What festivals do you plan to attend this year?
In a little bit more than one month we can expect the start of one of the best extreme metal festivals in Europe, maybe in the world according to many, taking place in the heart of Europe in Czech Republic and Josefov fortress. This will the twenty-third Brutal Assault festival which starts on August 8th – 11th, with a warm up party on the 7th.
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I am always amazed by the lineup. Before the festival, I usually do not dig too much into bands playing there and kinda like surprises or new revelations. Last year I have visited the festival mainly for the Czech black metal legend Master‘s Hammer who started to play live recently and for Polish Batushka.
BATUSHKA: Photography by: Pavel Kovalančík / Dark Art Conspiracy
As you can see I am bound to the various black metal acts and its subgenres. I was surprised by other bands I discovered, liked or listened to some long time ago. For me, another great bands were doomy classic Tiamat with the Wildhoney songs. I think they have built up again their reputation regarding their criticized performance earlier. Finnish music was presented by Swallow the Sun and what an experience. Although they ruled smaller Metal Gate stage only, it was flawless. Ighly suggesting to check their late trilogy album. Such an opus. At the opening at the small oriental stage, there was sludge/doom presented by Cough from northern Virginia. Hell, what a start… Then Ultha, which I did not know before, but it was so good. Fresh blood in modern black metal waters, although the musicians have rich experience from other projects. The classic act was Mayhem with their legendary interpretation of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Of course, there was much more. But this preview should be aimed towards this year. So what do we have here now?
BEHEMOTH: Photography by: Pavel Kovalančík / Dark Art Conspiracy
For me, the headliner and main reason to get there are Behemoth from Poland. Loved by many for their energy when playing live or different sound on each album. Hated by others for their „big commercial stuff around“ which is „no no“ for underground. No one can argue though… They are great musicians, and what they do goes directly from their innerselves with furious power ad no compromises. Nergal is like some imp on fire while one stage, what a performer! At BA there will be also their Polish brothers of Hate and Azarath which is the project Behemoth‘s drummer Inferno is involved in.
The big surprise to me was seeing Arkhon Infaustus at the roster. The band split up for some time and now playing again. As a fan of French musical movement I really, really look forward to this. So much sweet memories from so many years ago, while I listened to them. Again this is the band with every album so good, evolving to more adult and polished form while maintaining their ferocity and furious energy. It does not matter if you listen to Filth Catalyst or Orthodoxyn. Everything is full of dark perfection and steamrolling energy.
As I could not see them yet this year, BA will be great opportunity to see another Swedish classic, Marduk. Speaking of which, you might wanna check Mortuus‘s/Arioch‘s new album Hekatomb from his solo project Funeral Mist which was released recently this year. Another rebelious act which shall be seen is Carpathian Forest. I am looking forward to their dirty grotesque „We do not give a f**k“ attitude and wondering if they can be on par with the show seen on We‘re going to hell for this.“ From near Germany, the mighty Belphegor shall sing their odes full of blasphemy and heresy. I have seen them a few times and there was no disappointment at all, ever. I expect the same this time. I also look forward to Czech industrial black metal Gorgonea Prima.
For some slowdown, fans of darker stuff that enjoy some calmer and not that extreme melodies will surely enjoy act of Myrkur or majestic Wardruna. Those were main bands I am looking forward to myself but let‘s not forget about some other stuff…
As we do not want to discriminate against other genres, if you prefer more death metal there will be veterans Cannibal Corpse and Dying Fetus. Dead Congregation is another one. You might be interested in Czech bands Godless Truth, Anime Torment or Cuttered Flesh. Modern stuff playing this year inspired lot by death metal are Black Dahlia Murder, Carnifex, Origin. Another more progressive and atmospherical band can be Harakiri for the Sky. „Depression lovers“ could find a some pleasure while listening to doomy Coffins or local classic Silent Stream of Godless Elegy.
If you are into thrashy stuff, you should be pretty happy too. Municipal Waste, Ministry or blackened Aura Noir shall make your neck hurt. A lot.
Is that all?! Hell, no! There will be much more good stuff from various extreme genres. You cannot be disappointed. It is magical. Every year, I think the line up cannot be beaten next year. And every year it is just better. More days, more stages. I must not forget about great kiosks with various beverages or food. Everyone will be happy. Ordinary meat eaters or vegans as well, everyone will be satisfied at BA.
Brutal Assault, 8. - August 11, 2018, Fortress Josefov - Jaroměř www.brutalassault.cz