Inferno Festival 2011 – Day 2

The second day of the yearly Easter metal festival in Oslo, Norway, has started off with the aggressive rock from Djerv, a band who started catching people’s attention only in 2010 but have already made it on the main stage of this festival. It’s a female fronted band and the confident presence of Agnete Kjølsrud, plus her powerful voice, brings a lot of enthusiasm to the crowd who managed to wake up this early (about 6 PM) and be present. Djerv received quite a good reaction to their melodic metal, heavy at times yet black enough to fit with the landscape. The peak point was probably the end of the show when she jumped off the stage and announced the crowd she’s going to surf on them, making everyone pack in front of the stage to hold her. It was really a good warm up for the intense day.

I have to mention that I only paid a short visit to the small venue on this day, and only to see Ava Inferi for about 5 minutes. I know there’s always good acts there, but it gets incredibly warm and difficult to see a thing on stage among the neverending tall metal heads, so don’t expect any comments on the performances of Temple of Baal, Astaroth, Today is the Day, Ava Inferi nor Exhumed. But the shows on the main stage were great enough to keep my interest alive and not miss the ‘smaller’ concerts. For example the Americans from Soilent Green and their grindcore, doom/death/black mix of music, who even had a small Happy birthday moment for their guitarist whom we found out might have still been a tad hangover from the previous day’s party. I am not familiar with their music at all, but I sensed a lot of aggression in it sustained all the time by heavy riffs and tight drumming.

The highlight of the day for me were the next Americans, this time coming from Florida and playing a very technical music which was an interesting blend of death metal with what seemed to be jazz or progressive elements. Like for example the groovy jazz drumming while the singer screams his lungs out and the guitar does riffs that would embarrass many of those fast skilled power metal guitarists out there. And what an energy did all of them have, especially when performing songs back from 90s which were known and cheered for by the crowd. None of the musicians stood still or on the same place for more than half a minute, taking their headbanging and instruments to all corners of the stage and involving every being in the audience. I loved the drum and bass solo that they had in the middle of the set and I also loved to watch the bass player whose fingers were moving at the speed of any serious guitar player. Did I mention how captivating it also was to watch the guitarist in action? All in all they were a really good treat for the night and the crowd loved them. This I can also judge by the reaction I saw afterwards at the signing session.

For this night we were announced that the Sons of Northern Darkness, aka Immortal would perform and exclusive and extra set for this festival. Although they seem to be like one of those unwanted progenies (who hardly does what everybody is compelled to) in the world of black metal, they are very loved by fans and by the time their concert started it was as packed as in a can of sardines in the main area from Rockefeller. People got warmed up by singing along with Seek and Destroy from Metallica, that was pouring from the speakers. If you haven’t seen them before, the black and white evil face masks à la Kiss might make you think that a scary and serious act is going to happen on stage. Heh. After few minutes though, you might wonder if you’re not at the zoo watching some long haired pandas jumping around and doing tricks. Both Abbath and Apollyon move (sometimes quite normal, other times with primate like jumps or fencing steps) continuously from one side of the stage to another, putting on every silly face they have in the inventory, occasionally doing some Gene Simmons impressions with their tongues. In all this chaotic movement accidents may happen and headbanging right behind your stage mate might cause some of your hair to get caught in the neck of his bass. They are really good entertainers in this serious world of dark metal and they love to make fun of the crowd in between songs – or at the end when Abbath held the microphone down his ass so we can probably hear noises that come from other orifices of his body. But despite that you can’t deny their musicianship. It was a continuous feast for good guitar riffs – afterall, when you’re a three pieces band you are bound to have such riffs – and the evil rhythms of their melodies caused a bunch of mosh pits in the crowd plus a lot of headbanging.

I guess Abbath’s question can work for an ending for this day’s review – ‘Are you demonised yet?’. And don’t forget to watch the playlist with new videos here


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