Magazine: OOR/Netherlands
Article: Nedermetal

Written by: Wouter Dielesen
Published: February 2000




Altar is known as the most anti-christ band of The Netherlands. The Slogan "Youth Against Christ", resulted in quite some comotion and forbidden gigs over the past few years. The free publicity that came along with that comotion made the band's name well known. Although the five musicians did get recognition by playing solid, non-compromising and above all--- tight death metal, it's not being denied that the media attention contributed to the fact that Altar grew out to be one of the most successful Dutch metal bands. In the meantime, gigs at Dynamo, Lowlands and Noorderslag, but especially the recently released album "In The Name Of The Father", confirm this position. Guitarist Marcel Verdurmen admits that all the "fuzz" has worked to their advantage. "We didn't choose for this image from a commercial point of view, we just like to provoke. If that produces something extra for us, that's fine. We aren't that anti-christ as everybody states us to be. I even have been married by an arch bishop, can you imagine! It is mostly our vocalist Edwin Kelder, whom is reacting against christianity in his lyrics. In songs like "God Damn You" and "Holy Mask" from the new album, he is pulling off pretty bad. He grew up in a small christian village, where people didn't understand him. The narrow-mindedness annoyed him, that's where the whole "Youth Against Christ" idea came from. But we respect everybody's thoughts and ideas. It's just laughable when people keep talking about things this unimportant. It's not about the gimmick, it's about the music. And some people just do not understand that."

Youth Against Christ ~ 1994
Ego Art ~ 1996
Provoke ~ 1998
In The Name Of The Father ~ 1999



The gentlemen of God Dethroned are perfectionists. The album is not complete with just the music, unless the lyrics and the artwork have also been taken care of very well. The most recent album "Bloody Blasphemy" is a perfect combination of those three elements. The tight, speedy mix of death-, thrash- and black metal radiates professional musical skill, and the inlay and lyrics are forming a perfect whole. In the past, the band hit the necessary nails on the head as well. Vocalist Henri Sattler caused sensation in the early 90's with the debut "The Christhunt". Unfortunately, due to line-up problems, the band fizzled out pretty quick. Because of the big demand for new material, Henri decided to search for a new line-up. The first result appeared in 1997 under the momentous title "The Grand Grimoire". The third album "Bloody Blasphemy" was born last year. The first record is quite different from the last two, explains guitarist Jens van der Valk: "The debut was chaotic and too bizarre. Too many ideas were put in one song, and the production wasn't too good either. "The Grand Grimoire" and "Bloody Blasphemy" have a more steady character and are easy to listen to. The vocals have changed from deep grunting into screaming, and instead of playing pure death metal , we now flirt with deat-, thrash-, and black metal. In the lyrics a lot has changed as well. Nowadays we are talking about other subjects. We still ridicule christianity, but in a more ironic way. The title song off "Bloody Blasphemy" is about a necrofile cannibal taking Jezus off the cross and making an apologizing monologue towards him. Most of the lyrics are very different though. Old sailor stories from the Golden Age, for example "Soul Capture 1562" is about The Flying Dutchman, "Firebreath" is about the arrival of Michiel de Ruyter in the English Chatham. Typical Dutch stuff, just like us."

The Christhunt ~ 1992
The Grand Grimoire ~ 1997
Bloody Blasphemy ~ 1999



Blo.Torch from The Hague, chose their marking name intentionally. First of all, there is the dot between Blo and Torch that gives the name its authenticity. Besides there's a deeper thought behind the name. The name is based on the English word Blowtorch. A Blowtorch melts metal and welds pieces together into special things. The band is doing the same with their music. Metal is the point of departure, from where different styles are welded together into something beautiful. You can hear the result of this fusion on the first album. Guitarist duo and founders Hassan and Marvin explain: "We only excisted since 1996, but right from the beginning we had a clear vision in which direction we wanted to go. Our main influences lay in metal. From the old thrash on to the nowadays death metal. We connected all those styles without making it difficult for ourselves. This melting makes it interesting for us. A good example of our diversity is the song "Bloodstains". The song shows one of our many faces. In this case, a heavy, threatening song, with references towards the old Black Sabbath. We want others to be able to hear that it doesn't have to be just hard and fast all the time. The image of metal has changed much over the past years. A band used to be either death or thrash metal. Today the borderlines have become vague. The listeners have become more open minded. Dream Theater fans used to listen to symphonic metal only. Nowadays they also buy albums from, for example, Soilwork. Our music is very varied, one moment it grabs you to throw you against a wall, and the next we just go on smoothly. We like to experiment with different styles, and we now our way around musically. Because of these factors we think we can add something essential to the Dutch metal scene."

