11.8.2023 Brutal Assault – Day 3 @ Jaromer, Czech Republic

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Brutal Assault may not be the biggest festival when it comes to the European metal festival scene, but it still manages to maintain a strong lineup that attracts a whole lot of metalheads. This year the festival took place from August 9th until August 12th, 2023. Located at monumental Fortress Josefov – which is probably one of the best locations to host a metal crowd – it not only boasts the atmosphere of a heavy festival but also allows participants to cool down in its chilly nooks and corridors, or hide from rain as it did on the festival’s first day.

The festival’s third day continued with bands like KRISIUN, NILE, CRO-MAGS, KATAKLYSM, ZEAL & ARDOR, OBITUARY, PERTURBATOR, CULT OF FIRE, and GORGOROTH.

To warm up the atmosphere, we dived into the world of Brazilian death metal aficionados, Camargo and Kolesne of KRISIUN. Their 2022 album “Mortem Solis” provided the soundtrack for a musical onslaught that set the tone for the day. Known for their straightforward approach, they stormed the stage with no frills, taking no prisoners, and delivering an unapologetic display of raw power.

As the weather turned hot, evoking desert terrains, it was time for Karl Sanders and the NILE crew to engage the crowd with their enigmatic Egyptian vibes. The release of “Vile Nilotic Rites” in 2019 fueled their performance. The band left no room to breathe, launching into their greatest hits, including “Sacrifice Unto Sebek” and “Kafir.” This musical onslaught aptly transported the crowd into a state of gig oblivion.

This NYC hardcore punk band, CRO-MAGS, led by Harley Flanagan‘s charismatic presence, elicited a contagion of energy that made you want to jump over fences and join them on stage in a frenzy. With their most recent album “In the Beginning” from 2020, they bridged a two-decade gap between previous LPs. Their live performance defied expectations and captivated the audience with their electrifying dedication.

KATAKLYSM, a well-established death metal powerhouse with over three decades of musical legacy, commanded a sizable following. Within moments, they pushed the crowd to its edge, igniting a fervent response. As of this writing, they’ve unleashed their new album “Goliath” in August 2023, amplifying the anticipation and fervor that surrounds their live shows.

With their 2022 self-titled release, ZEAL & ARDOR demonstrated their remarkable prowess on the stage. The fusion of genres was executed with finesse, resulting in a captivating live experience. Musicians poured their energy into the performance, progressively immersing themselves in the music’s depths, captivating and captivating the audience along the way.

Taking over the mainstage, death metal legends OBITUARY initiated a frenzy that matched KATAKLYSM‘s fervor. Their performance triggered a surge of crowd-surfers, with “Redneck Stomp” and “Sentence Day” acting as catalysts for the eruption. Their January 2023 release, “Dying of Everything,” provided fresh material to drive the rampage.

A refreshing interlude arrived in the form of PERTURBATOR, a beloved synth black metal band. Their live presentation, featuring a drummer, added new dimensions to their music, which hit even harder in a live setting. James Kent, also known as PERTURBATOR, showcased tracks from his 2021 album “Lustful Sacraments,” as well as older classics like “Future Club” and “Humans Are Such Easy Prey.”

The unique Czech/Slovak outfit, CULT OF FIRE, blending black metal with elements of Buddhism and Hinduism, cast a spell with their intricate sets. Though stoic on stage, their grand scope and thoughtfully constructed performances mesmerized the audience. Celebrating their 2020 album “Nirvana,” CULT OF FIRE‘s ceremonial presentation resonated with their distinct fusion of musical and spiritual elements.

Experiencing GORGOROTH twice within the same festival season was an extraordinary treat, particularly with the magnetic presence of Hoest, who consistently delivers. Exploring their older repertoire due to the absence of new releases since 2015, GORGOROTH‘s stage presence remained as potent and captivating as ever.

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Notes by Maria Sawicka, text by Laureline Tilkin
Photos by Maria Sawicka