* NAPALM DEATH * PESTILENCE * CANNIBAL CORPSE * DISMEMBER
No mercy under
the christmas tree
* Death * Napalm Death * Pestilence * Cannibal Corpse * Dismember
It's a tradition
to give presents at christmas. So we thought, "Let's give a
present to the readers of this magazine! Five Christmas Festivals!"
We couldn't make it for free, but seeing five great bands for
DM 30 should be a rather nice price, shouldn't it?
The shows will
be opened by the Swedish waterpaint artists DISMEMBER,
who's first CD "Like An Ever Flowing Stream" could as well astonish
the critics as well as the fans. What showed through in the
exellent sales figures and in the good ranking in the readers
charts. Swedish death in the best tradition. No better way to
start, is there?
Second on the bill is CANNIBAL
CORPSE, who showed on their just now ended headliner
tour, the amazed fans what a "death-gig" is supposed to be.
Despite all the rumors
about them splitting up: PESTILENCE will be
there and will climb the stage as third to introduce live to
the fans their almost genius album, "Testimony Of The Ancients".
Pat, Pat and Marco will be backed up by Sadus' bass player,
Steve DiGiorgio. This will guarantee that the bass parts, played
on the album by Tony Choy (from Atheïst), will be played
impeccably. We may expect 5 great live shows from the Dutch,
known for their good live act.
As fourth, the English
Grind Kings NAPALM DEATH are on stage. Which
just at the latest replaced Morbid Angel. In the interview with
Chuck (counter attack/YK) he explains what was the reason for
this. We only can be disappointed that Mr. David Vincent would
rather cancel five shows for his European fans than to put aside
his ego problems for just one moment. For Death is just, certainly
according to sales figures, bigger than the "morbid angels".
Unfortunately, Vincent would not listen to the mediations from
the side of Fast Forward Promotions, or from the side of the
Rock Hard, from his own manager neither..... it's a pitty! But,
NAPALM DEATH is without any doubt, a worthy replacement. They
recently went home, after playing on "Rock Together Open Air"
in Berlin, with the best reaction from the crowd. Also the English
will introduce us their new drummer, Danny, first time along
on tour; and the material from their exellent EP, "Mass Appeal
are and will be of course, the Men around Chuck Schuldiner,
pronounced as : DEATH. It took a while for
them to come to Germany but finally they will be there. How
did Chuck put it so striking? "Might I have a cold, I will put
a tape deck on stage, let it play and just play guitar along
with it, so if the plane doesn't crash, we will be there to
play!" Nothing to add to that except that Chuck blebt to play
a mix of classics and pieces from his new Masterpiece, "Human"
(after all album of the month in this issue).
We are looking
forward to it !!!
BROKEN BONES AND BUSSES *
"Those who travel, get
to tell a lot" according to an old saying. Not true all the time,
however exceptions are always there, when you least expect them
or rather when you don't need them. Like, for example, our Christmas
Festivals..... Succesful Festivals with five strong bands, all
very nice participants and a lot of enthusiastic fans. Despite
everything a succesful event as our collegue Frank Albrecht experienced.
He lodged himself in one of the tour coaches.
The three big shots:
DECEMBER 17-1991 *PROLOGUE*
Lars, Frank here from Rock Hard. How are things looking? Has
he landed?". I think the good guy is pretty nervous. Every 20
minutes I give him a call to ask him the same question over
and over again. What it's all about??? About an airplane from
New York supposing to be landing in Amsterdam. Not just an airplane,
but one that should have Chuck Schuldiner in it, "his" characteristic
frontman of Death, and (up 'till now it's the case) a specialist
in canceling tours. The bets on in the editorial office are
fifty/fifty. Then the deliverance, late this afternoon: "They
are here, ALL of them !!!".
nothing is in the way of our Festivals anymore. Time for me
to book my own flight to Zürich and get ready to travel.
DECEMBER 18-1991 *ZÜRICH~VOLKSHAUS*
I am shocked. Besides
my plane already leaving at 13.20 (1.20PM) instead of 13.35
(1.35PM) my trip to Zürich is going amazingly well. Would
this be a bad omen? The cab driver, bringing me to the Volkshaus,
is friendly and telling me all about the city. Unfortunately,
because of the dialect, I only understand half of it. Doesn't
matter, in any case he finds the way to the concert hall without
any problems. Arriving on the scene, I immediately meet the
guys of Dismember, Cannibal Corpse and Napalm Death.... all
very nice of course.
where the hell is Death? Hours deceitfully ticking away quickly
without any sign of life from Chuck & Co. Finally a message.
