23 July 2024

08-06-2024 Into The Grave

Location: Leeuwarden (Netherlands)

The Saturday of Into The Grave was a bit of a dreary one. A bit of rain and a cold wind made the day a bit darker, but darkness is upon us. With a steady line up it would be a good day to enjoy some metal.

Ter Ziele

And starting off would be Ter Ziele. Now, these Dutchies have made name with their Blackened Doom and so it comes at no surprise that they drew in quite some early birds. A heavy and dark start of the day was awaiting us and it starts as usual with them facing each other, not the crowd. The music quickly transfers into a raging madness where the vocals are prominent but would not hit ground without the strong backing from the band. A good showcase of teamwork where the powerful tunes are the satisfying result. The band will have to do without their vocalist, this show as well as the afterparty show they will do later this day forms the last performance of this team as it is now. We are confident to see them finding a new team member to fill the void.

Hammok

The Norwegian Hammok plays on the main stage, and they bring us conflicting feelings. The first look of them at the stage makes you think these guys are just jolly fellows having some fun, but their Hardcore appears to be dead serious. Some interesting influences are on the basis of their sound. Punk you could see as an obvious one, but when some synths are in the back the guys are bringing confusion to the audience. Now, they started their set with only the front row filled with people. A lot of people seemed to have stuck around with Ter Ziele a bit longer, but towards the end of their set they have a decently filled field in front of them, where the curious souls have gathered to see this strange Norwegian Hardcore experiment come alive.

Lokust

Lokust was up next on the smaller stage. The band was formed in 2017 to create a mix of Death and Thrash. Last year the band came with their debut album called “ Infidel” which led the guys to tour around and play here at Into The Grave. The album seems to have made an impression as we spotted the guys attracted some people who are well aware of their music. The front row is enthusiastic, and some movement starts to happen within the audience. For the newer listeners it is clear that the guys have an interesting view on how to bring their compositions, surprising us here and there by straying away from the obvious paths making this band a good one to observe on the early afternoon.

Nervosa

The Brazilian ladies of Nervosa has made themselves known in the past years. They were everywhere touring the smaller and bigger venues and festivals so for many of the visitors it would not be the first time to see them play. In the Corona years the band have changed line-up so maybe not everyone knew these faces just yet, but the Thrash these women bring in is sharp and vicious. The last album they made came out a year ago, going by the title of “Jailbreak”. It proves to be one that people like a lot and thus brings enthusiasm on the stage. Nervosa brings their music exactly how they want it, not compromising with anything that should be considered standard, but not persistently straying away too far from the familiar Death/Thrash that people like to hear. Effortless blending of their input with a confidential sound makes Nervosa successful here today.

Svalbard

Maybe the surprise of the day was provided by Svalbard. This band from Bristol, UK has been around since 2010 and makes a combination of Black Metal and Post Rock. The formation released their latest album about a year ago, under the name “The Weight Of The Mask”. Here today they stand out with the interaction the band has with each other. It looks like they can guide each other flawlessly in the soundscape of darkness, taking a riff to the spotlight and some great vocals to follow that up. A perfectly balanced sound so it seems. These vocals are raw and edgy as it is but have also the heaviness to fit with the rest of the sound without feeling short of any strength. The audience is all up for it, the band gets people in motion and brings the atmosphere across very well. Surely one of the highlights of the day!

Our Hollow , Our Home

Up next is the band Our Hollow, Our Home. The Metalcore fans are thriving well with it, but are not in the greatest number so it seems. The UK formation has an interesting discography, but a little over a year ago 4 out of five members left the band. So, we are basically watching a new band here today, which is marketed as the new era of the band. By now they are having a year of playing together on the books and you can see that the guys are working well here today. Yet, it seems that it costs them some effort to convince people here today. It simply does not stand out much compared to other acts on the bill here today, which would be our reason at least. A pity, but not the highlight of the day.

Sanguisugabogg

Even the presenter of the day does not dare to say the name of the next band for Sanguisugabogg is quite a mouth full to pronounce. Who would choose something like that for your name you would think, for marketing is a thing to consider, but perhaps that was not much on the mind of these gentlemen. They simply want to present some Death Metal and preferably with some brutality on the base of it. Something they succeed in with grand style, the band has no problems to lay exactly that out over the Into The Grave field here today. Their last album dates back some years but perhaps they are on the roll for something new to present. Seeing the response of the audience here today, that would be something highly welcomed.

