Infernal Easter – 2010

For the video side of things, youtube playlist of vids I took

Tuesday – Thrills at the museum

Not officially an Inferno festival day, but on the page it was presented as a grand opening of the IMC at the Norwegian Viking Ship Museum, Tuesday 30th of March at 19:00. It was the concert of Wardruna, the brainchild of Kvitrafn (Einar Selvik), who started the project of making music out of the Norse runes after he left Gorgoroth as their drummer in 2004.
According to their website, WARDRUNA is the sound of the Norse forgotten culture and played their very first show at The Viking Ship Museum during IMC 2009. That event was held during normal daytime opening hours, and the audience was mesmerized by the heavily emotional experience. Al I can tell you is that the audience who joined for this event on Tuesday, as it was outside the opening hours, was as mesmerized as the initial crowd. It was all due the combination of the hundreds of years old viking ship on the background, surreal light effects changing shade every song, weird and odd instruments played by people who got so captivated by the music as when they wandered their eyes over you, you could have just felt their music passing through you.

The concert didn’t last for long, but it was enough to introduce you in the ‘easter’ infernal atmosphere offer by the city of Oslo for this week. I left the museum with my batteries charged and with my ears delighted by what they experienced.

In a pub in Oslo, afterwards, we went and saw Trollfest live. I don’t think it was part of the festival schedule, but it was a fun concert with one of the band members wearing fur clothes and the saxophone singer making really funny faces. The way they combine metal with balcanic rhythms made many people dance around in the small pub.

Wednesday – Indian menu

At Inferno, Wednesday has been the club night, where smaller bands play at different venues around the city. And some of these bands make it to the main stages next year or few years after, like Negura Bunget did. We couldn’t go to see all bands since the concerts run at the same time so we went to Blå for the 3 acts there.
First there was a British band called Spearhead and they played their death metal without really impressing many people. They did some mistakes and were not very convincing. null
Next up was the surprise band for us. They are called Scribe and they come from India. They had funny outfits, wearing their jackets but they explained that they just arrived from 40 degrees to like 2-3 and they are just cold. The performance was impressive. A hard core show, reminding of System of a Down’s crazyness in some parts of the vocals. They had a lot of fun, the crowd was entertained and seeing Indian people headbanging was quite new to me and nice to see. At some point they asked two long haired people from the audience to come and headbang on the stage with them. It was such a crazy sight to see two local vikings, taller than all the members, long haired as well, among the 5 piece small Indians. It’s a band to checkout, nevertheless.
The evening ended with Vomitory. A brutal death band, who did their job well, rocked the place and showed their experience in the quality of their music. In my opinion they would have been better than some of the bands of the other days who played on bigger stages. All in all, an entertaining club evening with a very nice Indian surprise.

Thursday – Trolls day

I didn’t get the chance to attend the concerts on Thursday, so I will speak little about it, based on the feedback I received from my friends.
The Austrians satisfied the wish of some people for very brutal death metal and put up a good quality show that has triggered a lot of headbanging.
The folkish metal that people expected was played at its best and made the crowd dance to different rhythms than the other bands.

//monica to fill in

Friday – Night of the Emperor

I missed Mistur’s show, so the first one for the day was Ram-Zet, on main stage. The female singer, a woman with big soul to say so, tried her best at impressing the audience and the result was not that bad. Voice is cool and powerful and she’s good at doing her act. So was the keyboardist girl whose hair looked as if set on fire. But I was more impressed by the violin solos spread during their songs, or some nice intros. But I would have picked many other bands that played on smaller stags to replace them, since their almost Goth like style didn’t sound like a right piece of the festival. Plus it felt weird that the voice of the male vocalist resembled more a woman, than the female vocalist. null

It was time for some more death metal. I didn’t know Benediction from before so I just hoped for a nice surprise and I wasn’t disappointed by their energic show during which they called for moshpits and managed to get the crowd in front of the stage go nuts. Since they didn’t seem to have any new recent album out, the feast for those who enjoyed their old works was big. But I wouldn’t call it the best show of the festival and after few songs it was no longer interesting so I moved along. null

More death metal started afterwards at the smaller stage at John Dee. It was a 4 men show and already pretty packed when I got there since everyone seemed to want to check them out. And we got rewarded for our curiosity with an impressive brutal death music that even made the beers head bang. I especially enjoyed the headbanging style of the guitarist, as he was putting one knee on the ground and started spinning his head like a mill. Also the guitar of the vocalist was catching your eye since it lacked the head. The ecstasy reached its climax during the 3 minutes drum solo that made me once again wish the organizers had a different choice for some of the bands on the main stage. These guys totally rocked the small venue at John Dee. null

For all I care, Ihsahn, supported by the amazing new commers from Leprous, could have been the one and only band of the festival. And play for all 4 days. It was obvious that it is a show of a guy with experience, but above this, with passion for what he’s doing and with interest for details in his music. They performed stuff from the new album, but without forgetting great songs from previous ones, thus taking you into a journey where black metal is surprisingly combined with such a wide variety of tunes. nullThere was a small problem with the bass during the first song but it got quickly solved and what came after was history. The band members played with accuracy and passion and despite their youngness (according to the site, they are between 19 and 24), Leprous outcame many of the experienced performers I saw this week. There was a saxophone on stage at few songs, completing the lovely sound of the music. And all this good music was spiced with one of the best light show I saw, without being extremely pompous. Having seen it from the top floor (Rockefeller offers you the chance to stay next to the stage or go to the 1st or second floor and have an awesome sight over the whole stage and crowd below you) has made the experience even more complete.


