KREATOR – Oslo – Betong
Emergency Gate was the first to take to the battlefield tonight and it is something I will not forget in a hurry. It's hard to find the right words for this lot, but I will try. This is an example of a band where everything is wrong; in fact everything is so wrong that it is almost brilliant. Wait just a minute, 'brilliant' as in the watching a car wreck or some other man made disaster…, you know that you are very thankful you are not a part of it, but the sheer horror of it all is magnetic. From the very moment these Bayern boys entered the stage, emergency bells began flashing (note the pun, please). They looked wrong. They had adopted some kind of uniformed approach that consisted of shirts (regular, not tee) I could well imagine a band like Primal Fear wearing and greywhiteblack urban combat pants. Post American Wrestling style offstage announcement, their singer enters. Well, now….he was adorned in white from head to toe (almost) and…well, it was just wrong.
The band themselves tried, but lacked stage presence in a similar manner to how their music lacked identity, hooks or anything that may have perked my interest beyond wondering how the fuck so many negatives cannot make a right beyond the voyeuristic guilty pleasure of watching Metal's equivalent of David Brent in The Office. Sorry lads, but sometimes a spade is best when called a spade. No offence.
Eluveitie were a different kettle of fried fingers altogether. Their Metal side(s) are not to my liking generally…, in fact, initial reactions were to imagine an annoying little Swede called Anders who fronts a successful Gothenburg based band…, but, after enjoying them a lot more than I expected to at a previous live encounter, I decided to check out their "Slania"CD and found myself more than enthralled with the moments around the aforementioned Metallic parts. In fact, I am hoping to become completely immune to those at some point as I can now find the entire thing rather enjoyable in itself.
Only the devil himself knows how this lot have undertaken so much touring in support positions and managed to keep themselves in chocolate and watches, but they have. The result is one extremely lean and effective live band. All credit to Chrigel Glanzmann and his merry crew because today they stole the show, even with an impacted line up. Consider also, in a country that is as barren for their craft (Folk Metal) as Norway most certainly is, the sheer vibes that their Folk drenched Metal easily creates was a winner from early on.
Caliban did not stand a chance.
Whereas Emergency Gate entertained, Caliban annoy. Has Metalcore become a dirty word yet like Nu-mETAL did? If not, this German bunch is hell bent on making it so. If I were to be so clever, I could say that Caliban are, at least, good for the environment because this was a prime example of recycling. I mean, every riff…beat…..clean vocal passage…idea…..stage move was so obviously borrowed from bands they would, no doubt, call their peers that it made my head spin. Where do I stop? A singer who lacked charisma to the point that I was blushing when he was badgering a clearly uninterested and far too sparse audience in making a 'wall of death'. Hello? Between song banter that would make Helen Keller blush. Christ on a bike!
Pick a name. Any name. Killswitch Engage? OK. If they ever make their "St. Anger", I already know how it will sound.
Onto Kreator; I had a less than positive feeling before this show. These legendary boys have done tours these last years that have included such heavyweight supports or co-headliners such as Celtic Frost, Sodom, Destruction, Watain, Dark Tranquillity whereas now they are essentially playing with unknowns pretty much, as far as Norway is concerned anyway.
The result is approximately half of the 500 folk who saw them with Frost a couple of years back. Regardless, some clever room manipulation in the form of a movable wall means that it doesn't look like the sober hours at a singles night.
To my surprise, there was a venom and energy to "Hordes of Chaos" (the title track from their brand new album) and "Warcurse" that were beyond what I had expected. Not that I do not rate Kreator, but I have seen this band play many, many times. Things are looking good then? Indeed, they do, as always. The problem being that Kreator are quite a formulaic live band and when you have knelt before the shrine enough times, you do crave a little break from the tried and the tested.
All the classics are delivered, the band are as professional and passionate as always. No one can fault Mille for not cherishing what he does, he is truly a man that could teach some of the young Turks a thing or two but some deviation from a winning formula would not be a bad thing.
Not the bestest trip down a familiar path I have had, but by no means a bad one either. If they pass through town again, I will be there…but may be a little more restless if are not spiced up a little.