The Death/Pestilence coach is being detained at the Swiss frontier
by the customs because they were trying to smuggle T-shirts
duty-free into the country. After over an hour of discussing
with them it becomes clear that one of the guys only wants to
have one of the shirts as a bribe. He could have asked right
away !!! Whatever, everybody is very relieved when the bus arives
just in time by the hall.
Yet another problem
Pestilence can't play tonight.
For bass player Tony Choy, a Cuban, they haven't been able to
get a visa and a work permit in time. The plane tickets, needed
as evidence, weren't in time. Lucky enough the local organizer
knew it beforehand so he took care of it with a good replacement,
Silent Death, a band out of the neighborhood
of Zürich. They are opening the musical part of this evening
at 19.15 (7.15PM) exactly and doing a great job. They remind
me a bit of Dark Angel, a bit more scratching vocals and lower
tuned guitars. Although the material hasn't matured for 100%,
it's obvious this band could go far in future. Concerning the
stage act they could keep up with the other bands. As well the
opinion of the audience, considering the applause, although
there were still just a few people inside the hall.
But not to be compared
with the reactions that fell to Dismember's
share. Beforehand, I heard a lot of bad about the live performance
qualities of Dismember, it apeared to be without any foundation.
The band worked with a lot of play joy and aggressiveness and
knew exactly how to entertain the, in the meantime 1300, people
exceedingly. A not to be underestimated part of it were, of
course, the songs from their class debut "Like An Ever Flowing
Stream", from which they played 4 songs: "Skin Her Alive", "Override
The Overture", "Bleed For Me" and "In Death's Sleep", and completed
the set with an old Carnage song. After about half an hour they
had to quit, because there just wasn't enough time.
After a short break Cannibal
Corpse got on stage, inflaming a real inferno. Unbelieveable
intense, their super speedy songs struck without ignoring playful
details, which are actually there. It was very noticeable that
the band gained a lot of experience during their European tour
last fall. They stood like a house. Both guitarists, Jack and
Bob, as well as bass player Alex, banged without interruption,
and frontman Chris is something else. I mean, besides his voice
being a matter of taste, whoever loves unbelieveable heavy,
almost inhuman low vocals, are being served promptly by Chris.
The fans loved it, and the reaction to Cannibal Corpse wasn't
surpassed tonight. Three quarters of the crowd banged and slammed
non-stop, impressive to watch! Now at least everybody knows
this band should be taken seriously.
Not exactly their lucky
day, next were the English Grind-Kings, Napalm Death.
Playing very careless, fatal..... with this kind of speedy music.
Even the energetic stage act couldn't cover it up, so I left
early to chat with some Zürich music prominents (like Coroner
raised and just before 23.00 (11PM) finally Death
climbed the stage. They weren't in top-form yet either. Problems
with the sound. Too much echo on Chuck's voice and guitars out
of key. For a band like Death, where it comes to technical qualities
of the music instead of a stage act, it is of course deadly.
Besides Chuck & Co. took too long of breaks in between songs
which made the mood of the audience ebb away continously. Along
with some bad luck! Just when they played their encore, "Pull
The Plug", the electricity on stage fell out. Suspecting the
local police of wanting to call it a day because it was almost
midnight was denied. Probably a disfunctional generator. Chuck
was pretty desperate, asking me: "Frank, please explain to the
fans that not me but the technicals let them down" ~ Sorry Chuck,
mices aren't working either~ "SHIT!". He survived...................
But winner of
day 1 is called Cannibal Corpse!
Mitch of Napalm Death coped with
the bad performance of his band a lot less. After the show he
savagely was throwing, backstage, bottles against a wall. Not
very pleasant, not very smart, but understandable, as long as
he's not throwing tv's out of the window.....
On to the busses heading
for Stuttgart. But only just a few miles outside of Zürich
we already stopped. The ND/CC coache couldn't drive further.
No air pressure, so breaks aren't working anymore. First car
trouble this tour??
just one hour things were fixed and we could move again. But
the empty Death tummies let hear of them: "FOOOOOOD!!!", screamed
Sean, drummer of the band. Unbelieveable, but the guys had an
enormeous appetite in German roadhouse fodder. Horrible!!! I
explained the guys that things are far more tasty in the States
with McDonalds, Denny's or KFC, and things really taste bad
here. But they were not restrained and eventually were busy
stuffing themselves at 4 o'clock (4AM) in the middle of the
night, with goulash soup, sausages, potato salad and all kind
of stuff, finding it all delicious...... I shook my head and
withdrew myself into my sleeping compartment...
to make you cry!!! All sticky and dirty I walked into Longhorn,
earlier this afternoon. But the water heater was broke so there
only was cold water to take a shower with. No, thanks! Death
manager, Eric, was so kind to let me use their shower in their,
for this reason only, hired hotel room. In retrospect not so
bad, because the hotel personel wasn't speaking one word English
and Eric couldn't speak one word German. Even I was having troubles
explaining to the receptionist that nobody was going to sleep
in this room tonight but there were an aweful lot of people
coming to take a shower. What's so funny about that?!
