VREID m. fl. – Oslo – Betong

VREID m. fl. – Oslo – Betong

The setting is Betong, apparently called Alaska or something back in the early 90's and was the host of many a classic show…, the likes of Morbid Angel and Obituary at their finest.

Well, tonight is not quite on the level that it is to be written into history but it's a night of all Norwegian Metal showcased in a sorta odd way. Odd how? Well, there seemed to be little fanfare nor a particular occasion but then again, if you wanna just Rock any reason (or lack of…) is good enough. Right?

In Vain were a very pleasant surprise for me during their Inferno 2008 performance. The lads are indeed youngsters (highlighted moreso by my years that pass by with increasing velocity….oh Lord, such pain…) and are more than capable than a bloke might assume given their Catholic priest approved fresh faces. "The Latter Rain" is a great album, highlighted by its obvious enthusiasm and maybe not even held back by its obvious Opeth-isms. Their set is all too brief but does give a tantalising peek into their newer material. This lot are quite the joy to watch, less concerned by striking poses in pouting fashion for the front row snappers (camera and phone alike, no less) than just going for it. Old fashioned as that may seem at times there are still some out there that just wanna Rock after all.Finishing thunderously with "The Titan" these Kristiansand boys have the night truly won.

Iskald? It's sorta in the name. It's not the most imaginative is it? Are those days when being Norwegian and playing Black Metal got you a hall pass without any questions asked? It would seem not. Alright, so youngsters too they may be and still on a learning curve perhaps. Their delivery is nothing to frown upon or anything, it just seems that they have no distinct aim beyond the mandatory. Nothing of their set is particularly stand out, though that may not be a negative thing per se, neither is it something that will have them stamp their mark into memory. It would seem that unless there is something drastic, or at least something slightly outside the box, done with their gameplan then Iskald are going to find themselves wandering into territory marked for the neither here nor there. Let's see.

The Batallion are revered by many in Norway by the very fact that their front man Tore is formerly of a band called Old Funeral and is basically looked upon as a minor institution in the scene. None may fault his dedication or drive, the boy has wandered the long corridors of blasphemy this many a year and appears to burn for it still. Respect. To say that man can truly fill these boots is an understatement when glance is cast upon those masterly cowboy shoes he doth don this night. Is this the most literal form of walking the walk? Could well be.

The band are basically good time Rock and Roll played through an 'extreme' Metal filter. Not that it would be my exact field but, if pressed, I would wager that their sound could be loosely described as a pumped up Motörhead breed carefully in those grim and frostbitten fields where the Blackest of Metal was cultivated. Iron Fist with a frosty bite? Ice Fist maybe?

However, they take the good art of Rocking to its logical peak and put on one hell of a show. Whilst it may be more about good times than good tunes for me, I am still close to astounded at how well the tunes managed to peek through the theatre aspect. Cool show and a band absolutely worth seeing.

Vreid. Again? Wow, these lads get about. It does, however, seem to be paying. Their initial outings bored me to close tears and I found them banal to the point of apathetic collapse. Credit where it is due though, they have made a steady rise in the live arena to the point where they have no problems holding their own. Add into this that their most recent output, the disc named "Milorg", was really rather decent and I am more than willing to shamefully hang my head like the schoolboy who just cannot seem to hold his bladder in class. So, the frequency with which they play in Norway may well lead them into same territory Vader claimed in Europe at one time…, that being they simply overdo it and lose any and all sense of occasion with their live performance. That aside, it is another very decent showing and yet another step in the right direction. I mean, I could whine about the vocal side seeming stagnant compared to the rapidly maturing musical side but vocal acrobats are not for everyone either. Interesting to see if they continue this upward trend.