Unholy Grave Grinds over Rotterdam

live report - 02.06.2009 19:29

In September 2008, the grindcore band Unholy Grave gave an energetic show in the Netherlands.

Unholy Grave is a grindcore band that was founded in Nagoya in 1993. The current line-up consists of vocalist Takaho, guitarist Tee, bassist Yasu and drummer Kaz. They have had many releases, including various split albums, since their debut, and they are a well known band in their genre.

The band played two shows in The Netherlands in September 2008. The first show at the beginning of the month was at Iduna in Drachten and the second one was at the Grind over Rotterdam 11 event in Baroeg, Rotterdam. JaME was present at the latter show.

After the Dutch and Belgian bands that played at the same event finished their show, it was time for Unholy Grave. The audience went slowly from the bar into the hall where the four members from the band had already taken the stage. The CD that was playing was turned off, and when the guitarist and bassist started playing, it seemed as if the show had already begun, but they were still sound checking. They started after a few minutes and drummer Kaz immediately set the tone with his fast drumbeat. More people started coming in to the hall, and it was soon completely full. The stage was almost as big as the hall, leaving vocalist Takaho plenty of space for his wild movements. He waved his arms and started to headbang like a mad man. During a short break where the music grew softer, the audience broke into loud cheers. The atmosphere was great from the beginning of their show.

The second song followed and Takaho started to sing. His style was a sort of grumbling combined with talking. It may be something that people who are not familiar with this genre are unaccustomed to, but compared to other grindcore bands, Unholy Grave is a little softer vocal-wise since the vocalist doesn't grunt constantly.

At the front of the stage, the fans moved wildly, banging their heads. They soon formed a pit that moved from one side of the venue to the other. The crowd exploded into applause, cheering enthusiastically between the songs, which were very short - most were just about two minutes. The vocals were very raw, but they matched the music. Every now and then, Takaho made some cutting movements on his neck and he even climbed on the drum kit a few times, only to jump off of it again energetically.

A track without grumbling and a more conventional way of singing followed, which proved to be much more acceptable for people who didn’t like the genre. The singer threw his fist in the air and some people in the audience followed his move. Up front, the crowd was still going wild and the pit was growing in size. The people in the back were more relaxed, just watching the show and moving their heads to the music. The fans jumped on the stage to crowd surf, an impressive feat as it was such a small venue.

Some of the Unholy Grave songs had a bit of a hardcore punk sound, which brought some diversity to the show. Each of their songs was energetic though, and it was noticeable in the members' movements as well as the audience's. Drummer Kaz dominated throughout the whole show, his drumbeat deciding the strength of each song. The guitarist and the bassist were more relaxed compared to Takaho, who was happily running around the stage, but they both moved their heads along with the music.

The audience was familiar with one of the last songs, and a small group screamed along with the singer. The band left the stage after 30 minutes, and the people who were up front reached quickly for the microphone and someone yelled for more. Someone else took over the microphone and yelled, “Play!” The band returned for the encore after just two minutes, and they started out with the wildest song of the night. The band, as well as the audience, went loose with this one. Fists were raised up in the air, and people were jumping up and down and cheering along even more enthusiastically than before. They played a few more songs before ending the show, thanking the audience before they left.

Unholy Grave played an energetic show and managed to get everyone in the audience to enjoy their performance. Even though there were some in the back standing quietly, you could see they were still enjoying the show, which had a great and friendly atmosphere.
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