just typing here to see where it goes NH Metalfest IV - MetalFromNL

On April 19th, the 5th edition of NH Metalfest took place at De Flux in Zaandam. MetalFromNL was there to take some pictures and write a review of the evening. An interesting night it was! Stay tuned for more pictures of the bands later.

NH Metalfest IV

NH Metalfest showcases bands from the region. In that regard, it’s interesting to see Funeral Whore (Amersfoort) and Anchillys (Gouda) on the lineup, but you can only showcase regional talent so many times without repeating yourself. Funeral Whore has been around for a long time and has already made a name for themselves. They’ve been inactive for quite a while, so this performance is somewhat of a comeback for them. Anchillys, on the other hand, is more of a newcomer, but their debut album “Elan Vital” received high praise, and they are making strides in the scene. For Aum Zorion and Arising Rebellion, both genuinely from the North Holland region, this performance marked the beginning of hopefully many gigs to come. But more on that later.

When the venue finally opened, albeit with some delay, it was already quite packed. It’s clear that many people came to witness the debut shows of Aum Zorion and Arising Rebellion. Although the audience remained somewhat static, we soon saw some heads nodding in approval. It’s understandable, especially for a debut gig. Besides, a mosh pit during the atmospheric sounds of Aum Zorion would have been less fitting.

Aum Zorion

Aum Zorion kicked off the evening, and for me, it might have been one of the highlights. Post-metal might not be suitable for every type of metalhead, but when you put on such a well-thought-out, good show, you could probably even convince the most stubborn metalhead. The set began with a thundering backing track, which was then expanded upon by the guitars and bass into an epic soundscape. The drums drove the whole thing forward almost trance-like, with accents hitting at just the right moments. The only downside of the show might have been that the bass volume could have been a bit louder. We could see the bassist doing some really cool stuff, but it wasn’t always easy to hear. I’m not always a fan of using backing tracks, but in this case, it definitely added something to the music and the set. The same thundering backing track that opened the set also closed it. And all I could think was… I want to listen to this every day, where’s the CD?

Arising Rebellion

After Aum Zorion, it was time for the debut of Arising Rebellion. This band draws inspiration from, among others, Lamb of God, and they’ve certainly inherited that band’s stage presence. The entire set, although a bit short, was a long lesson in ‘how to headbang on stage while looking good’. This was also a debut show, although you couldn’t tell from their performance. It was incredibly tight and professional, causing many heads in the audience to nod along. The riffs were pounding, the whole thing had a thick groove, and there were plenty of solos for variety. My only feedback would be that the set felt a bit short. But that might say more about the quality of the show the band was putting on.

Anchillys

From newcomers in the scene to a more established name with Anchillys. This band originated from a solo project of drummer Andy Wit, and he still carries the band from behind his drum kit. While all the musicians are super technical, Andy’s joy and ease radiate far beyond his drum set. Personally, I expected a larger crowd for Anchillys. The venue now felt somewhat emptier, and whether that’s due to the timing or the blistering technical death metal this band brings isn’t clear to me. However, the audience didn’t seem to really react to it and remains just as static. Personally, I was a fan of “Elan Vital” on CD, but because the guitars aren’t as clear live as they are on the CD, the live performance was a bit underwhelming for me. Especially with this type of technical music, we need to hear all the parts clearly. It’s not the fault of the band members; they put on a great show.

Funeral Whore

Then, after yet another band and drum kit change, it was time for the final band. Four bands in one evening might be a bit much, especially if you still have to go home afterward. The group of people who stayed for Funeral Whore are the true die-hards. As mentioned earlier, this band has been inactive for a while, partly due to lineup changes. Bassist Maxime is the newest addition, and this was her first performance with the band. She certainly holds her own, both in headbanging performance and bass skills. Furthermore, Funeral Whore is just relentlessly tight and pounding, uncompromising death metal.

All in all, we could return home tired but satisfied. The thunderous sounds of Aum Zorion and the pounding headbang riffs of Arising Rebellion will stay with us for a long time. We’ll listen to the technical prowess of Anchillys and the heavy, uncompromising death metal of Funeral Whore on Spotify.

Upcoming Events

On June 14th, there will be another edition of NH Metalfest at De Flux in Zaandam. This time, it’s a special Heavy edition, featuring Black Night, Jurrasic Park, Lovell’s Blade, and more! More metal in this region? On May 11th, there’s another The Metal Jam Presents live evening planned. Gutslasher, HESKEN, and Black Rabbit will take the stage in Wormerveer.

Aum Zorion has a track available online on their own page, check it out here.