23 July 2024

07-06-2024 Into The Grave

Location: Leeuwarden (Netherlands)

Another edition of Into The Grave was about to start and when walking onto the festival area we think back to that first edition in 2011 where we ended up being soaked by rain during headliner Devin Townsend. The festival has grown a lot through the years, has now two stages for some years already but never strayed away from the cozy atmosphere that the citycenter of Leeuwarden offers.

Arion

This editions opens with the Finnish band Arion and the dedicated Tempelores reader has seen that name before for we have reviewed them several times. For example, their Tuska shows (2014, 2018, 2019) remained in our memory strongly so we had something to expect here today. The Symphonic Power Metal is what they made and although their latest album dates back to 2021, some new recent singles indicate there is something new to expect from them shortly. And opening a festival is not always an easy task, for you need to energize the early birds but the enthusiasm of the guys seems up to par. Their show was entertaining to watch and shows us they have grown a lot through the years, making this a band you might want to check out once that album hits the stores.

Nephylim

On the second, smaller, stage there was a Dutch formation honored to open. Nephylim makes Melodic Death and have been active since 2015. Now their debut is from 2020 and we can not tell you the status of anything coming, but it surely looks like the band had enough to fill their set with. A good amount of people came to see them and while the sun was peaking through the clouds the guys had not much effort to set things in motion here. A well decorated stage helps with the atmosphere and the guys are active on the stage making it a good opener here.

Vio-lence

Vio-Lence is ready to bring some Thrash to Leeuwarden. With almost four decades of existence on the counter the band has quite some years you would say. However, not all of these years were active and releases are not too many in their discography. But when they returned to scene once more some years ago they even made a new EP. So today they had that and their three past releases on hands to draw their set from. Their stage presence demands the attention of the listener and while at first we were wondering whether these guys would be able to keep the energy up they show that they have no problems with that whatsoever. You can hear in thewir set they took some oldies and that these are songs quite strong, whereas the newer material appears to be a bit less impressive to us. Luckily the guys brought us enough to enjoy.

Vengeance

Now also in The Netherlands we have a comeback kid on the lineup and they go by the name Vengeance. Active since 1983, with some breaks, and still rocking it anno 2024. Now, sure the guys are playing Heavy Metal, so not in class with Vio-lence but surely as entertaining. We already saw a bit of this at the Achterhoeks Metalfest where they were headlining.
The band had a bunch of people along that seem to know their songs well and while these guys are active on stage, making it look like they have attention for each individual it is addressed.
The guys know exactly how to built their set energy wise so it is no surprise that they keep it all going throughout. The younger generation at Into The Grave seems less amused though. Vengeance is a band with a reputation of living their music and with what we saw today we can totally believe that.

Fleshgod Apocalypse

Time for the Italian Fleshgod Apocalypse to play at the main stage. The band has become quite successful through the years, wherever you go you will always find someone with a shirt of them it seems. They are set to release their sixth album called “Opera” in August so it is nice to get already a sneak preview to that. Songs like “Pendulum” were played but also their older material got by. The magic between vocalists Francesco Paoli and Veronica is entertaining to watch. They know exactly how to balance each other and with some piano on stage the show is simply something you can watch no matter if you like their sound. A theatrical show that never feels too much,for the music has enough substance to make the theater leverage instead of the main thing. Probably one of the best sets of the day!

Crypta

We saw Crypta earlier this year at Inferno festival where they were a tad bit different musically than the majority of the bands. Here at Into The Grave they are more at home and so they brought their knives and axes along to bring some Death Metal to the audience. Sure, the ladies have the undisturbed attention of the gentlemen on the front row no matter what, but with a good dose of power they also have no issues convincing your reporter. The “Shades of Sorrow” album that they released last year surely hits well here today and we like that they get a good response here today. A full crowd is enjoying this band so it seems like a good match.

Orden Ogan

Orden Ogan was welcomed back to the festival this year, and they were in great hight with it, or at least their drummer was, making it obvious being high on a riser. Album number nine will be released in about a month from now and the name is “The Order of Fear”. The band starts their performance with some masked theatrical figure on the stage. Having their songs going from rather fast towards a slower track to mix things up, the band has a varied set, Power Metal brought with a theme, but with the focus on the music so to say. What jumps out most to me is the way the vocals are blended in with their sound. Not too much spotlight but in perfect balance with the rest. A nice performance from these guys.

Mars Red Sky

Closing the smallest stage is the French formation Mars Red Sky. They have a psychedelic/Stoner sound and have five albums released, the last one from a year ago. In their intro it was mentioned a good opportunity to smoke some weed and it seems many people followed that advice. With an intriguing sound scape to go with that the last moments of the day are lived in peace here. From vibrant energy to slower parts where the details matter severely, the band takes you by the hand and guides you through the set. If the smell wasn’t too much for you, which was the case for us. Taking some steps backwards, seeing it at a distance the whole does not come alive as strongly as when being up front. One to experience from near, where you can get soaked into it so to say.

Fear Factory

Headlining this day was Fear Factor. The Industrial giants have been around since early 90’s and have gone through different era’s sound wise. During their set they even comment on that. But starting the set with tracks like “Shock” and “Edgecrusher” they immediately set the heaviness into it. Then going more towards the later material the band shows that despite it being a bit of a different sound they can still make it fit together on one set list well. Performance wise the band is not the wildest, they have not a lot of extra going on but rather keep the focus on the music and the words brought with it. Towards the end of the set the band dives back in time by playing “New Breed” which comes from their 1995 release”Demanufacture”.
Fear Factory is perhaps a band that you should know a bit when seeing it live. Feeling the passion in each word makes it much more heavy than seeing it when not having heard the songs too much. Take time to look into it, we think it is worth it!

Links:

Into The Grave website