MISTUR – Bergen – Garage
Given that I really enjoyed their «In Memoriam» album, which was released last year via Dark Essence Records, there was no way that I was going to miss Mistur’s performance at Garage in Bergen on this cold and rainy Thursday night. I was really curious as to whether the band would be able to transfer their epic, melodic, and strangely beautiful music to the stage without losing that sense of the sublime and majestic that is inherent in their songs. Boasting a rather impressive line-up consisting of members of Vreid, Windir, and Galar among others, Mistur did not let me down, but we shall get back to that.
First up were the guys in the Norwegian band Nifrost. I hadn’t checked out any of their material beforehand, so I didn’t really know what to expect, but it turned out to be a positive surprise in many ways. While they did appear a bit nervous at first and lacked charisma and stage presence, they eventually turned things around and rose to the occasion. Following the first one or two songs, it was as if Nifrost felt much more at home on stage and things started to pick up. I cannot say that I was blown away by the band’s material, but there were a lot of interesting and cool parts scattered throughout the songs and the use of dual vocals worked like a charm. Speaking of vocals, they were probably the most compelling part of their show for me. Lots of clean singing and chants as well as a really aggressive and intense howl courtesy of Eyvind Aardal made it all worth it to me. The band clearly has potential and I dare say that if they continue developing their material they can turn into a ferocious metal machine. Mixing folk-like elements with black metal while throwing in some wicked twists and turns here and there is not a bad idea. Keep an eye out for these guys in the future and if they play anywhere near you then go check them out. As I said, their 35-minute was an enjoyable affair most of the time.
Mistur knew exactly what they were doing when they entered the stage and launched into their head-rushing pagan metal full of sweeping melodies, melancholic keyboard passages, memorable guitar riffs, and aggressive vocals. The sound improved vastly as the show got underway (at least where I was standing), so by the third song things were pretty much on a roll. I love the fact that Mistur employ dual vocals as well. It adds another dimension to their songs. On top of that, the keyboard was luckily quite present and audible, which meant that none of the other instruments drowned it out. The reason I mention that is that the keyboard is an integral part of the band’s material. It would have sucked monkey dick if you could not hear that awesome keyboard work in live setting. The set list spanned both old and new material, but personally, I enjoyed the sprawling and diverse material off "In Memoriam" the most. Not having long breaks or lame speeches between songs also worked in the band’s favor as we were left with very little time to catch our breath between the tunes, and that only made it seem more compact, hard-hitting, and punishing somehow. Following an hour-long performance, the band went away and some of us went home feeling very good about the fact that there are still a few symphonic extreme metal bands out there who are superb on both the stage and on record. As I mentioned earlier on, Mistur did not disappoint me and I got what I came for. Go watch them if you get the chance – you will not regret it. And buy their "In Memoriam" album too, damn it.