The finals of Brutal Assault Festival in Czech is here. The highlight was achieved by various black metal bands, grind and noise performance.
Due to my going to sleep very late on day 3 or very early on day 4 (depends how you look at it), I misssed Czech grindcore fun band, GUTTALAX, on the final day of Brutal Assault. I heard from those that witnessed the show that there was a mobile toilet being passed over the crowd‘s heads. There were also some annoying rain showers creating a meadow of sorts along with some slippery mud. Why couldn’t it have rained one day later??? But even those conditions could not stop the extreme music fans to enjoy the festival and also, it wasn’t as bad as it was two years ago.
Finnish gloomy dark rockers COUNTING HOURS played during the lunch time some nice sstuff to enhance our meal with atmosphere only Finnish guys can create with their stuff full of sadness.
My day started that afternoon with progressive gem, ANIMALS AS LEADERS. Tosin Abasi is a pure beast with his eight-string guitar. In addition, he’s quite the comedian between songs too. There was an small issue with the drums (actually I had a feeling stuff like mics and cables have been pretty non-cooperative this year), but that was not a big issue as the drum absence was filled with some Tosin’s joking. Their show was great and and the virtuosity of Tosin and his bandmates was just breathtaking.
Animals As Leaders
After ANIMALS, AS LEADERS, I checked out some industrial rocking from COMBICHRIST. They used two drumsets, but it was more for the eye candy unlike Cult of Luna, where it made more sense. The show was good and energic, though I think they would have been better served playing during the evening for effect.
A little while later I saw a rainbow while I was on my way to watch Norway‘s VED BUENS ENDE, playing at the Obsure tent. They sounded like a black metal Tiamat to me and played a style of black metal that was more calm and avant garde. Their vocalis was seated and this was a sign that this was goint to be something different. They have only released one album since 1995 and have had several line-up changes, but amid all of that, their show was very good. Some fans might have been little bored with the show, but not me.
Ved Buens Ende
During the evening, there was no way the majority of people in attendance were going to miss ROTTING CHRIST on the main stage, but I one one of the few that missed the. I really wanted to check something different and my choice was ANTAEUS from France at small Octagon stage. ANTAEUS belong under Norma Evangelium Diaboli as Funeral Mist or Deathspell Omega projects and that was a hint of what was to be expected. The crowd was slaughtered by a furious onslaught with a straightforward black metal attack. It wasn’t in the style of traditional Norwegian bands, but more of typical French black/death movement similar to Arkhon Infaustus, who played at Brutal Assault last year.
At around 10 PM, and taking place on the main stage, England‘s NAPALM DEATH smacked us with their version of death metal and/or grindcore. Their show was very energic and alive thanks to their famous vocalist Barney. He loves to play a game with photographers called “Catch the Barney“, as my friend Nikos from the USA noted. I have to agree with him but it was fun trying to catch him anyways. Barney’s stage presence is as erratic and unpredictable as his movement onstage and that’s what make their show a must see live.
Right after NAPALM DEATH, my other most awaited band of the festival started to play on other main stage. It was no one else other than Poland‘s MGŁA. What can I say, I just love their music along with their stoic approach. While some people were criticizing the kickdrum and bass guitar volume, I was not disappointed. Those elements seemed to bother some, but they seemed fine to me. I would have added a little of bass myself. Maybe it was really worse at the natural stand viewing area that’s situated farther band and up highter, but I honestly wouldn’t know since I wasn’t there. The setlist contained songs from previously released albums, but they played newly released song called Age of Excuses II from their most recent album. I was pretty excited about that. Those songs were similar in sound to Exercises of Futility and of course, near perfection to my ears. I prefer MGLA in a smaller venue, but catching them on the main stage was awesome too.
I have not writen anything about the Keep Ambient Lodge (KAL) yet, but now seems like a good time. The events there were quite vibrant, but for me, nothing really grabbed my attention. However, I am going to mention the magic performer by the name of MARIA JIKU and her noise performance. The performance had Japanese roots and she used various modulators and effect-boards, some magical wood contraption with heavy strings, a bow and even a whip. This interesting artist has gave the crowd a spectacular performance consisting of several layers of music and noise layered on top of each other that created a heavy and crushing atmosphere. There were also vocals involved and at first, it started relatively soft and quiet, but then there was screaming so harsh, it was enough to bring her to her knees. Maybe she was possessed by some witch? Maybe she was releasing her own demons lurking inside? Whatever the reason, the performance was really convincing.
On a side note, there were some voluteers that were truly a part of this memorable experience. They were kind enough to be on the receiving end of Jiku‘s whip during the performance that created an extremely cacophonic noise brigade . I had a feeling the guys were saved a bit from some heavy hits .Nobody witnessed the blood splashing off the fresh wounds and the first aid tent was probably not close by. Anyways, it was still very nice and personal experience. 🙂 The whole atmosphere of the show nice but at the same time dragged down by the overuse of a fog machine that limited the viewability of the performance. Some more light and clarity would have enhanced the performance. MARIA was barely visible at times during this fabulous sonic-attack performance
SHAPE OF DESPAIR was the sweet icing on the cake for my last band of the Brutal Assault festival. Funeral doom type bands always seem to be traditional one of the closing bands for this festival. SHAPE OF DESPAIR did not play many songs, but when their average songs run about ten minutes long, that was to be expected I guess. I wasn’t familiar with this band before now, but I enjoyed it as I’m a fan of the genre. The show was at the Obscure tent but I think that the last band of the festival should play on the main stage personally and be afforded all the bells and whistles.
Shape of Despair
The last article from Brutal Assault for this year will be dedicated to some new features, pros & cons. Stay tuned.