23 July 2024

09-06-2024 Into The Grave

Location: Leeuwarden (Netherlands)

The last day of Into The Grave promised to be a bit more dry. And with a bunch of names on the poster that could set things in motion it would not be hard to stay warm all day.


Devastator is a band we have seen before and aways set things in motion. Even here on the early hours of Into The Grave the guys succeed with that. Their Thrash is from that old school side and only a few months ago they came with their second full length album called “Conjurers of Cruelty”. The main focus of their set was around this album and it seems in good line with what we heard from them before. Some nice décor on the stage helps setting the atmosphere right and thus they got a good response here today. A good opener of the day.


DVNE was ready to open the small stage and they make a rather different sound. More focused on the Progressive Rock sound they are giving us a calm opening but have the complexity of their sound come in faster than expected. With these Scotts you want to keep the focus on what they are doing, for the details matter a lot. They are a great part of the DVNE experience and so it is no surprise to see people listening intensely rather than responding to it wildly. The track “Abode of the Perfect Soul” stood out most to us for it has quite everything the band offers together in one track. From enchanting moments towards a darker vehement side, it summarizes their set well.


Avatarium was next on the mainstage and on forehand we were not too sure on what to expect from this formation. We crossed paths before, but never stood around long enough to see the whole thing so that would be a first today. Now their Doom-ish sound is one that leans more to a psychedelic sound. Jess & The Ancient Ones, but then a lighter version of that for vocalist Jennie-Ann Smith simply has a warmer voice. The last album these Swedes brought to the market was from 2022. “Death, Where Is Your Sting” has yet to be preceded. Their show was one that builds up to a climax, so the people who came to see them had to be a bit patient. Eventually they get there and then you see the audience being more engaged. A nice act, that did a good show here today but most likely would be even cooler to see in an intimate setting in the dark.

The Callous Daoboys

Up next we would be seeing something silly, The Callous Daoboys are not taking themselves too seriously. But what speaks for them is that they have a somewhat organized form of chaos. All members do their own thing, at their own moments but in the end, it does get together nicely. And if you got cold by the drop of temperature this was the moment things would heat up again. Violin, colorful outfits and a lot of dancing was going on, so they certainly were entertaining to watch, but the majority of the people chose to participate with that. Now their mathcore also has some substance to it so they get some extra points for their performance.


Thrash it is once again and this time it is the American formation Whiplash that hits the mainstage. The band has been around for quite some years, four decades to be exact. Sure, they were not all active years but it is good to see there is still some action going on from them. No recent releases though, the last one is fifteen years old by now. The first couple of tracks are however from their even older release “Ticket To Mayhem”. Seemingly getting the attention of their audience they are becoming a bit more active in their performance. Moshing is going on, some crowdsurfing. People are enjoying these old tracks very well. Now good to be able to see it again, for you don’t know when they’ll be ending things again.


Nice to see again the guys from Endseeker on our festival summer. The German Death formation is currently on the road with their release “Global Worming” from 2023 on hands to promote so it is no surprise to see them having some tracks of this release on their setlist. But the band also plays some material from the other albums, so the longtime fans of this formation are enjoying these as well. What is interesting to see is that their performance is maybe not the wildest around, the response is not any less of it. People are clearly having a good time with and that is nice to see. A good riff is on the basis of their sound in almost all tracks and that is lifting up the whole. A good combination that works every single time.

Nanowar of Steel

Now next is Nanowar of Steel. Yes, one of those bands you either love or hate. Bringing theatre is something you can expect and perhaps you should not take it all too seriously. And if you were not aware of that yet, the talking anus on their intro might be a good hint towards that. Taking some inspiration from other formations the band builds their set on ridiculing themselves and having fun. People who stick around get to do a ‘polonaise’ some singing along, jumping around and god knows what else. Others, choose to go to eat at this time as this formation was tactfully placed around dinner time. Now, those who decided to go for a bite had a good time for the majority stuck around for the band, and thus there were no queues whatsoever.


Back into serious business with the British Conjurer. The band makes a combination of Death, Doom, Sludge and other elements making it thick and heavy as hell. The band does not stick too much in one direction of their sound, they simply go wherever they want to go at the moment and that brings a deep level of chaos within that they always manage to bring together well in a set. Looking forward to see how they would do this here at Into The Grave we made sure to be on time and ready for this, where they have transferred the happiness of the previous act into your worst nightmare brought our alive. A present bass leads their sound into the different versions of their music, having the rest of the band follow that heaviness. Maybe a big changeover but it does not take long for the audience to find ground with it. Conjurer knows what to do and does it with style.


Brutus is ready to play at the mainstage and you could say they have a quite minimalistic approach. The Belgian formation has an interesting setup, drummer and vocalist Stefanie being positioned up front and sideways to the audience so one could observe her magnificent skills a bit better. There are not that many people who are able to play drums and sing at the same time and also do it well, but she is definitely one of them who can. The other two members are being modestly placed a bit further to the back where they provide a good backing for the sound. But Stefanie also does not have a very standard voice. A raw and unique sound surely lays something extra over it and thus it is not a surprise that this band will be seen as one of the highlights of the day by many visitors. Well done!


Another band with masks on the stage today and this time we are going to see some Psy-Core. Coming from Czech Republic the guys from Dymytry have been growing their fanbase for many years already and with 7 albums on their discography they have quite something to choose from. Now we must say, from the masked bands they were surely the one that stood out to us. Musically they have a good feeling for what works, smartly composed songs bring a good dose of vehemence but the catchiness of it is not forgotten. And does it have its effect? Hell yeah! The audience is going wild for it, perhaps even more than for example Slaughter To Prevail the day before. Seems like these guys take their songs simply a step further by bringing in these small details to make it more unique. One of our favorites of the day.

Paradise Lost

Closing the whole festival is Paradise Lost. Now the band has been playing this festival before and vocalist Nick Holmes remarks that he wonders whether the leaning tower of Oldenhoofsterkerkhof that he can see from the stage is going to fall over as it leans more than the previous time. The band seems to be in great mood today and has a great set piled up for the audience. Crowd favorites as “ One Second” or “ As I Die” come by but it is nice to hear “ Gothic” from their 1991 album with the same name coming by. Also doing well with the audience is the Bronski Beat cover “Smalltown Boy”. Now with the amount of shows that Paradise Lost has done in their career you know you have some professionals in front of you, but to keep playing the whole as passionately as they did here today is a second. Closing the set with an encore is giving the audience just a couple more tracks to enjoy and then it is really over.

As the festival announced, next year there will be a new edition of Into The Grave, in the vicinity of this location. Within 300 meter range they said. So you can be assured of another heavy Leeuwarden weekend if you buy your tickets for next year now, before the early birds are all gone.


Into The Grave website