At a quarter to eight sharp the 8 men of NECROPHAGIST entered the stage of the JUZ as the first band of this tourpackage. Right from the beginning they lashed out their Death Metal to the ears of the numerous audience despite of this early time. With a choice of songs from their two CD "Onset of Putrefaction" and "Epitaph" (from which they presented the title track 'Epitaph', too) the German Four proved, that Death Metal not only do consist of scrubbing (how nasty tongues do maintain). The at the present baldheaded bass player Stefan Fimmers properly did gymnastic exercises at his 6-string bass, while the short-haired singer Muhammed Suicmez, who acts as guitarplayer at the same time, could impress with his polished fireworks on the guitar. After 30 soundtechnical impeccable minutes NECROPHAGIST finished their with breaks and changes of speed interspersed set and did even gain some encore shouts besides duly applause. But they couldn't be answered because of the tight time schedule this evening.
After a 15 minutes changeover, that was sufficient enough to refresh the dried throats with cooled drinks, it was time for the second band of this evening: NIGHTRAGE. The greek-swedish Five around the founder and mastermind Marios Iliopoulos could convince right from the first tune with their melodic Death Metal. With his axe-partner Gus G. Marios fought real guitar duels, that were emphasized through the very agile stageacting of all bandmembers - what led to a funny, but involuntary, interlude during the second song: when Gus G. stumbled over a cable, he felt down to the stage right to the final chord! But at once he grinned and jumped on to his feet again. After a roguish reproof from the band, he couldn't help himself because of laughter the whole next song. During the half-hour gig NIGHTRAGE did present with f.e. 'Elusive emotion', 'Release', 'Omen' and 'Frozen' a small nice selection of their two outputs "Sweet Vengeance" und "Descent Into Chaos". Because again besides the music the sound was impeccable, the band was a success with the audience, who said goodbye with great applause.
Till then I knew MALEVOLENT CREATION just from the ancient Scott Burns production period. But the quiet sluggish Death Metal in this times left me quiet cold, so that I was anxious how this troup will sell itself more than a decade later. I was surprised positively by the high speed, that they show nowadays. Obviously their creativity here and there did meanwhile get some speckles from SLAYER, but that hadn't do any harm to the quintett. So also live we got a respectable thrash and interesting ingredients from both worlds.
Besides some old hits surely most of the tracks date from a later creative period, when the shouting beast Kyle Symons succeeded the dismissed Brett Hoffmanns. To the starved MALEVOLENT fans satisfaction they concentrated on topping up the quite scanty playing time, instead wasting time with much talking. The songs rattled through the PA professionally, and the audience appreciatively did rotate their hair to thrashing songs like 'The Will To Kill' and relished the possibility to welcome the Florida-Deather in this country.
For these extreme tourpackages in larger clubs it is of course typical, that there is no space for a large-scaled conversion of the drumkit. For that also the other bands of this evening used the BOLT THROWER kit and just connected their own samplers to the triggers. Although MALEVOLENT CREATION at times produced damn fast doublebass turbulences, the sound could have been a bit more accentuated. Too shrill did the bassdrum rattle through the guitar carpets and the necessary beat was missed.
But for this everything was arranged in the following changeover. To a powerful arranged intro of 'At First Light' the british battleship BOLT THROWER marched into the arena, and the highly filled hall was anxious for starting the games. In contrast to the quite differed CD sound the five from the isle fired a brutal artillery of creaking basses and an unbelievable pressure into the stomach. The audience in Andernach did need a while to come out of its shell during this midspeed hymn. But right until the sharp thrashed 'Entrenched' the ice was breaking rapidly. Above all vocalist Karl Willets - being certain of the fan support- went all out. But with 'World Eater' now and then you got the feeling, that he overrated his physical constitution. If it was the stressful everyday life on tour or too many timeouts from the band, to which he returned just a short while ago: this man isn't 20 anymore. Exhausted, but grinning broad and satisfied, he collected his power for the lines, that he did roar into the microphone with an unbound energy, so that compared to this his studio work seems like a mild breeze.
That all didn't matter to the audience. The positive feedback spured the band further on. You could see crowdsurfers and up to the last lines behind the mixer headbangers. After the more patient 'The Killchain' Karl had come over his short low and came it strong like with renewed strength. The string front did stoud like an army in row and rank. And above all the female bassplayer Jo did constantly shake her head at the height of her hips. In this way hit after hit was presented, that reached from "4th Crusade" album ('Where Next to Conquer') to modern times and found their conclusion in 'When Cannons Fade'. It's idle to mention, that the audience loudly drowned out the following battle roaring with the demand for encores and called the band back to the stage for some more songs, before the air-raid siren finally rang in the close of this battle.
Live BOLT THROWER are like a tank, that wheels through the hall. The band, that actually tours quite seldom in our countries in view of the geographical neighbourhood, easily manages to mobilize its supporters. Even with a highly paid album up in their sleeve it is almost surprising, that they didn't book larger halls. Because also the JUZ in Andernach was nearly sold out with 400 noses at a rough guess. On the other hand even with big names of the scene you appreciate the bond to the fans, and a solid club hall creates a more familiar ambience than an extensive seperated stage. The fact, that with MALEVOLENT CREATION and BOLT THROWER two warhorses from older times were on the way, also explaines the high avarage age and the large share of cowls in the audience. And they really should have felt like "in old times" in view of the absolutely fair admission fee and the payable merchandise. Both thumbs up for this obligingness in times of great usury! Many managers can take a leaf out of its book.