Wim took a trip to Herk-De-Stad and into the dark eighties.Judgement Fest billed Korinthians, Non-Alignment Pact, Mask, Doganov & Honeymoon Cowboys for an evening of dark dancefloor fillers.
I can't remember how many times I have visited the Trix venue in Antwerp, and I certainly can't count all the awesome bands I have seen there. From Cecilia::Eyes in the small café over Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats in the club to Tricky and Pentagram in the big hall, I've spent countless of hours (and euros) there. I got acquainted with several bands but I never thought I would visit Trix to say goodbye to a band. But yesterday, exactly that happened when one of Belgium's finest metal bands thrashed the stage one last time.
First things first, you can always count on Belgian public transport company De Lijn to arrive late everywhere. However, if you know that, you can just take an earlier bus (if that one even shows up) so you won't be that late. So I was only a little late to see what Bark does. Believe it or not, but I had never given them much attention. Why? I don't know. They just slipped out of my attention span I guess. However, after their slab of brutal energy on stage at Trix, they indeed convinced me. Their aggressive and dirty blend of hardcore, stoner and sludge at times even brought acts like Nailbomb and Pitch Shifter to mind. They also played some stuff from their upcoming album. I'm quite looking forward to that one. I think I'm going to keep an eye open for these guys from now on. This was an excellent opener for an awesome night.
Distillator is The Netherlands' ultimate answer to eighties thrash metal, period. With their fiercely blasting songs, flashing solos and sheer speed the trio easily set Trix on fire. I've seen them before, at Rocktoberfest (read). I was stunned then and I was amazed yesterday. Perhaps, for some people, this approach to thrash metal might be somewhat outdated, especially with those high pitched vocal parts. But to me, and apparently to plenty of people in the audience, this was sheer nostalgia and pure moshing fun. I have to admit, I didn't see the entire show because hamburgers, but what I saw can be repeated. Distillator too played a track from an upcoming album, and that one promised thrash metal galore...
Back in 2008, a bunch of metalheads decided to start a band, something that happens a lot in Belgium. Over the course of nine years, this band had been growing, supporting acts like Flotsam & Jetsam and Metal Church, playing Wacken, Graspop and loads of other festivals. With their energy, their massively varied blend of metal styles and the amazing stage presence, Bliksem had become a household name in pretty much every Belgian metal family. They were about as promising and professional as a band can probably get.
However, all good things must come to an end, and unfortunately, that also counts for Bliksem. The band has split up by now, but the music still wanders through the city. After a brief, and bloody awesome intro, the band blasted like an atomic bomb, effortlessly grasping the audience. Horned fists everywhere, beer cups flying through the air, crowd surfers, the audience went nuts, much to the delight of Peggy who truly looked like a metal queen. The band clearly enjoyed this gig, regardless of what's behind the split.
Bliksem raged on and on. This was simply a classic metal concert, seemingly enjoyed by young and old. To be honest, I have never seen the age of the audience vary this much. I guess the youngest audience member was 8 and the oldest 80. Just to prove that good metal is for all ages. The venue was packed to capacity too, which must have felt amazing for the guys and girl in the band. You could feel the energy, the tension and the emotion. Of course, there were tears but everybody knows that this is not the end.
This is a goodbye, not a farewell. I am sure that members will pop-up in other bands again, hopefully with the same level of professionalism and energy. I am sure that Peggy's soulful voice will blast through speakers again. And - to be brutally honest - it wouldn't surprise me if somewhere on some festival Bliksem would reunite, maybe just for one gig, one song even. Nobody would mind, on the very contrary. After seeing this breathtaking final show at Trix, I don't think anyone could not become a Bliksem fan.
Thank you for nine years of metal !!!
p.s. Dario Mars and the Guillotines had been selected to play the after party but for me it was time to honor a personal tradition and start the six kilometers walk home. I'm sure I can catch them another time.
Bands & Festivals