Do you know what the model of an ideal society is? I’m dare to consider Brutal Assault as an example of an ideal society because in spite of various musical genres, people don’t blame on each other like “oh you kind of shit, you are going to the performance of band I do not like/respect so you are poser” and etc. Thousands of people are just enjoy life with different music, beers, coffee, tea and wine; everybody relaxed and happy, with no those common disputes about “who is true and who is shit”. That’s how I see this; thus if you never visited Brutal Assault festival before – you should do it next year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the festival with thousands of metalheads from all over the world!
Okay, let’s go with the 24th edition of Brutal Assault (completely sold out, by the way). First of all, Brutal Assault is one of the important events of the year for all metalheads. People are waiting for the start of tickets and accommodation sales, booking their flights and preparing their livers, haha!
Before I’ll write about musical part, I would like to write something like “what do people say”; and people say next things:
1) Not enough of showers at the VIP camp area: people spent a lot of time in lines and forced to miss some bands that played before noon
2) Tribunes above sound-engineers: this new thing made some visitors angry because those tribunes are blocked the view for two main stages and people were unable to enjoy the festival if they were in the line behind of sound engineers
3) The sound on the Sea Shepherd stage was good enough on last day only
That’s all about negative things heard from visitors, so mainly positive feedbacks and happy visitors.
One more negative thing everybody hated was the rain: not so brutal weather like it was two years ago but rain is rain, it’s walking with mud, hot rain-covers, etc. Still we can’t do anything with the weather, right? We can stay under rain or hide in some pub, drink beer or wine and enjoy by gig via installed TV’s (not so good, isn’t it?) or watch some horror movie, while strongest metalheads are enjoying by bands on the main stages.
Due to some time limits we have missed Day 0 and arrived to the festival on August 7th. We spent a lot of time to get bracelets, to solve the trouble with “natural stand” activation etc., and finally entered the festival area somewhere at the mid of Voivod’s performance. Voivod is Voivod, legendary band played awesome set with various songs and finished with the “Voivod”, of course. I do not want to write complete festival line-up (I’ll add it in the end of article) but I’ll write about my personal highlights from this year’s edition. Besides Voivod, my personal top bands of the first day are: Therion – that was just amazing performance, so favorite songs and top professional show. Hypocrisy – I think almost all the fans couldn’t wait until musicians will start to destroy the stage and Hypocrisy did all their best with classic songs and high power! Incantation – I’ve seen them second time on Brutal Assault (first time was two years ago while their set on Oriental scene (now – Octagon). That being said, there is never enough of Incantation, powerful morbid Death Metal in its best way. I also was glad Ukrainian band Jinjer played at the main stage, it was great to see how people from all over the globe gone crazy while their set, and it’s not a secret why: Jinjer plays solid and musicians are able to drive the right energy toward the crowd. Batushka (new Batushka) played steadily and people hailed them a lot. Cult Of Luna, the example of how post-metal should be. I have missed Woe Unto Me show but I hope nobody fell asleep while their performance.
Next day, August 8th had much more bands I was waiting for! Bands like Jungle Rot, Krisiun (both has been missed by me unfortunately), Sacred Reich (enjoyed by their performance two years before, when infernal hurricane almost stopped their show). Metal Church as always delivers energy and make great performance, including some classical songs! Sodom – what could be expected more by fans of thrash metal?! Nothing more! Just incredible show you will never forget. Testament did the same, just blew up the fans with the so beloved tunes from the eighties! Sometimes dreams become true and my soul wanted to hear “Disciples of the Watch”. I just told this to my friends and in a second band started play this song, wonderful! (the only sad thing musicians did not play solo in full…). Kampfar: it was my second experience to see Kampfar and for the second time my soul got enough of happiness with their show! And finally, the disappointment of the year: Deicide show cancellation. Everybody was broken. Official statement was due to their flight delays for 48 hours, total shit.
August 9th was rich enough for great bands as well! It’s a real happiness to watch thrash metal gods Destruction, to hear songs which often playing in your head and to see a total madness finished with the “Bestial Invasion”! Immolation, killing death metal machine with hyper brutal and technical attitude, unforgettable show; I can’t say about others but I was just like frozen at their gig. Emperor, one of those bands you will be never bored listen to, top-professional and powerful black metal, beloved so hard by everybody who listen to black metal from the ‘90s and for those who just came into this genre; see them for the second time and it was awesome! Electric Wizard, stoner/doom metal heroes played at night: I liked their show a lot but, of course, some people fall asleep while musicians were tearing their strings apart; anyway people like me enjoyed the show completely. Primordial: I was waiting for their set but something went wrong. I didn’t like the sound while their performance at all; the sound was rude and noisy. Luckily I have seen them some years ago so I was not 100% disappointed. But the main band of the day was Hellhammer, Triumph of Death! It was just a kind of shock when you can listen to all those songs live: you got no emotions, you got no reaction, you just killed by live performance of album that built musical scene (you know what I mean, how many bands took an inspiration from those record?). Somebody can say “fuck it, Tom just want to earn some money”, I can reply: “f@ck off and die!”. The only disappointing thing was a quite small people on Hellhammer gig. Why? People don’t care about musical history? It’s a shame. Also there were more interesting bands of the day: Nordjevel, Iron Reagan, Taake, Heilung (great performance, but I think their music would sound better at the night, anyway it was stunning) and Aborted.
