dinsdag 12 augustus 2014

If home is where the heart is, then I lost it at Ieperfest: The 2014 summer edition reviewed

My arms feel as if I have been doing 3000 push-ups and my body is covered in black spots. Eyelids are heavy, my hair still looks dirty after washing it and I miss the smell of vegan dishes  coming from the most awesome festival that Belgium has to offer (that’s right, a big 'fuck you' to Tomorrowland). I guess both my body and brain are suffering from the post-Ieperfest syndrome, so I took a pen and started writing. I’ll go through some highlights of the festival with you again, just to cheer everyone up who knows the feeling. Because if home really is where the heart is, then me and thousands of others lost it at Ieperfest. Grab the pieces of your broken heart together. I hand you the glue.

Ieperfest is an interesting concept, covering many facets of a subculture and creates a unique landscape for music fans. In the More Than Music Tent, the festival was literally described as a ‘temple’ by some that have been visiting the festival over decades.
Because during the times without the internet, Ieperfest was the only way to get the merch and music that you had been craving for all year.  You can expand your merch- and or album collection easily at the event, just like your knowledge. As we were just walking around the merch tent and chitchatting around with people from all kinds of ages, we actually got educated about the 70’s and 80’s punkscene in Belgium. Ieperfest knows no barriers when it comes to age, gender, skin colour, height or weight. We are all hardcore kids, gathering for the party of the year. Now let’s get this party started!

A glimpse of what you can see and 
what you can participate in at the More Than Music Tent

Day 1 at Flanders Fields

As heavy rain was turning the festival site into a mudwrestling palace with only the women in bikini missing, the fans of Expire did not move back and kept on standing during the whole set. The band played a faster and shorter set with less of the blabla stuff going on on stage, so the fans could look for shelter afterwards.

From US hardcore to US punkrock. Total Chaos started a hell of a party in the marquee where you could get your hair and nasty socks dried. Old skool pogo time modus was on, mohawks a must and those who didn't join could not even bite the dust. I SWEAR TO GOD THERE WAS MUD EVERYWHERE. 

After some vegan snacks we saw Backtrack pushing it to the limit on the main stage and Dead Kennedys are soon to be renamed into Almost Dead Kennedys. Jello Biafra made Ieperfest chew on anti capitalist statements last year, Dead Kennedys without him is just not the same. Biafra's replacement Jeff had been tackling too much bottles before going on stage and his incoherent speeches did not enlighten one single soul watching the band. The only thing that seemed to matter was 'California Über Alles'

Happy surprise of the day was Ringworm, a US metalcore band that planned to play just three shows in Europe this year. I remember loving this band as a teenager and Ringworm even sounded better live than they ever did on my iPod.

The Belgian punks from Sunpower made the newest Trench stage turn into the Party Tent, even though they had to deal with power problems. The drummer however, kept on entertaining the fans by drumming some Iron Maiden inspired songs until the technicians figured out what went wrong. 

It is undeniable that Dog Eat Dog was something most (wiggy) Ieperlovers looked forward to. Plastic saxes were passed to some diehard fans and the whole crowd was singing, yelling, stagediving, crowdsurfing and enjoying the live eargasms. 

Anyone wanting some speakers being thrown at them could check out Blind To Faith. Also people were just throwing themselves after that epic speaker moment. That was just sick.

Headliner of the day No Warning was *££*%Ù@€ôô}—*€ôÙ@≠÷µô}øÇÇ¡«¶{no text available}. Just watch this.

Day two at Flanders Fields:

We managed to get awake without the usual overdose of caffeine, because Curse Of Millhaven delivered us some early get-the-fuck-up death core that made us shiver to the bone. Thanks for that. Those guys make me feel proud to have Belgian roots. In September they play the release show for their EP, in Ieper of course.

Authority Zero has been around since the beginning of the 90's and turned the marquee into heaven for punkrockers and the hardcore kids. Worthy warm up for Real McKenzies that were scheduled later on the day. There was dancing, pogo, dancing, pogo, singalongs and funny drunk people bothering other funny drunk people.