Matti, solved the problem his own way: "I am gonna take a shower
again when I get home", he proclaimed proudly and with this
won the prize of the most smelling musician on this tour. Another
prize was given when Atrocity's Krulle came by, between him,
Barney of ND and Matti the fattest metal vocalist on this planet
was chosen. No doubt about who was going to win this one.........Matti!
Whatever, this evening
again Dismember played great. The setlist wasn't
changed but the 1900 people inside Longhorn were even more enthusiastic
as in Zürich. Nuclear Blast promotor, Mike, who in the
meantime joined the tour gang, was so glad about the good work
of his protégé's that he immediately knocked back
half the liquid catering. Which resulted in the good man being
in other atmospheres the remaining night. Inspired by jazz sounds
in the tour bus he stated, the music was sucking him out of
the window towards the stars. Not at all knowing what he meant
by that, I had the feeling that one of those 40 beers did not
work out all that well......
Back to the concert. Cannibal
Corpse showed themselves, again, from an unchangeable
powerful side with a lot of play joy. All eyes, however were
at Pestilence, who would play their first gig in the new line
up on German ground tonight. "Revalation" a great start of a
great gig, the band even in a better shape than on the US tour.
"Land Of Tears", "Twisted Truth", "Stigmatized", "Lost Souls",
"Out Of The Body" etc. etc.... were the songs that let the crowd
cook. Frontman Mameli gave an irresistible show, whether that
had something to do with his predecessor Martin van Drunen,
who got a backstage prohibition, being in the hall? Whatever,
Mameli, Pat and Marco are a played in team, only bassist Tony
Choy didn't TMHO, fit in all too well. Which doesn't mean the
guy can't play, it just seems he is not wholeheartedly into
this kind of music. Not surprising when listening to the new
demo of his band Cynic, from a complete different order.Napalm
Death, compared to yesterday, were a lot better, almost
deceitfully good, and the fans were exited.
the other hand, again was ignored by the biggest part of the audience,
despite of them playing very good. Chuck as frontman was very
sympathetic, the setlist with: "Suicide Machine", "Left To Die",
"Flattening Of Emotions", "Zombie Ritual", "Together As One",
"Within The Mind", "Living Montrosity", "Lack Of Comprehension",
"Denial Of Life", "Vacant Planets" and "Pull The Plug" were exellent
(however personally I would have loved to hear some oldies). The
skill of the musicians is almost perfect, but apparently there
are not enough fans choosing quality above senseless banging.
Which doesn't fit to Death '91. Death has, with distance, the
best drummer aboard, Sean Reinert. What this guy is doing behind
his kit is truely unbelieveable. Night after night at least half
of the musicians were standing with dropped jaws, behind or next
to his drumkit to admire him. What Sean can make out of a simple
Bill Andrews-beat is really incomparable. Tonight Sean treated
the amazed watching musicians with a special version of "Pull
The Plug". Unfortunately not expressable in words.......
was an elated atmosphere after the show amongst all participants
and this is how the long journey to Berlin was made. Especially
with all the worldly pleasures, which made me find out that Death
belongs to the few bands in this scene of which some members are
nothing special happened.
Winner of day number
20-1991 *BERLIN~NEUE WELT*
Again a day with nothing
special to mention until the beginning of the show. Except some
of the fans already being blind drunk at 14.00 o'clock (2PM) in
the afternoon, puking all over the place outside of the Neue Welt
and the CC merchandise already being sold out after only half
an hour. Eventually over 1600 people were inside the hall, however
behaving pretty stale. At the again good gig of Dismember, nothing
happened to the audience, apart from the first row. More easy
things went with Cannibal Corpse, in topform again, serving everybody
into wild banging easily digestible stuff. For Pestilence, on
the contrary, it was tough again, despite of changing the set
list a bit. Obviously, the Dutch make real music, but apparently
real music on stage isn't being valued these days. Yet again,
Pestilence gave a great show and maybe the feeling would have
been better if one of the security guys wouldn't have gone mad.
