Live review: Metal Maandag (Metal Monday) at the Valkhof Festival, Valkhofpark, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, July 15th, 2019

Traditionally each year the city of Nijmegen is host of the walking event De Vierdaagse and the festival around it, the Vierdaagsefeesten. This year it is already the 103rd edition of De Vierdaagse, this year happening from Tuesday July the 16th until Friday July the 19th. This year it is already the 50th edition of the Vierdaagsefeesten, this year happening from Saturday July the 13th until Friday July the 19th. The Valkhof Festival in the Valkhofpark is one of the many areas where you can find music during these Vierdaagsefeesten.

Traditionally during the Vierdaagsefeesten the Valkhofpark is the area for a bit more alternative music, so there are quite a few bands to see this week that are a bit out of the mainstream box. On Monday July the 15th there also are a few metal bands to see and so this Monday is called Metal Maandag (Metal Monday) by the organization of the Valkhof Festival.

The band that kicks off this evening in the Valkhofpark is the Dutch band Indigo, they are playing on the Entree stage. Vocalist/guitarist Mart Megens, bass player Loris Cornelissen, leadguitarist Frank de Groot and drummer Dion Triepels play a very nice set, especially when you think about the fact that this is the first show of the evening and this band only exists since last year. It’s because of that short existence that there first single is only to be found on streaming platforms since this day. Especially guitarist Frank de Groot and drummer Dion Triepels really raise this show to a higher level. Besides their good show the band also shows that they have a lot of fun on stage, something that is contributing to this show’s atmosphere for sure. Especially guitarist Frank de Groot seems to be where he wants to be for 100 percent, which is really nice to see. The only disadvantage of this show is the snare drum making noise during the more quiet parts of Indigo’s music, caused by the speakers’ vibration. This especially is a bit annoying during the quiet, even a bit a capella, part of Indigo’s last song.

Walking a few meters back after Indigo’s set, the first band on the new stage, the Poort stage, is about to start. The line-up on this stage is brought in collaboration with the recently started Poppunt Gelderland, so this stage will host talents from Gelderland. The first band on this stage is the Arnhem-based band Chauffeur. Chauffeur consists of two relatively young guys aging around 17 years old: vocalist/bass player Noah Baan and drummer Remco Curré. Chauffeur for sure makes clear that they are a promising and talented new band in the scene of heavier music. Noah Baan already creates quiet pop songs for a while under the name of Levi Noah, Chauffeur is quite a bit heavier though. It surely contains a lot of emotion, in quiet vocal lines as well exploding into very well fitting, upsetting shouts. Chauffeur only exists of Noah and Remco, so there is not guitarist, their music only contains bass, drums and vocals. However, during their show the guitar isn’t something that really is missing, especially due to the very nice way Noah plays his bass guitar.

After Chauffeur’s show the Nijmegen-based band Mt. Echo is playing on the Entree stage. The line-up of this postrock band consists of guitarists Gerben Elburg and Tommy van den Broeck, bass player Vincent Voogd and drummer Rolf Vonk. Mt. Echo doesn’t have a vocalist, their postrock is all instrumental. That surely seems to be a very good choice. Mt. Echo immediately creates a very special and nice atmosphere due to the very powerful sounding drums, the immersive, atmospheric guitars and the sometimes recurring psychedelic soundscapes. This surely is a show to let yourself go to, something that seems to work quite well with the present audience. Vocals doesn’t seem to be missed during this immersive show of Mt. Echo.

From this moment on no more bands will play anymore on the Entree stage for today, instead of that there will be bands performing alternately on the Boog stage and the Arc stage. The Boog stage is the first of these two stages to be opened, this will be done by the noise rockers of The Cold Vein. After a cartoon-sounding intro bass player Mickey K. already starts his bass riff while walking on the stage and looking at the audience. Suddenly the other band members, drummer Chief W., guitarist D. Ment and vocalist Rudeboy R. kick in full-throttle. Immediately it becomes clear that The Cold Vein is exploding from the stage while they show an enormous amount of energy. Especially vocalist Rudeboy R. shows to be extremely energetic. He is jumping in the air while doing karate kicks, runs over the stage, almost gets tangled up in the microphone cable while delivering his vocals with that same amount of energy.

While Cocaine Piss is opening the Arc stage, I was getting something to eat.

