleashed endured awaiting eagerly for things that were still to come. (RW)

For it especially was the evening of GOREFEST and Death, for which the other three bands merely figured as warm up acts. In certain walks of life the rumor was going around that some guys from Amsterdam wanted to get even with Jan-Chris de Koeyer for the things he said in the interview of Aardschok issue 4/95. As the hall lights were put out the audience got on their feet immidiately without one dissonance to be perceived. Probably yet another case of boasting? Presumable. After a considerable musical change, of which the end is not within sight yet, and after having said quite some stimulating things, Gorefest is still a band which is carried on hands. Quite rightly, because the band proved again to have climbed to a lonesome height, in The Netherlands but probably also far abroad. The presentation, the light, the sound, and everything was about perfection. And still there is musical developement. Mainly the two guitar players (Boudewijn Bonebakker and Frank Harthoorn) seem to think alike even better. The setlist contained merely songs from the last two (studio)albums, "False" and "Erase". Nothing from the debut "Mindloss". Even the old crowd puller "Confessions Of A Serial Killer" with which their shows were regular ended, stayed under lock and key. With which the band seemed to be trying to underline that as far as they are concerned the death metal era is closed and they are looking into the future with great expectations. (RH)

After an extensive soundcheck, the Dead Can Dance intro and the meanwhile coincidentely lightend church windows of Paradiso, strangely enough the two newcomers of DEATH, Conlon and Koelble climbed the stage first. The opening song wasn't, as promissed in interviews, "Zombie Ritual" but successively "Spiritual Healing" and "The Philosopher". The line-up of the renewed Death again appeared to be a strong one. And it was very interesting to see Gene Hoglan interpretating the old songs in his very own way. It has to be said though that the gentlemen guitar players dropped a stich here and there. Bobby Koelble anyway was hard to be heard and Chuck Schuldiner sounded without the tunnel effects of the albums a lot less "evil" and sometimes even out of key. Another drawback was the quite relaxed attitude of the musicians, therefore the intervals in between songs were pretty long and this looked very unprofessional. Not that anybody was annoyed by it because after every silence they would play a killer song like "Crystal Mountain", "Lack Of Comprehension", "Empty Words" and "Suicide Machine". And as the audience at the end of the set seemed to be dozing off , it was Gene Hoglan whom without mic screamed the crowd to order again, after which Amsterdam got to deal with the encores "Zombie Ritual" and "Pull The Plug". The only thing that casted a light slur upon this quite varied Full Of Hate Festival was the expelling from the hall of the few crowdsurfers, that were able to reach the stage, by the "kind" security without mercy. That's not what Chuck was meaning with "Zero Tolerance"? (RW)

Robbie Woning
Robert Haagsma

  to gigs

Translated by YK/AC for EmptyWords-Published on June 25 2000