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The Euroblast AAR

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This is my after-action-report for Euroblast 2016 which took place between September 30th and October 2nd in Cologne, Germany. Due to my girlfriend's birthday I wasn't able to attend the festival on October 1st so this will only be about Friday and Sunday (luckily they sold seperate daily tickets). If any of you guys happens to have attended the festival as well, feel free to add missing stuff and/or give your opinion.

 

The Festival

Euroblast is a festival focused on progressive, experimental and technical metal which takes place annualy in Cologne, Germany. This was the 12th iteration. Over the years, the festival has grown from a small, local one to one of the biggest of its kind worldwide.

 

The Venue

Since a few iterations ago the festival takes place in the Essigfabrik in Cologne. The main hall in which the main stage is located has enough room for around 1300 people and there is also a second stage in a pretty small basement which at full capacity holds a few hundred people. The second stage also has lierally no space between the performers and the audience, you can pretty much touch them if you want.

 

I'm now going to go through all the bands I watched and give my opinion on their shows. I won't be very critical since I loved almost all the shows but there's still outstanding and less outstanding ones.

 

Friday, 30th of September

 

The first band I watched was Omega Diatribe (https://omegadiatribe.bandcamp.com/music) on the main stage, which replaced Materia who had a car accident on the way. They are a Polish band (except their vocalist, who is from Mars 8702d07ea6.PNG) and make groovy progressive metalcore. Their show was very solid but sadly the crowd wasn't riled up enough yet which resulted in nobody except me and like 5 other dudes moving at all.

 

After that, Promethee (https://promethee.bandcamp.com/music), a Swiss progressive metalcore/hardcore band had their set on the main stage. I liked it, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. Still worth checking out their music.

 

Then I went to the second stage where the German band Verderver played. They describe their music as "dance death metal" and could be compared to early We Butter The Breat With Butter. I don't like this style of music but at least it was fun watching them go completely mental and roll around on the floor.

 

After Verderver, one of the most anticipated bands for me had their main stage set. I'm talking about Aliases (http://music.basickrecords.com/album/derangeable), of course, whose show was very intense and exactly as good as I expected. Leah, one of their guitarists and their vocalist Joe Rosser (who, in case you haven't heard of it joined SikTh as a replacement for Justin Hill) were both very energetic and Pin with his gigantic 8-string guitar played just as good as on the albums. I can only encourage you to go to one of their shows if you ever have the opportunity.

 

After that, I watched Carcer City (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQrXTc0LfE4Upv27Mr_-NDPVHzn486JMM) on the second stage. Their vocalist is a very nice guy and their show was my personal favourite show on the second stage that day. The crowd loved them as well and everybody was headbanging in the end.

 

I only saw half of Modern Day Babylon's (https://moderndaybabylon.bandcamp.com/) set because I ate some of my smuggled in food but what I saw was good performances of mediocre songs. When it comes to instumental djenty bands this one is definitely more on the uninspired side. They might be good at their instruments but I just don't like their songwriting.

 

Meanwhile, the Mexican band Anima Tempo (https://animatempo.bandcamp.com/releases) who make progressive metalcore with symphonic elements were rocking the second stage. I was a bit exhausted from Aliases and Carcer City so I only watched them from the back but that was enough to make me like them.

 

The show that followed on the main stage was my absolute highlight of the entire festival, something I didn't expect at all beforehand. i'm talking about the Norwegian experimental jazz-metal band Shining (https://youtu.be/RpyrbD-jeFs), who got the crowd moving like crazy. Their frontman is incredibly energetic and his saxophone solos were phenomenal. The rest of the band were perfect on their respective instruments and I left after the set with a severely hurting neck due to the crazy headbanging. Please, for the love of Satan, go see them live if the opportunity arises, it's too good to miss it.

 

The next band I watched was Obsidian Kingdom (https://obsidiankingdom.bandcamp.com/music) on the second stage. Their music can be both very heavy and very soft and the manage to pull this contrast off perfectly. It was a really nice show.

 

After that came probably the biggest disappointment of the day, Dead Letter Circus. The sad thing is that it was not even their fault, there was just something wrong with the sound so that the vocals were way too quiet and the instruments were way too loud to the point that you couldn't really distinguish them from each other anymore. Luckily, it got better after about half their time had passed and from then on it was a very enjoyable show, exactly what you would expect from DLC.

 

A very loud and intense show followed DLC because Cold Night For Alligators (https://coldnightforalligators.bandcamp.com/music), a Danish mathcore band rocked the second stage. They are definitely a band you should check out if you've never heard of them and their live show was intense, fast action like you'd expect from a mathcore show.