Last day is the next thing you can consider as a negative because you want this event never finished, haha! Add to this a rain, which forced some people (including me) to hide within the buildings (pubs inside the festival area). Many people waited for special Gutalax show and I have missed it because I was in hotel while their “morning” set but everybody who attended it were more than happy. Grindcore madness, Toi-Toi (toilets) over the people and many more; I watched the video and I really sad I missed their set. Necros Christos: I can still remember their demo record sent to me many years ago back in mid of ‘00 and I enjoyed by their show. Vltimas (David Vincent’s project) show has been missed unfortunately but people who were lucky to see it, said it was incredible, Morbid Angel’ style music.
Rotting Christ with the new program on Sea Shepherd scene or Tankard on Obscure? Guess what I chose? Of course, Tankard! That was the next amazing show from the German beer-drinkers, overdose of Thrash, some beers, many cool jokes from the scene – everything made people more than happy and everybody who came to Tankard gig got enough of power and… hm… yep… and even Beers! Gerre opened cans with beer, make couple sips and forwarded it to the fans (so kind). It was also great to headbang together with Ross Dolan of Immolation who entered the crowd while Tankard set, he make some pics of Tankard on his phone and just enjoying by their set. Napalm Death played powerful set, as usually, with some really unforgettable songs from the past. Mgla: many people say they created something new within black metal scene but I’m not agree with that. Their music is very good, powerful and even emotional black metal, so for me Mgla is just one of good bands who deserve attention and support. Also Mgla are not “interesting” on the scene, nobody of musicians make a rush, just staying like monuments. Anyway, in spite all this it was good to be there while their gig. Carcass… oooohhh…. The next memorable on Brutal Assault show was from Carcass: awesome show with brilliant sound. I’m not afraid to say Carcass had the best sound during the whole festival! Next good bands were Exumer, Violator, Demolition Hammer and Midnight. The last band was Shape Of Despair, unfortunately I missed it but I’m sure they did all their best to close 24th edition of Brutal Assault!
All in all Brutal Assault was great this year: powerful line-up, support of non-major bands etc. I can’t say anything new regarding food courts and drinks, everything was nice, good beer and tasty food with meat or vegetables just choose your preferences! The same I can say about alcohol: you could also enjoy with great craft beer (both inside and outside of festival area), good wine, beloved Jagermeister, cider, and whiskey. See ya next year, on 25 anniversary of Brutal Assault!
ABORTED | AFTER THE BURIAL | AGNOSTIC FRONT | ALIEN WEAPONRY | ANAAL NATHRAKH | ANATHEMA | ANIMALS AS LEADERS | ANTAEUS | ANTHRAX | THE ARSON PROJECT | AU-DESSUS | AZUSA | BATUSHKA | ČAD | CAR BOMB | CARCASS | CARPENTER BRUT | CASPIAN | COMBICHRIST | THE CONTORTIONIST | COUNTING HOURS | COVEN | CRYSTAL LAKE | CULT OF LUNA | CYTOTOXIN | DAUGHTERS | DECAPITATED | DECULTIVATE | DÉLUGE | DEMOLITION HAMMER | DESTRUCTION | DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA | DISCHARGE | DR. LIVING DEAD | EKTOMORF | ELECTRIC WIZARD | EMPEROR | ENSIFERUM | ESKHATON | EXUMER | EYEHATEGOD | FROG LEAP | GET THE SHOT | GODFLESH | GOROD | GOST | GUTALAX | HEILUNG | HELLHAMMER – TRIUMPH OF DEATH | HEXIS | HIGHER POWER | HYPOCRISY | IMMOLATION | INCANTATION | IRON REAGAN | JINJER | JUNGLE ROT | KRAANIUM | KRISIUN | LETTERS FROM THE COLONY | LIONHEART | MANES | MEAT SPREADER | MESHUGGAH | METAL CHURCH | MGŁA | MIDNIGHT | MONSTER MAGNET | MYRKUR | NAPALM DEATH | NECROS CHRISTOS | NORDJEVEL | THE OBSESSED | THE OCEAN | OCEANS OF SLUMBER | OF MICE & MEN | OMNIUM GATHERUM | PARKWAY DRIVE | PERFECITIZEN | PRIMORDIAL | PRONG | RAISED FIST | ROTTING CHRIST | SACRED REICH | SAOR | SHAPE OF DESPAIR | SICK OF IT ALL | SKELETAL REMAINS | SLÆGT | SLAPSHOT | SODOM | SOILWORK | TAAKE | TANKARD | TAPHOS | TESTAMENT | THERION | THY ART IS MURDER | TOSKA | UNFATHOMABLE RUINATION | VAMPILLIA | VARGRAV | VED BUENS ENDE | VENOM PRISON | VIOLATOR | VIOLENT MAGIC ORCHESTRA | VOIVOD | VULVODYNIA | VUUR | WALLS OF JERICHO | WINDHAND | WOE UNTO ME | WOLFBRIGADE | WORMED | ZURIAAKE