Magazine: Aardschok / Netherlands
Report: Death-Benediction-Consolation
Venue: De Kade-Zaandam/Netherlands

Written by: Robbie Woning
Published: December 1998

By planning their CD presentation as the support act of two colleague death metal bands, the local band CONSOLATION (one of the bands that later contributed at the benefit festival for Chuck on March 24 - 2000 / YK) were assured an audience. On their new CD "Stahlmaster" is apparent that the band has developed quite a bit. Consolation still plays very tight and very brutal but sound much more diverse than they did in the past. This musical variation seems to be their salavation live. Where many speedy death metal bands already are quite boring after a few songs, Consolation manages to keep the attention of the audience in De Kade until the last note. Songs like "Deathrill" and "Holocauster" are filled with blast beats, speedy bass drums and apparantely endless guitar runs, but in "Motocation" (which features beautiful humming breaks), "The Camel Song" (live for that matter supplied with a deep grunt!) and "Route 666" (Bathory goes Kyuss) nowadays quite other sounds are passing by as well. The striking thing is that the vocal parts are sometimes being done live by completely different musicians then on the CD. This is undoubtedly part of the "teamspirit" talked about so often by Consolation's label Displeased. With this teamspirit it isn't strange for the former Consolation vocalist Manoloxx to climb the stage to scream along with his successor Arjan on the track "Darkest Black" (or was it "Another Darkest Black"?). Consolation belongs in the top of the Dutch death metal scene and proves again that their live performance holds true to the CD.

Next that evening were two bands that were already discussed in Aardschok issue 11-1998. I shall never understand why a band like BENEDICTION is touring without their own sound guy. It's undoubtedly a matter of money, but I don't believe the financial loss is worth losing face like they did with concerts such as tonight's in Zaandam. The lady behind the switches, normally handling them for Bob Color, is capable of wringing the sound within a few seconds. Just after 6 songs something definable comes out of the PA again. With a sharp high guitar sound and a terribly chaotic drum mix, Benediction resembles a very bad black metal band. More guitar amplifiers fell out, and I decided I had heard enough for the time being of these former English death metal heroes.

Although DEATH were on stage in Zaandam for two hours, their setlist only differs in order from the Tilburg set. The band members just took their time and were a bit more relaxed, which has everything to do with the fact this being their last show of the European tour. During the encore "Pull The Plug" (strangely enough introduced by the Charlies Angels' theme) and the followed pieces "Breaking The Law" and "The Trooper" Death was massively supported by Benediction and crew. It was very nice to watch how much fun a generally serious band like Death can have with such an enjoyable and chaotic jamsession.

Robbie Woning


to gigs

Translated by YK/MM for EmptyWords-Published on March 4 2001