NRW Deathfest VII

date: Sept 18 + 19, 2009
venue: AJZ Bahndamm, Wermelskirchen (Germany)

For those of you who don´t know: The NRW Deathfest is an indoor event with 18 bands playing in two days. It takes place at the almost legendary AJZ Bahndamm in Wermelskirchen, which is not too far away from Düsseldorf and Cologne. I really like the anarchistic atmosphere over there which surrounds the club as well as the people involved in the festival. Unfortunately I missed a few bands, but here´s a little report of what I saw and what I think about it.

This years edition was kicked off by Sabiendas, a female fronted Death Metal act from the Herten area in Germany. It was a good way to start the festival and the crowd was willing to party and bang their heads off to the not too complicated songs of Sabiendas. After a short break, Unchallenged Hate entered the stage and convinced me with their brutal Grinding Death Metal sounds and their ambition to bring everyone to their knees. Well done, dudes. Then it was time for Bavarian Death Metal dealers Common Grave. Expectedly they were one of the highlights on Friday. Their technical stuff was played with murderous precision and found a lot of new friends and supporters. Cerebral Bore from Scotland were up next and did what they do best: delivering nice and brutal tunes to smash your hearing. The crowd was slam dancing and partying like there´s no tomorrow and I´m sure the band was very satisfied with their performance and the peoples reaction. Keitzer received very enthusiastic responses to their short Grindcore eruptions and a lot of people were talking about their gig later. It was a hell of a show and very entertaining indeed. Horns up. Unfortunately I missed Decrepit from Cleveland, Ohio, so let´s go on with the show of Abysmal Torment. These 5 guys from Malta deliver the perfect soundtrack to destroy any stage. Promoting their current full length release “Omnicide”, the band took no prisoners and turned the club into a madhouse of freaks. Everyone was going crazy and the band played an awesome set. Sinister was the headliner on this evening, but after the show of Abysmal Torment they only had little chances to keep up the barometer of public opinion. Anyway, they played a few cool old songs like “Awaiting The Absu”, but also too much newer stuff (keep in mind it was declared as a “Special Old School Show”). When Sinister finished their set it was time for the aftershow party which was hosted by a Metal DJ. I crawled back into my tent in the small hours and was already awaiting day two of the NRW Deathfest.

Saturday started decent with a beer for breakfast and some Pizza a few hours later. After missing Warfield Within and Exposed Guts, it was Mortally Infected´s turn to convince me as the first band on Saturday. These guys from Slovakia are the essence of Brutal Death Metal. Guttural growling meets down tuned riffs and blasting drums. It was an entertaining gig and 30 of the most intense minutes of my life. To quote one of their song titles: Keep it fucking brutal! Unfortunately I also missed Infested and Embryonic Depravity, but Mumakil from Switzerland turned the crowd into a raging mass of freaks longing for even more noise. Their Grindcore tunes are short, dirty and intense, but always easy to follow. I missed the Dutch Death Metal powerhouse Nox, but Haemophagia from Spain were an adequate follow-up. They split the peoples skulls with ease and I´m pretty sure their Brutal Death Metal tunes were one of the best of both festival days. After Haemophagia, it was Viral Load´s turn to smash the crowds heads. Being just a one-man project at the moment, it looks a bit weird on stage, but the songs were pretty awesome and the Obituary cover of “Godly Beings” was simply sick. After another short break it was time for California based gore mongers Ghoul. Consisting of (former) members of Impaled, Exhumed and Phobia, you know what to expect. A devastating mixture of Death/Thrash Metal with some Grindcore influences and lyrics about horror, sick humor and generally the dead. Anyway, it was an amusing show and everyone was pleased with it. After another aftershow party it was time for me to go to sleep and let the impressions of this years NRW Deathfest sink in.

NRW Deathfest
Reviewer: Alex
Feb 20, 2010

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