SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT 2014 – Kristiansand – Kick & Benny’s

SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT 2014 – Kristiansand – Kick & Benny’s

Metal concerts don’t seem to be an often sight in one of the most conservative areas in Norway – the Southern ‘BibleBelt’ – hence a metal festival in Kristiansand is a big joy for the local metal fans. Or for those with the possibility to travel. Unfortunately, I could only travel on Saturday, due really bad bus/train/work schedules, so I only got to witness one of the two festival days, meaning I missed acts like Taake, Sahg, Mental Despair or Opus Forgotten.

The advantage of not travelling from Oslo on Friday was that I got to see twice two of the bands: the Romanians from DorDeDuh and the Bergen based madmen from Vulture Industries.

DorDeDuh is, for many, the new face of maybe one of the most known extreme metal acts from Romania – Negura Bunget, as two of the band members play in DorDeDuh and you can totally hear their origins throughout their songs. Yet, I enjoy more this newer and more melodic way of expressing the darkness hauling from this beautiful country.

DORDEDUH live @ Southern Discomfort 2014
(Photo: Andrea Chirulescu)

One of the reasons might actually be that they chose to play with a ‘non-metal’ drummer who does a fantastic job at being metal, but without compromising his passion for drum grooves and playful sounds. The light guy helped the band a lot I believe, as he created a really cool atmosphere well matched with the journey of the long songs. But I enjoyed the most every single time I was hearing a Norwegian voice next to me expressing their admiration for the band. And it happened many times. I heard it from both friends and strangers and none was below the level of ‘really awesome’. I heard a bit of the praises the guys received at the end of the concert and I think they are well deserved and hopefully DorDeDuh will be a name to appear more and more often on festival and concerts lineups all over Europe. And, why not, all over the world. There’s plenty of talent to be put on display.

KAMPFAR live @ Southern Discomfort 2014
(Photo: Andrea Chirulescu)

Kampfar’s concert was the first one in the town of Kristiansand after 9 years and it was a motivation for the band members to show how much they have evolved since then and how much energy they have to offer in their shows. When performed live, the songs from the new album seem to have brought a new way for the band to express themselves and to release even more increased amounts of energy that simply won’t let you stand still. Dolk is the kind of frontman to give everything and more for his audience and the fans are really well treated by him as he never forgets to thank them and show his appreciation as often as possible. I’ve seen a decent amount of Kampfar shows and I’m yet to find any boredom in them. Too bad they end so fast.

SEPTICFLESH live @ Southern Discomfort 2014
(Photo: Andrea Chirulescu)

Septic Flesh was the last act on the main stage – Kick Scene (now that I type this, I realise there were only 3 acts for the evening. I really liked that. It is so relaxed to watch so few bands and get to enjoy shows, rather than running around from one stage to another and, by the last act, hardly know your name and even forget who’s performing). Anyways, Septic Flesh…a Greek band about whom I heard good praises, but that I never got to see live nor to listen to too much. Their stage appearance had a good attitude and interesting alien like costumes (at least the singer) that seemed to fit well the themes of their songs. The symphonic/atmospheric metal didn’t sound bad at all and I would have maybe stayed some more in front of the stage, if it hadn’t been a bit dull with the two guitarists on the side doing nothing interesting. That also meant the end of the concert for me since I ran into people I don’t get to sit with very often, so I thought a chat with them was more valuable than the concert. Most of my friends disagree, stating it was an amazing concert and I am glad to hear that.

VULTURE INDUSTRIES live @ Southern Discomfort 2014
(Photo: Andrea Chirulescu)

After the Greeks ended their performance, we relocated to a smaller place called Benny’s for the remaining two concerts of the evening. The first one of them, Timewaves, I only caught a short glimpse of as their metal core’ish like sound didn’t fit well after the 3 intense concerts/music styles I just witnessed. But I liked the energy of the local band that seems to have won the Wacken Metal Battle this year and, for a good reason. I’ll try to check more of their music with another occasion, but this just wasn’t the right time. After the instruments change, it was, once again (in case you forgot, I saw them the night before in Oslo) time for Vulture Industries. Pretty much one of my top three live bands. Besides the fact that I am addicted to their latest release, ‘The Tower’, I believe them to be one of the most expressive bands I’ve ever seen live. Every song is acted, more or less in the same fashion at each concert, yet, always a bit different. This time I noticed the guitarists having a small beer break for example. The past concerts, for example, all had the vocalist jumping into the crowd and screaming parts of ‘The Hound’ in their faces, scaring the shit of some of them. Or he has this moment when he decides to bite the leg of the bass player (although, in Kristiansand he switched to one of the guitarists, tot he delight of the bass player). Or he seems to somehow get ahold of a chair so that he can stand on it and just look extremely tall. All these besides him having some very mad eyes during the shows and just using them to express his music. Music that I’ve rarely found a correct word one can use to describe it. Mad might be a right choice. And full of charisma. And able to mess your brain and give you a bit too many things to think about. And that throws in some beautifully twisted guitar sounds. Just listen to it, if you haven’t, and catch them live as often as you can.

It was a really lovely weekend full of uplifting moments and good energy. I am thankful to the organizers and everyone involved in making a small even like this to feel so big and intense. And I guess the bands and the people I met played a big role in creating this impression as well, so I thank them as well.