[show review] Euroblast 2013 – Köln, Germany

Text: NaDvisualart
Photos: NaDvisualart and Wouter Van Kamp.

Euroblast is a non profit progressive and djent festival held in Köln (Deustchland), created in 2008 by John Giulio Sprich and all his team, to whom we would like to thank before even starting this review.

Euroblast 2013
Euroblast 2013

This festival is a reunion of progressive and djent bands, most of whom compose, record and promote their work via online. Euroblast is an experience itself for both band and fan to enjoy their music live. Inspite of what a lot of people may think about working with music this way (using computers when composing), I think we should admire the possibility of giving technology the chance to work side by side with music and being able to create more complex structures and sudden, but not random rythm changes.

In the words of the organization:
Our vision is to bring the finest bands and composers of the contemporary metal scene onto our stages! With the growth of ingenious musical craftsmanship spreading over the internet, we feel the need to build a platform that gives everyone the chance to experience this amazing music in real life.” (http://www.euroblast.net/index.php/en/history.html)

This ninth edition, “The Ninth Comming”, got around 40 bands from all over the world: USA, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Brasil, Russia… and a lot of european countries as Holland, UK, Norway, Denmark, France, Sweden, Germany, Greece, and also Spain with Overdown.Most of the assistants of the festival were also from Europe, specially Belgium and Germany. Sadly the spaniards were a minority.

Textures Euroblast 2013
Textures Euroblast 2013

Having in consideration that this is a non-profit festival with very low prices, I think everything at Euroblast works more than fine. This year the chosen place was Essigfabrik, a bit smaller than the one from the previous year (Live Music Hall & Underground Cologne) and with less assistance as well.

The main stage had a very good sound, quite decent inspite of some technical problems with instruments (specially mics). Some bands performances were affected by this problem, but the stage itself was really good: it was big and not very high, so everyone could enjoy everything happening on stage. On each side of the stage there were screens showing a live streaming of the shows, and even if the lightning didn’t always let us see what was happening, we appreciated we could see almost all in detail.

Smiley faces on musicians and fans. This is a familiar festival for most of us, a place where musicians and promoters are mixed among the audience, in a complete symbiosis where everybody shared big moments. I didn’t see any fight or people causing trouble during the three days I spent there, something that has never happened to me in other festivals I have attended. The only incident I remember was a girl falling during the Textures set, but it was no big deal.

There were no queues for getting drinks or going to the toilet, the few bartenders were very efficient (they definitely had a busy time providing us with our main nutrition source: Jägermeister and Beer). For all those non-familiar with Euroblast or other festivals in Germany: it is common to “rent” the plastic glasses for beers (normally between 0,50 cents and 1 euro), when you return your glass you have your money back and it helps to keep the place clean during the whole festival. This practice is known as “Pfand” and it is a common practice all over Germany even for normal bottles in supermarkets (homeless people keep the streets clean picking up bottles from the streets and exchanging them for money at the supermarket). This is something that can be easily put into practice in Spain…

Now the other side of the coin (but is not usual point): this year it was as cold as an ice slap in the face. Thankfully, we had the drinks and the warmth of the shows. This was an little inconvenient when it came to go to the second stage. It was below the main room and you needed to leave the building to get there. It was difficult to abandon the main stage’s shelter, specially when the show schedule meant some shows overlapping.

B3ar Euroblast 2013
B3ar Euroblast 2013

Opening day one’s line up NO CONSEQUENCE (United Kingdom), warming up the show with their complex riffs. “Enemy of Logic” was the key song in their show. They finished the set with “Unify”, the song from their new lyricvideo, which happens to be very interesting. Followed by ALIASES, (Manchester, Uk), this band arrived with a good dose of euphoria and well-balanced melodic rhythms mixed with brutal breakdowns. Joe Rosser seemed to be totally possessed and made it clear during the song “Face for Lust”. Special mention to Leath Woodward, on the rhythmic guitar, and one of the only females on stage in this fest. In the song “We Should Have Never Met”, we had the great Jay Barrett on vocals, who had previously collaborated with Cyclamen, among others. Unfortunately, due to some problems with the sound we couldn’t listen to him… but the audience was impressed anyway. Next on stage was B3AR (Belgium) on a demonstration of pure raw energy, raging explosion of progressive metal and hardcore, with a good dose of twisted and powerful breakdowns, this show was the perfect time for crowdsurfing. Hyperactive on stage, almost in a frenzy, all of them wearing white shirts, remembered me vaguely of a badass version of Clockwork Orange. They performed on a semi darkness during all show, with very dim lights, and by the end of the show, totally out of the blue, Serch Carriere, the drummer, ended up destroying his drumset into pieces.

Then it was BENEA REACH’s turn (Norway), the band managed to put up an intense show, extreme good mathcore, dark and heavy melodies with some high moments. Death metalish screaming but sometimes the vocal melodies were a bit plain, mostly on growl parts. However the festival was progressing in a really good way. Next up SKYHARBOR (Delhi/Mumbai/DC/Notts), the venue was packed and the audience was pretty enthusiastic, responding really well to Dani Tompkin’s brutally flexible voice, who delivered plenty of well balanced and well placed high notes, which blew out our minds in extasy. THREAT SIGNAL (Canada) well balanced and very brutal breakdowns, and good melodies. They nailed it, connecting with the public with their strong energy, unleashing big moshpits during songs like “Fallen disciples” and “Through my eyes”. THE AGONIST (Canada),  remarkable virtuosity by guitarist Dani Marino, and Alissa’s quite bold and impressive voice, I could see real quality their execution, but a little poor attitude on stage.