American hardcore band Turnstile played their first show in Belgium at the legendary Ieperfest. The guys received an incredible response that even the band didn't expect in the first place. Headwalkers and ballcrushers represent! Keep your eyes peeled for more videos on Youtube, because they are worth watching, even if you have no idea about what or who Turnstile is.

The most brutal band from NY named Suffocation is another pearl hidden in the middle of a hardcore piled line-up. These death metal bandmembers started jamming before most readers here (I am guilty myself) were even born. Still, their deathmetal sounds timeless and therefore was amazing. They only scheduled a handful of concerts in Europe, Ieper was one of their last stops before starting the American tour.

And of course there was Deez Nuts... Because the question here is which festivals they don't play. This band was officially on my list of worst live acts, but Deez Nuts did the best performance that I ever witnessed in both Germany and  Belgium. Frontman JJ Peters did not screw up this time, he might have even been the most sober partystarting bastard of the festival. See what I did there?

Open up the pogo and bring on the bagpipe! The one and only Canadian Real McKenzies were a real magnet for all punks and punk rockers. Traditional Scottish music gets punked and mohawked. The voluntary lifted up kilt and the hairy ass were for free. 

Gorilla Biscuits went something like this. Keep an eye on that vocalistic narcism thing going on there.

Day three at Flanders Fields: The final resistance

Caffeine and early morning Israel hardcore smashed into you face by Kids Insane to wake and shake up Ieperfest. From the whispers into your ears ‘til a stagediving frontman to get those poles in the marquee moving. After playing Groezrock earlier this year and Aalst earlier this month, they ended their tour together with Bane at Ieperfest.

There were some problems again with the power just when No Zodiac was feeding the beatdownkids, which made the set a bit shorter than expected. No Zodiac hasn’t played much shows in Belgium yet, so their crew was happily welcoming them to the main stage at Ieperfest. Fatalism in order to replace peace was promoted by songs as 'Population Control' and 'Drowning'.

Last show of the tour from Bane. It is better to glimpse at this video than to read what we would write on it, as we simply could not find the words.

H20 means party time for everyone, including the little kids. Some kiddies went crowdsurfing and carried around as if they were pieces of gold, because those moments are something to remember for everyone. Because it proves that there are no age limits for punkrock and we are all equal. As always, H2O likes to keep their 'What Happened' for the very end. But even if they would turn their set the other way around, it wouldn't change a thing about the atmosphere they breathe over their fans.

Maroon played one of their very last shows and the vibe in the marquee was just moving everyone. And when  the poles were going from left to right, I wasn’t sure if it was the storm outside or Maroon’s incredible awesome metal causing this.  The old skool moshing was completely in again and crowdkilling was a no go. Long live German metal!

The beautifully headlining Heaven Shall Burn did not promote their new album, but instead played numerous of old songs. The frontman Marcus also won the official Brutality Blog award for being the most funny German. He seems to carry this very down to earth attitude, so much that it even looks like an old friend making fun of you when you dare to stand in front of the stage without moving and having your arms crossed. ANYWAY: official Brutality Blog award for most brutal vocals together with a heart soaked by sweetness goes out to HSB. Why? Because this guy came to check on everyone that got stuck into a ‘pile’ of people right in front of the stage. No further songs were played until he was sure that everyone was on his or her feet again and was alright. Skullbreaking song ‘Black Tears’ was the absolute breaking point where everyone lost their minds, glasses, masks, beanies and shoes. If I'm right, someone captured that on camera, so you could just keep on refreshing Youtube until it's uploaded. Somewhere. On the interwebz.  

All glued up

Now that we have our hearts fixed, let’s look forward to the first names of Ieper Winter Fest 2015 and of course to Ieperfest Summer edition 2015. 

