Romanian Thrash Metal Club is proud to present
OLD GRAVE FEST 2016, the 5th edition of the only metal festival in Romania organized by a fan club,
for fans, the festival where your money
helps us fund the next edition
Romanian Thrash Metal Club is proud to present the details about the Old Grave Fest 2016, the 5th edition of the only metal festival in Romania organized by a fan club, for fans. The event will take place on October 7th and 8th at Club Fabrica, Bucharest. So far the line-up looks this: Archgoat (Finland), Varathron (Greece), Antisect (UK), Pentacle (Netherlands), Gama Bomb (Ireland), Korgull (Spain), Castle (USA), Execration (Norway), Diskord (Norway), Vigilance (Slovenia), Khthoniik Cerviiks (Germany), Wild Hunt (Austria), Stereo Nasty (Ireland), Insulter (Germany), Hellsodomy (Turkey) and Pyroblast (Romania)
The first headliner of the Old Grave Fest 2016 is the mighty Archgoat from Finland, for their first show ever in Romania. 1989 saw the birth of one of the most intense acts in the black metal scene. Archgoat was formed by Ritual Butcherer (Vocals, Bass) and Lord Angelslayer (Guitars), along with drummer Blood Desecrator. The first demo, Jesus Spawn, was unleashed in 1991. In 1992 Archgoat signed with Necropolis Records and in 1993 the MLP Angelcunt (Tales of Desecration) was released. Archgoat entered the studio to record a full length release, but after a disagreement with the label the material was kept from the masses and in late 1993 the decided to vanish from the black metal scene, which they deemed too commercial. Fast forward to 2004, when the band began anew their black metal crusade, starting with a release of the material recorded in 1993 as the EP Angelslaying Black Fucking Metal. The assault has never stopped since, with a host of releases including three crushing full-length records, Whore of Bethlehem (2006), The Light-Devouring Darkness (2009) and The Apocalyptic Triumphator (2015).
The unholy crusade continues and the show at the fifth edition of the Old Grave Fest will be the very first time it hits Romania, so beware!
Varathron is one of the eldest, most respected entities in the Hellenic and European black metal landscape. Founded in 1988, they joined forces early on with mighty Necromantia to release the seminal split The Black Arts lead to the Everlasting Sins (1992), generally viewed as the foundation of the Greek black metal sound, so successfully popularized afterwards by Rotting Christ. Unlike Rotting Christ though, who eventually succumbed to gothic and ethnic elements, Varathron never strayed a millimeter from the black metal to which they helped give birth. During a discography consisting of 5 full lengths and numerous splits and EPs, Varathron diligently explored the mysteries of Hellenic black metal, leaving us a series of dark, abyssal and obscure musical works, encapsulated in mystical albums like the classics His Majesty at the Swamp (1993) and Walpurgisnacht (1995), or, more recently, the impressive Stygian Forces of Scorn(2009) and Untrodden Corridors of Hades (2014). Surely, their first ever appearance in Romania is an event not to be missed, not only by the black metal fans, but by all who appreciate an old school, uncompromising approach to metal.
As a nod to the invaluable influence of crust punk on the extreme metal we know and love, we have invited UK legends Antisect. Formed in 1982 in Daventry, Antisect, along with Amebix put the first brick for what was going to be crust punk, heavily influenced by metal bands like Motorhead and Black Sabbath.
With the roots in anarcho-punk, Antisect released their first album In Darkness there is No Choice, an angry assault that builds an amazing picture of filthy human nature in the context of a system of endoctrination and death. After a long break of almost three years, the next EP appeared, Out from the Void, a heavier sound straight out from the squats of London.
With a failed attempt to record their second album, Welcome to the New Dark Ages – most of the already recorded songs can be found on the live album Peace is Better Than a Place in History -, the band split up in 1987 just to come back to life in 2011 after nearly 25 years break. For the first time in Romania, these legends are here to remind us the early ’80s when crust was just being born while yelling : “War is oblivion and the ghost of mankind!”.
