We have about three quarters of the year before all will happen, but here is some preview for Brutal Assault festival in Czech fortress Josefov. Now its gonna be for the twenty fourth time. From the small local one day festival BA evolved into one of the world‘s biggest and the best metal events where people from all the places arrive. Lets see what we got here this year.
First part is little subjective and will contain my picks. Mostly black metal. There will be other genres mentioned though, no worries. Also, the list of the bands is still not complete and about thirty percent will join the massive number of about 130 bands. So, what can we look forward to?
For me, the biggest surprise is to see Finnish project Vargrav of V-Khaoz. Album Netherstorm is a miracle album of 2018 for sure and it bears the legacy of bands as Limbonic Art and and other obscurity filled black metal. It is young project but V-Khaoz is very experienced musician. You can find him in another solo project – Druadan Forest, dated to 1998. Check also other project he participate in. If you like black metal, this is a must to be seen, as it is not usual hundred concerts per year band.
Another band which does not concert much is Antaeus. When I hear about bands from France, I can expect only one thing. It is going to be something special.
After three years Polish legends in leather jackets and covered faces of Mgla will arrive. This time, It is gonna be probably with a new album, it seems. I really wonder if it is gonna be better than Exercises of Futility and what approach and methods we could expect on it. With very similar image but far from Mgla‘s philosophical approach, Midnight from Ohio will raise the hell with its fusion of black, speed metal and rock‘n‘roll full of filth and dirty stuff.
After two years another Polish star will play at BA. Chanting monks of Batushka. I really wonder if everything will be smooth due the scandal about kicking out the mastermind of this mysterious aura filled project.
Many will be happy for Emperor. Both Ihsahn and original project was very popular at BA. I am sure it is going to be same this year too. Another Norwegian classic we can witness is Taake.
Fans of dancing and folk metal might evaluate Ensiferium. If you prefer more folk than a metal, Heilung is the right image-rich bet.
And after just a year, Myrkur will return with her mystical appearance. I was very happy to see her there last time, the atmosphere was perfect even with a technical difficulties and electricity black out.
We will have a luck to see one shining star from China. Zuriaake with their flat hats and robes combine atmospheric black metal with Eastern folklore elements. They had one tour in Europe, if I remember correctly but no concert in Czech whatsoever. What a surprise when I have met the guys in Prague by a total accident at one of the squeares just passing by.
From black stuff, lets move to another styles. Two years ago, Virginian sludge doom Cough opened festival. It was depressing, yet beautiful and slow. While Cough will not play there this year, their bassist, Parker Chandler will with Windhand – similar stuff as Cough. More stoner and psychedelic than heavy hitting and crushing. But Eyehategod will shatter our heads with their sludge music, so that might be decent substitute if you need some heavier stuff.
After two year break, legend who defined the genre is returning. I have heard mixxed opinions about Electric Wizzard performance at BA from various people and for various reasons, but I could not complain at all. I have enjoyed the music as well as the stage imagery with large projection and old flick.
Those interested in thrash metal will be happy for a many classic names. Sodom with its original guitarist Frank Blackfire. Do I need to say more? If you area very big fan of beer, Tankard will cheer you up, too. Many should be keen for Testament as well or Germans of Destruction.
More extreme grindcore enthusiasts will gladly witness Napalm Death and black metal flavoured Anaal Nathrakh. You should not miss Czech toilet worshippers Gutalax with their funny dancy grind if the serious and dark approach is not what you search for.
Death metal fans can expect very decent dose of hammering too. Hypocrisy, Carcass, Decapitated, Gorod, Krisiun, Wormed, Immolation… Most of these big names should satisfy your needs. I would say this year is very rich for death metal. There will be even more.
Fans of the modern stuff might be happy for Animals as Leaders, if they like technical jazzy stuff. We stay with eight string guitars even more. I am not a fan of Meshuggah but many people ought to be thirsty for their rhytmic parts. The ones who wanna something a little bit more simple and rather punchy might enjoy Jinjer with their sweet singer.
If festifal closes as last years, my bet is, it is going to be with some doomy stuff again. The Obcessed, which formed at 1970 might be one of the bands or maybe Shape of Despar is a great funeral doom candidate. Or Woe Unto Me? Who knows… Maybe everthing will end up totally differently.
Woe Unto Me
As BA has adjectivum „brutal“ in it, various interested non-metal artist are invited to play here, too. Diablo Swing Orchestra will bring some avandgarde vibes. Many fans (even metal ones) were crazy when electronic mage Perturbator pumped some dark heavy beats into us last year. It was not the first time, but for me, it was great from the first second to the last. This time Gost shall show us some synthwave. Also, we should expect some interesting stuff happening in chill out zone. Noise, ambient and other chillout music will help us to relax or reset. It is always nice to spend some times there.
This is not whole setlist. There will be much more, but I hope I kinda teased you up a little. Not only you can find great music at BA, there is much more you can expect at chill out zone, very rich food and drink area. Every year there are new features. Thanks for reading and see ya there.