INFERNO FESTIVAL 11 – Day two – Rockefeller & John Dee

INFERNO FESTIVAL 11 – Day two – Rockefeller & John Dee

Day of Thunder. Thursday. Day of Thor and his ever present hammer. The hammer that many should have been feeling pounding inside their heads upon their eyes greeting daylight and though there were likely no cliffs in sight, the prospect of a hangover is all too real. What better way to celebrate the day when our good old chum Christ sat down with all his buddies for cards and porn talk than to so as they did and make the pain disappear with wine, women and song. This was the first day proper, if you wanna look at it in those terms, when all the activities moved into the big posh Rockefeller venue with it’s John Dee sidekick and every single person present knew the feeling of rape when they ordered alcohol from the many bars sprinkled throughout the venues. All in the name of blasphemy and blastbeats….


(Paul Kearns) Diskord are very good. It’s that simple. Theirs is a no frills approach that is itself very simple and very effective. Grindcore influenced? Not so much as far as I can tell…maybe in spirit. Punk in spirit? They are certainly competent when it comes to the DIY aspect but it’s more than that. Certainly the tightest I have seen them but still, thankfully, far from the click track, triggered mechanical (mostly) American Death Metal approach.
The fact that their drummer is also their vocalist will draw Autopsy/Abscess comparisons. Are people so dull that they will automatically make this comparison just because they have a drummer/vocalist? Actually….hurrah for the human race because that is probably a pretty safe comparison. Today they put on a fantastic show and make me quite happy I got my fat ass there in time to see them.


(Stefan Raduta) Akercocke was without a doubt one of the best sets at this year’s Inferno for me. I was really looking forward to seeing them because I genuinely believe they are one of the most amazing bands to come out of the UK, and together with Anaal Nathrakh they form an unparalleled duo in sonic technical brutality. Not as savage and constantly relentless as their country mates, Akercocke has more subtle song layers and I think they’re easier to digest, even if they’re so intense. Live though – what an excellent performance! Full of grit and conviction, Jason Mendoca is really everything he could be on stage, and more. An incredibly energetic and fantastic front man, so much into the music, so full of electricity and charisma – and obviously an exquisite guitar player.  And his voice is one of the best aspects, such a wide spectrum of notes from incredibly clean to muddy guttural growls…fantastic! From beginning to end an Ace set, can’t wait to see this band again!


(Paul Kearns) For the second year a band from India? Weird? Anyway. These lads like their countrymen last year were literally exploding with enthusiasm. Great to see and it was difficult not to be swept up in it actually. The band were tight, their performance impressive and the crowd responsive. Musically speaking? Not my bag of Walkers Abortion crisps at all. Very modern sounding, not that I mind modern at all….I do truly prefer electricity to candle light. If you prefer Lamb Of God to, for example, Kreator or if you can see the Coal Chamber bloke in Devildriver and not laugh or if you have a hairstyle instead of a haircut then you might well enjoy Bhayanak Maut.


(Paul Kearns) «Why are Gothminister playing at Inferno?» Another question doing the rounds. You could argue this, that and t’other but when the whole weekend had finished, when all was considered and the factors considered – Gothminister easily, (let’s have it in bold for emphasis) easily registered as one of the top tiered bands…and I don’t even dig the music. Gothminster are entertainment and at Inferno they entertained. Gothminister also very much give the impression that they really actually like to be up there performing. So some of it is closer to pantomime than theatre but if having to choose between naive mis-step and pseudo artistic self flattery then I will take the former.
With no frills Rock/Metal all dressed up in an elaborate Goth Rock three chord suit, the apprentice Rammstein approach makes pleasant soundtrack for the show that the band should be applauded for delivering. Fireworks, explosions, extras on stage that could have been Peter Jackson’s extras in Bad Taste and, of course, the remote controlled bats. Remote controlled bats, that’s right. I dunno how much Gothminister were paid for this show but I am sure it was less than they put into their stage show. Uncomplicated in intent, complicated in delivery and one of the more entertaining moments of Inferno 2011.


(Paul Kearns) Harm comes from the Norway, Stavanger area I believe and profess to play Thrash Metal. Certainly the two hundred or so who took that journey downstairs seemed to dig them but I am afraid that I was left completely cold. Whether I have become stale in my old age or whether I am justified in saying that there was nothing inspirational in this music is hard to tell, it could be both but this I just find this so average. Harm gives me the same feeling that Testament’s «The Formation Of Damnation» gave me – complete numbness.