More than a quarter century ago, Pentacle came to life with the purpose of continuing the legacy of the black and death metal legends of the 80’s. While in later years the underground metal scene has been rife with retro trends and just mentioning Hellhammer/Celtic Frost or Possessed on your liner notes would get you points with the “true” crowd, few bands have been so consistestly honest in their approach for such a long time, while also forging their own musical identity. The early 90’s saw the release of a rehearsal tape and a demo, followed by two EPs, Exalted Journey and The Fifth Moon, which clearly pointed out the path to be taken for the next 20 years. The raspy vocals, crushing riffs and haunting melodies and the no-nonsense approach of the drumming would be cornerstones of the first full-lenght album, …Rides the Moonstorm (1998), now a cult classic of the genre. A further EP, Ancient Death, came out in 2001, bracketed by splits with Desaster and Repugnant, and the second full lenght, Under the Black Cross (2005) would be another milestone in the history of the band. Further splits with Mortem and Eternal Solstice and a couple of EPs that came out since only just sated the hunger for more bonecrushing old school death metal, so we can only hope for news of future ventures. Until then, Pentacle performing in Romania for the very first time at the Old Grave Fest 2016 is surely something that a die-hard will not want to miss!
OK. Stripping it to the bare essentials – beer and bar brawls, the fact that Gama Bomb come from Ireland is no surprise. Since their start in 2002, they’ve released 5 full-length albums that are within a hair’s width of each other, stylistically: speed’n’thrash on the debut, followed by crossover thrash, and nowadays leaning towards the New York approach to the genre. The self-assured way they go about things might make it look easy, like you just throw some Iron Angel, S.O.D., Nuclear Assault and Overkill in a pot and your stew is done, but in a world in which Municipal Waste call themselves Iron Reagan just to be allowed to wear a baseball cap, Gama Bomb would be Gama Bomb even when playing Irish folk songs. Seriously, Gama Bomb on the Old Grave Fest stage will leave many nailed to the floor – with their gallop, you don’t need more than three crossover fans to make the largest of venues feel like a sardine can.
Korgull the Exterminator, like Vektor, is part of a rare breed of bands heavily influenced by Voivod in all aspects, not only – and maybe least of which – the music itself. The band name is a Voivod song, you have records about the wars of the voivodes, but when you start playing you turn into a pack of hungry dogs… with guitars and all. One might be disappointed, but when you stop to think, you’ve been wondering for a few years now why Korgull weren’t playing the Old Grave Fest. After three full length albums rivaling each other in viciousness – more than just blackened thrash but not quite war metal -, the band is on more solid ground now. The structure of the Catalans’ fourth LP, Reborn from the Ashes, is more well-defined and more effort is dedicated to the riffs and the lead guitar and this all takes the band somewhat nearer to the border with heavy metal. So it’s apparent that there’s a penchant for straddling genre limits, but that’s an issue only if you’re a nitpicker. We are not and we firmly believe that heavy, black, thrash and war mean one thing – the stage will be ripped apart and the audience annihilated, so do not miss this opportunity of disintegrating into a chaotic cloud of atoms.
After their excellent show in Club Fabrica, in May this year, a lot of people asked us to bring Castle back to Bucharest. Now we can make this possible, at Old Grave Fest 2016.
Founded in 2009 in San Francisco, Castle is, alongside bands like Argus, Hour of 13 or Sinister Realm, part of a very talented generation of American musicians that set out to discover the authentic roots of metal, by mixing the traditional doom of pioneers like Pentagram or Trouble with flashy elements of the ’80s heavy metal. With an appraised debut in 2011, In Witch Order, that earned them Album of the Year honors from Metal Hammer Norway, followed by two other critically acclaimed efforts (Blacklands, 2012, and Under Siege, 2014), Castle displays a high compositional level and great musicians’ cohesion, as well as impressive individual skills. To the forefront we find the ever-present bassist/vocalist Elizabeth Blackwell, whose solemn, slithering vocals fit perfectly with the dark riffs pouring from Mat Davis’s guitar. Castle‘s music can be described as heavy and occult, with periodical outbursts of hypnotic melodies.
One more piece of good news for the band’s fans: Mat Davis let us know that they are currently finishing writing their 4th album, scheduled to be released next year. Therefore expect new Castle songs, live on the Old Grave Fest stage.
