PARTY SAN WITH PETE WOODS PART 2: THE RETURN OF THE CROWN AND AUTOPSY

By on 19 August 2010

PARTY SAN OPEN AIR FESTIVAL
BAD BERKA – GERMANY

DAY 2

There is more home grown talent opening up today’s Party San in the form of Onheil. This has a blackened, thrash-laden tinge and their selling point seems to be having no less than three guitarists shredding away. Introducing a song about the rain was frankly asking for trouble though and hardly enamoured us all, as it had for the moment let up. ‘Final Redemption’ is all proficient enough and clearly of the Dissection mould and ‘As Hope Dies’ is another workmanlike cut off recent album ‘Razor.’ A solid 12 hours of music has officially begun.

You’ve got to be kidding? Terrorizer creams itself at the prospect of Milking The Goatmachine for every bad pun it can. These grinders do an admirable job of that themselves complete with goat masks and an attacking wolf with water pistol and inflatable baseball bat causing chaos on stage. Their goat-grind may well not have stood the test without a novelty but it does get them out the pen and puts them in a field of their own. Throwing in a burst of Heidi into ‘Sour Milk Boogie’ raises a few wry smiles but bleating hell whatever drugs were the masked players on when they went and formed this particular band?

Lividity can only be serious after this right? Well yes if you have a stomach for idiotically over the top song titles and speeches about how every bloke must love nothing more than a tight pussy squatting over their face. It’s rather immature gore-grind and a rather static and immature display complete with gargled out sewer siphoned vocals and constant battering drums. ‘Sword Of Sodomy’ and ‘Cadaver Dogs’ get a quick fire dismemberment from recent album ‘To Desecrate And Defile’ ‘Engorged With Blood (To Fill You With My Semen)’ frankly has us gagging on our beer and spewing creamy head at the ridiculousness of it all. Next please!

Suicidal Angels may well thrash by numbers but they do it with exuberance and panache so you can’t help but enjoy their display. A song from a yet to be released album gets an airing and it already sounds over familiar despite the fact that we are hearing it for the first time. The Greek band are playing Germanic sounding stuff in the country of its innovators though and both sides are happy playing the game, with the Germans lapping it up and the group lashing it out, so it’s party atmosphere all round here then.

It may well be a slightly slimmed down Origin with new singer Mica “Maniac” Meneke but if you are expecting anything less brutal, think the fuck again. It’s intense even for anyone still desperately clinging to sleep in tents and the machinelike rapid fire delivery of ‘Wrath Of Vishnu’ is the stuff of complete and utter annihilation. It’s weird focussing on a singer who is both thin and hirsute, the complete (ahem) antithesis of his predecessor and bassist Mike Flores is as ever a blur of dizzying motion. This is kind of like being under constant bombardment for 45 minutes and when it finishes people look shell-shocked, what a way to go!

You cannot fault a good intro tape and Demonical salute this country with the theme from its greatest gore film Nekromantik. They seem pumped to be here too posing for the cameras and swaggering around the stage as they plough away at their impressive brand of ‘Death Metal Darkness.’ Frankly after so much from the States it’s a nice change of tempo getting something from Sweden, as let’s face it they sure as hell know just how to pull things off in style. ‘Unholy Desecration’ has heads banging away and just in front of us there’s a toddler perched on his dad’s shoulders keeping time with Ronnie Bergerståhl’s drumming, ahh! Apparently Sverker “Widda” Widgren’s informs that this is going to be the bands last show in quite some while. He doesn’t elaborate as to why and it’s quite a shame as this has left us hungry for more.

If you are looking for a wildly diverse set from the yet again back from the grave The Crown you are going to be out of luck Having just found their set-list neatly written out in the back area hall we wonder if they are actually going to remember what they have to play themselves, as it is so damn samey is it likely to matter anyway. A bespectacled Jonas Stålhammar looks like he has just been teaching school but the rest of the group are busy posing it up and cutting moves along to ‘Doomsday King’ which is a solid sounding cut from forthcoming album of that very name. It’s all a bit ‘meat and potatoes’ for my taste buds but plenty seem to be enjoying it, there’s a bloke in a thong in the pit and lots of people lighting sparklers, how surreal.

A couple of hours late to the party sees Swedish BM band Ofermod being frankly rather strange. Two band members spend a long amount of their set-time literally at the pulpit sounding like they are attempting to invoke Set! When the music starts somewhat dully it’s almost an anti-climax but thankfully the sound clears and that sinister chaotic Norma Evangelium sound does chaotically begin to impress. Thorn laden guitars and a gravid, howling and cloaked singer ritualistically paint a ghastly picture seeping from within a sea of dry ice. It’s all interesting but again with the light of day still present and some obvious technical issues not wholly successful. Culminating with an obvious cheesy plastic skull on a pole being grasped and yet more droning and tolling of bells this was not quite the exercise in chilling violence we really wanted.

The rain is now sheeting down again although pillars of flame from the front of the stage are drying us off and nothing can dampen enthusiasm for Asphyx. The Dutch masters are on top form here and the front trio keep getting together for a veritable group guitar and bass hug wowing the audience who have realised that there is a huge spark coming in the way of this particular performance. New bassist Alwin Zuur seems like he has gelled in very quickly considering the boots he had to fill and Martin Van Drunen is his distinct and enigmatic self as the band tear into ‘Death The Brutal Way,’ ‘M.S. Bismark’ and a load of classics taking us from the rack and back. Looking back on it all, this proved one of the best sets of the festival without a shadow of a doubt.

Time for the lesser spotted Nocturno Culto. Yes we all know he is no great fan of performing live having already witnessed him with Satyricon a few years back. He does little to really change our minds with Sarke tonight either, pacing around the stage like a caged tiger, swigging from a can of beer and mumbling the song titles from their album ‘Vorunah.’ Organ and piano parts are all sampled from a laptop but at least the live session musicians attempt some semblance of dynamism. In all it’s really a sarcastic show, one that finishes after about 37 minutes which is as it happens the length of the album. It doesn’t stop shout outs of ‘Darkthrone’ from a vexed audience but it’s fair to say there was little chance of that happening as Ted had scurried as soon as he could.

Unless you went to Maryland Deathfest this was the first time you will have had a chance to catch Autopsy in 20 years! Needless to say the festival is at its busiest as is the photo pit. We were not seeing much however through a dry ice overload and with singer / drummer Chris Reifert right at the back it was all a bit frustrating. Still the music makes up for this and the band take us on a tour through their classic years with cuts from each of their albums. ‘Disembowel’ and ‘Ruined With Disease’ are up and running straight off the slab. Sounding nice and meaty, these are plague ridden, punked up, puked up, fetid hits of the past which go down a storm. Sticking with Severed Survival by ‘Gasping For Air’ it was apparent that the band are hitting their groove and enjoying every second of it, hell it had even stopped raining. Dan Lilker is very much the centre of the stage and is the perfect hired hand for bass duties. The ‘big jobs’ were next from Shitfun an album described as fucked up shit coming from fucked up people. Playing for well past any allotted set time and keeping us on toes with material right up to a new number from ‘The Tomb Within’ it seems as though this was a band very much glad to be back after all this time. Next appearance will be at Hole In The Sky on august 28th, after that fingers crossed we will keep you notified!

Pete Woods

About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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