Skyharbor Euroblast 2013
Skyharbor Euroblast 2013

And then, one of the most expected moments of the night arrived, TEXTURES (Netherlands). Euphoria took over the venue at the sound of the very first notes of “The Sun’s Architect”. For the third time, the Dutchs were conquering the Euroblast stage. During some 70 minutes they kept the climax up high all the time. Again, the crowd burst into several walls of death and circle pits. One of the big highlights was seeing everyone singing “Awake”, a song that always give me chills. The perfect synchronism between the band members is always something amazing to see. Closing day one’s line up, the first surprises of the festival, DEAD LETTER CIRCUS (United States)they got on stage as the closing act of a more than intense day. They kept a pretty vehement attitude throughout all their setlist. The highlights were “The Cure” and “Special Add”. Followed by PARTYMONIUM,with Dj Thorsten Wilms, mixing classic metal songs all night long.


The second round of gigs began with LIFEFORMS (UK/Israel), during almost 30 minutes, they filled the venue with a gloomy atmosphere. Euroblast’s second day began at full throttle. Replacing SYQEM, THE ULEX (Netherland), Textures’ keyboardist, Uri Dijk, presenting his solo project, built up a magical atmosphere and had the whole audience eating out from his hand during the four long songs he played. DISPERSE (Poland), the very young Polish, who also repeated in Euroblast, showed off his great musical skills, the great virtuosity of guitarist Jakub Żytecki was remarkable. As for attitude, Rafał Biernacki on voice and Żytecki maintained a good feeling. Next on stage was CIRCLES (Australia) good, clean and elaborated sound, the audience was really pleased with the performance. The highlight was “Response Song”.

Disperse Euroblast 2013
Disperse Euroblast 2013


EVER FORTHRIGHT (United States) another great show, with Chris Barretto as frontman (Periphery, Monuments and Friend For a Foe). Kevin Theodor’s technical level on the keyboards and the awesome sax performance by Barretto during the song “Reflections”, that was the best part of the show, when the whole audience shut their eyes when the band stated “Now we shall go to make a trip”. Detail that Barretto collaborated also, playing sax in the nexts shows The Algorithm and Twelve Foot Ninja. THE ALGORITHM (France) with the collaboration in drumms of Mike Malyan (Monuments) and Max Michel on the guitar. A wild electro progressive metal party. The crowd danced and jumped and burst into euphoria. In the final song, Uneven Structure got up on stage and converted the show into something completely glorious. Barretto and John Guilio were also on stage taking part, with a sword and a shield toy, having fun, delivering that good feeling to the audience. They ended up lifting big Rémi before a totally frenzied audience. Followed by TWELVE FOOT NINJA (Australia) the perfect combination of many different labels, blending styles with inhuman ease. They started with the great song “Kingdom” and ended with the popular “Coming for you”. In “Manufacture of Consensus” Barretto, the “restless ass” got up again with his sax. Australians created a party atmosphere with everyone dancing, impossible to stay quiet. Turn for the headliners THE OCEAN (Germany) As usual, Berliners brought their audiovisuals and created an aquatic and surreal atmosphere, immersed in a beautiful dark, dimly lit by light rays. There was a problem with the drums, which led to a small halt … I’d personally would’ve liked to change the running order of these last three bands, i.e first The Ocean, second Twelve Foot Ninja and ending with The Algorithm (but then again that’s just my personal taste).

Ending night with dj’s Hans Nieswandt, The Algorithm, TRAP and Jaycut, in ELECTROBLAST session.


The Agonist Euroblast 2013
The Agonist Euroblast 2013

Warming up the last day HEIGHTS (United Kingdom) and THE OMEGA EXPERIMENT (United States), followed by HYPNO5E (France), this last one another jewel of the Line Up. With their film voice samplers and their technic skills, they filled the venue with a Lovecraftian atmosphera. They played their best songs such as “Acid Mist Tomorrow” and “Story Of The Eye” (which video is a masterpiece). FEARED (Sweden) raised the bar to the most death metalish sound I can listen to nowadays. They were pretty powerful but at times Mario Santos growls were really plain.

Next band on stage was HACRIDE (France), good mix of toughness and melancholy. During the approximately 30 minutes of show, they played most of their new album “Back to Where You’ve Never Been”, the climax came with “Perturbed” (another interesting videoclip). UNEVEN STRUCTURE (France) on stage, the Secret Act on the line up. They sounded heavy and powerful. At the same time OVERDOWN (Spain) were performing at the Second Stage,unfortunately with very little audience. The sound wasn’t too bad, but didn’t do them any favour either. They had a very good attitude on stage, even though the band barely fit in it. “Ether Ruins” a song to be considered in your playlists.

Euphoria time came with MONUMENTS (United States) Climax came in with the theme “Regenerate”, where they asked the public to kneel down and stay there until the breakdown part. Honorable mention to the screaming on “Blue Sky Thinking”. Again an incredible solo sax from Barretto in “Admint Defeat”. Finally, the end of the festival came with MESHUGGAH (Sweden). They opened with “Dancers to a discordant System”, fair enough the setlist was very generous. The lower tones causing a bit of a mess with the sound at times, and their somehow cold attitude didn’t help either.

That night there was no after party, which left us wanting some more … And wishing the next edition’s soon arrival. But it was really good to enjoy one last treat for our ears, a half-hour jam session, with Jared Lippi/Mike Malyan (Drums), Adam Freeman Swan (Bass) and Nick Llerandi (Guitar).

Check out and enjoy some memorable moments here:
Euroblast news

Photos by NaDvisualart
Photos by Basementonline

Euroblast 2013
Euroblast 2013