Make hardcore music, not war

Exactly one hundred years ago Flanders Fields were shaking heavily. Blood got spilled and lives were lost. This might sound like old crap that is rusting away in school books, but these things are still going on today in other countries and we should not forget about that. 

A little P.S. shout-out: Vort'n Vis needs you!

For those who really care about the scene: The H8000 venue Vort’n Vis (roots of Ieperfest) is being rebuild after it needed serious renovation. They are still raising money, because no money means no future for Vort’n Vis.
Anyone that could miss some euros (because every tiny bits help) and wants to support the very roots of both the H8000 scene and Ieperfest, can donate in order to help rebuild the venue. Check out their website to follow the rebuilding of the venue! =)

Vort'n Vis: http://rvv.vortnvis.net  



dinsdag 5 augustus 2014

Kids Insane live @ Aalst, 04/08/2014

For those who missed out on the free show at café Oep'n Ander in Aalst, here is a video that we shot yesterday. The band is playing Ieperfest this Sunday, see you at the front rows!

Kids Insane on FB: https://www.facebook.com/kidsinsane?fref=ts

maandag 28 juli 2014

Micro review: Chikatilo EP: Mistake Of Nature

No it’s not your favourite Family Guy episode. It’s the intro of the very first four-songs-counting Chikatilo EP, named Mistake Of Nature. Note that it is a DIY creation, so thumbs up for that!

I could write a book on this EP, but to keep things short it could be described as: Breakdown… Madness… Breakdown… Breakdown and another slice of madness x 4.  The band describes itself as ‘Slam’. I probably missed out on something going on these days, because I don’t even have a clue what the hell that is. Maybe I’ll know after getting slammed in the face during one of their shows. Or maybe I just gave up on playing Pokémon too early to get the meaning of ‘slam’. However this one thing is sure: The Chikatilo EP is food for the beatdownkids that have been hungry for a while.

These Belgians had their first success already in Japan, now we will wait see and see how things turn out for them in Belgium and the rest of Europe. In September their UK tour kicks off, festivals like the UK Ballerfest are on their tour checklist.

Even though there is a big crisis going on in this sickminded world, remember that there is still Chikatilo. Enjoy!

Chikatilo on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChikatiloSlam?fref=ts 

zaterdag 12 juli 2014

Ieperfest 2014: the preview

What is Ieperfest? Who is Ieperfest? Why the hack should I go to Ieperfest? All these and more existential questions will be answered in this article. Read more to find your way in festival life.

Ieperfest is THE event in the H8000 scene attracting hardcore fans from all over Europe and way beyond. It is a tasty vegan hardcore festival organized by Genet Records and Vort’n Vis, lending their Flanders Fields stages to the most awesome metal- and hardcore bands from all over the world.  Why you should come to Ieper from the 8th until the 10th of August? One: because it’s Ieperfest. Two: Heaven Shall Burn is headlining! Three: the food is just awesome. For those convinced already, tickets can be purchased here:

Ieperfest isn’t just about music, it’s also about education, participation and also a bit about veganism. Actually a lot about veganism. Vegans are showing up at the festival, just for the delicious burgers, icecream, coffee and stew. Yes, vegan stew. Ieperfest wants to put emphasis on environment, animals and health by keeping the festival vegan ever since it ever started for the first time.

The line-up highlights

On Friday

Ramallah just got back from the Land of Not, straight into Flanders Fields. They describe themselves as hardcore/metal, but if you know that they are from the Bridge Nine family, you should be able to know what they sound like… Pretty awesome. Expect their new album somewhere this year.

Expire signed with Bridge Nine Records and proudly presented their newest album ‘Pretty Low’ to the world earlier this year. In February Expire made a stop in Belgium for a clubshow in Antwerp. Now they are coming back to Europe to stagebreak some festivals AND are dragged into the Ieperfest line-up to give you some white trash hardcore that kicks ass.

