Brutal Assault 2017 – a festival where you eat cockroaches, drinking water is forbidden, and everything’s a blast! (Part 2)

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Brutal Assault sounds great, and it is, no question. But there are ways of ruining the party, and funny enough, both have to do with water! One is the complete absence of drinkable water on the festival ground. The only H20 you’ll be seeing are the bottles carted for the tents and personnel. Bringing your own life juice is out of the question, so you’ll have to substitute with non-alcoholic beverages… or alcoholic, if drinking tea and lemonade isn’t metal enough for you. Second is the angry weather! Jaroměř and Sahara have the hot days and cold nights in common, so bring two blankets if you are camping.

But when a rainstorm approaches, there’s awfully little you can do, and the one on Thursday was downright ghastly! Severe enough to knock out the town’s electricity and communications, it forced the organizers to stop all electricity for half an hour as attendants sought refuge inside tightly packed pubs and the catering/merch folks held onto their tents for dear life! Thankfully, the few puddles of mud and smeared make-ups left after didn’t seem to spoil anyone’s mood by much.

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The sheer amount of quality bands playing over the four days makes it unreasonable to get into details about each live performance. We have to give it to the organizers, though – no stray band is to be found playing Brutal Assault. If you haven’t heard someone on the bill and have the energy for it, better go check them out, as chances are their music goes along with that of extreme metal superstars just fine.

For example, Master’s Hammer – a completely obscure black metal band from Czechia – played their first live show in 25 years at the festival, and it was a fire-ridden, half-naked-girls-donning-goat-heads spectacle to remember! Also notable were Dillinger Escape Plan and Swans’ goodbye performances – both delightfully loud and intensely overwhelming. Suffocation and Decapitated’s shows carried out like seminars on uber-tight playing, while Gorguts and Fallujah showcased the more ethereal and technical nuances of death metal. Carcass, Empereror, Opeth, Devin Townsend, and Mayhem played like the royalty they are.

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Thrash was handsomely represented by the likes of Overkill, Havok, Prong, and Brazilian femme-fatales Nervosa. Hatebreed and Madball got mighty moshpits rolling with their muscular hardcore tunes, and even EBM was given a nod by classic industrial outfits KMFDM and Front Line Assembly. Efficient as they are, they still didn’t get metalheads dancing quite like Czech toilet grind veterans Gutalax did! They kind of opened for Revocation’s 2AM show, which effectively closed the festival and convinced everyone with their ears intact that frontman David Davidson is metal’s modern-day guitar hero.

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Suddenly, it’s four in the morning and four days have went by before you know it. The dust has settled. The last empty beer kegs are being carted out. Security not-so-gently nurses passed-out metalheads back to life. Summer has been justified. It’s time to leave the premises for a hard journey back to the outside world. Nobody likes that part, but everyone seems happy, if a little tired. Next year, same place, unless the apocalypse happens. Now, can the rest of summer please go away sooner?

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