He was being really annoying all evening to the fans but then
(likely not on purpose) he broke one of the divers hands and things
threatened to go out of control. Fast-Forward-Christian was left
nothing else to do then to move this guy from the stage and give
new instructions. From then on diving was allowed. Why not from
the start? Anyway, the road was cleared for the Napalm Death triumph
train, and the British had a very good day and gave a furious
show. Frontman Barney gave all he had, he stood not still for
one second. Guitar players Jesse and Mitch were letting their
impressive mops of hair fly around and even the mostly withdrawn
Shane was playing along, as well as Nuclear-Mike and somebody
from Hammer, thrashing together on the edge of the stage. At last
the crowd awoke and the evening was saved as yet.
for Death, convincing again on stage but again
the audience didn't react. WHY???
explaining. Chuck, for example, has created by his his many tour
cancelings, a cult around himself which made the expectations
of the people grow. But Death just isn't an exiting stage show....
but just a band playing music exellent and with honest craft.
Besides the music is very difficult, so there's actually not enough
space to worry about a stage act. After all Paul Masvidal is a
guest musician not coming from the death metal scene, he only
waves his hair, which is kind of monotonous in the end, it just
isn't his kind of music. Bass player Skott Carino is a little
more active but in this alone. Death live is something for the
ear. Great to bang on but a great stage show is not to be expected
(yet) from them.
Daywinner nr. 3:
Backstage the mood
and alcohol level raised quickly and most of the guys decided
to go to Ecstasy where they partied wild until 7 (AM) in the morning.
Napalm Death bassist, Shane, stood dancing as like he was stung
by a Tarantula, and ND manager Mark got tanked up so bad, he just
fell over at a certain moment and had to be carried back to the
bus by Barney. 8 (AM) in the morning we were finally off to Cologne.
21-1991 *COLOGNE~LIVE MUSIC HALL*
A day with bad luck
all over. When both coaches were just outside of Bremen, air pressure
was dropping again in the ND/CC bus, not reparable however this
time. The complete equipement had to be put in our bus and the
occupants had to move to the Death/Pestilence coach. Very tight
in there! But they would survive without problems for about 3
hours. But alas! Just before Dortmund the turbo charger of the
Death/Pestilence bus fell out, so the remaining 130 km's had to
be traveled with a speed of 50 km/hour! Unfortunately it was 15.00
(3PM) already and time was running out. Driver Maurice made it
just in time and delivered us at 18.00 (6PM) by the hall. Doors
would open at 19.00 (7PM) so just one hour was left for the crew
to build the stage. By a miracle they succeeded. Professionals!!!
Problems also previously
to this gig. Which should have taken place in Dortmund in a tent
at the Fredenbaum. But the city of Dortmund didn't give permission
for this thing because it was next to an old people's home. They
decided just two weeks before the show, so it was impossible to
get this important alternation to all the fans. Hence, the Live
Station Dortmund put on shuttle busses to bring the fans from
Dortmund to Cologne (about 130 km's/YK). Which was working out
very good except for two fans that were for some reason forgotten.
The poor guys were without any penny left, in the hall later on.
As Stratmann (photographer/YK) finally arranged a ride back, the
guys had vanished. Hopefully things went well with them!
To the show. Although Dismember
played good again, they were weaker than the previous evenings,
especially drummer Fred was out of timing more than once. Frontman
Matti is, as Nuclear-Mike described so well; "as "evil" as a teddy
bear", for sure that will be worked on in the future. They have
plenty of time, the oldest in the band just turned 19 years! Musically
things are pretty good already, which is the most important part
anyway. This evening Cannibal Corpse again threw
hits like "Edible Autopsy", "Skull Full Of Maggots", "Shredded
Humans", "Mangled", "Covered With Sores" and "Vomit The Soul"
into the crowd. Also Pestilence delivered good
work again, but having some troubles with the fans tonight. Apparantely
the fans are having problems with the increased musical skill
of the guys, which doesn't show from the album sellings though,
it broke every Pestilence record so far, ironic, isn't it?! Napalm
Deathstarted furiously again but got weaker during the
show, must have been the effect of last night and the stress of
today. Yet this gig also was a success, thanks to, not at the
least, to hits like: "Vision Conquest", "Emotional Suffocation",
"Suffer The Children" and "From Enslavement To Obliteration".
was Death, at last, getting the full apreciation
they deserve from this audience!!! There are still human beings
interested whether musicians can play good on stage! Chuck &
Co. were happy and let the crowd whip them up to the best show
so far on this tour. I enjoyed thoroughly again for this is the
last one I can see.
As the tour club is moving
on to Hamburg and Belgium I have to say good-bye.
O, yes, daywinner
nr. 4 Cannibal Corpse (actually) and Death
Four succesful festivals
with sympathetic musicians and mainly good behaving fans. Thanks
to all that came and made these festivals a success and to all
working in the organization. How beautiful it would be when there
would be a continuation later this year........
Photo's Holger Stratmann