Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Complexity Fest - Patronaat Haarlem, 25 February 2017


Last year I was not at home to visit Complexity Fest 1, but the general comments were very positive. We can consider it the younger and louder cousin of Progpower or a succesor of Headway Festival. In the end how we call it does not matter, it gives us the chance to enjoy old favorites and new discoveries on the more technical end of Metal. Being able to go this year was tight again, as in the morning we put a visitor on the train and the next morning an early flight to Portugal was waiting. Therefore I slightly lacked time to prepare and increase my knowledge of the bands, nor could I stay untill my last train home. What I did see was a guarantee for retun visits and as I could see the Dutch Progpower family part not afraid of grunts showed up in fairly large numbers. Hoping this shall turn into a long running festival herewith some fast comments on the bands I saw.

Entering Patronaat an overfull bar made me decide to skip Transient State's debut album presentation. Extremeties kicked off the festival for me and again I liked their groovy tech metal. A full show shall follow at Metalcon, so I left before the end to move to the big hall where one of my favorite bands of the day would open the main stage. Disillusion released over 10 years ago with Back to Times of Splendour  one of the best albums that year. The show opened with a long song, which I think might have been their new 2016 release which I do not know. The band grooves and rocks without being all too loud for the day. Higlights were the old songs from the debut plus the single from their second album Dont Go Any Further. While the set had all in it to be a remarkable gig, the sound was not up to the same level yet. While not being their own fault Disillusion, did not blow the festival away. I still liked what I saw. From then on the choices started between stage 2 and 3. Both Virvum and Pelgrim were Ok to me, but did not convince me to pay attention to their full show.  Humanity's Breath still suffered with sound and presentation issues when Uneven Structure became the first real highlight of the day to me. A tight band, good presentation and moody technical metal. Reasons enough to keep an eye on their new release coming at us soon. Meeting friends made me enter the main hall slightly late for Gorod. But what I saw was the show with the loudest response over the day. This is a great live band and they return with a Thrash metal package in 013 in April, shall try to be there. While we were on a roll now I managed to stay on a high with Bossk. This post metal band looked like an instrumental piece until after some 20 miutes a vocalist appeared. His screams increased the heaviness of their show, while I also enjoyed the grooving instrumental songs.

Problem with a festival like this is that you need to break as well, so after the first high of the day with a triple surprise I again (after PPE 201?) managed to not give Agent Fresco the proper chance to impress me. What I saw was a professional band with a good show. The voice needs an acquired taste at times, but maybe one day I see them without needing a break and really like them. And then for something different I walked into the small hall to watch Napoleon. This progressive metalcore jumping music was just refreshing to me. The emptiest gig of the day I saw, but those who were present liked the show for sure. Obscura played the main hall and seeing them some times before I must admit I liked them most when they were still a support act for Atheist. Their show is good and their musicianship beholds nothing to complain, yet something keeps missing for me. Good time for having some food to join the drinks and go to the bar stage where a Progmetal band from the UK would play. Was I glad that I decided to wait here as Exist Immortal turned out to be the favorite gig of the night to me. Djent might be lurkin around the corner, but good old progmetal was definitely in as well. Great band and a good vocalist who mixed the clean and the extreme very well. The sympathetic presnetation of the band made me go see them after the show to say a word of thanks and get their CD. Competing with the festival headliner is never easy, but until the end many remained overwhelmed by this young band. And then it was off to the main hall to see Ihsahn. I only saw the first songs as the train was caling me and old age demands some sleep. What I saw definitely made me wishing for more in the future. So leaving Patronaat pleased with the day, thanks go out to the organizers of this great festival and I will be back next year.

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