Solarfall Alkmaar 11-11-2017
The annual celebration of metal in the northern part of the Netherlands takes place at a venue in the centre of Alkmaar (30 minutes north of Amsterdam). Spawned in September 2015, the festival doesn’t hold back on bringing the bigger names to Alkmaar. Bands like Emptiness, Thulcandra, Impaled Nazarene, The Great Old Ones and Wiegedood. Those are some bands that you need to see.
This year the line-up contained: Morvigor, Dood, Kjeld, Gnaw Their Tongues, Verwoed and headliner Emptiness. A very good line up in my opinion. Me (Bonno) and Zina drove to Alkmaar and pay this festival a visit.
Upon arrival, the venue had moved from inside of the city to the ‘outskirts’ of the city. The building has an old school Las Vegas style to it and we loved that. After we went in we left out jackets at the wardrobe and we went in.
The first band that was playing was Morvigor. The band had their release show on this festival and they’ve brought quite a few people with them. Since they’re from the same area where Solarfall was being held, a lot of people knew who they were. The band has made a big change since their last record (which was a bit more folkish metal). They gave a good show to the crowd and the crowd certainly enjoyed it. The band has got a lot of potential to be one of the best upcoming bands in The Netherlands. Their latest release is called ‘Tyrant’ and the band is a band you need to see if you have the chance.
Next up was a band where I was looking forward to. After giving their 2015 release ‘Liberating Self-Destruction’ another listen, I was sure they were going to be great to see live. When they were getting on stage, a few things caught my eye. One of the guitarists had a pair on sunglasses on while being on stage, which is a no-go for me except if you are playing on an open-air stage. But then the vocalist came on stage and I didn’t expect him to be a weird gimmick. I was expecting a bit more of a professional band since their music sounds so mature. The vocalist threw some beer into the audience and that really put me off. I managed to put that aside but please don’t wear a mask. Just don’t. But the stage outfits aside, the music was really good and the show was decent. It was great to hear them play the songs I enjoy.
Next up was Kjeld. A well-known Frisian band from the northern part of The Netherlands. Before the show I tried to remember what they sounded like and I did recall is that I really liked them. They came on stage and gave a stellar show. The band gave such a good show but was a little bit bothered by technical problems during their set. I bought one of their cd’s of one of the members side project which I was really searching for. The band played a great straight up black metal set with the corpse painted faces which suited their music very well.
Next up was Gnaw Their Tongues. For me personally, this was the gig I was looking forward to the most. The mastermind Maurice de Jong, travels the world with his beautiful lady to make most horrifying music you can imagine but then 10x scarier. The atmosphere was absolutely mesmerizing and haunting. The two gave a trance-like performance. The audience really didn’t knew what they were in for except for a few people including me and Zina. For us this band thus far was the highlight of the evening.
Next up was Verwoed. With lots of experience gained throughout the years in other bands, Verwoed has got experienced bandmembers. With that in the back of my head I was looking at their performance. They had an amazing performance and Verwoed knew what they were doing. They had this modern day black metal stage performance so no corpse paint or something like that. Just let the music speak for its self and boy it did speak for itself.
The last band was the band where Zina was going for. The Belgian blackened-doom machine Emptiness came to Solarfall to play some nasty tracks. Sadly, the band started 20 minutes later because of bass issues. That is catastrophic for Emptiness because (if you have listened to their 2017 release) you can hear that the songs are very bass driven. The vocalist (who is also the bassist) was really annoyed by this fault. But they gave a good show nonetheless. Sadly, most of the crowd has left because it was 23:00 when the band started their show but the crowd that stayed, was in for a good show. The vocals were on point and sounded almost exactly the same live as on the cd.
The Solarfall festival has been a success for us. The shows were great and the organisation was on point. If the line-up is great next year, I am sure that Dutch Brutal Death Metal Thrash will be there for the second time!
Review done by Bonno Zwaan | Dutch Brutal/Death/Metal/Thrash NL