Aalborg Metal Festival 2005
Studenterhuset, Aalborg, Denmark

4th and 5th of November, 2005

AMF has become a bit of an institution in Denmark . Each year the organisation becomes more professional and the experience better. This has to become a fairly odd experience for me, as I only know the work of three of the 16 bands on the bill (Deicide, Hatesphere and Pathos). The reviews in the following will be marked by a great degree of ignorance and first impressions…


First band on the loose is a new rising Danish hope, Dawn of Demise. Due to the unstable bladder of one of my travel companions and the forgetful nature of the same unfortunate soul, we miss Dawn of Demise entirely. Too bad.

Prostitute Disfigurement are the first of three Dutch bands to take the stage this evening. Though not quite in the same league, these five Dutch guys play death metal in the vein of Suffocation and Morbid Angel. They definitely have their moments, but they never really capture the crowd. The band gets a point or two for having a bass player with the longest hair of the festival…

Rating: 75

Next up are fellow Dutchmen Born From Pain. The band throws some solid punches this evening, purporting a style not unlike Danish Hatesphere. Most notable tunes are “Judgment” and “Kill Tonight”. Born From Pain have clearly played loads of gigs together and know their way around a stage. They can look back on this evening as a job well done.

Rating: 80

Visceral Bleeding from Sweden don’t impress with their very straightforward and not very interesting death metal. It all sounds the same more or less. They want to be evil (“I want to start hurting each other”?), but it all seems a bit hollow.

Rating: 60

Callenish Circle from the Netherlands , on the other hand, have much more to offer. Variation, ideas, samples, thrash, death, groove, atmosphere – the soundscape is much more varied and interesting. Admittedly, the soli sound like crap, but this is the first band to make me bang my head on this evening.

Rating: 84

I never cared much for Cannibal Corpse and therefore didn’t think it worthwhile to investigate in Chris Barnes’ other pursuits. Hence, Six Feet Under never got my attention, which I to some extent regret now. This is an excellent gig. The slow to mid-tempo groove of the band’s laid back death metal draws you in, with Barnes as a grunting and screaming troll with a head full of dreads in front. The geezer is in a good mood it appears, and has good communication with the crowd who takes it in with no hesitation. Brutal, heavy stoner death. Cool.

Rating: 90

Next up is this evening’s headliner, Deicide. As I write these lines, I’m still shocked by the embarrassing performance of Glen Benton.

Benton not only decides to begin the gig before scheduled, he is also obviously hammered and/or stoned out of his mind. This turns out to be if not the, then one of the most embarrassing performances I’ve been witness to, as Benton babbles about him getting rid of the two Nazis, the Hoffman brothers, about the pain he went through, and in between these rants, he does his best to insult the crowd. He also manages on two occasions to forget that he had already played songs.

You can only feel sorry for a talented person who has fallen so deep. Here and there you can hear what made Deicide great, but on this evening we hear too little Deicide music and too much self indulging crap from Mr. Benton.

Deicide only needs one more replacement before being able to move on and create some of the music that helped shaping death metal: get rid of Glen Benton for fuck’s fuck – he just wasted one hour of the life of 400 individuals in Aalborg, and it’s probably not going to be the last.

Rating: ?


The extremely ungrateful task of opening the festival at 14.00 hours Saturday afternoon belongs to Danish powermetal outfit Anubis Gate. The struggle isn’t made easier by the fact that the (somewhat tired) crowd is predominantly death metal and metalcore fans. I’m not easily convinced either. There is little doubt that the local guys are technically well-founded, but there is little stage presence (and who can blame them with a crowd like this) and, well, I’m just not the powermetal guy, alright.

Rating: 70

Watching Germans Deadsoil on stage is like watching a gym class. I bet their front man is a fitness instructor when he’s not playing hardcore metal. Great energy, fine band, but I can’t remember a single song as I write this. What does that tell you?

Rating: 75

Of the three bands that really make a difference on this fine evening, Swedish Engel is the first. The band has attitude and power, mixing the sounds of Soilwork, Linkin Park and Mnemic. The only setback is the front man who is not entirely convincing vocally…however, as I said, he makes up for it with gallons of attitude.

Rating: 84

Pathos from Sweden have been around for ages. They play powermetal better than most, but are unfortunately not recognised despite the fact that they can play the arses off most younger likeminded bands.

As I mentioned before, I not really a powermetal man, but I know that for powermetal connoisseurs, this gig would have been top of the pops.

Rating: 80

Norwegian Lumsk are the biggest surprise of the evening. The set is no less than enthralling. The band mixes Norwegian folk with metal, and they do it in a fashion that leaves you gobsmacked. The female vocalist, Stine Mari Langstrand, has an astonishing voice, the violin of Siv Lena Laugtug is mesmerising and the metal interludes of the remaining five guys in the band hammer away. I’ve never quite heard anything like this.

Rating: 96

Cataract from Switzerland are more down to earth. Their metalcore with roots in Sick Of It All and likeminded outfits can’t really capture after the ethereal experience of Lumsk. The level of energy and enthusiasm is definitely there as it is with most of these bands.

Rating: 78

Danes Hatesphere have the home crowd in the palm of their hand, and rightfully so. Their learning curve has been steep, and the band’s self-confidence is staggering, yet the attitude is down to earth. Tonight’s show is blistering, no more, no less. Despite repeated calls for the Suicidal Tendencies cover “Trip at the Brain”, only own compositions are aired (quote front dynamo Jacob: “We’re not a jukebox”), and it’s good selection of tunes with most of the weight on material from “Ballet of the Brute” and “The Sickness Within”.

Rating: 97

Peter Tätgren has been hyped immensely and I can see why. The Swede has a big portion of charisma and with his Hypocrisy crew he puts on a solid performance. There are top class and evil as fuck tunes in there, but on the whole, the entire thing is just run of the mill death metal. Perhaps if I’d known the material beforehand, I would’ve enjoyed it more.

Rating: 80

The Haunted are also to some extent part of the metal hype. After tonight’s performance I honestly fail to see why. Yes, drummer Per Jensen plays brilliantly, yes, there are killer riffs in there, although there is a bit too far between them, but the vocalist’s voice is just a tad too annoying. I’m not at all impressed which also goes for approximately half of the crowd.

Rating: 70

Attending: Thomas