Total Chaos choose a bandname to describe themselves to the core. Totally chaotic. Throwing with eggs during the set is allowed, since those punks probably need it to keep up their soaked in sweat mohawks. Just be careful you don’t hit any vegans. At least throw eggs that are from chickens in your garden, not the industrialized supermarket ones. Also use eggs that have expired already and cannot be eaten anymore, to keep your action ecologicaly sustainable. That should do the trick and you don’t get yourself into trouble.

Surge of Fury is the Belgian band of the day that has been around since the 90s and have steady and proud signed with Rucktion records. Suit up for a boogiedownbreakdown.

Dead Kennedys are the godfathers of the hardcore punk scene that grew out to what it looks like today. Anyone calling him- or herself a hardcore kid should at least attend this set while being at Ieperfest on Friday. Note that they play very early, so don’t miss them!

On Saturday 


Suffocation is extreme metal and purest brutality that has been around for over 20 years. On Saturday they do a pitstop at Ieperfest to blow your ears into pieces of shit.

Morning Again is crazy 90s shit that is coming to Ieperfest again. Morning Again is very pleased to be on stage again at Flanders Fields. In May, they announced this on their Facebookpage: “Regarding Ieperfest: We're going to ask that nobody sings along when we play, please. No running around or "dancing" either. This is serious shit. And wear ties.” Just so you know what it up.

Turnstile are very young American boys that bring the old skool vibe hardcore back on stage. Stagediving is allowed and might even be obligatory.

Kids Insane. Not sure if they play on Saturday, but they were announced to play Ieperfest! These guys from Israel bring very strong live performances in a pure way, think of acts like Have Heart.

Real MCKenzies. No explanation needed to tell the world who these old fucks are, because who doesn’t know them is simply not from this world. And I guess aliens are not reading this blog. Soooo, a little summit: Folk orchestras and happy dancing (no hardcore dancing on this, sorry guys) while the Real MCKenzies do their thing at Ieperfest.

On Sunday 

Strife is a very strong live band, pushing fans to the limits during their shows. It’s so to say impossible to just stand and watch and not go nuts when seeing the band performing. Why? Here is a little anekdote: Last year at Groezrock, there was a pool of blood with the microphone dropped into it that was left after the band left the stage. Prepare and bring bandages to throw on stage. Or to use them yourself.

Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat. SAY WHAT? Don’t worry, the bandname can be squeezed into the most incognito abbreviation ever for people who don’t feel comfortable pronouncing it in public. The Belgian KTAOABC brings back the ’80s phsychedelic  wave sounds. Definitely an outstanding act at the Ieper Hardcore Fest that you shouldn’t miss out on.

Subzero is old skool new York hardcore, standing strong ever since the 80s. A set to attend in case you want to dig into hardcore history and know what Ieperfest actually is all about.

Boysetsfire: after dissapearing for a while, their comeback has striker the scene even harder than they ever did before.

Heaven Shall Burn is the one and only Heaven Shall Burn. With a very long list of albums on their name, their newest 'Veto' is another blast. Prepare for an awesome performance, maybe even with some real fire in there. Definetely a worthy headliner forIeper Hardcore Fest.

Ieperfest official website: http://www.ieperfest.com/2014/

By Glenn Heyse

maandag 24 februari 2014

Live review: Resist of Agony, And the Sky is Grey, Last Word Said, Pitwater Youth Hostel @ Jugendclub West, Ratingen 22/02/2014

When we arrived at the – at least for us - unknown location, a really welcoming venue awaited us and a nice-smelling hotpot scent flew through the room in our nose. Everything was super tidy, the price for a drink was good, a nice backstage area with a football table was around as well and even the toilets were clean. The room for the show itself had professional equipment and the stage wasn’t as small as expected. About 200 people fit in it here and the venue was close to reaching its full capacity at the end of the evening.

The show started with Pitwater Youth Hostel from Wülfrath, who play music similar to Parkway Drive, Breakdown of Sanity and co. They showed us live that this was pretty accurate, so we got fast guitar riffs and brutal vocals to hear - sometimes accompanied by clean vocals which still have a lot of room to improve.  The Breakdowns didn’t really sound too generic and the boys had fun playing their music, which transferred to the crowd.