Saturday – Nexus Polaris

To put us back on our feet after the tiredness of the previous days, first band of the day for me was Taake. And their crazy fast drumming, combined with the intensity of guitar and bass riffs was successful for a ‘morning’ coffee. I moved around during their concert since the sound didn’t seem at its best but eventually the problem got fixed. The crowd was enjoying the concert in the black metal way, almost more still than a church crowd, main difference being the raising of horns and the occasional banging of the long hairs. But the band probably headbanged way more than anyone in the audience. I don’t think they even needed cooling fans on stage. They even had a guest on stage, Carpathian Forest’s Nattefrost. And the face painting wasn’t missing, contributing to the perfect atmosphere of a true black metal concert. Or should I say true Norwegian black metal? Details, details. null

Batteries charged so moving on to John Dee as I was told that Irr is worth checking out. They came up one by one, each holding a hammer and smashing something in the middle of the stage. Their bodies, or at least the visible parts had dark greenish paint on it so I am not sure if they meant to resemble zombies or trolls, yet it fit well with the hammers and the remaining setting f the stage. But these details were uninteresting when they started to perform. It was a 3 pieces band and so I was impressed with the intensity of the music, though a bit too extreme at points. I heard they previously made it to Wacken so I think that explains the stage show, since they have been through the experience of a big festival and know what it takes to be in front of the crowd. As usual I appreciate bands who like to be on stage since it makes their music even more enjoyable, even if not my cup of tea. null

Deströyer 666
And back again to the main stage at Rockefeller for some good mix of black, death and thrash metal from this band with members from various countries. The crowd didn’t seem too eager to see them since it was rather easy to find a place in the first rows but it was only their loss if they decided to be somewhere else. It is not a band known to me, but it happened that I ended up with the idea of Slayer at some points in the show, so no regrets for staying and hearing them for a while. null

The Kovenant
Inferno festival prepared the surprise of Kovenant reunion for the 10th year anniversary of the festival. And the band decided to play the whole Nexus Polaris for this occasion. I heard various opinions regarding the choice of the album, yet I think they made a good one. We went long time before it started and hang on to the fence in front of the stage so we could have a first hand experience. And we guarded the place well We had glances of Sarah Jezebel Deva coming up on the stage on our side and well, with all due respect for her voice, nobody was thrilled by her choice of outfit. The curtains were pulled and we’ve been revealed a rather simple stage setting, with a bit band logo and…band members. With interesting outfits, yet not extreme ones. A very nice thing was that the first words were about presenting each of the band members and which project they come from. And the 2nd surprise that the band had for Inferno crowd was a newly recorded song and never performed before. I don’t recall if they said anything about a new album, but the song worked very well as an intro. It was only instrumental. Then Nagash announced that Nexus Polaris shall begin. It was a delight to listen to it. It felt like the songs got a bit of extra arrangements at times, but due the intensity of my own headbanging I am not sure if the sound just got distorted. A bit of editing after having had heard my recordings and the impression that Sarah Jezebel Deva did have a good voice day just confirmed. That’s a pitty. But the music kept on flowing, the crowd kept on singing along and applauding, the musicians gave their best and I am convinced they loved the time on stage as much as those who loved seeing them. There was nothing extravagant with their show, no super extra fancy riffs or solos, but just the pleasure of hearing a good old album played from A to Z and this band reunited on stage.

Death Angel
A big surprise for me at this festival. I knew their name, I had seen them before at Graspop but in a much smaller setting. They were the last band of the day on the main stage and also the last band of the festival. I no longer stayed in front, I went to the middle floor so have a better view over the stage and it offered a perfect experience of this band’s performance. You could see the fact that they’ve been around for quite a while since they knew how to put up a show. With their thrash music sending you back to the early days of Metallica maybe, they got the crowd to head bang and to scream a lot during their performance.

Despite having their 10 years anniversary, Inferno had a weaker lineup than previous years in my opinion. Don’t read that I was disappointed, maybe it’s also because I didn’t know many of the names on the list. Yet, I encountered nice surprises and I will be looking forward to attend this alternative to the normal Easter in the capital of Black metal. It is a week where the normal dark metalheads that seem so gloomy and mean on the streets are gathering in these not so big venues and share the joy of good music, beer and most of all a friendly atmosphere. It was incredible how easy it is to just run into them and start talking, how an enormous block wearing spikes apologizes if he hits you by mistake and how happily they smile whenever they come across a known person. And even an unknown one that just comes to you and tell you that you love them. Keep an eye out for the next editions.

But this is how it all started:

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