Magazine: Aardschok / Netherlands
Report: Death-Benediction-Pre Mortem
Venue: Noorderligt-Tilburg / Netherlands

Written by: Robbie Woning
Published: November 1998


The Dutch Pre Mortem has played before as a support act of Death this summer and may do so on this tour. The technical death-metal of these five guys is been received very halfhearted. The band hardly had a soundcheck and that isn't for the good of the performance. Their music, with long instrumental passages and many breaks isn't very friendly for the audience.The bad sound and bad monitoring are making things worse for the difficult riffs and breaks in songs as "Post Human Exibition", "Blurred Expiry" and "Sombred Subsistance". Thanks to the sensational control of their instruments and a healty kind of self-criticism the respons is good at last. The gig is closed with the Golden Earring cover "When The Lady Smiles", well played but unnecassery after the so well convincing played own material.

I have never seen a band fight for recognition so hard as the renewed Benediction. In a musical way considering there weren't that many changes but with three shaved heads in the line-up the recognation stays out for a large part of the audience. Dave Ingrams succesor Dave Hunt presented himself very well to the audience, had a powerful radiation and didn't sing that bad also, but optically there's something missing with this British death-metal band. Due to a temporary maternity leave of bass player Frank Healy, only the two guitarists Darren and Rewy were present. The two were playing very heavy, but their attempts were nullified by the dazed "where-the-hell-am-I-look" of the substitute bass player and again the technical problems, that seem to be inevitable with Benediction also. They played some old stuff, but as I see the joy they have, in particular Darren and Rewy, with the sreamy background vocals on the recent songs as "Magnificant", "Agonised" and "Shadow World", I realize the "The Grand Leveller" days are gone forgood. I'm curious wether Benediction will survive in this way.

The performance of Death goes way beyond my wildest dreams and expectations.The band fires with "Suicide Machine" and "Zero Tolerance" some heavy death-metal "hits" at the audience right away, sounding a hell of a lot better than the two support-acts. In the following 90 minutes all well known Death classics pass by like: "Symbolic", "Within The Mind", "Trapped In A Corner", "Empty Words" and "1.000 Eyes". With "Spirit Crusher" and the beautiful "Flesh And The Power It Holds" The Sound Of Perseverance gets introduced.

Even the die-hard fans of the old days are served with "Zombie Ritual" and "Pull The Plug" (the encore). The guys are far more selfsecured than at Dynamo Open Air (festival in The Netherlands/YK) last spring although Chuck, Shannon and Scott seem to find their technical performance still far more important than giving away a smashing show.

Halfway the gig there are some problems with Chucks guitar. The gap is filled in with brilliant played spontanious solos by Shannon and Richard. On the 25th there's another Death gig in The Netherlands and one should not miss the opportunity to see them!

P.S. The day after the gig we heard that during Deaths show one of the visitors died. The man had a cardiac arrest. The Noorderligt-personel tried to reanimate him but did not succeed. This tragedy threw a large shadow on this great show. Our regards go out to his family.

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Translated by YK/AS for EmptyWords-Published on March 31 1999