A Night Out @ The Cave in Amsterdam, Part 1
Just a week ago I posted a review of my Italian friends from Ingraved. Friday night they played a show right in fuckin’ Amsterdam, as I already mentioned in the review! Obviously I couldn’t let the chance to see these guys live pass by, so after the Friday afternoon beers at work I took a subway train and then a thirty minute walk to the venue right in the center of Amsterdam. I had left my car at home that morning, so I didn’t need to drunk-drive home after the show. Smart thinking, don’t you agree (I’m quite proud of it)?!
[Note: because I prefer to keep things readable and don’t like boring my readers to death with stories of indefinite lengths, I’ve chosen to cut this report into two pieces. The second part, featuring the Ingraved experience will follow tomorrow.]
The show was to start somewhere around half past nine, ten-ish – you know how it goes with Metalbands and starting on time – in a small Amsterdam place called the Cave. With the work beer session ending at about seven and the trip taking about an hour and a half, I paid the €5.- entrance fee and walked in at about 8:30, when there were only still a few people inside. It was a small but cozy place in a basement of a typical Amsterdam canal house on the Prinsengracht.
Myself (second from the right) and Ingraved outside of the venue after their show. Missing is guitarist Martin Sarcinella.
Slightly shabby interior, aggressive drawings and band stickers on the walls, a load of different beers and Whiskeys on sale – so tailored to the Metalhead’s needs – a fuck-the-no-smoking-in-bars-regulations attitude all around and a gentlemen’s toilet (I didn’t check out the ladies’) that wouldn’t flush unless you finger-fucked the flush trigger like you would a woman, as another attendant put it. A small and low stage of only about four or five meters width in the back of the room already had some equipment set up and promised an intense and up-close-and-personal night!
I sat down with a couple of Grolsch beer swing-top bottles at the bar and scoped out the place and its audience further. The usual suspects were there; long-haired guys in woodcutter shirts, short-haired guys with arms and necks full of tattoos and black band shirts, and any possible combination of those. Contrary to my expectations though, when the place filled up later the audience got more mixed, and included a pretty damn decent amount of (hot) ladies and people from all age, race and nationality ranges. The atmosphere was relaxed, tolerant and open, that’s to say: awesome!
The kick-off of the evening was delivered by Obsolete Incarnation, a relatively new four-piece brutal Grindcory Death Metal act from Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. They weren’t originally scheduled to play that night, but as Ingraved guitarist Gian later told me, they met up with Ingraved at a show in Germany the night before and decided to tag along to play their first show outside of Germany in Amsterdam. I love impulsive decisions like this, because now I didn’t get to see three bands, but four, although for reasons I’ll divulge later I still missed one of them in the end.
Guitarist Kai asked the audience whether his guitar play was audible after the first song. I tried to tell him his play was getting crushed by the concrete-snapping intensity of the drums and bass, but he didn’t catch that, because they’d barged off into their next song already. It’s my main point of critique then. “Microphonist” Sven’s attempts to get a small circle pit going failed miserably, potentially due to space limitations, but more likely due to the particulars of being the opening act. However, I still thoroughly enjoyed their performance from about three meters distance and enjoyed banging my head to their tough ‘n heavy riffs and beats and Sven’s pig-squealing vox.
After their couple-of-songs performance I spent another €5.- on their EP, Insanity Redefined, featuring a tied up dude about to be reduced to bits by a chain saw on the front cover, a dude tugging away a big blue bloody bag of body bits on the back, and a bloodied hacksaw, hammer and pair of gloves as the silent witnesses of the act committed on the actual CD. Smells like Grindcore to me! EP will be subject to reviewing later by the way!
For now, here’s a link to their MySpace page, where you can find two of their songs.
With Obsolete Incarnation off the stage, it was time for a Dutch band named Chapter 7 to get on. During the time they took to set up their gear, I thought it wise to switch my beverage type to Whiskey, because I noticed I was going a bit too fast with the beers. Mistake! But I only found that out later.
Chapter 7, formed in 2009 from the ashes of two other bands, hails from the city of Tilburg down in the south of the country and plays a hooky piece of Rock-Metal that completely blew me away! Slow but incredibly groovy guitar riffs, virgin-ass tight drumming with loads of blasting fills, great semi-clean singing and some ass-kickingly rich bass work by a guy named Bas.
Think of it as the bastard child born from an orgy between Alice in Chains, Puddle of Mud, Devildriver, Five Finger Death Punch and some other groovers and something soulful. With a bag of jalapeños up its ass. The smile on my face was from ear to ear, while my head went about from top to toe. Needless to say I didn’t need to think about their four-track EP for €2.- offer. To be reviewed at a later time as well!
Let me just give you one song to enjoy for now, a song called Rise, the fourth track on the EP. When vocal man Jeroen opens his mouth so damned suddenly in the intro he scared the hell out of my girlfriend when I played it over breakfast this morning (afternoon really). It was hilarious!
If you think this sounds good, you should really try to catch them live some time. It’s quadruple the fun! For now, you can find all four tracks of the EP overhere. Abuse that!
[This was the first part of the night out report. In the meantime also the second part has gone up. Find it here.]