 

This was followed by Intronaut (https://youtu.be/MOxxAdRtU1w), whose show was very heavy and simply great, definitely another highlight of the day. Do yourself a faour and see them live too.

 

After that, Sithu Aye (https://sithuayemusic.bandcamp.com/) played the second stage and it was awesome. His music sounds like the emotion of joy in its musical form and he translates that perfectly to the stage.

 

The last band of the day was Animals As Leader and as you would expect, they were phenomenal. It's just awesome watching insanely talented musicians do their job. I honestly believe Matt Garstka is one of the most talented drummers in modern metal, at one point Tosin and Javier let him play a drum solo and the wole crowd just stood there with their jaws dropped. It was just great and closed of the day perfectly.

 

Part 2 coming soon...

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Part 2

 

Sunday, 2nd of October

 

I arrived a bit late so I only saw half the main stage set of UK melodic progressive metalcore band Shields (https://shieldsuk.bandcamp.com/music). I liked what I saw but it was nothing that special if I'm honest.

 

After that, I went to the second stage to watch [sooN] (https://youtu.be/b0v_mEYjTL8), a German underground melodic metal band. Their music isn't really a style I enjoy but a lot of people seemed to like them.

 

Then I watched No Consequence (https://youtu.be/OMu2-GqqAEQ), a "mathy" progressive metalcore band, on the main stage and I really enjoyed their show because of its intensity and the great playing by all the instrumentalists.

 

Meanwhile, Amber Sea (https://ambersea.bandcamp.com/music), a French technical deathcore band played the second stage. I'm not a fan of their music but they seem to have a French cult following, a lot of French people were shouting stuff in French and went completely insane in that small basement.

 

One of the biggest suprises followed on the main stage: the German band Ayahuasca (https://ayahuascadeath.bandcamp.com/releases), who play a wild fusion of technical death metal, black metal, doom metal, and South American tribal music. They consist of a drummer, two percussionists, three guitarists, a bassist and a vocalist and their bombastic tribal sound got pretty much everyone who wasn't already in the mood. Definitely go check out their free EP.

 

Polish band Koronal (https://koronal.bandcamp.com/album/flicker-away-2) was rocking the second stage after that with their groovy down-tempo deathcore sound. It was a blast although afterwards I felt like I had been punched in the stomach repeatedly. Their vocalist was a fucking beast live. They also gave me a free CD so that was cool as well.

 

Novelists (https://novelists.bandcamp.com/music) was next. Their performances were good and their vocalist can actually sing but I find their music itself to be pretty boring.

 

The Swiss industrial metalcore band Clawerfield (https://clawerfield.bandcamp.com/music) played the second stage after that and they were good. There is not much more to say about their performance, it was just very solid.

 

The next band, Disperse (https://youtu.be/RagW200RFYA), who could be described as Polish Dead Letter Circus (just a bit heavier at times), had their set and I was blown away by how perfect it was. The instruments were all perfectly distinguishable and the singer was phenomenal.

 

I skippped Strains because I was hungry so the next band was Humanity's Last Breath (https://humanityslastbreath.bandcamp.com/music). Remember how I sayed Koronal's show felt like being punched in the stomach repeatedly (in a good way)? Well, this show felt like being punched in the stomach while Satan dances around on your helpless body and turns your eardrums inside out, and it was AWESOME. Definitely the heaviest show of the day.

 

Exist Immortal (https://existimmortal.bandcamp.com/music) then played the second stage and they were good although slightly disappointing due to the rerlatively weak vocal delivery.

 

After that, Volumes (https://youtu.be/O-Vb08vyvpE) played the main stage and they were definitely the band that got me moving the most. Myke sounds like he has always been in the band and both him and Gus have so fucking much energy on stage, it's unbelievable.

 

Deadly Circus Fire (https://youtu.be/2ABnn9LwzYw) then played the second stage. Their vocalist left a few weeks ago and they haven't found a replacement yet so they played an instrumental set. It was totally not what I expected but oddly enough, the instrumental style fit them perfectly. They sounded a lot more doom-y and way heavier than ontheir albums but the gutarist assured me that they will find a new singer. The show was awesome.

 

The next two bands I only payed a bit of my attention to. They were Betraying The Martyrs and Jinjer, both bands I don't really care much about. I gotta say that apart from Jinjer's clean vocals their performances were very good, it's just not music I enjoy.

 

The day was closed off by Born of Osiris (https://youtu.be/jy2MLw_JMJk) and it couldn't have ended better. They sounded just as great as on the albums and Ronnie riled up the crowd perfectly. Like AAL two days before, the day was closed off perfectly although BOO left the stage almost 10 minutes before they were supposed to.

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