The other addition to the festival is one of Norway’s finest, death metal band Execration. They have been churning out some of the most interesting releases for that genre for more then a decade now, and word goes that a new album is on the way!
Formed in 2004 in Oslo, their debut full-length, Syndicate of Lethargy, came out in 2008, and their sophomore effort, Odes of the Occult (2011), cemented their place as stalwarts of the underground death metal scene. Rooted in the so-called old school, but decidedly forward-thinking, by the release of Morbid Dimensions (2014), there was no denying they had forged their unique brand of controlled chaos.
The album came out to critical acclaim, culminating in a Spellemann award – Norway’s equivalent to a Grammy – for best metal act. For the first time in Romania, their show is not to be missed by any death metal fan out there.
For those among you who thought highly of the Obliteration show at our previous edition, or flinched at the news of Execration making an appearance this year, we hold yet another surprise from the new wave of Norwegian death metal. Under the notable influence of genre representatives such as Gorguts or Demilich, Diskord adopts a progressive, nonconformist approach to death metal, where the technical side impresses, but never wanders into meaningless show-off. With nearly 17 years of band history and two full length under their belt, the Norwegians are a technical, progressive and unorthodox death metal machinery to be reckoned with.
It doesn’t take an expert or an underground metal enthusiast to notice the recent revival of heavy metal. Slovenian band Vigilance is definitely a part of this, even if their approach is not as purist as some might like. Firmly rooted in NWOBHM, but also in Mercyful Fate, Vigilance is one of the bands that define the current state of European heavy metal. Following in the footsteps of Bewitched, In Solitude, Portrait and even Enforcer, the Slovenians use the same recipe for the heavy-speed-black metal mix: heavy metal instrumentation, occult themes, extreme vocals.
If you could build everything Khthoniik Cerviiks stands for out of only one thing, you would be a fool not to choose barbed wire. Some of us have surely wondered, after a glass too many, why there’s no more Sadistik Exekution or at least somebody to take the insanity of their song structures one step further. Well, on a little cassette with one of Becsinsky’s zombie-monsters on it, the demo Heptaedrone released in 2014, is a bit Sad Ex, maybe a bit Martire, and when you put your mind to it, some compositional clues taken from Voivod – more so than the Spanish quartet above, anyway. Fresh from the printing press, the debut LP, SeroLogiikal Scars (Vertex of Dementiia), is maybe heavier on the black metal, adding a suffocating element to the madness, transforming it in outright dementia. You’ve surely heard it said about many bands that they’ve created the perfect soundtrack for a post-apocalyptic world, but it’s seldom that the idea of progress towards primitivism is so well expressed musically.
Stereo Nasty come fresh from their debut, “Nasty by nature (2015)”, a record that caused quite a stir in the metallic underground, and rightly so. Featuring inspired and dynamic compositions, firmly rooted in the principles dictated in the 70’s-80’s by metal founders like Judas Priest or Accept, but also influenced by American bands such as W.A.S.P., the Irish quartet plays a fluid, unadulterated brand of heavy metal that, we’re certain, will appeal to any classic metal fan.
Joining Pentacle is the black/death/thrash outfit Insulter from Germany. They’ve only just released their debut album, Crypts of Satan, on Witches Brew/Left Hand Path, this April, and it is a riff fest! Just the right amount of speed in a blackened thrash mix laden with death metal touches certainly makes for one of this year’s highlights.
As a nod to the crazy, dedicated Turkish metal scene, the third band announced is Hellsodomy.
The old school death metal band was founded in 2011 in Kadiköy/Turkey. After intense rehearsals and shows their first demo, Masochistic Molestation MC has been unleashed by Danish Deadbangers Records in early 2014. Losing no time, they started working on new songs which were later to be embodied as their new EP, Sodomy is Nigh which was released by Barbarian Wrath Recs in August 2015.
Old Grave Fest 2016 will take place in Club Fabrica (Bucharest) in October 7th and 8th 2016. Tickets are available online at http://www.rtmc.ro/tickets/ and www.iabilet.ro. The hard tickets are also available: UMAN shops, MUZICA store, Perfect Tour shops, in Private Hell bar (Bucuresti, 5 Soarelui Str.) or via Titus Constantinescu (Bucuresti).