Farewell show of GOD DETHRONED (15/10/2011 – Ypres, Belgium)

Sunday, November 13, 2011 : 1 Comment

The 15th October 2011 is an important date in the history of the Dutch Death Metal band GOD DETHRONED. For on that day the band played its last ever concert on Belgian soil. Battlefield: Ypres, also due to their album “Passiondale” from 2009. The album is a concept one about the Battle of Passchendaele (1917) around the city of the same name in World War I. And that’s of course in the region of Ypres.

After 9 albums (incl. “Under the Sign of the Iron Cross” from 2010) and 20 years of Metal, including many gigs and tours, the Dutch band calls it quits this year. Mainman and vocalist/guitarist Henri Sattler found the time right to focus on other endeavours. GOD DETHRONED’s final show on solid ground will be in December (Eindhoven Metal Meeting), while the very last performance will be on the cruise ship for the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise in January 2012.

But GOD DETHRONED wasn’t there alone, as there were 4 more bands (all from Belgium) to prepare the audience and show their support for this veteran band. Those bands were CORPSE MUTILATION, HERFST, THE RECKONING and THURISAZ.

The schedule:
– 17h30: doors
– 18h00: CORPSE MUTILATION
– 19h00: HERFST
– 20h10: THE RECKONING
– 21h20: THURISAZ
– 22h30: GOD DETHRONED

 

CORPSE MUTILATION was the opening band. They’re a young quarted from Ypres and play Death Metal. The lads are currently working on their first release. The band’s vocalist showed that, despite his figure, all you need is the right throat for deep growling. You could compare the band’s tunes with those of DYING FETUS, VADER, DEICIDE and similar. Lots of violent and destructive stuff. These guys sure were ready to show their potential. I do have to admit I was amazed by the drummer, who has looked very closely at how George Kollias (NILE) swirls around his kit. Very agile moving, to say the least. Furthermore, the kicks were triggered and on some occasions it was too much. Although the crowd liked the performance, the applause could have been better, in my humble opinion.  CORPSE MUTILATION’s material is each time about 3 minutes long. Not that longer songs mean better songs, but it limits the band in terms of e.g. variation. In addition, the blasting is good, but overdone. As good as the songs in general are, I personally think the band would benefit from having a second guitarist, especially for the gigs.

Setlist:
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Pictures can be seen at this location.

 

Next band to hit the stage was the Blackened Death Metal formation HERFST (AUTUMN in English). The band was founded in 2003, has over the years undergone several line-up changes. It wasn’t until 2010 that the debut album came out: “Necrotica”. Prior to this a demo was put out in 2003 and an EP in 2005 (“Life’s Enddesign”). And before their gig in Ypres, HERFST had again changed their line-up.  Matthieu Van den Brande (ex-POSEYDON) replaced Dietwin Elbers on vocals. If I’m correct, this was the second gig with Matthieu on vocals.

I can keep it short, since I’m not that familiar with the band’s music. The music was of course Blackened Death Metal, though the Death Metal influences prevailed. Orchestral arrangements completed the picture and created the right setting and atmosphere. Mainly the intro and interludes served for that purpose. The Metal itself was played tight and the vocal performance was, in my opinion, also very good. Growls, screams, and even clean singing were executed well enough. All in all, surprise of the evening!

Setlist:
Intro
Nemesis Dominatrix
Scarlet Necromance
Needle Vortex
An Interest In Distress
She Wore Death As A Shroud
The Vulture Feast

Pictures can be seen at this location.

 

The Black/Death Metal band from Antwerp, THE RECKONING, was next. They’ve been around for ages, so to speak, yet I have to admit never having heard of them. So this gig was an excellent opportunity to see one Belgium’s veteran bands. THE RECKONING was founded in 1993, then known as INFERNAL LEGION (changed name in 2005). In terms of releases, the band has so far put out some demos, EPs and one full-length in 2001. All this under the name INFERNAL LEGION. Under THE RECKONING the guys have made two full-lengths so far: “Deathlike Millennia” (2006) and “Counterblast” (2008). The latter was recorded at Poland’s Hertz Studio, where bands like DECAPITATED, VADER and HATE spent some time for their albums.

And it’s obvious they know their craft well. Tight performance, though there were moments that the drums were just a liiitle too slow compared to the guitars. Peter’s vocals are not your typical growling, rather hoarse screams. Add the destructive wall of Death Metal and you could set the band together with e.g. BOLT THROWER or VADER. Blastbeats were of course well executed, but THE RECKONING also has material more regular drumming is done, which in turn adds to the variety. THE RECKONING left a positive impression, without question.