Halocene

Presented to us as THE internet sensation of the moment we would go and see Halocene. They seem to be quite present on the socials and have built a dedicated fanbase. Must be said, that with this knowledge we found the response here today a bit tame. We would have expected a wilder following here. But, the band has some good idea of how to built a show. Some visual aspects, movements that look almost choreographed… it is well thought. Musically we hear a good voice, a good backing but for our taste a bit too many covers. They mention themselves to be Metal-light which may not be the best straight after the brutal Death from before and the Metalcore on this stage. Hearing yet another cover coming by after we heard to obvious ones (Linkin Park, Evanescence) we are done. Their ‘original’ songs, in songwriting, are not reaching the level of the songs they cover, so the whole set appears unsteady. Yet, we get why they are popular. Good skills lay in the basis so with more time to develop their own material this could be quite something.

Bütcher

Time to see Bütcher, a band with more than two decades of existence on the counter yet only two full lengths under their belt. High tempo and Black Metal can work together well as they show us here today. A sense of dark humor always go well at this small stage of Into The Grave and thus we are not surprised to see that these guys draw in quite a crowd. Some moshing is taking place and the guys are all up for bringing some heavier atmosphere back to the festival. The Belgians have an easy job here today it seems.

Crystal Lake

Back to Metalcore. This time it is the Japanese Crystal Lake which comes to bring us their Tokyo version of Metalcore. Now, this is how it is done we would say but with over twenty years of existence that is expectable. Sure, it has been a while since the guys came with some new material, their latest album got released in 2018, but with five albums out the guys have enough material to choose from today. Tracks like “SIX FEET UNDER” or “ Machina” are doing quite well here today, but also some newer material got played which promises a lot of good for a future release. The band stays much in line with what you know from them but seem to intensify their sound even more. Crystal Lake has their fanbase around here today and they seemed quite please with this set.

Brujeria

From Japan we go to Mexico, where Brujeria is from. And in case you were not aware of that, the guys make sure it can’t be missed by bringing their flags along, not only literally but also in a more subtle way. For example the lightning comes in the Mexican colors and of course they are expressing it in various other ways as well. Their Spanish songs are a form of satire, but not without any sense of urge to it. Their brutal way of telling their stories makes this band successful. A full stage, for the band is one with seven members, making it appear that they could easily have played the mainstage here today and have an equally atmospherical performance. Now, it is safe to say the band was successful here today, the field has not been fuller today than at their show. Always a pleasure, these guys.

Ne Obliviscaris

Australian formation Ne Obliviscaris has been successful with their previous European tours, but as it often is with bands from this continent; you don’t get to see them very often. We are lucky to have them on the festival here today to bring some progressive sound to Leeuwarden. With the violin being a key part of their sound and also in the front of the stage they surely draw attention for that is not too often seen here. But despite it being a key element the band knows where to lay the balance, to not have it take over too much and loose touch with their vehement side. The two vocalists are creating an interesting play field where at one point you can enjoy the raw side alone and another moment you are experiencing a softer edge to it. Glad they came around again; it was a pleasant performance.

Hellripper

Hellripper would be closing the smallest stage here today and this is a name you cannot have missed lately for it appeared at so many posters this year it becomes a custom. Now not a bad thing we would say for the sound of Hellripper brings some good Black combined with Speed and Thrash. Officially a one-man project but live with some members along we get to see some songs focused on all that is evil. It is clear that these tracks have been heard by the audience before as they are vigorously headbanging and moshing along to it. In the sense of originality, we may be a bit disappointed. The sound we hear is not surprising us much, a quite straightforward sound. But what helps is that it is performed with class so the whole becomes a pleasant closure of this stage.

Slaughter To Prevail

The headliner of the day is Slaughter To Prevail. Deathcore. Yes, that is the genre that has all these memes going around. The band got a lot of success with the younger generation but today they are faced with a quite mixed crowd, so it was perhaps a bit harder for them to convince the audience. Songs like “Baba Yaga” which is probably one of their most successful tracks are played right at the beginning of their set, which aids this purpose quite a bit. Some crowd surfing takes place, and the masked giants are going through the songs without effort. Where at first it was mainly the younger generation which seem to appeal to their sound, by the end it is clear that they found more fans amongst the rest of the audience as well, seemingly doing good business here today. Maybe it wasn’t their easiest job to headline for this audience, but the task was well done.

Links:

Into The Grave website