Blo.Torch ~ 1999



Occult is a striking appearance in the Dutch metal scene. Not only are they known as "the band with the longest hair", but the band also has two vocalists. A male singer and a very little female singer. Different from the other doom metal bands like with Orphanage and Lacuna Coil, she is not fulfilling the part of meaningless siren--- but she is roaring unashamed. The band was in the news for the first time in 1994 with "Prepare To Meet Thy Doom", followed two years later by "The Enemy Within". Last May "Of Flesh And Blood" was released. Vocalist Maurice Swinkels tells: "The first album was a rush job. The label pressure was really big and above all I was suffering from a throat infection. Although the reactions we got were positive, we were not satisfied. It didn't sound like us. "The Enemy Within" was much better. Yet, we are pleased the most with the last album. The music is less thrashy, mainly because Rachel Heyzer is not singing in the background anymore, but takes turns with me on the vocal parts. The songs are much heavier. Yet we will approach things differently next time. Because shortly after the release of the last album, we discharged guitarist Leon Pennings from the band. He was too dominant and was leaving his mark on the music way too much. What he wanted was to make technical music and therefore put aside every idea we came up with. Quiet instrumental parts like on "Dormant Till Dusk" and on "Downfall Of Deity" were written by him. Those things we won't do any longer, we want to go down the fast and heavy road. Just banging from the beginning to the end. More simple, without solo's and all sorts of frills, but most of all heavier."

Prepare To Meet Thy Doom ~ 1994
The Enemy Within ~ 1996
Of Flesh And Blood ~ 1999



Dead Head was formed April 8th 1989 in Kampen, Holland. On that day the four original members Tom van Dijk (bass, vocals), Robbie Woning (guitar), Ronnie van der Wey (guitar), and Hans Spijker (drums), decided to form a band and to become the most intensive and brutal thrash-metal band Europe ever had seen. In the fine tradition of bands like Dark Angel, Kreator and Sadus they distilled their own way to compose songs and to make a solid impact on stage by pounding out their songs as if every minute could be the last. Especially the outrageous drum-style of Spijker, the psychotic double guitar-riffs combined with Tom's penetrating screaming gave the band a well-earned status in the metal-scene of those days. A countless number of performances throughout whole Europe sustained this, and made the band known in the metal scene all over the world. The first serious studio-recordings were made in 1990, and resulted in a record deal with the German company Rising Sun Records, who released Dead Head's first album 'The Feast Begins At Dawn' in 1991. After the recordings for the debut-album Dead Head did a tour through Denmark with Edge Of Sanity and Invocator, and played in Holland with Sepultura, Heathen, Skyclad, Candlemass, Suffocation, Sinister, Gorefest, Malevolent Creation and Grave. In 1992 original drummer Spijker was replaced by Marco Kleinnibbelink.

With him Dead Head started working on new material, which in 1993 resulted in the release of the band's second album 'Dream Deceiver'.Shortly before that Dead Head and French deathmetallers Massacra did a 20-date European tour. During this tour both bands played in Belgium with Kreator and Biohazard. 1999 - 'Kill Division', Dead Head's third album was put together in the original setup as they began in 1989. Altogether, this album represents the band's roots more than anything, maybe except from playing live. The songs were recorded directly, no bullshit, no dubs, keyboards or drumtriggering and shows the band as it really is: raw and without any compromise. The songs are even more intense than on the debute-album, but they still contain all elements of what Dead Head is all about: high-speed, non-trendy infarious thrash with occult but realistic lyrics that contain messages only for the people who are really able to understand them. On the edge of a new millenium Dead Head's music is still alive. And if we pass that infernal boundary, the next album (to be recorded this summer) will be even more devastating, because Dead Head has only one slogan: FUCK COMMERCIALISM, FUCK FASHION, FUCK YOU

The Feast Begins At Dawn ~ 1991
Dream Deceiver ~ 1993
Kill Division ~ 1999


to benefit bill

Translated by YK/CM for EmptyWords-Published on February 20 2000