BLASTFEST 2016 – Day 2 – Bergen – USF Verftet

BLASTFEST 2016 – Day 2 – Bergen – USF Verftet

Alive & kicking after a great night at Garage, and ready for day 2 of Blastfest 2016, at USF Verftet. My hotel is just a 10 minutes walk from the venue, unfortunatly it means climbing Bergens steepest hill (No, but it feelt that way), but I manage to get there just in time for the first concert. The venue has three stages, 2 small ones, Sardinen & Studio, and the main stage, named Røkeriet. Images At Twilight opens in Studio, a band that immediately gets my attention, as a mixture of Bal-Sagoth and Hidden In The Fog is right up my alley. I have the cd laying somewhere for review, but have not had the time as we speak. However, the concert only increases my interest for the band, and Im really looking forward to get to know the material more in depth, as this is extremly compexe stuff, with layers upon layers of music. Worth checking out if you are into this kind of metal.

Next up are the norwegian music award (spellemannprisen) winners Kampfar, with one of the cooles front-men in black metal. Dolk is worth the concert alone, what a dedicated and great musician! I do miss some more songs from "Djevelmakt", but all in all a great gig with an enthusiastic crowd and a band in form. There are some problems at the entrance of Viper Solfa´s gig at the Studio venue, which leads me to Sublime Eyes concert at the same time in Sardinen. These guys are all about melodic death/groove metal, and its impossible to avoid headbanging while they do what they can to destroy your ears. Not my favourite kind of music, but the fans are exited, and the performance dead solid, so no complains here. I leave the local to check out Viper Solfa for a couple of song, and they confirms what I already knew, super clever guys, but not for me.

On to Dødheimsgard at the big scene. And… well, not for me either. Twin-Peaks black metal? The sound is weak/thin, the music strange, I guess you can call it avant-garde, I have no clue. The band enjoys themselves, I see some dedicated fans, good for them, I say thank you, but no thank you. On to Inculter! And what a performance! These three young guys plays the shirt of any band, and gives me back my belief in the younger generation. Pure magic, pure metal, pure full speed thrahs attack, this is Nekromantheon´s younger blood-brothers, and the best performance of the festival so far, allright!

TAAKE live @ Blastfest 16
(Photo: Kristoffer Rye)

Main stage again, Taake are always a blast, and Hoest does not disapoint this evening either. They might be scary and evil, but man are they catchy as hell also! The house is packed, the atmosphere intense, and the band delivers, you dont need much more. (Well, you need beer.) Great show! And since I mentioned beer, the way the staff handles the bars are impressive, there are practically no waiting time when you go for a drink, and I was there often.. Back to Sardinen, where Gravdal delivers more intense black metal. Front man Frode has presence and attitude like a giant, and reminds me of Gahl at times. The music is just as intense and raw, and Gravdal is one of the bands I put down as "need to check out more closley" after the festival. Job well done!

Back to main stage again… (Busy festival!) In The Woods… well, I dont  dislike the melodic Borknagar kind of style they showcase, but at the same time its..boring. After the intense shows earlier, this is putting the breaks on. For me that is, I see some of the crowd enjoy it, and dont misunderstand, they know what they are doing, but the timing is wrong. Enough said, on to the black and evil force that are Throne Of Katarsis. And we are right back where we want to be. As a friend of mine once wrote after seeing these guys, "everyone immediatly took two steps bacwards when the band started playing" This is no funny buisness, this is no posing, this is raw and evil black metal, with tormented and sick vocals from hell, performed by true artists of the black art. John and Morten from Gehenna are stepping in on drums and guitar, and perform their duties to the fullest. The concert is over in an instant, and I feel totaly empty as the band leaves the stage. Gorgoroth therefor gets to do the final gig of the night without me, and I leave it to my friend Ove from Scream magazine to sum up the experience: "Well, my favourite material from Gorgoroth is pretty much limited to the first album. But that being said, this version of the band sounds like a storm of evilness, with Hoest in great shape doing the vocals"


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