BEYOND THE GATES – Day 3 – Bergen, Garage

BEYOND THE GATES – Day 3 – Bergen, Garage

(…this article is in English…)

It’s in a quiet Garage that Kraków opens the last day of this Beyond the Gates festival, in front of a mostly local crowd already familiar with the band. The setlist presents the last album of the band, Diin. Being the UFO of this festival, they have been unfortunately snobbed by a major part of the festival attendance. Bad for those. With members of Black Metal act Vithr and recent inclusion of Kampfar / Dimension F3H drummer Ask, Kraków plays an intense stoner metal with serious injections of sludge, doom and harsh vocals. Playing this material on stage for the first time and benefiting from a very good sound, they satisfied an already conquered audience and opened smoothly the last night, despite experimenting dangerously – but with brio – with Diin.

Kraków @ Beyond the Gates 2012 (Photo: Jarle H. Moe)

Resonaut was added to the bill when Year of the Goat stepped off. Hailing from Trondheim and having released a split with Kraków, they were not very well welcomed by the latter’s public and had to suffer of the fact that most people really showed up when Solstice started playing. The (young) band can’t compete with the previous one in term of intensity and experimentation but nevertheless delivered decent doom metal and wasn’t really overshadowed by Solstice that play just after.

Resonaut @ Beyond the Gates 2012 (Photo: Jarle H. Moe)

Norwegian based, Irish born Paul Kearns recently took over the vocal duties in Solstice, an almost legendary band I was not familiar with before seeing them live. Numerous guitar problems and mediocre vocals maimed most of the set, one of the guitarist being more busy checking his setup than being able to get into it. Towards the end, band harmony and sound quality went much better but the whole thing let and aftertaste of unfinished business. A tolerant crowd gave them however a good feedback.

Solstice @ Beyond the Gates 2012 (Photo: Jarle H. Moe)

RAM I absolutely wanted to see, RAM came and vanquished. Picture yourself a turbocharged Swedish Judas Priest with killer choruses à la Angel Witch or even KISS and you have guys definitely born too late. Tracks from Lightbringer sounds the best live and are almost karaoke friendly. Definitely the best band of the evening in terms of sound quality and band harmony. Killer stage activity and spiked leather  at will. A devoted and comfortable frontman being rosinen i pølsa. A must-see band that have an arena potential. Really, run for it.

RAM @ Beyond the Gates 2012 (Photo: Jarle H. Moe)

If RAM are born too late, In Solitude has serious spacio-temporal problems. The guys are b­arely out of puberty and have been buzzing in the underground Heavy Metal circles for a while now. Having missed them at Hellfest last year – they played way way too early – seeing them close Beyond the Gates 2012 was like wiping out my sins. They sure play heavy metal but they’re obviously inspired by the myriads of bands of any extreme style that put Scandinavia on the metal music map over the last 25 years. It’s heavy-heavy metal. Here heavy saturated guitars, there intensive drumming, and sweet candy vocals. In Solitude has definitely their own sound both on stage and on CD. The kids delivered and excellent performance – most people have to agree on this – but didn’t manage to beat RAM on the performance – not everybody has to agree on that.

In Solitude @ Beyond the Gates 2012 (Photo: Jarle H. Moe)

Overall was this first Beyond the Gates a very good eclectic festival with good discoveries and surprises. Some deceptions too, but this is the festival roulette. One year to go !