Amsterdam Metalfest was an interesting experience as the festival is hosted at a club a few minutes from the city center so thinking about metal and Amsterdam within the same context was quite new and exciting. The line up was composed by Fleshgod Apocalypse, Obscura, The Charm The Fury, Hideous Divinity, For I Am King, and One Godless, so it was a pretty heavy night.
When you think about Amsterdam you think about legal weed, red light district, delicious beer & cheese, the beautiful canals, the architecture around the city center and Dutch bike culture, but a metal festival in the city, that was something I wanted to check out as a new resident in The Netherlands.
After arriving in Amsterdam the first thing I did was scout the venue which is this hidden club that it’s conveniently located a few minutes from the city center, after that, I ended at Excalibur one of the city’s most infamous metal bars located right in the middle of the red light district. After a few glasses of Duvel, I head out back to the venue to see what Amsterdam Metalfest had to offer.
For I Am King
I arrived as One Godless was finishing their set, so I got ready for For I Am King one of the hometown bands opening the festival and that has been creating hype around them as they recently finished a string of club shows supporting Vuur around the Netherlands. They also are currently promoting their new single and video clip titled ‘Prey’.
For I Am King could be described as a metalcore band that quickly rallied up the crowd and from song one they started to instigate the mosh pit, besides a great vocal performance and full of energy on stage, I found interesting that their vocalist Alma, had the unique ability to headbang and keep her glasses in place at the same time, which is not an easy task with how heavy their music is. For I Am King showed up a quite different style and fresh side of the metalcore style that was more focus on interacting with fans, they even brought up a kid from the crowd to the stage, so he could crowd surf from there, which was quite fun to watch.
Overall, it was a fun band to watch and it seems they have been busy building a name for themselves, definitely looking forward to seeing them again at FortaRock this year.
This Italian quintet was an interesting addition to the festival as it pushed the limits of the audience as they were slowly but promptly filling up the venue. Their style on stage and versatile songs reminded me of bands like Dying Fetus and The Black Dahlia Murder, a quite an impressive band that is definitely shaping the landscape of European death metal.
The Charm The Fury
This Dutch band was introduced to me in 2017 after signing a deal with Nuclear Blast Records and releasing their latest album The Sick, Dumb & Happy. The band’s sound it’s a breath of fresh air to the overly-saturated and already seasoned metalcore sound, after seeing them live at their hometown I think I get why their music is so appealing, and it is due to the vibrant energy that they are able to conjure live.
Their live show is heavy, provocative and definitely a very participative one as they allowed their fans to be part of it, so the connection between band and fan becomes so much stronger and it makes their shows more fun to interact or watch.
I definitely was happy with their live performance and with the way they interact with the crowd, I am not sure if this is because it was a hometown show or because it was that is how a The Charm The Fury normal show is, but it was a great band to see and to follow.
The German TechDeath metal giants Obscura was one of the bands I was really excited to see, as this was one of their final shows for the Akroasis album cycle as they are gearing up for the release of their new album Diluvium (July 13th).
Obscura live it’s always a treat for the ear as their sound it is so precise and heavy that leaves you in awe after every show, and this one was not the exception. The band played an interesting set composed by songs from their latest album along with a few songs from their early albums.
I think last time I saw Obscura was back in 2011, so it’s being a long time since I had the chance to experience their music live.
Fleshgod Apocalypse its one of those bands you will never get tired to see live, their stage presence, their music and their live vibe it’s just one heavy package that you enjoy from beginning to end. Their show at Amsterdam Metalfest was definitely one of the best and biggest shows I have seen of them since their shows at 70000 Tons of Metal 2 years ago.
As they continue supporting their latest album King, their setlist was not filled with new songs but it was a fair mixture of old songs and new material that seems to pleased the crowd that meet up at Melkweg in Amsterdam.
As one of the first summer European festivals, Amsterdam Metalfest has a lot to offer for a quick festival in a city as busy as Amsterdam. I do believe that this festival has the potential to grow even more to in a few years be hosted at an outside venue.