This is the point.
Here we are, and about fucking time! I’ve wanted to play the Obscene Extreme Festival for a damn long time, and we finally made it. Check out the lyrics of the love song “To Die For” on Mondo Medicale, because our lyrics are so cogent and relevant to a bunch of drunk headbangers. There’s a line about a gore hound (my lovely ex) being obsessed with the extreme and obscene. I’ve been making shout outs since 2002. It only took 9 years for it to all work out.
Obscene Extreme is a mostly grind core festival that’s been running since 1999 in Trutnov, Czech Republic. It’s steadily grown in size, but maintains the same ethos for a raging good time. Stage diving is actually encouraged here. There’s a good meter of the stage from the bands’ monitors to the front, dedicated for people to come up, dance a bit, and dive back into the crowd. There is security, but no barriers between the band and the tigers in the crowd.
Just a touch of history: the field that this fest has been held in all but one time (I think) is known as the Trutnov Battlefield. It was in 1866, during the Seven Weeks War between Austria and the Kingdom of Prussia, that the Austrians won a victory against overwhelming Prussian forces here that were in disarray after crossing the mountainous terrain. Prussia won the war eventually, though, which would lead to the confederation of the northern Germanic kingdoms into one. Austrians aren’t that good at winning wars, but they excel at body building and fighting Predators.
The actual town seems quite nice, though it is now beset by crusties and metal heads.
We arrived a bit late on the second day of the fest. The biggest bummer about that was for our friend Brad, who’d come using his many frequent flyer miles after working for Green Day the past few years. He came to hang and vacation after, and as a bonus, do our sound. Our plans had changed, though, so poor Brad arrived in Prague with no ride and no idea what to do. He bussed to Trutnov, and eventually via text we got him into the fest. He had no place to stay. There are campgrounds, but he had nothing. Curby, the main man behind Obscene Extreme, did his best dealing with everything else and then to help our poor friend. It was only after Brad stayed up all night drinking vodka with strange ozzies and poles that Curby could finally find him an open room at a hostel. Hopefully our ravaged friend would wake up in time for our set that night! Impaled, ruining lives since 1997.
When we finally arrived, we got sorted by our friend Curby as well. Passes, beer, vegan food, nice hotel… not to mention that this guy was dealing with the gazillion bands on this fest, but he had helped to set up our tour as well. It was the only way we could afford to be here at all. Hats off to you, buddy. We are happy to be in your operating theater.
The grounds are pretty enormous with lots of camping. That filled up, evidenced by crusties camping at the gas station across the way. We were able to nab a table on advice from Brutal Truth and just DIY our merch sales outside the main merch market. And, bully for me, the excellent Czech beer (my fave in Europe) flows like water and the food is all vegan!
I got to see a bit of the Varukers, some great punk rock, some of Skitsystem, and Rotten Sound. I watched Brujeria absolutely slaying the crowd from behind the stage as I practiced like a kid staying up all night before the S.A.T.s. They finally finished, and as I was walking up, they started up their version of “Macarena” over the PA, the entire crowd screaming “Marijuana.” About half the crowd joined them on stage and were dancing as I was setting up. Oi vey. It was funny, but now I knew we were more like a clean up crew for these guys. Oh well, we were still gonna rage it.
As I was setting up, the bassist from Brujeria says to me, “Good luck!” It sounded more ominous at the time than helpful. “Thanks, we’ll try,” I say. Hmm. This is Jeff Walker of Carcass playing bass for Brujeria. “Are you in Impaled?” he asks. “Yeah,” I reply, “and I guess I should thank you for all the riffs.”
Our set started kind of tame, frankly. At this point, I was hating that meter of space between us and the tigers, because it was empty. So we all just kept walking up to the crowd anyway between singing. I’d say about four songs in, we finally had them going. They started having a good time, really head banging and having fun again. I didn’t think it would be so hard for Impaled to win over a grind crowd, but I think we did okay.
Afterwards, I got to see some of Gronibard absolutely capturing the spirit of the fest by quite literally rocking out with their cocks out. The requisite dudes in banana suits at the fest danced wildly. I was particular to Interment who followed, however, who nailed the old school Swedish sound and jammed hard. Then it was my watch on the merch table, and we eventually packed it up to get some sleep for our next day at OEF.
A leisurely morning was had, followed by a stressful talk concerning finances. Summer touring in Europe during festival season is hard. There’s less shows to be had and the plane tickets are outrageous. We packed up our merchandise and headed to the fest in hopes of filling the hole a bit.
When we arrived, Mesrine was already on stage. We’d already missed 11 bands. This fest starts at 10 and ends at 3am… that’s a lot of grind. Mesrine rocked some good crust punk.
I walked through the non-band merchandise area to see what I could find. There was an antifa shirt with a pic of Schwarzenegger that they did not have in my friend Aesops’ size. Too bad. Then I saw the ugliest Dystopia bootleg I’ve ever seen. What the fuck. Was this an Illustrator trace of a 10k gif? Yipes. Get some pride, bootleggers.
Next was Visions of War, ultra leftist crust grind so far as I can tell. They called out a few other grind bands about them not being true enough. Factions against fascism. A break, and then I caught Instinct of Survival. I could imagine all my crusty friends in Oakland being super into this band back when drinking was more important than cocaine. The funniest part was when a dude mooned the crowd on stage and then back planted his ass crack on his friend’s head. Ah, the homoeroticism never ceases at OEF.
Inhumate is the kind of noisy, balls out, loose grind core that gets this crowd going. Everyone was on stage dancing. Funny the singer should complain that the crowd was not bleeding, but then gently warned them when they got on stage to look out for a bit that was broken so they should not hurt themselves. Hey, even anarchy can get TOO crazy.
For a bit more controlled anarchy, in the U.K. (see what I did there?) they have the Rotted (formerly Gorerotted). I guess they dropped the gore in their name because they were battered when Al and Tipper split. Now they deliver blistering grind core with a precise edge.
The rest of the night continued with the headliners like Lock Up and Brutal Truth, followed by some bad assery from Dropdead. Le Scrawl was a huge hit, getting folks dancing so late into the night. Then, I hit a god damned metaphorical wall after I was bought a shot of some local liquor that tasted like Christmas. I wish I could remember the name… or how I got back to the hotel.
Thanks, Obscene Extreme. And thanks to the Old World for once again hosting Impaled. Esprit de Corpse c’est fin.
Doktor Ross Sewage
The G.O.R.E. Corps Minister of Filth
reporting from field of battle: Europa