After Cocaine Piss’ show two very nice bands are playing at the same moment. While the Arnhem-based old school death metallers of Mouflon are playing on the Poort stage, the experimental metallers of The Body are playing on the Boog stage. I would love to watch both of those bands’ shows, but unfortunately that isn’t an option, so I chose to watch the show of The Body. Guitarist/vocalist Chip King, drummer Lee Buford and a live musician who is taking care of the noise immediately start their set very heavily. The constant wall of sound coming from the guitar and drums thunders from the stage while the noise makes this even more intense. On top of that, Chip King also adds very fitting shrieking screams that go through marrow and bone. A few times during this show someone playing the saxophone also enters the stage, who is raising the experimental level of this show even more. This show is experimental, this show is heavy, but, above all, this show is intense as fuck!

The Body finished their show a bit earlier than planned, so there is a bit of time left to see a little bit of Mouflon’s show. Unfortunately, but as expected, they are also almost at the end of their show. However, the part of Mouflon’s show I saw, not much more than their last song, pounds very heavily, as it should be with a band like Mouflon. When you’ve seen Mouflon, at this show or earlier, you know that they are good at that. Many people seem to enjoy Mouflon’s show at the pretty small Poort stage, since it is very crowded.

Then the French psychedelic rockers of The Psychotic Monks are performing on the Arc stage. Their music is quite a bit less intense and heavy compared to the preceding shows of The Body and Mouflon, but The Psychotic Monks also show this intensity on the stage, may it be in their own style of course. They show a lot of energy and it can clearly be seen that they are letting themselves go into the music completely. The immersive music of The Psychotic Monks seems to be perfect for that. At one moment there are some problems with one of the two guitars, but for the main part both guitarists, who are also both doing vocals, are roaring their guitars quite well. The lightshow during this set is also very nice and due to it getting darker, this lightshow now also seems to be effective, compared to the lights during earlier shows.

After that show there are only three bands left for this evening. While Bieldermann is the last band playing the Poort stage, I go to watch the last band playing the Boog stage. Full of Hell is closing this stage with an extremely bulldozering show. Compared to the show by The Psychotic Monks the speed level is raising extremely. Full of Hell completely destroys the Valkhofpark with their exploding wall of sound. On top of that vocalist Dylan Walker spits out his very intense vocals, while he shows to also have some nice sense of humor in between songs. The audience also gets completely nuts as can be experienced very clearly by the immense moshpit that destroys everything that is in its way.

Luckily Full of Hell didn’t literally destroy the Valkhofpark, because there is one band left to play for this evening, today’s headliner and closer of the Arc stage: Zeal & Ardor. In case you have read my earlier live review of Complexity Fest (here), where Zeal & Ardor was also headlining, it won’t be a surprise to you that I was very much looking forward to this show. Many others were too as could be seen at the big amount of people wearing Zeal & Ardor shirts today. A few moments before the start of this show it seems to be very clear that many people are wanting to see this band, it is very crowded in front of the Arc stage where everybody is waiting for this phenomenal band to start their show. During the start of their show the sound of the guitar seems to fade away at some moments, but luckily this is fixed quite fast. Unfortunately this isn’t the only technical difficulty during this show, later on there seems to be some other problems going on. Because of that frontman Manuel Gagneux has to talk a bit more than just the usual “Thank you for being here, we are Zeal & Ardor. I am not going to talk any more than this, because that’s not what you came for, right?” This however doesn’t seem to be one of his favorite things to do, but luckily it doesn’t take a huge amount of time for the problems to be fixed. Besides those moments Zeal & Ardor performs a very tight set that is perfectly assembled. Everybody exactly knows what to do and when to do that. Besides that there also is a lot of energy coming off the stage and the audience also completely goes crazy, many heads are moving up and down and the mosh pit is also present very clearly. This is a very tight and well executed headline-worthy show by a phenomenal band for sure to end this great evening with!

You can read our 11th part of Promoting Bands, including Zeal & Ardor, here as well as our aforementioned live review of Complexity Fest, where Zeal & Ardor was headlining, here. You can read our review of Mouflon’s Devastations album here as well as our 16th part of Promoting Bands, including Mouflon, here.

Vierdaagsefeesten Official Website
Vierdaagsefeesten Facebook
Vierdaagsefeesten Instagram
Vierdaagsefeesten Twitter
Valkhof Festival Official Website
Valkhof Festival Facebook
Valkhof Festival Instagram
Valkhof Festival Twitter
Zeal & Ardor Official Website
Zeal & Ardor Facebook
Zeal & Ardor Instagram
Zeal & Ardor Twitter
Full of Hell Official Website
Full of Hell Facebook
Full of Hell Instagram
Full of Hell Twitter
The Psychotic Monks Facebook
The Psychotic Monks Twitter
Mouflon Facebook
The Body Facebook
The Cold Vein Official Website
The Cold Vein Facebook
Mt. Echo Official Website
Mt. Echo Facebook
Mt. Echo Instagram
Chauffeur Facebook
Indigo Facebook

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