Klokgebouw, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
24th November 2013
Distortion Fest Part 1: Chthonic, The Charm the Fury, Obscura, Adept, Darkrise, Angelus Apatrida, Dying Fetus
After a successful first edition of Distortion Fest, the one-day festival is back in 2013 with an impressive line-up. Big names such as MY DYING BRIDE, PAPA ROACH, SATYRICON and HEAVEN SHALL BURN will rock the Klokgebouw in Eindhoven for sure. Added to the line-up are also DEATH, HYPOCRISY, GLAMOUR OF THE KILL, HAVOK, ANGELUS APATRIDA, ADEPT, ALPHA TIGER and THE PSYKE PROJECT. The festival takes place a day after Speedfest, organized by Peter van Elderen, who we know from his legendary band PETER PAN SPEEDROCK. For those who can never get enough it was possible to get combi-tickets for both festivals.
CHTHONIC is a Taiwanese metal band, formed in 1995 in Taipei. The group incorporates influences from traditional Taiwanese music including the classical Chinese instrument erhu. Since 2011, their trademark erhu has been complemented with stringed instruments including the koto and shamisen, as well as Tibetan bells and shakuhachi and pgaki flutes, the latter of which are traditionally used by the aboriginal people of Taiwan. Since their formation, CHTHONIC has released seven studio albums; the most recent, ‘Bu-Tik’, was released in Asia in May 2013 by Spinefarm Records. CHTHONIC is Freddy Lim, "Left Face of Maradou" (lead vocals, erhu), Doris Yeh, "Thunder Tears" (bass, backing vocals), Jesse Liu, "The Infernal" (guitars, backing vocals), Dani Wang, "Azathothian Hands" (drums) (2005–present) and CJ Kao, "Dispersed Fingers" (keyboards, synthesizer). www.chthonic.org / http://myspace.com/chthonictw
Music & Performance
Due to some delay at the entrance, I had to rush in for the first band. CHTHONIC was already well on their way by the time I made it to the Skull stage. Let me start by noting that this band makes quite a presence on stage with their painted faces and characteristic outfits. Their energy and enthusiasm were radiating into the big hall that was slowly filling up with more people. Always tough to be an opening act, but CHTHONIC did not seem bothered by that at all. The setlist consisted mainly of songs from their latest album where listeners are taken on a journey through “countless violent scenes, joining riots with pirates, immortals, gangsters, prisoners, scholars, kungfu masters, and commoners”. They manage quite well to transfer their story-themed album to the stage. Each member of the band takes up their part of the performance, making it difficult to choose where to look, whether it be the blazing drums of masked Dani, the raging guitars of Jesse, the deep grunts and theatrical movements of front man Freddy or the fascinating Doris on bass.
Sound and lighting were both well-adjusted to their show. Their live performance definitely adds some extravaganza to their music and their oriental influences are what makes this band unique, especially in a European Metalfest setting. If you ever get a chance to see this band live, don’t miss out!
01. Ocean quake
02. Supreme Pain for the Tyrant
03. Next Republic
04. Southern Cross
05. Sail Into the Sunset's Fire
06. Defenders of Bú-tik Palace
Total: 7.8 / 10
The Charm The Fury
THE CHARM THE FURY is a Metalcore band from Amsterdam that formed in 2010. With a chick on vocals, the band stands out from the usual metalcore formations. They are said to have a unique take on metalcore with both harmonious and chaotic tracks at the same time. Inspired by bands such as UNDEROATH, FOR TODAY, ARCHITECTS and EVERY TIME I DIE, THE CHARM THE FURY brings a new dimension to the genre. Their debut album ‘The Social Meltdown’ was rather quickly followed up by the next production ‘Shade of my former Self’, released via Listenable Records & Pavement Entertainment. THE CHARM THE FURY is Caroline Westendorp (Vocals), Mathijs Parent (Guitar), Rolf Perdok (Guitar), Lucas Arnoldussen (Bass) and Mathijs Tieken (Drums). www.thecharmthefury.com / www.facebook.com/thecharmthefury
Music & Performance
It took a little time for musicians to get everything ready for take-off while singer Caroline was already getting anxious jumping around on stage. This type formation with a chick on vocals can be tricky, as it is easily seen as either a cheap score or a lame gimmick in this testosterone dominated scene. As THE CHARM THE FURY hits the first notes however, they make a solid and confident impression. Band members for sure know their way with their instruments, as is proved by some nice guitar solos and tight drums. It proves to be a challenge however to match the dynamic sound on their album in a live setting, especially on this small stage in an open hall. Sound easily turns into a load of noise with no end nor beginning. Caroline’s screams and grunts are interchanged with clean vocals. Although she cannot match the famous growls of for example Angela Gossow (ARCH ENEMY) or one of my favourites Alexis Brown from STRAIGHT LINE STITCH, there is definitely a potential here.
Small remark would be the transitions between screams/ clean vocals are not always a pleasure for the ear, but this is something I often experience with other bands in this genre as well. THE CHARM THE FURY presents us with amongst others ‘The Enemy’ and ‘Carte Blanche’. Furthermore there’s ‘Colorblind’ which originally features Daniël de Jongh from TEXTURES on their latest album.