Further on, Last Word Said went on stage. You quickly could tell that this was all about a concept. Deathcore inspired music, paired with the outfits you would expect. The sound was well mixed and they definitely weren’t beginners, which was proven by their performance. More people went into the pit from song to song. But unfortunately it sounded like I’ve already heard their songs a thousand times before from other bands. Don’t get me wrong, they sounded pretty okay, but I wish more young bands would experiment and try out new things!

And The Sky Is Grey was up next and offered a fresh, experimental sound from the beginning until the end. ATSIG had a wide variety of songs which always had something catchy. While covering genres like screamo, hardcore and punk, it just didn’t become boring. Their mix of surprisingly well sung clean vocals and screams was harmonious. Stage performance was the keyword here – the band almost went more nuts than the crowd did. Great show!

Last but not least the headliner and organizers of the evening had to play, Resist of Agony. The crowd, and obviously the band as well, were super stoked. Music genre: mosh it! Deep growls and brutal riffs set a heavy line for every song. This lead through the whole show, more and more people couldn’t resist shaking a leg or swinging an arm. Between the heavy songs with a lot of messages, slow passages brought off a bridge to the next song, and gave us some time to breathe. It was clearly necessary because the music really had everyone caught on fire.

At this point I want to thank all of the bands and Jugendhaus West for a fantastic evening!





By Marvin Krampe

zondag 19 januari 2014

Show review: 17/01/’14: Wolf x Down, Benchpress, Giver @ AK47, Düsseldorf

It was the last day of the Wolf x Down /Benchpress euro-tour. There was no pre-sale which made many people nervous, so around 80-100 people were already infront of the venue when I got there. When the doors opened, people rushed in and the really small venue, made for about 150 people, had some problems selling tickets.

After 1 ½ hours of waiting, Giver, from Paderborn/Cologne, finally started playing. Only a few seemed to know them, just like me. But with the first groovy riffs, the crowd got into dancing. Because of the super small room, and being longer than wider, there was barely any space to move. Nevertheless, this didn’t stop anyone at this evening. Giver only played around 5 songs if I remember correctly, each song different in its own style. The third song had a great rhythm guitar that made me fall in love with them – I was able just to close my eyes and really feel their music. Ending with their song “Vibes”, the members dropped their instruments and went into the crowd, shouting “Life means more when we're together. Choking on our pride, we stay forever” along, which was intense and made it a great closing for their small, but pretty cool set.

Next up, Benchpress went on stage. It was their first time playing in the “Ruhrpott”-Area and no one really knew what to expect, except for some heavy hardcore. After playing the first riffs of “Hellbound”, the crowd went totally nuts. Some word-perfect people were around and sing-alongs took their places, just like a tremendous amount of stagedives. With the singer’s shirt getting more bloody from song to song, the set went super wild - even though no one got intentionally hurt. A rare case in this area. Larissa WxD took part in two songs and created an odd but beautiful symmetry.

After Benchpress heated up the crowd (literally, it felt like 40°C in there now), it was time for the long awaited Wolf x Down. With old and new songs, no wishes were unfulfilled. An unbelievable atmosphere was around with everyone singing along and dancing in their own way. Even more people stage dived, causing havoc and fun at the same time. At some points, Larissa made wolf howls that lead to side-to-sides and fired up the last non-moving people. Several different singers from other bands took over the microphone at the feature parts so the songs had a really dynamic effect. A perfect stage presence.

If you weren’t there, you missed one of the best live shows you could imagine. It had everything for a perfect evening with your buddies, having non-violent fun and just being a wonderful hardcore show as it’s supposed to be. You must check all the bands out and give them a try live.

Giver:  https://www.facebook.com/giverhc
Benchpress: https://www.facebook.com/BENCHPRESSAD
WOLFxDOWN:  https://www.facebook.com/WOLFxDOWN

By Marvin Krampe