Live review: Napalm Death, Eyehategod, Misery Index, Rotten Sound and BAT at Patronaat, Haarlem, The Netherlands, February 25th, 2020

On Tuesday February the 25th the Campaign For Musical Destruction Tour landed in the venue of the Patronaat in Haarlem, The Netherlands. That can only mean one thing: this is going to be a very heavy evening! Headliner of this evening is no one else but the founders of grindcore Napalm Death and they are bringing four other bands with them on this tour: the American sludgers of Eyehategod, their death metal fellow Americans of Misery Index, the Finnish grinders of Rotten Sound and Eyehategod’s and Misery Index’ fellow Americans heavy metallers of BAT.

Photo by Tim van Velthuysen

It’s up to BAT to open this evening and while their show is quite good, the sound during this show is causing that the power during this show is lacking quite much. Nick Poulos’ guitar is, with the exception of his solos pretty low in the mix, just as Ryan Waste’s vocals. What on the other hand is clearly audible are the nicely humming bass sound of Ryan Waste, who plays his bass guitar in such a way that it not only serves as backbone for the music, but also as one of the highlights of it. In addition to that are Chris Charge’s strong drums also clearly audible. Aside from the fact that the ratios in the mix could be a bit better, the mix is also sounding somewhat hollow, which could be something caused be the fact that there still are quite some empty spaces in the quite big venue. Later on in BAT’s show, at the same moment it becomes it bit more crowded in the venue, this gets a bit better. However, BAT surely gets a few people banging their heads already and during Rule of the Beast there even arises a mini-moshpit.

Photo by Tim van Velthuysen

Then it’s time for the Finns of Rotten Sound. Earlier this month bass player Kristian Toivainen and Rotten Sound parted ways because of Kristian wanting to move on and focus on other things in his life. Due to this Rotten Sound got bass player David Kasipovic to handle the bass guitar during this tour as a session musician. If I could give a tip to Rotten Sound, without detracting their other band members: make him your permanent bass player! What a power he has! This by the way applies to the entire band and the show they are delivering this evening, but he, together with frontman Keijo Niinimaa, is really up front in that. David not only delivers a very filthy constantly pummeling bass sound in a very powerful way, but also contributes to the brutal power and energy coming off of the stage with his very fitting, brutal facial expressions and poses. The fact that the mix is already a lot better compared to the mix during BAT’s show, although Keijo Niinimaa’s vocals could be a bit louder, also clearly adds to this. In addition to David’s bass and Keijo’s vocals the deep sound of Sami Latva’s drums and the at some moments nice guitarsolos by Mike Aalto are also standing out very well. At a given moment we have to wait for a bit because one of Mika Aalto’s guitar strings needs to be replaced, but that’s the only point of criticism on this very strong, overwhelming show.

Photo by Tim van Velthuysen

After that strong show it’s time for the only band of this evening that I’ve already seen live before, Misery Index. That was in Merleyn in Nijmegen in July last year, of which you can read my live review here. There is one clear difference when compared tonight’s show with that show though: now Misery Index is on stage as the foursome they are instead of the threesome they were performing as in Nijmegen. Back then vocalist/guitarist Mark Kloeppel had to return home due to a family emergency. Now he’s on stage. His vocals are just a little bit lower than the vocals of vocalist/bass player Jason Netherton, who took care of all vocals during Misery Index’ show in Nijmegen. This adds a little bit more variation and an extra layer to their show. During the beginning of their show the vocals are still a bit low in the mix, but that becomes better later on in the show, aside from that the mix is fine. That Misery Index knows how to deliver an extremely brutal show was something I already experienced and tonight they do so again. There’s a lot of energy coming off of the stage which results in quite a lot of headbangers and a regularly returning quite big moshpit.

Photo by Tim van Velthuysen

The show that follows, Eyehategod’s show, was also really worth checking out, but it took some time to get used to it after the previous shows, because this show is the most deviating show compared to the rest. Eyehategod’s filthy, raw sludge is quite a lot slower and delivers a different, but also very brutal, sort of energy. That filthy sound is coming from the entire band, but especially from the big use of feedback that regularly returns in their show, from Jimmy Bower’s guitar and from Mike IX Williams’ intense shouting vocals. Mike IX Williams also contributes to the filthiness of this show with his behavior on stage, by regularly spitting, emptying his nose, licking the microphone stand and his reaction, including a raised middle finger, on someone in the front row complaining about his vocals being not audible enough: that’s something which is normal when you are in the front row. Eyehategod delivers a very strong, powerful show with a huge dose of energy coming off of the stage, resulting in a very big moshpit.

Photo by Tim van Velthuysen

After that show it’s time for the headliner of the evening, the founders of grindcore, Napalm Death. They also deliver a very brutal show that causes an extreme explosion of energy from start to finish. The only moment during which this energy is gone for a while is when a few people in the audience are urging Napalm Death to wait with starting their next song and to call for security, because someone got unwell. After this person got help, hopefully everything gets better soon and there isn’t any permanent damage, Napalm Death finishes their show and that energy is back quite soon. For a moment there logically seems to be a bit more caution, but soon the brutal energy of this show takes over and the extremely big, heavy, almost constant moshpit is back. Napalm Death plays a very strong show, with especially Danny Herrera’s constantly heavy pummeling drums and, of course, frontman Mark “Barney” Greenway standing out. Frontman Mark “Barney” Greenway not only stands out with his maniacal vocals, which are at some moments interchanged with the a bit higher screams by guitarist/vocalist Mitch Harris, but also with his typical, maniacal way of moving across the stage, getting so crazy that he even punches himself in the nuts at a given moment. During this show Napalm Death also plays the earlier this month as an EP released songs Logic Ravaged By Brute Force and White Kross, a Sonic Youth cover. White Kross isn’t the only cover Napalm Death plays tonight though, of course their cover of the Dead Kennedys song Nazi Punks Fuck Off can’t be missed. Napalm Death ends their show in a way that fits very well as the last moment of a show during a tour that’s called Campaign For Musical Destruction: frontman Mark “Barney” Greenway puts his head, including microphone in the bass drum, while Mitch Harris with his guitar and Shane Embury with his bass guitar are creating a wall of feedback.

This definitely was a very nice, extremely heavy evening!

You can read our review of BAT’s Cruel Discipline here, as well as our review of their Wings of Chains album here.

Napalm Death Official Website
Napalm Death Facebook
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Napalm Death Twitter
Eyehategod Official Website
Eyehategod Facebook
Eyehategod Instagram
Eyehategod Twitter
Misery Index Official Website
Misery Index Facebook
Misery Index Twitter
Rotten Sound Official Website
Rotten Sound Facebook
Rotten Sound Instagram
Rotten Sound Twitter
BAT Facebook
BAT Instagram

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