Regarding the songs they played, I didn’t see any playlist, so I can’t tell…

Setlist:
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Pictures can be seen at this location.

 

Last but not least, in terms of support bands, the Death/Doom or Avantgarde Doom Metal band THURISAZ occupied the stage. It was clear that the audience held the guys in high regard, for they are popular. The band was originally known as MODILIUM, but changed its name 3 years later to THURISAZ. After one demo, three full-lengths were pumped out: “Scent Of A Dream” (2004), “Circadian Rhythm” (2007) and more recently “The Cimmerian Years” (2011). THURISAZ has already shared the stage with several acts, including NOVEMBERS DOOM and SATURNUS, two big Doom Metal formations.

This was the second time I saw this band perform live. The first was a few years ago, when they had just released “Circadian Rhythm”. Back then I was surprised at how well they played, how well each played his part. Also, the songs may be quite technical, they sound good on CD as well as on stage. THURISAZ plays with a lot of confidence and concentration. New songs were obviously played, but also e.g. “Hunger”, “My Precious” and “Point Of No Return”. The crowd sang along whenever possible. I reckon this band was the favourite of the evening, although the Dutch from GOD DETHRONED were the ones for whom the fans had come. The vocal performance (cleans, growls and screams) were very well executed and the band’s keyboardist helped with the cleans. The music itself was like one big massive soundstorm that resonated through your entire body. Maybe the volume was a bit too high at times. In any case, THURISAZ delivers, no matter the gig.

Setlist:
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Pictures can be seen at this location.

 

And then, the stars of the evening, the band in the spotlights, the guys for whom everyone (or most of them) had come: GOD DETHRONED. I never felt connected to this band, or better, their music. I have heard some songs here and there, but to be honest, I never felt the urge to expand my collection. Mind you, I’m not doubting GOD DETHRONED’s skills and song material. Not at all, these guys have made solid Death Metal over the years. And they showed it at their last gig on Belgian soil. The music was relentless and destructive. But the addition of melody and variation made it very worthwhile and entertaining.

The sound was very good, the performance very tight. Of course they are experienced and they played like it was nothing. I did notice that, for example, the bass player really threw himself at it, also encouraging the crowd to cheer along. The drummer was simply outstanding. Almost the entire gig I was left speechless… and jealous. Vocalist/guitarist Henri had a small talk about the band’s former guitarist, Isaac Delahaye (now in EPICA). Isaac apparently wrote a song several years ago, but the band never played it live. So, as a dedication to Isaac’s work, “Typhoid Mary” was played for the first time. Also, why they never played it, most likely had to do with the fact that it was quite different from GOD DETHRONED’s standard work.

This was my second GOD DETHRONED gig, the first being in 2005 when they played in Gavere (Belgium) with OCEANS OF SADNESS (BEL) and BOLT THROWER (UK). Already then I found the band a solid formation with good songs. For their last gig, the Dutch made a great performance, added some funny moments and played an, in general, very good setlist. Maybe I should add one or more albums after all. 😉

For the fans, it’s sad to see the band close its books. On the other hand, GOD DETHRONED calls it quits at a height, and that’s also something to consider. I had a great time, so did the present crowd and I think the band also had its large share of fun.

Setlist:
Under A Darkening Sky
No Man’s Land
The Warcult
Nihilism
Boiling Blood
Serpent King
Typhoid Mary
Soul Sweeper
Soul Capture 1562
Poison Fog
Storm Of Steel
Chaos Reigns At Dawn
God Dethroned
The Grand Grimoire
Villa Vampiria
Under The Sign Of The Iron Cross
Sigma Enigma (bonus)

Pictures can be seen at this location.

 

Long story short, kudos to the people from Metal Mission for organising this event, for getting GOD DETHRONED to play their last Belgian gig in Ypres. Kudos also to the support acts, who showed they were worthy of their place and it was great overall to not only see veteran bands, but also (relatively) new ones provide us all with a splendid evening of extreme Metal. Hail to all!

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One Comment

  1. […] Melodic Death/Black Metal band, formed in – and here I copy-paste from the gig report (see here) when the band supported GOD DETHRONED in October 2011 – 2003, has over the years undergone […]

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