Total: 7.3 / 10
The technical German death metal band OBSCURA was founded in 2002 by guitarist and vocalist Steffen Kummerer and drummer Jonas Baumgartl. After several line-up changes mastermind Steffen Kummerer got backed up by a solid team of musicians. Late 2007 OBSCURA announced drummer Hannes Grossmann (ex-Necrophagist) and fretless bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling (ex-Pestilence) as new permanent members. Early 2008 the new line-up was completed by Christian Muenzner (ex-Necrophagist) as permanent guitarist. Together they created their vision of the future of extreme metal: a symbiosis of death, thrash and black metal merged with progressive elements and technical as well as compositional demand. OBSCURA is Steffen Kummerer (guitar, vocals), Christian Muenzner (guitar), Linus Klausenitzer (bass) and Hannes Grossmann (drums). www.obscura-metal.com / www.facebook.com/RealmOfObscura
Music & Performance
I went in completely unprejudiced (or honestly: unprepared) to see this band, and was pleasantly surprised to hear some resemblance to one of my favourite bands GOJIRA. Later I found out that they even have their lyrical themes in common, being about environmental / nature philosophy topics. After some technical/ sound issues, things improved and OBSCURA put up a tight technical performance. Obvious fans had gathered in front of the stage, cheering them on. Their set list consists mainly of songs from their 2009 album ‘Cosmogenesis’ with ‘The Anticosmic Overload’, ‘Incarnated’ and ‘Centric Flow’. But he audience is also treated to some new work of the band with ‘Imaginative Soul’. Their well-executed combination of death, black and progressive metal is tight, brutal yet melodic at the same time. This makes OBSCURA’s live performance quite dynamic and soon I had to rush off to be in time for the next band.
The Anticosmic Overload (cosmogenesis 2009)
Incarnated (cosmogenesis 2009)
Choir of Spirits (cosmogenesis 2009)
Imaginative Soul (new song)
Ocean Gateways (2011 omnivium)
Centric flow (cosmogenesis 2009)
Total: 8.3 / 10
ADEPT is a post-hardcore metal band from Sweden. The band was founded in 2004 and has released a couple of demo’s and three full length albums thus far. Their debut album ‘Another Year of Disaster’ was released in 2010 and their latest production ‘Silence the world’ dates from this year. The band made itself known through extensive touring in Sweden and Europe with popular bands like A DAY TO REMEMBER, UNDEROATH, ARHITECTS, AS I LAY DYING, BRING ME THE HORIZON and A SKYLIT DRIVE. Their second release ‘Death Dealers’ was marked by touring the big festivals in 2012 like Graspop, Vainstream, Pukkelpop , Groezrock , Power Party, Greenfield, Nova Rock and several others. ADEPT is Robert Ljung (Vocals), Jerry Repo (Guitar), Gustav Lithammer (Guitar), Filip Brandelius (Bass) and Gabriel Hellmark (Drums). www.adeptofficial.com / www.facebook.com/AdeptOfficial
Music & Performance
ADEPT gives it to us loud, fast and in-your-face with a dose of energy that is almost too much for this small stage. The Swedish post-hardcore formation takes off with ‘Forever and a Day’ and ‘Secrets’ from their latest album ‘Silence the World’ followed by the older ‘The Ivory Tower’ from ‘Death Dealers’. Don’t let their somewhat youthful appearance fool you, because their music and performance are both solid and mature. Between the low guttural growls, clean vocals and sick screams, front man Robert talks us through some of ADEPTS repertoire. Although still quite early in the day, he manages to get the audience into a little motion. No surprise, as ADEPT’s energy is contagious.
Due to a tight schedule, I had to move onto the next gig at Distortion, but I’m looking forward to see these guys again somewhere on a stage in the Netherlands!
Forever and a Day
The Ivory Tower
The Ocean Grave
Sound the Alarm
An Era of Treachery
Shark! Shark! Shark!
Total: 8 / 10
Today’s schedule at Distortion is quite a challenge and for one reporter it’s impossible to cover all this magnificent loudness. Distortion has three stages where 19 bands do their thing from 2PM, several bands partially overlapping. Pure torture if you’re a fan of each and every band in the line-up, but the variation makes this quite unlikely. The advantage is that there’s always a choice between bands to see. I also walked in on the first band on the main stage: DARKRISE from Switzerland. This brutal death metal band had obviously earned their stripes, judging by the confidence on stage. They had a tough job getting the half empty venue going at the start of the day. Being unfamiliar with their music, I got bored quite quickly though and decided this is not really my cup-a-tea.
On the small stage, ANGELUS APATRIDA from Spain started too late, resulting in part of their audience already moving on to the next gig. I managed to catch one song though after making my time slot for the next band on the main stage. Their speed, rage and loudness made me wonder why they weren’t scheduled the day before at Speedfest! Sounded promising! Meanwhile, a band by the distinguished name of DYING FETUS took off at the main stage. Obviously, this American death metal band doesn’t really need an introduction. With a repertoire going back to the early nineties, fans seemed quite satisfied with the selection of songs DYING FETUS presented. Announcements for the next song from John were mostly received with a combination of cheers and growls from the audience.
The angry loudness these three men were able to produce on stage is unparalleled. In the photo pit, for a minute I thought I’d forgotten to put in my ear plugs. But that wasn’t the case. From their stoical faces, it was hard to tell whether the men of DYING FETUS were enjoying themselves on stage, but the audience seemed to have a great time. For me: been there, done that, didn’t get a T-shirt… www.darkrise.ch / www.angelusapatrida.com / www.dyingfetus.com
All pics by Ruth Mampuys (www.ruth-less.nl)