(Andreas Paulsen) I’ve never seen DHG live before, and this was a concert I was not going to miss! Going back to the early days of Norwegian black metal, DHG have taken the music down new avenues with every new record, and are known to put on a serious show when on stage. Visually something out of a post-apocalyptic, Marvel comics acid-trip, vocalist Khvost is the one that draws my attention. I find myself forgetting my surroundings for a moment finding my way through the constant aural pummeling looking at this guy, really giving his all!
Great stage persona, theatrically mesmerizing, just taking me for a ride into the patchwork of insanity that is Dødheimsgard. THIS is what I want when I pay good money to see a band!
From where I was standing on the balcony, the sound was good and there was nothing to complain about, but I know that was not the case everywhere in the room. Still, I got what I came for, and the next day I sat down and talked with guitarist Yusaf Parvez about the past, present and future of DHG. We will be posting that interview on the page sometime this summer.


(Andreas Paulsen) In my mind, Nidingr live is like a mix of hardcore and black metal. Maybe it’s the vocals that give me this feeling. I don’t really have any particular band to compare them with from the world of hardcore, and on record they sound more black metal. Let’s just tag this hardcore black metal! And to me that’s a good thing, since I’m pretty much fed up with generic black metal that aren’t threatening in any way or form, other than threatening you to leave out of plain boredom…
Also being a sucker for a good beating from a band that grip you right away, hammering away with groove, speed and primal force, Nidingr showcase all the aforementioned, delivering brutality with great finesse from start to finish. Favorite song of the set was without a doubt "Baldrs Draumar"! Super tight, badass metal. Thank you Nidingr, sincerely your new fan.

(Roy Kristensen) A lot of people were looking forward to the dirty bastards of thrash metal doing their filthy work in front of a hungry audience, especially since it was rumored that Aggressor would join in. The first part of the show when without him, but when he joined the atmosphere increased even further. Due to this accident, he was sitting on a chair during the show playing the dirty guitar. The band also changed, rather obviously, drummer in the middle of the set as well. Being a guy who really doesn’t go all ape about thrash metal in general, I must say that this was the highlight of the festival. Apollyon and Blasphemer was walking from side to side all the time and seemed to have a jolly good time. The band’s ugly music contains many great hooks, and this night showed us why Aura Noir perhaps is the ugliest band in the world, but even more that they know how to thrash. Great sound. Yes, unclean and filthy, yet clear enough so that we can hear the different changes and enjoy the actual music as well. Such tracks as "Condor", "Black Thrash Attack" and "Destructor" went well with the audience. If you get a chance to see them, don’t miss it. They sure kicked ass this Thursday night, and should’ve been the headliner, despite the fact that Forbidden did well as the closer of this night.


(Rune Grande) Voivod is one of the legendary thrash and speed metal bands from the first wave of metal in the 80s and it is enjoyable to see that they still manage to deliver on stage, even now 25 years later. Warm, humid, crowded, hot and fun are words that cover most of what was happening on the floor while a highly skilled Voivod delivered a fantastic concert up on the stage. These are guys who know how to show their joy of being allowed to share their music with crazy fans. The band’s vocalist Snake with his many facial expressions alone are worth the entrance money and the band’s new guitarist Chewy now fills the role of Piggy (RIP) much better and thus Voivod where we once again want them ….. on stages around the world and in great shape.


(Paul Kearns) «Why are Forbidden headlining Thursday?». This is one that came from me. Their 1990 platter «Twisted into Form» is one of the absolute best Thrash albums of all time as far as I’m concerned. Truly a band overlooked. Their reunion? I’m not a fan of this whole reunion business. The whole midlife crisis thing is often taken care of by buying an expensive car or a wig or whatever; at least it had been the case once. Now there are bands from yesteryear popping up all over the shop. Well, Forbidden had more reason than most I suppose being that they did slip through the cracks before. Their «Omega Wave» comeback album is not bad at all but nor is it anything very special all things considered. However you look at it there is no escaping the fact that a band who would pull around, what?, maybe 300 people maximum to a weekend show headlining in old Oslo town should headline an internationally recognized festival.
The results were easy to see for all. Halfway through their set Forbidden were playing to a very sparse crowd and the results could be felt in the atmosphere…or lack of it.
Like their show at Sweden Rock in 2009 the band definitely hit the mark on many levels but miss the bulls eye overall. Russ Anderson still has that voice…sort of. OK, so those high notes are simply too high but we are all only human or close to human after all. It’s more the slight air of nonchalance about him and…I don’t know…this ‘the show must go on’ attitude above all makes the whole thing a little bit stale for me. What do I mean by ‘the show must go on’? Well, of course I applaud any and every band that goes out under adverse conditions (like a less than full venue) and still give the show their all, that is something worthy all our collective respect but when they seem to think that by convincing themselves they are headlining to a spellbound capacity crowd that we, the audience, will feel the same? It just leaves me cold. I come to see musicians not salesmen.
Overall, good set but not stunning or even close to stunning. Baaaad move having them headline Rockefeller though.