On Friday February 19th, I went to Mezz in Breda (Netherlands) to cover a show for Metal Nation Radio. This evening, it was for Ynfamia, Illusionless and Spartan to take the stage. These three Dutch metal bands play music from all fields within the metal spectrum. Ynfamia was a rather groovy yet thrashy metal band with mostly clean vocals, Illusionless was pure progressive death metal and Spartan was power death metal with lyrics inspired by Greek mythology.
The first band of the evening was Ynfamia which is a five-piece band from the South-West of the Netherlands. Their line up consists of José Leijnse on vocals, Boris van der Weij playing the drums, Colin Schoone on guitar, Chris van Geel taking care of the guitar and backing vocals and finally Aaron van Kerckhove on the bass who had performed for the first time with Ynfamia. I had not heard much of them since their online music availability is rather limited. This made me even more curious about their performance. Although they classify themselves
as thrash metal, I would say that thrash/groove metal would be more fitting for the music style they play. The fact that thrash and groove have quite a big difference made the whole experience of their music rather interesting. The first thing I noticed about this band was the singer. His vocals fit the music like a glove without a thumb. Their second song, Ghost of Amira, had a wonderful combination of both clean and harsh vocals of the guitar player. It was especially during this song, which had a lot of changes in the tempo, that I realised
that these musicians were skilled in their performance. The drummer kept the beat so tight you would almost assume he had a built in computer. The interaction with the audience was great. During some tracks, the singer José Leijnse would even get off the stage and interact with the audience. Their last two songs, In Circles and Enslaved, had a very thrashy feeling which was probably due to the typical thrash drum rhythm. The overall ambience and skill with an interesting repertoire earns an 8/10 for this gig!
After Ynfamia it was time for Illusionless to shine. The band consists of Melle Brouwer on vocals, Zeno de Jong playing guitar and doing the backing vocals, Jeroen Serdijn on the bass and Joshua Wells on drums. Illusionless have released their album Age of Kali on January 1st. Later in this article you can read a review of this epic album by Romée. Illusionless is described as a progressive death metal band on their Facebook page. However, this was not a proper preparation for the wall of sound that would be fired at us. Their music was way more brutal than I had originally expected. This can only be considered a good thing. The progressive part of the description certainly fit this band very well. It was not as progressive as bands such as Xerath or Dream Theater, but it was certainly very technical. Their entire album, Age of Kali was performed throughout the show. There are some specific things I would like to mention about this performance. First of all, the drums were very tight. Even with the different measures and very high tempo, Joshua Wells managed to keep the whole energy alive. Secondly, the bass player, Jeroen Serdijn played quite some parts with his fingers rather than with a pick. Being a bass player myself, I could only stand and watch in awe as he filled up the background of their tracks. Thirdly, Zeno’s part was definitely the most progressive and technical of all. Unfortunately due to the size of the venue en the volume
of the music, most of his riffs did not come out clear. However, by looking at his guitar, you could definitely see that he mastered ever piece and every inch of that instrument. Finally, Melle Brouwer. His vocals were perfect for the music played. He favoured his high screams which gave the entire performance a very energetic vibe. He jumped off stage numerous times to engage with the audience. In their last song, Extinction, they had a drum interlude which reminded me a lot of As I Lay Dying’s Defender. This shows how much of a variety Illusionless is able to pump out of their amps. The performance was just simply speaking epic, resulting in a well deserved 8/10!
The final band of the evening was Spartan. The band describes themselves this way:
Founded in 2007, Spartan is a one of a kind band. Influenced by various styles of metal, they bringforth powerful and pounding yet melodic tunes. Inspired by tales of ancient Greek mythology, theirsongs are themed with heroic battles, heroes, gods and demi-gods, and rich with symphonies oftimes past. They are characterized by the strong vocal lines, in w hich epic storytelling plays a majorpart. This is what makes Spartan stand out among other current metal bands, and an experienceyou won’t soon forget!
The band consists of Jeffrey Rademakers on vocals, Pieter Vink and Nick van Beusekom on guitar, Mike van Bekkum on Bass and Frank Bos on drums. They describe themselves as Power Death metal, which I find an apt description for the music they play. The energetic elements of power metal perfectly blend in with the harsh vocals of Jeffrey. Just like Illusionless, Spartan also recently released an album, Fall of Olympus, which will be reviewed at the end of this review. Some of these new songs were played during their set. Spartan was noticeably experienced in performing since the transitions and interaction with the audience were perfect. The division of solo’s between the two guitar players made the whole set very interesting due to two different play styles of two excellent guitar players.
Beside their own material, Spartan covered Rotting Christs Athanati Este. This shows that they are closer to death metal rather than power metal. As everyone was informed, there would be a duet but unfortunately she turned out ill. Luckily for the crowd, they managed to find another singer in time to join them on stage. Rik van Schaaik sang along with Jeffrey during Breaking The Chains of Olympus. Their voices fit together very well and I hope to see more cooperation in the future. Since Spartan put down a great show, including a cover and a very great duet, I rate this performance 9/10!
Next Page: Album Review: Illusionless – Age of Kali (By Romée van der Kuil)