It is a dreary sunday evening when we get in the car to drive down to Hasselt for an evening of old school death metal with Bolt Thrower. One long, straight road from Eindoven and then we cross a bridge, end up right next to a channel and there is the Muziekodroom. An awesome venue with the old feeling of excitement and danger attached to the experience for us as first time visitors. We get in and start enjoying the noise.
Having ex-members in their ranks from bands like At The Gates, Paradise Lost, The Haunted and what not, it must be clear that this band definitely has plenty of experience under their belts. The set is filled with quick jokes by vocalist Greg Mackintosh, about his ex-wife and other silly topics like religion. The death metal of them has an old school quality to it, but feels sludgy as if infused with the gothic and doom inflluences the bandmembers draw from their other groups.
Its interesting how they also pull of a grindcore track in the same vein as Napalm Death in the time of scum. The set is strong and convincing, but with a band fully aware of the sonic violence that is still to come. Taking it easy on the crowd seems to have been the mission, but that doesn’t mean not having fun.
The German band Morgoth has had many names, split up a bit and got together again because they just can not give it up. Well, why should they? The Tolkien inspired group is clearly in the mood to get the audience pumped with their bulky no nonsense sound, pounding and spitting out song after song, giving of a slight punkrock/oi! vibe while at it. Playing songs from over two decades of metal, the band surely has not lost its energy.
Funny element is the well ment enthousiasm of vocalist Marc Grewe, who is obviously of the generation that didn’t fully master the English language, which leads to some funny moments. He never stops firing up the stage with songs dedicated to the other bands, to oppose racism and such and just by jumping up and down and shouting. The music sounds less complex and dense, but is entertaining for sure.
With an epic melody playing, the band enters the stage. The Warhammer 40k inspired banner decorates the back of the stage, where the band members position themselves, all smiles and cheerfull. Though the band hasn’t released an album in almost ten years, the name remains one of the house hold names for the death metal genre. Starting the set quickly, mainly frontman Karl Willets stands out for his endless smiles and joy. Pictures with fans, hugs and all, everyone is having a ball.
The real kick-off for the set is the obvious ‘World Eater’, pounding ever onwards like a huge all-crushing siege tank. The wide choice of songs from their back catalogue gives the band plenty of liberty to bring a bit from everything. The steady rhythmic guitar play brings a tranquil vibe over the stage, even when heavy songs like ‘Anti-Tank’ make the Muziekodroom shake on its foundations. The steady rumble of the drums makes heads bop and fists rise.
From the epic ‘The IVth Crusade’, to the brawling ‘No Guts, No Glory’, Bolt Thrower could just do whatever they’d do in the rehearsal space and still conquer the venue with their war inspired songs. The tight playing and energetic performance make fan favorites like ‘Warmaster’ (another Warhammer song!) and ‘The Killchain’ to a great experience. This batallion still conquers, wherever they go.
This review was published on Inlog.org