HITS 2011 – Day 1 – Garage

HITS 2011 – Day 1 – Garage

So this is it then? The Last Supper? Boys and girls, ladies and gents….it sucks more than Ozzy Osbourne’s spine that this to be the last time that we – the outcasts of all society – gather ourselves in a mess of hair and less than bright clothing.
Throughout it’s eleven year run Hole In The Sky established itself as one of the absolute best festival gatherings in the more extreme outskirts of the Metal world. Started as a tribute to a friend who had died in 1999, HITS grew to be more than most people ever imagined it would, especially considering the economic and geographical odds stacked against it by being way out on the west coast of Norway.
Credit goes to all the crew that they held on to the same ethical chalice in 2011 as they had done in 2000. It has become a case study in creative booking to see the line ups they have managed to compile, especially with a budget that would suffer the limitations of having no more than 1000 tickets to sell. Yet Hole In The Sky did it year after year.
It could well have been a sad occasion indeed only for….well, we had Hole In The Sky to take care of first…..after that we could mourn whatever it was we had to mourn. (Paul Kearns)

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Photo: Monika Serafinska

One Tail, One Head. Norway has become a disgrace as far as Black Metal is concerned. Either it is bands of the old guard that have become parodies of themselves yet neither they nor (in most cases) the Norwegian fans seem to notice. Time  retoalise that "De Mysteriis…", "A Blaze…" were released almost twenty years ago – in that time other countries have actually gone on to produce Black Metal that means something…or at least means something more than having Italian teenagers fawning over you.
One Tail, One Head at least are a Norwegian band that actually understand aesthetics and their importance is making something like Black Metal feel right, feel genuine and considering they’re based in Trondheim it is nice to see that not everyone there associates the Black or any kind of Metal with The Eurovision Song Contest.
The band put on a show that indicated clearly how musically and conceptually they have taken the right path. They do themselves proud when they hit their stride and are far from embarrassing when they don’t. Promising. Keep an eye on them. (Paul Kearns)

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Photo: Stefan Raduta

Archgoat. Second attempt for the cult like Finns and good that they made it because their chances would be finished after this year. Considering the weight their name holds in some circles ,the reception was slightly less enthused than I had expected for them. Their bottom heavy brutal din overlayed by deep rumbling vocals left me cold, even in the sauna like Garage. (Paul Kearns)



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Photo: Stefan Raduta

Mortuary Drape are often discussed in almost mythical terms. Is band really in existence? Is it all the story of some mad scientist? Well, it is all true and they presented themselves in the flesh for Bergen tonight. Better at being able to fulfil their legacy than their Finnish mates before but still not quite as effortlessly eccentric as I had hoped, they did prove to be a very welcome lull between the two bastions of brutality either side of them. (Paul Kearns)



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Photo: Stefan Raduta

Black Witchery were really quite devastating. The ‘Blasphemy’ school, as I cannot help but refer to,  bands of this unashamedly brutal ilk have never quite done it for me in general but this was just what the devil ordered tonight. Tight, ferocious and thick…, their sound was crushing. No beating around the bush sir. This was painfully effective. (Paul Kearns)



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Photo: Stefan Raduta

Marduk were as vicious as ever last night. Always seen them in large venues until now and always wondered the effect they would have in a small pub. Last night I got my wish, because Garage is a perfect place for small shows. They went on pretty late but destroyed throughout. As always the set was varied, going through most albums. The audience kept asking for "Bleached Bones" and "Panzer Division Marduk" and towards the end they got both. Mortuus is without a doubt the most intimidating black metal vocalist today, he’s just incredible to watch and frankly I don’t understand how he can play such long sets every single time. Simply devastating!! Awesome seeing Primordial’s Alan Averill back on stage with them for "Accuser/Opposer". Seeing Marduk live is once again a reason to forget about all this transcendental black metal bullshit. Between them and Watain, Sweden right now is unfuckwithable. (Stefan Raduta)