Live review: Crossplane and The Unslain at Rockcafe Backstage, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, January 5th, 2019

On the evening of Saturday January the 5th, two bands are performing at the rockcafe just around the corner of my house, Rockcafe Backstage. After a quick online check of both bands an hour before the show will start I decide to go take a look. The headliner Crossplane was a band I didn’t know, but it sounded nice after a few moments on Youtube. I’ve heard about the support act, The Unslain, before, but somehow I don’t remember it that well. Why is something I myself don’t really understand, because they are very nice for sure.

A few moments before The Unslain will kick off their set the Nijmegen-based rockcafe is already quite packed. However this was something that could be expected since The Unslain is also coming from Nijmegen. This way tonight seems to be a perfect combination and many people in the audience seems to be a fan of The Unslain. Right from the first moments of their set, The Unslain delivers a very great show. The guitars from Bart Foppes en Jeroen Hermsen regularly shred nicely and Indy Wessels’ drums sound very intense, probably partly due to the extreme power he’s drumming with. Much energy is coming off this band, particularly expressed by Jeroen and Indy. They both also show a very expressing attitude and mimicry, which surely is an addition to the show. Instrumentally The Unslain finds a perfect balance between melodic and heavier parts, the heavier parts regularly sounding thrashy. Add to that Jeroen’s nice vocals, which are melodic as well as raw at the same time. During tonight’s show The Unslain plays not one, but two new tracks: Long Road Out Of Hell and Unslained. The sound during the show is perfect, apart from Jeroen’s mic for a few moments after it fell on the ground. It seems to be a bit lower in volume, but this soon gets fixed.

Then it’s Crossplane’s turn. From their first notes on these Germans deliver a very heavy, pounding wall of sound with their rock n roll in a very heavily way à la Motorhead. Instrumentally as well as vocally the comparison with Motorhead is pretty logical. The fact that Crossplane delivers a wall of sound however doesn’t mean that that is something bad. Moreover, it pounds very nicely! Crossplane also show that they have much fun onstage. Especially vocalist/guitarist Marcel ‘Celli’ Mönnig expresses this very clearly. At one moment he walks into the audience to get random people to sing along. Musically this is also their only point of rest in the very heavy show. During the start of their set the audience, including myself, seems to need some time before they can fully enjoy this set, but once succeeded in that it for sure ends in a great party. A great party while the venue seems to be a bit less packed compared to earlier in the evening, but that definitely isn’t going to ruin it.

This for sure was a very nice evening and I am glad that I decided to go earlier this evening. Both bands surely delivered nice shows. Personally I liked The Unslain a bit more than Crossplane, but that of course is also a matter of personal taste. Definitely a great evening!

Here you can also read our Horns Up To The Locals feature about Nijmegen, including an interview with Theo Thijssen of Rockcafe Backstage.

Crossplane Official Website
Crossplane Facebook
The Unslain Official Website
The Unslain Facebook
The Unslain Twitter

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