Mauce Fest 2016

Fitted right between the 2 big festivals of Fortarock and Dokk’em Open Air, organized their own festival because of their 10 year anniversary. The Naxt venue in Almelo was chosen for this small festival! With a sounding line up, beer sold in a glass or in a bottle, a lot of regulars and a metal market…. All the ingredients were there to have a great metal party! I arrived in the pouring rain in the industrial area where Naxt is located. The rain was of no worries, because the festival was indoors. Right from the start there were quite some visitors already. Not very suprising, because 2 of the big names on this bill played early.

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Empire of the Wolves (NL)

Starting at 16:00 Empire of the Wolves were the ones to kick the festival in to gear. Musically it was not bad, but it was a bit unfortunate these youngsters couldn’t bring their metalcore more convincing. The front man relyed completely on his digital voice distortion, with the result that the energy just wasn’t there.

La-Ventura (NL)

I recently saw Carla and her merry men at Brainstorm festival in Apeldoorn. There they did a semi-acoustic set and it was overwhelming. This was my first change to see the fully amplified set and I was curious if this was going to be as impressive as their performance in Apeldoorn was. The short version of this review is: It damn right was! The longer version: With everybody connected to amps, the sound is richer. Where the semi-acoustic was introvert en powerful because of Carla’s voice, the amplified set was extrovert and powerful because of the band and Carla’s voice. The sound was really well balanced and of course the show was great too! It was obvious that a lot of people came for La Ventura and they got a treat!

Undawn (NL)

Next up is a band which made a big progression with their new album. Undawn is the first band to receive the maximum of 10 out of 10 here on for their last album “Justice is…” On Occultfest 2015 they were impressive too, so I was ready to see some fireworks. The first song was a bit of a let down, because the harmonies weren’t sounding right. Whether it was caused by something technical or not warmed-up vocal cords, I don’t know, but from the second song on, the problem was gone. Leaving out the first song, musically and vocally it was superb en I had a blast! Even the band themselves had a great time on the stage. The jamming part of the set was great too, but it would be even better in my opnion if there was a tad more metal to it. All in all a great set of a band who clearly enjoys to be on the stage.

My Silent Wake (UK)

This Death/Doom band is new to me, but this first encounter is not bad… not bad at all! Technically and musically it is very well taken care of. The keyboard player stands out for his complete different outfit. No jeans, no long hair and dark shirt, but a short cut, shorts and a shirt with a cheerful print. But don’t judge a book by it’s cover. He created a hell of an atmosphere with that keyboard. My Silent Wake puts down a solid performance of some pretty descend Death/Doom which is very enjoyable. Not only by me, but the spectators enjoyed the hell out of it too!

The Royal (NL)

Right from the start it is clear that The Royal is going to bring some energy. There is a lot of movement on the stage and the energy is contagious. This band is the first to have an official circle pit in front of the stage, but these guys were a bit too enthusiastic. A table and a couple of glasses went flying. On the stage the energy levels remain high and the band members encouraging the head bangers to more action. This band knows their metalcore and I hope to see some more of them in the near future.

Pantokrator (SE)

When I entered the venue, there was a stall of the metal bible, so there had to be Christian band tonight and Pantokrator was that band. A few minutes before the band started to play, there were a lot of people who apparently only came for this band and there were even little children amongst them. I have to give it to Pantokrator; the show was great but at times a bit too religious and theatrical to my taste. To me, the bible reading was the straw that broke the camel’s back. When Pantokrator ended, the religious crowd was hurdling their way to the exit, because it was time for the last band…

The Memory Remains (NL)

This band plays covers of Styper, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, etc. The old shit! It was quite nice to hear the old songs performed live again after so many years. The Memory Remains was a very nice ending of successful festival. There was still quite a crowd when I had to leave.

To sum things up: put down a very nice festival in a nice venue with some superb bands! I sure as hell hope the next Mauce Fest won’t take another 10 years!